July 5th, 2012
01:11 PM ET
My Take: Will there be gays in heaven? Will there be fat people?
Editor's Note: Craig Gross is the pastor and founder of XXXchurch.com and is the author of seven books. He just turned 36 and is no longer a hip 20-something pastor from California.
By Craig Gross, Special to CNN
After Anderson Cooper came out this week, I posted a link on Twitter to a story that included this quote from Cooper: “I love and am loved.” As I said in my tweet, Cooper is one of my favorite journalists. I was honored to once be on his show.
After I tweeted I got e-mails and a direct message asking the same question: "You still like him now?"
I was saddened by that reaction and started thinking: What would happen if we read the Bible and, instead of highlighting certain passages, we took it all for what it is - truth.
In 1 Corinthians, the Bible says don't indulge your body with food or sex: “‘Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,’ and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”
My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage
I deal with people who indulge their bodies with sex. I’ve done it for 10 years with XXXchurch.com, helping people caught up in porn addiction.
If you indulge your body with sex via pornography, affairs, strippers or hookers, and your secrets are exposed, you will not be preaching on Sunday. Sexual sin is not tolerated in our churches. If clergy are caught in these things, they’re disqualified.
What if you indulge your body with food? Well, then you can pastor some of the largest churches on the planet and have the most successful broadcasts on the religious channels and sell a lot of books.
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Same biblical passage, same sin. Why is one accepted and one rejected? Why is it that religious folks want to camp out on a few things rather then all things?
Why do they believe that the gay guy goes to hell but the fat preacher who builds some of the largest churches in the world makes it to heaven?
I have no problem bringing my fat friends to church; they fit right in. Our Los Angeles church has doughnuts to eat during worship service, which makes the hymns we sing sound so much better.
My Take: Why many Christians focus on homosexuality
I coached my son's soccer team last year. My assistant coach is a lesbian. My son became great friends with her son, and my wife and I have become good friends with his mom and her partner. We played on three teams this year with them and have spent time in each others’ homes.
Could I bring them to church? Absolutely not.
Most evangelical Christians don't have gay friends. We just have gay stereotypes and we base our beliefs on a few biblical passages, ignoring passages about things that people in the church really struggle with, like food and other addictions.
The problem is that the church has only one answer for homosexuality: Don't be gay. Come as you are, but you'd better not be gay. But you can be fat.
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Most Christians believe you should just help your friends to not be gay when, in all honesty, only Christ can do that.
I love my lesbian friends. Let’s say I share Christ with them and they accept Jesus - or maybe they already have. Where do they go to church?
There is no way I would send them to an evangelical church, because not everyone would treat them the way they should be treated. But if they attend a gay church many Christians look at them as crazy.
People will push you to take a stand one way or the other on homosexuality, but no one has ever asked me to take a stand when it comes to fat people.
The goal shouldn’t be to change anyone's sexuality. Ultimately, I believe homosexuality gets blown way out of proportion in our churches. If we would all see gays as fellow sinners instead of “others,” there wouldn't be a need for gay outreach, because they would already be incorporated into our community based on a shared need for Christ.
God loves gays and Jesus is for them. God loves the fat preacher. Homosexual activity and overeating are both sins - just like speeding, gossip, lying and cheating. I think I did all of those just today.
All are forgivable in Christ and, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, can be changed. Just remember that change does not happen overnight.
Have you ever seen someone lose 100 pounds overnight? The process takes time. When it comes to the Lord, it’s nothing less than a journey of sanctification.
And wherever you are at on that journey, I think there should be a place for you at church. Because there’s probably one in heaven.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Craig Gross.
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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.
Either everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) is going to heaven or it's going to be exclusive (limited to a small number of people who lived a certain standard). The latter is especially true if looked at from a Judeo-Christian perspective. From that viewpoint being gay is the least of the gay community's worries.
The former is what we all hope (to an extent, for those who hope to see Hitler and the likes in Hell), and some think deserve. We're all far too selfish to deserve it though. The offer of salvation is on the table, we choose to reject it.
Where does the sacrifice of Yeshua, Christ Jesus fit in your view expressed above?
The sacrifice of an omniscience all knowing being who came back three days later....OOOOOOOO some sacrifice. Id carry a cross up to a hill and nail myself to it too if i was god and could do whatever i wanted. Id also create a book that everyone would read and instantly think its the truth and then worship me to no end like the good little simpletons they are. But thats just me.
jesus had a bad weekend for our sins
Yet, Hitler could be in heaven right now, right? All he had to do was accept Jesus as his personal savior while in that bunker and, presto, "Welcome to heaven herr Fuhrer!" Meanwhile, all of the Jews that he had sent to the ovens are believed by many Christians to be still roasting. Makes one wonder why people are willing to disown their own gay children just to better their chances at getting into such a place.
That's the "offer on the table" however salvation (ie: the sacrifice of Jesus Christ) entails "freedom/death" from sin according to the book of Romans.
From the Christian perspective you have to follow the narrow path in order to inherit the kingdom of God. Think of it this way, a (Biblically sanctioned) Christian standard of good is a "sidewalk" of acceptable behavior, a secular standard is an "interstate" of acceptable behavior, beyond that "going off road" is generally accepted as bad in the extreme. It goes beyond simply believing, James teaches that even the devils "believe" and tremble and Romans also teaches that God will judge those who haven't heard the law according to the law written on their hearts. Personally (before I was speaking from the Bible, now this is my opinion), if there is free will in heaven it will be exclusive to a single narrow standard, if there isn't then everyone will be accepted.
