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My Take: If you hear God speak audibly, you (usually) aren’t crazy
A woman prays in church. Many Christians say they can audibly hear the voice of God.
December 29th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: If you hear God speak audibly, you (usually) aren’t crazy

Editor's Note: Tanya Marie (“T.M.”) Luhrmann is a psychological anthropologist and the Watkins University professor in the department of anthropology at Stanford University in Stanford, California. She is the author of "When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God."

By T.M. Luhrmann, Special to CNN

(CNN)—In the Bible, God spoke directly to Abraham. He spoke directly to Moses. He spoke directly to Job. But to your neighbor down the street?

Most people reading the ancient scriptures understand these accounts of hearing God’s voice as miracles that really did happen but no longer take place today, or maybe as folkloric flourishes to ancient stories. Even Christians who believe that miracles can be an everyday affair can hesitate when someone tells them they heard God speak audibly. There’s an old joke: When you talk to God, we call it prayer, but when God talks to you, we call it schizophrenia.

Except that usually it’s not.

Hearing a voice when alone, or seeing something no one else can see, is pretty common. At least one in 10 people will say they’ve had such an experience if you ask them bluntly. About four in 10 say they have unusual perceptual experiences between sleep and awareness if you interview them about their sleeping habits.

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And if you ask them in a way that allows them to admit they made a mistake, the rate climbs even higher. By contrast, schizophrenia, the most debilitating of all mental disorders, is pretty rare. Only about one in 100 people can be diagnosed with the disorder.

Moreover, the patterns are quite distinct. People with schizophrenia who hear voices hear them frequently. They often hear them throughout the day, sometimes like a rain of sound, or a relentless hammer. They hear not only sentences, but paragraphs: words upon words upon words. What the voices say is horrid—insults, sneers and contemptuous jibes. “Dirty. You’re dirty.” “Stupid slut.” “You should’ve gone under the bus, not into it.”

That was not what Abraham, Moses and Job experienced, even when God was at his most fierce.

For the last 10 years, I have been doing anthropological and psychological research among experientially oriented evangelicals, the sort of people who seek a personal relationship with God and who expect that God will talk back. For most of them, most of the time, God talks back in a quiet voice they hear inside their minds, or through images that come to mind during prayer. But many of them also reported sensory experiences of God. They say God touched their shoulder, or that he spoke up from the back seat and said, in a way they heard with their ears, that he loved them. Indeed, in 1999, Gallup reported that 23% of all Americans had heard a voice or seen a vision in response to prayer.

These experiences were brief: at the most, a few words or short sentences. They were rare. Those who reported them reported no more than a few of them, if that. These experiences were not distressing, although they were often disconcerting and always startling. On the contrary, these experiences often made people feel more intimate with God, and more deeply loved.

In fact, my research has found that these unusual sensory experiences are more common among those who pray in a way that uses the imagination—for example, when prayer involves talking to God in your mind. The unusual sensory experiences were not, in general, associated with mental illness (we checked).

They were more common among those who felt comfortable getting caught up in their imaginations. They were also more common among those who prayed for longer periods. Prayer involves paying attention to words and images in the mind, and giving them significance. There is something about the skilled practice of paying attention to the mind in this way that shifts—just a little bit—the way we judge what is real.

Yet even many of these Christians, who wanted so badly to have a back-and-forth relationship with God, were a little hesitant to talk about hearing God speak with their ears. For all the biblical examples of hearing God speak audibly, they doubt. Augustine reports that when he was in extremis, sobbing at the foot of that fig tree, he heard a voice say, “Take it and read.” He picked up the scripture and converted. When the Christians I know heard God speak audibly, it often flitted across their minds that they were crazy.

In his new book, "Hallucinations," the noted neurologist Oliver Sacks tells his own story about a hallucinatory experience that changed his life. He took a hearty dose of methamphetamines as a young doctor, and settled down with a 19th century book on migraines. He loved the book, with its detailed observation and its humanity. He wanted more. As he was casting around in his mind for someone who could write more that he could read, a loud internal voice told him “You silly bugger” that it was he. So he began to write. He never took drugs again.

Now, Sacks does not recommend that anyone take drugs like that. He thinks that what he did was dangerous and he thinks he was lucky to have survived.

What interests me, however, is that he allowed himself to trust the voice because the voice was good. There’s a distinction between voices associated with psychiatric illness (often bad) and those (often good) that are found in the so-called normal population. There’s another distinction between those who choose to listen to a voice, if the advice it gives is good, and those who do not. When people like Sacks hear a voice that gives them good advice, the experience can transform them.

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This is important, because often, when voices are discussed in the media or around the kitchen table, the voices are treated unequivocally as symptoms of madness. And of course, voice-hearing is associated with psychiatric illness.

But not all the time. In fact, not most of the time.

About a third of the people I interviewed carefully at the church where I did research reported an unusual sensory experience they associated with God. While they found these experiences startling, they also found them deeply reassuring.

Science cannot tell us whether God generated the voice that Abraham or Augustine heard. But it can tell us that many of these events are normal, part of the fabric of human perception. History tells us that those experiences enable people to choose paths they should choose, but for various reasons they hesitate to choose.

When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. sat at his kitchen table, in the winter of 1956, terrified by the fear of what might happen to him and his family during the Montgomery bus boycott, he said he heard the voice of Jesus promising, “I will be with you.” He went forward.

Voices may form part of human suffering. They also may inspire human greatness.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of TM Luhrmann.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • God

soundoff (7,767 Responses)
  1. Bob

    oh 10:1 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.
    Joh 10:2 "But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.
    Joh 10:3 "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
    Joh 10:4 "When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
    Joh 10:5 "A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers."
    Joh 10:6 This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.
    Joh 10:7 So Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
    Joh 10:8 "All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.

    January 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      What is your point Bob?

      January 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Athy

      Bob has a point??

      January 4, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • sam stone

      bob: you seem a bit obsessed with sheep.

      January 4, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Where Bob is Bob, sheep are nervous.

      January 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  2. Nietodarwin

    This nitwit of a woman has some nerve bringing up Oliver Sacks, who would call her article rubbish. (It was HIS OWN VOICE he heard in what she refers to in her article.) This article is just more ABUSE OF THE WEAK MINDED RELIGIOUS.

