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October 20th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

CNN exclusive: Chris Tomlin's new music video

By the CNN Belief Blog Editors
[twitter-follow screen_name='CNNBelief']

(CNN)– One of the most popular artists on the planet, Chris Tomlin, is about to release a new music video, and CNN's Belief Blog has an exclusive first look.

Next week Tomlin is releasing a deluxe CD/DVD edition of his chart-topping album "Burning Lights."

The CNN Belief Blog is the only place you can see Tomlin's new video, "God's Great Dance Floor," filmed live at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado.

In March, we profiled the popular Christian singer, whose songs are sung by as many as 30 million people each week at churches across the country.

CNN Belief – Chris Tomlin, king of the sing-along

As lively as (Tomlin's) shows are, the point is not to get you inside the doors. The point is to get you singing in church.

“I strive for trying to write something that people can sing, that people want to sing, and that people need to sing,” Tomlin explained before the show.

Tomlin is the undisputed king of worship music, a genre of Christian music sung on Sunday mornings all across the world and increasingly played on Christian radio stations. The music is simple, devotional and easy on the ears.

“We would say that Chris is the most prolific songwriter in the United States now, in this past decade,” said Howard Rachinski, CEO of Christian Copyright Licensing International, the company that tracks what music is used in churches around the world.

In 2012, CCLI paid out $40 million to artists and musicians, and Tomlin got a healthy slice of that pie. Churches around the world used 128 songs he wrote or co-wrote last year, Rachinski said.

CCLI estimates that every Sunday in the United States, between 60,000 and 120,000 churches are singing Tomlin’s songs. By extrapolating that data, Rachinski says, “our best guess would be in the United States on any given Sunday, 20 to 30 million people would be singing Chris Tomlin's songs.”

Chris Tomlin's "God's Great Dance Floor" video from "Burning Lights" Deluxe Edition CD/DVD appears here courtesy of Capitol Christian music group.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Music

soundoff (788 Responses)
  1. Live4Him

    @ME II : If the "Flood" created the layers then the they would still be soft

    With tons of water on top of them? Pressure changes the sediment into rock. Then, with the plates shifted, the rock would fracture creating the crack. Last, water draining away and subsequent rains would smooth it out.

    @ME II : While there are multiple faults in the area none seem to follow the entire route of the grand canyon

    May I correct your statement a little? "While there are multiple faults in the area none TODAY seem to follow". So, what faults existed 4000 years ago in that area?

    @ME II : How does that make a rift valley?

    How do you explain the difference in height between the same strata layer of the two rims?

    October 23, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Billy

      @ME II : How does that make a rift valley?

      Desparate4Him: How do you explain the difference in height between the same strata layer of the two rims?

      Try answering the question without asking another one.

      October 23, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      L4H, have you run across any particular Christian, or otherwise, scientific publication that specifically addresses the matters, in scientific terms, as to how a worldwide flood formed the grand canyon? I could search fo myself, but I'm curious if you have a specific source.

      October 23, 2013 at 11:18 am |
      • Live4Him

        I do my own analysis, so I haven't searched for such.

        October 23, 2013 at 11:50 am |
      • lunchbreaker

        So your only source is yourself?

        October 23, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
        • Joey

          I'm sure he is perfectly qualified.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • Tall of Parsus

          L4H:

          Just another one who thinks himself to be wise.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • Tall of Parsus

          To clarify:

          L4H = Just another one who thinks himself to be wise.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @lunchbreaker : So your only source is yourself?

        Don't be silly. You asked for CHRISTIAN websites on the matter. I didn't use any. I DID use US geological sites, personal observation, etc. as research material. Every website is a combination of facts and opinions. If you strip out the opinions and work with the facts only, you will often find that there are many possible / reasonable conclusions that could be reached from the facts.

        The "rift valley" issue was raised on a sign posted on the North Rim which pointed out that the South Rim was lower than the North Rim. This lead to the obvious conclusion that plate tectonics caused the canyon, not just erosion.

        October 23, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
        • Joey

          It really is just erosion along with the Colorado Plateau being uplifted. It just so happens that one side raised up faster than the other.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Joey : It really is just erosion along with the Colorado Plateau being uplifted.

          And erosion creates "tower islands" that rise to almost the height of the rims? Well, you're welcome to your beliefs.

          October 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Live4Him
      I'm disappointed that you abandoned the discussion pertaining to food storage and excrement management on the Ark.
      I used biblically souced dimensions and everything!

      October 23, 2013 at 11:26 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        The Bible does a great job of answering the "what" questions, but since it isn't intended to be a scientific text, it doesn't go into the "how" very much. And that's to be expected, since the topic of all of scripture is redemption.

        I can't answer the "how" questions that come up, and it's OK for us to speculate how these things could come about, but if we dismiss the possibility of the supernatural and miracles outright, and spend more time trying to analyze the miraculous, when my nature, miracles can't be scientifically understood, then I think we miss the point... From the beginning, God planned to deal with sin, and save for Himself a redeemed portion of humanity.

        Therefore the flood story, told as historical narrative, does have the deeper meaning of being a microcosm of the gospel.

        October 23, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Anything in the Bible that defies logic is magic or metaphor.
          Got it.
          As the old saying goes, one man's theology is another man's belly laugh.

          October 23, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Sir, do not turn to ridicule when you simply cannot explain something. If you wish to deny the existence of miracles, then you have that right, but you don't have the authority to say that miracles do not exist. You admit that science does not have all the answers, and even though you add the conditional "yet," you make an assumption that everything that is knowable, CAN be known by science... What evidence gives you that right to assume such a thing? If there ARE unknowns in this universe, which there clearly are, then you HAVE to admit the possibility that miracles can exist.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Doc,
          If EVERYTHING that defys logic is automatically thrown into the category of magic and metaphore, therefore false... Are you saying that Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins explaining certain areas of mathematics and theoretical physics that defy logic and reason, are they now automatically false too, and delegated to the realm of magic and metaphore? After all, that WAS your assertion.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @lawrence
          Dawkins is a biologist, not a physicist – so I wouldn't put much stock in his opinions regarding theoretical physics.
          Aside from that, I don't speak the language of math beyond mundane, practical applications.
          I don't comment on physics – most especially quantum physics – because I haven't even a layman's understanding of it.
          The corrolary to my prior statement is that one man's engineering is another man's miracle.
          Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic to the eyes of someone who hasn't seen it yet.

          But I am a naturalist and as such, when presented with a "miracle", I seek a natural explanation.
          Since the widespread adpotion of the scientific method as a means of understanding the universe, there has yet to be a credible report of a miracle that couldn't be explained by natural phenomena.

          October 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Doc,
          "Since the widespread adpotion of the scientific method as a means of understanding the universe, there has yet to be a credible report of a miracle that couldn't be explained by natural phenomena"

          This may suprise you, but I agree with you, sir. But I would go to the Bible for that explaination as well. From the life of Jesus, to the Apostles, and through the advent of the church age, we see a decreasing frequency of miracles... I believe that I have stated this before, but miracles were given as a sign gift to specific people to authenticate them as messengers of the Gospel. Since we now have the Bible in written for, miracles are no longer needed.

          That doesn't mean that I don't believe that they can occur, it just means that they're not needed. God chooses to work through humanity and through normal means...

          If those fakes on TV could REALLY perform healings, then they wouldn't be in churches, they'd be in hospitals. If they really can perform healings and they don't operate in hospitals, then that makes them some of the most un-loving and hateful people alive.

          Back to my original point though... Logically, if there are unknowns to science, then until everything is known, you cannot exclude the possibility that miracles can occur.

          October 23, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • sam stone.

          and by what autority do you state that god exists? is it a belief or is it knowledge? do you ackowledge the possibility that you could be wrong?

          October 24, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Doc Vestibule : I'm disappointed that you abandoned the discussion pertaining to food storage

        As I've stated earlier, there are web sites that address these issues. I personally haven't studied the issue in detail, but I have reviewed a few of these sites and they seemed to adequately address the issue.

        October 23, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @L4H
          Don't you often admonish people for not doing their own research?

          Elephants are typically weaned from their mother's milk at around 3 years old.
          At age 3, an African elephant typically weights in excess of 4-500 pounds.
          On average, they consume 5% of their body weight per day in foliage.
          That would be 40lbs a day to feed 2 elephants.
          A small square bale of hay weighing between 40 to 75 pounds is around 20 inches by 16 inches by 36 inches (using modern farming equipment) or 5 square feet.
          One year's worth would take up 1825 square feet.

          Because elephants cannot digest cellulose, most of what they eat is excreted as dung – so that would make 30-40 lbs of excrement each and every day – just for the elephants.
          Shoveling that much waste overboard would take at least an hour per day.

