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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. gailono

    Would The Almighty God of the Jews and Christians ask anyone to kill their wife, sister, brother, father or family then call the killing Honor! No the Deceit of Islam is to claim connection to The Almighty God of the Jews and Christians in order to make it easy to convert Jews and Christians claiming they are the natural progression of Christianity. God of the Jews and Christian is a forgiving loving God not a beast or barbarian of death.

    September 4, 2013 at 2:14 am |
    • Roger that

      You may want to crack open that Bible again big G.

      Deuteronomy 13:6-10

      6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

      7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;

      8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:

      9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

      10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

      September 4, 2013 at 3:53 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Read the bible? You're kidding, right? If they actually did that they wouldn't be believers. Most of them only know what is said from the pulpit or what the 'good' bits are.

        September 4, 2013 at 5:40 am |
  2. zengardener

    No.

    This isn't a case of several people seeing different sides of the same being and calling it by different names.

    God only exists in their minds, and so, is different for every person, and there is no source to check their ideas against.

    September 4, 2013 at 12:24 am |
  3. Anon

    Yes, they all worship the same mythological desert god of submission and death.

    September 3, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
  4. md2205

    People are not aware that it says in the Torah 24 times that G-d gave the Torah to Moses in front of the entire Jewish people at the mountain. In fact, G-d did not give the Torah to Moses alone. There were 3 million people there watching. If a person would have written the Bible out of his own imagination about something that happened hundreds of years before, why would he have said G-d gave the Torah to Moses in front of the entire Jewish people? That would have proven false, as no one would have known that at the time. That would mean it didn't happen. It would be exposed as a lie and wouldn't last until nowadays. If 3 million people hadn't seen it, when they would read the book supposedly written so many years later, they would realize that no one ever told them that before, that it is hogwash. Contrast that to the claim that Mohammed and other people who start religions say: G-d spoke to me when I was alone. Not one other religion claims that G-d spoke to more than one person at the beginning of their religion. Only Judaism makes that claim – a claim that He spoke to 3 million men, women and children at one time. If that wouldn't be true, their immediate descendants would know that.

    September 3, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • Observer

      (John 1:18) “No one has seen God at any time”

      September 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
      • md2205

        "G-d spoke to you from the midst of the fire, you were hearing the sound of words, but you were not seeing a form, only a sound. He told you of His covenant, instructing you to keep the Ten Commandments, and He inscribed them on two stone tablets." (Deut.4:9-13)

        September 4, 2013 at 1:16 am |
        • Observer

          So those were the ones that Moses later destroyed in a hissy fit and then God gave him different ones. You'd think after 3 million people watched, that Moses wouldn't have dared to destroy them later.

          It's a shame that NONE of the tablets remain to prove anything.

          September 4, 2013 at 1:22 am |
        • md2205

          To Observer,
          When Moses came down from the mountain, many of the Jews were dancing around the Golden Calf. This was idol worship, which was punishable by death, and G-d told Moses He will destroy the Jews and make a new nation from Moses and his descendants.

          Moses broke the tablets in order to discourage G‑d from implementing His plan to annihilate the Jews. Upon breaking the tablets, he told G‑d, “Now I am a sinner just like them. If You decide to eradicate them, destroy me as well."

          I would love to chat more, but I am getting tired and have to retire for the night. Please look at websites such as chabad.org or askmoses.com for answers to any further questions you may have. Take care,

          September 4, 2013 at 2:00 am |
    • Zipporah

      Didn't know that before, thanks for sharing!

      September 3, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Athy

      Who's G-d, md2205? Why don't you spell out his name? Are you afraid of his wrath? And that's a real cute name, md2205. Very creative. Just like your fantasy story.

      September 3, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
      • md2205

        Jewish people do not write G-d's name in a place where it may be discarded or erased. Treating G-d's name with reverence is a way to give respect to G-d. So even though on a computer the name is not really being erased (and perhaps is not really there in the first place), and "G-d" is only an English term used to translate G-d's holy name, it is in keeping with this respect that I write "G-d" in my postings.

        September 4, 2013 at 12:39 am |
        • Athy

          That's totally crazy. You think god reads these posts and is offended by the word god? Does god even read English? Does god even exist? You religious people are beyond insane. I'm so happy I don't buy into that foolishness. Why do you? Years and years of mindless kowtowing probably.

          September 4, 2013 at 1:00 am |
        • md2205

          To Athy,
          I didn't say He is offended. I said I am being respectful.

          September 4, 2013 at 1:08 am |
        • Athy

          And who does that impress? And why? What if you don't show respect? What happens? Do you burn in hell? That whole business is preposterous.

          September 4, 2013 at 1:12 am |
        • md2205

          To Athy,
          Many people have a misconception of G-d as a hateful, punishing type who is just looking to bust all of us. And that is not true. He gave us free choice to do what He created us for, or not. If we do good in the world, eventually we get to see the results of that good, of what we accomplish(ed) in the world. If we do something He asked us not to, we will eventually see the results of those actions as well.

          There are many misconceptions people have because they have been taught about G-d incorrectly. People have so many questions because of that, and the questions should be asked, but concepts generally take more than a few sentences to explain and may best be learned in other ways.

          For example, there is a great website called chabad.org. You can search for any topic on that website and read articles that can explain all kinds of ideas to you. There is another website called askmoses.com. You can ask any question you want on that website.

          Nice chatting with you, but I am getting tired and have to retire for the night. Take care,

          September 4, 2013 at 1:51 am |
        • sam stone

          "Many people have a misconception of G-d as a hateful, punishing type who is just looking to bust all of us."

          Right. How could people come up with such a belief?

          September 4, 2013 at 5:03 am |
        • G to the T

          Sorry but your premise is flawed. Even most Jewish scholars don't believe that the OT was written as a single tome with a single author. It was a collection of earlier written/oral traditions of the 12 tribes fused together into a single narrative.

          For instance – there's NO evidence for the Exodus story in general. More recent archeological findings are suggesting that the early hebrews were actually from southern Canaan. There was no Exodus, there was no conquering of the promise land. It was all compiled centuries/millenia after the fact.

          September 4, 2013 at 10:49 am |
        • Anon

          Your precious God is a mythological piece of shít.

          September 4, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      "Only Judaism makes that claim – a claim that He spoke to 3 million men, women and children at one time. If that wouldn't be true, their immediate descendants would know that."

      When was that claim made, md2205?

      September 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
      • md2205

        3,325 years ago. The Torah says that G-d gave the Torah to Moses in front of the entire Jewish people. It says in the Book of Numbers says there were just over 603,000 men over the age of 20 from eleven tribes, and 22,300 males over the age of one month from the tribe of Levi. We can reasonably infer there were also around 600,000 women from the eleven tribes and another approximately 20,000 females over the age of one month from the tribe of Levi. We can also reasonably infer there were many children and teenagers under the age of 20 from the eleven tribes as the Jews had many children when they were in Egypt.

        September 4, 2013 at 1:06 am |
        • Observer

          You missed this part:

          (John 1:18) “No one has seen God at any time”

          September 4, 2013 at 1:16 am |
        • tallulah13

          So basically, md, you claim your religion is true because the book that says your religion is true says that your religion is true.

          September 4, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • ME II

      Stories change over time. What may have started out as 'Moses received the Torah' expanded over time. By the time there was a claim of 3 million witnesses (btw where is that in the Bible) enough time had passed from the supposed event that confirmation would be unlikely, or more importantly dis-confirmation would be nearly impossible.
      For example, how many urban legends start with "a friend of my cousin', or something similar, and are believed by many who hear it. It is the nature of legends and myths.

