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My Take: Jesus was a dirty, dirty God
January 5th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

My Take: Jesus was a dirty, dirty God

Editor’s note: Johnnie Moore is the author of Dirty God (#DirtyGod). He is a professor of religion and vice president at Liberty University. Keep track of him @johnnieM .

By Johnnie Moore, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Jesus was a lot more like you than you think, and a lot less clean cut than this iconic image of him that floats around culture.

You know the image. It’s the one where Jesus is walking like he’s floating in robes of pristine white followed by birds singing some holy little ditty. He’s polished, manicured, and clearly – God.

But despite the Christian belief that Jesus was both fully God and fully man, Jesus was a rather dirty God.

He was the “earthly” son of a carpenter, and life in the first-century was both more lurid and unfinished than our collective religious memory seems to recall.

To that end, I suggested recently to several astounded colleagues of mine that Jesus actually had to go to the bathroom, perhaps even on the side of the road between Capernaum and Jerusalem.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

What tipped them over the edge was when I insinuated that Jesus, like almost every other human being living in the rural world in that time, might have even had dysentery on an occasion or two.

Someone said, “You mean that Jesus might have had severe diarrhea?”

“Yep,” I replied, “That’s exactly what I mean.”

It seems like an obvious statement if you believe that Jesus was “fully God” and “fully man” (as most evangelicals believe and call the Incarnation), but to some of us it seems in the least, inappropriate, and at the most, sacrilege, to imagine Jesus in this way. We might believe that God was also man, but we picture him with an ever-present halo over his head.

But, actually, the Jesus of the Bible was more human than most people are conditioned to think.

I call this the dirty side of Jesus. He was grittier, and a lot more like us than maybe we believe, and that’s one of the reasons why so many thousands of people followed him so quickly.

They could relate to him.

He was the teacher from a small town who knew and understood the economic insecurity that was common in the first century. Times must have been rather tough for Jesus at points in his life, for he even spoke of being homeless, having to sleep on the ground with no roof over his head.

He also knew what it was like to have his message rejected and how it felt to be misunderstood. Jesus was regarded with such little significance in his hometown that one of his critics once remarked sardonically, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” Jesus eventually had to move to different city (Capernaum) because his teachings so infuriated the people living in his hometown that they drove him out of Nazareth and even tried to throw him off a cliff.

'Jesus Wife' fragment gets more testing, delays article

The real Jesus had dirt underneath his fingernails and calluses on his hands. He probably smelled badly from sweating profusely in the Judean sun on his long hikes to Jerusalem, and Jesus was, without a doubt, rumored to be a hypocrite or absolutely mad for all the time he spent with prostitutes and those afflicted with leprosy.

Not exactly have a clean-cut image.

He had a rather shady reputation.

Some people thought he was a revolutionary. The religious leaders called him a heretic, and others even accused him of being a drunkard and a glutton - in no small part because of the vagabond group of disciples he had with him. No serious religious leader of his day would have ever recruited such people.

For his core 12 disciples, Jesus included a tough-as-nails, bombastic fisherman (Peter), a chief tax collector named Matthew (the most hated popular figure of the time), an eventual traitor who was stealing money out of the offering bucket (Judas), a prolific doubter (Thomas), two jocks nicknamed the “Sons of Thunder” (James and John) and Simon the Zealot, a member of a radical political party which believed in using violence to kick out the Romans.

Jesus was sarcastic, too.

He often snapped back at the Pharisees with a tone fit for late-night television, and in a terribly embarrassing moment for all those around him, Jesus even called these respected religious teachers “snakes” that were probably sons of “Satan.”

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That’s not exactly the behavior of a sweet, self-help teacher with a halo over his head.

It’s the behavior of a frustrated man who might also be divine, but sure knows how it feels for annoying people to get under his skin.

Christians believe that Jesus chose to be born fully human, too, but why?

Lots of theologians have laid out opinions over the centuries, and in their opining they have tried once again to hijack Jesus’ humanity by defining it in philosophical terms. I believe it’s simpler than the philosophy and church councils and centuries of argument.

The brilliance of Christianity is the image of a God, named Jesus, arrived with dirty hands.

Jesus came in a time period when Greco-Roman gods were housed in gigantic temples and portrayed with superhuman powers and with superhuman physiques. Gods were believed to be far away from people on their mountains or hemmed up in their sanctuaries.

Jesus arrived in defiance of this prevailing imagery.

