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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. Doc Vestibule

    Christians and Muslims just pay more heed to the sequels than the original and make war over mythological minutiae.
    The basis of all three is the same ancient middle eastern text.
    Even Mormons, with their Part III: American Jesus, are of the same tradition.

    It's kind of like the Highlander movies.
    The first one was a good story, full of action, mystery and suspense and it wrapped up nicely at the end.
    The second one blatantly contradicted the first, tossing in some head scratching plot twists and plenty more magic.
    The third effectively ignores the second, but still manages to contradict the original in many ways.

    In the end, there can be only one.

    September 3, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • I'm One

      Every year is the same
      And I feel it again,
      I'm a loser – no chance to win.
      Leaves start falling,
      Come down is calling,
      Loneliness starts sinking in.

      But I'm one.
      I am one.
      And I can see
      That this is me,
      And I will be,
      You'll all see
      I'm the one.

      (Pete Townsend)

      September 3, 2013 at 9:01 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Innocents burned alive on the stage
        Tortured and dumped in nameless graves
        Centuries wane, authority died
        Scattering seeds of ancient lies

        Child molesters and Jesuits
        Holding secret conference
        Underneath the Pontiff's nose
        And only God will ever know

        Sinister rouge, coming back for more
        To even the score

        (Dr. Greg Graffin)

        September 3, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Ken

      Doc
      Great comparison with the Highlander movies. Spot on! 🙂

      September 3, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • Ggggggggg

      How does Christianity contradict Judaism?

      September 3, 2013 at 10:37 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        It doesn't contradict Judaism, it fulfills Judaism.

        September 3, 2013 at 10:49 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Just compare the actions, messages and atti.tudes of the officious, vengeful, smitey God of the Jews and His compassionate, inclusive, touchey-feeley Son.

        September 3, 2013 at 11:06 am |
      • HeavenScent

        Nothing "fulfills" Judaism. That BS was cooked up by apologists who were trying to explain away why things would have changed. "Fulfillment" didn't even come onto religious thought until the nonsense of "fulfilled prophesy" became popular LATE LATE in Hebrew culture, (when apocalypticism became popular), near the turn of the millennium. The entire business of "Pesherism", and "fulfilled" prophesy was a new invention. The role of a prophet was NOT to tell the future. Divination and sooth-saying were forbidden in Leviticus.

        You people went to the Hollywood School of Theology apparently. Christianity WAS Judaism until late late in the game. The Christians WERE Jews for centuries. In the year 400, St. John Chrysostom was yelling at HIS Christian congregation to STOP going to the synagogue, (in his Christmas sermon). Read it and learn.

        September 3, 2013 at 11:12 am |
        • Ken

          Some Christians were Jews for a time, but it soon got overran by gentiles who didn't want to become Jews first. There really isn't anything in the Gospels to indicate that Jesus wanted to create a new religion all about himself. Except for John, which is the latest, Jesus's message in the gospels is to other Jews about the upcoming Kingdom. Thank Paul for most of that reinvention. If he started out as an enemy of the Jewish followers of Jesus, and fought against Peter and Thomas as Acts states, then maybe he never stopped being their enemy. They all but disappeared soon after he took over as it is.

          September 3, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  2. Lawrence of Arabia

    Although the three religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all began with the faith of Abraham, that does NOT mean that they all worship the same God. Judaism began by worshipping the One True God, but they broke their original covenant with God and fell into idolatry, and began to worship the gods of their neighbors, so God made a New Covenant with them. One that would include God Himself making the sacrifice for sins that they could never make. Unfortunately, even though the Old Testament is full of prophecies and allusions to the Messiah, when He came, they refused Him, and killed Him. Christians were born when people came out of Judaism to follow Christ throught he New Covenant. Islam was born of an ancient family feud between the descendants of Jacob and Essau. Essau was not chosen by God for the blessings that were given to Jacob, so a bitter rivalry ensued. Today, we have Islam, that attempts to copy and thwart anything that has to do with the descendants of Jacob, including their faith.

    September 3, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Thats one story...there are many others. Which is true? Are any of them true?

      September 3, 2013 at 8:34 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        For that answer, you must deeply examine the claims of each faith to see if they are true.

        September 3, 2013 at 8:49 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          I have examined many, and none can be found to be true or untrue. Have you?

          I do see quite clearly where your particular story comes from, a compilation of previous stories from previous cultures. Exceptionally unliky any of it is true, less cahance it all is, especially considering much has been disproven.

          September 3, 2013 at 8:57 am |
        • hharri

          Chrome dome, instead of lying, give specifics from now on. You can't so shut up

          September 3, 2013 at 9:03 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          faith/harri/mary/heavenspent, various other names.

          You are pointless. Go sue someone. I see no reason to respond to such a bad example of a useless troll.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:22 am |
      • james

        RC; there is truth that so many are offered but reject but go to jw.org and learn what the Bible really teaches. Man chose satan as their god and have had the chance to show what they could do without their creator and his ideas, principles and laws but it has not been pretty and as Jesus taught that satan is "The ruler of this world", "the god of this system" etc.but for "a little while longer" and the Creator will take his wisdom, justice, power and love and take over to show what was intended from the beginning.for scriptures (see 1 John 5:19, Rev.12:9-12, Luke 22:31, Matt.25:41, 1 Pet.5:8,9, John 8:44,45) and so many others for those who care. Talk to them when they come by and have a serious conversation to learn the truth that leads to Eternal life.

        September 3, 2013 at 9:30 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          james.
          The question remains. Your story is one of thousands. I see no reason to believe your story over any other. Just because your story says it is the one true story does not make it so. They all say that.
          How do you know which story if any is correct?
          You say jesus is the only way to heaven.
          Vikings say the only way to Valhalla is death in glorious battle.
          Which if any is true? ( By the way, if you answer with anything other than I don't know, you are lying)

          September 3, 2013 at 9:38 am |
        • JR

          Nobody has chosen Satan–that's just silly. If someone rejects your God's existence he automatically also rejects Satan's existence.

