April 26th, 2012
12:12 PM ET
Our Take: Name-calling is ‘rhetorical pornography’
Editor’s note: Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family, Dr. Russell Moore is dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
By Jim Daly, Russell D. Moore and Samuel Rodriguez, Special to CNN
(CNN) – We've all heard it, since we were schoolkids knocking about on the playground: "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me." A saying with good intent, to be sure, designed to steel young minds, and hearts, against the inevitable bruises that come with sharing childhood and adolescence with other children and adolescents.
But did any of us ever believe it was true? Even today – now that we're older, hopefully wiser, having experienced the heartaches of everyday life more fully than we may have as kids – is it a statement we can stand behind?
We don't think so.
Just about every day, a quick scan of the news headlines or a couple of keystrokes for a Google search serve up stories proving this old adage false. The evidence can come from picket signs, talk-show sound bites or something as short and simple as a 140-character tweet.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
Clashes in Arizona over immigration policy. Public arguments over homosexuality in California. Christians and atheists lobbing verbal firebombs at each other in Washington, D.C. Sometimes, those at the center of the name-calling are famous. Most of the time, they aren’t. Well-known or not, their actions prove a singular truth: Names do hurt – and not just those on the receiving end of them.
To borrow the point of another, more accurate old aphorism: What we say about others reveals more about ourselves than the people we're talking about. This is especially true for Christians, who encounter any number of verses in the Bible that point to how "sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness," as the English Standard Version translation of Proverbs 16:21 puts it.
Jesus, as tended to be his way, was a bit more direct: "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken," he said in Matthew 12:36, adding: "For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
So, no, it is not news to any of us that we live in an electrocharged public square.
But it should be convicting to all Christians when we find ourselves contributing to this maelstrom. Derogatory terms for other human beings – regardless of how widely their views differ from ours or, more importantly, from the truths of Scripture – should never pass our lips. To call it rhetorical pornography, for the debasement it engenders, is not an overstatement.
To get into the terms specifically here would be to attach to them a dignity they don't deserve. But we know them when we hear them: Epithets and cutting adjectives directed at gays and lesbians that go far beyond reasoned articulation of our biblical views about God's design for human sexuality.
Cruel, dismissive descriptions of those who do not share our faith – whether they be of a different religion or none at all – serving to drive people further from the heart of Christ, the exact opposite of our calling as his modern-day disciples.
And, perhaps most distressingly, ethnic slurs against noncitizens in our country, people who, in many cases, are families just like our own, seeking the best quality of life they can achieve. How do those hurtful words address the deeper and quite nuanced issues of legality and border integrity?
What each of these instances has in common is that the words are being used to deny the innate humanity and dignity owed every individual. The Jesus we follow did not just die for those who believe in him; his father created each one of us in his own image.
That means that as Christ breathed his last on the cross, there was as much love in his heart for the homosexual activist, the Mexican national who is not a citizen and the atheist as there was for us.
It is out of the "overflow of the heart," Jesus says in Matthew 12, that "the mouth speaks." That means it is far more than a failure of "tone" when we marginalize or malign those with whom we disagree. The solution is not just "nicer" words, but a transformed perspective, one that sees all human beings, including “opponents,” through the eyes of our proponent, Jesus.
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
prayer changes things
There is no god. Religion poisons everything. Forcing a child into a RELIGION IS CHILD ABUSE. Are you just completely brainwashed, repeating this everyday. Get an education. I'm gonna go find some nice christian girls to have fun with, they are so gullible they will fall for really stupid lines.
But seducing children is ok. Got it.
w w w.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=losing-your-religion-analytic-thinking-can-undermine-belief&WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20120427
"If you are drowning in the sea and a boat comes by and the captain throws you a life preserver but you totally reject its existence and wind up dying was the captain punishing you? Or was it that your disbelief in the life saver actually amounted to you punishing yourself."
That's a horrible analogy. A more accurate analogy is this: you are drowning in the sea and another person who is also drowning says they are throwing you a lifesaver, but it is invisible and you have to truly believe in it with all your heart to catch it. Even then, it won't save you from drowning, but they promise it will magically protect what's left of you after you drown.
And by the way, if you don't believe in the invisible lifesaver or if you fail to catch it, your consciousness will survive your own death and will be tortured forever.
If Christians actually knew what was in the bible instead of repeating whatever there religious leader tell them we would be a lot better off.
You are absolutely right. If everyone, not only Christians would read their bible and not only read but trust God's word, things would be a whooooole lot different now.
"You are absolutely right. If everyone, not only Christians would read their bible and not only read but trust God's word, things would be a whooooole lot different now."
Uh as you Christians like to boast 80% of the people in American believe in Christianity and our society hasgone in the crapper many times, then when you look back at the history our Country...well it just proves how bad your religion has been especially for Native American, African Americans, Women's rights and gays.
You are absolutely right. Most that claim are true Christians or followers of Christ do not know how to apply his teaching because of the fact that they haven't read the Bible and only do as their pastor tells them. These so called men of the cloth are the first ones that do not apply what the Bible really teaches so they are fools if they think anyone else will. They have failed to lead by example and that is why everyday more and more people have lost faith in God. This is why it is so important as Jesus indicated on several occasions that if we want to gain ever lasting life we must gain the knowledge of his father, Jehovah, the only true God, and of the one he sent forth Jesus. (John 17:3) Also Jesus gave us a very important job to do; "Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19, 20) Sad to say but there are very few that have taken this commandment to heart. This is why it is vital that we read and meditate on the scriptures so we can gain the knowledge and not be fooled by these false religious leaders.
Prayer changes things.
Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.
An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.
The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!*!
I really would like to speak to the username Jesus. God never guaranteed anyone that what we ask for in prayer is promised to you. And you must also understand that God gave us the knowledge and ability to treat the sick and wounded. I am humbled to be a Christian there is a lot of giving up of control and trusting in what the Lord has planned for me. If my child sick, yes, I will pray fervently that my child be spared, all the while ensuring he is getting the best possible healthcare by professionals and specialists. I know after failed IVF and my marriage quickly followed, I was mad at God. All I ever wanted was to be a wife and mother and there I was at 37 divorced and childless. Little did I know, I had prayer warriors on my side and they prayed that God would put the right man in my life. 5 months later I met the man who is now my husband AND I am now a mommy. God's plan turned out a lot better for me than my plan did. I know they aethists are going to have a field day with this but I am blessed and I pray that they find what I have before forever starts for them. I am happy with my choice regardless of what they say.