Jesus didn’t come flinging lightning bolts from a mountaintop, or playing politics in Rome. He came to live in a typical Middle Eastern village called Nazareth that was home to a couple hundred typical people. He didn’t decide to brandish his power, but to spend most of his time with the powerless and disenfranchised. And when he started a religious movement that reshaped history, he did it in the most profound and anticlimatic way:

He let himself be killed, and then he busted open a tomb.

In Jesus we meet a Savior who understood the desire to sleep just a few more hours, and who had to control his temper sometimes. In Jesus we find a God we can relate to because he chose to relate to us.

He was the God who became dirty so that the world’s souls might be made clean.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Johnnie Moore.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Jesus

soundoff (7,741 Responses)
  1. Candi

    My Jesus loves us & waits for us to come to know Him and accept His plan for ETERNAL life. He is the only true source of peace in this crazy world we live in.

    January 30, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • sam stone

      Do you seriously desire ETERNAL LIFE?

      How boring would that be?

      January 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Aesops

      I agree with Candi. Eternal life is not boring. You won't be sitting around strumming on a harp all day, there will be plenty of other things to do. Trust me.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • sam stone

      How do you know that eternal life is not boring? Have you had it?

      If not strumming on a harp, what else is there? Is there Zip lining? Crossword puzzles?

      Why should we trust you?

      January 31, 2013 at 8:09 am |
  2. IAN47

    IT'S NOT BELIVABLE TO ME . IT NOT KOOL.....SORRY BOB, BUT SEE, IM NOT

    January 30, 2013 at 10:34 am |
  3. IAN47

    I ARGREE IT'S INTERESTING BUT EVERONE HAS DIFFERENT OPINOINS AND WELL YOUR COMMENT AND I RESPEST THAT BUT I DON'T IN THAT CONTACT. NOT FOR ME TO BELIEVE THAT HE DID!!!

    January 30, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  4. Bob

    Jesus became dirty when He took our sins upon Himself at the cross that is the only time.

    January 30, 2013 at 7:04 am |
    • Science

      @Bob

      Check your god(S) at the cave enterance before entering.. No god(s) required for studying humans..

      updated 1 hour 55 minutes ago
      Jan. 29 2013

      Scientists have unearthed and dated some of the oldest stone hand axes on Earth. The ancient tools, unearthed in Ethiopia in the last two decades, date to 1.75 million years ago.

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50620121/ns/technology_and_science-science/

      Ancient DNA reveals humans living 40,000 years ago in Beijing area related to present-day Asians, Native Americans January 21, 2013

      Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-ancient-dna-reveals-humans-years.html#jCp

      January 30, 2013 at 7:19 am |
    • sam stone

      got to convince people they have the disease before you can sell them the cure, blob

      no sin = no debt.

      god whacked his son/himself just for his own entertainment

      god is a vindictive, petty pr1ck

      and you are nothing but a snivelling sycophant

      ciao

      January 30, 2013 at 7:44 am |
  5. tbreeden

    Dirty? Maybe. A god? Hardly.

    January 30, 2013 at 6:57 am |
    • sam stone

      "eee's not the messiah. eee's a naughty little boy" – life of brian

      January 30, 2013 at 7:45 am |
  6. Metaphor

    Energy by any other name would be what it is.

    January 29, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  7. michaelcody73

    Firstly, I appreciate this article and the perspective that it offers. I respect the right of others to believe whatever they choose about who Yeshua (a.k.a., Jesus) is/was. For me, this article reflects the real and profoundly powerful nature of who Yeshua is/was. For those who want to understand better the Allah and God question, I suggest a read of the breakthrough writings of Mark Siljander, author of the book "A Deadly Misunderstanding". You might be surprised and have your "Islam vs Christian/Jew" mindset smashed to bits by this very scholarly and world changing perspective.

    For my Atheist friends, I respect your faith and religion as much as I do my own. It takes faith for both us to believe what we believe since neither of us have irrefutable proof one way or the other. Your intuition and the evidence in science and nature lead you to conclude there is "No God", and my intuition and the evidence of science and nature lead me to conclude that "there must be a God".

    The beauty is, we are both free to do so, and we should remain free to do so.

    When we both die, (which we all will someday – barring Kurzweil's singularity) we will find out who was accurate. Until then, I will continue to respect and fight for your rights to believe what you believe. The amount of acrimony here with Christian's bashing atheists and being sanctimonious, as well as, the atheists trashing people of faith and demeaning what they hold sacred isn't very productive for anyone.