          September 3, 2013 at 9:41 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Yep, the Bible teaches that Jesus, the second part of the Holy Trinity who form the only One God in three persons, who was eternally existent, and uncreated, just as the Father, came to earth and died on the cross to make propitiation for the elect, that He rose from the dead, and that He will come again. There is heaven for the elect, and hell for the non-elect. The elect are saved, not because they are good, but because they are bad, but have been forgiven by a good God.
          (www.gty.org) (www.gotquestions.org) (www.rzim.org)

          September 3, 2013 at 9:42 am |
        • james

          RC; I did not say anything about heaven since that is for angels and God's Kingdom of priests and kings to rule over the earth which God gave to man to live on forever and that is what we have to look forward to (see Rev 20:6; Psalms 37 and Jesus words referring to that passage at Matt.5:5). the earth was made for man and that is the promise that will not go unfulfilled (see Isa.55:11 and 45:18) if you are interested. for Lawrence the trinity is a pagan teaching and jesus was the Firstborn of all creation" Col.1:15 and many other references if you are really interested. JR, man rejected their creator and listened to satan and so were rejected to serve him. Read the account in Genesis ch.3 and the results promised in Rev.ch.12.vs.9-12. not silly but serious. again to learn what the Bible really teaches go to jw.org (at no charge)

          September 3, 2013 at 9:59 am |
        • JR

          Lawrence – I don't suppose you'd care to explain how a god "dies", or how that supposed death was any sort of sacrifice since he knew he was coming back in a few days? Or how the killing of anything (i.e. sacrifices) makes anything better?

          September 3, 2013 at 10:00 am |
        • Ken

          Lawrence of Arabia
          A single being existing as three separate enti ties is about as believable as a triangle existing in one dimension. Just because you can say it doesn't mean that it actually makes any logical sense, and saying that something doesn't have to make any logical sense doesn't make it make any sense either.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:02 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          James: Do you worship Jesus? Do you believe that Jesus is God? If not, then you are admitting that you are worshipping someone who is not God, a practicing idolater. Paul talks about this in Romans 1 where they worshipped the "creature, rather than the creator..."

          I could go a little deeper into what JW have misinterpreted over the years, but that's for another forum. Suffice it to saythat they have their own Bible that reflects their theology… The New World Translation is the first intentional, systematic effort at producing a complete version of the Bible that is edited and revised for the specific purpose of agreeing with a group's doctrine. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that, as new editions of the New World Translation were published, additional changes were made to the biblical text.
          A Few Examples:
           The New World Translation renders the Greek term word staurós ("cross") as "torture stake" because Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that Jesus was crucified on a cross.
           The New World Translation does not translate the Greek words sheol, hades, gehenna, and tartarus as "hell” because Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in hell.
           The NWT gives the translation "presence" instead of “coming” for the Greek word parousia because Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Christ has already returned in the early 1900s.
           In Colossians 1:16, the NWT inserts the word “other” despite its being completely absent from the original Greek text. It does this to give the view that “all other things” were created by Christ, instead of what the text says, “all things were created by Christ.” This is to go along with their belief that Christ is a created being, which they believe because they deny the Trinity.
           The original Greek text in John 1:1 reads, “the Word was God.” The NWT renders it as “the word was a god.”
           The most revealing evidence of the Watchtower's bias is their inconsistent translation technique.
           Throughout the Gospel of John, the Greek word theon occurs without a definite article. The New World Translation renders none of these as “a god.”
           Just three verses after John 1:1, the New World Translation translates another case of theos without the indefinite article as "God."
           Even more inconsistent, in John 1:18, the NWT translates the same term as both "God" and "god" in the very same sentence.
           The Watchtower, therefore, has no hard textual grounds for their translation—only their own theological bias. While New World Translation defenders might succeed in showing that John 1:1 can be translated as they have done, they cannot show that it is the proper translation. Nor can they explain the fact that that the NWT does not translate the same Greek phrases elsewhere in the Gospel of John the same way. It is only the pre-conceived heretical rejection of the deity of Christ that forces the Watchtower Society to inconsistently translate the Greek text, thus allowing their error to gain some semblance of legitimacy in the minds of those ignorant of the facts.

          It is only the Watchtower's pre-conceived heretical beliefs that are behind the dishonest and inconsistent translation that is the New World Translation. The New World Translation is most definitely not a valid version of God’s Word. There are minor differences among all the major English translations of the Bible. No English translation is perfect. However, while other Bible translators make minor mistakes in the rendering of the Hebrew and Greek text into English, the NWT intentionally changes the rendering of the text to conform to Jehovah’s Witness theology. The New World Translation is a perversion, not a version, of the Bible.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:13 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          James:
          Colossians 1:15-20 – Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation…

          1)God is fully manifest in the person of His Son, Jesus, and has eternally existed as God (John 14:9, Philippians 2:6, John 1:1, 14)
          Scripture repeatedly says that God is invisible (John 1:18; John 5:37; 1 Timothy 1:17; and Colossians 1:15). But through Christ the invisible God has been made visible. God's full likeness is revealed in Him. Colossians 1:19 takes the truth a step further: "It was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him." He is not just an outline of God; He is fully God. Colossians 2:9 is even more explicit: "In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form." Nothing is lacking. No attribute is absent. He is God in the fullest possible sense, the perfect image. Philippians 2:5-11 – says that Jesus existed in the form of God (equal with God), but took on the likeness of man

          2)“firstborn” refers to preeminence in position or rank, the rightful heir; here, the rightful heir of all creation (Hebrews 1:6, Romans 8:29, Psalm 89:27, Revelation 1:5, Hebrews 1:2, Revelation 5:1-7, 13)