      September 4, 2013 at 10:35 am |
  5. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Amazing, isn't it? A largely unregarded tribe came up with some catchy stories to justify to itself and the world its existence and what its people did and had to do to survive in a tough part of the world. Those stories turned out to have some viral properties, involving as they did an all-powerful God beyond our perception and a system of ultimate rewards and punishments that transcend death. Now that the stories have diverged into (at least) three lineages we ask whether there is any truth behind them and which of the three might best represent truth. Think way back to why this stuff was brought into being. It was concoted because it provided explanations that were thought necessary, not because it was inspired by or had anything to do with the true nature of things.

    September 3, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • Athy

      Yes. You'd think advances in science would have long ago eliminated the need for religion. But, apparently, scientific, logical thought has yet to be mastered by many people.

      September 3, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • sam stone

      makes sense to me

      September 3, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      actually they didn't even come up with most of it themselves. much of it was copied from other earlier mythology. laughable on so many levels.

      September 3, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Those stories were definitely not inspired by the old nature, to the old nature they make absolutely no sense.

      September 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
      • Athy

        Are you implying they make sense now?

        September 3, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          No, they still make no sense to the old nature.

          September 3, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      It is very easy to believe the bible for what it is when you understand how it came to exist. It's stories make perfect sense when viewed as adopted and adapted and edited and rre-edited stories from various cultures about various "strong men" heroes and legends and such.

      September 3, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • Vic

      Some people keep referring to "old mythologies" as the source of scriptures as if it were true. Keep in mind that knowledge of God and His ways must had been passed down verbally and then in writing from generation to generation starting with Adam & Eve. That means there had been knowledge of God and His ways before any prophets were sent forth. And, those prophets must had been instructed by God to incorporate that knowledge of Him that had been passed down from generation to generation before them.

      That begs the question, if knowledge of God was not passed down to people by Adam & Eve originally, why then we do not have anything else telling from the first people, whoever they were?!

      September 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Why is it, then, that many cultures all over the world don't seem to have had such knowledge, whereas cultures that do have knowledge of a God you'd find familiar all seem to have had extensive contact with one another.

        September 3, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          & where did Cains wife come from & who were those people he was worried would kill him?

          September 3, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I'm curious about thatmyself, Robert. It seems fairly common for tribes to have creation myths that pertain to themsleves and not others. The "human beings" are the people of the tribe. Others, not made in the same creation, may exist and may not merit a part in the myth.

          September 3, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Obviously all the characters came from the mind(s) of the author(s) of The Babble, a work of not very good fiction, unless of course someone can prove otherwise.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
      • Vic

        Well, I am not concerned with all the details, and I don't doubt that a lot might had been altered and/or lost in translation, but if it were not Adam & Eve who were the first people, who then were the first people, and what did they leave behind?!

        Regarding other cultures, I am not aware of any other cultures that have knowledge or scriptural "continuity" going back to the beginning like, say, Christianity does.

        September 3, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Vic, they're just stories from The Babble! There's not a shred of evidence that they're anything but fiction.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Regarding other cultures, Japan comes to mind as one with a well-developed mythology of its origins.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
        • Observer

          Vic

          "Well, I am not concerned with all the details'

          Why not? The mysterious civilization at Nod must have had some version of Adam since apparently women just came from men's ribs. Maybe his name was the often referenced Steve in "Adam and Steve" that Christians talk about.

          Isn't it better to find that at least one of Adam's sons didn't have s3x with their mother or sister?

          September 3, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
        • Vic

          The story of God is the ONLY one that explains where male & female came from.

          The details are not what shows us "continuity" all the way back to the first people, that's why I am not concerned about them in this discussion. I am interested in the "lineage" of humanity all the way back to the first people. I find the story of God the ONLY one telling about that. I am not aware of any other!

          September 3, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Bullsh!t Vic! It's merely one that took hold a couple of thousand years ago and has gone mostly unchallenged due to societal pressures. There is not a single bit of factual, objective, independent or verifiable evidence to support any of the supernatural claims in The Babble.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
        • Vic

          Can you tell us where male & female came from?!

          Can you tell us who the first people were?!

          Can you tell us what information the first people passed down to us?!

          September 3, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
        • Observer

          Vic,

          The civilization at Nod must have begun almost simultaneously with the Garden of Eden. It could have even preceded Adam and Eve. The Bible NEVER gives any information about the first people there. So much for details about continuity. Without details on how Nod began, there is nothing else that would deny that all of God's people resulted from INCEST. It was his hypocritical method of choice to populate the earth both times he started anew.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Vic, "We don't know." is a far superior answer to "Some god did it." because you don't have a single fact to back up your claims whereas science is demonstrably getting closer to the answer with verifiable, objective and independent facts.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Actually, Vic, even if male and female were only desciribed in your myth it got it wrong. Any student of human biology can tell you that the default phenotype of humans is female.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Observer, there just isn't anyway to know anymore about Nod. How long we're Adam & Eve in the garden? It says how old Adam was when he died, when did that clock start?

          September 3, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
        • Observer

          Robert Brown,

          So does this all "prove" that the world is 6,000 years old?

          September 3, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
        • Johnny

          According to the Bible Eve was a man. Since Eve was cloned from Adams rib Eve would be an exact genetic copy of Adam.

          September 4, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • Ken

          Vic
          "Details" like if something actually makes sense, or not? Is actually moral, or not? Conforms with known reality, or not? Those kind of "details"?

          September 5, 2013 at 10:08 am |
      • redzoa

        We do, in fact, have some recorded history that significantly predates anything relating to the Bible or Adam & Eve. Interestingly, the depictions are what would be expected of relatively primitive hunting societies, but to my knowledge, they certainly do not reflect a literate people, let alone a people who were familiar with the particular oral or written narrative contained in Genesis or this book's alleged supreme deity.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_painting

        September 4, 2013 at 1:12 am |
  6. Lionly Lamb

    Socialized religions are not standing up for God... Their religious herds are standing up for their preacher's ideologies... The revelation that one should seek out the domains of God's kingdoms being upon the body's internalized works seems unfathomable to just about everyone including today's brainiacs...

    September 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Translation – " No one buys my outrageous bullspit, and I'm mad. "
      Were you stomping your foot or holding your breath as you typed ?

      September 3, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
      • Athy

        Wow. You speak Lambese. I'm impressed!

        September 3, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • spam filter

      Well – same thing can be said for all the generations of folk who wrote down all the words from which you derived you've formed your own theories about "in the beginning" . . .

      September 3, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  7. Robert Brown

    Sam, a fathers pleasure is to love the child & hopefully be loved in return.

    September 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      rob trust me as his first son, that narcissistic, egotistical, sociopath only loves himself.

      September 3, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Ken

      But, would a good father punish his son for not loving him, or believing that he is his father, for that matter?

      September 3, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • joe

      Sam, a fathers pleasure is to love the child & hopefully be loved in return.
      -------
      Nonsensical when you are talking about the Creator. The Creator is all knowing and all powerful and created everything including pleasure and love and has already experienced everything an infinite number of times.

      There is no point in a creator engaging in such a nonsensical and idle act as getting pleasure and love infinity plus one.

      September 3, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      would you condemn you child to eternal torture if he did not love you?

      September 3, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        No sam, I wouldnt and neither would God. If you wanted to adobt a child of your worst enemy, but the child rejected you, would you adopt him anyway, or let him go his way?

        September 3, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
        • sam stone

          really, robert?

          i am not god, i do not assume my feelings will be that of god

          will, another faithful follower of jesus, said that god allows children to be born that he knows will go to hell

          do you agree with that?

          September 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
        • sam stone

          are you suggesting that god has the insecurties than man does?

          September 3, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          The difference is that according to your myths, your god created both heaven and hell and decides who goes where. A lot different than a child moving away from a parent.

          September 3, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Now sam, you seemed upset earlier because I wouldn't answer your questions, are you returning the favor? Would you adopt or not?

          As far as allowing children to be born who he knows will go to hell, He is glorified in mercy and judgement. I think of it this way, those who are given a choice have reached the age of accountability, those who don't have a choice are considered innocent.