          And that's just one specimen out of the minimum 660 "kinds" on the Ark.

          It just doesn't add up.
          Unless, of course, one invokes a miraculous, Divine elephant toilet.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • Joey

          Unless, of course, one invokes a miraculous, Divine elephant toilet.

          That is the best description of god I have seen in a long time.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • Bandini

          "God" had them hold it in for 9-12 months. How do you think that area became so organically fertile - rotting carcasses and poop!

          October 23, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • common sense

      As one who seeks to discredit the Bible you always look for any reason to express your hatred. Consider common sense, we aren't given those details in the account but with very little imagination we can see that the most common resource was water (a cleansing agent) A simple trough the length of the stalls appropriately slopped would eradicate all the waste. If you had reason you wouldn't need your bigotry.

      October 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Maybe if you had a consistently level surface, a sloped trough would work – but roiling water is anything but consistent.
        Your proposed troughs would be useless.
        Plus, how do you train all those animals to poop in troughs?

        October 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        And just to be clear – skepticism is not hate any more than faith is love.

        October 23, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  2. Vic

    I just would like to pitch in on the lengthy discussion on Noah's Ark yesterday.

    The Great Flood & Noah's Ark story is no doubt one of the hardest in the Bible to wrap the mind around. I believe the mechanics of the event could very well have been manipulated supernaturally by God to follow it through; however, God wanted Noah to do his part and have a story to tell. I believe the story is to be taken by faith, and it is in there for the moral of it. Just like Moses, God instructed him to point his staff towards the Red Sea, and then, God Himself supernaturally split it for the Israelites to cross.

    October 23, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Vic.
      It isn't hard to wrap the mind arounud, any more than the Wizard of Oz.
      Noah's ark never happened.

      Here's is a link proving why.
      http://history.howstuffworks.com/history-vs-myth/noahs-ark.htm
      ..it is just one of the MANY you can find that prove it never happened, but the evidence that it never happened is also in the geology record.
      You can say it was "god magic"...that just makes it all the sadder, and proof of delusion.

      October 23, 2013 at 10:52 am |
      • Vic

        Just quickly:

        Do you know that some of Pharaoh's chariots were found under in the Red Sea?!

        October 23, 2013 at 10:58 am |
        • Betty

          Oh no, don't tell me some distraught mother pushed her children into the Red Sea in a chariot. Did they find any bones?

          October 23, 2013 at 11:02 am |
        • Vic

          LOL!

          I don't know, I would have to relook it up. It was a while back when I read it. I can use some help.

          October 23, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Occam's Razor and the Red Sea

          A group of people laden with nothing more than the clothes on their back would be able to cross a body of water at low tide with relative ease. An army full of soldiers wearing heavy armour, carrying metal weapons and moving on horseback and/or in chariots could well have found themselves drowned if the tide started to come in midway through their crossing.

          But anyways, what is your source for these chariot wheels?
          The first person to make this claim was an amateur archaeologist named Ron Wyatt back in 1978.
          He also claimed to have found Noah's ark, the Ark of the Covenant, the location of Sodom And Gomorrah, the Tower of Babel, the true site of Mt. Sinai, the true site of the crucifixion of Jesus, and the original stones of the Ten Commandments.

          October 23, 2013 at 11:21 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          Vic
          After closer scrutiny, they did NOT find Pharoahs Chariots wheels. What they found was metal, they did not use metal 3500 years ago in that fashion.

          HOAX Vic......please do a little research before you post so you stop throwing red herrings.

          Next you'll tell me about the railroad ties they found on Mt. Ararat are pieces of the ark like the claim that was made in the 80's. Another christian trying to prove the bible by making up stuff.

          October 23, 2013 at 11:31 am |
        • Vic

          Well, I am glad that people are making some objective research on this matter. In the meantime, whether the story of the Great Flood & Noah's Ark is true, accurate, close, or not, it is not a showstopper by any means. I can easily set it aside as a cold case and go on with my belief in God since we are here, this reality is so, and all indications point to God.

          Furthermore, I did not dig into this one at this time because, while it is heavily discussed here, it is way off topic. In the meantime, I felt the need to shed some light on the nature of this issue.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        And you cannot think of ANY other way they got there...like they were on a boat and the boat sank, or they were thrown over board for one reason or another. You are jumping to a conclusion that you know how they got there. You do not.

        October 23, 2013 at 11:07 am |
  3. Louie

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=_Tung5rpfWA

    October 23, 2013 at 10:12 am |
  4. Reality # 2

    And the beat goes on!!

    Christian Economics and Greed 101:

    See p. 1 of the comments for added details.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    October 22, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  5. Abigail

    Love, love, love your songs, Tomlin! Congratulations!!!!

    🙂

    October 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  6. Portland tony

    Not on my playlist. Never even heard of him. Hmmmmm "One of the most popular artists on the planet" Which planet?

    October 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  7. A step up from Christian rock...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjcsgROJ83c

    October 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  8. Live4Him

    @A Frayed Knot : Live4Him There is all sorts of geological, archeological, physics and other evidence against the global flood and nothing but your Bible to support it.

    What do you know about geology? Ever see the Grand Canyon? Ever see the Petrified Forest? All of this points to a global flood. Additionally, there are stories of global floods in almost every ancient society. But, lets stick to the sciences for this issue.

    Using geology, the earth is layered into strata layers. These layers are generally laid down by either water (i.e. sediment) or volcanic action. Lets focus on the sediment layers. These are created by floods, rivers or some action that creates a flood (i.e. Mt St Helens exploded and melted its snow cap). So, broadly, sediment layers are created via water.

    Rivers are generally confined to small areas (i.e. mouth / delta ), even the large rivers like the Mississippi. So the resulting strata layer would likewise be constrained inside the flood / deposit zone. The same is true of the strata layers created by Mt St Helens.

    Yet, geological sediment layers stretch for dozens of miles. The Petrified Forest is vast, covering around a hundred square miles (estimate). How do you explain floods swamping these thousands of large trees almost instantly (geologically speaking) over this vast area? Likewise the Grand Canyon has similar strata layers stretching its length. Its a mighty big flood to span the length of the Grand Canyon and who KNOWS how wide the strata layers span. Its almost impossible for a local flood to cover that vast area – especially when these layers are distributed equally around the globe.

    October 22, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Live4Him,

      Sorry I don't have time to summarize or rebut your contentions point by point, but here is one (of many, many, many) which addresses them:

      http://www.chem.tufts.edu/science/franksteiger/grandcyn.htm

      October 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @A Frayed Knot : I don't have time to summarize or rebut your contentions point by point, but here is one (of many, many, many) which addresses them

        If all you can do is point to another to do your thinking for you, then why bother posting at all? You've abdicated your responsibility to think.

        October 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • Joey

          Translation: Reading that link might show me why I am wrong, so I will just come up with a lame reason not to read it.

          October 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • Translation

          L4H was actually there at the time of this flood and has personally gone on-site all over the world and has seen and proved his "evidence".

          October 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          A perfect example of irony:
          A YEC Biblical literalist telling someone they've "abdicated their responsibility to think".

          October 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

          Then, as someone with quite a bit of knowledge in geology, I will put this creationist explanation, noted above, aside, and note that Carbon14 dating fails to demonstrate the age of the Grand Canyon strata to be 6,000 or 12,000 years old. Other radiometric dating techniques, together with the science of stratigraphy, show the ages of the strata to be on the order of millions of years, and not thousands of years.

          Your argument fails. Any claim that science supports a young earth theory is ignorant. And therefore, I can only conclude that you are either unconsciously ignorant (delusional) or willfully ignorant (dishonest). Take a look in the mirror and decide which one you are.

          October 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      How many sediment levels/layers can be laid down in a year or so?

      October 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
      • Live4Him

        Look at the Mt St Helens event. It created multiple layers (20+) in a single event.

        October 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

          How are the Mt. St. Helens pyroclastic and sedimentary depositional environments like the depositional environments for the Grand Canyon strata? Why does carbon14 dating failing to show the GC strata are 6000 – 12000 years old? Why do other radiometric dating methods show the ages of the GC strata to be on the order of millions of years?

          October 22, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "Ever see the Grand Canyon?"

      Just curious, in Flood Geology, did the global flood create the many strata in the canyon walls and surrounding terrain or gouge out the canyon itself?

      October 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • Joey

        He doesn't know.

        October 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        @ME II
        The answer is yes.

        October 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @ME II : did the global flood create the many strata in the canyon walls and surrounding terrain or gouge out the canyon itself?

        Why posit the fallacy of the Excluded Middle? The flood wasn't a instaneous event. The flood waters rose – softening / mixing the soil and allowing it to settle into layers. Then the flood waters drained away – allowing some carving of the canyon walls. However, the Grand Canyon wasn't carved entirely by water. The South Rim is about 1000 feet lower (if my memory serves me well) than the North Rim. This indicates a rift valley created by the shifting plates (i.e. triggered by changes induced by the flood).

