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.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
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.
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.
What a waste of perfectly good web site space. This article is so idiotic it redefines the meaning of the word.
Classic CNN "journalism".
And yet here you are wasting more space by commenting on it.
I will have to disagree with you and if you care to read my answer about h-o-m-o-s-e-x-u-a-l-s in the Old Testament, you may consult my prior writings in the Gospel Unashamed.
You speak as if the God of the Old Testament is a different God than in the New Testament. They are one and the same and h-o-m-o-s-e-x-u-a-l-i-t-y is condemned in both Testaments as a great sin against a Holy God.
I think a simple reading of what Jesus said about marriage in general will show you what a careless reader you are.
When the Pharisees questioned Him about divorce, notice what Matthew 19:4-6 says, “4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause (that they are male and female) shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together (a man and a wife), let not man put asunder.”
On divorce He said, “from the beginning it was not so.” Jesus went back to the Creators’ design for marriage and it’s:
1. Participants (male and female)
2. Practicality (leave father and mother)
3. Purpose (the two shall be one flesh)
4. Prohibition (do not put asunder what God joined together)
5. Principle (as His Will was for it to be as in the beginning)
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[d] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell."
The only way any of us are getting into heaven is through the sacrifice of Christ for all of us. I'm certainly not getting in on my own merit. Neither are you. "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
Jesus then goes on in thar passage in Matthew to say some men aren't meant to marry women and refers to gay men as born eunuchs and does not condemn them. Jesus also met a gay man via the Roman Centurion and said if him, Never have I seen faith greater than this and again does not condemn
The original text never condemned gay people. For example, the term translated to as with in Leveticus means bed every other time its used in Leveticus. When Paul referred to this passage in Corinthians he rewrote bed. That Leveticus passage is part of the Holiness Code and not the Morality Code.
However you and your kind don't care about these facts.
Byw, the whole gay issue hits close to home for you, doesn't it?
Mike – Mike – There is a myth in some circles, that those people identified as eunuchs in scriptures were h-m-o-s-e-x-u-a-l-s. This idea is totally ridiculous, has no Biblical merit, and is based upon nothing but supposition. It is indeed astounding that any learned person could come to such a contrived or self-serving conclusion, based on the facts. Of course when you have people that are determined to base their interpretations on the social climate of the day or the imaginations of men's hearts, it becomes quite understandable. Because then it is easy for people to formulate palatable conclusions and read any belief they want "into" the scriptures. But this is obviously a teaching that is not found in scripture, and any Theologian worth his salt can righteously come to no other conclusion.
The word eunuch in the old testament is the Hebrew word [caric](pronounced saw-reece'), meaning to be ca-s-t-r-a-t-ed. And by extension it means to be celibate or figuratively to live unmarried. In practical application, Kings and Rulers would often use c-a-s-t-r-a-t-e-d men or eunuchs, as those who were charged with the management and care of women's chambers. This was done for obvious reasons, since it would be impossible for them to have s-e-x-u-a-l relations with the women that were under their care. Thus they were the ideal guardians of harems and servants quarters. For this reason the word [caric] is also translated chamberlain in scripture. Because it illustrates those who were given charge of the bed chambers of women. For example:
"And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young v-i-r-g-i-n-s unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of women; and let their things for purification be given them:"
Joy – I never think I'd had any merits to make it to heaven, but what you fail to realize is if the unbeliever doesn't want anything to do with Christ, then he/she is rejecting the free gift of salvation.
Deal with facts because no matter how hard you try you are not going to be able to erase them. There were three types of eunuchs and, yes, castrated men were one of them but the born this way kind were gay men. The junk functioned perfectly, its just they were not turned on by women and its exactly why kings used them to hairs their harems.
"he/she is rejecting the free gift of salvation."
The salvation bit is your own need. Don't pander the useless idealism if it isn't proven.
Btw, a simple Google search provides facts about gay men being called eunuchs back then but. As I stated before, your kind does not like dealing with facts.
Hahaha, Mike, so "your" facts are correct and mine are not? Why not spend some time and do research yourself?