          There are people who hear the word their whole lives and accept him late in life, there are those who hear it their whole lives and profess to believe, but really don't, which one is worse?

          September 3, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Stupid analogy. The "father" in the analogy did not make the entire universe and set up the consequences.

          September 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
        • Will

          Ok, let me give you a better one. Some kills one of your family members or a close friend, someone you love. You would call that person a murder, now let's the judge looked at him and said, "I know you killed them, but I'll let you go." You would be ticked, here the judge knew he was guilty and let him go anyhow.
          See, God is just, therefore He refuses to accept sin, because it is against His nature

          September 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Santa, ok maybe that was a bad analogy. The idea is that satan is enemy who has a child and does everything he can to destroy the life of that child. God the father looks on the child in mercy and wants to adopt his enemies child, but the child gets to choose whether or not to accept the offer.

          September 3, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Evil god, in that case. If god wants the choice to be fair, then he should let us experience both options and prove himself in a measurable, verifiable, testable way. The best analogy to bible god is the "kiss hank's @55" scenario. Google it.

          September 3, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Santa, if it's the one that gets posted on here a lot, I've read it.

          God allows his witnesses to spread the good news, could he do it a different way? I'm sure he could do most anything he wants.

          Most folks like the idea of an all loving God. God is also a righteous judge, people don't like that part.

          September 3, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
        • sam stone

          first of all, yes. if the child is in need, i would adopt

          secondly, how can free will possibly jibe with an omniscient god?

          September 3, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
        • Observer

          Robert Brown

          "God is also a righteous judge, people don't like that part.'

          Amen to that. Most people are opposed to his "righteous" support of slavery and discrimination against women, gays, and the handicapped.

          September 3, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
        • sam stone

          robert: perhaps people do not feel the need to have a god from 2 millenia prior

          September 3, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Why does there have to be any god(s) at all?

          September 3, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
        • sam stone

          now, robert,answer my question

          how can free will and an omniscient god exist together?

          September 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Sam, I get in my time machine & go in the future & see you choose door 1. I send several people to tell you to pick 2. You still get to pick.

          September 3, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
        • sam stone

          robert: in the scenario you painted, it is not a free choice.

          if god knows i am going to choose #1, what is the chance i will choose #2?

          September 3, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Sam, I just don't see how my knowing you will choose 1, prevents you from picking. It is still your decision whether I know it or not.

          September 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
        • sam stone

          if god knows before i am born that i am not going to accept jesus as my Personal Lord and Savior (TM)? what is the chance i am going to prove god wrong?

          none

          no free will

          September 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
        • sam stone

          wow, robert.....are you claiming to be omniscient?

          free will and OMNISCIENT GOD are incompatible

          i do not know how more simply i can put it

          September 3, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
        • sam stone

          you are falling all over yourself avoiding answering this directly...

          if god knows i am going to choose A, and god CANNOT BE WRONG, what are the odds i am going to choose B?

          September 3, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
        • Will

          Sam, may I ask why you have not responded to my response?

          September 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
        • sam stone

          come on, robert, time for some more bumper sticker philosophy. you christians seem to use as a salve to protect yourself from reason.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          I guess we just think differently. I can't understand how God knowing what you will ultimately do prevents you from doing it. We make choices & decisions everyday, God knowing doesn't prevent us from making those choices. Do you think if there is such a thing as a God that he would hide himself from someone who wanted to know?

          September 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
        • sam stone

          "I can't understand how God knowing what you will ultimately do prevents you from doing it."

          it doesn't PREVENT me from doing it, it MANDATES that i do it. hence, no free will.

          "God knowing doesn't prevent us from making those choices."

          again, you avoid answering the question DIRECTLY

          if god know i am going to choose A, and god CANNOT BE WRONG, what is the chance i will choose B?

          "Do you think if there is such a thing as a God that he would hide himself from someone who wanted to know?"

          do you confuse belief with knowledge again?

          September 3, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
        • sam stone

          which question is that, will?

          September 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
        • Will

          I believe I replied to you, and you ne'er replied to me

          September 3, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
        • sam stone

          i am going to bed

          robert: omniscient god = no free will

          sorry it conflicts with your touchy/feely story,

          try a logic class some time

          September 3, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Ok sam, good night. My lack of a logic class may be why I have trouble with your line of thought on the subject of what God is. I'm just your average everyday Christian with no formal theological education of any kind. Maybe one of those highly trained folks would be able to communicate with you better. Peace, hope, & joy.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
        • sam stone

          it is not about a formal education. it is about logic

          if god knows what the answer is going to be
          and god cannot be wrong
          there is no chance i will come up with anything other than what god knows it willl be
          hence, no free will

          i suppose logic does elude you
          but you wear subservience well
          probably a family thing

          September 4, 2013 at 4:36 am |
        • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

          A divided house cannot stand, no matter what bi-(O!)-logical stone sayz.

          September 4, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • G to the T

          "I think of it this way, those who are given a choice have reached the age of accountability, those who don't have a choice are considered innocent. " A nice thought but not one supported by the bible. So what are you actually basing your faith on? The Bible? the Church? What works for you? (see the problem?)

          September 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      God. The one who loves you so much, that he created hell in case you don't love him back... LOL

      September 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
      • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

        lol?? Pithiest, YES!!
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        The commie socie scientists are doin' plenty of experimentin' in their lab, da wurld. You clean up their messy trash. Test tube Warlocks are comin' from Bloom's educratists. TRUE NATURE must be Worshipped!!

        The Warlocks are comin'!!
        The Warlocks are comin"!!

        September 4, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  8. Sam Yaza

    yes they do, they all worship the same evil god.

    September 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Not sure about evil, but same alleged god, that so far is purely imaginary and completely unfounded.

      September 3, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
  9. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    "Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?"

    More like "Do Baseball players, Soccer players and Basketball players play their games with a ball? Of course they do, some just have bigger balls then others..."

    September 3, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      if they had any balls at all, they would not be begging for salvation

      September 3, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  10. ME II

    Just curious, but in the graphic above is the 'hand of god' hanging those religions or just controlling them like marionettes?

    September 3, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Ken

      Looks to me like he's leading them, like dogs on leashes.

      September 3, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • fred

      It's called string theory and the root for a theory of everything, This is Hawkings god although he does not realize it.

      September 3, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
      • Ken

        If that was meant to be funny, then 🙂

        September 3, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
        • fred

          ---UUUUU---–
          / I I
          / I I
          Ken ME II Spam Filter

          September 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
        • Ken

          Are you suffering from logic like this robot?

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuYbDP2kDfg

          September 3, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • spam filter

      Not quite equivalent, fred. When the Abrahamic God is added to the equation, then it becomes "silly string" theory.

      September 3, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
      • fred

        Hawkings and believers are all looking to fill that vast unknown and both fill it with their god. Those who claim death is nothing more than non existence without accountability have created a view of heaven not much different than believers. Silly string is what we all use because belief, reason and science still have not figured out the unknowable.
        Even Isaiah could not muster up the words to describe what God looks like and our smartest scientists today think quantum theory sounds very impressive to explain without proof the unknowable and that which cannot be seen

        September 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
  11. 7

    Hello folks. Everyone is invited to receive a free Christian song download at – thetreasureofzion.com

    September 3, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      I'd rather visit thetreasureofmyseptictank.com....

      September 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
  12. JR

    "But all three claim to have the only “True Faith.”"

    But even those of the same faith argue among themselves about what exactly is the "true faith" (think Sunni/Shiite, Protestant/Catholic, Orthodox/Reform, etc.) and are sometimes willing to kill even those within their own faith over their petty differences. Doesn't really make one want to see things their way.

    September 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      They all 3 claim, so which one makes the most sense. 2 of them require perfect behavior + faith. 1 requires faith.

