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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
[twitter-follow screen_name='WeissFaithWrite']

(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. Lionly Lamb

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=tLOtC4CprX0

    September 1, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      LL what happened to your wordpress login??

      September 1, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  2. Freedom Storm

    Let's make the assumption that there is only One True God (Personally, I do). Then, we could probably make the assumption that, among these three religions, each has its own interpretations. One of these, Muslim, will still kill you for disagreeing with its assumptions. The others ... not so much.

    September 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • What is going on? FREEDOM

      The others have and some of them still do. Take a look at Africa for instance. Christians and Muslims still violently kill each other over the dumbest things.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
      • What is going on? FREEDOM

        Also consider the Christian nations, like Nigeria for instance, that put into law that anyone who is gay will be executed? That in itself is promoting violence against an individual or group that is different from them.

        September 1, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
        • Sara

          Gay people are only executed in the Islamic parts of Nigeria practicing Sharia. Are you thinking of another country, perhaps?

          September 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          Sara I take it you have not been watching the news lately. Maybe it wasn't specifically Nigeria, but I do know several countries that are Christian nations have outlawed gay couples all together and have declared they will be put to death if they are found to be gay. It is quite easy to search African countries that have.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          Ahh here we go. Uganda is the one that has done it. Current census state that Uganda authorized nation wide the death penalty for apparent repeat gay offenders.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
        • Sara

          Freedom, I follow the news quite closely which is why I know the laws in Nigeria and you do not. If you want to discuss a specific country, please name it. Are you perhaps thinking of recent changes in Uganda or Russia? Really, there is a lot going on so you need to find out what countries you are talking about.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          Tanzania and Sierra Leone actually ban gay marriage which makes no sense whatsoever.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
        • Sara

          Yes, Uganda is fairly repulsive in its laws. I would not call them a Christian nation, however, but a nation with a predominantly Christian population. It may sound picky, but it's an important distinction that countries like the US, Indonesia and Uganda are not religious states like Saudi Arabia.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          I disagree Sara. Uganda is quite religious in nature. The only reason why this death penalty was put into place was for religious reasons.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  3. hharri

    It is best not to engage them on any level. They are capable of casting spells and interceding with the devil to hurt everyone with whom they come in contact. Often young teenage boys vandalize their assets, requiring frequent visits by the police

    September 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • hharri

      And when you pray say,
      our father who art in heaven
      Hollowed be thy name
      Thy kingdom come
      Thy will be done
      On earth as it is in heaven
      Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
      And lead us not into temptation
      But deliver us from evil
      For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever
      Amen

      September 1, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        How does your magic chant help anything?

        September 1, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
      • Pole dancing for Jesus

        she doesn't even know the words to the lord's prayer. haha!

        September 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • hharri

          Please correct me

          September 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
        • Pole dancing for Jesus

          hallowed

          September 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
        • hharri

          Thank you

          September 1, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
      • musa jallow

        And Allah summoneth to the abode of peace, and leadeth whom He will to a straight path
        Correct Definition of God!!!
        1. Say (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)): "He is Allah, (the) One God
        2. "Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks).
        3. "He begets not, nor was He begotten;
        4. "And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him."[Quran 112:1-4]
        http://www.quran.com
        .[Quran 10:25] http://www.quran.com

        September 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  4. richbrunelle

    Not only are the religions incompatible, I believe the intent of the Muslims to go to war with the West in an attempt to further the Islamic religion. Their are building their forces because we allow them to immigrate believing that are denouncing things like jihad and other non-compatibilities, but they have not. They do not recognize laws of other countries. Their law is the Islamic Faith. Which they follow faithfully, waiting to take the West from Christianity, killing all that oppose.

    September 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Sara

      I would say you need to be careful of any religious or political group. Immigrants should be asked to clearly state whether they will put any law above the state and be excluded if they say they will. Any evidence of change in position or lying should be grounds for deportation. That goes for any system, not just Islam.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • What is going on? FREEDOM

      There is quite a difference between Al-Qaeda and there affiliates with regular Muslims. I suggest you actually get to know an individual who is a Muslim before stating he or she wants to destroy America, especially the ones who have permanently lived here for decades or less.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
      • Sara

        In no cases should va gue affiliations be counted against one, especially when part of diverse groups. But each immigrant (of which I am one) should commit to placing the state's laws above religious or other laws. If you can't as a general rule say the state comes first, you have no business moving to a country.