    January 4, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  3. Nietodarwin

    Religion is the enemy of our country, the enemy of our species. All cultures have evolved with religion, but it is NOT beneficial to our survival. This woman clearly has no business in any academic field. This article only encourages the already mentally ill religious to continue in their delusions. If "god" talks to these people, it's just to get them killing "in the name of the lord." ONLY CRIMINALS AGAINST HUMANITY HEAR THE "voice of "god" "

    “The greatness of every mighty organization embodying an idea in this_world lies in the religious fanaticism and intolerance with which,_fanatically convinced of its own right, it intolerantly imposes its_will against all others.” [Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 1 Chapter 12]

    January 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I'm going to take an educated guess that you have never done any research in any academic field and you've taken an intro psych course I'd be surprised. You're writing, btw, is starting to look like the atheist version of Lionly Lamb's...

      January 4, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • End Religion

      @sara: did you buy Chapstick yet?

      January 5, 2013 at 12:46 am |
  4. david

    If God existed in past lives, would He be the same in the present life?

    January 4, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • End Religion

      it may depend on whatever rules the Vatican can drum up about such an imaginary creature.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • chris

      Yes David, God is the same today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow. He will always be there for each of us. He knows all about each of us and loves us, understands and listens to our prayers. He also answers prayer. An example: my sister was extremely ill in hospital, on drips, being intravenously fed, unable to eat, speak, walk etc. My friends and I have been praying for her and God answered our prayers big time. My sister is now not on any drips, eating, drinking, speaking, walking with the aid of a walker and able to hold a conversation and of this in a matter of days! God is great. I have a relationship with Jesus myself and yes, God loves you too. I wouldn't be without my faith, truly. Its also possible to hear from God audibly as well, this has happened to me. Blessings

      January 4, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • End Religion

      Chris, if god has always been and will always be the same, why was he not willing to forgive humans before he sent himself as jesus? He must have changed, since after jesus died he forgave humans when he previously wouldn't. I'm confused. Why do you say he's always been the same when clearly he hasn't? And since he has changed, was he not perfect before whereas now he is? How could a god be imperfect?

      January 4, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Athy

      Chris, how can you make the claim that god healed your sister? People recover from serious illnesses all the time, whether they're prayed for or not. Carefully designed studies have verified that prayer has no effect on patient recovery. You're laboring under a delusion, but don't realize it.

      January 5, 2013 at 12:25 am |
  5. George

    Bob, do learn to use the reply button. We don't ever want to see your comments on top.

    January 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Truth

      LOL

      January 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Athy

      The concept of the reply function may be beyond Bob's grasp.

      January 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • dale

      "Verbal abuse is a bullying tactic. Verbal abuse is best described as an ongoing emotional environment organized by the abuser (atheists in this case) for the purposes of control. The control atheists want when talking with Christians is emotional control over the Christian. Turning to bullying and insults, the atheist tries to take the conversation away from facts and make it an emotional display for them and their atheist friends."

      this appears to be true in this case. to me this doesn't seem like a logical display of morals. why must discussions always come to this??

      January 4, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      dale,

      both sides do this, making it out to be one sided is dishonest. I also think you are being overly dramatic about it being "bullying".

      January 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • dale

      cheeze

      whichever way you want to spin it, it still isn't nice, and it appears very clear to be a tactic.
      i agree with you, Christians most likely are also at fault for doing this as well. i use the word 'most likely' because this is my first forum actually looking at and being involved with. i don't know how all of the other forums went/go, but this one seems quite one sided to me. (as far as insults/bullying goes)
      i apologize for coming across as misleading, that wasn't my intent. by my explanation above, you will see how i have no intention to be misleading. i wouldn't use the word dishonest.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Athy

      A tactic to achieve what end, Dale? All we want is for the religies to keep their absurd beliefs to themselves. No public displays promoting religious bullshit. No laws passed based on religious beliefs. No government policy decisions because "god spoke to me." get it?

      January 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      dale,

      Thank you for the reasonable response. I would rather have a dialog but when other posters want to be snarky, I will respond in kind.

      One area that bothers me is that when atheists attack ideas, like christian dogma, christians respond by calling that "hate" and feel personally attacked. I will usually only attack ideas and beliefs, not the person, unless the person has resorted to personal attacks themselves. I view christianity as immoral, I DO NOT view christians as immoral as a group. Atheists are often attacked for being immoral on here and I have often seen assertions that people choose atheism just so they can be immoral...which is absurd.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • dale

      Athy,

      To me, the end result that I'm seeing, is that the questions towards the Christians are to try to get us think like you. Logical to the extreme. By doing that, the agenda is that we will see that there is no proof that God exists. To me, this is impossible. I admit, I was raised in a Christian home. To you this may appear that you have some room to work with me 🙂 But you don't. I'm not open minded towards other religions. I like to learn about them, but by no means, I will never be open to consider dropping my faith in God. (the Christian God)

      cheese,

      If you don't mind me asking, what did it take for you to turn from Christianity? Was it you that mentioned you were in a Christian school for several years?? I guess I shouldn't assume that you were a Christian. But, what core fundamentals stuck out to you that the Christian God isn't real?? Do you believe there may be a god and it hasn't been proven, or do you believe that a god simply doesn't exist??

      January 4, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      dale,

      yes I was raised Christian and absolutely believed in god and specifically the christian god. The idea that started the ball rolling towards realizing I did not believe in the Christian god was the idea of hell and that a loving god would send people there for such issues as non-belief. I would not choose to send my worst enemy to such an existence and therefore it was very difficult rationalizing worship and belief of the christian god being moral. I did however rationalize that for years. Most christian faith is rooted in the idea of free will and link free will to religious belief. Religious belief is not a choice. I can't choose to suddenly accept that Zues or Vishnu are real gods, I don't think you could either. Therefore the idea that belief or non-belief in the christian god as the main factor in everlasting life or punishment is at its foundation immoral. An all knowing god would know this so either the entire christian premise about their god is wrong or that god is immoral. I also have researched the bible and christian history, nothing points to them as being divine or inspired by a god, everything points to them being man made, I am not saying those involved in starting or continuing christianity were necessarily dishonest (though it has been proven some were).

      As to your question about a non-specific god. It is possible, I don't deny that, but I am not aware of any god as has been defined to this point as making any sense. In other words I don't believe in a god but do not rule out the possibility.