    To the Christians/Jews, if God is truly God, he's big enough to accept the rejection of those who choose to call him a myth. In fact, if He wants to avenge himself he will and can. Yeshua himself even said, "If they reject your message, leave them, and shake the dust off your feet and never go back"( my paraphrase here). Literally, He is saying to "back off" and let them go about their life and you go about yours and have nothing to do with them.

    I doubt very highly that anyone has ever been persuaded to become a Christian, or become an Atheist because of a chat string filled with angry discourse. People so easily persuaded probably weren’t very invested in their position from the start.

    Likewise to my atheist friends, what do you gain by bashing people's sacredly held beliefs? How are you bettering the human condition, or advancing the discourse by inciting outrage? What do you think is going to happen if you tell people they are crazy and what they cherish, love, and know to be true in their hearts is just "myth"?

    Atheists often take the high ground, claiming stake to the land of reason, logic, and science. Yet, the attacks here and often in the media, are not the attacks of reason, logic, and science, they are petty, vicious, and demeaning. They attack cherished symbols of faith, and they promote schism, outrage, and zealous backlashes. It degrades the conversation, and doesn’t elevate. Where is the evolved thinking there? It reeks of the same intolerant fundamentalism it so vigorously opposes.

    If you have genuine questions, or, a truly scientific desire to understand, then why be so emotionally aggressive? It seems a sort of "fundamentalist Atheism", has emerged that isn't content with being given equal airtime, it wants nothing more than the eradication of faith and the people who espouse such faith.

    Why not communicate without the hatred? Passionate communication is to be expected, but pettiness helps no one come to understanding. Even if that understanding is simply the agreement to disagree. We are still all humans, still all brothers and sisters, even if our views on creation, the universe, human purpose, and life after death disagree.

    Why not allow for the fact, that you, like those of us with faith, also operate with a faith that is not provable at this point? The emphatic "God is Myth" sect, is just as (if not more) religiously and militantly fervent, as the "God is Fact" sect. Yet, the answer to that question lies beyond absolutism of either partisan party. The answer to who is right won't be found on a CNN discussion forum, that's for sure.

    January 29, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • michaelcody73

      Not sure why this posted twice. It wasn't on purpose. Just so people know I am not trolling the board.

      January 29, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Bob

      michaelcody73
      I really like alot that you have to say and in some points you make sense. But let me bring up these points atheists being here are just a intimidation tactic to Christians no more no less. Its not gainful discussion and logic and reason that they are after it is lets see how many Christians can we intimidate and belittle enough to either quit the faith, make expressing being a Christian so painful that like Christmas we stop doing it or just harass till we stop posting. So the purpose needs to be thought of when asking your questions. Its kinda like the game hit the mole only the atheist/Christian version of it. I would love if your ideals actually worked but they don't here, reason is gone along with respect,caring, knowing countries roots. Change is not brought about by reason or discussion to atheists and there is plenty of hate for anything called Christian. About the only thing that this actually does that is good is makes sure you know your God and the Bible.
      I would also like to say I can prove my God and you should say the same thing. In every salvation, in every time I pray for someone and they start to cry because the Lord touches them or they receive a word of knowledge about their situation that helps them to straighten it out or a word of encouragement that is right on I see God proved. I also see God proved when I pray for people and they are healed or in prayers answered just as was asked for. I also see God proved in my life, Im not a saint by any means I am a sinner saved by grace, but changed into following what the Lord says is correct. In prayer meetings in meeting someone and the Lord gives me a word for them and they are a complete stranger. Atheists want a way to prove God that is by their standards alone. They don't want to move out of a comfort zone to find evidence of God for a myriad of reasons. So just as Lazarus and the rich man when Jesus said they have not believed the prophets and would not believe even if someone rise from the dead. So we see scripture fulfilled.
      So while we could just stop posting and go away what kind of example would that be? How much are we going to do of that? Haven't we seen enough of what that kind of non action has done? We have atheists hanging banners in Times Square, taken prayer out of school, out of the Military, out of gov. We have seen the 10 Commandments removed from these same places, We have see a simple desert cross taken down and not allowed to be put back up and once the battle had finally been won in courts the O admin would not erect it back. Defying the courts, we have seen teen pregnancies rocket, our leaders turned into thieves and not even punish the ones that caused the housing collapse. We have seen evil called good and good called evil and so I ask how far do you want to backup? While God can fight for Himself and is not intimidated by anyone why should we let evil rule in non action? Are not we called to occupy? Atheists can believe what ever they want I don't go to their boards and do the same things there that they do here. I would expect a certain respect both ways but I fail to see it exhibited by them. We are not brothers and sisters either this is not any where scriptural in fact Jesus asked what business does light have with darkness, even down to separating the members of ones household. So while I do like your post I disagree with you on these points.