      September 3, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
      • sam stone

        faith is not a pathway to truth, robert

        September 3, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
      • Sam Yaza

        so by that standard Christianity is the black sheep,. the wrong one, the odd duck out, the only one disobeying their god,...just saying

        September 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
      • Ken

        Robert
        Yet, if someone who went to church with you for decades was caught being a serial killer with 35 bodies buried in his backyard you'd probably claim that his actions prove that he wasn't really a Christian all along, so why pretend that behavior isn't part of the equation?

        September 3, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Ken,

          We love him and try our best to obey because he loved us first.

          September 3, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
        • Ken

          Robert
          Fine, but that doesn't answer my question. Does a person's actions factor into the equation, or not?

          Also, would you be inclined to love everyone who loved you first? Stalkers and pedophiles come to mind. Wouldn't you have to have a pretty low self-esteme to do anything for some guy just to earn, or reward his love? Battered women come to mind here. Not good examples to follow, right?

          September 4, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  13. chuckie

    It isn't about God. It is about individual groups' cultures. God doesn't need people to kill each other in HIs name. For example, the Old Testament and the Pentateuch, while addressing proper behavior, etc. essentially are polemics claiming the superiority of the Hebrew and then Jewish nation and justifying its taking of lands from other peoples. The all seeing, perfect, all powerful, etc. God needs no worship. A perfect being is complete, needing nothing to augment it. Need implies a lack.

    September 3, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      God doesn't need, we do.

      September 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • joe

        God doesn’t need, we do.
        -------
        Nonsensical. God made us. God made our needs. If He made us need him then that means he wanted/needed to be wanted/needed. No all knowing, all powerful good would want/need to make something that needed Him. He would already know what it's like to be wanted/needed by definition and would find no purpose in carrying out something that He already knows.

        September 3, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          I think there is a difference between a want & a need. For example, if you are a parent you want your children to love you. You love them and hope they love you back. Do you need it?

          September 3, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
        • joe

          I think there is a difference between a want & a need.
          -------
          And that is why I used both. God would not want or need or even do anything for amusement. Remember, He's all knowing. He created everything. He invented and experienced every emotion and experience there is by definition of being the Creator and being all knowing. For an omniscient omnipotent being create something is a completely nonsensical and idle act.

          September 3, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Ever build anything Joe? People make and build things for all sorts of reasons. God created for his good pleasure.

          September 3, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
        • joe

          God created for his good pleasure.
          -------
          Same inane logic. God created the emotion of pleasure and has already experienced every form of pleasure there is an infinite number of times. That's what it means to be all knowing and all powerful and the creator- by definition. It would not want or need to create one more iota of pleasure because It has already experienced such ad infitum.

          That you are even suggesting that God desires pleasure tells us you are worshiping a human form of your limited imagination.

          September 3, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
        • sam stone

          god created us for his pleasure?

          god is omniscient, right?

          god knows who will or will not accept jesus as a savior, right?

          so he creates billions of people KNOWING they will not be saved from his temper tantrum

          and this is for his pleasure?

          September 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
        • Will

          The answer to the first part, is yes, He does make some people with the full knowledge that they will go to Hell, as you said this is because He is omniscient. He is also all powerful, that is He controls all things, if He wanted He could let both of us die right now, He gave us life and He can take it away. He is God
          He also is not an angry God nor does He have temper tantrums. He is a giving God, he gives us choice, the choice to follow Him and the choice to not follow Him. Christians, the people who chose to follow Him, often don't get the good life on earth, rather we wait for life in heaven. Those who chose to not follow Him do tend to get it all in this life. In the end however, Christians know that they have the life to come, while nonChristians only have Hell.
          My point is this, God made all people to follow Him, you have the choice. Regardless, God will give you at least some amount of pleasure or enjoyment, your choice depends on whether that is eternity (if you are a believer) or just the short time you spend on earth (if you're not)

          September 3, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
        • joe

          He is a giving God, he gives us choice, the choice to follow Him and the choice to not follow Him.
          ---------
          wrong. This is the standard Christian fall back position for all the atrocities in the world. "People choose them, not God." There are all kinds of people who don't have such choices. People born with birth defects so they can't choose, people who are psychotic or sociopaths and incapable of controlling their minds, people who are born in fundamentalist Muslim areas who never had the opportunity to choose or who would be murdered on the spot if they so "chose", people who God gave too much intelligence too to believe such an inane demand without more evidence, people who die in natural disasters before they were quite willing to convert etc. etc.

          September 3, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Sam, it is not his will that any should perish. Either way he is glorified in mercy or judgement, your choice.

          September 3, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
        • joe

          Either way he is glorified in mercy or judgement, your choice.
          --------
          What does that mean?

          September 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
        • sam stone

          robert: if your father had told you he only created you for his pleasure, what would you think?

          September 3, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "so he creates billions of people KNOWING they will not be saved from his temper tantrum"

          For a child pretending to be Godzilla, he must first stack the blocks nto buildings before he can knock them down...

          September 3, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Joe, those are some interesting thoughts about what you think God thinks or is or should be. You ever read the bible?

          September 3, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
        • joe

          You ever read the bible?
          ----
          Oh ya, don't get me started.

          September 3, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
        • sam stone

          robert: if god is omniscient, he KNOWS who will or will not accept jesus as a savior, right?

          god cannot be wrong, correct?

          if he knows who will not accept jesus as a savior, but lets them be born anyway, what possible reason could there be other than he wills they go to hell?

          September 3, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Joe, he is glorified in extending mercy to those who trust in him. He is also glorified in judging those who reject him.

          September 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
        • joe

          he is glorified in extending mercy to those who trust in him. He is also glorified in judging those who reject him.
          -------
          strange definition of glory but even then you are wrong. The all knowing all powerful creator is not interested in glory by definition of being the creator. The creator invented glory and already experienced every form of glory an infinite amount of times. Such a being would have no need or desire or seek out any more glory.

          Infinite plus one? I don't think so. Think about it.

          September 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
        • sam stone

          will...the god you just described is a petty pr1ck. it sort of sucks that you have been hoowinked into believing such malarky

          September 3, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
        • Will

          Why do you say that?

          September 3, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
        • sam stone

          "The answer to the first part, is yes, He does make some people with the full knowledge that they will go to Hell"

          What would be the purpose of this, other than god digging on the smell of burning flesh?
          "
          He is omniscient. He is also all powerful,"

          He is also a mean, petty tyrant

          "if He wanted He could let both of us die right now"

          well, that's quite neighbourly of him
          ,
          "He gave us life and He can take it away."

          My parents gave me life.

          "He is God"

          He is mythology

          "He also is not an angry God nor does He have temper tantrums."

          really? we are still paying for Adam and Eve and he is not an angry god?

          "He is a giving God, he gives us choice, the choice to follow Him and the choice to not follow Him."

          Nonsense. The concepts of free will and an omniscient god do not jibe

          " Christians, the people who chose to follow Him, often don't get the good life on earth"
          Rather, it is more desparate people who flock to religion

          "rather,we wait for it in heaven"

          why not the big rush to be with jesus?

          "Those who chose to not follow Him do tend to get it all in this life. In the end however, Christians know that they have the life to come, while nonChristians only have Hell."

          You sure have an issue of confusing belief with knowledge.

          Amazing that you desire an eternity with the punk from whom you have to be saved

          "My point is this, God made all people to follow Him, you have the choice."

          My point is, if god is omniscient, there is NO FREE WILL.

