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Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?
September 1st, 2013
03:26 AM ET

Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?

Opinion by Jeffrey Weiss, Special to CNN
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(CNN) - Pope Francis surprised Israeli and Palestinian leaders last month when he invited them to a special prayer ceremony at the Vatican this Sunday - not least because religion has often been the source, not the salve, of the region's conflicts.

Still, Pope Francis offered his "home" - the Vatican - as the perfect place to plea for some divine assistance, and Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dutifully agreed to attend.

"The Pope has placed it in this perspective: Prayer is like a force for peace,” Vatican Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin told Vatican Radio.

"We hope that there, where human efforts have so far failed, the Lord offers to all the wisdom and fortitude to carry out a real peace plan."

But Sunday's special ceremony at the Vatican raises an interesting question: When Francis, Peres and Abbas bow their heads in prayer, will they be talking to the same God?

After all, Jews, Christians and Muslims all trace their faiths back to a fellow named Abraham, whom they all claim was chosen for special treatment by the Almighty.

Not academic

The “same God” question is one theologians have hammered at for as long as there have been enough religions for the query to make sense.

The question is hardly academic, though. In fact, a number of politicians, religious leaders and scholars have expressed hope in recent years that a convincing answer on the God question might dampen the violence committed in His name.

Yale Divinity School theologian Miroslav Volf recently edited a book titled “Do We Worship the Same God? Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Dialogue.”

In the introduction, Volf explained why the title question matters:

"To ask: ‘Do we have a common God?’ is, among other things, to worry: ‘Can we live together?’ That’s why whether or not a given community worships the same god as does another community has always been a crucial cultural and political question and not just a theological one."

On the other hand, there’s CNN Belief Blog contributor and Boston University religion professor Stephen Prothero.

His book on this subject is titled “God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run The World.”

Prothero writes:

“For more than a generation we have followed scholars and sages down the rabbit hole into a fantasy world where all gods are one … In fact this naive theological groupthink – call it Godthink – has made the world more dangerous by blinding us to the clash of religions that threaten us worldwide.”

In the world of politics, President George W. Bush asserted the unity side of the argument more than once in the years after the 9/11 attacks - often as a way to deflect accusations that America was at war with Islam.

Bush told Al Arabiya television, “I believe there is a universal God. I believe the God that the Muslim prays to is the same God that I pray to. After all, we all came from Abraham. I believe in that universality.”

Pope Francis invites Israeli, Palestinian leaders to Vatican peace talks

Pope John Paul II drew from the same rhetorical well several times.

“We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection,” he first said in a speech to Muslims in Morocco in 1985.

Looking for a more recent example? Consider the plight of Vatican envoy to Malaysia.

Shortly after he arrived there last year, Archbishop Joseph Marino said that is was fine by him that Christian translations of the Bible into Malay use the word “Allah” for “God.”

“Allah” is, of course, the Arabic word for God and is found in the Quran. The Christian translators explained that since most Malaysians are Muslim, it’s the word they’re most comfortable with and therefore the best choice for the translation.

But many Muslim authorities in Malaysia were furious. They say Christians are slipping in the familiar word as a way to convert Muslims. And conversion of Muslims is all but illegal in Malaysia.

There’s a lawsuit ongoing about the translations. Marino had to apologize for pushing into Malaysian politics.

Points of disagreement

So what do the “Abrahamic” religions disagree about?

Among other things: the purpose of humanity, the relationship of God and humanity, sin, forgiveness, salvation, the afterlife, Jesus, Muhammad, the calendar, and the religious importance of Abraham himself.

Plus the nature of God.

Any summary will leave out enormous nuance. Internal divisions within religions have fueled some of the worst examples of human violence. Consider the long and frequently bloody history of troubles between Catholics and Protestants or the growing death toll of Muslim-on-Muslim attacks.

But there are common elements about God widely accepted in each tradition.

Judaism

Start with Judaism, since it came first and established roots that carried into the other two.

Jewish tradition teaches that there is one and only one God, creator of everything, and He established physical and moral laws. As Judaism’s preeminent prayer says: “The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”

This God walks and talks directly with His creations – for a while.

Eventually, He chooses one particular nomad (Abraham) to father a mighty nation that God sets up as an example to other nations.

This God likes the smell of burning meat and demands other extremely specific physical offerings as evidence of obedience and repentance. And He gives His chosen people a particular set of laws – but doesn’t mind discussion and even argument about those laws.