      January 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • dale

      cheese,

      i'm getting frustrated here. appears my responses aren't coming up on this forum. here's a test

      January 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • little timmy

      word filter help for dale

      This list is out of date some, but some of the most common offenders are there:

      o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN “awaiting moderation” filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the “offending” letter combinations.
      ––
      ar-se…..as in Car-se, etc.
      ba-stard
      co-ck…..as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
      co-on…..as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m……as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt…..as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters…!
      do-uche
      ef-fing…as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w……as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      fu-ck……!
      ho-mo…..as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny….as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss…yet “ass” is allowed by itself…..
      ja-p……as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      ji-sm
      koo-ch….as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      pi-s……as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      pr-ick….as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe…..as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x……as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t…..but shat is okay – don’t use the @ symbol there.
      sh-it
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ic…..as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t……as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at…..as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g……as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re….as in who’re you kidding / don’t forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f….also!!!!!!!

      There are more, some of them considered “racist”, so do not assume that this list is complete.
      -–
      Allowed words / not blocked at all:
      anal
      anus
      ass
      boob
      crap
      damn
      execute
      hell
      kill
      masturbation
      murder
      penis
      pubic
      raping (ra-pe is not ok)
      shat (sh-@t is not ok)
      sphincter
      testes
      testicles

      January 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • little timmy

      so for instance, to write const itution, you have to separate the letters where the bad word is.

      January 4, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • little timmy

      or if you know a little html, you can still put the word together, but you have to put a begin-end tag between the bad word,
      so const&ltb>&lt/b>itution will result in constitution.

      January 4, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • little timmy

      oops, not quite i need i guess the numeric codes to show what I mean (so they don't get interpreted); let me try that again:

      you need to do: const<b>&#60/b>itution to get constitution

      January 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • little timmy

      ok third time must be the charm:

      const<b></b>itution to get constitution

      January 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • little timmy

      ok that last one is it. you are basically separating the bad word with a "begin, then end bold" html tags

      January 4, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • End Religion

      note to list keeper, the other day i was surprised to find trouble with "gloryhole"

      January 5, 2013 at 12:48 am |
  6. Bob

    Nietodarwin
    From the sound of it you have never studied religion or the bible the Koran which is the Muslim holy book endorses attacks like these the Bible does not. Jesus preaches peace not terror so anything that is outside that is not acceptable to the Bible.

    January 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Bet

      Stop lying, Boob.

      Your god endorses and commits violent acts throughout the bible. You just gloss it over because it's your god and your book of magic, not their god and their book of magic. Your god has his deep, unknown and mysterious reasons for committing genocide, and that makes it okay with you, their god is a false god, so they are just blind followers. Very convenient.

      January 4, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Jesus preaches peace, unless you don't believe he is god....then he will torture you forever....the is the absolute definition of peace.

      January 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  7. Bob

    It's high time that America put superstitions such as Christianity behind it. Next time you hear someone claim to have heard from a god, or to claim the existence of god, ask them for valid proof that a divine being was involved. Such proof has never, ever been presented.The time has come for pushback.

    No miracle has ever been proven to have been the work of a divine being. No valid proof has ever been presented for the existence of god. Meanwhile, contradictory and wild claims are made for the characteristics and actions of Christian god, that themselves prove under examination that such a god does not exist.

    Speak out to stop the god fraud and all the evils and hate and bigotry that are part of Christianity. Here's to less religious idiocy and less religion in 2013.

    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    January 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  8. Religion_Is_Slavery

    Read the bible.....you'll be an atheist soon enough!

    January 4, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • The Truth

      You rarely hear Christians saying things like "Go read and study the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita or the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins as this will assuredly turn you towards Christianity..."

      January 4, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  9. Bob

    I wanted to say this to some struggling Christians, do you know why its so important to hear the Lord? Because of the guidance help and support he gives us all the time. One of the easiest ways to become discouraged is to say I. I this or I have to do that, or I have to change this or that, we were never meant to change ourselves without help. This is why in some there is not much change when they become Christians because they cannot remove the I and constantly let that I get in the way of us. Some bury the thing that the Lord puts on their heart rather than deal with it but it only is like a infected wound showing up later in worse ways. The Lord puts conviction in peoples heart so they know that they have to change. But most would try to tackle that on their own. Well if you could have done it, you more than likely would have already done it, so ok, what do we do? We pray and agree with God that this thing needs to change, ask Him to help in this change. If at first there is no change keep seeking Him about it and of course try on your own but allow Him to take the very desires for that thing out of your heart or reveal to you why that is there. Its not always obvious why we have certain things in our lives that we do. We sometimes need a healing in a area or remove a influence that has been there or maybe something the way our family has always done a thing is not exactly the way the Lord would want things to be done. With obedeiance to His change and words He gives us more and more, one step at a time. Its really a exciting adventure to be released from the hindrances in our lives that stop us from living fully.

    January 4, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • End Religion

      "Its really a exciting adventure to be released from the hindrances in our lives that stop us from living fully."

      Irony much?

      January 4, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Sign you are in an abusive relationship.

      -Tells you that you are “nothing” without him and you don’t deserve his love

      January 4, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Nietodarwin

      “What I have a problem with is not so much religion or god, but faith. When you say you believe something in your heart and therefore you can act on it, you have completely justified the 9/11 bombers. You have justified Charlie Manson. If it's true for you, why isn't it true for them? Why are you different? If you say "I believe there's an all-powerful force of love in the universe that connects us all, and I have no evidence of that but I believe it in my heart," then it's perfectly okay to believe in your heart that Sharon Tate deserves to die. It's perfectly okay to believe in your heart that you need to fly planes into buildings for Allah.”
      _ Penn Jillette

      January 4, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Bet

      Speaking of infected wounds, I see that Boob is back creating new posts full of presumptions and lies. He'll run away when the questions get too difficult, just like he always does.

      January 4, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Excellent.

      Peace...

      January 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      To the realpeace2all,

      Happy New Year!

      January 4, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Happy New Year to you as well !!!

      Peace...

      January 4, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • dgatwood

      @Nietodarwin
      The difference is intent and technique. At some level, whether you believe in a higher power or just karma being a you-know-what, most sane people can agree that helping others is good and hurting others is bad.

      Helping the helpless is never wrong. Clothing the poor is never wrong. Guiding others on a path that leads them to a better life is (almost) never wrong. When religious faith leads people down those paths, it makes the world a better place.

      When people pervert faith as an excuse to kill, a reason to persecute, etc., it makes the world a worse place. But more often than not, that isn't faith. It is human weakness, human anger, human greed, human ignorance, and human fear masquerading as faith.

      Either way, whether for good or evil, it isn't your faith acting to help or hurt. Faith might provide the motivation to help or hurt, but ultimately we are each responsible for our own actions.

      January 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      dgatwood,

      What about faith that is preached as a positive but isn't. Like when hell is preached as if it is a real place to children?