      January 29, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • sam stone

      "When we both die, (which we all will someday – barring Kurzweil's singularity) we will find out who was accurate"

      Not necessarily. We may just cease to exist, in which case we do not find out anything

      January 29, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • sam stone

      and often christians like bob are here to bloviate empty proxy threats.

      January 29, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't know of many here who use so many words to say so little of substance as Bob.

      Maybe Reality.

      Blob is dumber, though.

      January 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Bob

      Actually Sam I already know the truth I would hope that you wouldn't wait till you die. You know its really not like you think it is.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:08 am |
    • Science

      Human death = deplited carbon the end.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:17 am |
    • sam stone

      bob: and you have experienced it?

      January 30, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • sam stone

      pretty much what i thought. more bloviating about things of which you have no knowledge

      January 30, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • sam stone

      what's amusing, but not surprising, is how cowardly blob and his ilk are. make a statement and run like a punk when someone challenges it.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  8. michaelcody73

    Firstly, I appreciate this article and the perspective that it offers. I respect the right of others to believe whatever they choose about who Yeshua (a.k.a., Jesus) is/was. For me, this article reflects the real and profoundly powerful nature of who Yeshua is/was. For those who want to understand better the Allah and God question, I suggest a read of the breakthrough writings of Mark Siljander, author of the book "A Deadly Misunderstanding". You might be surprised and have your "Islam vs Christian/Jew" mindset smashed to bits by this very scholarly and world changing perspective.

    For my Atheist friends, I respect your faith and religion as much as I do my own. It takes faith for both us to believe what we believe since neither of us have irrefutable proof one way or the other. Your intuition and the evidence in science and nature lead you to conclude there is "No God", and my intuition and the evidence of science and nature lead me to conclude that "there must be a God".

    The beauty is, we are both free to do so, and we should remain free to do so.

    When we both die, (which we all will someday – barring Kurzweil's singularity) we will find out who was accurate. Until then, I will continue to respect and fight for your rights to believe what you believe. The amount of acrimony here with Christian's bashing atheists and being sanctimonious, as well as, the atheists trashing people of faith and demeaning what they hold sacred isn't very productive for anyone.

    To the Christians/Jews, if God is truly God, he's big enough to accept the rejection of those who choose to call him a myth. In fact, if He wants to avenge himself he will and can. Yeshua himself even said, "If they reject your message, leave them, and shake the dust off your feet and never go back"( my paraphrase here). Literally, He is saying to "back off" and let them go about their life and you go about yours and have nothing to do with them.

    I doubt very highly that anyone has ever been persuaded to become a Christian, or become an Atheist because of a chat string filled with angry discourse. People so easily persuaded probably weren’t very invested in their position from the start.

    Likewise to my atheist friends, what do you gain by bashing people's sacredly held beliefs? How are you bettering the human condition, or advancing the discourse by inciting outrage? What do you think is going to happen if you tell people they are crazy and what they cherish, love, and know to be true in their hearts is just "myth"?

    Atheists often take the high ground, claiming stake to the land of reason, logic, and science. Yet, the attacks here and often in the media, are not the attacks of reason, logic, and science, they are petty, vicious, and demeaning. They attack cherished symbols of faith, and they promote schism, outrage, and zealous backlashes. It degrades the conversation, and doesn’t elevate. Where is the evolved thinking there? It reeks of the same intolerant fundamentalism it so vigorously opposes.

    If you have genuine questions, or, a truly scientific desire to understand, then why be so emotionally aggressive? It seems a sort of "fundamentalist Atheism", has emerged that isn't content with being given equal airtime, it wants nothing more than the eradication of faith and the people who espouse such faith.

    Why not communicate without the hatred? Passionate communication is to be expected, but pettiness helps no one come to understanding. Even if that understanding is simply the agreement to disagree. We are still all humans, still all brothers and sisters, even if our views on creation, the universe, human purpose, and life after death disagree.

