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August 10th, 2013
02:33 AM ET

'Breaking Bad' and the evil within us all

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, special to CNN

(CNN) - The other day I was asked in a radio interview why I’m still a Christian. Since I’ve never been shy about writing through my questions and doubts, the interviewer wanted to know why I hang on to faith in spite of them.

I talked about Jesus—his life, teachings, death, resurrection, and presence in my life and in the world. I talked about how faith is always a risk, and how the story of Jesus is a story I’m willing to risk being wrong about.

And then I said something that surprised me a little, even as it came out of my own mouth:

“I’m a Christian,” I said, “because Christianity names and addresses sin.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about sin lately because like many Americans I’ve gotten hooked on “Breaking Bad” and am plotting ways to avoid any sort of social interaction on Sunday night so I can catch the first of the final eight episodes of the award-winning AMC series.

What I love about “Breaking Bad”—besides its gripping plotlines, flawless character development, pitch-perfect performances, and the unmatched chemistry between Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, is the way it traces teacher-turned-kingpin Walter White’s descent into total moral ignominy, one frighteningly relatable decision at a time.

5 questions 'Breaking Bad' must answer

Walter doesn’t start off with the goal of making millions and killing anyone who gets in his way. He just wants to survive at first. Then he wants to provide, then he wants to impress, then he wants to spite, then he wants to rule. His desires aren’t that different from yours or mine, really, and neither are his decisions.

In fact, Walter is at his most infuriating not when he’s cooking meth or even shooting a gun, but when he’s betraying a friend, indulging his vanity, engaging in truly staggering feats of self-deception, and using other people for personal gain … basically when he’s acting just like me on a given Tuesday morning.

Which brings me back to Christianity.

In Christianity, evil isn’t something that simply exists “out there” among thieves and murderers and meth makers. No, Christianity teaches the hard truth that the evil we observe in the world is also present within ourselves.

Racism, greed, misogyny, hatred, violence, inequity, selfishness, and pride all take shape within the human heart, so if we’re going to tackle injustice in the world, we have to start with ourselves. Christianity rejects the idea that we’re all okay.

The good news is that liberation comes not from climbing some holy ladder to try and escape sin on our own, nor from wallowing in shame and self-hatred because of it, but receiving the grace of God through Jesus and extending that grace to others.

This process begins with naming the evil within us and turning away from it—a process called repentance.

In one of the most riveting “Breaking Bad” scenes of all time, we see Jesse on the verge of such a moment as he indirectly confesses his most haunting transgression to his Narcotics Anonymous support group.

Unwilling to justify his sins like Walter, and desperate to stop numbing himself from them through drugs, Jesse gets frustrated with those in the group urging him to accept himself without judgment.

In a fit of frustration, Jesse cries, “So I should stop judging and accept? So no matter what I do, hurray for me, because I’m a great guy? It’s all good? What a load of crap …You know why I’m here in the first place? To sell you meth. You’re nothing to me but customers …You OK with that? You accept that?”

The group sits in stunned silence until the leader finally whispers, “No.”

I’ve heard from many addicts who say meetings like these are the closest thing they have to church because it’s the only place in the world where people tell the truth about themselves, even the ugly parts.

This is what the church calls confession.

Confession gives us the chance to admit to one another that we’re not OK and then to seek healing and reconciliation together, in community. It’s not about pointing out the sins of others, but acknowledging our shared brokenness, our shared capacity for destruction, our shared rebellion against what is beautiful and good.

I think this is one reason we find Walter White so compelling—and, for that matter, Dexter Morgan, Don Draper, and Piper Chapman. They may be meth dealers and serial killers and prison inmates, but what drives them isn’t all that different than what drives you and me.

Nor is the grace that would ultimately save us all.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Evans. 

Evans has written previously for CNN's Belief Blog, including: Why millennials are leaving the church; and Not all religious convictions are written in stone.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Opinion • TV

soundoff (1,137 Responses)
  1. bostontola

    Drug addiction and religious belief when extreme are eerily similar. I know an addict that stole jewelry from his own mother to fund his addiction, terrible and painful to all. Religious extremists will kill others that don't conform to their ideas, also terrible. I wonder if religious belief is a form of addiction that can become extreme and destructive?

    August 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Saraswati

      It is, but so is romantic love and exercise. Addiction (as dependency with withdrawal symptoms) is not, in itself, a bad thing.

      August 11, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I volunteer at a chemical dependancy clinic. I see it first hand, drug addicts that become religion addicts. Religion has a simlar appeal to addictive personalities, and though being addicted to a religion is not as life threatening as substances can be, I see the negative effects of religious addiction strongly.

      August 11, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        "though being addicted to a religion is not as life threatening as substances can be"

        Okay, let me ask you something...Andrea Yates truly believed that killing her 5 innocent children was something her god wanted...so in this sense, religion can be life threatening?

        August 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Sired Truth Prevails 1...

          The mentalities of human conditionings are sometimes riddled with dehumanizing serpentine issues that the very weakened in minded vestures cannot reason with...

          August 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          true enough TP1, though there you have compounded severe mental illness, with religion ( which can be considered a mental ilness as well, since it fits many definitions, but not all).

          Beleive me, I see religion as a bad thing, the good parts of religion can be found outside of religion, for instance Jesus Christ , and the things he allegedly said, are often straight out of the Buddha, leading me to believe that Jesus was either a Buddhist, or the character of Jesus was in large part based on the teachings of the Buddha...the similarities are striking. The Buddha was technically an atheist, since he taught that in order to acheive enlightenment (salvation )you must give up desires, and belief in a god, or gods, was desire. He taught that it does not matter if there are gods, or not, since the belief in them, or the worship of them is moot, since they will be or not whether we believe in them or not.

          It is fascinating to me that when studying the Buddha, the amazing similarities to Christ, and since the Buddha came first by over 4 hundred years, we know in this case where the bible got it from.

          August 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Sired Richard Cranium...

          Those of the religiously departed away from and are themselves righteously embittered does in no way give credence for the needs of religiosities becoming a framed wayward senility... Even a scientist needs time away from their works in order to refresh one's mind to start anew... My onwards march thru Life tests many waters... Anyone who finds valueless complacencies isn't worth their roominess withholdings...

          August 11, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

          Dick Cranius sayz,
          "It is fascinating to me that when studying the Buddha, the amazing similarities to Christ,................."

          buddha was a spoiled rich kid. What's the point of getting rich if ya can't be idolized?? Talk about tryin' to be like the Most High!!