Then it is nothing more than coincidence that you attribute to the god's answer for prayer.. You just disproved yourself.
Besides, your closing words speak the truth.. it is your choice that lead you to your current happiness. god had nothing to do with it
I wonder if Crom will answer your prayers.
Prayer changes things
Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.
An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.
The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!
hatred and name calling, discrimination, bigotry, prejudice, all are counter productive and innapropriate. i was raised as a christian in a christian home and later chose another path.two reasons: the christians claim to be the ONLY true religion. all others are doomed to everlasting torment. and,.....the chtistians don't walk the way jesus talked. the guy praying and singing the loudest on sunday is the guy most likely to cheat you out of your shorts on monday.
any SPIRITUAL discipline requires that the traveler look at his OWN shortcomings and leave others to deal with their own.
pointing out the missteps of others is a RELIGIOUS practice and is always destructive.
I do understand your reasons for leaving your Church. i had a similar experience but for me it taught me the difference between following Christ and following Christianity. When i followed Him more closely i wanted to teach more people this love and this is why I stayed.
I'm sorry your former church treated you that way. It isn't right, and isn't what a true Christian should do. (No true scotsman arguers, don't waste your time, that doesn't apply here).
Glen Beck, $32 million in 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/08/glenn-beck-earned-32-mill_n_529903.html
and from guidestar.org
Rev. Franklin Graham $800,000+/yr.
Rev. Billy Graham, $400,000/yr
Rabbi Bradley Hirschfield $331,708/yr
Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, $200,000/yr
Erica Brown $134,221/yr
Eboo Patel $120,000/yr and his “non-profit’s” investment portfolio of $1.2 million
Dr. Herb Silverman $100,000/yr. ?
Imam Rauf and his wife Daisy, $400,000/yr/ea estimated
Samuel Rodriguez $145,000.
James Daley $252,000
Now that is easy money considering all these guys and gals do is open one flawed-filled book and thump a passage of probable myth every Saturday and/or Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Or it shows that there is a market for people who want to teach the love of Christ n the appreciation of the faithful is immense. There are two sides to every story.
Wouldn't the teaching itself cause the followers to give to the poor and not to the teacher?
The one is not better than the other. Christ was sponsored throughout His 3yr ministry by His followers.
On the oether hand Christians do a lot of charity work. You can't leave ministers poor and say you want to take care of the poor. We must love our neighbor as ourselves in our homes 1st.
Regardless of the obvious, 'why doesn't God take care of them" question, $100K+ annually salaries aren't even close to being poor. That is not support, it is "showering with riches." One might even be so bold as to say that they are worshiping the minister.
However, even if the congregation is just overly generous to their pastor/preacher/minister, how can the pastor justify keeping such amounts of money when his own teachings are supposed to, I've heard, be about giving to the poor?
you mean, poor reverend would have starved had it not for his 800K per year income? An average american lives happily making a little under 100k these days.. That leaves the rest he could have been using to "help the poor" as the book apparently teaches (and quite obviously no true believer follows). Do you mean that these reverends need to live more lavishly to hear the god and preach the word of god?
"Median household income fell 2.3% to $49,445 last year..."
Poverty thresholds in the US in 2010:
1 person, $11,139 (US$/year)
4 person household $22,314 (US$/year)
(note, however, that the accuracy of these poverty thresholds are often disputed by many sources.)
Those Rev ministers that you want to be poor men for whatever reason do a lot with their money and thats why they earn so much. It is not wrong for them to be rich. Their money helps them to publish their message in diverse ways for which they earn even more. If Yale and Harvard do it then why not?
Bill Gates is a rich man and does a lot of good with his money but keeps making money cos if he gave it all up at once and became poor it won't help a lot of people. His cashflow helps more people than his wealth and the same goes for these pastors.
"Oh! So u r saying it was wrong for people to sonsor Christ during His 3yr ministry cos there were poor eople around. If you teach well your student will do both. That is why private Colleges like Yale do so well. They help poor students and teach well with rich sponsors money."
I'm not saying it was wrong, or right for that matter. However, I would ask how much of that "sponsorship" did Christ have left over after He died? Who got Chirst's Bentley?
I'm not saying one approach helps more than the other, that would be a rational debate about the use of resources and I might be inclined to follow Bill Gates, an Atheist, as an example, but that's not the subject of discussion.
What I'm wondering is how preacher's justify their wealth when their supposed savior said, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Matthew 19:21)
I don't see why you r focussed on a Bentley. Do u have a problem with Obama for riding in the Beast and running the world's largest charities at the same time?
"Those Rev ministers that you want to be poor men for whatever reason do a lot with their money and thats why they earn so much."
cite or never happened.. I can say that I helped ET make a phone call back to his home planet.. would you believe that?
Besides, wasn't there a verse somewhere about a camel going through a needle head and rich man going to heaven.. Do you mean to say these men do not want to go to heaven that they are piling on their riches? or do they not believe in the said heaven? in either case why should anyone hear them?
unless of course, people are sheep and morons with zero self thought.. (I say that not to be an insult, but truth)
"I don't see why you r focussed on a Bentley. Do u have a problem with Obama for riding in the Beast and running the world's largest charities at the same time?"
I didn't realize I was focused on a Bentley. Have I mentioned one before? Also, I wouldn't think Obama would drive, or ride, in a Bentley as it is a British car, not a US one.
Conversely, why do you associate Obama with a Bentley?
The Bentley reference is just one example of the quite frequent disparity, it seems, between what preacher preach and what they actually do. One high profile example is the "Bishop" Eddie Long and his Bentley.
"2005 - AJC reports in August that Eddie Long has received compensation of $3 million in salary, benefits and property use from nonprofit, tax-exempt charity he established for the poor, including use of $350,000 Bentley automobile."
I think that bears repeating,
"[Bishop] Eddie Long has received compensation of $3 million in salary, benefits and property use from nonprofit, tax-exempt
CHARITY HE ESTABLISHED FOR THE POOR..." [emphasis added]
Anyone trying to argue there isn't something wrong with a preacher driving a Bentley has no idea what the teachings of Christ were. Christ would say, sale the Bentley, give the money to the poor and walk on your own two feet.
I don't know about you but I do know that even atheist authors make a lot of money from the sale of their books, and other things to go with it. Do you think cos someone is a preacher they have any less right to enjoy the fruit of their labour. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were rich n so was David.
De Beast is equivalent or even more expensive than de QUEEN's new Bentley. However if there is anything to be said for it. Bishop Eddie Long founded de charity n deserves his wages. I don't know what their pay structure is. I see ur charities riding in huge Toyota Landcruisers all de time.