        October 22, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Still waiting on that explaination for the food storage and excrement management problems on the Ark.

          October 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        •  Billy

          And what about my turtles? Topher said the Ark didn't have to go very far – maybe Gibraltar. I'm thinking the poor giant turtles probably just drowned only a few miles into the Atlantic trying to get back to the Galapagos.

          October 22, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

          Indeed, why posit the fallacy of your fallacy?

          October 22, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
      • ME II

        @Live4Him,
        "Why posit the fallacy of the Excluded Middle?"

        No fallacy. If the "Flood" created the layers then the they would still be soft, but if that were the case then the cliff sides would be more sloped, not near vertical, and the route would be more straight. Rushing or draining water in soft material doesn't meander around ox-bows. However, if the sides were hard allowing for the shape and route of the canyon, then how could the "Flood" have laid them down?

        "The South Rim is about 1000 feet lower (if my memory serves me well) than the North Rim. This indicates a rift valley created by the shifting plates (i.e. triggered by changes induced by the flood)."

        Doesn't a rift valley need a rift, i.e. a fault? While there are multiple faults in the area none seem to follow the entire route of the grand canyon, or even most of it. Instead there are actually a few faults that cross-cut the Colorado river. How does that make a rift valley?
        (http://www.nature.nps.gov/geology/education/foos/plateau.pdf)

        October 22, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • umm

      umm.. listening to your local preacher give surmons about physics and geology does not make you an expert, fyi.

      BTW, You seem to have and "expert" opinion about everything in the world and I had always wanted to ask you – what do you do for living?

      October 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @L4H

      Are you really still here with the same dishonest tactics and fallacies? That's actually kind of sad.

      October 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Alias

      I have always been amused by the way christians try to pick ONE of the many issues with the flood story and jump to the conclusion it could have happened.
      Even if you find a way to argue that the rock formations make sense.:
      All land dwelling plants and animals would be dead. No insect colonies. No bees to polenate flowers. No flowers to polenate. aka, nothing for anyone to eat for the months it would take for anything to regrow and the prey animals to reproduce.
      All the fresh water fish would have died in the salt water. Or, all the salt water fish would have died in the fresh water.
      The animals could not have all traveled back to their native lands. Native lands would also be dead and without food.
      Your agruements about the formations in the Grand Canyon do not solve these problems.
      No Global Flood ever happened.
      Grow up and think for yourselves.

      October 23, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  9. Lamb of Dog

    I like that rational. If you can't disprove it then assume it to be true. That makes the world easier to understand.

    October 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Vic

      If all the indications point towards God, what's not to assume it is true that there is a God?!

      October 22, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
      • Alias

        I like this logic.
        I can't disprove aliens.
        Aliens prove the bible wrong, so I must reject the christian god.
        Maybe the Mornoms will accept me and my new ideas.
        Or there is always the church of scientology if you have to accept aliens....

        October 22, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Or the Raelians.
          They're about the only allies the Creationists have in their quest to have alternatives to evolution taught in science class.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Actually, you might be able to disprove aliens with this passage... I doubt that this is what was intended in the passage, and I say this tongue in cheek... It says that this great thing (meaning everything that has happened on this planet, life, God, etc...) has not occured anywhere else.

          Deuteronomy 4:32-40 – “Indeed, ask now concerning the former days which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and inquire from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything been done like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it? Has any people heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard it, and survived? Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him. Out of the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline you; and on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire. Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power, driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in and to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today. Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other. So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time.”

          October 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Check

          Lawrence of Arabia,
          "So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time.”

          Statutes like these?:

          - You cure leprosy by having a dove killed, dipping a live one in its blood and having it fly around. Also, you have to anoint the toes of the suffer with the blood.

          - You discover unfaithful wives when their bellies swell and their thighs rot after they are made to drink some magical water.

          - Prized striped goats are bred by having the mating parents stare at striped objects.

          – You may buy, own, sell, and will slaves to your descendants (only foreigners for slaves, though, no Israelis)

          There are several other similar instances of absolute rubbish that this "God" supposedly "spoke", along with a bunch of other rules and laws that are obviously only from the minds of primitive men. How anyone can believe that this stuff came from a real smart divine being is ludicrous.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • Alias

          No LofA,
          You have it backwards.
          I cannot disprove aliens, therefore aliens exist and that passage proves the bible is wrong.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Alias,
          Well, at least your opinion is held also by some very well known theoretical physicists who shall remain nameless...

          October 22, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Vic

          You have totally missed the point! This is not about the "inability to disprove something makes it true," instead, it is about "all indications point towards a God." All indications about this existence DO NOT point towards aliens!

          October 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
        • ME II

          @Vic,
          "...it is about 'all indications point towards a God.'"

          You think they point towards God, because you want them to. just like any "conspiracy theorist" does.

          October 22, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
        • Alias

          Vic

          we are making different points.
          My point is that your logic fails, so i reject your conclusion.

          October 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • sam stone

          "It's not only a creator, but it is a GOD, and it is MY God" – Vic

          What silliness

          October 23, 2013 at 3:32 am |
      • Charm Quark

        Vic
        To rephrase your post. If all indications point to the many gods. what's not to assume that one of those many man made gods is not the real McCoy. Strength in numbers does not make any of the gods legit. That seems a little more honest than your post.

        October 22, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Lamb of Dog : I like that rational. If you can't disprove it then assume it to be true.

      This is a part of the premises. If you have evidence to support it AND you do not have evidence to falsify it you must assume it to be true until you have evidence to disprove it.

      October 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Russell's Teapot.

        October 22, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
      • A Frayed Knot

        Live4Him
        Live4Him,
        "@Lamb of Dog : I like that rational [sic]. If you can't disprove it then assume it to be true.

        This is a part of the premises [sic]. If you have evidence to support it AND you do not have evidence to falsify it you must assume it to be true until you have evidence to disprove it."

        No. If a premise has been neither proved nor disproved, the default stance is to withhold belief until either proved or disproved.

        October 22, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        What exactly is your "evidence to support it"? So far there has been zero empirical proof for any God/gods or anything supernatural. So with no evidence to support it and no evidence against it, why do you still believe? You could not even prove I am not God and that everything that is happening is exactly how I want it to happen.

        October 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
      • Lamb of Dog

        Great then I have no reason to doubt the existence of the flying spaghetti monster.

        October 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  10. Vic

    Wow, 20 to 30 million people, that's some serious business!

    October 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Whaaaa?

      In some province of India? Perhaps.

      October 22, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Yes, it is a serious business, a money making business. I wonder how many songs Chris would have written last year if he wasn't getting paid for any of them...

      October 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  11. Live4Him

    @Doc Vestibule : Live4Him Do you seriously believe that Noah and his 3 sons

    What evidence do you have to doubt it?

    October 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Seer

      Live4,

      What evidence do you have that an angel did not visit Mohammad for 27 years and tell him what to write in his book?

      What evidence do you have that Joseph Smith did not see golden plates and heard from an angel too?

      What evidence do you have that Marshall Applewhite and his Heaven's Gate crew are not now riding around in an eternal spaceship?

      October 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Seer : What evidence do you have that an angel did not visit Mohammad for 27 years and tell him what to write in his book?

        Mohammad was an illerate and couldn't write. His teachings were written down by others after he died. But this is a moot point. The underlying issue is this: following the scientific process, one must have supporting evidence for a theory to be considered testable by others. Additionally, there must not be any evidence to contradict said theory.

        Using the above principle, there is empirical evidence that supports the theory that Mohammad was a messenger of Allah (i.e. the Koran). However, this same evidence contradicts his claim to be the messenger of an omniscient being – given that this omniscient being misidentified the members of the Trinity.

        Similar issues could be said for Joseph Smith (i.e. Where are the cities he wrote about?).

        But there isn't any evidence opposing the story of Noah in the Bible and much to support it.

        October 22, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • Joey

          Now you are going to have to prove, without using the Bible, that Mohammed got the Trinity wrong, and not the Christians.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • A Frayed Knot

          Live4Him,
          "But there isn't any evidence opposing the story of Noah in the Bible and much to support it."

          There is all sorts of geological, archeological, physics and other evidence against the global flood and nothing but your Bible to support it.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "But there isn't any evidence opposing the story of Noah in the Bible and much to support it."

          I think you might have mixed up "support" and "oppose" since if you wanted it to read factually it would be: "But there isn't any evidence supporting the story of Noah in the Bible and much to oppose it."