          August 11, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          lolcats
          Buddha WAS a spoiled prince, but Michaelangelo's David was nothing but a rock at one time.

          August 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
        • Alias

          There was also a weel know killer who did it because the neighbor's dog told him to. By your logic, shouldn't we be afraid of dogs?

          August 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  2. tyjertyjrtyjrty

    NANO TECNOLOGÍA EN MEDICAMENTO CASOS DE IRRADIACIÓN EN LÓBULOS E HIPOTÁLAMO, CAUTERIZACIONES DE CAPAS DE MUSCULOS EN EL CORAZÓN, CAUTERIZACIONES EN TÍMPANOS, CAUTERIZACION EN ORGANOS, IRRADIACIÓN SATELITAL, ESTUDIOS DE LA RAZA HUMANA, RELIGIOSOS, GENÉTICOS, ECONÓMICOS EN VENEZUELA.
    Borrado de informacion de villas GOOGLE, PARA QUE NO SE CONOZCAN LOS CASOS DE ESTUDIOS DE LA RAZA HUMANA.
    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com
    DENUNCIEN EN EL FBI, INTERPOL Y EUROPOL, NO QUIEREN HACER LA INVESTIGACIÓN POR QUE ES PENA DE MUERTE PARA TODOS LO POLÍTICOS.
    CALA SON CELLOS HABLEN CON PROFECIONALES EN EL AREA RELIGIOSA, ESTAN ENLAZANDO TEORIAS DE ESTAS ORGS.
    NO ESTAN DEJANDO TRABAJAR A LOS VENEZOLANOS, DE DIFERENTES MANERAS, UTILIZANDO LAS PLATAFORMAS DE COMUNICACION.
    ddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

    August 11, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
  3. tyjertyjrtyjrty

    NANO TECNOLOGÍA EN MEDICAMENTO CASOS DE IRRADIACIÓN EN LÓBULOS E HIPOTÁLAMO, CAUTERIZACIONES DE CAPAS DE MUSCULOS EN EL CORAZÓN, CAUTERIZACIONES EN TÍMPANOS, CAUTERIZACION EN ORGANOS, IRRADIACIÓN SATELITAL, ESTUDIOS DE LA RAZA HUMANA, RELIGIOSOS, GENÉTICOS, ECONÓMICOS EN VENEZUELA.
    Borrado de informacion de villas GOOGLE, PARA QUE NO SE CONOZCAN LOS CASOS DE ESTUDIOS DE LA RAZA HUMANA.
    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com
    DENUNCIEN EN EL FBI, INTERPOL Y EUROPOL, NO QUIEREN HACER LA INVESTIGACIÓN POR QUE ES PENA DE MUERTE PARA TODOS LO POLÍTICOS.
    CALA SON CELLOS HABLEN CON PROFECIONALES EN EL AREA RELIGIOSA, ESTAN ENLAZANDO TEORIAS DE ESTAS ORGS.
    NO ESTAN DEJANDO TRABAJAR A LOS VENEZOLANOS, DE DIFERENTES MANERAS, UTILIZANDO LAS PLATAFORMAS DE COMUNICACION.

    August 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  4. hharri

    During the cmes of 2003, our star detonated the equivalent of 1 billion megaton bombs

    August 11, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      How incredibly relevant!

      August 11, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Mount Krakatoa 's eruption in 1883 was the loudest sound heard in recorded history and was the equivelant of 200 Megatons.

      Another pointless fact. Is there any point to this?

      August 11, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • G to the T

      The iris of goats are square!

      August 12, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  5. lamelionheart

    The corruptions seethe upon us all and they do ever fall upon the very weakened ones... Though the strongly bent are still of a corrupt fashioning they fall and become weak upon their days ending way... The risers who climb higher than the most have greatness entrusted them but they shall all fall ever lower into pitted slurries of fury and unending demise...

    Even I climb high and do fall into the very depths from which many have risen from yet in all summations these things are for our willingness sakes... We all scurry about and banter to and fro with little comforting of the demised deadening ways that one and all will soon someday face as others went before us did share in their passing by ways... Show yourself with prideful seasoning before your years do end and you go to join all the fallen who departed once before in their seasoned days of departed ways...

    I and like you are of foolishness in wants and of willful essences... We all seek the things chaliced and in our abundances we all do drink up the watery treasures in malice of the serpentine voyagers as their being so does permeate upon our resonances betrayals... In wickedness triumphs does valor set fixated upon the prideful...

    I too am as guilty of those which you shamelessly advent with vile bitterness sakes... Your hatred toward one and forwarded to the very many are of those I too have once found hatred in their eyes as mirrored reflections... Still yet the loves for the many outweighs the hatred coming from the least...

    I like the many who once dwelt before knew and knows well the minds of the reapers of hell... These sowers of doubt are doubters among themselves and real reasoning comes from dead reckoning that justifies one's self whose very mortal being knows not the immortality of Life's ever onward marching thru the abysmal crevices of living arrangements... Love always and hate less each and every day forward and keep your emotional treasuries safely and away from the malice of the unknown wayfarers who might wrestle away one's life sustenance which eases the journey which one travels upon...

    August 11, 2013 at 11:43 am |
  6. Reality

    Confession:

    Scriptual bases:

    (1a) Matt 16:19
    (1b) Matt 18:18
    (2) John 20:23

    And what do some of the contemporary NT scholars conclude about these pa-ss-ages?:

    Professor JD Crossan's a-n-a-lysis:

    Item: 375
    Str-ata: III (80-120 CE)
    At-te-st-ation: Double
    Hi-stori-city: neg-ative

    See http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/

    See also Professor Gerd Ludemann's review in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 197-198, 205-206, 575-581. His co-nclusion: the pa-ssages are h-istorically nil.

    Hy-phens added to some words to defeat the very irritating word/fragment filter.

    August 11, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  7. bostontola

    Compare and contrast religion and drug dealing.

    Basic drug dealer strategy:
    1. Get customers by introducing new users with low prices,
    2. get them addicted,
    3. have the best product,
    4. raise the price,
    5. generate word of mouth marketing,
    6. protect your territory.

    Basic religion leadership strategy (before you react, think of other religions):
    1. Get members by exploiting gullibility of children and their trust of parents,
    2. exploit the child's need for love and get them addicted to the love of an imaginary being,
    3. create a god with the most love and power,
    4. create eternal pain if you don't comply,
    5. evangelize,
    6. attack competing religions and inst.itutions.