USAID n de rest pay their workers using purchasing power parity whereas they cud pay them like local workers cos they r a charity. However if they did they'll lack de H/R capacity. As Deng Xiaoping once said,"A poor man cant help de poor".
If Naked promises u clothes ponder upon his name(Akan)
Christian economics and greed – 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.
Paul picked up the money scent on the road to Damascus. He added some letters for a fee and "Gentilized" the good word to the "big buck" world. i.e. Paul was the first media evangelist!!!
Along comes Constantine. He saw the growing rich Christian community and recognized a new tax base so he set them "free".
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.
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."
In conclusion, money is a major foundation of Christianity to include Mormonism. Ditto for Islam.
The martyred apostles ran afoul of Roman political and religious authorities because they preached, healed, and baptized for the conversion (and profit) to a non-Roman way of life. This support of an anti-Roman cult resulted in the typical murder/crucifixion of the cult leaders. The apostles' conversions also caused a dramatic drop in Roman/Jewish temple appearances and contributions and just like Jesus' Jewish temple outburst, it resulted in added punishment to include crucifixion.
Do u know that S. Paul was a working Minister rather than a stipendiary cleric. I know sometimes you confuse the objectives with subjectives. I for instance don't plan to be paid for ministry and thats why I'm an engineer. A lot of ministers gave up all their wealth to serve Christ.
The problem with you is that you don't seem to understand that for the most part these men's incomes do not come from their churches anymore but as scholars of Xtian theology they publish books, etc for which people all over the world buy. They mostly don't keep their incomes to themselves too.
The Romans caused their own doom through selective infanticide and abortion as well as persecution of minorities and unregulated immigration. sounds familiar anyone. Constantine realised how much resources was wasted persecuting xtians alone and sought to stop it. Also his mum might've been xtian.
Jay Leno's salary = $30,000,000/yr
David Letterman salary = $31,000,000+/yr
Pretty GREAT money for just getting up there making jokes and doing inteviews!
Ok so there's a few rich ministers, that's great, good for them. Let's look at another profession, acting. You've got actors who are multimillionaires, and actors who are starving. Is it the fault of the rich actors that the other actors are poor? I don't think so. It's the same thing. People pay money for a service (acting/entertainment). Some people make more than others. My pastor makes under $60,000 a year and lives in a small church owned house. He owns a 5 year old domestic SUV. He works his butt off.
Mark: You are welcome mandarax for the prayers! Let ask you one question though. If I am wrong and all these things I believe in concerning God was nothing more than fantasy what would I have lost. In reality nothing really except some of my time here on earth was wasted. Now if I am right, what will you lose? Think on that question long and hard mandarax. I pray that someday you will come to realize what the answer is.
I will have the same to lose as you do for not accepting Islam. Why are you not losing any sleep over that wager? Cause that stuff's clearly false and not worth worrying about, right? Think long and hard on that question.
Problem with indoctrination is that they firmly believe they are right and all others wrong. To honestly look at this dilemma and question it will cause most faithful to short a circuit.
@ closetatheist (by the way, stay in the closet)
True Christians don't believe they are right, they believe the Bible is right.
"True Christians don't believe they are right, they believe the Bible is right."
The bible isn't right which is why it's not considered an historical document. LOL!
If the person being insulted thinks that the person doing the insulting is going to an eternal pit of fiery torture when their god's good and holy will is finally complete should they really be that bothered by the insult?
What if its the other side doing all the insulting?
Not "supposed" to be, but we still are...
What if?!? What if bananas were red and spherical?
"What if?!? What if bananas were red and spherical?"
Then obviously God wouldn't exist. – Ray Comfort
If the people of the town reject you, cast off the dust from your feet as you leave. Matthew 10:14
Matt 10: 14 does meet historic rigor analyses, i.e. it was uttered by the historic Jesus. For example, see http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=001_Mission_and_Message and also Professor Gerd Ludemann's analysis in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years.
2 Texts 2.1 (1) 1 Corinthians 2.1.1 (1a) 1 Cor 9:1-23
2.1.2 (1b) 1 Cor 10:23-11:1
2.2 (2) Gos. Thom. 14:4
2.3 (3) 1Q: Luke 10:(1), 4-11 = Matt 10:7, 10b, 12-14 2.3.1 Luke 10: (1), 4-11
2.3.2 = Matt 10:7,10b,12-14
2.4 (4) Mark 6:7-13 = Matt 10:1,8-10a,11 = Luke 9:1-6 2.4.1 Mark 6:7-13
2.4.2 = Matt 10:1,8-10a,11
2.4.3 = Luke 9:1-6
2.5 (5) Dial. Sav. 53:2 [139:9-10]
2.6 (6) Did. 11-13 [see 11:4-6 & 13:1-2]; 2.6.1 Did 11:4-6
2.6.2 Did 13:1-2
2.7 (7) 1 Tim 5:18b.
This being the case, consider this before getting washed away in religious fervor:
JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")
Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.
Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.
Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.
Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!
So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?
Language is our primary means of communication, and we, as a society, have become far too careless with our use of language. We use exaggeration and hyperbole, not as a means of emphasis, but as a part of our everyday expression. We no longer talk with meaning. We are lazy with our words.
As an example, I see the acronym F.M.L a lot. It stands for "F*.ck My LIfe" and most of the time when it's being used it is bemoaning something that the user has either brought on themselves ("I got a speeding ticket, F.M.L") or is so trivial that the sentiment is completely overblown ("I got a paper cut, F.M.L")...and whenever I see it, I'm thinking...there are people with fatal diseases, people starving, people hurt and dying, people alone and suicidal...surely an acronym like F.M.L should be reserved for situations...well, where one really is f*.cked?
This is also easy to see when we speak to and about others, particularly those with whom we disagree. It is so easy to dismiss them with a label: "fundy", "atheist", "Muslim", "Jew", "gay"....as if they have no meaning simply because of that label...or worse to replace the label with what we consider an insult; "idiot", "moron", "dingbat", "crazy", "simpleton"....It makes us easy to hold on to the comfort of our dearest beliefs without examining them, to not have to consider the other person as a person with their own dearly held beliefs, their own hurts and loves, their own life experience that has made them who they are.