Yet, so "narrow" is the path some Christians would want everyone to follow that it resembles a knife edge, where anyone trying to follow it only causes pain to themselves and others. Surely, the path can be fairly wide and still lead in the right direction, right?
"Ho mo se xuality is a sin, not a birth defect and is as any other sin, get used to it."
Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.
Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.
There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.
Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.
Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?
Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).
That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex.
Yes, and you have to also consider that the Hebrews were mostly interested in fathering a large nation for economic and military reasons. Having lots of kids and grandkids was how they measured "wealth" in that culture, so being gay, not showing interest in the opposite gender, would be seen as counter to that goal.
The Jews also fought long and hard to separate themselves from the gentiles. Gentiles, such as the Greeks who were a strong force throughout most of the time that the Bible books were originally written, were very accepting of gay relations. That's most likely why Leviticus lists it with other Kosher laws. It was something that gentiles did, but not for the Jews. Jesus, and the New Covenant ope to gentiles really ought to put this ancient taboo to rest for Christians.
John..if only your bible were real, you could blame it for your prejudice , but as it is a learned experience you must blame your parents and the religion you follow.
"Ho mo se xuality is a sin, not a birth defect and is as any other sin, get used to it."
Is homosexuality a sin?
Self-indulgence is a sin. But the relationship of two people of the same sex may or may not be self-indulgent.
Abusing the neighbor is a sin. But the exploration of relationships among homosexuals as they search for partners, evaluate their existing formative relationships, and relate to each other may or may not be abusive.
Disobeying what God commands in the Bible is a sin. But, we have biblically-derived criteria for assessing and applying specific commands by reading them against larger themes.
Turning your back on God is a sin. Homosexuals are often among those who have turned their back on the church, and may be sinning because they also rejected the God they found in church. The church needs to be in mission to homosexuals with the message of Jesus and who God really is.
Yielding to your passions, even celebrating them is a sin. Homosexuals do include those who have done this. But it is not an inherent aspect of being gay.
Since we see people who have dedicated themselves to God, and for whom their gay sexual life is integrated into that decision and we see that their sexuality does not draw them away from church we must conclude that being and living gay is not a behavior in and of itself that produces pain to the neighbor and leads one away from God.
By the criteria the scripture sets for us for what is godly life, and by the reasoning scripture asks us to employ, homosexuality cannot be described as against God’s law.
If this seems like a rather quiet sort of justification for homosexuality, then perhaps it is because the grand clichés of this debate have been shouted at us for too long. But look at the Bible: it's demands and vision cut across all categories, not staying on the surface but penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, rejecting all forms of self-justification, all forms of attack on the "other" and all forms of escape from God's assessment of our behavior. How on earth could we have ever thought that a series of flat rules was all God wanted to tell us on morality?
A banner hanging in Castle Hemingham in England reads: "Nothing is truer than truth." No matter how sincere someone is, if what he believes is not the truth, he is deceived.
Who decides what truth is: Pure and simple, truth is God's Word. In the Bible are His own words so that there would be no mistake. While it may seem possible today to create truth-if you can gather enough people in sympathy with your cause--the day is coming for a final accounting of what is true and what is false. No lawyers will present their case. No picket lines will protest the rulings. Only two classes of people will be present-those who lived by God's Word and those who didn't. And when the sentences are handed down to those who didn't, there will be no plea bargains.
We are fortunate to be able to deliver the absolute truth of life to our children. They should not be at the mercy of teachers, friends, or the media in looking for the truth. Not when we have it setting on our coffee tables.
The "unknown author' is a dip. There's nothing 'setting on the coffee table' There might be something 'sitting' there, or 'resting' there.
Furthermore, there is no evidence that the Bible is truthful. There are few absolute truths, and the Bible might contain some of them, but it's hardly the only source of truth.
@TMarie: you sound scary, and if there was a great calamity, you'd run with nutcases that would kill the wicked for god. Just guessing.
What makes you think that the bible is the word of god?
TMarie: People cannot fear relation ("judgement" to you pious folk) from a being in which they do not believe.
If there is no evidence of the bible being Truthful, how do you know there is "some" truth to it. The bible is not a phone plan. You do not pick and choose what you want to believe, to suite your needs and life style. As a parent I teach my child and love my child. My child will not always agree with my ways, but I will always love them. God my father has given me the freedom to choose. Just as I want my child to love me of his own free will, God wants you to love him of your own free will. But...he will always LOVE you.
And, your empty proxy threats are laughable.
" truth is God's Word. In the Bible are His own words so that there would be no mistake"
Apparently TMarie doesn't know or understand the meaning of circular reasoning.
I don't think that TMarie understands reasoning in general
Perhaps rationalization, but not reasoning
"If there is no evidence of the bible being Truthful...."
Beware of those who capitalize "truth"
TMarie, If you truely loved your child, would you , at the end of time, choose to seperate your self from him for eternity should he choose to turn away from God but still live in peace and in love and devotion to you? Ex. You in heaven, him in Hell.
God does not call me to be violent to others, you have no reason to fear me. What you fear is that you are not sure God is not real and that the bible is not the truth. Doctors did not understand for many years that germs could be passed from person to person if we did not wash our hands. Someone had to "look" to see this and then they shared it with others. It took along time for some to believe but, when they did, many lives were saved. Many still choose not to wash their hands and continue to spread illness to others.
2 Thessalonians 3: 15-16 Yet count him not as a enemy, but admonish him as a brother. < Now the lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.
You're comparing germ theory to religion now?