    Both realms have persisted for centuries. Both leaderships exploit human v.ulnerability.

    Contrasts:
    Religions bring people together, the members are basically good, productive members of societies. Religion has helped domesticate people and created functioning communities.

    August 11, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Drug dealers are more credible than religious shamans given that they at least deliver a tangible, if highly dangerous, product, rather than nothing more than perhaps delusional hope.

      August 11, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Saraswati

      Some drugs have social benefits, too. The research on the relationship between social drinking and emottional wellbeing tends to get downplayed in the media.

      August 11, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • bostontola

        My apologies Saraswati, I should have clarified I was referring to illegal drug dealers.

        August 11, 2013 at 11:39 am |
        • Saraswati

          It's an interesting comparison, especially when you look at drugs and religion, like romantic love and running among other things, as an addiction. All of these things can be and are exploited, but most in some form serve a purpose and are things we like to hang on to.

          August 11, 2013 at 11:48 am |
        • bostontola

          Saraswati,
          I agree, legal drugs have great purpose. The problem comes in when human vulnerability is exploited for gain at the expense of the vulnerable.

          August 11, 2013 at 11:54 am |
      • lamelionheart

        bostontola...

        Where is the line drawn between legalities and illegalities..? Whose laws should one follow within the confines of liberal individualism..?

        August 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      downsides
      Religion creates a sense of inclusiveness that is actually exclusive. Fosters an us-verses-them mentality that marginalizes outsiders particularly if they refuse to convert. Huge sections of its narrative are devoted to disparaging non-believers as it must It also projects arrogance bizarrely self perceived as pity by proclaiming that how we live our lives will carry dire eternal consequences unless and only if one heeds their warning.
      It also diminishes the value, respect and awe for natural life by imagining our essence continues forever. The "mortal coil" being just a minor step in a much bigger perspective. Take for instance how grief for a departed loved one is addressed. To the believer they aren't really dead. Sure they experience woe for the deceased but there remains a sliver lining. The idea that their essence is preserved and reunion is possible. It's a have your cake and eat it too situation. The absolute finality and complete loss associated with death escapes them. This life and its importance is paramount as it's the only one we're sure of. Precious and valuable precisely because it's finite.

      August 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • Vic

        It amazes me how atheists speak with absolute certainty about the nonexistence of God and an afterlife while accusing Christians of doing so regarding the opposite! I takes an overwhelming amount of "faith" to do that!

        August 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          It amazes me how many theists claim that atheists are making a claim with absolute certainty when no such claim was made.

          August 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Vice, AtheistSteve said "it's the only one we're sure of" which to me implies that what is after and before (or parallel to) this lfe is unsure. If ere absolutely certain, would he not have said "it's the only one we have" instead?

          August 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • Vic

          "The absolute finality and complete loss associated with death escapes them."

          August 11, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          and since you have no reason, no logical path to follow that would indicate that that is incorrect, and it appears to be stated as opinion, and if called on it, would likely capitulate that is is not a certainty, but an exceptionally enourmous probability.
          Law of conservation of energy would indicate ( but since we do not know what "life" is yet, and cannot conlude it is purely energy, we can only tenuously apply it) that the life energy that is in a person, dissipates. Without the body and brain to house the sentiece, why would you think that at death any sentiece remains?
          You keep trying to use faith as a subst!tute for logic, and failing miserably, since you clearly do not know how to use logic.

          August 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Vic, the term "absolute" in what you quote refers to absoluteness of death, not absoluteness of certainty. "I think, but am not certain, that death is absolute."

          I think, and am fairly certain, that you are misattributing the adjective here to the level of certainty rather than the level of death, which is what it was describing.

          August 11, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • LinCA

          @Vic

          You said, "It amazes me how atheists speak with absolute certainty about the nonexistence of God and an afterlife while accusing Christians of doing so regarding the opposite! I takes an overwhelming amount of "faith" to do that!"
          To not understand atheism seems typical for a believer.

          Atheists tend to come in two flavors. Those that don't believe in god(s) (weak atheism), and those that believe god(s) do not exist (strong atheism). You may even be both at the same time.

          You can, in light of the absence of even so much as a shred of evidence, simply not believe there are any gods, like most people will not believe Loch Ness houses a monster, or not believe that the Tooth Fairy is real. While these creatures may have a non-zero possibility to exist, there is no reason to believe they do. A belief in them is unreasonable.

          You can at the same time be strongly atheistic about creatures that are impossible to exist. Contradictory attributes commonly attributed to the christian god, for instance, make it outright impossible to exist. A belief in it is not only unreasonable, but irrational.

          The complete absence of any evidence in favor of any gods, makes everyone agnostic, whether they will admit to it, or not. Some simply choose to believe the fairy tales they were fed as a child and claim to have knowledge of their favorite god. Funnily, these people tend to be strongly atheistic regarding every other god.

          August 11, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
        • tallulah13

          I believe it to be foolish to believe in something for which there is no evidence, such as gods and afterlives. If verifiable evidence emerges, then of course I would reconsider. But no one has yet offered any proof outside of personal anecdotes and emotions or badly misinterpreted science.

          I don't believe in bigfoot, pixies or the Loch Ness monster for the same reasons. While I think the whole "alien abduction" experience can be explained away by a natural phenomena called sleep paralysis, I do believe that it's very likely that life exists on other planets, and that it's entirely possible that some of them may have the technology to travel to our planet. But again, there is no proof that any truly exist or have actually traveled here, so I take all UFO sightings with a grain of salt.

          August 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • Vic

          It seems like many commentors here are not aware that it is a scientific basic that any amount of change musts finiteness, and that any amount of motion, like in expansion and contraction, is change, and that anything that changes has a beginning and end.

          That scientific basic applies to the universe (all physical matter) which is constantly expanding. That's how the universe has a beginning and is finite!

          Also, the zero total energy for the universe is only a hypothesis that suggests the total energy for matter is cancelled out by the total energy for anti-matter. I don't know for what purpose some posters use postulate!

          Regarding God of the Gaps, that's a confirmation bias, fallacy and a canard to call God that way! The truth of the matter is that God created everything that we know the underlying mechanics of and the ones we don't, and it is man's knowledge that is of the gaps!

          August 11, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Vic
          How exactly do you go from false scientific information and call it scientific basis, to the existance of a god?