      January 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  10. Bob

    End Religion
    Please explain your world without religion what would it look like? please include the fate of the people that the church currently helps in your description.
    But one thing I do want to say God never demanded anything of me, I am not moved to easily by demands, it was love and acceptance that made me come to Him a love I have never known and after coming to Him and being in His presence I really have to question if without Him in our life do we really know how to love. As for demanding eternal torture if you don't believe, why is this a issue with you? I didn't come because I worried about Hell I came because He has shown me that He loves me can take care of me shown me He has power over all things and cares for everyone. It has been this love that drew me not the dread you speak of. You are a loon if you think that even if you take religion out of the picture that men will not use something to control people. Hitler used many motivations to control people and religion has been always used for control. But that is religion not a relationship with Jesus two totally different things.

    January 4, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • Really??

      It is impossible to have a relationship. unless you count strictly one-sided. You need participation from both sides. You may participate, but you ASSUME, and HOPE and have FAITH that this Jesus character has a relationship with you. You cannot know, and therefor you have no relationship. Find a word that describe it better.

      January 4, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • End Religion

      @BobZombie: "Please explain your world without religion what would it look like?"

      It would look like this one but with more confetti.

      ***
      "please include the fate of the people that the church currently helps in your description."

      People who are compelled to help others remain that way regardless of religion.

      ***
      "But one thing I do want to say God never demanded anything of me"

      I get tired of reminding you nutters about your own rules. Lying is a Top 10 offense. God demands your allegience. Follow his rules or be tortured for eternity. That is his demand of you. For goodness' sake, Bob, your Top 10 rules are called "commandments" – these are his demands which when not met are repaid with violence. This is also known as "extortion."

      ***
      "I am not moved to easily by demands"

      Wrong, sir. You crumple immediately to any demand so long as you are deluded by the asker's appearance of authority. If your god commanded you to kill a child you would cite Abraham and do it because there is in actuality no god to stop you from becoming the latest news headline of religious atrocity. You're a coward who cannot and will not think for himself but who yields to any authority however ludicrous their position as long as that authority wears a dead man nailed to a cross around his neck.

      ***
      "it was love that made me come to Him"

      If given a choice, it is never love but always fear that makes anyone turn to religion.

      ***
      "I really have to question if without Him in our life do we really know how to love"

      Such a sad excuse for a human. Imagine if someone told you they had no idea how to love without believing in leprechauns. And you wonder why people belittle you. Grow a set of balls.

      Surround yourself with people you enjoy, quit asking silly religious demands of them, and love comes easily. Go play bingo at a firehall or join a Fantasy Football League. You will make friends. Take up curling or ice skating. Go join your local drama club even if it just to help them make sets if acting is not your thing. Join a book club, a movie club, ANYTHING with like-minded people but that doesn't involve religion.

      ***
      "As for demanding eternal torture if you don't believe, why is this a issue with you?"

      Call it what you will but I've always felt compelled to stand up for the little guy. Religion is a neighborhood bully, really a proxy bully or toadie for its non-existent bully boss.

      ***
      "You are a loon if you think that even if you take religion out of the picture that men will not use something to control people."

      When did I say such a thing?

      January 4, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Bob

      You assume and hope till you try and know

      January 4, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Bob

      End
      There is a problem with perspective here, you don't know what a true relationship that I and others have with the Lord looks like. You come from demands, control, I from love. People will not always give or help they do because the Lord commands it and most want to show the love and thanks of the Lord to others. God does not demand my allegiance at any time. If I want to experience all that the Lord has for me I will listen as He guides me away from the things that would not be good for me. But its my choice as to how far I want to go. To me your view is disturbing to much hate and meanness for me. I look at it as we are all subject to something. In a country we are subject to its laws or work subject to its laws. Even in a relationship we are subject to those rules. So the Lord designed the world he set it up a certain way I live there and I want to follow the rules. Appearance of authority is a laugh, the boogy man no longer lives and I am never afraid to challenge authority. I yield my authority in some situations over to God but in others He gives me more authority and commands me to use it. Just as a cop yields to the courts. God is not in cross worn around the neck but in the heart and spirit of the person who accepts Him. What fear could possibly want to make anyone knuckle under the dogma of religion? Unless the person is mentally ill its one of the quickest ways to death. Friends what are friends? A friend is someone who has been through the fire confronted his own boogy men and loves and cares for a person. They are not afraid to confront help and support with even all their own finances and possessions for another person. I don't have many friends a lot of acquaintances, but the ones I do have are not afraid to face the fire with me and consider me worth it. Religion helped in a great part to found this country your words are harsh for the moderate changes you have proposed here. Maybe this is only the excuse for the hate for religion you feel, someday you may as a caped crusader against religion really deal with the true issues that you have in your heart.

      January 4, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Bob,

      Love does not make demands that when they are not met violence is threatened. I just don't understand how you can claim that is love. If a man made such demands and threatened violence to your daughter you would not stand for it.

      January 4, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • End Religion

      Bob, I do understand your deluded love for your death cult. Enjoy!

      January 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  11. End Religion

    Here are some gods worthy of praise. It has been written they can levitate and kill from 200 yards away. I hear their voices emanate from various devices.

    http://youtu.be/_Sl0YbuX1DA

    January 4, 2013 at 7:03 am |
  12. Bob

    LUKE 1:67-79 "A FATHER'S JOY, THE 'BENEDICTUS'." The word "Benedictus" comes from the Latin and is the first word in verse 68, "blessed." Zechariah's praise made it easy for God to fill him with the Holy Spirit. Praise recognizes God for who He is and what He is. It is a sacrifice that greatly pleases Him. Zechariah being filled with the Holy Spirit is different from what would take place on the Day of Pentecost. His was a spirit of anointed prophecy.
    Zechariah's prophecy contains four parts: 1st thanksgiving for the Messiah (verses 68-70); 2nd God's great deliverance (verses 71-75); 3rd the ministry given John (verses 76-77); 4th mercy from "the dayspring from on high" (Jesus, verses 78-79). This is seen as "the last Prophecy of the Old Dispensation, and the first of the New." Though the birth of John and the healing of Zachariah prompted this prophecy, the Spirit directed the new father/elderly priest to give more attention to God's faithfulness and the Messiah's ministry than to John's work as forerunner. The first part of Zechariah's prophetic message was a wonderful expression of thanksgiving for the coming of the Messiah and for the deliverance He would bring. Zechariah began by blessing God for visiting His people to redeem them. The birth of John was evidence that the work was begun and as good as done.
    God was about to raise up a horn of salvation from among the descendants of David. The "horn of salvation" speaks of a mighty deliverer and refers to Jesus because both Zechariah and Elisabeth are from the tribe of Levi. In verse 74 the promise was that God would deliver His people from their enemies and would keep them so that they could serve and worship without fear. This must refer to the second coming of Jesus. John's primary function would be to prepare the hearts of the people to receive Jesus. The aim of John's as a forerunner was to give the people of Israel the understanding of a salvation that would be by the remission of their sins. That is why John's message called for repentance. Because of the tender heart of God to love the world (3:16), John would be able to accomplish his mission.