          "Regardless, God will give you at least some amount of pleasure or enjoyment, your choice depends on whether that is eternity (if you are a believer)"

          belief is not synonymous with fact

          You speak of speaking respectully, then you turn around the post this tripe

          Good luck with your god. Take your kneepads

          September 3, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
        • Will

          Going down the list:
          The thing is, when people die, they either go to Heaven or Hell. Now Heaven is not just a great place where believers go to have fun, in fact, it appears that once in Heaven, the primary thing that Christians do is praise God. Now if you were an unbeliever and some how ended up in Heaven, praising a god you thought was stupid, you would hate it, you might even say, "This is Hell!" So in some sense, God gives people what they want.
          This question is answered above. He's not mean, He is just and gives people what they want
          And no, he is all powerful, if He could do it, then he wouldn't be all powerful
          And again no, he made Adam and Eve (sustained them too) and all our other ancestors thus, no, God gave you life
          And no, He is constant and reliable and is continually backed up by history and science
          And no, you're not paying for them, Jesus Christ died and paid for your sins and mine. He did all the work, you just have to admit that he did it basically
          And yes, they do. It stands to reason that an all knowing eternal God could predict what you and I would believe no before He made and thus have already know whether we would except him or not
          And I'm not sure what you trying to say by that
          And because we want to tell others about Him and be used by Him to reach others
          And that commit does not make any sense, but clearly God is not a punk, as I have already demonstrated
          And your main point, as I already explained is false
          No, but my belief is true, none the less, it is by definition virtually impossible to prove anything
          And no, I don't need knee pads. God says that if you have faith and believe, that you will be saved.

          September 3, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Sam,

          We are all born children of the devil, not God's children. You have to be born spiritually to become a child of God, then you can't go to hell even if you want to.

          September 3, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
        • sam stone

          "We are all born children of the devil, not God's children. You have to be born spiritually to become a child of God, then you can't go to hell even if you want to."

          wow. just wow.

          it is amusing in sad sort of way that you cannot discern knowledge from belief.

          hop on the family religion bandwagon and ride it out, robert?

          September 3, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          joe, there you go again telling us what God can and can't do, because he is the creator. What do you base any of this on, other than your own philosophy?

          September 3, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Sam, you are correct, I am sharing what I believe, isn't that what you are doing?

          September 3, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
        • sam stone

          robert: as long as you acknowledge that yours is an opinion, no more nor any less valuable than mine or anyone elses, we have no issues. if you couch it as fact, expect to be challenged

          September 3, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Fair enough sam, by the way, I bet your friends think you have a good sense of humor.

          September 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
        • sam stone

          "The thing is, when people die, they either go to Heaven or Hell"

          pure conjecture

          "Now Heaven is not just a great place where believers go to have fun, in fact, it appears that once in Heaven, the primary thing that Christians do is praise God"

          Do you seriously want FOREVER with a being you are obligated to praise. FOR-fvcking-EVER?

          "Now if you were an unbeliever and some how ended up in Heaven, praising a god you thought was stupid"

          i don't think god is stupid. i think god is mythology. can you not see the difference?

          some of the myth's followers, on the other hand......

          "He's not mean"

          No, he is a mythological pr1ck

          "He is just and gives people what they want"

          Do you consider the concept of original sin just?

          How about wanting others to take the punishment you feel you deserve? Christians not only rush to do it, they fvcking brag about it "jeebus died for my sins". How gullible are you people?

          "God gave you life"

          Nonsense, my parents gave me life

          "He is constant and reliable and is continually backed up by history and science"

          Care to provide some of this?

          "And no, you're not paying for them, Jesus Christ died and paid for your sins and mine."

          Sin is a man made concept designed to fool the gullible

          "He did all the work, you just have to admit that he did it basically"

          He was a loudmouth who god whacked by the Romans. Hardly the first, nor the last.

          Translated, edited hearsay is what you got

          "It stands to reason that an all knowing eternal God could predict what you and I would believe no before He made and thus have already know whether we would except him or not"

          A-C-C-E-P-T.

          Two comments on the previous bit of illogical drivel....first of all, prediction implies chance. if god says it, there is no chance involved, is there? secondly, if god knows whether you will accept or reject, and god is omniscient, where is the free will? things will go the way god knows they will go.....god cannot be wrong.

          "And because we want to tell others about Him and be used by Him to reach others"

          To spread the mythology

          "but clearly God is not a punk, as I have already demonstrated"

          you've done no such thing.

          "And your main point, as I already explained is false"

          you have blathered unconvincing arguments full of enough holes to make it swiss cheese

          "No, but my belief is true, none the less,"

          your belief is your belief. it may be sincere, but it that doesn't make it true, or at least any more true than someone who has an equally sincere belief in a different god.

          "And no, I don't need knee pads"

          apparently you do. your post is full of nothing but snivelling sycophantry.

          "God says that if you have faith and believe, that you will be saved"

          No, man said that. Besides, do you seriously desire eternity worshipping a being from whom you have to be "saved"?

          September 4, 2013 at 6:26 am |
      • ME II

        That always seemed weak to me also. If God wasn't trying to fulfill some need then why would s/he supposedly create a universe in the first place.

        September 3, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
      • sam stone

        i don't need your god, robert. you do. somewhere, someone has told you that you needed salvation. then you fell to your knees and started begging. good for you. apparently, god needs snivelling sycophants.

        September 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
        • Will

          Hey, chill out man, this is a blog meant for people to discus their views and give evidence, so show some respect

          September 3, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
        • sam stone

          i show respect, but not to all.

          if someone comes on and blathers that their views are facts, i see no need to be respectful

          if someone want to issue empty proxy threats, or be insulting, i see no need to be respectful

          robert has continually dodged my questions.

          September 3, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
        • Will

          Then talk it out in a respectful way or get off the blog. Saying stuff like that wont change anything

          September 3, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Hey Sam, how are you? One good thing about your responses, I no longer have to look up the definition of sycophant. I'm not sure about the questions you're refering to.

          September 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
        • ME II

          @Will,
          Since when is patronizing considered respectful?

          September 3, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
        • Will

          I'm not patronizing you, I just believe in showing respect. It's part of my Christian beliefs. I'm not really trying to debate you, I have said that same things to plenty of other people on this blog, Christians and nonChristians

          September 3, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
        • Will

          Well, I believe in respecting people and treating them like you want to be treat, it's part of my faith. I also believe in understanding and talking intelligent to people who believe differently than you

          September 3, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
        • sam stone

          will: let me know when christians come here to discuss rather than preach

          as for the blog, if you don't like my language, leave

          September 3, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
        • Will

          Again, God is sovereign, he doesn't have to fit into your beliefs of right and wrong. We don't even deserve the opportunity to be saved, yet God gives us grace.
          There are a lot of answers to your question, some people believe that God forgives people that didn't have a chance to believe. I believe in a term called general revelation, that is the idea that there is enough evidence in nature alone to lead a person to God or at the very least to seek and find Christ. Farther more, and this is probably more in line with what you are talking about there is what is known as special revelation, which is that if a person truly wants to be saved, the Holy Spirit will find them and reveal God to them. I understand this probably sounds like a stretch, but there a numerous reports of such things happeningv

          September 3, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
        • joe

          There are a lot of answers to your question, some people believe that God forgives people that didn’t have a chance to believe. I believe in a term called general revelatio
          ------
          the poster admits different Christians have different beliefs–proof they are worshiping the God they make up in their minds.

          September 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
        • Will

          Actually it's not, see virtually every religion has denominations, that simply differ over minor things, they acknowledge that one another are saved. Christianity is no different. The various denominations within Christianity differ on the minor details, whether or not a particular verse means this or that, small stuff, but they believe all of the same core doctrine

          September 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
        • Will

          What have I preached to you, I just answered your questions and told you what I believe, I never told you that you were stupid or going to Hell. I just told you what I believe
          I will put up with it for the sake of talking

          September 3, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
        • Ken

          Will
          Is it not true that all Christians were told that they need salvation? Sure, there is some level of dissatisfaction everyone finds in their lives, but someone had to convince you that the Christian model of salvation would not only help correct that dissatisfaction, but was somehow necessary for other reasons, like avoiding some terrible fate after death. Nobody's been able to prove any of these claims, so why is it wrong to be skeptical?