TMarie, Everything you said in your post is true, but you might as well offer your treasure to pigs in a pigpen...... I believe even they would have stopped to think about it before stumping it! But it just shows that the kind of people you've had your responses from are in worse shape then the occupants of a pigpen!
Another idiot heard from.
Poor Prissy is all upset because people don't cower in fear when it bellows.
Ryan, I love my children. Just as I know my parents love me. When my son chose to join the military I made sure he knew of all the risks. He still made the choice to join. He was deployed 2 times. The choice is his to make, I can not make it for him. I will make sure he has all the information and know as much of the truth about it as I can. It is his choice.... As much as it pained me to see him in harms way and to know that any moment he could be gone. As a parent I pray and I trust in the promises of God.
Apparently, TMarie, you did not understand the question Ryan asked, because that post isn't an answer to it.
What you and the Pris don't get is that your threats and lies aren't convincing to anyone. When you pretend that your beliefs are the only correct ones and threaten those who don't share them with damnation, all you do is alienate others. No one is going to listen to you. If you want people to listen to you, then stop lying and threatening.
Tom Tom you can not see beyond your own anger and pain. Ryan, understands. I do not threaten him. Tom Tom you have to believe in something to feel threatened by it.....you do believe, you are trying not too.
I found it interesting that you in a post from earlier said "Many still choose not to wash their hands and continue to spread illness to others." and then immediately followed it up with a quote from your bible. I found it very ironic that you would say something about spreadiing disease and then spread the disease of ignorance and quote your bible.
TMarie – first, thanks to you and your son for your sacrifice.
However, your ana.logy is not a good one. You allow your son to make the choice to join the army after knowing the consequences. Here's the first problem with the ana.logy – the consequences are obvious to anyone. The bible is full of contradictions. For example, you state that your god does not call you to be violent towards anyone. In making this statement you ignore much of the old testament.
You also recognize that your son may not come back. He may be harmed by his decision. And there's the rub with the second part of your analogy. You do not have the power to make it better. If he suffers, you are powerless to stop it. If he dies, you are powerless to bring him back. Your god is either unloving because he allows the infinite torture of beings he created, or your god is impotent, because he is unable to stop infinite torture. A god that is either unwilling or unable to stop someone's infinite torture is not a god worthy of my worship.
What "anger and pain", TMarie? You threaten people who don't accept your beliefs. You assume your beliefs are the only valid ones. Your arrogance is off-putting.
TMarie, Thank you for responding and thank your son for serving the military. But I dont feel as you addressed my question. I asked if YOU would choose to be with him "in hell" if he chose to turn away from god. while it is his choice whether or not to follow god's word or not, it is also YOUR choice. What i am saying is would you spend eternity apart from him, if you had the choice to spend it with him, all you have to do is turn away from god.
Prism 1234 I speak to these people as Jesus spoke to those about him. With respect and value enough to die for. Jesus thought they were worth dieing for. He did not die for pigs!
I see PRSM still has that diarrhea of the brain.....
"He did not die for pigs!"
No, that would have been soooey-cidal
TMarie – an immortal god cannot die. Your god didn't die. The concept of sacrifice to an omnipotent being is laughable to anyone who take a second to think about it.
You use threats and extortion to try and get people to think like you. Not very loving.
TMarie, the only reason people like me "fear" people like you is that there are many of you who seek to force your religious idiocy into our state and federal laws. You seek to force your religious idiocy into our public schools. You seek to turn our nation into a theocracy.
I hope you realize that there are tens of millions of us who will not sit quietly while you, and those of your ilk, attempt to dismantle my constîtution. We will do whatever it takes to prevent the destruction of our country by the fundamentalist taliban.
I agree, Jesus didn't die for pigs.
He spoke to some with tender love, and to others with stern words of warning.
He knew human hearts!
You haven't been here long enough!
TMarie, I find it humorous that you delude yourself into believing anyone on here actually feels threatened by damnation. Merely recognizing an attempted threat does not mean the threat is effective. Hell is an empty threat used by children in an attempt to scare someone outside of their control. However, trying to scare someone else with a boogie man that scares you is ineffective and merely causes people to doubt your sanity.
TMarie says: I do not threaten.
Yes, you do. So does Prissy. You wrote: Only two classes of people will be present-those who lived by God's Word and those who didn't. And when the sentences are handed down to those who didn't, there will be no plea bargains.
That can't be viewed as anything other than a threat. It won't work.
Tom Tom is sooo threatend that he/she/it sunk his/her/its toe nail in her colon.
Shift at McDonald's over, Tool?
Truth requires evidence. There is no evidence to support the existence of your god. There is no evidence to show that your bible is anything more than a compilation of middle-eastern myths.
What you believe is not truth. It is simply what you have chosen to believe. You debunked it yourself: "it may seem possible today to create truth-if you can gather enough people in sympathy with your cause". That EXACTLY describes every religion, even yours: A gathering of people sympathetic to a cause. If you want people to believe what you say, provide proof.
Ryan, what you ask is the most painful question to ask a parent. Yet, I must respond. With tears and my hand shaking because it breaks my heart. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the devil, he was given a chance to save every person on earth. He chose not to worship the devil. He knew it had to be their choice........ But, he chose to die, to give them that choice. Through his death, I was given hope. Hope is a belief in something that "CAN" be. If I tell my child I would go to hell with him, then Jesus died for nothing. I would be saying there is no hope. I believe, and I know that God will keep his promises to me, to all of us. I know that no matter were my child is today, one day we will be in heaven, together, with God. It is written...and I believe.