        September 1, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          There are many who live here in the United States that do.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • Sara

          If you already have citizenship you can believe and push for anything you want. But no country in the world has open immigration. We don't generally admit murderers, swindlers, or people who can't contribute, and we sure as heck shouldn't admit anyone who says "I put the bible before the consti tution" (or Quran or whatever). You may have some disagreements with the laws, but to universally hold another system above it should be a huge red flag against immigration.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          Sara that could be agreeable but we have problems here with citizens in the United States that try to pull the same stunt in trying to put religious law into the government.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • musa jallow

      And Allah summoneth to the abode of peace, and leadeth whom He will to a straight path
      Correct Definition of God!!!
      1. Say (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)): "He is Allah, (the) One God
      2. "Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks).
      3. "He begets not, nor was He begotten;
      4. "And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him."[Quran 112:1-4]
      http://www.quran.com
      .[Quran 10:25] http://www.quran.com

      September 1, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  5. Lionly Lamb

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=vk5BRV-3cww

    September 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
  6. hharri

    Their life expectancy is less than average. They are known for cigarette addiction, poor eating habits and a disdain for exercise. Sounds like the crowd on here.

    September 1, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Do you see them now? Are they in the room with us?

      Since when do mental inst!tutions give you access to computers?

      September 1, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  7. allenwoll

    Confusion over the number of God(s) ? ?
    .
    Do you think that the Universe was created by a committee ? ? ? ?
    .

    September 1, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Sara

      Possibly. Or team science fair project...

      September 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Doobs

      That would explain why humans have an amusement park in the middle of a sewage system. (That is not original, but I don't know who to credit.)

      September 1, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
  8. hharri

    Many are social misfits and are I unattractive, unable to build healthy enduring relationships. We know they despise Christians and enjoy posting misinformation on the internet, Wikipedia, etc., creating their own myths.

    September 1, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • What is going on? FREEDOM

      I am presuming you are going after Atheists and I can thankfully tell you that you are dead wrong. I have been with my wife for over 15 years and I have had the best years of my life

      September 1, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • Doobs

      I've been faithfully married for over 30 years. I have been told that I'm quite attractive. I don't hate Christians, but will challenge them when they attempt to codify their religious beliefs into civil law. I challenge you to find a post in which I lied.

      September 1, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  9. Mr.X

    This whole universe or universes is a hologram. Each unit repeats itself. The universe/universes like us is a living organism and we are part of it doing our bit to sustain this gigantic body called universe. Just like each and every cell in our body supports our gigantic human body. There is no creator. We ourselves with our minds create a universe for ourselves. There is no after life or before live. Live happily. Respect all and live in harmony. Stop believing and begin seeing and living. Enough of this Abrahmic religions. Time to revive Indo-European religions by Indoeuropeans for Indo-Europenas. Love to see Indoeuropean Zorastrianism sweeping central asia, celti religions sweeping celtic regions, greek religion in Greek, Slavic religion in Eastern Europe and Noorse religions sweeping northern europe. Indo-european Budhism sweeping the rest

    September 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  10. hharri

    Many have been involved in new age fads for years. Most don't vote and live on fixed incomes. Many are in poor health and have no family left.

    September 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      And now hharri will provide evidence to support these claims. hharri?

      September 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Doobs

      I've voted in every election, not just the presidential ones, since I turned 18. I read the candidate's positions and vote for the person I believe is best suited regardless of party affiliation.

      I have worked since I was 10 years old at odd jobs and entered the corporate work force as soon as I turned 15. I worked after school and summers in secondary school and college. I've owned my own business. I went to graduate school while working 45-60 hour weeks. I worked my ass off. made good money and socked every penny I could into my 401K and stock portfolio, allowing me to retire comfortably at 50. I still work, but it's a combination of volunteer and free lance work.

      I'm 59 and have not been a hospital inpatient since my mother delivered me. I've run 10 marathons (the full 26.2 miles), as well as too many 10Ks and 5Ks to count, and raised money for charities doing it.