          3)“firstborn” does NOT mean the “first created” because:
          Christ cannot be both “first begotten” and “only begotten” (John 1:14, 18, John 3:16, 18, 1 John 4:9)
          When the “firstborn” is one of a class, the class is in the plural form (v 18, Romans 8:29), but “creation,” the class mentioned here, is in singular form
          If Paul was teaching that Christ was a created being, he was agreeing with the heresy that he was writing to refute
          It is impossible for Christ to be both created, and the creator of all things (v 16)

          September 3, 2013 at 10:20 am |
        • james

          Lawrence, you need to make a serious look into other translations since the NWT is not the only one that has it right and to think King Jimmies "version" is correct is seriously in error. those verses you cited need to be investigated and if you do an honest search you will find that the bible will make more sense and is not a mystery like the trinity and hellfire and the cross. I have searched many other religions and have found no one more "honest" than the Jehovah Witnesses. You can have it all explained clearly and as Jesus taught at no charge.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:23 am |
        • james

          I was replying to RC but decided to give you a little time but will not sit here and debate at the computer. I know where you are getting your info but it is wrong and I wish you would really consider looking elsewhere because that is where I am going. Later, j

          September 3, 2013 at 10:26 am |
        • truthprevails1

          How pathetic...the bigger-god-battle! Neither of you have a valid god, at least not one that can be shown with any form of evidence to exist. Both of you believe your god is the right one based strictly on what your hold books tell you. Both of you need to understand that this is the 21st century and it is time to let go of your imaginary friends and live by the updated information we have. Both of your books were written by man to fool man.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:28 am |
        • HeavenScent

          Lawrence,
          STOP using the Babble to prove the Babble. It's meaningless. It's called "circular". Take a logic course, and grow up.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:31 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          James: I appreciate your concern, and I do wish that we could speak in person so that we might "reason together" as the Scriptures say. But I don't believe that the KJV is the most accurate translation though – I've actually been using the NASB and the ESV. They use older manuscripts that have recently been made available. Textual Criticism, or, Lower Criticism is actually a fascinating science when you get deep into how we have the Scriptures that we have, and where the manuscripts came from. It is always important to remember though that translating into English takes great care, and we must always be weary of inserting words that were never meant to be inserted. Use the Scriptures to interpret Scripure.

          For instance, speaking of "hell" in Matthew 25:46, the same Greek word "aionios," meaning "eternal" is used to define both "punishment" and "life." Follow that up with Revelation 20:10-15, and you've got a terrifying view of eternity.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:36 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          James and LoA
          You still haven't addressed the base quesition.

          How do you know your legenda are true, and how do you know the others aren't.
          You can blah, blah, blah the bible all day, it still doesn't speak to validity of the claims it makes

          September 3, 2013 at 10:41 am |
        • james

          RC; no one is here to convince you by just telling you facts and figures but to offer places to go to search and investigate the Bible and assorted history to see what I have found. If you do, great, you will not be harmed and as far as what I believe, it has been over 40 years of study and research into many religions to find one that has the answers to the questions that I had. As far as the ones that want to argue, please do not waste your time and mine and Lawrence, I think you are sincere but I wish you would look further into the JWs and NWT and learn what the Bible really teaches because to think that a Loving God would burn people forever? Jeremiah was told how he felt about that at Jer.7:31

          September 3, 2013 at 11:14 am |
        • james

          I really have to go but will check back later to see if anyone cares but it has been fun, thanks, j

          September 3, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          james.
          There it is, more blah blah blah.
          You still haven't addressed the question.
          I too have lokked for many decades and am completely convinced that all religions are man made, all gods are man made because the definitions of what a god is, is man made.
          Following any one of them is following someone elses definition.
          Try thinking for yourself. Don't refernece a book written by another, it is not truth and never will be. The bible is false, and so is every religious text. There is no reason to believe just because someone wrote down their story.

          September 3, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          James, in that passage in Jeremiah, God was referring to the worship of Molech.
          Daniel spoke of hell – Daniel 12:2
          Isaiah spoke of it – Isaiah 66:22-24

          As the scripture puts it in so many places, Hell is not intended to be a “corrective” punishment such as a loving father may bestow upon his son in order that he may avoid further difficulties later in his life, and certainly the New Testament teaches that God does just this sort of thing, that He “chastens those He loves,” “but that His chastisement is for a moment,” and “it is given for our welfare and for our wellbeing.” Rather, Hell is a reflection of God’s punitive wrath. That is, Hell is not designed for correction but as a reflection of God’s ultimate justice. Like a life sentence given to a convicted serial killer, hell is designed to be a permanent incarceration given to those who refuse to repent of their sins. God’s love offered through His grace for salvation is not unconditional; it depends upon a person’s willingness to repent – and when a person chooses not to repent of their evil ways, God will incarcerate them in the place called Hell.

          September 3, 2013 at 11:30 am |
        • james

          RC, you do not want the truth at this time but you will so when that time comes remember where I asked you to go, Lawrence, I am so sorry you have been so misled. Jehovah and his son Jesus would never burn people eternally. He showed that in what he told Jeremiah. It is not in Him. 1 John 4:8 would explain that to everyone. The teaching of hellfire has been developed by those who want to scare people into bringing their money to them. Please go to jw.org or take time to have it explained from one of those people who spend their time offering to teach freely from the Bible the truth. (Hades, Sheol, the common grave of mankind) Please take the time since you have given too much time to those who would have you believe pagan teachings from Egypt, Babylon and other pagan lands. Think about why Jesus came and the Love he taught. He knew what Solomon said at Ecclesiastes 9:5-10 and proved that , see John 11:11. Please do the research and be free of the false teachings of Babylon the Great, Rev. 16-18. learn who that is and get out of her now before it is too late. peace, j

          September 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          james
          more blah blah blah from your book of blah blah blah.
          Can you answer without using other peoples words. Can you think for yourself?
          You still have not answered the question, all you have done is quoted from a book I know to be false, and tried to muddy the water. Smoke and miirrors are all religions are, are you have shown you cannot think critically and answer a simple question.