    Why not allow for the fact, that you, like those of us with faith, also operate with a faith that is not provable at this point? The emphatic "God is Myth" sect, is just as (if not more) religiously and militantly fervent, as the "God is Fact" sect. Yet, the answer to that question lies beyond absolutism of either partisan party. The answer to who is right won't be found on a CNN discussion forum, that's for sure.

    January 29, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  9. Buster

    Be it onto yourselves. As I've already stated, I'm leaving the comment board. It is not beneficial to dwell in a place with such a lack of faith, and worldliness.

    Always remember that Jesus love you, and wants you to be a part of His kingdom. I'll leave you with this parting Scripture from God's word:

    For God so loved the word that He gave His only begotten Son such that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but gain everlasting life. John 3:16

    January 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You'll just be back under one of your other names.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      translation "i've gotten my a-s-s handed to me so much, i am going to have a hissy fit and leave. but, do not worry, i will be back to blather the same drivel under another name"

      buh, bye, buster brown

      January 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  10. Tahir

    There should be a definition of God before labeling anyone as God.Read Quran for the definition of God.

    January 29, 2013 at 5:23 am |
    • sam stone

      your definition of god is no more valid than anyone else's

      January 29, 2013 at 5:56 am |
  11. roman2819

    As I interact with Christian friends, I realize that many of us lose the conviction to pray as time goes by. Also, we face difficulties in seeking God's will. As such, I have written and published a book, Understanding Prayer, Faith and God's Will. Many of us have wrong notions of prayer and God's will, and the purpose of the book is to strengthen faith by knowledge and understanding. Whether you are a young or matured Christian, the book will be relevant to your faith and walk with God.

    About the book>

    Do unanswered prayers cast inner doubts on your faith? Do you seek God’s will for your plans but are not able to discern His guidance? Do you face perpetual problems of job insecurity, financial burden and health issues?

    “Understanding Prayer, Faith and God's Will” looks at real-life problems that we face in prayer, as well as seeking God's will. It then present biblical truths not realized bef...ore – truths that we can see and apply in our human journey. By clarifying wrong notions about prayer and God’s will. it will change the way you see – and seek – God’s will. When faith is strengthened by knowledge and understanding, we will go on to pray and serve God with conviction. Learn more about the book at: http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781620241431
    There are 12 chapters in this book:
    1. Inner Doubts
    2. What does the Bible mean?
    3. Prayer: What did Jesus Intend to tell us?
    4. "Why doesn't God answer more prayers?"
    5. To Pray Again
    6. Does Sin impede prayer?
    7. Faith in God
    8. How does God call people?
    9. Understanding God's Will
    10 Being in God's will
    11 Journey of the Bible
    12 Reading the Scripture Fruitfully

    http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781620241431

    January 29, 2013 at 5:21 am |
    • sam stone

      you do not speak for god.

      nor do those who wrote any religious text

      January 29, 2013 at 5:58 am |
  12. kdayal88

    christ=krist=krish=krishna

    January 28, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
  13. Joshua

    I couldn't agree more with this article!

    January 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  14. Buster

    As I said, I do have independent, objective, verifiable and smoking signature evidence. I typed up several long paragraphs describing the answer, but it didn't go through the system. Therefore, I've decided to follow the lead of Jesus, and not give any definitive sign other than what has already been offered. Lack of faith is never rewarded. If you put your faith and trust in Jesus, then, ultimately, the secrets of the physical universe, and Spirit world will be revealed to you.

    January 28, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      wow.....what a convenient excuse

      "really, teacher, the dog ate my homework!"

      January 28, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Buster,
      " I've decided to follow the lead of Jesus, and not give any definitive sign other than what has already been offered."

      Aw, don't you know that's just ol' "Satan" blocking your replies...

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      -
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      crac-ker…
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      inf-orms us…
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sl-ut
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sn-atch
      sp-ank
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, 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!!!!!!!
      x.xx…
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      January 28, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Buster, if you can't provide the evidence you claimed to have, you must be mentally ill or a liar. Which is it?

      January 28, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • sam stone

      HotAirAce: You are totally ignoring the probability that Buster Brown is mentally ill AND a liar

      January 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  15. Keith

    This is a an excellent view of the greatest person to ever walk the earth. If my religious teachers had put forth this figure instead of the exhaulted one, I probably would've paid more attention. Regardless of beliefs, this is an excellent piece and much closer to realit, I'm sure.

    January 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  16. Buster

    Indeed, I do have independent, factual, verifiable evidence. No problem. Thanks for asking.