    January 4, 2013 at 5:37 am |
    • Simran

      According to Hindu scriptures, all mortal beings are destined to pass through four great epochs in every cycle of creation and destruction. This divine cycle turns full-circle at the end of what is known as kalpa. A kalpa is a yuga cycle, which is a period of 10,000 divine years, and is divided into four ages or yugas (Sanskrit yuga = age/epoch). According to one calculation, one yuga cycle is estimated to be 4,320,000 years, and one kalpa 4,320,000,000 years.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:49 am |
    • Simran

      The four great epochs in Hinduism are: Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga and Kali Yuga. Satya Yug or the Age of Truth is said to last for four thousand divine years, Treta Yuga for three thousand, Dwapara Yug for two thousand and Kali Yuga will last for one thousand divine Years that equals to 432,000 earthly years.

      It is also believed that three of these great ages have already passed away, and we are now living in the fourth one. What these ages exactly mean, and why this division, it’s hard to explain, because they appear too unrealistic to be true for the rational mind.

      The Hindu View of Time

      Most of us are accustomed to living life according to linear beliefs and patterns of existence. We believe everything has a beginning, middle and an end. But Hinduism has little to do with the linear nature of history, the linear concept of time or the linear pattern of life.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:50 am |
    • Simran

      Cyclical Time

      The passage of ‘linear’ time has brought us where we are today. But Hinduism views the concept of time in a different way, and there is a cosmic perspective to it. Hindus believe the process of creation moves in cycles and that each cycle has four great epochs of time, namely Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga and Kali Yuga. And because the process of creation is cyclical and never ending, it “begins to end and ends to begin”.

      The four ages symbolize the four phases of involution during which man gradually lost the awareness of his inner selves and subtle bodies. Hinduism believes that human beings have five kinds of bodies, called annamayakosa, pranamayakosa, manomayakosa vignanamayakosa and anandamayakosa, which represent the ‘gross body’, the ‘breath body’, the ‘psychic body’, the ‘intelligence body’ and the ‘bliss body’ respectively.

      Another theory explains these epochs of time on the basis of the degree of loss of righteousness in the world. It says, during Satya Yuga only truth prevailed (Sanskrit Satya = truth), Treta lost ¼ truth, Dwapar lost ½ truth and Kali is left with only ¼ truth. Evil and dishonesty has replaced truth in the last three ages or yugs.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:51 am |
    • Simran

      ime is God

      According to the Hindu theory of creation, time (Sanskrit ‘kal’) is a manifestation of God. Creation begins when God makes his energies active and ends when he withdraws all his energies into a state of inactivity. God is timeless, for time is relative and ceases to exist in the Absolute. The past, the present and the future coexist in him simultaneously.

      Kalachakra: The Cycle of Time

      God creates the cycle of time, called Kalachakra, in order to create divisions and movements of life and sustain the worlds in periodic time frames. God also uses time to create the ‘illusions’ of life and death. It is time, which is accountable for old age, death and dying of his creations. When we overcome time, we become immortal. Death is not the end of the line, but a gateway to the next cycle, to birth. This is also true of the universe itself and akin to the cyclic patterns in the rhythms of nature.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:51 am |
    • Simran

      Dasavatara: The 10 Avatars

      Throughout these four yugas, Lord Vishnu is said to incarnate ten times in ten different avatars. This is known as ‘Dasavatara‘ (Sanskrit dasa = ten). During the Age of Truth, human beings were spiritually most advanced and had great psychic powers. In the Treta Yuga people still remained righteous and adhered to moral ways of life. Lord Rama of the fabled Ramayana lived in Treta Yuga. In the Dwapara Yuga, men had lost all knowledge of the intelligence and bliss bodies. Lord Krishna was born in this age. The present Kali Yuga is the most degenerated of the Hindu epochs.

      The scriptures speak of the 10 Avatars of Vishnu – different incarnations that take the form of divine intervention provided by Vishnu during the various stages of human evolution. The “dasavatara” (ten avatars) is meant to re-establish dharma or righteousness and destroy tyranny and injustice on earth.

      January 4, 2013 at 6:03 am |
    • Bob

      Pro 8:30 Then I was beside Him, as a master workman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him,
      Pro 8:31 Rejoicing in the world, His earth, And having my delight in the sons of men.
      Pro 8:32 "Now therefore, O sons, listen to me, For blessed are they who keep my ways.
      Pro 8:33 "Heed instruction and be wise, And do not neglect it.
      Pro 8:34 "Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at my doorposts.
      Pro 8:35 "For he who finds me finds life And obtains favor from the LORD.
      Pro 8:36 "But he who sins against me injures himself; All those who hate me love death."
      All those who hate me love death."All those who hate me love death."

      January 4, 2013 at 6:33 am |
    • End Religion

      and here's more info on some other science fiction clubs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_fiction_clubs

      January 4, 2013 at 6:34 am |
    • Bible verses

      Bob, how cute.
      Theogony verse.
      Dionysus said onto them, go know into the cellar and bring back two amphoras of the good wine and let us party on dudes..

      January 4, 2013 at 6:55 am |
    • HAHAHA

      now not know

      January 4, 2013 at 7:11 am |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    I hear too much voices in my head. It is God i am sure, but i wish the voices would stop. Too much of a good thing can really be crappy. Help.

    January 4, 2013 at 1:21 am |
    • Lucifer

      Read The God Delusion..and DONT call God in the morning....

      You ll be right a rain in no time!

      January 4, 2013 at 1:32 am |
    • Wipeout

      There are meds for that, im sure your on something already

      January 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  14. Lucifer

    If you hear voices, It could also be me..... Throw me a bone here! .... Im up against an omnipotent being for pete's sake!
    Atleast give me some credit, I mean, I picked a fight i cant win...so at least do that for me....just sayin.