          Can you answer the question without resorting to your book? How do you know your belief is right and the other thousands are not?

          September 3, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
        • james

          RC; one more time, because of the history and archaeology I have researched as well as personal experience with the one who claims to be. After trying to teach evolution and learning the truth about that and other false science (see piltdown man,etc) I have looked more at all offerings and just believe what I have found to be the truth. I am not forcing it on anyone but offer to show how and where to learn what the Bible really teaches and it is so simple and not the mysteries these religions would have you "pay" for. This makes so much sense that almost 20 million people show up to learn why Jesus really died and what hope they have for the future. All I ask is check it out, what have you to lose?

          September 4, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Question

      Do you know how the Muslims are connected to Abraham? The Bible does not really trace the descendants of Ismael as it does Isaac.

      Islam was birthed somewhere around 600 AD which would leave a gap in history of almost 3 millennia in between from the time of Abraham.

      September 3, 2013 at 8:45 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Here's a good start for your research:
        http://www.gotquestions.org/Jews-Arabs.html

        September 3, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Rob

      "Islam was born of an ancient family feud between the descendants of Jacob and Essau"

      –It was not Esau but Ishmael whom the Muslims claimed to have descended from.

      September 3, 2013 at 8:56 am |
      • Question

        That is correct, it is Ismael and not Esau. It is fascinating when you read Genesis.

        September 3, 2013 at 9:06 am |
        • Rob

          If you read the Genesis account Esau might have married into the family of Ishmael.

          September 3, 2013 at 9:09 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        True, it was actually Ishmael and Esau who were both excluded as "descendants of Abraham" for various reasons. "Jacob I loved and Esau I hated..." Also, there was a promise made that Ishmael would be a great nation, but that his hand would be against his many nations, and they would be against him. Truely both promises have come true.

        September 3, 2013 at 9:11 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Genesis 16:11-12
          The angel of the Lord said to her further,
          “Behold, you are with child,
          And you will bear a son;
          And you shall call his name Ishmael,
          Because the Lord has given heed to your affliction.
          “He will be a wild donkey of a man,
          His hand will be against everyone,
          And everyone’s hand will be against him;
          And he will live to the east of all his brothers.”

          September 3, 2013 at 9:16 am |
        • Question

          Thanks for the link.
          However, still not able to find the link between Ismael and the Muslims. Nevertheless, by reading the Genesis account and by also accepting the claim hesitantly that Muslims are the descendants of Ismael, the verses you have cited is indeed intriguing!!

          September 3, 2013 at 9:30 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Question: I wish I could help out more, but in truth, the Bible doesn't trace the lineage of every man mentioned in its pages, and in all honesty I haven't done much research into his lineage myself.

          September 3, 2013 at 9:34 am |
        • realbuckyball

          So ask yourself. Why would the author of that, WHO HATED THE ARABS, put that into the text ? It did not just "end up there". It was purposely put there ... by a HUMAN. Stop with the "magic" already, and ask REAL questions.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:29 am |
      • ME II

        Or there were just to tribes of people in a region of limited resources. conflict ensued.

        September 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
        • ME II

          "two tribes"

          September 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Ken

      Lawrence
      Jews and Muslims would call the worship of Jesus as idolatry too, correct? If you line up the Gospels by when they were written it becomes obvious that Jesus's original message was about the upcoming Kingdom, but it eventually evolved into a message about himself in John. Evidence perhaps that the idea of Jesus being divine took time to develop.

      September 3, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Wrong. The Hebrews PICKED the Sumerian god of the armies, (Yahweh) because that god was supposed to help them in their battles. Too bad you actually know nothing about the ancient Near East, or the Bible, or the ancient Hebrews. "Fell into idolatry" has gone out of the lingo of scholars in 2013. A much more nuanced understanding of those cultures has developed. What ? You went to school in the 1950's ?

      September 3, 2013 at 10:26 am |
      • Ken

        Maybe more like YHWH was the family god of David's house, and he imposed worship of his god on all his subjects.

        September 3, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • HeavenScent

      They did not all start with Abraham. Just proves you know nothing about it all.

      September 3, 2013 at 10:40 am |
  3. Krhodes

    Simply....no they don't . They all claim exclusivity, so it would be a contradiction if they were all true or the same God. Christianity is the only one that offers salvation as a free gift. The others are works based....Christ is the only way.

    September 3, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Salvation from a threat god created in the first place. Like a schoolyard bully. " I don't want to hurt you, obey me and I won't have to"

      September 3, 2013 at 8:55 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        No, it's like a judge that says "If you break this law, you'll have to pay the fine." And we deal with that kind of a reality every day. It's not so difficult to extrapolate that into spirituality.

        September 3, 2013 at 8:59 am |
        • tallulah13

          Actually, no. Judges represent the law. You god has chosen to be judge, jury and executioner. Also, he gets to decided what the laws are. Judge is not the right word. Dictator works much better.

          September 3, 2013 at 9:25 am |
        • fintastic

          Sorry Larry... judges don't hold you accountable for the supposed "sins" of your ancestors.

          September 3, 2013 at 9:25 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          So fintastic, does that mean that you've never lied? Never stolen anything? Never looked with lust? Never used the name of God in place of a 4-letter filth word to express disgust?

          There are moral laws in place that we willingly violate on a daily basis. When we break the law, there is a penalty to be paid. An earthly judge is merely a representation, an analogy, obviously, analogies are all flawed to a degree.

          The point is, you know in your heart that you have violated the moral standard. We all have "broken the law."

          September 3, 2013 at 9:31 am |
        • JR

          Lawrence of Arabia – Of course we've all gone against our own moral code at some point in our lives, for various reasons. The difference is the penalties. Most people don't subscribe to the idea that all transgressions are equal and all subject to the severest penalty.