          It is that leap that is completely unreasonable and wholly illogical.

          OK, so the universe had a start, at least this one. How exactly do the misfiring neurons in your brain make the unsubstantioated wild leap to a god. There are an infinite number of other possibilities, many with far higher probabilities..

          August 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
        • LinCA

          @Vic

          Your pseudo-scientific ramblings don't support the case you try to make.

          You said, "Regarding God of the Gaps, that's a confirmation bias, fallacy and a canard to call God that way!"
          Bullshit. It's standard operating procedure for all religions. It's how most gods met their demise. Once science provided an explanation for natural phenomena, the gods previously "in charge" of those phenomena died a slow death. Mythology is littered with discarded gods that were once thought to be manning (or would that be "godding") the weather desk, rendered obsolete by natural causes.

          The death of these gods is only prolonged by simpletons, unable to let go of their favorite imaginary friend. The time for the christian god to suffer the same fate is near.

          You said, "The truth of the matter is that God created everything that we know the underlying mechanics of and the ones we don't, and it is man's knowledge that is of the gaps!"
          Now if only you had a shred of credible evidence for that bullshit claim.

          August 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
        • sam stone

          It amazes me how little comprehension you have, vic. Most atheists do not speak with absolute certainty about the non existence of god. Theists, at least the inbred fvcks like you, speak not only of the certainty of the existence of A god, but the god of the babble. Faith impies doubt. You have no doubt, you have certainty. You are an imbecile

          August 11, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • Vic

          https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/10/breaking-bad-and-the-evil-within-us-all/comment-page-5/#comment-2521070

          August 11, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
      • Saraswati

        Steve, How do you know that believing in lies doesn't make us happier? People who, despite public opinion, believe they are more attractive or better drivers than average tend to be happier. How do you decide which lies to keep?

        August 11, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • G to the T

          As my daddy used to say "Ignorance is bliss, and patience is a virtue... so if you're stupid and you don't waiting around a lot, you can have a pretty good life".

          August 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
        • Saraswati

          I think our belief that truth improves quality of life is one of the biggest peices of faith we have. We have some very minor evidence for it in a few very narrow areas, but I wouldn't want to wager too much on its validity.

          August 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
      • R.M. Goodswell

        Vic

        the difference between the atheist and the believer is both have no evidence for god or an afterlife- yet one believes anyway, the other requires proof ..as there is none......

        what's that psalm passage again? A fool says there is no god. – using this logic, you should lend credence to not just the Christian god, but ever single supernatural ent ity dreamed up by man..because the proof for all is uniform across the board.

        In all other facets of your life, you would probably argee that proof of what is presented to you is actually as advertised is a good thing right?

        August 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
        • Vic

          Since we are here and no one yet has "proof" nor "direct evidence" of the "Origin of Matter & Life," we can only use logic, reason, and "c i r c u m s t a n t i a l evidence" to search for the truth.

          Logic & Reason

          For this universe, which is ever changing, hence had a beginning, hence finite, hence can not be eternal, to exist, there must be a cause. Since the universe had a beginning, there must be a cause that is outside the universe's beginning that is non-temporal (without beginning nor end,) hence unchanged, hence uncaused, hence a First Cause (Eternal.)

          C i r c u m s t a n t i a l Evidence

          Science shows/reveals "design" in everything studied of this existence. Every "design" has a "designer."

          This Universe & Life in it ARE "Prima Facie" EVIDENCE (According to our Sentience, Basic Instincts, Intuition, and Common Sense) of God.

          As Christians, we believe that First Cause & Designer to be God.

          August 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Vic
          For this universe, which is ever changing, hence had a beginning, hence finite, hence can not be eternal, to exist, there must be a cause. Since the universe had a beginning, there must be a cause that is outside the universe's beginning that is non-temporal (without beginning nor end,) hence unchanged, hence uncaused, hence a First Cause (Eternal.)

          "There must be a cause" is the flawed statement. Why must there be a cause, ( or in your statement a First Cause {capitalized as if that adds weight})It is quite probable that matter has always existed, that we are the result of fluctuations in another universe, sparking ours into existance. The matter itself, comprised of energy, may well have always existed, to say there must be a cause for it is incorrect.

          August 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Vic, Everything was "designed" by chance. There is therefore no designer. You have no evidence for a first cause and no evidence for a god. We may not know what, if anything, is pre-Big Bang but that does not mean that a god did it. We have strong scientific evidence for Big Bang and evolution; we have no evidence for a god – just delusion.

          August 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Vic, christians have simply done what humans have done since the dawn of time: Don't understand something? Invent a god. Put a recognizable face on the unknown. After all, a god is nothing more than a human with magical powers, and you can bargain and make deals humans.

          The only reason to believe that the universe needs a creator is an unwillingness to accept that certain things are not yet - and may not ever - be known.

          August 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • LinCA

          @Vic

          You said, "Science shows/reveals "design" in everything studied of this existence."
          No, it doesn't. You assume there to be a design to make it fit your delusion.

          You said, "This Universe & Life in it ARE "Prima Facie" EVIDENCE (According to our Sentience, Basic Instincts, Intuition, and Common Sense) of God."
          No, they are not. There is no evidence of design. There is no evidence of purpose. There is no evidence of intent. There is no evidence of a creator.

          You said, "As Christians, we believe that First Cause & Designer to be God."
          Calling the origin of the universe your god doesn't explain how it gets from an, as of yet, unexplained physical phenomenon to the murderous tyrant of the bible.

          Assigning your god to the start of the universe makes it a god of the gaps. It can only exist where our knowledge is lacking. From there it takes a leap of faith (unsupported by any evidence, and against all logic and reason) to get to your god of the bible. It is there where you go off the deep end into delusion.

          August 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Vic, Have you ever played around with Conway's Game of Life? You can download some versions to play locally and can probably find versions you can watch on line.

          The implied design argument only has any bearing if you assume this is the only universe, rather than one among potentially billions. In most, lefe would not arise. The alternative is just that we happen to be in one of the very, very few universes in which life had the chance to emerge.

          August 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          Vic.

          How did you get from this:

          "For this universe, which is ever changing"

          to this?: "hence had a beginning, hence finite, hence can not be eternal"

          A huge leap to say the least.

          Google: zero net energy universe. Something can come from nothing in a vacuum. Electrons, protons and neutrons can spontaneously appear in a vacuum. If given enough time, that 'nothing' will be defined ...the whole process will make sense.