If you want to see the real issue with language look at what happen with the tweets about the black player for the Boston Bruins. There were many tweets using the "n" word. It wasn't till people started really condemning it that it stopped but then the cowards that wrote them started deleting their accounts so they wouldn't be found out. Anonymity on the internet allows people to write things they normally wouldn't have the courage to do face to face, it allows for cyberbullying without having to be accountable. For the people who write such hurtful and derogatory things it reveals to the world that these people have emotional issues and are insecure.
I am unfamiliar with the incident you speak of, however, the internet does give people a certain anonymous boldness, but my point is not just about what we say and do online.
I see it all around us, we are allowing ourselves to be lost in the rhetoric, democrat against republican, Christian against Atheist, right against left, and in between the sides people are suffering. We are not solving any of the MANY problems with the name calling and hate mongering.
It is time to stop demonizing the "other" and start recognizing the reflections of our own selves in those we oppose.
Patricia, I saw that too.
It was awful and yes those who wrote them were cowards.
"It is time to stop demonizing the "other" and start recognizing the reflections of our own selves in those we oppose."
Ahh that old saying of the faults you see in other people are actually the faults you have within yourself. I think the problem is that often an open criticism is viewed negatively even though the intent might not meant to be that way. We as a society like everything with sugar on top. You aren't allowed to give an honest opinion unless there is a positive twist to it, but unfortunately often the real message gets lost or the wrong meaning comes across.
“You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” Ann Lamott
Who the heck is Ann Lamott?
"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."...Stephen F Roberts
@ Michael / FoodforThought ~~ 2 great quotes...!! Thx....
Tolerance, the "definition" by Jim Daly:
Making sure I am able to spread lies about gay people in order that young gay children will grow up in a world that hates them and thus those little b@stards will kill themselves. Please be tolerant of me striving to make sure "suffer the little children" is taken literally.
So, doesn't even calling them "Fundies" traduce the writers? Not one of them would self-describe as Fundamentalist, from what I can tell. Evangelicalism is distinct from Fundamentalism on a number of epistemic, social and behavioral issues. Hoping the article's message was not lost in an instant...
Well I doubt they would call themselves hate mongers too but it's still the truth no matter if they want to admit it or not.
So when hate groups, like Focus on the Family, work to make it legal to discriminate against a group of US citizens, because of how they were born, we should sit back and say nothing?
And when fundamentalist religious groups keep trying to force their religious myths into our public school science classes, we should not speak up?
And when these groups of radical conservatives try and put their religious îdiocy into our laws, edging us closer to a theocracy, we should just accept it?
Sorry. But oh hell no!
That is not what they are saying nor what I believe, though I agree with a lot of the points made in this article.
We can stand up for what we believe without name calling. We can disagree without demonizing others.
If we don't work toward understanding each other, if we don't work at seeing past our own fear and anger and engage in meaningful dialog, all we will do is continue in this atmosphere of war that surrounds us now.
Religious zealots can't seem to understand that we'd rather be "called names" within an honest inquiry and discussion about god's nature than be spoken to nicely while being discriminated against..
Case in point – why resort to name calling and hurling pejoratives (hate groups, idiocy, theocracy, myths) ? Is the argument so lacking substance that this is really needed? Dispassionate examination always yields better results.
Bubba, christians seem to think that almost anything an atheist says is "pejorative.". For example, the term "myth" is not an insult in any way, and is EXACTLY the proper scientific term.. Sure, people can claim to believe that the myth is more than a myth, but there's no verifiable evidence for that view, so the proper term is "myth.". If a christian is going to get his panties in a wad because someone uses the term "theocracy," then they need to stay indoors 24 hours a day with the bolts thrown and the shades drawn, one flickering candle and bible in hand.
They can try to dress up their vile venom in any shade they want but most of us know them for what they are and they do NOT follow the teachings of Christ. They're too busy spreading their brand of hate and unfortunately CNN, and other news outlets, love to try to legitimize them by giving them these platforms.
"Case in point – why resort to name calling and hurling pejoratives (hate groups, idiocy, theocracy, myths)"
So you do know that even in America we have our own myths that people think are true. For example, do you really think Washington cut down that cherry tree? Look the bible has been proven to not be an historical document but a religious one, that means there are myths in it.
Myth – a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.
"They can try to dress up their vile venom in any shade they want but most of us know them for what they are and they do NOT follow the teachings of Christ. "
LOL! That statement would qualify for most of the Christians in Christianity. 😉
You are attempting to take their "religious freedom" away from them, taking away their "right" to enforce their brand of so-called morality onto others.
I agree with this article about the 'so-called" christians giving a bad name to true God-fearing Christians with all their name calling, bashing, unfruitful criticism and faithless heart. I agree with the writer that Jesus' true message of love should be preached.
Now, having said this (written rather), a true bible believing Christian not only preaches about Jesus' love for the world and how we should help and love each other, He also, or better put, mostly preached about the coming kingdom of God, and how to get there, in other words, how NOT to miss it. It's interesting to note that in the bible Jesus preached more on Hell (and how to avoid it) than what He preached about God's love, yet people only notice the 'love' part. And you don't have to take my word for it. You can read Scriptures for yourself (while you still can). Don't get me wrong, I'm all for love, all for getting along, but when it comes to the most important question (and the answer) of life: where will I end up after I die (and you WILL end up somewhere, don't let anyone deceive you into thinking otherwise)? I must move "love" aside, not away from me, just aside, and I want to know how I can have eternal salvation. You can look at it this way, I would love to board one of those enormous cruise ships and spend a few days out to sea, but I firstly want to know how many lifeboats there are and what and if there is an evacuation procedure in place and if the captain has plenty of experience and knowledge in all this. And that is what Jesus teaches and preaches about in Scriptures. It just occurred to me, haven't you noticed that throughout all of Scripture (from Genesis to Revelation), I cannot judge or condemn anybody even if I tried, because I am a no better sinner than anyone else. As a matter of fact, I believe some unbelievers are more knowledgeable in some areas than I am. And besides, I am no master of anyone's fate. But as a Christian, as a follower of Christ and His commandments, I am instructed to preach to others the kingdom of God and His arrival. I believe this is true love, helping others get saved.
You do realize that your type of "preaching" drives more people away from Christianity than any logical argument. We atheist can only make Christianity seem ridiculous, You make it down right repulsive.
Throughout the Bible, from Genesis 3 and on, all the way to the book of Revelation...God is delivering His people from His divine wrath. God shows grace, love, mercy and forgiveness toward His people, but of course, He can only offer His all to those who are seeking all of the above, mainly righteousness. And we can only be righteous in the eyes of God through His Son, Jesus Christ who paid it all for us. Please don't miss this: Jesus did in fact live, die and resurrect for the whole world, but only a select few will rejoice in His salvation. Ask me why.