          September 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
        • Will

          The answer to your first question is yes. That is why Christians are called to minister to those around them, because we know that at one time we to we're lost
          As to the middle part, it is a valid point, however the reason Christians are "supposed" to be saved is because they realize their sin and how much God loves them. Hell is not meant to be a place of punishment nor did Jesus die to keep people from going to Hell. Hell is simply a destination for those who don't believe, it's more of explaining what happens to unbelievers than trying to scare people into getting saved. Admittedly many pastors use Hell to try to scare people into getting saved which is the wrong idea
          As to the last part, it too is valid. I personally don't believe that God will ever let Himself be proved (honestly I don't have a reason for believing this, it's just my opinion). I might also mention that evolution and other religions are not proved either, that is why it is called the theory of evolution, because while there may be evidence, it can't be proven.
          So the answer to your last question is that it's not wrong to be skeptical. It's far better to come to God through your own search and journey than to just believe, this is true for all religions and even non religious things
          I will say this though, I believe that God will judge the world and his ruling will be final. He separates out those who believe and those who don't. So my prayer is that you make up your mind, because much like a car in your blind spot, just because you don't think it's there, doesn't mean that you're right.
          Does that make sense?

          September 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
        • Ken

          Will
          And others were told that everyone is born a Muslim, that the source of their ills is bad karma earned in past lives, or some other explanation. Each has it's followers, but none is more objectively provable than the other.

          Evolution is not a religion. It is a theory used to explain various facts and data, like the fossil record and animal diversity. So far, it is the best explanation and has been used to predict fossil finds and develop vaccines. No evidence contradicts evolution. It can be proven due to our observing actual organisms undergoing evolutionary change in our lifetimes. It's been said that there is more evidence for evolution being true than for all the murder convictions made in this country in a given year. It's not called a Law because it can still theoretically be disproven by a single fossil being out of place.

          Why would such a terrible thing as Hell happen to unbelievers, and why would your God supposedly allow it to happen?

          September 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
        • Will

          I disagree that there is not sufficient evidence to support the Bible. There is a great deal of evidence found in history
          Moving on though, there is a great deal of evidence that contradicts the theory of evolution. Mostly though, I disagree that you say that the theory of evolution has been proven. The truth is that it has not, and let me explain because I think you will understand. By definition, a theory is a statement that hasn't been prove, which leads to your statement of why it has not been called a law, which makes it seem a much stronger argument than it is.
          As for the last part, the truth is, God made Hell. The thing is, when people die, they either go to Heaven or Hell. Now Heaven is not just a great place where believers go to have fun, in fact, it appears that once in Heaven, the primary thing that Christians do is praise God. Now if you were an unbeliever and some how ended up in Heaven, praising a god you thought was stupid, you would hate it, you might even say, "This is Hell!" So in some sense, God gives people what they want

          September 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
        • Ken

          Will
          There is no archaeological evidence for anything recorded in the Bible before rulers claiming to be from the House of David. That means no evidence of a flood, a Garden, the Exodus, or even David and Solomon specifically.

          It has been proven that life evolves. Take elephants, for example. Due to excessive poaching for their ivory, elephant populations all over the world have noticeably been selecting mates against greater tusk size, largely due to the big tuskers being killed off, but that doesn't matter. Their offspring have been developing tusks less appealing to would-be poachers. That's evolution in action.

          Populations of microorganisms are also evolving into new species in lab experiments, and there are also the cases of Peppered Moths evolving due to pollution and fish developing resistance to toxic waste. That's how we know that animals do evolve. The theory bit only applies to our model that it was this process that accounts for the variety of extinct species we see in the fossil record, the shared DNA between species, vestigial organs and other examples of bad design, and a truckload of other evidences. And, again, it's only called a "theory" because it is theoretically possible to disprove it, but the odds of some proof knocking out the dozen or so different sciences that support evolution is so remote that I wouldn't place any bets on it ever happening.

          Creationism, in contrast, doesn't help explain one thing about anything in any science. If anything, it only offers more questions that nobody in that camp seems to want answered. When attempting to explain why penguins didn't end up in the arctic, or why any marsupials didn't settle down in Africa, or Asia en route to Australia one creationist answer was that they must have hitched a ride from an erupting volcano. Now, I ask you, how can anyone take such silliness seriously?

          If God made Hell, then it's like someone made a river, with a deadly waterfall, pushed people into it upstream, and then offered to pull them out, expecting heaps of grati tude for "saving" them, right? If that were a person, we'd call him a homicidal maniac.

          If it's an expectation for Christians to praise God in Heaven then wouldn't you suspect that you were being brought up there to be some kind of fuel, or food for God? Why would you want to be some being's food?

          September 4, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • Ken

      Weren't those ancient Hebrews killing Canaanites in God's name? You can't believe in the Exodus story without also believing in that, can you?

      September 3, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
  14. AverageJoe76

    If people would just admit that they're accepting stories that fly in the face of common sense due to FEAR, then we could open up some dialogue.

    'LOVE' – He sacraficed himself, to himself, for our sins because of a rule he created himself. And b/c he 'loves' you, IF you believe in him, you'll live eternally. On the other hand; if you have doubts about his exsistence because he hasn't manifested himself to you, if you use the brain he gave you, attempt to decipher the world for yourself and look for truth, and develope your own opinion about life – you'll go to the naughty place to burn FOREVER and EVER and EVER and EVER and EVER.

    Ahhh. Where would we be without a moral compass like that?!?

    September 3, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      1. You have brains in your head.
      You have feet in your shoes.
      You can steer yourself
      any direction you choose.
      You're on your own.
      And you know what you know.
      And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go....
      – Dr. Seuss, (Oh! The Places You'll Go!)

      September 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • JimK57

        Exactly!

        September 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • Sam Yaza

        way better book

        September 3, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Could anyone ever obtain faith without doubting or wondering? Can anyone have a lasting faith without their own experience with God?

      Somewhere in the bible it says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The word of God is the written word, the preached word, & Jesus himself. Heard any good preaching lately Joe?

      September 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
      • joe

        Heard any good preaching lately Joe?
        ----–
        Heard a bum telling people who would give him any money that "Jesus loves them". Does that count?

        Those bums are pretty good at working the guilt angle against the Christians. And if that doesn't work, sometimes the bums threaten physical harm too.

        September 3, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  15. CommonSensed

    What does it matter. Catholics murdered Lutherans and Jews. Muslims murder each other. All in the name of their "one true god."

    All ridiculous.

    September 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      To be fair, God does call for the wholesale slaughter of a lot of different people in the origional texts.

      September 3, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
      •  

        Godless Vagabond
        Well, to make god more "palatable" to believers, there has to be a fear factor. A good god who never gets angry nor punishes anyone would not attract much reverence or belief. Keep that in mind if you ever want to invent a new religion.

        September 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
        • Pete

          If your name is Godless Vagabond, why is your name left blank? Pretty lazy.
          And you'd have to be totally clueless about the different texts, as in never have read them, to doubt the veracity of Doc's statement.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        •  

          Godless Vagabond
          My name is blank because I am a ghost. And you're the type of person that would believe that.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          @Pete – "Never eat your own kind"

          September 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • Akira

          Ghost in the Machine? Ooooh, scary.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • Pete

          Fuck off, Vag.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
        •  

          Godless Vagabond
          Aw, Pete. Be nice now.

          September 3, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • ME II

      "All in the name of their 'one true [all-loving] god.'"

      September 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  16. Reality

    Only for the eyes of the new members:

    The Apostles' Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    September 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • ME II

      "Only for the eyes of the new members:"

      Everyone else, report abuse?

      September 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • JimK57

      I agree. Odd request.