          We are studying the microcosm and the macrocosm – joining a show already in progress and relying on science to fill us in on whats happen thus far.

          Creation and Gods are something ancient people used to stifle fears...and it turned out to be quite the ring through the nose for humanity as well a great money maker.

          August 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          LinCa wrote, “There is no evidence of design. There is no evidence of purpose. There is no evidence of intent. There is no evidence of a creator.”

          The designs of the atomized cosmologies are most assuredly found within the designs of the celestial cosmologies in sameness and not as a contrary coincidence… While the intents of cellular cosmologies are fixated atomized cosmologies; there in its makeup is evidence of creative abilities. I cannot imagine cellular Life to be a transition from non-intentions purposelessness…

          August 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • LinCA

          @lamelionheart

          You said, "The designs of the atomized cosmologies are most assuredly found within the designs of the celestial cosmologies in sameness and not as a contrary coincidence… While the intents of cellular cosmologies are fixated atomized cosmologies; there in its makeup is evidence of creative abilities. I cannot imagine cellular Life to be a transition from non-intentions purposelessness…"
          Baloney. With this clarification, an important property of these three types of EC raises serious doubts about the requirement that branching is not tolerated within the dominance scope of a complex symbol. I suggested that these results would follow from the assumption that the theory of syntactic features developed earlier is rather different from the traditional practice of grammarians. Thus a descriptively adequate grammar is not to be considered in determining the levels of acceptability from fairly high (eg (99a)) to virtual gibberish (eg (98d)). Furthermore, a case of semigrammaticalness of a different sort is necessary to impose an interpretation on a parasitic gap construction. It must be emphasized, once again, that the appearance of parasitic gaps in domains relatively inaccessible to ordinary extraction is, apparently, determined by the system of base rules exclusive of the lexicon.

          It must be emphasized, once again, that the theory of syntactic features developed earlier can be defined in such a way as to impose a corpus of utterance tokens upon which conformity has been defined by the paired utterance test. With this clarification, a case of semigrammaticalness of a different sort appears to correlate rather closely with a parasitic gap construction. However, this assumption is not correct, since a subset of English sentences interesting on quite independent grounds cannot be arbitrary in an abstract underlying order. On our assumptions, a descriptively adequate grammar is not quite equivalent to the strong generative capacity of the theory. I suggested that these results would follow from the assumption that this selectionally introduced contextual feature is not to be considered in determining the system of base rules exclusive of the lexicon.

          August 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          LL and his midichlorians:)

          August 11, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Sired LinCa...

          Your copy-N-paste rebuttal does in no way shape or formula give credence toward my generalized hypothesis regarding atomized, celestial and cellular cosmologies...

          Your comment stating, "Thus a descriptively adequate grammar is not to be considered in determining the levels of acceptability from fairly high (eg (99a)) to virtual gibberish (eg (98d))." is a telltale sign of copy-N-paste...

          August 11, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • Vic

          https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/10/breaking-bad-and-the-evil-within-us-all/comment-page-5/#comment-2521070

          August 11, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
        • LinCA

          @lamelionheart

          You said, "Your copy-N-paste rebuttal does in no way shape or formula give credence toward my generalized hypothesis regarding atomized, celestial and cellular cosmologies..."
          Of course not. Nonsense doesn't require a rational reply.

          You said, "Your comment stating, "Thus a descriptively adequate grammar is not to be considered in determining the levels of acceptability from fairly high (eg (99a)) to virtual gibberish (eg (98d))." is a telltale sign of copy-N-paste..."
          Yup. I hope it took you a while to decipher it. If you want more of that, go here: http://rubberducky.org/cgi-bin/chomsky.pl

          August 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
        • Ken

          Vic
          There is some "design" in nature, but no evidence of it being intelligent. There are far too many examples of bad design for any real intelligence to be behind it.

          August 12, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • lamelionheart

        Sired Atheist Steve wrote, "It also diminishes the value, respect and awe for natural life by imagining our essence continues forever."

        Did not the eternal essences from the atomic fields of atomized cosmologies build us..? Does not our embodied cellular cosmologies essences continue on into the forever..? You are drawing an irrational opinion Sired Atheist Steve when considering the eternal essences that truly do go on forever...

        August 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • Kelly

          Say what???

          August 11, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
  8. Ray

    It is so true that we all have the capacity to be (horrible, violent, sinful) what ever you want to call it. Faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ is the only way (according to the Holy Bible) which has never been proven wrong, all the prophecies have been fulfilled as said, to ever see or know God. We have forgiveness through the blood of Christ – Thanks be to our Lord. Many in the World are deceived into believing there is no God – or they are God – or a false God) or by not believing in the Bible it will not effect them. Soften your heart and go Humbly before God pleading for Jesus to Take your Place – that you will not suffer what we all so rightly deserve...and he will hear you and you will be born again...then the veil will be lifted from your eyes and you will see. God bless.

    August 11, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Any god who thinks I deserve eternal torture doesn't get my worship, but rather, my scorn and derision.

      August 11, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      I read a recent article indicating that religious fundamentalism may soon be cla-ssified as a mental illness, especially when coupled with early childhood indoctrination and brainwashing. Ray, I'm not saying that you are mentally ill, but just replace "god" and "jesus" in your comment with "Santa Claus" and "The Easter Bunny" and note just how bat sh!t crazy that would sound to you. And once you appreciate that, you may start to understand how many view your comments: bat sh!t crazy.

      August 11, 2013 at 11:07 am |
      • Saraswati

        I think that discussion was from before the DSM-5 came out. The definition for delusions still excludes the socially acceptable forms in the final version.

        August 11, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • Kelly

          After DS-12, all the Vorgans were thought to be batsnoot crazy. And look what they worshipped!

          August 11, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • hharri

      I always find it amusing, ray, when atheists pose as Christians and present a fake theological argument. They always fool me! I am always amazed that they think they actually fool someone.

      August 11, 2013 at 11:36 am |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        I, on the other hand, prefer to read people who post that something was inferred without explaining what was inferred or how.......because they think that it makes them look really smart, but it doesn't. Instead of posting something pointless in an effort to look smug, why not express your ideas?

        August 11, 2013 at 11:51 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        No I think it is a christian post. It's not an outlier for this board.