When there is a sign on the road that tells you there is a danger ahead, and tells you to go no further, do you laugh and just go on? Are those who put it up threatening you, or warning you of the consequences if you go beyond?
There is a REASON why Christians keep telling you about danger you're in, and what awaits you, going into Eternity without Christ. And you interpret it as a threat!
What you fail to see if that the road has well over 100,000 forks. On each fork of the road is someone screaming that unless you go down their fork, you will crash and die.
Maybe you need to think about it some more.
Yes Tom Tom and I'll bring you left-over burgers and fries for dinner that you may have a decent dinner for the day.
I mean..decent *meal.
Again, you are stating as fact something that is a belief. You believe that if I don't do as you believe I should, there will be dire consequences. You have no proof or evidence to back up this belief. It is not a fact. It is nothing more than your opinion. You can keep screaming it, but I see no reason to listen to people who have to use the threat of damnation to persuade anyone that their beliefs are worthy.
If all you have in your ar senal is an empty threat based on a book and your belief, and you feel the need to tell everyone else how to live and what to think, you might be a zealot.
No, thanks, Tool. Already marinating chicken for the grill this evening.
Tom Tom I do not threaten you unless you believe that their is only two classes of people. If you believe that there is no God, then you are not threatened. Nothing I say about Him should threaten you.
TMarie – you are threatening. You are threatening eternal torture. You're pretty much making the worst of all possible threats.
To those of us who don't believe in such nonsense, we are not threatened. But that does not mean that you aren't trying to use threats as a persuasion tactic.
Marie, I'm not "threatened" by YOU, you silly goose. I am saying you are telling everyone who doesn't adhere to your precise set of beliefs that they are damned to hell by God. Your assertions are beliefs, not facts.
Tom Tom thank you for your thought. Just one last word, since I have to go. If.....you are so sure there is no God. Show me your proof. It is all based on your belief that there is no one greater than yourself.
TMarie – extraordinary claims (there is a god) require extraordinary evidence. The burden of prood is on the claimant. It would be equally absurd of me to ask you for proof that mermaids do not exists. It isn't possible.
Wow...I must reply to your comment about a God who does not love. If....you have a child, who is very stubborn, you tell them over and over.....Don't touch the match its hot. They keep trying to touch it. You put it up, you watch them closely. Yet, the first chance they get thy try again. At some point you say, enough! So you step back and from a distance you watch, as your child picks up a match and lights it. Excitedly, your child reaches for the flame. You looking, on see him pull back in pain and put the match out. He will have some pain. Minor, compared to what it would be if you had not been there watching. You will not always be there. He will make his choices, to play with fire again and risk more pain, possibly hurting someone else or destroying property. Your son has a choice, does it mean that you do not love him because he made a choice you told him was not good. You will always love him. but if his choices put him in jail or kill someone, then he will be held accountable. We need to stop blaming God for our choices. If God had not given us fee will, you would complain just like your child does when you tell him he can't do something. In the end, when he becomes a man......he will be responsible for his choices, not you. What if every time your son hurt someone or stole something, they came and punished you instead of him? Does it mean no one should ever love or trust you? Its not Gods fault when man makes a bad choices or hurts someone by those bad choices.
Wow– extraordinary claims (there are no mermaids) require extraordinary evidence. The burden of prood is on the claimant. It would be equally absurd of me to ask you for proof that God does not exists. It isn't possible.
TMarie, I don't have to prove a thing. The onus is on you. You claim there is a god; you have the burden of proof.
One cannot prove a negative. I can't prove there's no Tooth Fairy. I can't prove there's no god.
But I am not the one attempting to tell others that they must believe as I do and must live according to what I think. I am not insisting that if others don't follow my dictates, they will suffer for all eternity.
TMarie, are you married to Gopher?
"extraordinary claims (there are no mermaids) require extraordinary evidence."
Seriously? You believe in mermaids, too?
TMarie, attempting to call the claim that there are no mermaids extraordinary is of course absurd. But since you apparently believe in mermaids as well (not really shocked). Shift it to Santa Clause. The point is that the existence of a god is the extraordinary claim. Especially with absolutely zero proof. You should not expect any rational person to suddenly believe in your personal god without some kind of proof.
........you are so sure there is no God. Show me your proof.
Ah another Christian avoiding the issue. Show me proof that Unicorns DO NOT exist. SHOW me proof that ANY fantasy creature DO NOT exist. Your God is in the same group. YOU are the one claiming a fact/truth.......PROVE IT. Ball is always in your court babe.
TMarie – your parent – child anology is flawed. Your god claims both omnipotence and omniscience. You, hopefully, do not claim either. Your god knew, before he created you and me, what out outcome would be – heaven or hell. He knew this before he created the universe. If your god knows that I will go to heaven, there is no way I can surprise him and show up in heall. If god knows you are going to hell, there is no way you can surprise him and show up in heaven.
So, your god, purposefully creates billions of people for the sole purpose of torturing them for all eternity. And you see this as a good thing?