      September 3, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  17. indecision

    Here is the question. If we are all God's creation, why would he condemn most of the world to non-salvation just because they are ignorant to his name. Most (or maybe All) communities have developed religion. Whether it is out of ignorance and the belief it can control the masses or the fact that there really is a God makes no difference, because there is proof that through this so called "mental illness" people can be healthier, happier and more productive. And that in my book is not a bad thing. Whether you call God Zeus, Allah, Jehovah or any other word, it is the same thing. The rules may be interpreted differently, but the thought, the actions and the faith lead to the same thing. I can not believe in a God who would condemn more people than he would save. If he loves us he saves all that attempt to live a good life, even atheists.

    September 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • John 3:16

      All who believe in Him and accept His plan of salvation will have eternal life.

      Those who have never heard His name will not be left unsaved, it's those that have heard the gospels and have chosen to reject the gospels the will not have eternal life.

      September 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
      • joe

        it’s those that have heard the gospels and have chosen to reject the gospels the will not have eternal life.
        -------
        A god who hides while it sends the most uneducated and ignorant in society to do its bidding.

        Can such a god be any more pathetic?

        September 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
      • Lisa

        Why bother to send missionaries then?

        100% chance of salvation if you've never heard

        vs

        50/50 chance of being successfully converted.

        Missionaries are then directly responsible for sending people to Hell!

        September 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Not hearing doesn't provide a lock, it just means the criteria changes.

          September 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • Dippy

          "Criteria change," not "criteria changes." Criteria is the plural of criterion.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • Josh

          And that's why it's so important to shoot missionaries on sight.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • jungleboo

          I like your train of thought.

          September 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • Ken

          Bill
          So, people who've never heard of Jesus, or God could still end up in Hell? Can they also end up in Heaven and, if so, by what criteria are they the judged?

          September 3, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        So 5 billion people who don't believe in your version if imaginary friend (aka god) are doomed??? Such a great loving imaginary friend you have there...you people can be so arrogant.

        September 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
      • indecision

        John 3:16
        “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

        I don't see the part where the innocent of knowledge are automatically given salvation here. Please enlighten me further John 3:16

        September 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
      • Johnny

        If that is true it would be better for Christians to never tell anyone about god or Jesus.

        September 3, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • HeavenSense

          hahaha. good point. Go Johnny go.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
      • jungleboo

        Don't make me laugh. That philosophy puts you in control. Egoism and fiendishness in equal doses. How do you live with yourself?

        September 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  18. Ed Merrill

    Theology is a singular study of religion from an omniscient perspective. From that view, all religions are humanistic in nature. They are organizing principles for the mind. What actually exists is beyond any human play on words or ideologies. What IS, is and as much as we covetously cling to our mental concepts, one truth exists and we cannot know it until we pass from this realm. That is the ultimate unification.

    September 3, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • fred

      Yes, buy you have reached a conclusion correct? There is or is not God.

      September 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Lee

      @Ed Merrill
      "Theology is a singular study of religion from an omniscient perspective. From that view, all religions are humanistic in nature." Wow, all religions that are written down and followed by humans are human-made. Amazing!

      "They are organizing principles for the mind. What actually exists is beyond any human play on words or ideologies." This makes no sense. I have read this sentence over and over. what is "what actually exists"? Do you know the "feeling" religion gives you? Do you mean an emotion so overpowering you cannot find adequate words to describe it?
      All of those emotions/existences/organizing principals you find beyond "human play on words" (a metaphor? lol), may not be "beyond" for anyone else. You may just be limited or inarticulate...how do you really know?

      "What IS, is and as much as we covetously cling to our mental concepts, one truth exists and we cannot know it until we pass from this realm. That is the ultimate unification." Honey, what if the "one truth" is there are many random never ending truths? What if the only truth is one BIG LIE?
      Promising one truth AFTER "we pass from this realm" (you mean die, lol) is awfully convenient. Everything relies on me dying and never coming back to understand something that I'm seeking while I'm alive. That makes sense.
      It also makes your argument improvable, since no one that has truly died can come back and say they know the "one truth".
      You could make it anything that is improvable and call it "faith". Oh wait, that's what you did. =P

      September 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
      • Ken

        Yes, isn't it funny how the people who insist that some great truth will only be revealed after we die always seem to be implying that they already know what that truth is.

        September 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
        • ME II

          @Ken,
          Nicely put.

          September 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  19. AverageJoe76

    ...... humans are sooooooo stupid.

    What's this thing about "The Living God"?

    What's 'living' to a God? If God is 'living', yet he brung into exsistence all of life, doesn't 'god' become a circular argument (as it always has been)?

    September 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  20. AverageJoe76

    Do they serve the same God?
    – Of course they do.

    Are they wrong? (shoulder-shrug)
    – But none of them have a concrete argument why anyone should believe in any of it.

    September 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • fred

      There is no possible way for even the best argument to convince you as to the truth in Gods Word. Even Gods Word is not expressed by the alphanumeric characters in our various translated Bibles rather via knowledge imparted to the soul as a result of hearing the Word of God.
      In short two conditions required. First God opens your heart so that you are inclined to hear and see then the Holy Spirit brings all truth to you. This is often instant and as with the signs of Jesus it is like scales falling off your eyes and you can see.

      September 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
      • Zombie God

        "In short two conditions required."
        .
        Where did your god write this?

        September 3, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
      • AverageJoe76

        Why doesn't God cut the bull and speak to everyone so there's no confusion for all mankind? Or would that put a monkey-wrench in the plan of making sure billions of souls are tortured eternally?

        Yayy. "O' Merciful Goodness"

        September 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
        • fred

          When that happens it will be too late. When you see God revealed it will be at the moment every knee shall bow and tongue confess.

          It was out of free will man rejected God and it will be out of free will we desire God. When you begin to search for God it is because this world has finally come up short and your god is diminished in size (your god is whatever currently controls your perspective on life). The ways of God are not of this world, why would you expect God to be of this world or lead you with the ways of this world?

          September 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • AverageJoe76

          How convenient. No answers until I die. Yet..... we're supposed to be overwhelmingly convinced of his exsistence while I am alive. That's a tad unreasonable. No?

          Wow. To be 'god'... he sure doen't know how curiosity works, huh?

          September 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
        • Will

          Well, frankly if you could understand everything, then one you wouldn't need God, also there would be no point in continuing to grow in your faith. Frankly, it is not something the Bible says directly, we can only make educated guesses. The thing is though that God says that when he returns that he will explain everything to us, so we'll know in the end

          September 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • Lisa

          @Will
          "Well, frankly if you could understand everything, then one you wouldn't need God, "

          If that also works if you just understand things better than others, then that explains atheists. They just understand things better than believers.

          And what kind of "educated guesses" are you talking about? Educated guesses about a being that nobody can even prove exists? Pleeeese!!!

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

          “Well, frankly if you could understand everything, then one you wouldn’t need God, ”
          -------–
          You just stuck foot in mouth and didn't even realize it. Your God supposedly does understand everything as it is allegedly all knowing and all powerful. By your own logic, your God would have no use for humans.

          September 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
        • Will

          God doesn't need humans. He made us solely for us to worship Him and so that He could show His love for us

          September 3, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
        • Will

          No, my point was not that if you can understand something, then it doesnt exist. God made men, thus it is impossible for men to fully understand God on our own power without Him revealing himself to us.
          And when I say eaducated guesses, I mean that there is not enough evidence to say one thing or another, so you have to look at the evidence and say what you think the evidence points to. It's actually part of the scientific method. I only answered, because they said that no one else would.
          I have not struggled with this very much in my life, so I have not researched this in depth

          September 3, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
        • fred

          Joe
          "he sure doen't know how curiosity works, huh?"
          =>No, we can see that in the Garden of Eden God put two trees. One is the tree of life (the way) and the other was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve went for the one that they were told not to touch or they surely would die.
          =>You choose to go for the way you should not even touch as well.

          September 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
        • joe

          Adam and Eve went for the one that they were told not to touch or they surely would die.
          -------
          A god who puts a fruit tree in front of a girl knowing she's going to eat the fruit before he even puts it there and when she does eat the fruit, he not only punishes her but all mankind.