          October 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        L4H
        There is a vast quanti ty of evidence in history, mathematics, archeology, the sciences to prove beyond any rational doubt that the great flood and the ark story are impossible, but I know you will continue to reject all such knowledge. Toss in the tower of Babel nonsense and the story just gets weirder.

        October 22, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      People lived longer back in those days.

      October 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
      • G to the T

        Odd then that none of the other peoples out there mention it. You would think if everyone 10K years ago was living 100-600 years we would have heard more about it.

        October 22, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The ark was 450ft by 75ft by 45ft with 3 decks and an 18in overhang. (Genesis 6:15; 1 cubit = 1.5 feet)
      If we limit our list of animals to those specifically mentioned in the Bible in one verse or another, that’s about 120 “kinds”. God said to snag 7 breeding pairs of clean animals, but only 1 set for the unclean critters, making for a bare minimum of 660.
      However, Noah would’ve also had to keep a good stock of animals to feed the carnivores.
      According to Gen 7:11 and 8:14, they were on the Ark for a little over a year.
      How do you store thousands of pounds of different kinds of food for a year in a confined space during the Bronze Age? The sheer volume of food would exceed the holding capacity of the Ark, plus most of it would be rotten before it could be eaten.

      October 22, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        There were Elephants on the Ark, yes?
        Elephants in the wild will eat between 300 and 500 pounds of vegetation and drink 50 gallons of water every day.
        A small square bale of hay weighing between 40 to 75 pounds is around 20 inches by 16 inches by 36 inches (using modern farming equipment)
        Even if we put them on a subsistence diet of 100 pounds a day, it would still require enormous storage space to keep a year's worth of vegetation for 2 elephants.

        October 22, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
      • Alias

        Please Doc,

        God did it. The animals didn't have to eat. Mana from heaven maybe?
        God also helped book all the travel plans from Australia.
        He also drank all the water after everyone was dead. Ewww.
        God did it all. How could this not make sense?

        October 22, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • A Frayed Knot

          Noah had his zoo wranglers potty train all of the animals to poop in special troughs. When they got onto the ark, why they'd just scoot back to the special poop-chutes which led out into the water. Seriously, there is a guy who proposes this! That and the animals were magically caused to sort of hibernate most of the time... and "God" changed all of their diets to vegetarian so they wouldn't eat each other. And for years after they landed they all survived on the mult.itude of dead carcasses that were lying around!

          October 22, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Noah built an altar to god and made an animal sacrifice to god after the water subsided, thus making a species extinct that he just went to a whole lot of trouble to save, such nonsense can only be believed by a very simple mind.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • Alias

          While we're on the topic, this explains the dinosaurs.
          The lions, tigers, bears, etc. had to eat something while their usual prey had time to multiply, so they ate the dinosaurs and unicorns.
          Just like that, we explain the loss of the giant lizards and the rebirth of the mammals.

          October 22, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Why go through all this trouble? Why not just smite everyone down except for Noah and his family. I know test of faith. But shouldn't god just have known that Noah would have built a big boat when told to. I guess it makes for a better story.

      October 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Live4Him
      Have you abdonded this thread?
      I'm curious as to how you explain the food storage and excrement management problems...

      October 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  12. Live4Him

    @lunchbreaker : L4H: does banana's belief in a billions of years old universe damn him/her to Hell?

    bananas didn't post his/her belief. Rather (as midwest rail pointed out) the troll was quoting Jimmy Carter.

    Regardless, I'll address your question. Any errors in one's belief doesn't condemn nor not condemn a person to hell. They choose to go to hell or heaven by rejecting or following Christ as their savior.

    October 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      What if the belief that hell exists and that Jesus is your savior is a wrong belief?

      October 22, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Richard Cranium : What if the belief that hell exists and that Jesus is your savior is a wrong belief?

        Then I go to the grave content in my beliefs, never to know that I was wrong. What if your belief that hell doesn't exist is a wrong belief?

        October 22, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • What IF

          Live4Him:
          "Then I go to the grave content in my beliefs, never to know that I was wrong."

          Not if you end up in Muslim hell... or Greek Tartarus... or any of the many other fantasy hells dreamed up just like yours.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Joey

          Unless of course a different religion was correct and you end up in whatever their version of hell is.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Alias

          So how do you know you have the right beliefs?
          AND PLEASE do not say because the bible says so.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          L4H
          Joey's point is on target.
          What if Ra is very angry with you for worshipping the wrong god all this time....for the same reason you mention, aren't you afraid of all the other thousands of jealous gods?

          October 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Madtown

      They choose to go to hell or heaven by rejecting or following Christ as their savior.
      ------
      Of course, this assumes you've even heard of Christ, which leaves out many of your human brethren. Impossibel to reject something you don't know exists.

      October 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Madtown : this assumes you've even heard of Christ, which leaves out many of your human brethren.

        Christ decended into the grave to proclaim His salvation to those who never heard of Him. So, all have had the opportunity to accept or reject His salvation.

        October 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • Madtown

          So, all have had the opportunity to accept or reject His salvation.
          ----–
          Oh? Every single human drawing breath on this earth at this very moment knows exactly who Christ is, his significance, and has full access to the teachings of christianity? We all can see that you're a complete nutcase, but you up the ante with this statement.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • Meat Loaf

          Madtown,

          Live4 has this time warp thang going on. JC's magical trip to the grave purportedly spanned everyone ever born or to be born. "Let's do the Time Warp again..."

          October 22, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
      • G to the T

        It also assumes that the people bringing the "good news" are doing so in a way that is intelligble, accruate and reasonable. If not, how can I be held responsible for not believing a lousy messenger?

        See I don't KNOW there is no "god". But so far, no one has been able to convince me that El/Yahweh exists and the bible is an accurate testament to his will.

        October 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Let's review

      Twist-It4Him: "bananas didn't post his/her belief. Rather (as midwest rail pointed out) the troll was quoting Jimmy Carter."

      Either L4H is calling bananas a troll, or he's insinuating that midwest indicated bananas is a troll (which midwest did not do).

      October 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  13. bananas

    I happen to have an advantage there because I am a nuclear physicist by training and a deeply committed Christian. I don’t have any doubt in my own mind about God who created the entire universe. But I don’t adhere to passages that so and so was created 4000 years before Christ, and things of that kind. Today we have shown that the earth and the stars were created millions, even billions, of years before. We are exploring space and sub-atomic particles and learning new facts every day, facts that the Creator has known since the beginning of time. president jimmy carter

    October 22, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • bananas

      I draw the line, maybe arbitrarily, in requiring by law that churches must marry people. I’m a Baptist, and I believe that each congregation is autonomous and can govern its own affairs. So if a local Baptist church wants to accept gay members on an equal basis, which my church does by the way, then that is fine. If a church decides not to, then government laws shouldn’t require them to.

      October 22, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • bananas

        For the last 35 or more years, my wife and I have read the Bible last thing every night and just last week we read that passage and discussed it a little bit. What Christ was saying was that when we have conflict in our mind or hearts, between our secular duties and teachings of Christ, we should put the teachings of Christ first.

        He was predicting what would happen, that his teachings might cause divisions among people as they decided to follow God’s ordained duties such as peace, humility, service to others, alleviation of suffering, forgiveness - when we face those conflicts, we should adhere to the principles that never change, to the moral values that are taught through religion.

        October 22, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • bananas

          The example that I set in my private life is to emulate what Christ did as he faced people who were despised like the lepers or the Samaritans. He reached out to them, he reached out to poor people, he reached out to people that were not Jews and treated them equally. The more despised and the more in need they were, the more he emphasized that we should go to and share with them our talent our ability, our wealth, our influence. Those are the things that guide my life and when I find a verse in the Bible that contradicts those things that I just described to you, I put into practice the things that I derive from my faith in Christ. jim carter born-again christian

          October 22, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • Live4Him

          @bananas : when I find a verse in the Bible that contradicts those things that I just described to you

          Then why do you reject the so-called 6000 (~6127) year history as described in the Bible?

          October 22, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • People everywhere

          are now running to get popcorn and a refreshing beverage... stay tuned...

          October 22, 2013 at 11:57 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        I agree with you in the sense that government cannot infringe on how we choose to serve God – that is the essence of the const.itution. But if your Baptist church accepts gay members, as you claim, on what Biblical basis do they do it? The Bible defines a church as a gathering of believers, and goes on to say that those who are living in sin are not saved, and that ho.mo.se.xuality is sinful... The church is for believers, and we don't mind when the unsaved are there, but are you saying that unbelievers are permitted to be members of your church?

        October 22, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • Doris

          "and that ho.mo.se.xuality is sinful... "

          that is an opinion not shared by all Christians
          besides, we know more now about ho.mo.se.xuality and shellfish than the early Biblical writers knew
          besides, "sin" must require objective moral "truths" – can you demonstrate any such "truth" without subjectivity/consensus?