          September 3, 2013 at 9:46 am |
        • tallulah13

          Larry, the basic laws that govern civilization were in place long before you god was invented. The Egyptians have a list that predates you ten commandments but include pretty mush the same ideas.

          Stealing and lying damage communities and so are on the bad list. Looking on someone with lust is sometimes quite appropriate. Procreation is how we survive as a species. Using your god's name as a curse word is a victimless crime. It simply frightens you because it shows that no one is really punished for it. Kind of makes your god seem weak when he can't do anything to stop people from using his name until after they're dead, and even thn you don't get any proof that any punishment actually takes place.

          September 3, 2013 at 9:48 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          JR, the penalty for a crime is generally determined by whom the crime was against. For instance, I can lie to my wife, and she can make my life miserable, I can lie to my boss, and he can fire me, or I can lie to the government, and I can go to prison. Since we believe that God is the standard for morality, then all of our crimes, although they may have human victims, all are primarily against God. Since his righteousness is infinite, so the severity of our crimes are infinite, and require a like punishment.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:26 am |
        • JR

          Lawrence – If my three-year-old daughter lies, I keep it in the context of a three-year-old telling a lie and treat it accordingly. If an adult tells me a lie, different story. To expect a three-year-old to act as an adult is silly–it is also silly for a god (or humans) to expect humans to live up to his godly standards.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:36 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          JR, I think it's more like this. God sees us all the same. We are all so far from His standard that a liar might as well be a murderer. Metrologically, there is no significant difference.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:56 am |
        • Really-O?

          @Bill Deacon – "a liar might as well be a murderer...there is no significant difference."

          That is, quite simply, an immoral philosophy.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:59 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          When Jesus lied about being the son of Yahweh, was that the same as Moses committing genocide?

          September 3, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • JR

          Really-O: Agreed.

          September 3, 2013 at 11:05 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Really O, That's a nice claim you make but philosophically it doesn't hold water. Whatever the nature of the various God's in question, I suspect one thing every adherent would agree on is that there is no imperfection in that being. God cannot abide sin. It is, by definition, impossible. So, for the purpose of distancing one's self from God, a lie serves just as well as genocide. It is only man's perspective and rush to judgement that causes us to say "Well, my sin is not as great as my neighbors." We call that the parable of the tax collector.

          September 3, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • JR

          Bill Deacon – What you say makes no sense and, as pointed out, is immoral. I can fathom a perfect god managing various degrees of imperfection–I don't understand why it is so difficult a concept.

          September 3, 2013 at 11:13 am |
        • tallulah13

          You believe your god is the 'standard for morality.' Rochard was a lot closer when he called your god a bully. How moral is creating a species that is inherently flawed, then punishing that species for not being perfect? Your god is a child, a bully and a brat. I would not worship such an immoral being, even if I believed in it.

          September 3, 2013 at 11:14 am |
        • Really-O?

          @Bill Deacon –

          No offense intended, but I see no point in mincing words, so ... bullshit.

          September 3, 2013 at 11:16 am |
        • tallulah13

          So Bill, your god creates a species of sinners then punishes them for sinning? Does he pull wings off flies too? Your god is really horrible.

          September 3, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          JR, I think we're talking about two different aspects of theology. Can we agree? One common point all religions share is the ultimate unity with the divine. Sin is any action which creates an obstacle to that unity, a separation from God and all have committed some such action. Something must occur to remove the obstacle. The first aspect is that you are as far removed from perfection fro lying about the cookie you stole in third grade as Bashar Al-Assad is for chemical genocide. In perfection, there is no mar, not any. No, to your point, the management thereof. It may be that varying degrees of penance and temporal punishment are incurred by the degree to which one has offended but the imperfect can never make itself perfect. So, the work is God's to remit us each. I am content to endure His judgement, knowing that I am less than perfect. It doesn't make any difference that I am not as less than perfect as you and you are not as less than perfect than Hitler. We are all less than perfect. My just wages are loss of perfection. So are yours. So are Idi Amin's. So are someone's three year old daughter's and any Saint you care to name. No one achieves nirvana, heaven, perfection, whatever you want to call it, unless perfection itself, performs some redeeming act. Perhaps you can see where this is headed....

          September 3, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Tallulah is victim of a common modern foible. She is so educated she presumes her judgment has a better perspective than the eternal.

          September 3, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Where's the proof Assad used chemical weapons?

          September 3, 2013 at 11:30 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Really O, no offense taken. If derision is your only card, you should play it.

          September 3, 2013 at 11:31 am |
        • JR

          Bill Deacon – I'm pretty sure I understand the idea, I just think it's very flawed. I have no problem envisioning perfection and imperfection coexisting.

          September 3, 2013 at 11:34 am |
        • fintastic

          @larry..."Lawrence of Arabia

          So fintastic, does that mean that you've never lied? Never stolen anything? Never looked with lust? Never used the name of God in place of a 4-letter filth word to express disgust?
          "

          So now that you've ignored the point of my comment, I'll ask it again,,,,,, what does that have to do with mythology of being responsible for the sins of my ancestors?.

          September 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • tallulah13

          What's the matter, Bill? This is the best that you have? Your "eternal" is just a story, made up by a specific midde eastern tribe, embellished by supporters of a specific messianic cult figurehead, then edited in the year 325 by men who were pushing their own agenda. Your 'eternal' is a bunch of dead men who promised you that you don't have to die if you just do what they tell you. And you fell for that.

          September 4, 2013 at 2:50 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        Dave, that seemed like a irrelevant question but it actually brings up a good point. Where's the evidence JR stole a cookie? There may be none. The thing about sin is we are not and cannot be judged by our peers. None of us is qualified to measure the distance from perfection each of us is situated in. That's why the invitation is to search your own heart and conscience. You'll find the answers there, just as Bashar and JR will.