Mike – Well thanks for you advice, as a matter of fact, what I posted came from Google.
I have done the research before and its all on Google. I am not doing your leg work for you. Btw, how can you consider a castrated man to be the born this way type?????
Mike – Well said. My research backs up your point that in Matthew 19 when Jesus refers to, "Eunuchs who were born that way," he was talking about gay men.
Casey, I think the best evidence God doesn't condemn gay people is when Christ met the Roman Centurion and said of him, Never have I seen faith great than this. It's the second miracle in John and the term used to convey the male.slave was.pais, a Greek term used to denier the younger male in a gay relationship. Even without that we know what a lot of Roman men did with their younger male slaves and its obvious a slave owner isn't going to be so distraught in saving a piece of property he could easily replace unless he was in love.
its this one Thomas 114
114) Simon Peter said to Him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are
not worthy of Life."
Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her
male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you
males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the
Kingdom of Heaven."
that k!nk7 dude turned his wife into a man
Atheist for Christ,
You're comments were very good and simple explaining God's concept on marriage in the book of Matthew 19:4-6 and Genesis 2:24.
I grown up around mostly pentecostal speaking in tongues types. All obsessed over "teh gays" and the fattest going-to-hell gluttons you've ever seen! LOL
Nope no heaven the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) told me so (no heaven
jp – You sound like a 5 year old child bringing up the FSM.....leave that to a real 5 year old kid, you are making them look bad. Grow up, thanks!
Give me a break. Anyone with half a brain knows there's no flying spaghetti monster. You should know its all lasagna lords and ravioli demons.
@Atheist for Christ
That coming from a person who runs away when challenged on his constant random assertions is quite funny. Please, make yourself look like more of an idiot.
HawaiiGuest – Aw, did I make you squirm for not believing in your FSM? Do you also have half a brain as jp?
LOL you don't make me squirm Atheist for Christ. You make me chuckle with your arrogance, idiocy, and complete lack of intelligent argument or conversation. Please continue to prove my criticism about you.
LOL, no doubt, HawaiiGuest, I have completely made you squirm....stop being so bitter.
Atheism is for angry people.
@Atheist for Christ
Considering that you have absolutely nothing else to say, I don't see you making a good case for your side. Then again, when the only argument one has is an ad hominem (and a really poor one at that), I guess I shouldn't accept anything more intelligent than "dur yur all bitter" from you.
accept should be expect*
Nobody goes to heaven, because it doesn't exist.
This guys sounds pretty bright; what's he bother with christianity for?
Keep telling yourself that, only you can convince you, but you fail to convince me.
NO; EVERYONE IN HEAVEN WILL BE TRANSFORMED IN A TWINKLING OF AN EYE ,THAT MEANS NO ONE WILL BE GAY ,FAT,SICK , EVIL OR SINFUL .
Go on...please tell us more on how it will be.
You'll need my kush sack
Yes, please do enlighten us as how heaven is going to be, per your knowledge and understanding.
There is no heaven. It's a myth that has been told for eons. People say they believe in heaven, but they really don't know for certain. All they know are some quotes from the Bible and myths and half truths that they accept for fact, though nothing has ever proven that heaven exists. So, since heaven does not exist, you don't have to worry about who will be in this imaginary place that not even you will go to. Please Google Julia Sweeney and watch her YouTube videos. They are very good.
Heaven means (sky). It is real ,airplanes fly in heaven all the time
Of course there is. Many of us have experienced God's presence.
But, just say it doesn't exist over and over and over again. That'll make it (Him) go away.
Listen to Ravi Zacharias online; read C.S. Lewis.
Haha, JEM, well stated!! When some one says there is no God, they end up convincing themselves without anyone telling them to.
To JEM : Personal experience means nothing. Just about every Chinese will tell you they have experienced the forces of Yin and Yang. Does that prove Taoism to be the true religion?
Fuster – I guess your personal experience will never help others if you think it means nothing.
Personal experience means nothing? =>
Then, I don't need to pay any attention to what you just wrote. I didn't actually experience it.