      September 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 1, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Observer

      WORST case of being UNHEALTHY for children ever:

      When God sent a flood to intentionally KILL every child, baby and fetus on the face of the earth.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
      • just one dering

        Could you name one expectant mother that perished?

        September 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
        • Observer

          Could you name some of the victims of the flood or was it all just a LIE?

          September 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          If you name every other person and child that perished.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
        • just one dering

          You're the one with the point to prove I just asked a simple question. would you have me to believe that you're running your mouth in ignorance?

          September 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          You're the one running your mouth in ignorance. Do you really think that there were no pregnant women in the whole world when your god slaughtered all but a few of the inhabitants.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • Observer

          just one dering

          "You're the one with the point to prove I just asked a simple question. would you have me to believe that you're running your mouth in ignorance?"

          Name any victims of Sodom, Gomorrah, or the flood. Or were they just more LIES in the Bible?

          September 1, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
        • Doobs

          Why? Are you trying to prove something with that question? Are fetuses more important than the men, women, children, infants and animals that the bible clearly states died in the flood story?

          September 1, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • just one dering

      Could you name one of those children you always seem to go on about?

      September 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
      • Observer

        Can you give the names of some of the victims of the flood? Just another LIE in the Bible?

        September 1, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
      • just one dering

        Yes. Now about my question?

        September 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • Observer

          just one dering,

          "Yes. Now about my question?"

          Don't worry about it. I didn't think you could anyway.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • Doobs

        Jacob died in the flood.

        September 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Nexus2212

      You are very wrong my friend. Referring to your name.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
      • just one dering

        What is wrong? Looks like a spot on truthful name to me.

        September 1, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
        • Nexus2212

          And that's why your intelligents isn't even worth a rebuttal. (not trying to start an argument with a religious nut)

          September 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • ed dugan

      Athiesm is healthy for anyone of any age that chooses to think for themselves. Prayer doesn't do a damned thing but waste breath and time but there are fools that still think they are answered. For every bit of proof on their part there are ten million people who didn't get "lucky".

      September 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
      • just one dering

        If atheists think for themselves how come all their comments all revolve around the same tired old theories?

        September 1, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          The same can be said for christians...why do you all refer to the same boring out-dated 2000 year old book??

          September 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • Morgan King

          Ha! As opposed to one literally-ancient old theory?

          September 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
        • Doobs

          Such as?

          September 1, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
      • musa jallow

        And Allah summoneth to the abode of peace, and leadeth whom He will to a straight path
        Correct Definition of God!!!
        1. Say (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)): "He is Allah, (the) One God
        2. "Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks).
        3. "He begets not, nor was He begotten;
        4. "And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him."[Quran 112:1-4]
        http://www.quran.com
        .[Quran 10:25] http://www.quran.com

        September 1, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  12. hharri

    Make sure to ask your friends to intercede for their children. Atheists are by and large uneducated, white old women, so that is good to know. Most are isolated, living alone with few if any social contacts.

    September 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      hharri judging the world by her own low standard

      September 1, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • ed dugan

      I am an atheist and so are most of my friends. I have a PHd as do many of them. Not one old white ladly in the bunch. It's really hard to believe someone could get as stupid as you and still function.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • hharri

        Just the facts, my friend. Don't be so defensive. These are statistical facts. Not everyone fits every category. Lighten up.

        September 1, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
        • Pole dancing for Jesus

          Post the "facts" then

          September 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
        • Doobs

          Citations, please.

          September 1, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Doobs

      I'm a 59 year old white female atheist with advanced degrees in molecular biotechnology, been married for over 30 years and have plenty of friends and family that I enjoy very much.

      I don't think of myself as old, but to others I suppose I am.

      September 1, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
  13. Peter Wexler

    Everyone who believes in a spiritual higher power believes in the same God(s). All religions carry truth, as every facet of a diamond refracts light. Even physicists, calling themselves atheists, believe in the same God(s), as those who are religious. God, for lack of a better word, is everything. Every belief, every protocol, and every discovery, is of God. God and the Universe that we know, and the Universe that we don't know, are one.