    January 28, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • sam stone

      provide it, buster brown, or go home and get your shinebox

      January 28, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • sam stone

      where is this evidence, buster?

      saying you have it does not mean anything unless you provide it

      January 28, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Sam
      Just visit the Creation Museum and you'll see how the Bible matches up with modern, scientific docu/mentary films like "The Flintstones".
      Abraham used a wooly mammoth as a dishwasher.

      January 28, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      Doc: And, when they took photos, there was a bird inside the camera pecking out the picture and saying something like "awwwk, it's a living...."

      January 28, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Roger

      Sam why dont you go crawl back into the hole you came from like a good little boy.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • sam stone

      roger: i am just commenting on buster's blather. if that bothers you, perhaps you should put your sidearm in your mouth and go off to meet jeebus

      January 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • sam stone

      roger dodger....don't you have to go off and beg like a little slave?

      January 28, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  17. Zachary

    Jesus, peace be upon him, was a Prophet, not God. Your Bibles are severly flawed. The Quran is the only true word of God.

    January 28, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Dominique

      It was my understanding that the Islam is supposed to be an abrahamic based religion, that believes, at the very least, that the Old Testament books, especially the Mosaic Law is from God, so how is that the Qu'ran is considered to be the only true word of God? I am just curious because it seems like everybody wants to ignore the fact that God promised Abraham that through his seed, from Isaac on down (i.e., those who were to become know as Israel) were his chosen people for clean worship, regardless of the mistakes that they made, and YES they have made many. How come Islam doesn't really support returning the Temple site and rebuilding God's third temple to his specifications (yes the Dome of the Rock is a beautiful construction), while they pray towards Mecca (which is considered the #1 Holy site in Islam and the Dome of the Rock – considered to be the site of former temples, is considered #3,? That' really interesting to me. Could it be that Allah and the God of Abraham are two entirely different Deities and should not be counted as one in the same? Or maybe early leaders in the positions of power did eactly what was done "eventually" in Christianity, which is to adopt certain practices which makes its easier to attract converts, especially when you tell them its all the same thing? But your "WAY" is better form of accomplishing it. Maybe.

      January 28, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Bob

      The god of the Qur'an is not the God of the Bible the Qur'an makes many references to the Bible and without the Bible is not a self supporting work. As is Lord and is the Son of God and is God so He is not just a phrophet and Im not sure that Phrophet would even be right since He has the knowledge of what God is going to do and wanting to accomplish. Since phrophecy has a idea of the unknown.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      bob: saying it doesn't make it so

      January 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • David

      Do you have Quran wriiten in english? i dont think so I think youre a nut case that needs counseling

      January 28, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • Joe B-b-b-b-bob

      The Quran was written by an opportunistic genius who (mis-)appropriated many of Jesus' teachings, then added his own (often-conflicting) views and, via an army and violent tactics, forced people to "believe" in him or pay a heavy tax, or die. Mohammed was a false prophet, a phony, the Quran a book of lies. Any religion that mandates "believe or die" is automatically more satanic than divine, inherently insecure because of its false foundation. The mania from Muslims from any perceived criticism of their religion indicates that sub-conciously they realize their faith is built upon a pack of lies.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Any religion that mandates "believe or die" is automatically more satanic than divine, inherently insecure because of its false foundation."

      How different is that than the Christian's "believe or hell" schtick?

      January 29, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • philipjbaker1952

      Jesus is God and the bible shows it and the religious leaders of that timewho wanted him dead new he was calling himself God . The bible is the only book about God. That is the truth, it may be only my conviction but so is yours.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @philipjbaker1952
      Have you studied other Holy Books like the Tanakh, Talmud, Midrash, Quran, Sunnah, Nahjul Balagha, Avesta, Vedas, Upanisahds, Bhagavad Gita, Puranas, Tantras, Sutras, Vachanas, Adi Granth, Purvas, Samayasara, Niyamasara, Pravacanasara, and Pancastikaya; Anupreksa; Samadhishataka of Pujyapada; Tattvarthasutra of Umasvati, Tattvarthasutra, Pali Tripitaka, Jataka,, Visuddimagga, Tripitaka, Lotus Sutra, Garland Sutra, Analects; the Great Learning; the Doctrine of the Mean; the Mencius, Tao Te Ching, Chuang-tzu, Kojiki, Nihon Shoki, K-oki, Ofudesaki, Mikagura-uta, Michi-no-Shiori, Johrei, Goseigen, Netarean Shower of Holy Doctrines, Chun Boo Kyung, Kitab-i-Iqan, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Book of Mormon, Dianetics, and Revelation X ?