If I were to have just stopped at God's amazing love for us all, and how we should just share His love and nothing more, would you have been fine with that?
You do know that the bible is not an historical document right but a religious one. It doesn't mean it's really true. By the way you're worshiping the wrong God anyways and will likely not go to your promised heaven. LOL!
You do know that you seem to not know what you are talking about, I mean writing about. The Bible has been proven to be very historical in every way from all the characters in it to the accounts in it. Don;t take my word from it, do your own research. And not only that, the Bible has been very accurate in what it predicts/prophesies.
Oh, you misunderstand me; I like the way that you preach. You're driving more people away from religion, specifically Christianity than I ever could.
Actually, Huebert, most atheists are normal people who tend to let other people live their lives the way they want to. They don't think there's an afterlife like religious people do, so they're mature enough not to hypocritically shove it down everyone's throats because hey, some people depend on religion and they can respect that. This is called being a decent human being.
But internet atheists like yourself are nothing more than obnoxious, passive-aggressive little children. If you were as amazing or as smart as you think you are, you wouldn't be devoting so much energy into something you don't even believe exists.
And I've been counting. Out of all the Christians I've seen post on this article, I've only seen a handful who were being hateful or judgmental. The rest were saying "I agree with this article. Here's a Bible verse where Jesus says love your neighbors." If someone ACTUALLY believes that there are consequences for not believing in their God, then it would be hateful if they DIDN'T tell you about it. It doesn't matter if any of its true or not – this guy is coming from the belief that not believing in God results in serious consequences and he's saying he feels the need to warn other people.
And out of all the atheists I've seen post on this article, I've only seen a handful who WEREN'T being hateful or judgmental. Every other comment is something about how all Christians are disgusting sheep who believe in outdated fairy tales. And these comments come from people who see themselves as white knights of enlightenment, coming to cleanse the world from religion forever! Right. And they make THEIR ideology repulsive. Grow up.
"The Bible has been proven to be very historical in every way from all the characters in it to the accounts in it. "
No it hasn't which is why the experts found that it's not an historical document. Just because a book might have a few historical comments in it doesn't mean the whole thing is true. Even the story of Mosses has been proven to be false. Oh, that's right I forgot, Christians need their history sugar coated so they don't have to deal with reality. So George explain how Noah went all over the planet scooping up the various 20 million animals and having enough room on that boat to feed them all too. LMAO! We couldn't even today build something that big with our machines. LOL!
If you'd take the time to really investigate your claim that the bible has been proven historically sound, I think you find that your current assumption is not accurate.
JesseClark pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot.
Actually I'm just bored and having a bit of fun. Really, not that much energy devoted.
"The Bible has been proven to be very historical in every way from all the characters in it to the accounts in it."
Everyone knows the story about Jesus and the woman about to be stoned by the mob. This account is only found in John 7:53-8:12. The mob asked Jesus whether they should stone the woman (the punishment required by the Old Testament) or show her mercy. Jesus doesn’t fall for this trap. Jesus allegedly states, let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her. The crowd dissipates out of shame. That story was not originally in the Gospel of John or in any of the Gospels. It was added by later scribes. The story is not found in the oldest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of John. Nor does its writing style comport with the rest of John. Most serious textual critics state that this story should not be considered part of the Bible.
@Jesse: Maybe some atheists are tired of being told we're "hopeless, immoral, doomed". Maybe we're tired of being told that we're less than you because we don't subscribe to your religion. Maybe we're tired of being told that we need to be "saved", by you and your "god". Maybe we're tired of having your list of ten rules shoved in our face trying to block our view. We would LIKE very much to live our own lives but are constantly barraged by your condescension. And this is coming from an ex-30-year-Chrisitian.
"We would LIKE very much to live our own lives but are constantly barraged by your condescension. And this is coming from an ex-30-year-Chrisitian."
Hey look another ex-Christian. I wonder how many of us are on this blog. LOL!
I am not driving anyone away from anything. The Bible either draws you to God or draws you away from Him. Of course, God's will is not for anyone to perish but to be saved. But the choice is ours. It has that effect on people. The lovey-dovey, chocolate chip cookie, whispering sweet-nothings into your ear that preachers preach today is everything that Jesus warned against. He said in Luke 9:23, "If anyone wishes to follow me, you must deny yourself, take up your cross daily (this means suffer the consequences for doing so) and FOLLOW ME." This 'follow me' term means obedience. Ah! This is what gets everyone. And in another passage of the bible, Jesus said, "And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” ...And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
So again, after having read the above statements from Jesus Himself, the question begs to be asked, "Why on earth would I want to go through that?" or, "Why would I follow that type of religion, where I have to be treated like dirt to later become exalted." At first glance, these questions are understandable and almost rightly so to ask them. But if you read Scriptures and its core message, you will hopefully notice that we have offended God with living it up in the most unrighteous way we can think of and not even our most "good works" can get us there. That is why Jesus had to come and pay that price for us. All we have to do is acknowledge that we have been offended God with unbelief, with our sinful lifestyle and thinking "It's not all that bad." Once we come to admit this, we must repent and and turn to God, ask Jesus to accept us as we are and obviously ask Him to guide us into righteousness so we may enter His Father's kingdom.
The core message is:
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
So your God had to come down as his own son to kill himself because he screwed up in his original creation twice already. Yet here you are claiming it is all about love when it’s not, it’s about your god having to come up with a solution for his own mess. If it were truly, a loving god it wouldn’t have had to do any of that. Oh..wait…the men that wrote the bible didn’t think of that so they had to please all the other people around them by making it similar to all the other religions of that time so they created the Jesus story. LOL! Myth…on top of Myth….is still a lie
@BoldGeorge: Why do we have to apologize/repent for being human to a vengeful "god" who made us human in the first place and promises us that he will punish us if we don't apologize to him for acting human??
"God's will is not for anyone to perish but to be saved." Then Why did God condemn us?
Well, MK, I'm sorry the only Christians you've ever come in contact with have been cut-out B-movie stereotypes.
But I see Christians everywhere, all the time. I have never, in all my years, seen somebody go up to random person at Starbucks, smack them in the head with two stone tablets, and tell them they're going to hell. Yet whenever an atheist explains why he's calling a someone a stupid, worthless, disgusting sheep who's entire belief system is based on lies and fairy tales, they say its perfectly okay because Christians come up to them every day on the streets and tell them they're going to hell.