A famous rabbinic saying implies that every word in Judaism’s sacred texts can be understood in 70 correct (but related) ways. And human reasoning can even trump divine intention. (No kidding. It’s in the Talmud)

This God judges His people every year. Tradition says he’s willing to accept imperfection, as long as it comes with repentance.

He’s big on obedience, not so much on faith. He’s not nearly as attentive to the behaviors of non-Jews. (There’s a famous Jewish joke with the punch line “Would you mind choosing somebody else once in a while?”)

Tradition holds that there’s a World To Come after death where moral accounts will somehow be settled. But this God is vague on details.

Christianity

The most obvious differences in the Christian God are the traditional teachings about the Trinity and Jesus. God is three separate persons who are also one. How? Christianity says the Trinity is a “mystery” of faith.

According to Christian tradition, God begets a son who is somehow also Him but not Him to atone for Original Sin. He sacrifices that son though a brutal death and thus achieves humanity's salvation.

But the son, who also is God, rises from the dead. And that sacrifice redeems eternally all who accept and believe in it. Faith, not behavior, is the essential measure of salvation.

This God is willing to vastly expand what it means to be among His “chosen people.” He’s also willing to cancel many of the laws that had applied to that chosen group for this expanded membership.

Orthodox Jews say that God prohibits them from eating a cheeseburger; Christians say God has no problem with them wolfing down Big Macs.

Unlike the Jewish God, whose instructions are almost all about this world, the Christian God is focused more on eternal salvation: heaven and hell.

Finally, for this God, much of the Jewish scriptures (which are all God’s word) are actually about foreshadowing Jesus. Including Abraham.

Islam

The Muslim God is a bit more like the Jewish God.

There is no Trinity in Muslim tradition. Jesus was a prophet, but no more divine than other prophets.

God has never has had anything like physical attributes and has no gender. (Some Muslim commentators say that the noun “Allah” is masculine, but only in the way that all nouns in some languages include gender.)

Muslim tradition holds that God wants one thing from humans: Submission. The word “Islam” is defined as “submission to the will of God.”

For Muslims, all true prophets in Jewish and Christian traditions were actually Muslim because they knew to submit correctly to God. Differences between Muslim, Jewish and Christian interpretations of God are due to errors that crept into the other two faiths, Islam teaches.

The Muslim God, like the other two, initially demanded that Abraham sacrifice a son. But the Muslim God wanted Abraham’s son Ishmael, not Isaac, who Jewish tradition holds was offered as a the sacrifice.

The Muslim God also designated, from before the world began, a perfect man to be his final prophet: Muhammad. God’s perfect truths are found only in the Quran and in the sayings of Muhammad, the hadiths.

And the Muslim God, like the Christian God but unlike the Jewish God, will welcome believers to paradise and condemn many non-Muslims - exactly which ones is a matter of much discussion - to eternal torment.

Final answer

So do Christians Muslims, and Jews, really all worship the same God?

In two major volumes on the subject recently published by scholars from various faiths and traditions, including Volf’s, the most inclusive response from these scholars is basically: Yes, and it’s our God.

This is not a new way of answering the question.

In 1076, Pope Gregory VII wrote this to a Muslim leader: “We believe in and confess one God, admittedly, in a different way…”

But like many other religious leaders on all sides of the argument, Gregory insisted that his version of the Almighty is the one whom the others are unknowingly and incompletely worshiping.

A less exclusivist set of religions might shrug off the differences. But all three claim to have the only “True Faith.”

So do all three faiths actually worship the same deity, whether they call him God or Allah or Adonai?

God only knows.

Jeffrey Weiss is an award-winning religion reporter in Dallas.The views expressed in this column belong to Weiss. A version of this story first ran in September 2013. 

CNN's Daniel Burke contributed to this article. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • History • Islam • Judaism • Muslim • Religious violence • Torah • Vatican

soundoff (7,438 Responses)
  1. Adekunle

    We cannot "fight" for God, or defend Him.
    No one religion is more important to warrant taking a human life.
    Love is what i preach.
    All human knowledge will be lost; God is forever.
    PLEASE LET GOD JUDGE!

    September 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  2. Roger Wilkinson

    Only one thing: You may follow any religion you want to, there is no God above Truth.

    September 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Dan W

      God authored the truth.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • snowboarder

        interestingly enough no god has ever penned a single word.