        September 3, 2013 at 11:34 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I think it's a perfectly relevant question, seeing as you implied it and seeing as it will likely be a precursor to war (even though Reagan's government supported their use against Iran by Saddam). As for all the sin talk, that's just white noise to me.

          September 3, 2013 at 11:43 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          I wasn't trying to steer the conversation political. It was just a quick example of a modern day extreme "sin"> Since that was the topic. I'm sure there are other sites where Syria is being discussed.

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

      Krhodes
      But is it really a free gift when you have to accept beliefs that don't make any logical sense, take up ancient bigotries, and support questionable charitable activities? Some would argue that you aren't really a Christian until it rules your entire life. That just sounds like a terribly high price to pay just for the promise of some kind of existence after death, and it's a selfish thing to even want in the first place. Sorry, but I'm just not interested.

      September 3, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  4. Red

    CNN needs to follow in the footsteps of ESPN and make it so you can only comment using a Facebook account. It cuts down on the trolling big time. It's been working really well too. Instead of having 4,000 comments and 3,800 of them are by ignorant trolls, you can have 200 logical comments from normal people who actually comment on the article and aren't trying to convert people to their beliefs.

    September 3, 2013 at 6:22 am |
    • Sara

      A great business idea to expand Facebook's user base. I don't have an account and don't plan on getting one. If I did, I, like many people, have a career that would not permit me to be tied in that way to online comments.

      September 3, 2013 at 7:21 am |
  5. Red

    Apparently not. Christians worship Jesus. Muslims worship the Creator of Jesus and everything else. It shouldn't matter who worships what, but unfortunately, in this world, it does. Oh well. God is the Greatest. Peace to all.

    September 3, 2013 at 6:10 am |
    • Sara

      If you had bothered to pay even the slightest attention to other religions you'd know that almost all Christians believe Jesus is an incarnation of God (Similar to Krishna). I find it hard to believe anyone capable of accessing a computer is really unaware of that, but the only other guess I have is that you think everyone else is stupid and are trying some sort of bizarre propaganda.

      September 3, 2013 at 7:37 am |
      • Red

        Hah????? Muslims believe God is omnipotent. Christians don't. All you did is confirm my original post.

        September 3, 2013 at 10:18 am |
      • Ken

        So, Jesus is an avatar of God like the swan form Zeus took up in order to ra pe Leda?

        September 3, 2013 at 10:21 am |
  6. hharri

    i told you not to mess with my computer, didn't i?

    September 3, 2013 at 5:46 am |
  7. lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

    It's getting darker. Twisting the scripture away.
    "Amo 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light."

    Let me tell you 'bout a place
    Somewhere up-a New York way
    Where the people are so gay
    Twistin' the night away
    Here they have a lot of fun
    Puttin' trouble on the run
    Man, you find the old and young
    Twistin' the night away

    They're twistin', twistin'
    Everybody's feelin' great
    They're twistin', twistin'
    They're twistin' the night away

    Here's a man in evening clothes
    How he got here, I don't know, but
    Man, you oughta see him go
    Twistin' the night away
    He's dancin' with a chick in slacks
    She's movin' up and back
    Oh, man, there ain't nothin' like
    Twistin' the night away

    September 3, 2013 at 3:48 am |
    • midwest rail

      How many times does the name "Sam Cooke" appear in the KJV ?

      September 3, 2013 at 4:43 am |
      • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

        ""samuel"
        occurs 142 times in 121 verses in the KJV "

        "Hbr 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:"

        September 3, 2013 at 5:31 am |
        • midwest rail

          That wasn't the question, was it ?

          September 3, 2013 at 9:43 am |
  8. Kenichi Adam

    No, Muslims and Christians DO NOT worship the same GOD. The christians worship and pray to Jesus and Mary while the Muslims worship and pray to the CREATOR and LORD of the multiverse who created Jesus and Mary.

    Jesus was reported to ONLY be able to heal the blind and the sick and revive the dead, but ALLAH can do ALL that and even more; ALLAH moves the night and day, provide all living things with sustenance, and regulate the galaxies and earth within its predefined trajectory at will. ALLAH created the sun and moon, the sky and cloud that shower the earth and from under the earth ALLAH brings out trees and plants which feed lives. Indeed, ALLAH is GREATER than Jesus!

    Thus, Muslims and Christians DO NOT worship the same god!

    September 3, 2013 at 2:32 am |
    • Colin

      Or, put another way, "my sky-fairy is stronger than your sky fairy."

      Christians make all the same claims for God as you do for Allah, you idiot.

      September 3, 2013 at 2:38 am |
    • Speaking of literary fiction

      Everyone knows that Harry Potter is superior to Draco Malfoy.

      September 3, 2013 at 2:48 am |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      "Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:"

      "Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:"

      "Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."

      September 3, 2013 at 3:21 am |
    • Sara

      I'm not a Christian, but even I can see you have no idea what that religion believes. You portray it as though the primary targets of worship are Jesus and Mary, while the true main target is God with Jesus just and incarnation of God. He couldn't do as much in that form as in the full godly form as a result of the choice to take on that form. Wow...pick up a book or two. Heck, talk to a Christian, but don't post on internationally available forums when you haven't a clue.

      September 3, 2013 at 7:26 am |
    • a reasonable atheist

      Someone get this person some science texts, Stat!

      September 3, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • Vic

      Jesus Christ Fully God Fully Man

      John 1:1-5
      "1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

      John 1:14
      "14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."

      Philippians 2:6-8
      "6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."

      1 Timothy 3:16
      "16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:

      He who was revealed in the flesh,
      Was vindicated in the Spirit,
      Seen by angels,
      Proclaimed among the nations,
      Believed on in the world,
      Taken up in glory."

      Hebrews 1:3
      "3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,"

      Hebrews 2:17
      "17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people."