And I have to wonder. where is this happening? To justify a universal hatred of all Christians ever, you would have to make the claim that over half of all the Christians do things like this. That means, since America is 80% Christian, anywhere from 130 to 260 million Christians are going out, every day, finding atheists in the streets (presumably with some kind of atheist detector), and telling them they're going to hell. And if you can honestly say that yes, hundreds of people do this to me every day, then I'm sorry, you're either lying or you're a schizophrenic.
I don't appreciate your blasphemes, but then again, you willfully don't know any better (not that that is an excuse). God did not screw up. You did and still do. I did. We all did. The very fact that you are still breathing is so you can come to this realization. You won't be able to say, "I didn't know, no one warned me."
I just want to state for the record to all here. I am not here to argue with anyone. I don't want to debate, argue, discuss and much less fight about my belief in God and Jesus Christ my Savior (and your unbelief of the previously mentioned). My goal here is evangelistic, just like I do on the streets, home to home, and to my coworkers and to my acquaintances. My God-given mission is to proclaim the gospel. If you aren't aware yet of what "gospel" means, it really means GOOD NEWS. If with that this GOOD NEWS sounds condemning to you, then you are basically condemning yourself, because the Bible can either save you and lift you up or it can condemn you. All my desires are for you to be convicted of your sin so you may repent and turn to God and meet each other in heaven, if we don't ever meet here.
“That means, since America is 80% Christian, anywhere from 130 to 260 million Christians are going out, every day, finding atheists in the streets (presumably with some kind of atheist detector), and telling them they're going to hell. And if you can honestly say that yes, hundreds of people do this to me every day, then I'm sorry, you're either lying or you're a schizophrenic.”
I think you need to go have a good hard look at the gay issue. The main reason that Christians give for not giving gays their civil rights is because they believe their lifestyle is an abomination, a sin and they do tell them they’re going to hell. Just go back through this blog and then google it. And yes I have personally been told I am going to hell (no I am not gay) by numerous Christians when I challenge them face to face. They usually end up screaming at me, especially since I am a former Christian. LOL!
"I don't appreciate your blasphemes, but then again, you willfully don't know any better (not that that is an excuse). God did not screw up. You did and still do. I did. We all did. The very fact that you are still breathing is so you can come to this realization. You won't be able to say, "I didn't know, no one warned me.""
Isn't funny how humans have to take the blame for it all....oh it's not our gods fault. LOL! It just continues to show the shallowness of your god and how truly unloving it really is. I am not worried George, the bible is a myth just like all the religions before it.
And I'm not saying I don't believe its EVER happened to you. But one, two, or even a hundred incidents of this doesn't get you some kind of Whiny Victim Fun Pass that gives you unlimited @sshole points from now until the end of time. You don't have that kind of a monopoly on suffering.
If such a monopoly even exists, then I think we Jews qualify more than anyone else. But you don't see us going around vehemently hating the Germans or the Christians or the Muslims or anyone else who's put us through a lot worse of a hell than you've got going.
Please answer my question. If it is gods will that everyone be saved, why did god condemn us?
“ My God-given mission is to proclaim the gospel. If you aren't aware yet of what "gospel" means, it really means GOOD NEWS. If with that this GOOD NEWS sounds condemning to you, then you are basically condemning yourself, because the Bible can either save you and lift you up or it can condemn you. All my desires are for you to be convicted of your sin so you may repent and turn to God and meet each other in heaven, if we don't ever meet here.”
George there is no evidence of a heaven and all other religions claim to have heavens too. Of course the people writing the bible had to put the fear factor in it. Your belief isn’t really true if you believe just in case. If your god really created a hell to burn people then that is an evil god, especially since on 33% of the people on this planet are Christians and many of those fail at it. That means at least 70% (4,926,033,498) of the people on this planet are going to burn in hell for all eternity, now that is one evil God who really is incapable of being the very love the bible claims this god possess. LOL!
"If such a monopoly even exists, then I think we Je.ws qualify more than anyone else."
Actually Christians killed more Native Americans in this country when they stole their land from them. So the Native Americans definitely have the monopoly it sine they almost became extinct. Or....don't you really know history? LOL!
"And I'm not saying I don't believe its EVER happened to you. But one, two, or even a hundred incidents of this doesn't get you some kind of Whiny Victim Fun Pass that gives you unlimited @sshole points from now until the end of time."
You do realize you have now crossed the line and become "one of them." LOL! Wow it must be so nice to go through life with those rosey colored glasses on that have blinders on the side. You really don't know the history of your own religion do you.
"I think you need to go have a good hard look at the gay issue. The main reason that Christians give for not giving gays their civil rights is because they believe their lifestyle is an abomination, a sin and they do tell them they’re going to hell. Just go back through this blog and then google it. And yes I have personally been told I am going to hell (no I am not gay) by numerous Christians when I challenge them face to face. They usually end up screaming at me, especially since I am a former Christian. LOL!"
LOL! And I'm sure you were being every bit as polite to them as you are to the Christians on here.
On the gay issue, more people support gay marriage than oppose it (46% – 44%). Since America is, again, 80% Christian, that means a lot of that support is coming from the Christians. Do you hate those Christians too?
Also, you do realize that every ideology has its fringe members, right? You don't honestly think people like the members of Westboro Baptist Church are normal Christians, do you? And yes, people that tell Gays they're going to hell are in that fringe that everyone hates because they're crazy. No REAL Christian would ever pretend to know someone's fate.
And most of these arguments boil down to "organized religion like Christianity sucks." Well of course it sucks! Its run by people! And that's the whole point of Christianity, and almost all major religions – they believe there's something else out there thats better than this. Something that's above all the hatred and the vitriol. Something that can save us from ourselves. The people who attack you are the farthest away from that thing. They are Christians by name only.
@ BoldGeorge ~~ Your logic throughout this thread is so completely flawed that's it's nearly impossible to tackle. I wish you the best in your quest to spread the good word. I, for one, don't need to be "saved". But thank you.
“On the gay issue, more people support gay marriage than oppose it (46% – 44%). Since America is, again, 80% Christian, that means a lot of that support is coming from the Christians. Do you hate those Christians too? “
I don’t hate Christians but it’s amusing to see you make that lie up especially since lying is a huge sin. LOL!
“The people who attack you are the farthest away from that thing. They are Christians by name only”
Then by your own logic 80% of Americans are not TRUE Christians so the rest of your post is moot. LMAO!
@ JesseClark ~~ "No REAL Christian would ever pretend to know someone's fate."