    January 4, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • the AnViL

      [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wewIoLusKP8&w=420&h=315%5D

      January 4, 2013 at 1:29 am |
    • Lucifer

      Should be a mandatory watch in schools...Id put it on all the screens in the waiting room for hell, but in truth I havent really done much since my break up with the Boss.... most of the equipment is still in the original boxes... id put it all up, but whats the point? .... No win situation suck.

      January 4, 2013 at 1:51 am |
  15. the AnViL

    if you hear voices in your head – it isn't gods – it's you.

    January 3, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
  16. Bob

    JOHN 10:1-10 (Amplified) "THE DOOR TO LIFE: I don't think there is a better loved picture of Jesus than that of Him as the Good Shepherd. The life of a shepherd on the Judaean hills was hard and without time off. The shepherd had to guard the sheep from wild animals, especially wolves. There also were always thieves to the south where the hills dip down to the deserts, and then there was the howl of hyenas. In taking this person as an illustration, Jesus was saying of Himself that He would be like them: constantly on guard, fearless, courageous, patient, and loving the flock. There were two kinds of sheepfolds. There was a walled area with a door/gate and a gatekeeper who would allow the shepherd and sheep in, but he would not let anyone in that he did not know. The other was out on the hills, which was a wall, but it had no door/gate, so any shepherd could bring in the sheep and then he would sleep on the ground across the door way, becoming the door. This is the illustration that Jesus is using to describe Himself: the door that protects the sheep and so that nothing or no one could take the sheep away from Him.

    Jesus the 'DOOR' tells us, 1st that He alone gives us entry into the presence of God. 2nd, It is Jesus alone who makes us secure. "Going in and coming out" was the Hebrew phrase for going uninterruptedly about one's business. In Deuteronomy 28:6 the promise is, "Blessed shall you be as you come in, and blessed shall you be as you go out." The Psalmist in 121:8 gives us this promise: "The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever more." Here is the promise of security not given by a person or company because He alone can perform it. He says to you that you can go out to work with Him and come back home, never being alone. 3rd, It is Jesus alone who give food for the body, soul and spirit. Through Him the sheep go in and out and find pasture (John 10:9). Our total being's needs are satisfied by Him alone. 4th it is Jesus alone who gives life. No one knows what real life is until he has lived with Jesus because He alone gives 'life more abundantly!'

    January 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • OTOH

      Bob,

      A shepherd takes good care of his sheep for a couple of reasons:

      - Profit from their wool, and from their flesh and meat at slaughter.
      - A yummy dinner.

      The guy who thought up that good shepherd analogy was just silly.

      January 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Signs you are in an abusive relationship

      – Monitors what you're doing all the time
      – Decides things for you that you should be allowed to decide (like what to wear or eat)
      – Threatens to hurt you, or your children if you don’t love him
      – Blames you for his or her violent outbursts or shortcomings
      -Being s.e.x.ually controlling
      – You have an impending sense of consequence that will come if you don't "obey."
      -Tells you that you are “nothing” without him and you don’t deserve his love

      January 3, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • Athy

      I think all we're going to get from Bob is bible babble. Nothing of substance here, folks. Let's move on. He's obviously no mathematician and his writing skills (on the rare occasions he doesn't simply paste from the bible) are about sixth grade at best.

      January 3, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • ttwp

      Jesus is the Good Shepherd and gave His life for all.

      “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." John 10:11

      January 3, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • HarryJ

      ttwp
      He lays down his life because his sheep is his means of support, and without them, he starves. The sheep aren't pets, or anything similar to him. Any way you cut it the shepherd is still acting selfishly.

      Perhaps, what Jesus meant was that, without people worshipping God he dies? In a sense I do agree with this because, when the last person does give up worshipping God, he will stop being a "god". Even if he is real he will just be a super-powered being out there not being worshipped as a god, which makes me wonder why he needs worshippers at all? Are they fuel for him in heaven? Snacks, maybe?

      January 4, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • End Religion

      Cheesemaker, don't forget we added the beer/sammich...
      • you have to fear him to receive his love
      • you are unworthy of his love
      • you are nothing without him
      • if you do not love him he will hurt you
      • he doesn't want to punish you – it's really your fault
      • he threatens you if he thinks you might break things off
      • at all times he needs to know where you are, what you're doing and thinking so he can control your thoughts and behavior
      • doesn't want you to get an education because you'll realize you don't need him anymore and break up
      • worst of all, you have to bring him beer and a sammich

      January 4, 2013 at 6:37 am |
  17. dale

    Bob

    2 timothy 2:23-24 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil.

    Bob, arguing with these people on this forum is useless. this is what happens when we enter pointless 'debates' with people that have made up their own mind. yes, these make us sharper with scripture, but also we may have to just choose to pick our battles. just a reminder to stay strong my friend, everyone watches what we do so they can call us hypocrites and ridicule us. but on the other hand, we don't claim to be perfect. so pointing out our sins is helpful and we thank you for pointing them out. my goal is to not make the same mistake i have already made. repentance with a growing relationship followed by obedience is where it's at. wish you well everyone!!

    January 3, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • little timmy

      So is dale a bigot like Bob, too???

      January 3, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • Bob

      Dale
      Well put thanks
      I agree but I think rather than argue I will continue to stick around and encourage

      January 3, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Dale,

      Any good cult would teach the same drivel.

      January 3, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • Wonderer

      I agree Dale. But also consider that others who love God are also reading. Freedom of speech, especially on an article on God, is necessary. Remember they only reveal the absence of grace. We have been warned to expect this but never hid your light. He is the good Shepard do not fear.

      The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
      He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
      He leadeth me beside the still waters.
      He restoreth my soul:
      He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake.

      Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
      I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
      Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
      Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
      Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.

      Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
      and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

      Psalm 23

      January 4, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • dale

      oh for sure bob. if you are encouraging them that's amazing. you've got a great heart and know your stuff. God bless you and give you wisdom. take care

      January 4, 2013 at 1:56 am |
    • Athy

      All Bob knows is bible babble, not much else. Same as you, dale, judging by your writing ability.

      January 4, 2013 at 2:46 am |
    • End Religion

      Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Every day religion is not contained, it spreads, sinking its noisome tentacles into anything it can. The goal of every religion is to convert every person on the planet to their religion, their dogma, their controlled way of living and thinking. Religion often presents itself as a Trojan horse with an outer appearance of love and tolerance that in reality only ever results in hate, intolerance and divisiveness.

      As with any religion's head honcho, "God in heaven" is the celestial Kim Jong-il formerly of North Korea, requiring strict devotion and worship at penalty of torture. That's not love, it's slavery, which some religious will tell you they gladly accept. I do not.