      1 John 5:6-8
      "6 This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement."

      All Scripture Is From:

      New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

      http://www.biblegateway.com/

      September 3, 2013 at 9:50 am |
      • Jane

        Now go do your senseless daily lamb burning, Vicky. God's gonna smite you down if you don't.

        September 4, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • HeavenScent

      Muslims pray to the Arabic moon-god. Al-Ilah was the crescent moon phase of the moon god, Sin. The SAME god that had the SAME 3 divine daughters originally that was written into the Qur'an. The Arabic moon-god was called Sin. Muslims worship a moon-god. Why do you think they get so mad when the "Satanic Verses" are mentioned ?

      September 3, 2013 at 10:35 am |
  9. hharri

    remember, dear, u have a terrible, ferocious, all powerful enemy. you are certain, don't forget, that they see invisible creatures. hear strange heavenly voices and are nothing but deluded mental cases.

    you better gear up man! they are too much for intelligent, thinking, suave atheists like thou. with their qualifications they are unbeatable. hurry girls. go! now! the matter is grave and urgent! they r taking over the world chanting and praying to FSM

    September 3, 2013 at 1:28 am |
    • hharri

      "The sacrifice of Christ was to speak the truth of God unto death not that God sacrificed Him for Original Sin for the smell of his flesh but that is the only way for us to truly see ourselves for who we are-To kill the Righteous One Himself!"

      as in "hello death?" how about original hair? do you have hair on your noggin? where did u get it? your dna? your eyeballs? did they magically appear three weeks ago at noon?

      September 3, 2013 at 1:34 am |
      • Doobs

        koo koo

        September 3, 2013 at 2:16 am |
        • HotAirAce

          ka choo!

          September 3, 2013 at 2:39 am |
      • hharri

        so, point being, asked for support to back up this statement, "Yes Horus and Buddha came before Jesus. So did many, many other gods and myths. And yes, many parts of the story of Jesus bear striking resemblance to those stories that came before him. And some of the things attributed to Jesus sound an awful lot like the things Buddha is supposed to have said." observer, no one had a word to say until just now.

        you two angels have been so afraid and so ashamed that her statements were indefensible, you finally realized "koo koo" was your best answer. thanks duupes. i knew you could do it. when asked to condemn stone's comments, "koo koo" expressed your outrage fullofhotgas. i had no doubt you'd stay true to form. i am sure your god isn't surprised either.

        neither one of our observers has found the material from which it was discovered that jesus said nothing unique. it had all been said before, they said. and, so like the common criminals they are, they ran away to their hacking room and they hacked and they hacked and here I am, still, exposing their sins and their evil minds and hearts. not bad, huh? it is about time.

        when asked why no other atheists condemned stone's p r n ographic, vi lent suggestions, the remaining moral atheists were so distressed, they simply couldn't find any thing suitable to convey their deepest anguish and displeasure. "koo koo" no doubt, is the best they could have done, as well.

        Doobs

        koo koo

        HotAirAce

        ka choo

        hey girls, you ain't seen nothing yet. hide and watch

        you too sambo

        September 3, 2013 at 5:42 am |
  10. Atheist, me?

    The saddest part of the the whole article for me is its oversimplification of the Trinity and atonement.
    God had to come in the true form of a human so that he could be that vulnerable when it comes to dying!
    The sacrifice of Christ was to speak the truth of God unto death not that God sacrificed Him for Original Sin for the smell of his flesh but that is the only way for us to truly see ourselves for who we are-To kill the Righteous One Himself!
    That is what John3:16 says along with the prophecies in the old testament!

    September 3, 2013 at 1:20 am |
    • joe

      God had to come in the true form of a human so that he could be that vulnerable when it comes to dying!
      The sacrifice of Christ was to speak the truth of God unto death not that God sacrificed Him for Original Sin
      ----------
      Such an absurd statement. Dying is no sacrifice for an all knowing all powerful being. First, they are immortal by defintion. Secondly, since they can die and come back at will, dying is nothing to them. It is something akin to going into the next room and then coming back.

      September 3, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      He was a human like you and me. His thinking was like God. That is what gave Him eternal life. That is what He came to teach. That if you think like Him you will also have eternal life now and when you die.

      September 3, 2013 at 2:41 am |
      • Atheist, me?

        God had appeared in flesh in the Old Testament. Here however He was present in the thought of a man. He rose from the dead as proof that his way of thinking was superior to ours and that if we think same we will do same but the sacrifice was knowing that humans kill honest people and knowingly allowing them to do so!

        September 3, 2013 at 2:50 am |
        • Brother Maynard

          "God had appeared in flesh in the Old Testament"
          I call B S
          Give the chapter verse in the Old Testament where God appeared in flesh

          September 3, 2013 at 7:57 am |
        • hharri

          Think like Sam stone and get arrested

          September 3, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • Toto

      if you think like Him you will also have eternal life now and when you die.

      Now click your heels three times and repeat "there's no place like home."

      September 3, 2013 at 2:53 am |
  11. Dan

    So you are all arguing over whether or not these three faiths worship the same mythical being? You may as well argue over whether or not Neptune and Poseidon were the same to the Romans and Greeks.

    September 3, 2013 at 12:30 am |
    • Dan

      sorry...posted twice...

      September 3, 2013 at 12:31 am |
  12. Dan

    So you're all arguing over whether or not these three faiths worship the same mythical being? You may as well ask if Neptune and Poseidon were the same god to the Romans and the Greeks.