        August 11, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Are you saying Ray is not a true christian? You might want to look up the No True Scotsman Fallacy. While I understand that there are Atheists who will post as if they are christian, there are also christians who post as though they are Atheist and they sound a lot less educated on what we stand for than the group you have seemingly put Ray in to. Chances are an Atheist knows just as much if not more than a christian does about their belief because a great many of us were believers....it's a matter of know your enemy, so to speak.

        August 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
        • Jonathan

          I have found that many people can, and do, claim to be things they are not or claim to believe certain things that they do not. When someone claims to be a Christian, I immediately become highly critical of how they speak, act and behave in general. A Christian isn't a ti-tle or a label, it is a way of life and too many try to hide behind that label or use it to justify their actions.

          That said, you can be a Christian and have horrid manners. You just are not a very good one. You do not reveal the love of Christ through your actions and actually do harm to the person you profess to be your savior. Those that act willfully in opposition to the teachings of Christ are worse than a 'bad' Christian. By their very actions, they deny Christ in front of mankind. People that claim to be Christian and deny him in such a way have the greatest to fear simply because Jesus was quoted as saying "Those that deny me before man, I will deny before the Father".

          The short and simple of it is, if you are a Christian, people should have no reason to doubt that you are a Christian. IF they have legitimate doubts about what you claim to be, you are failing in your walk.

          August 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Ray
      " (according to the Holy Bible) which has never been proven wrong". Incorrect.
      Physics, Quantum physics and mechanics, meteorology, oceanology, ichthiology, biology, geology, genetics, are but a few of the sciences that disprove the bible.

      The proof disproving the bible is there, whether or not you accept that proof is really the question.

      August 11, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • LinCA

      @Ray

      You said, "Faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ is the only way (according to the Holy Bible) which has never been proven wrong, all the prophecies have been fulfilled as said, to ever see or know God."

      Are you really that gullible, or do you suffer from confirmation bias? How about some of these prophesies, also from the bible:
      Destruction of Tyre
      For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people. He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee. And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers. By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee: thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach. With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground. And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water. And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard. And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. – Ezekiel 26:7-14

      God states quite blatantly that Nebuchadnezzar would sack and destroy completely the city of Tyre. However the events given in this passage never did come to pass. After a 13 year siege Nebuchadnezzar withdrew his forces. Despite being conquered by Alexander the Great 240 years later, Tyre still exists.

      Destruction of Egypt
      Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the LORD: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it. Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia. No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years. And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. – Ezekiel 29:8-12

      Egypt has never been a desolate waste, there has never been a time when people have not walked through it, there has never been a period of forty years when Egypt was uninhabited, and it has never been surrounded by other desolate countries.

      In Ezekiel 30:10-11 he further predicts that Nebuchadnezzar will destroy Egypt:
      This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will put an end to the hordes of Egypt by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He and his army—the most ruthless of nations— will be brought in to destroy the land. They will draw their swords against Egypt and fill the land with the slain.

      However, Nebuchadnezzar was defeated in his only attempt to invade Egypt.

      Nile will dry up
      Ezekiel 30:12 continues with a prediction that the Nile River will run dry:
      I will dry up the streams of the Nile and sell the land to evil men; by the hand of foreigners I will lay waste the land and everything in it. I the LORD have spoken.

      There is no evidence that this has happened in recorded history.

      Triumph of Judah
      In Isaiah 7:1-7 God tells the king of Judah that he shall not be harmed by his enemies.
      And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it. And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind. Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field; And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah. Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal: Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.

      Yet it did come to pass. His enemies did harm him:
      Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter. For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers.

      Isaiah predicts the Nile drying up, Sea draining
      Sound familiar? Isaiah tells us the Nile will dry up, ocean drains in the time of pagan Egypt:
      1 The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it. 2 And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.3 And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.4 And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts.5 And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.6 And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither.Isaiah 19:7 The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and every thing sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no more. 8 The fishermen will groan and lament, all who cast hooks into the Nile; those who throw nets on the water will pine away. – Isaiah 19:1-8

      This is an interesting prophecy because Isaiah outlines a very clear time frame, the alleged prophet is unmistakably referring to Pagan Egypt, which ceased to exist in the 4th Century. (Isaiah 19:1-3) Since then, Egyptians have stopped using charms, wizards, and there are no statue-worshiping idolaters anymore, (Isaiah 19:3) so the reader can conclude this isn't an end times prophecy. The alleged prophet blatantly identifies the dried up river (Isaiah 19:5) with the Nile (Isaiah 19:8). And he goes even further to say one of the seas Egypt borders will drain, and this appears to coincide with the Nile River drying up. There is absolutely no hint of this prophecy being interpreted symbolically or metaphorically. Isaiah actually goes out of his way to stress the literal, physical, carnal fulfillment of this prophecy.

      Egyptians will speak the dead language of Canaan
      Isaiah says Egyptians will learn the tongue of Canaanites:
      In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction. – Isaiah 19:18

      Not only has the Canaanite language never been spoken by Egyptians, but it is now an extinct language. There is the very unlikely possibility Isaiah was referring to Hebrew, which is technically a Canaanite language. However, Hebrew was also never adopted by the Egyptians. And according to the context of this passage, Isaiah is specifically referring to Pagan Egypt, which ceased to exist in the 4th century. So even if Egyptians started speaking Hebrew at this very moment, it would still be an inaccurate prediction. Also, it's worth noting that Isaiah believes the Egyptians will convert to Mosaic Judaism and start offering sacrifices to the LORD shortly after this incident, (Isaiah 19:21) a practice no longer done by Jews since the Temple was destroyed and priesthood lost.

      And that is from just 2 books. There are plenty more.

      If your imaginary friend was so infallible as you seem to think it was, it sure fucked up big time on these, and plenty of other predictions.

      August 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • hharri

      Does the bible have faith in his blood?

      August 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  9. Vic

    The beauty about Christianity is that it is about "saving" the falling man from the wages of sin, which are death and separation from God, into reconciliation with God and eternal life.

    "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me..."

    Christian believers are saved by the Grace of God through Faith ALONE in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior and apart from the works of the flesh.

    Now, does that mean we don't need morality? Not exactly!

    Here is the thing:

    People keep confusing the need for morality to "live a happy life" with a "requirement to be saved."