        September 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • Douglas

        Truth with a capital 'T' doesn't exist. There are only facts and falsehoods.

        September 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
        • Religious Guy

          What is the meaning of life? This is what is answered by religion.

          September 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  3. Bill

    God is a political devise and you are suckered once again. LOL

    September 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • John

      "Only the fool has said in his heart that there is no God." Psalms 14:1 If you truly believe that "there is NO God" then perhaps you should consider reading the book by Lee Strobel, it's called a case for Christ. Lee used to be an atheist, and he challenged himself to prove that there is no God, and he ended up becoming a Christian. If you truly drop to your knees and pray to God and ask Him to show you the truth, He will, but only if you truly mean it. This reply is in no way meant to mock you, but to lead you in the correct way, that is to know Jesus and His sacrifice for us. Do you see what is going on in the world theses days? It was prophesied about thousands of years ago. God gives us a choice to either accept or reject Him, and we choose to reject Him we will live with that consequence for all of eternity in hell.

      I have heard a lot of people saying, "why has God abandoned us." Well, the truth is, He has not abandoned us, we have abandoned Him, or at the very least turned our backs on Him. Why is all of the bad stuff happening to us? Why did 9/11 happen? God allows bad things to happen, He does not make bad things happen. He will also bring good out of the bad.

      To sum it all up, nobody should force Christianity on another person, but lovingly tell them about Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for ALL human beings. Once that is done, it's up to the Holy Spirit. God's blessings to all, and have a wonderful Labor Day!

      September 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  4. Kevin

    Glad the hindus have 1 god for every person. No conflicts. Just pick who they like and move on.

    September 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Dan W

      Then you didn't research Hinduism which believes that all their Gods are united as one Divine Ground called Brahman.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  5. Robert Brown

    Mr. Weiss on Judaism you said, “He’s big on obedience, not so much on faith.” I’m not Jewish, but I would have to disagree with you. Why would someone have a reason to obey a God they did not believe in? Why was David a man after God’s own heart, because of his behavior?

    September 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Dan W

      613 commandments. Lots of rules, less wishy washy philosophy.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • correction

      Faith.

      And what are Christians who have faith supposed to do? Align their behavior withe God's will. Jesus came to show the Jews how wrong they were. Especially with the Good Samaritan parable, where the "good" religious leader couldn't even help a person because it would make him "unpure".

      September 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • correction

        A Samaritan used the same things a Jewish priest carries, wine, oil and cloth, to save a man's life. The priest didn't want to waste it, but save it for a religious Jewish ceremony.

        September 1, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • rick

      "Why would someone have a reason to obey a God they did not believe in?"

      Why would someone have a reason to fear a god they did not believe in?

      September 1, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
  6. Douglas

    Of course you all worship the same God. The same mental illness. The same waste of time. The same cause for world-wide suffering. Get over it people and start using the space between your ears for more than storage space.

    September 1, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Paul

      +1

      September 1, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Let's all fill up the cannabinoid receptors of our brains with THC

      September 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
      • Lou

        Dopamine=God

        September 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • Douglas

        It would be a more constructive activity than filling them with BS.

        September 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Dan W

      So when you see a mentally ill person on the street you're first instinct is to go up to him tell him he's crazy and full of himself? That seems more crazy to me. This leads me to believe 'crazy' is just an attack because you have nothing to contribute and you just want to write us off so you can continue living as you are right now.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
      • Douglas

        Informing a crazy person that they are, in fact, crazy, is a public service, not an attack. I think it's folks like you that want to disregard those who see your insanity so that YOU can go on living your chosen delusion.

        September 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
  7. Lionly Lamb

    WEED SHOULD BE FREED..!!!!!!!

    September 1, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Rebbe Bupkis

      And how might we be freed of you?

      September 1, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
  8. Joao

    My Bible is 1500 pages long. No wonder you have trouble making sense of it in 2 screen lengths. Wait, just one screen length, since you include all who believe Abraham-initiated.

    Thinking people will listen. Others will snipe/snark. Please, please, read your Bible, not just blog posts.

    BTW, Trinity hard to explain since it is pagan/philosophical. Look it up; or read your Bible.

    September 1, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • tony

      A decent set of college level physics books has 100 times that number of pages. All perfectly understandable, and backed up by properly witnessed evidence.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  9. dajowi

    At this point in time islam is the worlds most dangerous religion...without exception.