The religious dolts – always professing their religion with an emotion.
What a bunch of loons.
Obama's a Christian. Colin Powell is a Christian. Just to name 2.
There is no logic in religion. No one truly follows every word said in the bible, in fact if you did, you'd wind up in jail. Some people will beat you over the head with a single passage because it says something they like, and then ignore another passage because they don't agree with it. There is no true 'Word of God'. There's a 'Book of God', and people will ignore things they don't like and take things they do like, call it the 'Word of God', and say they're following it.
Most people who say they believe in God, only do so because it's what they've been told to do since the day they were born, and what God you believe in usually depends on where you were born. All the contradictions, inaccuracies, and just plain insanity that the Bible and other religious texts contain is ignored and replaced with the idea of 'Faith'. "It doesn't matter if this makes no sense, I have faith". Faith isn't necessarily a bad thing, and if a belief in God has helped you in a positive way, or lead you to help others, than that's great. Still, a person's chosen religion isn't any more right or wrong than the dozens of other ones they've rejected, because they're all made up. And you don't need fantasy and make believe to be a good person.
Kush worship it .see the light.
You are right. That's why Jesus died, not so that we could have a "religion" as the Pharisees did, but so that we could have a relationship with Him. That is what Christianity is about.
19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”d
The law was not given to us so that we could prove we are right, it was given to us as a mirror to show us that no one can obey all of the law, to show us His perfection and our imperfection. That is why it was necessary for Jesus to die for our sins, because we are sinful. NOW, that does not mean we should continue to be slaves to sin. If you repent, believe that Jesus died for your sins, He and His Spirit will begin a work of perfection in you that will be complete upon His return.
You sure are.... at least you didn't say "Kush" again. We all already know who your god is... "Kush".
Smoke and mirrors
ive been to heaven, but she hasnt called in awhile
I'm here now,brought over a fat sack of kush
Anderson will probably be wanting a "Robo Butt" as reported on CNN
Will heaven be air conditioned?
There will no need for the Sun or the Moon.....Christ will be the light of our lives, our everything.
You in my kush
Craig Gross says to take the Bible for what it is- truth. What about where the Bible contradicts itself (over and over again)?
Gross says he gladly takes his fat friends to church, but not his gay friends, all while trying to make the argument that being fat and being gay are "equal sins". Huh?! Furthermore, not every single overweight person is overweight due to overeating, as Gross suggests. Is he not aware of the medical causes that could lead one to put on too much weight? Are these people still sinners, even if they aren't actually overeating?
I can't stand this guy. He has a following?!
Where are these "over and over contradictions"? Don't take one or two words out of context either, explain what they mean in their context and provide some of these contradictions
Thou shalt not kill, Moses(ten commandments killed alot).contradicted
While most people are preoccupied with heaven and hell, I've always contemplated the idea of just being dead, when it finally happens. People fear death, because of what we know life to be. Living is feeling, seeing, hearing, tasting, and touching(for most people). Without an afterlife, we assume we're doomed to some unpleasant fate. The idea of being "erased" ontologically is terrifying to many of us. We seem to forget that we all have spent far more time in a state of non-existence than we have in a state as living beings. I'm 39 years, but science and history books tell me that BILLIONS of years came and went, before I was even a thought! I can't recall, during the last BILLION years ever complaining about my "nothingness" or non-existence. In fact, I can recall no pain or discomfort, no pitch blackness, or anything. We're addicted to our living, breathing bodies. Life, as we know it, is narcotic! It makes us "forget".
I agree with you (about what state we're in when we die) but doesn't that frighten you? I couldn't imagine not living and yet I know what it's like. Yes, we are addicted to living so aren't you scared of not? The thought honestly terrifies me...
Dream on, dreamer.
The reason wise people fear death is because they believe there is justice.
If you're wise, the last thing you want for yourself is justice.
Wise folk know they desperately need mercy.
The only way to get mercy for yourself instead of justice is to trust the Savior.