    Morality is NOT what saves us and gets us to heaven nor is the Law, "Faith" does! Meanwhile, in this lifetime, we need morality for order and good living; it is part of the "Natural Revelation" by God to us, which was incorporated into the "Mosaic Law" during the "Time Dispensation of Law." We can not live a happy life without the right balance. Morality (nothing fanatic) brings about the right balance. You can't be too strict or too loose to live happy in this life!

    August 11, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Faith: Pretending to know some thinking you don't.

      August 11, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Jonah

      Oops, I hit the abuse button by mistake. Interesting thought. So, what do you think of Jame's statement that, "17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."? Just curious.

      (James 2:17)

      August 11, 2013 at 11:08 am |
      • Vic

        Apostle James was under the impression that converts to Christianity had to become Jewish and observe the Law before becoming Christians. He was in direct opposition of Apostle Paul. Long story short, James conceded to Paul at the Council of Jerusalem.

        Previous related Post:
        https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/10/breaking-bad-and-the-evil-within-us-all/comment-page-2/#comment-2520536

        August 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Faith is the excuse given for believing in things without good reason. Because if you had a good reason you wouldn't require faith.

      August 11, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • Vic

        Actually, Faith/Belief in God is very logical by good reason!

        August 11, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Please show the logical path to that conclusion and I will show where your error in logic is.

          August 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
        • Vic

          For this universe, which is ever changing, hence had a beginning, hence finite, hence can not be eternal, to exist, there must be a cause. Since the universe had a beginning, there must be a cause that is outside the universe's beginning that is non-temporal (without beginning nor end,) hence unchanged, hence uncaused, hence a First Cause (Eternal.)

          As Christians, we believe that First Cause to be God.

          August 11, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          And there lies the flaw in your logic.
          You BELIEVE. That requires you to throw out all other possibilities, which is illogical.

          Also the presumptions you have made regarding what happened prior to our known universe is only based on the theoretical and hypothetical.

          Leaping to a conclusion is illogical.

          August 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Vic
          You said "For this universe, which is ever changing, hence had a beginning, hence finite, hence can not be eternal, to exist, there must be a cause".

          Altered slightly "For this god, which is ever changing, hence had a beginning, hence finite, hence can not be eternal, to exist, there must be a cause". So what caused god.

          You will reply that god is not changing, and if that is the case, you cannot have free will, since everything is preset.

          Before you a$$ume that there was nothing prior to our universe existing, you should probably read up on the various theories regarding the beginnings and pre-beginnings of the universe. Your base premise is flawed.

          August 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Sired Cranium...

          Your irreligious contemplations are nary worthwhile considerations nor even frugally mentioned as being sedentary vigor from which for your likenesses to be soothed... Your serpentine challenges are mundanely archaic and even of ancient frivolities fractioned in timeless unending abodes... Eons of passaged consequentialisms will be forever passing away and Life will endlessly challenge the seer and naysayer... Neither the believer nor the unbeliever will reign in unity yet in compromising issues will be the valor's accruals be so levied and in the portended will the passageways be traversed by one and all in endless transgressions unto forever while in onward denials does all Life attend to be so measured...

          August 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          lame
          blah blah blah...you don't think I actually try to put your ramblings into proper english, do you?

          August 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Sire Richard...

          Your ineptness is foretelling and a preamble of suggestiveness unbecoming a sanctioned being's mindfulness clamoring...

          August 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          lame
          Yeah that's the stuff. I ignore it. If you would like to speak in conversational English, perhaps I will read it.

          August 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So what, Vic? Really. So what? There are commercials on TV that promise if you buy certain pills that you will lose weight. They claim that their product has been proven by studies. Of course, when you check the fine print, the studies were not scientifically correct, and that they were done simply to prop up empty claims. These products continue to sell, because people are desperate and lazy, and not everyone reads the fine print.

      It's just like christianity, except the founders of christianity cleverly set it up so that you would only see results from their product after you die. No way to prove or disprove, so you have to take in on faith. But when you look at the source of the christian product, at how it was created from flawed material and aggressively marketed (even at the end of a sword at times) it's not difficult to realize that this product is nothing but yet another scam.

      August 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • G to the T

      Exactly – christianity creates a problem and then give the cure. If no one believed in Yahweh we'd have no concept of "sin". But I'm pretty sure we'd still have morality...

      August 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  10. Vic

    ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰ ♰ ♰

    August 11, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Prove it. Factually. Conclusively. Or put "allegedly" or "despite there being no evidence at all, I believe" in front of your unfounded and unproven claims.

      August 11, 2013 at 10:07 am |
      • hharri

        don't believe. who cares? get lost

        September 6, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • hharri

      All the fullness of the godhead dwelling in him. Imagine. Try to take that in. God almighty as a human being. And he lived here on earth. He hung out with people. If you had looked into his eyes, you would be looking into the eyes of god

      August 11, 2013 at 11:40 am |
      • HotAirAce

        Bullsh!t. You don't have a single fact to support any of your delusional claims.

        August 12, 2013 at 12:28 am |
        • hharri

          so? what's it to you? get lost you jerk. who cares? obsess why don't you? u r the god police, i see. what a moron.

          September 6, 2013 at 12:49 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Three weeks and that's the best you can do? Seems like your inability to provide any evidence for your alleged gods is driving you from being merely delusional to full blown madness. Are you able to dial 911?

          September 6, 2013 at 1:02 am |
  11. hharri

    Each second our thermonuclear reactor in the sky explodes a million h-bombs worth of energy. No god needed, but it sure would be nice

    August 11, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • hharri

      No sun, no life. I have faith in the sun.

      August 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  12. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Rachel, it really seems like your career as a Christian is based on your personal interpretation of Jesus Christ as a sort of "in your face" to the religion of your parent's generation and perhaps everyone's before that. I'm sure it's exhilarating, but it's also a bit narcissistic, don't you think? Particularly when you come across as pleased with yourself that you are able, genuinely able, you think, to admit to the world that you are fundamentally evil.

    August 11, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      Career?? Every human receives wages from God.

      August 11, 2013 at 8:45 am |
      • snowboarder

        not the signature on my paycheck.

        August 11, 2013 at 9:46 am |
      • Richard Cranium

        I don't. I don't detect any gods.

        August 11, 2013 at 10:13 am |
  13. Reality

    o The sacrament of Reconciliation i.e. Confession:

    Scriptual bases:

    (1a) Matt 16:19
    (1b) Matt 18:18
    (2) John 20:23

    And what do some of contemporary NT scholars conclude about these pa-ss-ages?:

    Professor JD Crossan's a-n-a-lysis:

    Item: 375
    Str-ata: III (80-120 CE)
    At-te-st-ation: Double
    Hi-stori-city: neg-ative

    See http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/

    See also Professor Gerd Ludemann's review in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 197-198, 205-206, 575-581. His co-nclusion: the pa-ssages are h-istorically nil.