    September 1, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Dan W

      That kind of bigotry is far more dangerous.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
      • Truth hurts

        Truth hurts dude.. and it's not bigotry to tell the truth about islam,,

        September 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • tony

          And the horrors of past christianity, and most other "true" religions.

          September 1, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  10. A paragraph from Donald Kaufman's script "The Three" is shown at the very end of the credits. It reads:

    "We're all one thing, Lieutenant. That's what I've come to realize. Like cells in a body. 'Cept we can't see the body. The way fish can't see the ocean. And so we envy each other. Hurt each other. Hate each other. How silly is that? A heart cell hating a lung cell." – Cassie from THE THREE

    September 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  11. AdmrlAckbar

    Does CNN make nice webcash from putting polarizing belief and political stories in highly noticeable places on its page?
    The answer is yes (35 pages of commenters before me thank you for you time donation).

    September 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Dan W

      It is said that as humanity 'approaches the end' we will only have one thing left to sort out, this is that one thing. Politics and religion have been made taboo in popular culture, that time is over.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
      • Dan W

        Welcome to the new age, the age of Aquarius.

        September 1, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  12. KC

    People have killed in the name of God for thousands of years. Isn't it time we use some common sense and realize that killing in the name of myth, legend and fairytale is absurd?? Let's put an end to the myth and therefore an end to the killing associated with it.

    September 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Dan

      People have killed in the name of greed, lust, power, and just about everything else. Maybe the problem isn't with religion – it's with people.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
      • KC

        That is an excellent assessment, categorizing religion as a equal to greed, lust and power. They are all equally damaging. I agree, let's end all four.

        September 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • Alex

        +1

        September 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Alex

          (to Dan)

          September 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Religious Guy

      People also kill for money & land.....should we also end those?

      September 1, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  13. joe

    If you need to believe that someone else's god is the same as yours in order for you to get along with that person, then perhaps you ought to consider getting a different god for yourself.

    September 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  14. noticed

    I find Jews, Xtians, and Muslims usually to be quite overweight. Maybe less time in front of the video screens and bibles and a little more effort on exercise would help their brains realize how silly and self-centered they are?

    September 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • correction

      fatter than penn gillette?

      September 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  15. Paul

    How can that be when there is no such thing as god? It's 2013 people. Science has proven there is no such thing as a man in the sky looking down at everyone. For one, the radiation in space would kill anyone instantly. Religion is such a waste of time and resources. I don't get how people believe crap that was made up 2000+ years ago, just because some drunk wasted a bunch of time writing nonsense. Anyone ever read a bible? It's retarded. Makes no sense. Get with the times people. No such thing as god, sorry.

    September 1, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • correction

      The Bible makes no sense to you. Other can make sense. If you think the BIble says there is a man in space watching us you probably are a 1st grader.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
      • Paul

        Okay, excuse my first grade education, please enlighten us all then and tell us where this magical mysterious man in the sky resides then?

        September 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • Phil

          Doesn't exist "in the sky", but rather in another dimension. Scientists have probably only been able to figure out & understand less than 10% of reality. But, go ahead with your head in the sand and say "If i can't experience it with my five senses then it doesn't exist and can't exist". BTW, science hasn't and can't prove the existence or non-existence of God.

          September 1, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • Paul

          That is the most retarded thing i've ever read. He's in another dimension! that's why noone has heard from him or ever seen him! DUH!!! Yet when people had no technology back 2000 years ago they already knew this? I'm not the one with my head in the sand pal, take a good hard look in the mirror. Another dimension.. You're everything that is wrong with our planet. Don't try to justify something that clearly does not exist. God is about as real as Tinkerbell or Leon Sandcastle.

          September 1, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • Paul

          science can't prove the existence or non-existence of God?? Well it's proven aliens exist, and the bible says it's 200% sure that they don't.

          September 1, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • Phil

          Sounds like a nerve has been hit. " Another dimension.. You're everything that is wrong with our planet. Don't try to justify something that clearly does not exist." So you have proof that other dimensions that don't exist? Let's hear it, and don't be emotional about it. Waaaaa waaaaa you're what's wrong with our planet! Waaaa waaaa. Sob. Cry. F-ing moron.

          September 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • Phil

          The bible doesn't say anything about aliens. Even the good ol' Pope says there's a possibility they do. I'd bet good money that they do. But that has nothing to do with the existence of a god or God.

          September 1, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • noticed

      Eloquently stated sir!