      As for the "debunking," there really isn't much left to debunk. All religions claim to be the "one true path." Nearly every religion is fractured into even tinier branches all claiming to be the only "truth." Since they cannot all be "true" the chance any one is such, on that one point alone, is miniscule. Understanding mankind has a history of creating gods lessens that chance.

      As for Christianity, scholars both religious and not, arguably tend to agree there is some minute evidence a guy named Jesus (and there were likely many) walked around during that time period, likely getting confused with the many other Jesuses (Jesii?). However many also agree there is simply zero evidence of anything supernatural about him. In fact there were *many* deluded dudes running around claiming divinity during this time, much like there are plenty of crazy folks claiming it today.

      We understand what constitutes the bible are fictional stories passed off by the relatively ignorant as the "inerrant word of a god". Some stories are the ravings of zealots the religious refer to loosely as "eyewitnesses" but who never actually witnessed Jesus, some other stories outright polished pre-existing myths which had been watered down word of mouth for decades if not longer before being written in a language no longer spoken, then translated any number of times and again "polished" by other men who got together to vote which "inerrant words of god" they personally liked best and which other "words" were tossed out before foisting this off as the official "word of god."

      The people involved in early religion have barely the body of knowledge an average 10th grade student has today. We're not talking stupidity here, we are simply talking about access to facts of our reality: ignorance.

      Then follow the cult sects who base their life upon this book. The truly ludicrous impossibly claim the entire thing is, in its current state, still the inerrant word of god. The more moderate among adherents somehow claim "it's just allegory," leaving it open to interpretation and the inevitable clashes over who's right about a book that is supposed to be the word of a god. The delusion is amazing!

      Savor that for a moment. An all powerful omniscient god, who demands all of mankind's devotion upon pain of eternal torture, supposedly feels some papyrus scrolls (with writing in a language no one speaks and which is also open to further interpretation) is the best way to communicate his childish demands. He doesn't whisper his petulant commandments to us individually (no matter what region of the world we live in)? He doesn't "inpire" the elders to record his selfish needs in more than one language, at least not one he supposedly knows will stop being used? He doesn't clue the elders into using stone instead of papyrus, which even Hammurabi had enough foresight to use before the bible?

      You may have better things to do with your day. I personally feel a pride similar to a watchman on the castle wall. You sleep soundly while I protect you.

      January 4, 2013 at 6:51 am |
    • Bob

      End Religion
      Please explain your world without religion what would it look like? please include the fate of the people that the church currently helps in your description.
      But one thing I do want to say God never demanded anything of me, I am not moved to easily by demands, it was love that made me come to Him a love I have never known and after coming to Him and being in His presence I really have to question if without Him in our life do we really know how to love. As for demanding eternal torture if you don't believe, why is this a issue with you? I didn't come because I worried about Hell I came because He has shown me that He loves me can take care of me shown me He has power over all things and cares for everyone. It has been this love that drew me not the dread you speak of. You are a loon if you think that even if you take religion out of the picture that men will not use something to control people. Hitler used many motivations to control people and religion has been always used for control. But that is religion not a relationship with Jesus two totally different things.

      January 4, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • End Religion

      @BobZombie: "Please explain your world without religion what would it look like?"

      It would look like this one but with more confetti.

      ***
      "please include the fate of the people that the church currently helps in your description."

      People who are compelled to help others remain that way regardless of religion.

      ***
      "But one thing I do want to say God never demanded anything of me"

      I get tired of reminding you nutters about your own rules. Lying is a Top 10 offense. God demands your allegience. Follow his rules or be tortured for eternity. That is his demand of you. For goodness' sake, Bob, your Top 10 rules are called "commandments" – these are his demands which when not met are repaid with violence. This is also known as "extortion."

      ***
      "I am not moved to easily by demands"

      Wrong, sir. You crumple immediately to any demand so long as you are deluded by the asker's appearance of authority. If your god commanded you to kill a child you would cite Abraham and do it because there is in actuality no god to stop you from becoming the latest news headline of religious atrocity. You're a coward who cannot and will not think for himself but who yields to any authority however ludicrous their position as long as that authority wears a dead man nailed to a cross around his neck.

      ***
      "it was love that made me come to Him"

      If given a choice, it is never love but always fear that makes anyone turn to religion.

      ***
      "I really have to question if without Him in our life do we really know how to love"

      Such a sad excuse for a human. Imagine if someone told you they had no idea how to love without believing in leprechauns. And you wonder why people belittle you. Grow a set of balls.

      Surround yourself with people you enjoy, quit asking silly religious demands of them, and love comes easily. Go play bingo at a firehall or join a Fantasy Football League. You will make friends. Take up curling or ice skating. Go join your local drama club even if it just to help them make sets if acting is not your thing. Join a book club, a movie club, ANYTHING with like-minded people but that doesn't involve religion.

      ***
      "As for demanding eternal torture if you don't believe, why is this a issue with you?"

      Call it what you will but I've always felt compelled to stand up for the little guy. Religion is a neighborhood bully, really a proxy bully or toadie for its non-existent bully boss.

      ***
      "You are a loon if you think that even if you take religion out of the picture that men will not use something to control people."

      When did I say such a thing?

      January 4, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Bob

      There is a problem with perspective here, you don't know what a true relationship that I and others have with the Lord looks like. You come from demands, control, I from love. People will not always give or help they do because the Lord commands it and most want to show the love and thanks of the Lord to others. God does not demand my allegiance at any time. If I want to experience all that the Lord has for me I will listen as He guides me away from the things that would not be good for me. But its my choice as to how far I want to go. To me your view is disturbing to much hate and meanness for me. I look at it as we are all subject to something. In a country we are subject to its laws or work subject to its laws. Even in a relationship we are subject to those rules. So the Lord designed the world he set it up a certain way I live there and I want to follow the rules. Appearance of authority is a laugh, the boogy man no longer lives and I am never afraid to challenge authority. I yield my authority in some situations over to God but in others He gives me more authority and commands me to use it. Just as a cop yields to the courts. God is not in cross worn around the neck but in the heart and spirit of the person who accepts Him. What fear could possibly want to make anyone knuckle under the dogma of religion? Unless the person is mentally ill its one of the quickest ways to death. Friends what are friends? A friend is someone who has been through the fire confronted his own boogy men and loves and cares for a person. They are not afraid to confront help and support with even all their own finances and possessions for another person. I don't have many friends a lot of acquaintances, but the ones I do have are not afraid to face the fire with me and consider me worth it. Religion helped in a great part to found this country your words are harsh for the moderate changes you have proposed here. Maybe this is only the excuse for the hate for religion you feel, someday you may as a caped crusader against religion really deal with the true issues that you have in your heart.