    Hy-phens added to some words to defeat the very irritating word/fragment filter.

    August 11, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • Reality

      Oops, make that "scriptural bases"

      August 11, 2013 at 8:24 am |
      • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

        I thought bases were used in a game with a ball and a stick. You still quotin' Lewdmannn?? No shame??

        August 11, 2013 at 8:28 am |
        • midwest rail

          As soon as you typed the first two words, you were wrong.

          August 11, 2013 at 9:20 am |
  14. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    If you confess, at most you reveal to a few people that you believe what you are doing is wrong. That may be a step on the way to being able to live with yourself, but it doesn't do much for the rest of us. Atonement is worth more. At least stop what you're doing and learn to live without it, whatever it is.

    August 11, 2013 at 8:13 am |
  15. 1 John 1:8

    If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    August 11, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • David Samuel

      Right on!

      August 11, 2013 at 7:41 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Sin is entirely made up. It doesn't exist. Sin is by definition the defiance of God's will. No God means there's no such thing as sin.

      August 11, 2013 at 7:55 am |
      • hharri

        Your faith in no god is touching. However, as soon as you offer proof your faith is based on scientifically verifiable, repeatable and tangible evidence, please let us know

        August 11, 2013 at 9:41 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Believers' faith in one or more gods is touching. However, as soon as they can offer proof their faith is based on scientifically verifiable, repeatable and tangible evidence, please let us know

          August 11, 2013 at 9:52 am |
        • AtheistSteve

          I typed God with a capital "G" which according to stickler Christians refers specifically to their god. The god of the Bible is impossible due to logical contradictions and has been totally refuted. Believers contest this but can offer no substantive evidence to validate their claims.
          This says nothing about my stance on the possible existence of some other type of deity. Merely that the Christian one is completely bogus.
          Adherents can't use deistic arguments like Kalam or "evidence of design" to support their "personal" god because the argument itself is non-specific. It could just as easily support the case for the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

          So no Christian God means no Christian notion of sin, no Christian notion of a soul, no Christian notion of an afterlife, no Christian notion of a resurrection, no Christian notion of a virgin birth or any other ridiculous claim made holds any validity whatsoever.

          August 11, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • rick

      Wow, edited translated hearsay....how convincing

      August 11, 2013 at 8:05 am |
      • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

        In Illinois hearsay is now legal. See drew peterson trial fiasco. Socies want everything.

        August 11, 2013 at 8:26 am |
  16. Factoid

    Only 'potheads' think smoking pot is ok.

    August 11, 2013 at 7:35 am |
    • midwest rail

      factoid – " an invented fact believed to be true because it appears in print "

      August 11, 2013 at 7:40 am |
    • Frank

      Can potheads think?

      August 11, 2013 at 7:42 am |
      • rick

        they founded microsoft.

        August 11, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Damocles

      Well, no, not really. I happen to think it's ok, but I wouldn't want a surgeon operating on me while high any more than I would want him or her to be drunk.

      August 11, 2013 at 7:43 am |
    • David Samuel

      Read the scriptures, 1 Corinthians 6:19. Only fools will be misled. The wise will discern the truth from the word of God.

      August 11, 2013 at 7:44 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Read the stats...only 2 billion people in the world believe in your particular god, the other 5 billion don't, that should tell you something in and of itself.
        Only a fool quotes scripture to back his imaginary friend!

        August 11, 2013 at 8:01 am |
        • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

          Try some Scotch with yer morning coffee. Try sumpin'! Perchance medical pot??

          August 11, 2013 at 8:06 am |
      • rick

        claiming that the bible is the word of god don't make it so, pen-day-ho

        August 11, 2013 at 8:10 am |
        • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

          Standard Christian Doctrine. Suck it up.

          August 11, 2013 at 8:17 am |
      • Richard Cranium

        "scripture" only means that someone wrote it down. Do you believe the National Inquirer? It too is scripture.

        August 11, 2013 at 8:17 am |
        • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

          The Word of God is another name for Jesus.

          August 11, 2013 at 8:42 am |
        • HotAirAce

          And no one has ever proven the existence of a divine or supernatural jesus.

          August 11, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Potheads and numerous medical professionals who comprehend the medical benefits of it.

      August 11, 2013 at 8:02 am |
      • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

        Well yer pot ain't workin'. Try hash oil.

        August 11, 2013 at 8:08 am |
        • truthprevails1

          You're an idiot!

          August 11, 2013 at 8:16 am |
        • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

          You're a Pithyism bigot.

          August 11, 2013 at 8:36 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Oh you delusional little freak of nature. It appears that maybe you should put down the crack pipe and get your little butt moving...time to visit your friend jeebus and tell him all about how stupid you sound for him on a blog or better yet, look up classes for English and enroll.

          August 11, 2013 at 8:44 am |
        • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

          TP1, that's gay.

          August 11, 2013 at 8:48 am |
  17. Damocles

    I found this article slightly disturbing for a couple of reasons. First, Rachel obviously needs to find better hobbies to occupy her Tuesday mornings. Try having a cup of coffee instead of betraying a friend, or maybe build some ships in bottles as opposed to indulging in gross acts of self-deception. Seriously, you do these things with such vehement regularity? C'mon.

    Second and probably the most disturbing, is the idea that we need to 'confess' what is in our minds. No. Hell, no. My mind is still mine, I can think whatever I want. Thoughts are not evil, or wrong, they merely are. Thinking about something does not automatically lead you to do that thing. I can think about a beautiful woman, or think about disliking someone or what I would do if I had a ton of money. Who cares?

    August 11, 2013 at 7:29 am |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      Don't know about her hobbies, but her hubby is thrilled with the new motorhome for HIS fishin' hobby.

      Mine thoughts, Dam?? Well.,

      WWWMD??.....................Walter Mitty

      August 11, 2013 at 7:42 am |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things,

    August 11, 2013 at 6:45 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Okay, then I'll pray that you stop posting that drivel

      August 11, 2013 at 7:16 am |
    • Mirosal

      it doesn't change a thing, and simple logic can confirm that.

      August 11, 2013 at 7:26 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.