Fear of the unknown is the root of ignorance. We all know we are going to die, right? The absurd thought that there is an afterlife shouldn't even be a consideration unless there is strong evidence that it is plausible but there just isn't. So, here you are faced with the fact of life, that one day you will cease to exist, you will be dead, period. No thoughts, no awareness, nothing. What is so wrong with that? Knowing that this will happen should give you pause to contemplate the worth of reality and the opportunities you have before you. Live your life to its fullest and enjoy the wonders of it all because it will be all gone very soon. Time flies and life is short! Don't settle for anything less then the truth.
I fear death and know where you're coming from BUT the Bible says that the dead know nothing and that there is a BODILY resurrection (of everyone) so they can be judged and after that the righteous live forever and the wicked die (not burn) forever (basically they just die again). That is what I fear: not being part of the righteous few.
For last couple of billion years, until this year, I had been complaining about the lack of Angry Birds.
I know of people who had been complaining of the lack of FB and twitter, for last couple of billion years, too.
That is what I'm afraid of... My life ending when there is so much to do. I do believe in God but there is not an "afterlife" and the thought of absence doesn't appeal to me.
You say there will be a"bodily resurrection"? How could that possibly be? If something doesn't make any sense is most likely untrue.
The author lacks the discipline necessary for a sincere look at any religious text. Look at what he does. In his seeming ignorance, he tries to use a passage that doesn't even condemn gluttony to attack folks for allegedly not condemning gluttony.
He should have asked someone who's somewhat familiar with God's words to help him find a germane passage.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.  [b]
15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."
Do you need help understanding these simple passages from Matthew 23?
They seem to have little place here, since it condemns folks who believe they are earning or deserving their salvation thru their behaviors and outward appearances.
Are you confused about their meaning?
And what special knowledge of Islam, Judaism, or Mormonism do you possess that makes you discount their beliefs? One does not need a PhD in Divinity or religious studies to reject nonsense when he hears it. Your statement is simply ignorance cloaked in fear of being wrong. Peace.
You sound exactly like the Pharisees. I thought that was obvious.
I didn't mean to confuse you.
WILL THERE BE NlGGERS IN HEAVEN
We already there smoking kush banging your granny .hahaha
Exhibit A: why we need to invest more money in educatin' the uneducated in America. Or, we could just deport them.
"Away, away, away down South in Dixie, Away, away, away down South in Dixie..."
The south is lovely. A lot of occupy idiots have degrees
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the s-e-x-u-a-l-l-y i-m-m-o-r-a-l nor i-d-o-l-a-t-e-r-s nor a-d-u-l-t-e-r-e-r-s nor male p-r-o-s-t-i-t-u-t-e-s nor h-o-m-o-s-e-x-u–a-l o-f-f-e-n-d-e-r-s nor thieves nor the greedy nor d-u-n-k-a-r-d-s nor s-l-a-n-d-e-r-e-r-s nor s-w-i-n–d-l-e-r-s will inherit the kingdom of God."
Casey, this is in replied to your comment for Atheist Hunter. I apologize, I thought I had pressed the Reply button.
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus"
What about kush smokers?
Atheist for Christ – You say that 1 Corinthians 6:9 condemns h o m o s e x u a l i t y. The King James translation states, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
This does not refer to h o m o s e x u a l i ty. It may condemn effeminate men, but there are effeminate straight and gay men just as there are masculine straight and gay men.
Joy – Psalm 116:4, "Then called I upon the name of the LORD [YHWH] ; O LORD [YHWH], I beseech thee, deliver my soul."
The word of God is for the believers and not for the unbeliever who refuses to stop allowing sin to rule over their lives more then Christ.
I guess that would be true if that piece of crap called the bible were actually true.
Casey – H-o-m-o-s-e-x-u-a-l-i-t-y is an abomination unto God as other things written in His Word.
How could the Word of God be for believers? One doesn't become a believer unless one reads the Word of God and believes what it says.
"16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
Joy – If you pay very close attention, most Atheists have read the bible and have study it, yet, they still deny God. Christ said "unless we are drawn by the Spirit of My Father, you are not mine." Just look at how Chrisexpress how he feels about the Bible.