You're kidding, right? Your religion says to believe or you're going to hell. So if REAL christians don't "pretend to know someone's fate" then they are actually going against the belief system of christianity. I'm so confused right now.
"Actually Christians killed more Native Americans in this country when they stole their land from them. So the Native Americans definitely have the monopoly it sine they almost became extinct. Or....don't you really know history? LOL!"
Around 1 to 4 million native Americans were killed by the US government, over the course of a century. And that's one of the saddest things that's ever happened.
But 6 million Jews were killed over the course of four years. Add to that Jewish deaths in the Crusades, ancient slavery, at the hands of Islam, and at the hands of the Russians, and I'd say we've got that monopoly thing all tied up. Thanks for playing.
If god is omnipotent than everything is under his control; therefore, only he gets the blame–not we humans who are just acting exactly as we were "designed" to act.. If god wants to show up and set the record straight, that sure would help a whole bunch, but all the god believers who disagree with all the other god believers wouldn't know what to do anymore without their faith because faith isn't required when the fact is known.. If it turns out one little band of god believers had it just right, they can gloat all they want, right?
"Around 1 to 4 million native Americans were killed by the US government, over the course of a century. And that's one of the saddest things that's ever happened.
But 6 million Jews were killed over the course of four years. Add to that Jewish deaths in the Crusades, ancient slavery, at the hands of Islam, and at the hands of the Russians, and I'd say we've got that monopoly thing all tied up. Thanks for playing."
Actually you're wrong they revised the numbers. 95% of the total population estimated between 50-100 million in North America were killed. Oh...that's right you probably like your history sugar coated now don't you.
De God of Islam is de God of Judaism n Xtianity. He is ethical. no Xtian, MUSLIM, or Jew has to fear Him if his behaviour is ethical too. If they were wrong n He was unethical they wud still be acceptable since being good was bad n vice versa. We've thought this through already.
It'd be an honor to explain this to you, but please receive this with an open mind and heart, because if you don't get this now, you may never get it. First off, we must, I stress, we MUST understand that God has a standard...they are of holiness and righteousness (notice that I did not mention 'love'...that comes later). He gave mankind His standards in the form of the Ten Commandments. And God, being a righteous and holy God that He is, cannot and will not accept anyone into His kingdom who have not "lived up" to His standards. You must know that its His world, His universe, His rules. Kind of sounds harsh and unfair, right? Well, we humans use and enforce rules similar to that, "My house, my rules." So why can't He? But His rules are just, fair and most importantly, they lead you to righteousness and an everlasting peace. That is also similar to what we do with our own kids, we enforce rules (well, not all but some good parents do) so to protect, teach and offer our young ones structure and discipline...and it all boils down to love, because we love our kids and want what is best for them.
Now, we are all sinners, there is not one righteous person in the world (Ecclesiastes 7:20). God has laws and sin is the transgression of God's laws (1st John 3:4 – Whosoever commits sin breaks the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.). We CANNOT keep His commandments, because even breaking one, you will have broken them all. We offend God and have been offending him with our sinful lifestyle, our selfish choices and way of living, but mainly with our unbelief, which is the sin of all sins, because without belief, you have no where to start from.
Because of all this, God had to, needed to, and thought it best to redeem us. That is the whole message of the gospel. It is the message of redemption. God became a man and through Jesus Christ, His Son, He came to walk with us, die for us and resurrect from the dead to show us the way into His kingdom (thus the verse: John 14:6 – “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me"). He paid the penalty for us, when we didn't even deserve it. God, being a God of righteousness and holiness, He is also a God of love. Because He is a God of love, He is and has been patient (so tee see no one perish), He is the most patient of all existence. He doesn't desire anyone to perish in their sins and if someone does, it is not His fault, it is because we made our choice.
Oh! So u r saying it was wrong for people to sonsor Christ during His 3yr ministry cos there were poor eople around. If you teach well your student will do both. That is why private Colleges like Yale do so well. They help poor students and teach well with rich sponsors money.
@ closet atheist
You see how I try to be specific and explain things in this forum regarding my belief? Can you please do the same with your belief and be specific on how my logic is flawed? Where is the flaw?
@BG: So ... your god is not omnipotent? An omnipotent god and 'cannot' can never go together. If your god 'must' obide by a standard, who set the standard? If he set the standard., how come he can't break it?
And why only ten commandments? You realize that there more to the old testament than just a few verses in a single chapter of a single verse, yes?
How many times do we've 2 go over this? Anyway Xtians, Muslims n Jews worship de same God so they have nothing to fear if they r faithful 2 their teaching 2 b morally sound. If they r wrong n God is unethical then they r acceptable still since good will be bad. We've thought this through!
I don't think you know what the word 'omnipotence' really means. before I give you merriam-webster's definition combined with wikipedia's, let me add that real power (even at the human level) is not being a hypocrite. True power is being able to uphold and be an example of your own laws, rules and standards above others.
Omnipotence (from Latin: Omni Potens: "all power") is unlimited power. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence to only the deity of whichever faith is being addressed. In the monotheistic philosophies of Abrahamic religions, omnipotence is often listed as one of a deity's characteristics among many, including omniscience, omnipresence, and omnibenevolence.
– A deity is able to do absolutely anything, even the logically impossible, i.e., pure agency.
– A deity is able to do anything that it chooses to do.
– A deity is able to do anything that is in accord with its own nature (thus, for instance, if it is a logical consequence of a deity's nature that what it speaks is truth, then it is not able to lie).
– Hold that it is part of a deity's nature to be consistent and that it would be inconsistent for said deity to go against its own laws unless there was a reason to do so.
– A deity is able to do anything that corresponds with its omniscience and therefore with its worldplan.
So – god makes laws that he can't break?
And for a supposedly all (or at least very) powerful being, you'd think he'd be a teensy bit more clear in his instructions. After all, you christians can't even agree on exactly what the ten commandments are – different denominations number them differently. And then you have the facts that there are many tens of thousands of different flavors of christianity. If god has standards, how come he can't communicate them effectively?
“Now, we are all sinners, there is not one righteous person in the world (Ecclesiastes 7:20).”
This is what is so hysterical about your god, it’s knows that humans are not perfect and yet will continue to condemn regardless, that is not righteousness or love or whatever else you are trying to sugar coat about your god. Plus remember now according to your own book your god is going to torture for all eternity at least 70% of people on this planet because they don’t believe in YOUR god. That is not moral or justifiable!
"True power is being able to uphold and be an example of your own laws, rules and standards above others."