          October 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
        • Alias

          If churches only admit people who do not sin, they will be empty.
          Stop judging, and love the sinner.
          Or would that be expecting yuou to actually live the way you preach?

          October 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Alias,
          "If churches only admit people who do not sin, they will be empty.
          Stop judging, and love the sinner.
          Or would that be expecting yuou to actually live the way you preach?"

          You misunderstand me. Of course, churches are full of sinners, since we are all sinners. The problem is that someone who is living in a lifestyle that is in open rebellion to what the Bible teaches, and denies what it clearly teaches on the matter is no Christian. The Bible says of the Christian that God's "commandments are not burdensom" to him. If one is a Christian – he must repent. That doesn't mean that he will never sin again, but it does mean that he won't have a lifestyle of sin.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
        • Doris

          Larry: "someone who is living in a lifestyle that is in open rebellion to what the Bible teaches"

          that is an opinion not shared by all Christians
          besides, we know more now about ho.mo.se.xuality and shellfish than the early Biblical writers knew
          besides, "sin" must require objective moral "truths" – can you demonstrate any such "truth" without subjectivity/consensus?

          October 22, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Doris,
          "that is an opinion not shared by all Christians"

          Well, you may call it an opinion, I call it a plain reading of Scripture. Other Christians may disagree with me, but they are disobedient Christians.

          "besides, we know more now about ho.mo.se.xuality and shellfish than the early Biblical writers knew"

          About the shellfish... That was a specific command given to a specific people for a specific time. I could talk to you about proper hermaneutics and what the Bible says about determining what in the OT is applicable to the Church Age, but it would take a while. I will do it if you want though, just ask.

          About ho.mo.se.xuality... Yeah, we do know more inventive ways of sinning against God these days, that's for sure.

          "besides, "sin" must require objective moral "truths" – can you demonstrate any such "truth" without subjectivity/consensus?"

          Yep. Objective moral truth example. If I walked up to you and slapped you across the face for no apparent reason, would that offend you?

          October 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • Joey

          I could be into that Lawrence, depending on how good looking you are.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • Alias

          @LofA
          Gluttony is a sin.
          Being fat is a result of a sinful lifestyle
          Plese cast out all fat people along with the gays.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • Doris

          Larry: "Well, you may call it an opinion, I call it a plain reading of Scripture. Other Christians may disagree with me, but they are disobedient Christians."

          I'm sure they may say the same of you, Larry. It brings to mind this quote:

          "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth." –Thomas Jefferson

          (Doris:) "besides, we know more now about ho.mo.se.xuality and shellfish than the early Biblical writers knew"

          Larry: "About the shellfish... That was a specific command given to a specific people for a specific time. I could talk to you about proper hermaneutics and what the Bible says about determining what in the OT is applicable to the Church Age, but it would take a while. I will do it if you want though, just ask."

          As one poster insinuated recently, a Bible-thumper can address pretty much any side of any argument by waffling back and forth between claimed methods of "hermaneutics", or "a plain reading". I think what you need to look at, Larry, is what we currently know about ho.mose.xuality and see what was not understood about it in previous specific times and places versus what we know now.

          Larry: About ho.mo.se.xuality... Yeah, we do know more inventive ways of sinning against God these days, that's for sure.
          Inventive? Are you serious? Are you insinuating that ho.mo.se.xuality was invented?

          (Doris): "besides, "sin" must require objective moral "truths" – can you demonstrate any such "truth" without subjectivity/consensus?"

          Larry: Yep. Objective moral truth example. If I walked up to you and slapped you across the face for no apparent reason, would that offend you?

          Of course, what does that have to do with demonstrating something that supposedly comes directly from your god without subjectivity/consensus? Are you just being silly?

          October 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
        • Vic

          "The church is for believers, and we don't mind when the unsaved are there, but are you saying that unbelievers are permitted to be members of your church?"

          You are contradicting yourself here! The Church is indeed for believers and NOT legalists!

          A Christian believer is saved, and his/her sins are washed away.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Alias,
          Gluttony may be a sin according to some medieval monks... If you're referring to the "7 Deadly Sins," and yeah, it's related to laziness, but I think it falls more into the same category as smoking does – it's not beneficial, but not directly sinful.

          Sin, by definition, is a violation of God's holy nature and His law. That was laid down in Exodus 20, and I don't see gluttony listed. If food is your "idol" and if you love that more than God, then, yes, gluttony needs to be repented of. But I can list a lot of dead people who were fat, but obviously men of God. I'll put Charles Spurgeon at the top of that list.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • Doris

          I guess Larry was after all just being silly about the whole "moral objective truth" theory.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • sam stone

          It's always amusing seeing the pseudo pious, be it larry of arabia, or gopher/topher, or robert brown, etc purporting to speak for god

          you all worship a vindictive, petty pr1ck

          October 22, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
        • sam stone

          they desire to be with a being from whom they have to be "saved". stockholm syndrome, anyone?

          October 22, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @bananas : Today we have shown that the earth and the stars were created millions, even billions, of years before.

      Since you proclaimed your scientific expertise, how would you propose to scientifically test historical events?

      October 22, 2013 at 11:42 am |
      • midwest rail

        The O.P. was quoting Jimmy Carter....

        October 22, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • Billy

          That O.P. was a bit clearer than most. Usually, it's only after I scan through some of the other posts that I notice the troll is trying to quote someone.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      And now for an op-ed: (only for the new members of the editorial pages)

      Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      October 22, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      @L4H, does banana's belief in a billions of years old universe damn him/her to Hell?

      October 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Which God?

      Yep, you're bananas alright. A fake nuclear fizzyist and self described believer in the sky-fairy tales. Pity the neurons floating around in your head, going nowhere. Ther are electrons, neutrons, protons and you, a moron.

      October 22, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • Crom

        LOL Good one!

        October 22, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  14. Doc Vestibule

    Some fun Christian worship practices:
    1) Crucifixtion.
    Every year in the Phillipines, devout Christians have themselves crucified – nails through the hands and feet and everything.

    2) Burning baby hair.
    During Baptism, the Byzantine Catholic church cuts out a cross shaped patch of hair from the infant and then burns it.

    3) Snake handling.
    Pentecostals love snakes. If you get bitten, you just don't love Jesus enough.

    4) Self flagellation.
    Starting in the 13th century, a sect called the Flagellants would whip their own backs with various implements, inflicting serious self-injury.

    5) Speaking in tongues.
    When the Holy Spirit overtakes certain Baptists, they begin flopping about like epileptic fish and spouting gibberish.

    6) Smoking marijuana
    Rastafarians smoke ganja as a means to get closer to the mind of God.

    October 22, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Thank you, you make the point admirably. There is no place where those are commanded in Scripture as being a part of worship.

      October 22, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        People love coming up with all manner of weirdness that they think will please God.
        And who can blame them, really?
        Back in the Old Testament days, God demanded some pretty strange (and quite often barbaric) rituals.
        I'm just happy that Catholic cannibalism is limited to wafers and wine!

        October 22, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Observer

      You left out the cannibalistic symbolic practices of drinking blood and eating a body.

      October 22, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Joey

      Only one of those sounds like much fun. I'll let you guys decide which one that is.

      October 22, 2013 at 11:32 am |
      • tallulah13

        I'm hoping you don't think it's the self-flagellation.

        October 22, 2013 at 11:33 am |
        • Joey

          Well, that is a close second.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Topher

      Just a couple of quick points ... Baptists don't speak in tongues and Rastafarians aren't Christians.

      October 22, 2013 at 11:32 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        You're right about the Baptists – I meant Pentecostals and members of the Church of God. Good eye.
        Rastafarians believe in the God of the Bible and in the divinity of Jesus Christ. That makes them Christians by the standard definition. Just becuase you don't like the look of their tartan, it doesn't mean they reject Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

        October 22, 2013 at 11:45 am |
        • Topher

          Rastas have some things in common with not only Christianity, but Judaism. But as you will see, they'd also be heretics.

          "Rastafari is an Abrahamic new religious movement that accepts Haile Selassie I, the Ethiopian emperor from 1930 to 1974 as God incarnate and the Messiah who will deliver believers to the Promised Land, identified by Rastas as Ethiopia."

          "Rastafari is an Abrahamic new religious movement that accepts Haile Selassie I, the Ethiopian emperor from 1930 to 1974 as God incarnate and the Messiah who will deliver believers to the Promised Land, identified by Rastas as Ethiopia."

          " Specifically, they accept the prophesies in the Book of Revelations concerning the second coming of the Messiah, which they believe has already occurred in the form of Selassie."