Atheist for Christ – You still have not shown that the Bible condemns h o m o s e x u a l i t y.
Yup its an abomination, just like shaving, eating pork, playing football, women wearing pants, eating shrimp, having a tattoo, wearing cotton blends, etc, etc
Mike talk down on God and gays all you want keep holy football out of it
Touching the skin of a dead animal is an abomination but we will never hear anyone call the NFL that.
@mike those are fighting words
Btw this passage was condemning mast urbation and not gay people less than a hundred years ago. Paul wrote kale he'd and soft, as in morals. The effeminate aspect is total bull.
Oops Paul wrote male bed and soft...
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[b]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[c] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation. ”
God didnt write that a man smoking kush did
That was my great-grandmother's favorite chapter of the Bible. Thank you for posting it!
Well that depends how you define "gay". I look at it as happiness, therefore, I agree that Christianity is "gay" (happy). 🙂
Hahaha! Ok, let's go over your logic.
1) God is omnipotent and omniscient. These are mutually exclusive.
2) God has a plan for everyone which they must follow, and God gives us free will. These are mutually exclusive.
3) God is all loving and...
a. creates gay people, then dooms them to hell for loving.
b. burns all non-Christians – including innocent children – for all eternity
c. condemns millions to die each year from starvation
d. allows rampant evil, despite having the ability to stop it effortlessly
4) God hates abortions, yet is a prolific abortionist
5) The bible is the word of god and must be followed, yet...
a. it is full of blatant contradictions
b. it is acceptable to pick and choose what parts you'll follow
Oh man, we can go on forever. Now, tell me how I am being illogical by refuting your version of god?
I'm not entirely sure that omnipotent and omniscient are mutually exclusive, but omnipotent is self-contradictory.
This is for you, Athiest for Christ (ha!). Let's hear your logic at work.
Well, if you're omnipotent you can do anything. Omniscience implies that you know all, including the future. If you already know the course of the future, you're powerless to change it, thus not omnipotent. Your thoughts, HG?
I can see that, and I concede the point.
The only thing I see here is that you are fighting against God and assume you know so much about a God that doesn't exist to you. God's thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are His ways our ways.
@Atheist for Christ
All those characteristics are from your little holy book, and you are once again unable to actually address points.
I think this author is some sort of caveman, but you... you... where do we begin? No logic used in any of your numbered statements! You're not helping!
Nice logic, Atheist for Christ. You apparently have nothing, yes? I mean, since I cant follow my thoughts through to a logical conclusion, I figured you could help me...
Why are you powerless to change something you know will happen
You all are reading stuff into what Christians believe that isn't there. I am an evangelical Christian pastor and...
– I don't believe omniscience includes the future, except the things God directly planned.
– I don't believe God directly plans most outcomes. That's why choice exists, and that's why love exists. Judgment Day wouldn't make much sense if God was the one who had made all the choices, would it? You are under the mistaken impression that Christian are all "determinists" which is not the case. Some are, and I feel bad for them. They miss the essence of life and purpose. Logically, I could make a strong argument that all atheists are ultimately determinists, but we shall save that for another day 😉
Sounds like you're not a biblical literalist then (good). If you don't believe all of it, then what's your reason for believing any of it? It's been pretty harmful stuff over the years. I'm interested in your POV, since it seems like you are capable of intelligent discourse...
Omniscience would have to include the future, otherwise the meaning of the word (all-knowing) is directly contradicted.
Scriptually, look to Isaiah 46: 9-10
9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Putting things into perspective..
The christian god is so powerful that it needed a break. Just shows you how powerful it is doesn't it? XD
1. Omnipotence(The power to do anything) omniscient(the power to know all/perceive all). Those aren't mutually exclusive. Unless you're trying to play on the 3rd grade argument that god can't make a rock he can't lift or whatever.
2. Because of freewill, you don't have too. The bible makes it clear faith is your choice. Your actions and the consequences are your own.