      If not, how can you dismiss them? They all claim to be "The Truth".
      As a Bible adherent, how do you know whether Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, oriental Orthodox, As.syrian, Byzantine, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian, Anabaptism, Brethren, Methodist, Pietism, Apostolic, Pentocostal, Charismatic, African Initiated, United, Quakers, Couthcotti.tism, Millerism, British-Isrealism, Latter Day Saints, Mennonite, 7th day Adventism, Kelleyism, Co.oneyism, Shakers, Methernitha, Strigolniki, Yehowism, Christadelphians, Christian Science, doukhobors, Iglesia ni Cristo, Makuya, Molokans, Subbotniks, Ebionism, Martinism, Rosicrucians, Rastafarianism, Santo Daime, or Umbanda is the REAL interpretation of your God's words?

      And for that matter, is American Standard Version, American King James Version, Amplified Bible, An American Translation, ArtScroll Tanakh (Old Testament), An American Translation, Berkeley Version, Bible in English, The Bible in Living English, Bishops' Bible, Catholic Public Domain Version, Children's King James Version, Christian Community Bible, English version, Clear Word Bible, Complete Jewish Bible, Contemporary English Version, Concordant Literal Version, A Conservative Version, Coverdale Bible, Darby Bible, Douay-Rheims Bible, Douay-Rheims Bible (Challoner Revision), EasyEnglish Bible, Easy-to-Read Version, English Jubilee 2000 Bible, English Standard Version, Ferrar Fenton Bible, Geneva Bible, God's Word, Good News Bible, Great Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible, The Inclusive Bible, International Standard Version, Jerusalem Bible, Jewish Publication Society of America Version Tanakh (Old Testament), Judaica Press Tanakh (Old Testament), ia E. Smith Parker Translation, King James 2000 Version, King James Easy Reading Version, King James Version, King James II Version, Knox's Translation of the Vulgate, Lamsa Bible, A Literal Translation of the Bible, Leeser Bible, Tanakh (Old Testament), The Living Bible, The Living Torah and The Living Nach. Tanakh (Old Testament), Matthew's Bible, The Message, Modern King James Version, Modern Language Bible, Moffatt, New Translation, James Murdock's Translation of the Syriac Peshi.tta, New American Bible, New American Standard Bible, New Century Version, New English Bible, New English Translation (NET Bible), New International Reader's Version, New International Version Inclusive Language Edition, New International Version, New Jerusalem Bible, New Jewish Publication Society of America Version. Tanakh (Old Testament), New King James Version, New Life Version, New Living Translation, New Revised Standard Version, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, Quaker Bible, Recovery Version of the Bible, Revised Version, Revised Standard Version, Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, Revised English Bible, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible, The Scriptures, Simplified English Bible, The Story Bible, Taverner's Bible, Thomson's Translation, Today's New International Version, Third Millennium Bible, Tyndale Bible, Updated King James Version, A Voice In The Wilderness Holy Scriptures, Webster's Revision, Westminster Bible, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible, Wycliffe's Bible (1380), Wycliffe's Bible (1388), or Young's Literal Translation the ACCURATE translation of the original Bible for those of us who don't read ancient Hebrew and/or Greek?

      January 29, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • laststonecarver

      Doc,
      That sounds like an OMG sandwich, with everything on it. Does that manna come toasted?

      January 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
  18. Roger

    All hail Mithra, and serve Him, the original son of God. What a mighty God we serve!!!

    January 28, 2013 at 8:25 am |
  19. Myrko

    The Buddha

    1. “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”

    You become what you think about or in other words: what you focus on grows in your life and from what you take your focus away from diminishes.

    It means that the mind is directing our life in the way we manifest the life around us by the thoughts and directions we take with our mind. Since everything we created around us is first created in the mind, it is the tool or the interface between our self and the material world.

    Another quote of Buddha with a similar message here is “He is able who thinks he is able”. This also shows the creative power of the mind and if we are able to consciously use it in that way – avoiding negative thoughts and utilizing empowering thoughts – we use it in a supportive manner.

    2. “All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?”

    This is the core of personal development. It points towards the need to train and develop the mind and to free it from limits and negativity.

    The other quote “The mind is the source of happiness and unhappiness.” makes the same point with the special notion of happiness. The mind used correctly – i.e. constructive, empowering, solution- and action-oriented, positive, truth-seeking – can create happiness. But used poorly – i.e. blaming, egocentric, negative, blinded by ambition or separation – it will create unhappiness for us. Training the mind is the key here.