That's why it gave a commandment of not to murder yet your god went and killed everyone on the planet but a few. Again that is not moral or justifiable therefore your god is not righteous.
Nii – why do you keep addressing comments to me? Were we talking?
tried to reply several times to your post above on Pascal's Wager. All didn't post well!
Before I continue, let me make sure that I am clear on this.
1) God set up a series of rules of righteousness, the ten commandments et. al., and braking these, sinning, is punished with da.mnation.
2) We, humanity, are not capable of following all of these rules. Their for God da.mned humanity.
3) Because of his love, God sent his son to pay the price of humanities sins.
4) Now that Jesus has paid the price of our sins we, humanity, can be "saved".
My question is now this: If God, the author of the rules of righteousness, can allow another, Jesus, to take the punishment for humanity's transgressions, Could he not simply waive the punishment and allow everyone into heaven?
@Nii – okay, sorry.
In that case: Nii "Anyway Xtians, Muslims n Jews worship de same God so they have nothing to fear if they r faithful 2 their teaching 2 b morally sound."
That is not what any of those doctrines teach! You and perhaps some others have decided to say that (people do that all the time with religion – interpret it to fit what they want it to mean), but that is certainly not what is in the Bible.
@ Huebert....."My question is now this: If God, the author of the rules of righteousness, can allow another, Jesus, to take the punishment for humanity's transgressions, Could he not simply waive the punishment and allow everyone into heaven?"
I have to be frank with you (not that I've been lying), but you are by far the one asking the better questions here. I shows your humbleness, and that my friend is the best way (or may be the only way) to approach God's forgiveness. I have to tell you that you or anyone cannot get to heaven if it's not through the blood of Jesus Christ. He paid our sins, we go through Him only. And to answer your question more specifically, God wants to, He desires to forgive us all but not everyone, or should I say, mostly everyone is not asking for it with a truly repented heart.
Let's look at it this way: There's a warrant for your arrest. You don't know why but you are hauled to court. You stand before the judge and He explains to you why you were arrested. He informs you that you violated a traffic law a month ago. You sped right through a blind children's zone going at 90 mph. The judge tells you that the fine is 2million dollars and you must pay it in 30 days or face plenty of jail time. You look down and you think to yourself, as matter of fact, you know you won't be able to come up with that amount of money. Then the judge tells you to look at Him. You lift up your gloomy face and He tells you, "Son, your fine has just been paid by someone who wants to remain anonymous for now, you and your case are dismissed.....if you accept."
Now, how would you react to the fact that you unknowingly violated some important laws that could've cost you your freedom and that pleading ignorance wouldn't have saved you? But more importantly, how would you react to the better fact that someone paid your fine? Would you want to know who that Someone is? Would you be in your heart indebted and forever grateful to Him? And if you later found out that He is looking to establish a relationship with you, wouldn't you want to say, "HECK YEAH!!!" I know that after this comment, there will be some who will mock, but just remember, you don't get saved (or condemned) because of others. It's your own decision.
“God wants to, He desires to forgive us all but not everyone, or should I say, mostly everyone is not asking for it with a truly repented heart.”
So the other 70% of the people on the planet that don’t repent to your god because they believe in another religion or not one at all will burn in all eternity because your God couldn’t even follow it’s own rules on love. LMAO!
“But more importantly, how would you react to the better fact that someone paid your fine? Would you want to know who that Someone is? Would you be in your heart indebted and forever grateful to Him? And if you later found out that He is looking to establish a relationship with you, wouldn't you want to say, "HECK YEAH!!!" I know that after this comment, there will be some who will mock, but just remember, you don't get saved (or condemned) because of others. It's your own decision.”
I freely gave my car to a total stranger because her car’s engine blew. I did it because it was the right thing to do. She was in hardship raising children and didn’t have money for a new car. Part of giving is not to expect to get something in return because to do that is the foundation of greed. No, I didn’t want a relationship with that person, no she is not indebted to me and forever grateful while she is living, that would bog her own development down as a person.
“God wants to, He desires to forgive us all”
Well, if that was true and it’s as powerful and as loving as you claim then he could simply just do that but no, your god is evil and controlling since if you don’t do as it says you burn in hell for eternity. That is not absolute and pure love at all!
The only thing I am going to respond to your comment is this. There is NO comparison to man's way fo giving and God's way of giving.
The problem is you want God to live up to our standards, and not the other way around. Pride won't get you not even up to our clear blue skies, much less into heaven. your life and your way of thinking is all about you. You do no good, no matter how many cars you give away (neither do I but that's another story).
Luke 9: 25 – For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits his soul?
"The only thing I am going to respond to your comment is this. There is NO comparison to man's way fo giving and God's way of giving.
The problem is you want God to live up to our standards, and not the other way around. Pride won't get you not even up to our clear blue skies, much less into heaven. your life and your way of thinking is all about you. You do no good, no matter how many cars you give away (neither do I but that's another story)."
No, the irony is that your god can't even follow it's own rule book! Do not judge, do not condemn, forgiveness toward each other without asking for forgiveness. "Forgive, and you will be forgiven." LMAO!
"You do no good, no matter how many cars you give away"
That is a complete lie, no wonder this world is in the crapper when you have fundamentalist Christians spewing this kind of nonsense!
I live n work with Muslims. I can also vouch 4 de Bible that its very secific that religion doesnt take us to Heaven but moral uprightness does. I think u like most people confuse de Jesus the Way, Truth n Light verse. Jesus meant He was de perfect e.g. of what God wants not Xtianity.
I have NEVER understood why "the FEAR of God is the beginning of wisdom." Nor do I understand a loving God who keeps the fires of Hell (if it exists) hot for non-believers. Despite the command to preach to all nations (usually with disastrous cultural and health results), the vast majority of the world has never heard the Christian message, and never will. Did God create those billions only to serve as fodder for hell-fire? Calvin would say yes. Calvin is wrong.
What I see here is an article which tells Xtians to be like Christ. Loving their neighbor as themselves. It is brilliant. I frankly don't care about the reps of the writers. As Christ said"Listen to the Pharisees do as they say but don't do as they do!".
As much as I disagree with the fundies, I gotta agree with them on this. Name calling does show far more about the person calling the names than the one receiving them. You can vehemently disagree with someone without resorting to cheap name calling.
Somehow, this reminds me of Mr. Mackie in "South Park": (".....Mmmmkay! Name-callin' is ba-yad; mmmm-kay.....")
Fundies. Gotta love 'em.....