Thanks for the reply. I know its hard to think about but it works toward my final thought. Is there perhaps a reason that Jesus did not marry? Perhaps it was because even your god understands the bond between parent and child is greater than that of the love of christ. If Jesus had fathered a child, it still would not have proven anything because he would have been fully aware of the fact that his consciencness existed outside of a temporal realm, one of which we live in. So my conclusion is that ,sure we can never fully understand a celestial being such as YHWH or "He who is" because he does not exist as we do and even his Son knew he would be risen and thus had nothing to fear and was not really able be tempted because, being part of God Himself, knew all things and was all-powerful; but at the same time god cannot fullly ever understand us because we do not exist in his plane. Because god is not temporal he will never fully understand how temporal beings function. We know that Jesus wept when Lazarus died but, already knowing where Lazurus was and knowing he was going to raise him from the dead, Jesus was only weeping at the sorrow he observed from his friends who did not have knowledge of the events to come. So you see that a god which is all knowing could not really "love". Many people understand that in love there must be trust. God does not require trust. He already knows what we are doing, going to do , and have done. (now this offcourse challenges the idea of His Omniscience which is probably where my doubt came from so many years ago.) The reason this is all relevant to this this whole post and discussion is this, Belief in god is a believe, You and your fellow christians BELIEVE god exists. Me, you, and everyone else on this rock KNOW that your children exist ( or i hope they do cuz that would make this all quite pointless lol). All I'm asking is when it comes to subjects like this that people put the ones they love first and their religion second. I know its hard. Is all knowing and all being "love" really love? Or is it the fact that you TRUST that spending your precious little time here with those close to you (regardless of beliefs) is time well spent? What is love? ( ................................baby dont hurt me......no more)
TMarie – equating not believing in god to murder. Nice one. Of course, the punishment your god hands out for disbelief is far worse that the harshest penalty anyone could conceive of.
Why do we try to teach our children lessons and let them fail? So they will learn. Your analogy misses the mark yet again. There is no opportunity to learn with your supposedly 'loving' god. There is only punishment for punishment sake. For rules that your god just made up out of thin air.
Our system of laws and the consequences they bring are also very clear, unlike that mess your bible is in. You'd think the creator of the cosmos could be a tad bit clearer in what he actually wanted. Why do you believe that your particular version is what god really meant, and why are so many millions of other christians wrong?
We have laws for reasons, so that we don't hurt each other. Who does not believing in your god hurt? Just your god. That makes him highly vain and, for an omnipotent being, oddly very insecure.
Ryan, thank you for sharing your heart with my, my response is a simple one. I can not assume to know why Jesus never married. As far as the love of a parent and child, Jesus was Gods only begotten son.He made the ultimate sacrifice for me and everyone I know and don't know. Could you send your child to suffer as Jesus did, for so many people who do not appreciate the sacrifice. When my son was deployed and I heard of what he went through for so many people who did not care, it broke my heart. I am a selfish person, I did not want to make that sacrifice. It angered me they could not see. I can not imagine the selfless love my God has for me knowing many would not appreciate the suffering his only child would go through for them. Jesus knows just how I fee as a human. He came to earth to know. To live it, to be tempted, to suffer, to love. All that I feel as a parent...God feels. No, I do not know the kind of Love God has for me, that he was willing to do all this for me. I do not know all the pain he feel either in the choices his children make. I do not put my children before my God. I put my faith in My God,that what he tells me is the truth. And in that truth, is hope, not just for my children but for all children. I will not go to hell with my child, I will go to heaven with my child. On this rock my friend I know my God is real, as real as my baby in my arms, as real as the food that nourish me as real as the heart that beats in my body and he loves us all. A love I can't imagine but one day will know. .
Isn't the definition of masachism seeking out pain and suffering simply for the sake of pain and suffering? Thus, a being who chooses pain when that pain is entirely unnecessary is a masochist. If the xtian god is omnipotent, he must also be a masochist. Why would a being choose pain? Especially to get people through a loophole for rules that he created?
An omnipotent being cannot make a sacrifice. To sacrifice is to give something up. Is an omnipotent being gives something up, they are no longer omnipotent.
This is not hard.
think-about-it: you have no authority to issue this warning
You said "you have no authority to issue this warning".
Jesus Christ came, He issued the warning. You reject His testimony. You reject ours, because we testify of Him. If you didn't believe His testimony, and of those who testify to you of Him, even if dead came back to life, you'd reject their testimony!
The "evidence" you say you seek is only a 'front' to cover up what's hidden in your heart! But you can't hide anything from God, to whom all secrets are known!
"For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power, it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart."( Hebrews 4:12)
You can deny it, ridicule it, hurl insults against what it says, and against those who speak it to you, but you CAN NOT do away with it. And you will be accountable for what you do, and be judged by it!
Prism1234 Well said......Thank you.
"And you will be accountable for what you do, and be judged by it!"
Judged by people such as yourself, yes, but if you want to claim that some god, or other supernatural being will judge and punish your critics then you're going to have to pony up some evidence, friend.
I love your article. I am not gay, but my daughter is. And she is beautiful. We live in a society where people are to busy condeming and criticising others. We are ALL gods children. We need to worry about what goes in our life and homes. Not about other people lifestyle. God made all people the way they are for a reason. Only he knows why.
Actually, I'm not one of your god's children. I was born of two flesh-and-blood parents. They raised me. They instilled morality in me. The taught me to be a good person.
To claim that I, someone whom you've never met, is one of the children of your imaginary god, is absurd and insulting.
Lucky for you, we live in a society where it's only socially acceptable to be insulted if you're Christian or Jewish.
n8 is right! Not all are God's children. Jesus said to pharisees, you are of your father, the devil. It's amazing how many Christians don't even know the basic doctrines of the Scriptures. Yep, the man behind the pulpit bears great responsibility, and will answer not only for himself, but for those which he didn't feed the Word!
Prism, sounds like your god is quite the azzhole. No thanks, you can keep him. And shut the fsck up about your religious nonsense already please.