    September 3, 2013 at 12:27 am |
  13. realbuckyball

    Nope they don't. They *say* they do, but it's not possible.
    Historically Islam "decreed" that the god of any conquered culture was the same as Allah, no matter what name it had.
    The fact is, Allah developed from the Arabic god, named "Sin". (Which is why there was such a HUGE deal made of the "Satanic Verses". The god Sin, (the Arabic moon-god), whom the Hebrews were told time and again to STOP worshiping in the Bible, had 3 divine daughters. Originally in the Qur'an, the SAME divine daughters were the daughters of Allah. "oh, the devil made me do it" was the excuse they cooked up for why Muhammad say he put them in the Qur'an. Allah is not Yahweh historically,no matter what they try to assert today. Yahweh was the 40th son of El Elyon, and the god Sin, was another god. As far as Jews and Christians ... no again. No Jew believes in the nonsense of the trinity. Three very different deities. Very different histories.

    September 3, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • HeavenScent

      There is no evidence for any god(s).
      What everyone who "prays" does, is affirm what their brains tell them that word means, FOR THEMSELF. Nothing more. It's talking to themselves. Self-affirming, self-talk. The word "god" has no coherent definition any longer in 2013. There is no definition of that linguistic string that is logical. No matter what people say, no matter how hard they stomp their feet and insist THEIR god exists, and is the REAL god, (just like the billions of others before them who did the same thing), they are responding to a false concept. The word means nothing, in 2013.

      The age of human religions is passing away.

      September 3, 2013 at 12:28 am |
      • hharri

        "HeavenScent
        There is no evidence for any god(s).
        What everyone who "prays" does, is affirm what their brains tell them that word means"

        is that right? how do you know?

        September 3, 2013 at 1:36 am |
      • hharri

        "HeavenScent
        There is no evidence for any god(s).
        What everyone who "prays" does, is affirm what their brains tell them that word means"

        is that right? how do you know?

        not as good as stone's?

        September 3, 2013 at 1:40 am |
        • sam stone

          blah, blah, fvcking blah

          September 3, 2013 at 6:41 am |
  14. Vic

    I believe it would be nice if CNN Belief Blog makes a case study out of this, and follows up this article with another one tracing back the origins and authenticity of each religion's scripture. I believe a lot of the Islamic scripture has its roots in the Jewish scriptures, and that Islamic Law is a "spin off" from the Mosaic Law.

    September 2, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • Will

      I agree, I would love to see a follow up on this article and the commits and debates that have come from it. I would like to see what leaders from each religion would have to say about the debate as well

      September 2, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • Doobs

      I'd like that, too, Vic. I believe in being a lifelong student.

      September 2, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I'd be way more impressed if they investigated, using the scientific method, the basic claims of the major religions. They would all be relegated to myth status very quickly.

      September 2, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      With proper historical criticism – sure. Would you really welcome that, Vic?

      September 2, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
      • Vic

        Sure!

        September 3, 2013 at 10:02 am |
  15. Vic

    Bible Gateway

    September 2, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Vic

      Test 123

      September 2, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
  16. tony

    Unless the flow of collection plates Dollars stops, none of this matters.

    September 2, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  17. bostontola

    From Christian Colin:

    "Stalin and the others murdered because they were atheists not in the name of atheism"

    Were the religious mass murders committed because the perpetrators were religious? Was the Bosnian mass murders committed because the perpetrators were Christian?

    The lack of logic is astounding.

    September 2, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Christians are very good at accusing others, but very bad at admitting their own transgressions. I think it's because they've been forgiven. Not by the people they've hurt, mind you, but by an imaginary friend who makes all their guilt magically disappear. Rather unethical system by my standards.

      September 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
      • bostontola

        As much as the bible has factual errors in it, the moral and ethical flaws are much more plentiful and egregious. It might have made sense thousands of years ago, but it hasn't weathered well.

        September 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
      • Maani

        From my perspective, you have it backward: most Christians are fully willing to accept the atrocities done in the name of Christianity (e.g., Crusades, inquisitions, witch hunts, etc.); however, most atheists (like Colin, apparently) reject the notion that Lenin, Stalin, and Mao committed THEIR atrocities not simply BECAUSE they were atheists, but via SPECIFICALLY anti-theist policies. Anyone who has read in any depth about Lenin and Stalin knows that there is no question that a large percentage of the ~60 million that died under their regimes died as a result of specifically anti-theist policies.

        September 2, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
        • Capital

          They died for control of the masses. Not anti-theist policies.
          Dicatators and despots frequently employ the same brain-washing techniques as religions do.
          Control=power. Please don't try to re-write history to fit your anti-atheist agenda.

          September 2, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Maani, you are welcome to your beliefs, but you are wrong. Communists killed for the sake of communism, not for atheism. They killed to gain and maintain power, and many believers were killed, not because they were christian, but because they opposed the political leaders. This may confuse you, but they were killed for political reasons, not religious ones.

          On the other hand, atrocities done by the church were quite proudly and openly committed in the name of god.

          I don't blame the church for every evil act committed by a christian, but christians happily blame atheism for the acts committed by monsters who happened to be atheists. And then christians claim that the monsters who share their faith "aren't real christians."

          Sorry, Maani. As has been said, you are trying to rewrite history in order to place blame on people whom you don't like. This is the act of a liar and a coward. Are these "morals" that you learned in church?

          September 2, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • Colin

      The reason Christians like to blame Starlin's acts on his atheism is that is all they have. Now, every unbiased person with a brain knows Starlin's acts had nothing to do with his atheism, but if they give up this argument, what have they got left?

      September 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
      • bostontola

        Faith.

        September 2, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
      • Athy

        Who is Starlin?

        September 3, 2013 at 12:48 am |
        • a reasonable atheist

          Ever seen a Russian nesting doll? Starlin is the one just inside of Stalin. Starmlin is the next one down. 20 рублей if you can guess the next one down! (disclaimer: 20 рублей are Soviet-issue from the time of Stalin and are worthless).

          September 3, 2013 at 9:55 am |
  18. bostontola

    .

    September 2, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • tony

      A great and thorough description of god and solid sound justification of religious belief. Well done!

      September 2, 2013 at 8:50 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.