    September 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  14. Palm Coast

    "Faith is believing in something you know ain't true" Mark Twain

    "All religions are alike, founded on fables and mythology" Thomas Jefferson
    "I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature." ""

    September 1, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • just one dering

      So where is mark twain these days?

      September 1, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Where all dead people end up – rotted until fertilizer.

        September 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
      • Doobs

        Same place as Jeebus, dead and rotted.

        September 1, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
  15. Lionly Lamb

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=wIBlt88pZP4

    September 1, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • allenwoll

      Intoxication.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        Far less damaging than alcohol or tobacco.

        September 1, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  16. hharri

    Make sure to ask your friends to intercede for their children

    September 1, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      I do. Any hint of superstition and I intervene.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Observer

      (Prov. 13:24) “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”

      Yep. Beat your children with rods as often as you see fit.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
      • ProdicalSon

        Discipline and the rod of correction does not always mean beat your kids.

        September 1, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
  17. Reality

    To say the least, there is money to be made in said god:

    The Christian version:

    Christian economics 101:

    The Baptizer drew crowds and charged for the "dunking". The historical Jesus saw a good thing and continued dunking and preaching the good word but added "healing" as an added charge to include free room and board. Sure was better than being a poor peasant but he got a bit too zealous and they nailed him to a tree. But still no greed there.

    Paul picked up the money scent on the road to Damascus. He added some letters and a prophecy of the imminent second coming for a fee for salvation and "Gentilized" the good word to the "big buck" world. i.e. Paul was the first media evangelist!!! And he and the other Apostles forgot to pay their Roman taxes and the legendary actions by the Romans made them martyrs for future greed. Paul was guilty of minor greed? Yes!!!

    Along comes Constantine. He saw the growing rich Christian community and recognized a new tax base so he set them "free". Major greed on his part!!

    The Holy Roman "Empirers"/Popes/Kings/Queens/Evangelicals et al continued the money grab selling access to JC and heaven resulting in some of today's richest organizations on the globe i.e. the Christian churches (including the Mormon Church) and related aristocracies. Obvious greed!!!

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, ( Professors Crossan and Wright are On Faith panelists).

    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."
    Some of Paul's money gathering activities some of which resulted in buying the Gentile entry into the then mostly Jewish version of Christianity:

    Paul claimed almost total independence from the "mother church" in Jerusalem.[12] and yet was eager and diligent to bring material support from the various budding Gentile churches that he planted to the mother church at Jerusalem.

    When a famine occurred in Judea, around 45–46,[24] Paul and Barnabas journeyed to Jerusalem to deliver financial support from the Antioch community.[25] According to Acts, Antioch had become an alternative center for Christians following the dispersion of the believers after the death of Stephen. It was in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first called "Christians."[Ac. 11:26]. This act basically "greased" the entry of non-circu-mcised Gentiles into Christianity.

    "Paul collected the money from his four provinces, Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia but, for obvious reasons, of propriety, had representatives take each province's own contribution

    September 1, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  18. Roberto

    Sunni and Shia Muslims believes in the same God and Prophets , the difference is that one believes that another Prophet is yet to come and the other says no more Prophet coming. I think the belief that somebody is coming is more credible because many believe this way. The Christians are saying Lord Jesus Christ is coming back, the Mayans also and the
    Sumerians, the Annunakis coming back as what is written in their history. So who ever comes back will bring light to all this
    beliefs.I really pity the faithfuls including my mother always holding the rosary everyday.I wish and hope they come back soon. Good health and peace to the whole world.

    September 1, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  19. 7

    Hello. Everyone is invited to receive a newly released "free" downloadable song at... thetreasureofzion.com

    September 1, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  20. Elena

    Atheism is the most dangerous of the religions!!

    September 1, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Odd, since it is not a religion.

      How is NOT believing in something a religion?

      September 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Atheism is not a religion and how exactly is disbelief in any god dangerous???

      Religion is defined as:
      1.
      a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
      b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
      2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
      3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
      4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    •  Athy

      Oh, come on, Elena. Surely you know better than that.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • tony

      Not as dangerous as calling atheism a religion. That's un-blasphemy!

      September 1, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
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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.