3. Allows rampant evil? I find it interesting that one of the main argument of atheist against God is that they are for free will. Then condemn the idea that God allows people to use their freewill to harm others.
You forgot why millions are starving too. Deforestation, war, rampant exploitation of resources, and the serve concentration of the worlds wealth in the hands of a few corporations. Millions are starving due to our greed, our injustices, and our exploitation.
4. I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say, but you seem to be accusing God for miscarriages or something. Once again I find it interesting that atheist suddenly forget science, biology, and freewill. Improve the living conditions of your people you'll have less infant mortality. It's up to the people to improve their standard of living.
5. The bible is a collection of religious text compiled into a book and approved by the catholic church in the early days of Christianity. The only requirement is a belief in Christ. In fact, nowhere in the bible does it say, "do what the bible says". Or "pick and choose what to believe".
I find it interesting that you demean certain arguments to avoid actually answering them.
1. The mutual exclusivity of omnipotence and omniscience was established later in the thread.
2&3. The concept of free will in relation to the christian view is an illusion. Faith was not even mentioned so throwing it out is irrelevant.
4. This might be in reference to the multiple places of the bible where god supposedly orders people to kill all women who knew a man's touch, which would almost certainly include pregnant women. If you want something more concrete, then check out Hosea 13:16
5. If the only requirement is belief, then why even have a bible at all. Why should the bible matter to anyone?
1. You far from established it.
2,3. All you did was just rephrase the original statement. Just because you assert that freewill is an illusion to the Christian view doesn't make it so.
Faith is relevant to freewill. You have to chose to believe or not, to follow or not. People do chose to exercise their faith are exercising freewill based on their beliefs. The same way you have series of philosophies(fsm) and scientific theories you weave together into a narrative that you chose to believe.
4. You're referring to ancient warfare if you're referring to that verse in Hosea. If you're familiar with that period, you'd realize that a city getting completely depopulated by an invaded army was not abnormal by any stretch. God chosen people did some pretty brutal things to conquered cities.
5. The book exist because people believe. If you want to share your beliefs beyond talking about them they have to be written.
For Hosea 13: 16 if you read from verse 1, it is quite clear that this is supposedly god speaking about Israelites that stopped worshipping him. It is not some person writing down standard practices of war, this is supposedly god saying that these people will be utterly destroyed. Playing it off as "oh it was standard" is not only ignoring the actual chapter, but it also shows how so many people are somehow able to sweep under the rug something that under any other circu.mstances would be something that they condemn.
As for freewill, it is set very clearly that god knows the future, otherwise how could "prophecy" be handed down from god? Faith is nothing but a cop out to believe something without evidence, and has nothing to do with whether freewill can exist in conjunction with something that is omniscient.
Atheist Hunter – I can't provide verses that don't exist. The Bible does not condemn h o m o s e x u a l i t y when it is put in historical and cultural context and is read using reason, as Jesus did. If you disagree, please provide verses that you believe condemn h o m o s e x u a l i t y.
Better yet – prove that Jesus was not gay.
mdamone – Please, we don't want to know your s-e-x-u-a-l affair with Jesus. Keep it to yourself.
Uhm, Casey? If the condemnation of homosexuality depends on the historical and social context, then the morality of the Bible changes with time and culture, and thus is relative to and dependant on human values. Biblical morality therefore is based upon humans, not an absolute unchanging morality of some God.
Sure you want to continue with that position? I mean, we skeptics already recognize that the supposedly-universal moralities of the various religions have changed tremendously over time, but people like Christians love to say their morality is universal and unchanging. Youu just refuted that.
Jack, Casey is referring to, for example, the condemnation in Romans being about pagan idol worship and not orientation. The original text never condemned gay people.
Jack – I am suggesting that moral teachings change as societal norms change, and that is good. People used to think that slavery was moral and used the Bible to support their claims. When the Scriptures are put in historical and cultural context and read using reason, we realize the Bible was not intended to condone slavery in modern society but acknowledge it as a reality of the culture when the Scriptures were written.