          October 22, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Topher
          The only relevant question when asking if a given sect is Christian iswhether or not they worship Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Anything beyond that is just quibbling over details.
          Your sect believes that anybody who gets wrong the mythological minutiae will wind up burning in Hell for all eternity – but that's just your schtick.
          Not every Christian believes that.
          Your church, beliefs and rituals aren't the only ones in existence. You're free to believe that everyone else is misguided, but you cannot tell a follower of Christ that they aren't Christian.

          There's only one tartan in your Scotland, eh?

          October 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          "The only relevant question when asking if a given sect is Christian iswhether or not they worship Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Anything beyond that is just quibbling over details."

          No. That's not the Biblical standard. The demons believe, too, but do you think they're getting into Heaven?

          "Your sect believes that anybody who gets wrong the mythological minutiae will wind up burning in Hell for all eternity – but that's just your schtick."

          Not true. These things would not be "minutiae".

          "Your church, beliefs and rituals aren't the only ones in existence. You're free to believe that everyone else is misguided, but you cannot tell a follower of Christ that they aren't Christian."

          I'd put them up there with Mormons, Catholics, Witnesses and some Adventists. They are outside of orthodoxy and thus not a Christian.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
        • Madtown

          I'd put them up there with Mormons, Catholics
          ----
          And, they set you apart as well as someone who's misguided, as well as followers of other major religions. Who's right? Naturally you think you are.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "And, they set you apart as well as someone who's misguided, as well as followers of other major religions. Who's right? Naturally you think you are."

          Not about me. It's about what the Bible says and they teach things outside of the Bible.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Topher
          But you don't even have the entire Bible!
          The Catholic Church, which has been around for some 1500 more years than your radical offshoot sect, has had several more books in their Bible.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • Madtown

          Not about me. It's about what the Bible says
          ---
          You're on record as saying that humans with no access to christianity still must obey God's laws, because they're written on all our hearts so access to the bible isn't necessary for compliance with God. Now here, you fall back on absolute and full authority of the bible. You like to pick and choose where the bible is relevant for everyone, even though that is not up to you. That makes you somewhat of a hypocrite.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Topher
          Unorthodox Christianity is still Christianity.
          Teams in the CFL still play football, even though the rules are different than the NFL.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          "But you don't even have the entire Bible!"

          Yes I do. Every word of it.

          "The Catholic Church, which has been around for some 1500 more years than your radical offshoot sect, has had several more books in their Bible."

          Yes, they do. It's not that I don't believe those books, it's that I don't believe they are inspired scripture. Even the Jews never held those books in that way. I'm not sure how the Catholics hold them.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          " You're on record as saying that humans with no access to christianity still must obey God's laws, because they're written on all our hearts so access to the bible isn't necessary for compliance with God."

          I said you don't have to have read the Bible to know that things like lying, stealing, adultery, murder, etc., are wrong. God did write His laws on our hearts.

          "Now here, you fall back on absolute and full authority of the bible."

          The Bible does have absolute authority ... because it is inspired and given by God.

          "You like to pick and choose where the bible is relevant for everyone, even though that is not up to you. That makes you somewhat of a hypocrite."

          I'm not picking and choosing anything. Nothing I've said is contradictory. And I am a hypocrite. But not on this subject.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • Madtown

          The Bible does have absolute authority ... because it is inspired and given by God.
          ----
          No it is not. It's not given by God. If it were, why wouldn't he give it to everyone? Does he love people who think like you more than people HE CREATED who don't think like you? Why would you be so special as to deserve knowledge of this "absolute" authority, when humans who are completely equal to you are not provided this knowledge? If I was God, and created you, I can assure you I would not hold you up as more special than anyone. I'd be embarassed of you.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "No it is not. It's not given by God. If it were, why wouldn't he give it to everyone?"

          It's available FOR everyone, though it's true not everyone has one in their hands. A great deal of the blame goes to atheists who refuse to make it legal to possess a copy, who persecute those who profess Jesus as LORD. But blame also goes to Christians who don't evangelize and who won't make the trek to some of those countries.

          "Does he love people who think like you more than people HE CREATED who don't think like you?"

          Nope. His loving offer is made to all.

          "Why would you be so special as to deserve knowledge of this "absolute" authority, when humans who are completely equal to you are not provided this knowledge?"

          I'm not special. I'm just forgiven. Do you have any idea how long I reject Him and refused to read His Word? I can appreciate your concern for those who don't know His name. But you can't use that excuse. You were blessed to be born into a country where it is legal to possess the Bible. You DO have access to it. I don't say this to be snarky to you, but I believe the level of punishment will be greater to those who know the truth and reject it compared to those who didn't know Christ.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Joey

          Topher, what about the millions of people who lived and died in the Americas during 1500 years it took for Europeans to reach them with word of Jesus. Why didn't god want to give them a chance at salvation by informing them of Jesus?

          October 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "Topher, what about the millions of people who lived and died in the Americas during 1500 years it took for Europeans to reach them with word of Jesus. Why didn't god want to give them a chance at salvation by informing them of Jesus?"

          No idea why He chose not to, or even if it's true He didn't. What I DO know is that He gave us a Creation and a conscience to know He exists and that He said if we seek Him we will find Him.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Madtown

          blame also goes to Christians who don't evangelize and who won't make the trek to some of those countries.
          ------
          King Buffoon: it's not your job, it's God's. He created them and put them in these places. You wouldn't even know where to begin to look for the people we refer to, their homes are not on Google Maps. Did God need your help to create this universe? No. Why would he need your help to distribute a simple message? He wouldn't.

          October 22, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • Madtown

          but I believe the level of punishment will be greater to those who know the truth and reject it
          -------
          I believe the level of punishment will be greater for those who reject use of their God-given mind, and willfully practice the arrogance and ignorance of believing they know the "truth", even when this supposed truth isn't even available to their human brothers/sisters. I believe God would want nothing to do with this sort of incompetent person. I believe God would look favorably on the person who treated other humans as his/her equal.

          October 22, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          " it's not your job, it's God's."

          It's absolutely my job. And everyone else's, too. We are to spread the Gospel.

          October 22, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • Madtown

          It's absolutely my job. And everyone else's, too. We are to spread the Gospel.
          ----–
          Calling you a fool does a tremendous disservice to fools everywhere. It's not your job. Again, why didn't God need your help to create our solar system? But, he needs your help to get a supposed divine message out?! He's not powerful enough? I think what God evidently needs from you, is to completely demonstrate to us how imperfect and fallibly human he has designed us. To show human imperfection, that's what he needs your help with. You are doing a great job. Back to the topic of spreading your version of what God wants, when missionaries from other religions knock on your door, are you receptive to them? No? Why would you think they would be receptive to you, when you knock on their door preaching? They are no different than you, each of you thinks his way is the "correct" way of interpreting what God wants.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "Calling you a fool does a tremendous disservice to fools everywhere."

          Yeah, yeah. Ad hominems. Very helpful.

          "It's not your job. Again, why didn't God need your help to create our solar system? But, he needs your help to get a supposed divine message out?! He's not powerful enough?"

          Doesn't NEED me to, that's not the point. But He commanded us to go and do it. That's the plan.

          "I think what God evidently needs from you, is to completely demonstrate to us how imperfect and fallibly human he has designed us. To show human imperfection, that's what he needs your help with. You are doing a great job."

          Yawn. More ad hominems.

          "Back to the topic of spreading your version of what God wants, when missionaries from other religions knock on your door, are you receptive to them? No? Why would you think they would be receptive to you, when you knock on their door preaching? They are no different than you, each of you thinks his way is the "correct" way of interpreting what God wants."

          I wish they would knock on my door. I've only had one set come to my house in the 5 years I've owned it. I'd be perfectly happy to sit down and talk with them.

          October 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
        • Madtown

          Yeah, yeah. Ad hominems. Very helpful.
          ---
          It's simply descriptive. As ad hominem as calling water wet.

          October 22, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
      • Joey

        Unless Topher can show where in the Bible it says that people who have never heard of Jesus will be treated any differently than those who have heard of Jesus I can only assume that Topher is a heretic.

        October 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • Joey

          And thus according to his own definition not even a Christian.

          October 22, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
        • Joey

          We should also keep in mind that the Bible in places clearly states that Jesus is the only way to heaven. So if Topher can find a verse stating that people who never heard of Jesus can get into heaven he will have admitted that the Bible contradicts itself.

          October 22, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "We should also keep in mind that the Bible in places clearly states that Jesus is the only way to heaven."

          This is exactly right.

          "So if Topher can find a verse stating that people who never heard of Jesus can get into heaven he will have admitted that the Bible contradicts itself."

          I never said that and I never will. Christ is the only way into Heaven. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

          October 22, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @Topher

          Then please explain how Elijah is said, within the bible, to have been taken up into heaven in a flaming chariot in front of witnesses before the New Testament. If Jesus is the only way to heaven, then Elijah could not have been taken there.