      January 4, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • Bob

      One cannot some to grips with true love in their lives for instance without first coming to grips with a true relationship with the Lord. Even though my relationship and love for Douglas sickens me to my stomach, I know that it is only through the Lord's forgiveness that I can carry on and lead others away from the hellfire that awaits them.

      January 4, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Dale, If you're mind is not already made up, what are the persuasive arguments for a god and why specifically your god as opposed to the thousands of others?

      January 4, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • dale

      santa,

      i never stated that my mind wasn't made up, i was referring people on this forum who are not Christians. (atheists) It's fairly obviously that I support Christianity. (and am a Christian) Taking that statement at face value and assuming my mind wasn't made up is heavily misleading and occurs quite often while discussing issues with an atheist.
      These common occurrences that I have seen really discredit the integrity of the person with the opposing view.

      January 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      2 timothy 2:23-24 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil.

      Dale,

      The point is that this type of bible passage does not encourage discussion or opposing views. In fact it specifically calls opposing views "evil". That is a cult tactic, it is condescending and any religious leader can use that to claim authority without actually having to demonstrat that they have the correct position.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  18. Bob

    Bob

    Did you know that no other religious book explains the beginning and the end of the world? God also speaks to us through Bible prophecy, do you know that the chances of the things the Bible predicts including the birth of Jesus have a 10 to the 20th power of coming true. Yet come true they have and are also entirely accurate. God is good and speaks in many ways not just through the Holy Spirit. Say are you baptized in the Spirit? Do you want to be closer to God and hear Him more then ask God for this awesome gift. As the Bible says if we as earthly fathers know how to give good gifts how much more so does our Heavenly Father give us good gifts.
    Luk 11:9 "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
    Luk 11:10 "For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.
    Luk 11:11 "Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?
    Luk 11:12 "Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?
    Luk 11:13 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

    January 3, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Athy

      Ten to the 20th power of coming true? What the hell does that mean? You apparently have no idea of what you're talking about.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Bob

      Atty
      If its to complicated for you ask someone to explain it.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • little timmy

      Ah aha ahhahhha ha. He did say ten to the 20th power. hahahahhha. what a tard.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Blob never got past 6th grade.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Athy

      Bob, I'm asking you to explain it for us. It makes absolutely no mathematical sense.

      January 3, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • Athy

      And it's "it's," not "its." Your lack of knowledge is pretty pervasive. Typical for a biblebabbler.

      January 3, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • the AnViL

      *casually and silently points to the long list of failed biblical prophecies while looking the other way*

      *coff*

      January 3, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • Bet

      I just love it when fundies try to math.

      January 3, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Franklin

      Just like a fundie to just make up statistics to support their faith. Problem is, very few of them would even want to actually check the accuracy of something they think does this. They find comfort in having any old answer to the criticism of their faith, even ones that make absolutely no sense at all, but are pretty to listen to, like most of the Bible.

      January 4, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • krhodes

      Interesting Bob...the atheist never have anything worth while to say...only ridicule. I suppose when you have no argument then resort personal attacks...it is actually pathetic.

      January 4, 2013 at 12:35 am |
    • Athy

      No attack, just trying to figure out what he's talking about. Do you know? I doubt it, judging by your grammar, but give it a try.

      January 4, 2013 at 12:42 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      krhoads, Bob refuses to engage anyone. His assertions have been shown to be false. Refusing to answer questions does not make an argument. If christians had a decent argument I would still be on their side. Your arguments stink which is why you have to indoctrinate...not educate.

      January 4, 2013 at 2:15 am |
    • Bob

      Google is your friend Im not doing your work.

      January 4, 2013 at 6:31 am |
    • sam stone

      no, krhodes.....when people have no argument, they do not resort to insults, they resort to scripture.....an appeal to (dubious) authority

      January 4, 2013 at 6:40 am |
    • End Religion

      http://youtu.be/aa8U0nL-KXg

      January 4, 2013 at 6:53 am |
    • Bakula

      no, sam.....when people have no argument, they do not resort to ad hominems, they resort to attacking grammar instead of the argument

      January 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      If you mean 1 in 10 to the 20th power, I'd say the likelihood is even lower.

      January 4, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Bakula, The point is there is no argument. The probability is just a made up number. It seems very likely that the Jesus story was manipulated to fulfill existing prophecy. The existing prophecy is also in the myths of other middle eastern religions so was likely copied from them.

      January 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Bob,

      Questions you refuse to answer are specifically directed at you. Should I google "people Bob thinks are contemporary prophets"? That is a question you STILL have not answered.

      January 4, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • End Religion

      cheesemaker, i love how you relentlessly chase Boob with his unanswered questions as he litters the blog with bible quotes from page to page. You're like a hell hound on his trail!

      January 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  19. Bob

    It's high time that the world put superstitions such as Christianity behind it. Next time you hear someone claim to have heard from a god, or to claim the existence of god, ask them for valid proof that a divine being was involved. Such proof has never, ever been presented.

    No miracle has ever been proven to have been the work of a divine being. No valid proof has ever been presented for the existence of god. Meanwhile, contradictory and wild claims are made for the characteristics and actions of Christian god, that themselves prove under examination that such a god does not exist.

    Stop the god fraud and all the evils and hate and bigotry that are part of Christianity. Here's to less religious idiocy and less religion in 2013.

    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    January 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • ttwp

      You sound like the Pharisees when they ask Jesus for a sign.

      But Jesus replied, "Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. Matthew 12:39

      January 3, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • I wonder

      "the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah."

      I wonder if that's the old-timey version of the one-finger salute?

      Odd though, that he bopped around hither and thither allegedly doing miracles anyway...!?

      January 3, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • Franklin

      Funny, I find fundies sound like Pharisees whenever they go all hard line about following the Bible to the letter.

      January 4, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      ttwp, Would you accept claims of this magintude if they weren't in the bible. Don't you think healthy skepticism is a good thing?

      January 4, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  20. Sad but true

    I used to have nightmares about demons making fun of me. Now I'm awake and there are atheists making fun of me.

    January 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • The Truth

      Prophecy!! Sad but true is a prophet!!

      January 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • End Religion

      always proud to help make dreams come true!

      January 4, 2013 at 6:29 am |
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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.