    The quote may also point to a transformation by awakening directly, where the mind becomes the servant of the self and not the creator of a self-image (the concept of the ego) as a replacement for the true self.

    3. “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

    This points to the abundant nature of reality. The abundance mentality says there is enough for everyone, we only have to realize and live by it. It is the opposite of a scarcity mentality, where you have the belief that you always have to fight for your part in a limited world.

    4. “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

    The essence of living in the present moment, the Now, is focusing the mind here and take attention away from thinking about past or future. The present moment is all there ever is to experience life directly. Past and future are only concepts of our mind and therefore are good for learning from the past or conceptual planning when it is useful, but after this there is no need for them. Especially not to dwell in them and get stuck there in the mind by constant thinking loops.

    5. “However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you If you do not act on upon them?”

    Action is what counts. It means to be action-oriented and to actually do what we think, to prove what we believe by applying it in reality. Only if we “walk our talk” we are authentic and truthful to ourselves.

    To apply yourself and your ideas in reality is like a proof-test for what we think is right and will work. If there is no action and therefore no testing in reality, the words or ideas themselves are of no real sustainable value.

    Another quote for this message is “A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.”

    6. “Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”

    This is the essence of Carpe Diem – to seize the day fully means living wisely. It means to live to the highest truth we know and to rise to our highest values and capabilities.

    Living wisely also means not to believe every thought that comes, but to live more from the space between thoughts, from our essence.
    7. “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

    The so-called Inside-Out approach means to look within oneself to find the inspiration and power to act from this place. It means not to look to the outside world for liberation or happiness, but to take the responsibility for oneself and become that what we are seeking.

    His second quote here “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” talks directly about this responsibility, response-ability we have inside.

    8. “In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”

    Any perspective we have on anything is only a relative truth. There are always both (or more) sides of any story. An objective perspective or an absolute truth is very hard or maybe impossible to see. But to be aware of this and to be interested to see another perspective from another person can be very mind-opening and valuable.

    9. “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”

    This quote is perhaps the most difficult one to really understand. In the first place, it is not about the beautiful nature of the flower or beauty itself. What Buddha is talking about – in my humble opinion – is to see and get in touch with the life in a flower directly, without any interference by our mind by mental concepts and thoughts of the flower.

    10. “The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”

    If we are not authentic and truthful to ourselves, we build a wall around us that eventually we have to tear down again. It is then literally a resistance to the reality and our own nature where we can hide some time; but life has a way to show us our own faults in the end.

    To be true to the best one knows means to come from our own best knowledge and not buy into something outside ourselves blindly, always asking: is this really true to what I know?

    In resonance with this quote also is the final one by The Buddha:

    “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”

    January 28, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • mczacharias

      Myrko the magnificent!
      Thanks for sharing. How 'bout those White Sox?

      January 28, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  20. Bob

    Christ is not only a prophet, although the Holy Bible states that He is a prophet and priest and king. The Lord Christ is God incarnate, who was conceived by the Spirit of God. He is the messenger of God for the salvation of the world and its redemption from sin. And He is called in the Holy Bible "the Son of God". And the word Jesus means "God is salvation", and the word Christ, or Messiah, means "the anointed", that is, the one anointed of God, who came to guide the people walking in darkness. The word "Messiah" (or "Christ") means the anointed, and this word Messiah announces that Jesus is the anointed of God, that is, the Anointed One from God. And He is the awaited Messiah, whose coming was prophesied by the prophets of the Old Testament. It was known in ancient times that when a king was crowned, or a priest consecrated, he was anointed with oil as a sign of "sovereign power" or "priesthood". And it is known that Christ was a prophet, priest and king. Christ was not anointed by the people, because He is not an earthly king, but He was anointed of God, because He is a heavenly king who reigns over the hearts of the believers. So the word "Massih" in Arabic, and Jesus" Messiah" in Hebrew, have one meaning, and that is the Anointed One.

    January 28, 2013 at 4:46 am |
    • sam stone

      wow, bob, that is realy convincing..except that it isn't

      January 28, 2013 at 4:57 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Bob", but "God" is an element of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL".

      January 28, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Anita - Lesotho

      Jesus – God in simplicity. Hidden before everyone's eyes, in the veil of human flesh.

      January 29, 2013 at 2:20 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.