          2 Kings 2: 1-17
          NIV

          Then again Topher, you've never actually addresses inconsistencies or problems when it comes to your bible or your posts, so I'm wondering if you'll do what you used to and run away.

          October 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Topher

          hawaiiguest

          "Then please explain how Elijah is said, within the bible, to have been taken up into heaven in a flaming chariot in front of witnesses before the New Testament. If Jesus is the only way to heaven, then Elijah could not have been taken there."

          Same way all the OT saints got to go to Heaven. They had faith in the coming Messiah and that faith was credited for righteousness.

          October 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          AHAHAHAHAHA!
          What a lovely ad hoc rationalization with absolutely no biblical or logical support to it.
          Oh you haven't changed a single bit Topher, you still can't use logic one bit.

          October 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
        • Topher

          hawaiiguest

          "What a lovely ad hoc rationalization with absolutely no biblical or logical support to it."

          No Biblical support, huh?

          Romans 4:3 "... For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."

          Genesis 15:6 "And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness."

          October 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @Topher

          And how does that support your assertion that those ho lived before Jesus got into heaven by believing in the coming Messiah. Nowhere in those quotes is heaven mentioned, just that your god considered people with blind faith to be righteous.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • Topher

          hawaiiguest

          "And how does that support your assertion that those ho lived before Jesus got into heaven by believing in the coming Messiah. Nowhere in those quotes is heaven mentioned, just that your god considered people with blind faith to be righteous."

          Go read the passages for yourself. That's exactly what they are talking about.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • Topher

          Romans Chapter 4 ... normally I wouldn't post something so long, but I think it's justified.

          1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

          2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

          3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

          4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

          5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

          6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

          7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

          8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

          9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circu.mcision only, or upon the uncircu.mcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

          10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circu.mcision, or in uncircu.mcision? Not in circu.mcision, but in uncircu.mcision.

          11 And he received the sign of circu.mcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircu.mcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circu.mcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

          12 And the father of circu.mcision to them who are not of the circu.mcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircu.mcised.

          13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

          14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

          15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

          16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

          17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

          18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

          19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:

          20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

          21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

          22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

          23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

          24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

          25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          Wow Topher, what a complete and utter lie you just told.

          1) Genesis 15 is talking about your gods covenant with Abraham to make his offspring as numerous as the stars, and despite Abraham not having any direct children at his age and his wife's age, he had blind faith, which is what is credited as righteous.

          2) Romans 4 is a commentary on that part of the bible.

          3) Neither chapter mentions heaven.

          So go ahead Topher, give another lie that I can fact check.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @Topher

          Both chapters that you mentioned focus on the lauding of blind faith as being a great good, not with the contradiction to which I originally posted.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
        • Madtown

          Topher is a heretic
          ----
          Right on Joey. I can't imagine Topher's arrogance and ignorance pleases God.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • Topher

          hawaiiguest

          "Wow Topher, what a complete and utter lie you just told."

          Nope. Read it for yourself. Don't just "fact check" from a biased website.

          "Both chapters that you mentioned focus on the lauding of blind faith as being a great good, not with the contradiction to which I originally posted."

          Let me point out some verses in there ...

          "3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."

          Christ's work makes a person righteous, and how do we get to Heaven? Through Christ.

          "5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

          So as I said, if we believe in Christ (Messiah) it is counted for righteousness.

          "6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

          "7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered."

          By Christ ...

          Also, there's a word in there ... "imputed" that is used several times. I suggest you look into what that means. (It's arguably the biggest distinction against Catholics and Protestants.) Not only are we forgiven for what Christ has done, but we are "imputed" with Christ's righteousness. So yes, this passage IS INDEED about going to Heaven.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @Topher

          Nice spin there. This merely goes to show that the bible merely says what you want it to say as you want it said. Nowhere is heaven mentioned, so you now need to find a way to try and link it in tenuously.
          Jesus said the only way to heaven is to believe in him, which you include in that all encompassing word "faith". Abraham had faith, therefore he believed in the Messiah (even though the supposed prophecies about the messiah didn't show up in Genesis), so therefore he went to heaven.
          That's the kind of mental gymnastics that shows those who do not already accept the bible find unconvincing.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          Anyway, I'd love to continue pointing out the flaws in your defense of your unsupported assertions, but I have other things to do today.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • Topher

          hawaiiguest

          "Nice spin there. This merely goes to show that the bible merely says what you want it to say as you want it said. Nowhere is heaven mentioned, so you now need to find a way to try and link it in tenuously."

          Is your reading comprehension so bad you need it to use the word "heaven" for you to understand that's what it says? Sorry, I don't mean to be snarky, but you clearly did not read it even though I posted it for you.

          "Jesus said the only way to heaven is to believe in him, which you include in that all encompassing word "faith"."

          No. Belief is not enough.

          "Abraham had faith, therefore he believed in the Messiah (even though the supposed prophecies about the messiah didn't show up in Genesis), so therefore he went to heaven."

          The very first description of Messiah is Genesis 3:15. Dude, I'd suggest you read and understand something before you reject it.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • Madtown

          I never said that and I never will. Christ is the only way into Heaven.
          ------
          "Who's Christ?"

          – sincerely, your friend who God placed in a region of the world with no access to christianity

          October 22, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          Dear friend who supposedly lives where there's no Christianity ... if you are posting on this message board, you have access to Christianity.

          October 22, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
        • Madtown

          if you are posting on this message board, you have access to Christianity.
          --------
          Yep, I didn't think you were bright enough to get it.

          October 22, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "Yep, I didn't think you were bright enough to get it."

          I get it. You don't like that not everyone has heard the name of Christ. Me either. But that won't change anything. If that's something that is a burden to you, get saved yourself and GO. Or at the very least, financially support someone who is willing to go.

          October 22, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
        • Billy

          Topher: "The very first description of Messiah is Genesis 3:15."

          In rabbinical Judaism the contrasting groups of "seed of the woman" and "seed of the serpent" are generally taken as plural, and the promise "he will bruise your head" applied to Adam / mankind bruising the serpent's head. Although a possible Jewish messianic interpretation of Genesis 3:15 in some schools of Judaism during the Second Temple Period has been suggested by some Christian scholars, no evidence of such an interpretation has yet come to light.

          Blah blah blah – more rewriting of the OT by Xtians, what else is new.

          October 22, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
        • Topher

          Billy

          "In rabbinical Judaism the contrasting groups of "seed of the woman" and "seed of the serpent" are generally taken as plural, and the promise "he will bruise your head" applied to Adam / mankind bruising the serpent's head."

          Seed of the serpent? Also, why would it matter if Adam bruised the snake's head? He couldn't, by the way. Now, the Second Adam (Jesus) did just that.

          "Although a possible Jewish messianic interpretation of Genesis 3:15 in some schools of Judaism during the Second Temple Period has been suggested by some Christian scholars, no evidence of such an interpretation has yet come to light."

          Other than that's exactly what happened?

          October 22, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
        • Billy

          Christians claim that verse in Genesis is a reference to Jesus, because it refers to the offspring or seed of a woman. But the that term translated to "seed" is not limited to male reproductivity alone in the Torah. Of course it can also be translated to offspring. Genesis 3:15 is not the only place where we see that a woman has seed, for example:

          Gen 16:10: (Speaking to the woman, Hagar) The angel added, "I will so increase your descendants [Heb. zara] that they will be too numerous to count."

          Gen 24:60: And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
          "Our sister, may you increase
          to thousands upon thousands;
          may your offspring [Heb. zara] possess
          the gates of their enemies."

          Unless it is understood that both Rabekah and Hagar bore children without se-x, which we know they didn't, then it makes no exegetical sense to assume that Genesis 3:15 refers to a virgin birth when it uses the same term used for children from se-xual unions. It might help to keep in mind that the term "seed" as translated here is interchangable with "offspring" – and we all know that women have offspring without virgin births.

          Now, lets keep in mind that nowhere does it actually state that this is a messianic prophecy. This became a messianic prophecy when Christians, reading the Bible in English, thought it was curious that a woman had "seed" when men only had "seed" (i.e. sperm). They had no clue what they were reading, what it said in Hebrew, or how to interpret it.

          October 22, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
        • Madtown

          If that's something that is a burden to you, get saved yourself and GO
          ----
          It's not a burden to me, it's a burden to people who are only able to see things one way, such as yourself. The example of the person who's never heard of Christ, is meant to illustrate that there's no 1 religion that is shared, and therefore cannot be "truth". A God powerful enough to create a universe, can get a message out to all those he created. If a religion represented a "message of truth" that God wanted all to follow, he's more than powerful enough to make it happen. Since it has not happened, the only logical conclusion is that God doesn't care to send this message out to everyone. You either get this, or you don't. The repeated pummeling of you with logic has no effect, you don't utilize logic in your thought process. Apart from this unfortunate reality, I wish you the best.