      September 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Tijjani M. M.

      Say: He is Allaah, The One
      Allaah The Eternal
      He Begets none, nor was He begotten
      And there is none (and nothing) like unto Him.

      Holy Quran Chapter 112:1-4

      Sorry, you are abit off mark in your assumptions. Allaah of Islam in like nothing created, either visible or invincible.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  16. Elena

    today scientist now say that they BELIEVE there are an infinite number of universes with a copy of you en each with an infinite number of possibilities, so very well in one of those universes there is a copy of you with v agin a or a pe eni$

    Do you atheist believe that?

    How is that different from believing in imaginary friends?

    and before insulting, prove you have the ability to debate with intelligent arguments? and yes they believe it, there plenty of material to prove it and no I am not going to post it here!

    September 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Colin

      Scientists don't "now believe that". I assume you are referring to the multiverse which is posited as a theoretical possibility, nothing more. Why do you believers scour the scientific literature looking for cutting edge or even implausible views and then jump up and say "ah ha, that doesn't make sense, therefore all science is discredited and my god made everything." The only poeple yo uare fooling are yourselves.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
      • Elena

        yeah exactly the universe hypothesis! and if they dont believe it why are they talking about it and looking for evidence, go do your reading there are plenty of articles in respected news papers and scientific magazines about it!

        seems like you as a atheist have not done your home work!

        September 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Some may believe that. Others do not. Not all atheists or agnostics have the same beliefs.
      That is only one of an infinite number of possibilities.
      As far as probabilities, lets see if you are intelligent enough to debate, shall we?

      Why is it more probable that we are inside of a giant dust speck, on the end of a flower, held in the trunk of an elephant named Horton, than any god existing?

      September 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
      • correction

        I've never heard any claim your scenario.
        We do have examples of people who believe in a shared understanding of God, and make clear the way to find him.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua9BPbAdCJY

        September 1, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        correction
        Then you never reaad Horton hears a Who.
        It is one of an infinite number of possibilities, you will not have heard them all.

        September 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
        • correction

          Can you list anyone who believes enough in Horton to die?
          Like a Nelson Mandela?

          September 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • correction

          Do you have any testimony from people who believe your scenario.

          I showed you a woman a paralyzed woman who was diagnosed with cancer – a woman who has better reasons than you to deny God – sharing how God helps her.

          I can show you countless of other testimonies. Got anything free of snark and smug on Horton?

          September 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Correction
          Moot.
          No matter the number of people who believe in any given scenario, nor the verocity of the belief lends any credibility to the belief itself. Since there is no evidence to deny any one of them, they are all still possibilities.

          September 1, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
      • Elena

        first ask me a valid question free of your sarcasm and then I will debate!

        September 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • rabgem

          God is for people who have atleast 2 square meals a day, roof over the head and lot of luxuries that they have taken for granted. Ask some one in Africa, who was born in Africa who has been starving for days to keep himself alive who has no water let alone a roof over the head. For him, there is no God, People who gives him food, weather he is Aethist, terrorist, Religious person or a good samiritan, is his god for that day.
          If you feed the chicken and kill him tomorrow, you fed him to satisfy your own selfish needs. For the chicken you are the God, if he choses to believe that. There are 8 billion people and growing everyday. Each day brings more suffering to people who are already or poor, billions of animals more.. Ours is only one tiny planet with one sun/star, There are billions of such stars in our galaxy, and there are billions of Galaxy. Grow up. Just feed your children and be happy that you are lucky enough that you have the time to think about God and not some one born in an impoverish world, whose life is a suffering from the day born to the day they die. If you truly believed in God, you would respect all forms of life, not just people who were born into your faith or religion. You wouldn't be eating another chicken or lobster if you really believed in God. It is disgusting that people say that they believe in God and peace, while eating a live lobster.

          September 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Not sarcasm. Just brought up one of an infinite number of possibilities.One with a higher PROBABILITY than the god hypothesis.

          September 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        Interesting. Two people claiming they want an intelligent debate, but both are offended with adifferent hypothesis, one claiming I am being sarcastic, the other claiming I am being snarky or smug.
        Neither one can refute the hypothesis I presented, but they seem offended by the fact that it is from a childs story. As far as I can see, so is theirs, I really see no difference.

        September 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • rabgem

          No matter who is closer to the truth, there are very few people who has the widom to agree and change their belief. The reality is everyone choses to believe what is best suited for them and I didn't mean to convince anyone that I am right or wrong. But make them understand that it is hypocritical (not that anyone would admit being hypocritical ).