I second that, Ted. Prissy, you're as full of wisdom as a barking spider.
Tom Tom doesn't want a sh!t, coz he's/she's/it's full of it.
No,I "shut up" or go when I please, not because you tell me!
What are YOU doing here on "belief blog"? Aren't you out of place, being here?!
So now you're a thread-nanny, Prissy?
It is a belief blog. Tom,tom is stating her beliefs and defending them quite well.
SHe also has a quick wit and sharp sense of humor.
Are you afraid she will shake your belief, maybe shine a spotlight on the flaws in your Theory of god?
Time to give up prism. No nanny could handle a spoiled brat like Tom Tom on this thread.
Pull your head out from TTPS's colon and get yourself some fresh air.
That's right, Toolie. You tell 'em.
herbie must have taken an extra Ritalin today.
Yet, Christians insult Jews, and even other Christians. Everyone out there has a group who thinks they're going to Hell because of their beliefs and practices. So, in reality, it's socially acceptable to insult everyone based on their religious stance, and the people who tend to be the most guilty of pointing the finger at others are the ones who have the greatest victim complex, spending a whole lot of time telling others how terrible they are and whining like little girls whenever someone says anything back to them, it seems.
From p. 28: (please scroll past if you have seen this before)
Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adultery or fornication allowed.
And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-s-ex unions not same-se-x marriages.
From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay se-xual activity is still mutual masturbation caused by one or more complex se-xual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.
As noted, there are basic biological differences in gay unions vs. heterose-xual marriage. Government benefits are the same in both but making the distinction is important for census data and for social responses with respect to potential issues with disease, divorce and family interactions
A fat Christian (like me) generally acknowledges they are fat, know that gluttony is sinful, and asks and receives God's forgiveness. We are all saved by grace through faith, and if your faith is genuine, you will go to heaven. Same with gays, although I think a much smaller percentage acknowledge their behavior as sin, also requiring God's forgiveness by grace through faith.
Do you also think that you sin when you wear poly-cotton blends, or do you just cherry pick what you follow and how you discriminate against others?
Being overweight is not healthy, so you can easily say that it's something a person ought to control of themselves. The same cannot be said of being gay. Christianity is only helping keep an ancient prejudice alive.
Quite a few of them don't acknowledge that being gay is a sin, because they (unlike straight people who can only guess) actually know that they never made a choice to be gay. Thus, it can't be a sin, if it wasn't a choice.
You, however, have made the decision to eat every last bite of food (at least since you were a small child) you've consumed. So, I have no problem holding you accountable for being fat.
And I love how you've found a way to use one of your unhealthy habits (religion) to justify the other unhealthy habit (being fat), so long as you make the admission (to who ... your imaginary god?) that you're sinning, without ever doing anything to stop sinning.
And to top it all off, your crazy mythology has given you reason to feel superior to The Gays, because you consider yourself to at least to have admitted to your sin, while gay people haven't admitted to the sin that you consider them to be making.
It's all quite brilliant.
perhaps people do not have the same concept of sin as they had 2,000 years ago
Gluttony is sinful, but if you get your spiritual get-out-of-jail-free card, you can continue chowing down on the fried chicken and apple pie at the church picnic?
So your God rewards your hypocrisy when you ask forgiveness for a sin that you have absolutely no intention of trying to stop?
This is very funny and on topic.
If your religion prevents you from getting through this video without steam coming out of your ears ...
If your religion causes you to censor this video because your theology is too fragile to survive in the presence 5 minutes of satire ...
"If your religion prevents you from getting through this video without steam coming out of your ears ...
If your religion causes you to censor this video because your theology is too fragile to survive in the presence 5 minutes of satire...."
I don't call my relationship with my Lord and Savior "religion"
But if you are so warped in your mind and so dead and numb in your heart that it makes you think that it takes "courage" to sit and allow one's Person ( mind, spirit and soul) be exposed to the hellish blasphemies you call humor, then go ahead, serve yourself.... I don't see that satan could have more grip on you then he already has.
I have heard the cries of souls in Hell, and I never will forget those voices of the damned, if I lived in this life another thousand years.....
But, seeing satan's work in people's lives and how far into depravities they have allowed him to dragged them into, so that they would create such hellish video, the sense of anger and cry for justice arises deep within my soul.
Yet, to think that fools who make this kind of mockeries are heading to that place of the damned, it makes me glad that I'm not the one to pass sentence on them... I couldn't do it! But God WILL do it!! And I believe if He had some little flame of pity for them, the scenes of this hellish video would put it out!
Good word brother Craig! God bless you brother!
Lying isn't good.
Does anyhone on these blogs have enough of sound mind left in them to make a decent conversation any longer? Honestly, these CNN faith blogs have become a forum for fools! Every once in a while someone comes with a great post, but the herd of fools runs them off! 🙁
And everyone will know that I am nothing but the filth I accuse everyone else of being! I steal everything and then I turn around and blame someone else...I'm really sick. If everyone will believe me then I feel better, but I need everyone to believe that I am as filthy and disgusting as the ho mo se x uals that I hate. I hate them, because I hate myself....if you know what I mean.
My other name is justsayin.
It's true, my other username is just sayin. Now everyone knows how messed up I am. I have Borderline Personality disorder and I love to attack people and myself. I'm so messed up, but you tax payers are paying for my stay here in the State Hospital. HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!
I am perversion and I am a crime! ROFL!!!!!
When intelligent response is beyond your capability steal some names and make an ass of yourself. right TomTom
I realize that what I do with animals on my farm is far worse than what Hom o se x uals do. I only pray to god that he can cure me of my tendency toward beast loving.