          If you don't find that story patently absurd, you're mentally deluded.

          September 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • fred

          Joe
          Exactly what you do today. You are expressly told that if you follow Christ all things will work to your Good because that is way. You chose to go after all other fruit and reject clear instruction. Nothing changes and you are proof that it is not "story patently absurd"

          As to the consequence you are dead to the things of God just as Eve. The death was separation from God and existence in this world which you like Eve have chosen.

          September 3, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • joe

          As to the consequence you are dead to the things of God just as Eve. The death was separation from God and existence in this world which you like Eve have chosen.
          ----–
          As is typical among true believers of a religion, their God hides while they do the bidding. And 99.9% of the time, these bidders are the most uneducated and ignorant and mentally deluded in society.

          September 3, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        •  

          Godless Vagabond
          Wow. It's incredible that people actually believe that shit.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • HeavenSense

          What Godless Vagabond said. Like. 2 thumbs up. Vote. Yes. Raises glass. Tips hat.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
      • fred

        First words in the Bible. In the beginning God......
        You either say BS to that or begin to wonder.
        Next words; "created the heavens and the earth" are empty unless the first words strike wonder. If they do then you can see the wonder of creation from the largest cosmic scale to the smallest bit of matter and sense the scope of what is relative to your position it its midst.

        Now, if you reach that point where you need to know or desire to God simply confess " I do not believe, if you exist please help me to find your truth"

        September 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • JR

          You have to give a persuasive argument why someone should choose to investigate your religion instead of someone else's. By the way, how many religions did you investigate before settling on the one you currently practice?

          September 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • fred

          I went from agnostic dabbling with reincarnation and other bits of Eastern Religions where I was looking for "good" then was caught by the words in the Bible.

          Not sure a persuasive argument is of value when the heart is not open to the possibility of God.

          September 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • joe

          I went from agnostic dabbling with reincarnation and other bits of Eastern Religions where I was looking for “good” then was caught by the words in the Bible.
          ----–

          99% of the time, it's somebody uneducated and ignorant in search of an answer because they don't understand.

          Keep on searching. Eventually, you'll see that the model that works is mother nature/Darwin. It explains all.

          September 3, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
        • G to the T

          So you have to believe before you can believe?

          Don't get me wrong, I used to be a Christian and this made total sense at the time, but now that I'm outside of that system, I can see how it's just a circular argument.

          September 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • Ken

          fred
          Have you asked Lord Vishnu, Poseidon, or any of the other gods to help you believe in them as well?

          September 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • AverageJoe76

          Then I guess your God gave me the answer on the Discovery Channel. Oh yea....... and he gave me a sense of 'justice'. Something I don't see when you punish people eternally for their limited time on Earth.

          September 3, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • Ken

          fred
          What I meant to ask is, have you opened your heart to the possibility of some other god? It's not like you can provide any reason why your god is more believable than any of the others, right?

          September 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • Ken

        fred
        Funny, when I look back at the exact moment that I realized that God wasn't real it was exactly as you said, scales falling from my eyes.

        September 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • fred

          In my case (Christian) it was God who by miracle (unexplained event to non believer) put a Bible in my hand just when I needed it. It was the fact that the Holy Spirit came into my life and revealed the truth to me just as the Bible said it would be that continues to convince me to this day.

          There is a good probability that you and I are looking at the same reality. I see miracles, answered prayer and the presence of God as the guiding force and you see simply the natural (I assume) at play. At the conclusion when our organic matter no longer responds to electric stimuli there will be an abrupt change to our known existence. In the event only the natural is at play then reality never existed from our new unified perspective in death regardless of what we believed existence was during life.

          I simply cannot believe anyone thinks we never existed. A godless belief is irrational if we currently believe we exist.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
        • joe

          In my case (Christian) it was God who by miracle (unexplained event to non believer) put a Bible in my hand just when I needed it. It was the fact that the Holy Spirit came into my life and revealed the truth to me just as the Bible said it would be that continues to convince me to this day.
          --------
          Classic mental delusion. The poster tries to give his God all the credit for saving him and none of the responsibility for putting him in a position that needed saving. What the poster really is doing is creating a fictional character within himself to carry out the actions he knows he should be carrying out but can't quite do it consciously because of mental issues.

          September 3, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          fred, So a coincidence when you felt vulnerable.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
        • fred

          Santa
          Well said from a non believer perspective !
          Now, I see no way a simple coincidence would bring about a radical transformation and turn an agnostic into a believer. I have been in a good place for a long time now faced with the same scientific fact you are but have yet to see the world again from a godless perspective.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
        • Ken

          fred
          I'm not sure what you're trying to say, but do you remember anything from before you were born? If not, does that mean that you don't believe in the reality of what's recorded in the history books and your own Bible? I believe that I exist now, but I have no reason to believe that I existed before I was born, or will continue to exist after I die. Tell me how this is irrational.

          You see answered prayer and I see the combination of the law of averages (some things asked for will eventually come true simply because they were likely to, like getting another job, or finding love) and getting results that are above average (where most people may not survive a particular kind of accident, some do. However, the opposite it also true. Where most people can survive a tripping up and falling down, a small percentage are unfortunate enough to fall onto something sharp, or into traffic. Call these anti-miracles, then.)

          If you really think about the circ umstances surrounding that Bible getting into your hands did it fall from a fourth story window and into your bike basket, or did someone not actually put in into your hands? I heard someone once tell me that they were convinced because they happened to pass by a church, and read their sign one day. Well, it turned out that they always passed that same church every day going to work. So, what would be the odds that, one day, they would also notice the sign?

          Is it not true that you were told what to expect in miracles, of prayers, and what the "presence" of God was supposed to feel like? Someone could have just as easily told you that all these things were signs of being abducted by aliens, and how could you tell that they weren't being sincere? What made the difference is your wanting to believe in one thing over another, and when you want to believe in something then you will either manufacture your own "evidence", or accept other people's evidence at face value.

          September 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
        • fred

          "I'm not sure what you're trying to say, but do you remember anything from before you were born?"
          =>two options, if you believe in God then soul and physical form were brought together with purpose onto heaven (or God) with eternal life. If you believe in naturalism then you are animal only. When you die you no longer exist and existed without purpose beyond that of an animal (say frog). Any perspective of existence other than that of a frog is irrational. An animal does not have perspective outside the natural you do. That also is irrational.

          "I believe that I exist"
          =>this is irrational if you are simply organic matter reacting to chemical stimuli. Existence=Frog

          "I have no reason to believe that I existed before I was born, or will continue to exist after I die. Tell me how this is irrational."
          =>it is every bit as rational for a frog to clueless. You are irrational because you claim the physical form only as a frog but also want more than simply physical form allows.

          You see answered prayer and I see the combination of the law of averages (some things asked for will eventually come true simply because they were likely to, like getting another job, or finding love) and getting results that are above average (where most people may not survive a particular kind of accident, some do. However, the opposite it also true. Where most people can survive a tripping up and falling down, a small percentage are unfortunate enough to fall onto something sharp, or into traffic. Call these anti-miracles, then.)

          If you really think about the circ umstances surrounding that Bible getting into your hands did it fall from a fourth story window and into your bike basket, or did someone not actually put in into your hands? I heard someone once tell me that they were convinced because they happened to pass by a church, and read their sign one day. Well, it turned out that they always passed that same church every day going to work. So, what would be the odds that, one day, they would also notice the sign?

          Is it not true that you were told what to expect in miracles, of prayers, and what the "presence" of God was supposed to feel like? Someone could have just as easily told you that all these things were signs of being abducted by aliens, and how could you tell that they weren't being sincere? What made the difference is your wanting to believe in one thing over another, and when you want to believe in something then you will either manufacture your own "evidence", or accept other people's evidence at face value.

          September 3, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.