          September 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
        • rabgem

          Life is not that complicated. You born and you die, There is suffering and happiness. For some there is one more than others. For others there is none of the either.. If you have 8 billion people all things are possible. You were born because your parents decided to have children. Just be good to yourself and people and living things around you. Show humanity and kindness and not just to humans but everything living around you to the extent possible. If you do all the right things and if God still doesn't accept you because you don't praise him, He is a very selfish God and doesn't need to be adorned or admired.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • joe

      prove we have the ability to debate with intelligent arguments... .like the infamous "alternate universe genitalia" argument first posited by Elena on CNN chat boards... of course. How mind-blowingly intelligent.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • rabgem

      if you truly believed in God, and if your god is okay in killing 'billions of chickens', 'millions of cows', 'live lobster tied for months and boiled alive', and if your God is okay with that..Trust me, You can keep him as your God, for me, He is an worse than a evil dictator or a terrorist alive.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
      • Eric

        I've talked with people in Africa that have nothing and they they praise God when someone helps them.

        September 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
        • rabgem

          and if someone doesn't help them..?

          September 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • rabgem

          I am glad you had the time to meet all the poor people in Africa and they voiced the same opinion!!

          September 1, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • John

      First of all I'd say that very few scientists "believe" in that idea. Some may have hypothesized but thats not "belief". As an atheist I personally don't buy into the idea.
      So. Can I insult you now?

      September 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
      • John

        Sure you can insult me, but when you are standing before God Almighty on judgment day He will avenge me for all of the wrongdoings of others. Say what you want to say now, but only the fool has said in his heart that there is no God–Psalms 14:1

        September 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • rabgem

          How can you stand before God, when the God itself is illusiory! Man created God not the other way!

          September 1, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Physicist

      The difference between the Many Worlds Hypothesis (which does not have much traction in the physics community) and believing in imaginary friends, is the Many Worlds Hypothesis is falsifiable. We can conduct experiments to show us if there are many universes or only one. With your imaginary friends, we cannot. This is what makes it scientific. However, my money is on the MWH not being correct, given the current evidence we have.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  17. Richard Aberdeen

    Whether we believe the earth is spherical, square or triangular in shape, what is true about the shape of the earth remains the same. And regardless of what we believe about God, what is true about God remains the same. God doesn't need a religion; creation and the words and deeds of Jesus speak for God. Perhaps Christians and atheists will grow up some day and start admitting the obvious, who can say for sure?

    September 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You are just paraphrasing the Buddha.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Damocles

      You mean the words that some guys wrote down and said were divinely inspired? Those words? Did they take the binding pinky-swear so that everyone knew they were telling the truth?

      September 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • John

      What god are you referring to?

      September 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  18. now

    brethren, let us all withdraw for a season of earnest prayer and fasting. let us remain in our secluded places of prayer for as long as it takes.

    these animals want more babies murdered. they want their own sons and daughters to perish where there will be ceaseless weeping and gnashing of teeth. get on your knees church and intercede

    god bless you

    September 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Rebbe Bupkis

      You okay?

      September 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  19. Rainer Braendlein

    Benjamin Franklin:

    " ... Sunday being my studying day, I never was without some religious principles. I never doubted, for instance, the existence of the Deity; that He made the world, and governed it by His providence; that the most acceptable service of God was the doing good to man; that our souls are immortal; and that all crime will be punished, and virtue rewarded, either here or hereafter."

    Notice: Franklin said: "the most acceptable service of God is doing good to man"

    September 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
  20. Non-man

    The one god principle was taken from the 'cult' of Akenaton, who lived at the time or slightly before, the exodus of the people from Egypt. He was pharoah & decided to scrap all the ancient gods of the ancient egyptians & replace them, with 'one god', a god that you could not see, only know of 'his' majesty, by looking at the sun, the 'aton/aten', from which 'his' majesty & power, can be realised! For the first time in history, a god that was all powerful, with no other, was created, in EGYPT!

    September 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Dan W

      Actually the first recognized version of monotheism is Zoroastrianism, although Judaism is right up there with them. That's where we get Lt Ahura in Star Trek and Mazda, like the car. Ahura Mazda was the name of the Creator. Just a few seconds of research or a walk through the museum of natural history in NYC would have cleared that up.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
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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.