Qu eer the folks that gave the world AiDS. Committing unnatural acts with monkeys somewhere along the trail. It does not get more disgusting than that except for when the qu eers decided to spread their filthy disease among innocent bystanders by tainting the blood supply, sharing needles and raping children.
See, I have to confess EVERYTHING I've done in the third person. I'm so messed up I have to accuse other people of all the sick things that I've committed. But nobody can take my cows and lambs away! They feel so good!
Truth has caught you in the filth you are. Steal on, i don't give a sh it. But at least everyone will know that perversion is a "crime."
I get on here while I'm doing my dog. I use both ends.
I'd do my cat, too, but it has sharp claws and...and...wait, I'm getting all hot and bothered now. BRB.
Tom Tom the Piper's Son and a name thief show up at the "same " time. Amazing coincidence.
I'd do Tom as well but he won't worship me when we meet in the alley way. Why can't I be a perv and hate other pervs at the same time?
Oh, wait. I forgot. That was my post. The cat was giving me a hummer.
I decided to come out today to everyone. The best place (my therapist told me) is here. Since I am filled with so much shame, it's best I do it while hidden, but still, I want everyone, including my wife to know that I am a gay man. I attack people and put them down while I try to build up christianity, but in reality, I know that I'm a hypocrite.
Wow, it feels so good to have come out finally! Thank you Anderson Cooper for being so brave and being a light to the rest of us!!!
^ ^ ^ ^ Disingenuous idiocy. And spoken in the true spirit of love and forgiveness of the modern faux Christian.
what's your problem midwest rail? Are you gay too and ashamed of coming out?
As a child of Christ and as a human being the sin of ho mo se x uality has never been an issue with me. I follow God although it who steals the name obviously doesn't. God bless
Just sayin lies in every post.
With my mental illness I have a superiority complex. And TOM! Stop teasing me! Pull your pants back up, you know I can't hold myself back when you do that!
Tom Tom the Pipers Son and a name thief at the same time. Can it be??????????????
I like gays. They taste like candy.
Prayer changes things .
Atheisim is very healthy because it means your brain is working correctly and you are not suffereing from delusions. Atheisim is very healthy for children because it doesn't put the fear of living ones life into thier little minds. Atheisim is very healthy for a population who can see how unnatural religion is and how it takes away from humanity. Your post is idiotic and simply proves my point, your a sick individual and should seek professional help.
Demon replies in quaking fear of what prayer represents, trying to lie itself out of the eternal death sentence that awaits it.
Atheism is healthy for populations eh? Tell that to the former Soviets. We already did the experiment, the atheist brought us to the brink of a nuclear apocalypse a few times, overspent on the military, invaded a bunch of nations, then collapsed with a starving population. So what exactly would atheism fix again?
Do not forget the millions murdered by atheists. Atheists have murdered more innocent people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries. God bless
we all know snappa is lying Tom thanks for stating the obvious. God bless
Actually, the numbers of the dead killed in Soviet Russia are highly disputed. There is no denying that millions died, but there is a case to be made just as many, if not more millions died in Nazi Germany. The communist leaders were atheists. The Nazi leadership definitely theistic ("I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord's work." – Adolf Hitler, Speech, Reichstag, 1936)
I guess what we can take from this is that bad people will do bad things and that religion has very little bearing on the situation.
And by the way, the spamming author of the original post has yet to prove any of his/her claims. In fact, many others have provided evidence that directly contradicts the claim that "prayer changes things." Claims that are unfounded in truth are what those of us with morals call "lies."
Prayer changes nothing. If you're a moron today, you'll be one tomorrow. And YOU are and will be.
Tallulah13: "Claims that are unfounded in truth are what those of us with morals call "lies."
If this same comment had come from a god-believer, i bet tallulah and other atheists would accuse him/her of being mean and judgemental.
"Those of us with morals" – tsk tsk.
"lies" double tsk tsk.
Ever considered the possibility that someone may have declared something that wasn't true not because they were willfully attempting to deceive [lie] but rather the person really thought they knew it happened, when in fact they were delusional, or were just plain hood-winked themself and didn't realize it?
Now we could split hairs about the book def of 'lie' all nite long, but when taken in your stated context Tallulah, it really comes across as being quite harsh, judgemental, and in fact, holier-than-thou.
So bang, are you trying to say that lying is moral? Wow. My parents would very much disagree.
No tallulah, I'm stating the obvious – that you've got an anti-religion axe to grind and that you are injecting inflammatory speech into your argument, which is hurting your case.
Not really, bang. I don't believe morality is tied to religion. I believe it is a function of empathy. Thus you find individual moral christians, moral atheists, moral agnostics, moral muslims, moral buddhists, moral hindus, moral wiccans, etc.
On the other hand, I believe that believing what you are told without question is dangerous and foolish. Blind faith isn't real faith at all, but sadly, a lot of christians seem to very willing to ignore any evidence that disputes what they wish to believe. If anyone had proof of any god, I would listen. As it is, if someone provides information they claim is evidence, I do my best to investigate it using the most neutral sources I can find. So far, no one has provided anything more than personal anecdotes, misinterpreted data, or unsubstantiated claims.
The individual who originally spams that "prayer changes things" has been given ample opportunity to provide supporting evidence, and has been responded to with actual proof that disputes that claim. Yet this person continues to make the same false statement, sometimes adding a "proven" to their claim, but never any actual proof. I consider that lying, and I consider such brazen lying to be immoral.
I am not a fan of dishonesty. I believe in truth, bang. I believe in what can be proven. If that makes me a terrible person in your eyes, that is your problem. But if there is proof to support the existence of your god, no one yet has provided it.
Tallulah, if your posts made you a terrible person in my eyes, then i'd be a big fat hypocrite. My take on my faith is that we all offend occasionally, that nobody's perfect.
Regarding the Prayer changes.... spammer, he is correct in my opinion. The problem with attempting to prove prayer's efficacy or lack thereof is the same as attempting to prove the existence of God – it cant be done. Not because of lack of God, but rather it is recorded in many places in scripture that one must come to God by faith alone.
Now after a person meets God on God's terms, then, and only then, if God wills, and the person has the faith, then, and only then will a miracle be produced.
But God will not allow a miracle to be broadcast (there are reasons i could go into) to the unbelievers.
It's actually silly for any researcher to design an experiment of that type, not for lack of a god, but because of my afore-mentioned theological reasons
Oh yes, another thing. I do recall the Pray change spammer sometimes says .....proven! on his spam. I dont think he's trying to say it's proven to the world, i think he means that it's been proven to millions of believers on a personal basis thru millenia.
But that's just me trying to believe the better of him rather than ill.
Oops, gotta go, back in a couple hours.....
Bang, your god couldn't even cross the ocean to the New World until humans capable of navigation made sea-worthy ships and brought him, 1500 years after the death of Christ.
Your god was throwing around miracles right and left in the ancient world, but that seemed to come to a screeching halt once the bible was written. Why did your god spend so much effort convincing people who were relatively naive about natural phenomena, but pull a disappearing act now, when humanity is capable of measuring and substantiating such evidence?
Every true believer of every god ever worshiped has felt exactly as you do. There have been literally thousands of gods worshiped throughout human history, most of them predating your own. Of religions still practiced, hinduism is older than the judeo-christian tradition. This is the problem. There is NOTHING to set your god apart and make him more believable than any other.
I was raised to be honest and to seek the truth. I am not capable of believing in something in which there is no rational reason to believe.
Yep, prayer changes things.
Prayer changes an intelligent being, capable of using their brain to solve problems, into a mindless drone ... waiting for their problems to be solved by a non-existent figment of their imagination.
Not sure that's a change for the better.
using a Hitler quote as a source of truth doesn't work for obvious reasons. Hitler was an atheist, get used to it.
Shut up, get a clue/just lyin. You're full of crap.
Prayer does 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!. ..
Hey "Clueless", I realize you don't get it, so let me explain. What I was doing when referencing the Hitler quote was providing evidence to support my statement.
The reason why you are generally dismissed as either a fool or a troll is that you make empty claims and refuse to provide evidence. Where I come from, that's called lying. Where I come from, lying is frowned upon.
I will pray for everyone commenting on this here
we neither need nor want your prayers, eric
I will wish upon a star for you. The results will be identical. Granted, not granted, or put on hold.
I both need and want prayer in my life. God bless
Why don't you whiz into the wind while you're at it? Same result.
We atheists don't believe in your prayers, but the believers, especially the really bigoted, hateful ones who comment here frequently, need all the help they can get. If your offer of preyer helps them become more compassionate and less judgmental, more power to ya, buddy! 🙂
Gay OK, but the fatties go to Medi-fast Purgatory.
Fat can be cured by missing a few meals but once you have sucked one you are a co ck sucker for life.
perversion.....you are a troll. do everyone a favor and eat the business end of your 9mm
perversion is a crime – and you seem to know that...if you've sucked before, then you too are trapped aren't you? Why not just come out of the closet like I have?
Only the vilest of human animals have engaged in the filth of ho mo se xuality. It is so disgusting that CNN will not even allow the word to be spelled out. All who practice the immoral acts should be ashamed and jailed for their perversions.
"It is so disgusting that CNN will not even allow the word to be spelled out."
No, it's because dolts like you have made it a slur... like we can't say sp'ice, or J'apan, etc. because of the hostile precedents.
I do not accuse perversion is a crime of any unnatural acts and I recognize the vicious attack of an atheistic thief and liar. God bless
Truth is ho mo se xuality is an unnatural evil that should be eradicated from the face of the earth.
Get right on that, junior. You couldn't eradicate your own body odor with Clorox and steel wool.
Another qu eer heard from.
I know he' s qu eer cos we go to school together. We sneak into the locker room and play "Hide the soap."
Who's definition of "fat" are we going with? The AMA or some of those Kentucky Fried Baptists?
Nice attempt at sounding"tolerable"of gay people. You still miss the mark, in my opinion, with your belief that being gay can be prayed away.
Ho mo se xuality is a sin, not a birth defect and is as any other sin, get used to it. The wages of sin is death. Unless the qu eer repents, turns from its sin and to the Salvation of Jesus it will appear before the judgement throne of God and be cast into the lake of fire, where it will be tormented forever. Seek God while He may be found and direct all your energies to prayer to avoid that judgement.
perversion is a crime
That's an old bigotry. All modern thinking sees being gay as a natural thing. Get use to that! 🙂
I think that all the atheists, Christians, Muslims, the straights and the gays should learn to accept and love each other.
Then we can gang up and kill all the Scientologists.
I think we are ALL in agreement that they should be exterminated (Auschwitz style).
I think that all the atheists, Christians, Muslims, the straights and the gays should learn to accept and love each other.
Then we can gang up and kill all the Scientologists.
I think we are ALL in agreement that they should be exterminated.