          October 22, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
  15. Charm Quark

    LofA
    I think what you missing is a definition of what you believe a Christian church actually is. From the rituals of the RCC, to the raucous Baptist's, to the TV evangelists just trying to make a buck there is an amazing diversity of worship in the eye of the beholder.

    October 22, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Isn't that the truth! And thank God that we have the Bible so that we can use it to determine what true, God-honoring worship is.

      Does God-honoring worship include praying to dead people (including Mary) as mediators? Nope, that's necromancy, and that's forbidden.

      Does God-honoring worship include "speaking in tongues" and cavitating? No, those practices are seen in kundalini and pagan worship – those are forbidden.

      True God-honoring worship does just that. It draws attention to Christ alone, and praises Him for His character and what He has accomplished.

      October 22, 2013 at 11:13 am |
      • G to the T

        Which Bible is that LoA? I've got 6 or 7 in my collection and I want to be sure I'm reading the right one...

        October 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
      • sam stone

        "god honoring worship" – what incredible arrogance, larry

        October 23, 2013 at 3:42 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          It's not arrogance if it's a simple reading of the Bible. It would only be arrogance if I didn't read the Bible and presume to know what's in it. (Kindof sounds like health care in this country huh?)

          October 23, 2013 at 7:28 am |
        • sam stone

          that is exactly what it is, larry, because you are stating that not only is the bible the word of god, but your interpretation of it is the correct one

          October 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @Lawrence

          Which version of the bible are you speaking about?
          Take a look at
          allbibles.com/t-bibleversions.aspx
          for a list of them.

          October 23, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        @Lawrence
        Where did you study ancient Hebrew and Greek?
        After all, in order to properly understand the nuances of teh Bible, wouldn't you want to read the words as they originally were written?

        October 23, 2013 at 9:32 am |
        • G to the T

          No doubt – still no answer to my question about which version of the bible he's using either... oh well...

          October 23, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          G to the T,
          I personally use the NASB, and through studies in the science of textual criticism, this (and other literal equivalencies, such as the ESV) is the best English rendering of the text from the manuscripts that are now available to us.

          October 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Doc,
          You can learn Hebrew and Greek from any number of universities across America. I learned what I know from my own studies. (and before you go ridiculing that, people learn languages on their own all the time)

          October 23, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      LofA
      I would find it interesting to know what church you do attend and support

      October 22, 2013 at 11:18 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        The church that I attend is a member of the SBC. But it is not denominational in the sense that the authority rests with the denomination rather than scripture. It's hard to find "Non-Denominational" churchs these days who have not wandered far from Scripture, so I attend this particular church because my Pastor teaches from the Bible. I realize that may come as a "no, duh" statement to some, but there are many pastors out there who don't teach from the Bible. And our pastor is willing to attack sin wherever it is found, either within the church, or the denomination, and without.

        October 22, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • G to the T

          Which version of the bible do you all use? And how do you know what you have is an accurate depiction of the will of god?

          October 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          G to the T,
          I personally use the NASB, and through studies in the science of textual criticism, this (and other literal equivalencies, such as the ESV) is the best English rendering of the text from the manuscripts that are now available to us.

          October 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        LoA
        As a member of the SBC but independent of any direction from them? How does your church practices conform to the doctrine/dogma of the Southern Baptist Convention?

        October 22, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "As a member of the SBC but independent of any direction from them? How does your church practices conform to the doctrine/dogma of the Southern Baptist Convention?"

          All Reformed Christian churches are this way... They may claim membership within a denomination, but their doctrine and practice come from the Scriptures alone.

          October 22, 2013 at 11:39 am |
        • Crom

          In other words, they are "strict" fundamentalists despite having no solid interpretations of the texts – total bullshitters.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Crom,
          The word "fundamentalist" means that we believe what the Bible says – we don't get our doctrine dictated to us by some church council or by a pronouncement from a supposed "holy man" who lives in a palace. The interpretations of the text come from the text itself using an understanding of basic hermaneutics. And those interpretations are very solid.

          People misunderstand the text when they use the Bible to "proof text" an idea or doctrine that isn't actually taught in the Bible, or when they refuse to seriously study the Bible, or when they "spiritualize" or allegorize the text. Just let the bible say what it wants to say, without trying to force a meaning into it that it did not intend, and the Bible speaks for itself. It's actually a VERY plain book, and not that difficult to understand.

          So I fail to see your point.

          October 23, 2013 at 7:35 am |
        • tallulah13

          The point, Larry, is that there are over 30,000 denominations of christianity and every one of thm thinks they have the right translation.

          So does everyone in your church interpret the bible for themselves? Do you take turns as pastor, or do you have one or two dedicated pastors?

          October 23, 2013 at 9:19 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Tallulah13,
          "The point, Larry, is that there are over 30,000 denominations of christianity and every one of them thinks they have the right translation."

          There are certainly some texts out there like the NWT that were written to support a bad theology, but those are easily dismis.sed with simple textual criticism. Do you mean the KJV -vs- the NASB -vs- the ESV -vs- the NKJV, and the like? Once again, applying textual criticism with the volume of docu.ments that we have, we know that most modern translations (excluding texts like the NWT) are accurate.

          Look at it like this, no, we don't have access to the original docu.ments now, BUT, the early church fathers DID, and given the amount of quotations that they make in their writings, we can actually reconstruct the entire NT just from their quotations... And that's just one method of textual criticism. We know that modern translations are accurate to the originals.

          "So does everyone in your church interpret the bible for themselves?"

          Nope. We don't interpret Scripture. The Bible itself is the only legitimate interpreter of the Bible.

          "Do you take turns as pastor, or do you have one or two dedicated pastors?"

          My church has 2 pastors, but they don't interpret scripture for us... (see above) They do teach it though.

          October 23, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • Betty

          You know, Larry, my son has one of those new Roku 3 boxes that has headphones right on the remote. I think it's the latest thing since sliced bread (as long as it's not from a possessed toaster). But can I buy a Bible somewhere that has headphones where the Bible will just talk to me and explain everything? I stay up later than my husband and I really don't want to disturb him.

          October 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Betty,
          There are audio Bibles if that's what you're asking... And so far as explaining the text, aside from getting a good study Bible, probably the best thing for that would be to go to someplace like http://www.oneplace.com and check out some of the online sermons. There are some wonderful teachers in there like R.C. Sproul for instance who explain the text, and their sermons are archived, so you can search for what you're looking for.

          October 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Crom

          Yep – total bullshitters. Two pastors who will interpret what bible text needs to be pushed so people can "interpret it" themselves as they always do, even to interpreting each other's interpretations and so on.
          Yeah, you have to "understand" it according to this website. But no one is interpreting anything...noooo.
          Total bullshitters who deserve lengthy prison terms for fraud and to have all their money taken away.
          That would liven things up.

          October 23, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
  16. ?

    Jimmy Swaggart could really lay down a heartfelt tune, of course he also laid half the h00kers in Baton Rouge, Christians LOL.

    October 22, 2013 at 10:48 am |
  17. Joey

    Having heard Christian "music" in the past, I am scared that if I listen to this it will make my ears bleed.

    October 22, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  18. Christmas Candle

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Z_6anxxNLWA

    October 22, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Reddman

      One of our favorites! 🙂

      October 22, 2013 at 10:24 am |
  19. tallulah13

    In the bible it said something about "making a joyful noise" did it not? Was there a verse that said all music honoring god must be pre-screened by the AV guys? Never heard that one,.

    October 22, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • tallulah13

      That was in response to Larry's comment below.

      October 22, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Surely even you would say that not everything that is called by the name "worship" is actually worship. And if it isn't, where do you draw the line? HOW do you draw the line?

      If you didn't have a measuring tape or a yardstick handy, how would you judge how long ten and on-quarter inches is? Without a measuring rod of some kind (canon) could you get it exactly right?

      That's what the Bible does. It serves as a measuring rod to judge everything, including our worship.

      October 22, 2013 at 10:24 am |
      • tallulah13

        How do you measure what comes from the heart? Surely you god is capable of discerning real worship from false.

        October 22, 2013 at 10:51 am |
      • Richard Cranium

        The bible is not an authority to judge the bible...that is circular reasoning again. Since the bible has been proven false using science, it really isn't a tool to judge anything, is it?

        October 22, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "The bible is not an authority to judge the bible...that is circular reasoning again. Since the bible has been proven false using science, it really isn't a tool to judge anything, is it?"

          I do not accept your premise, sir.
          First, the Bible doesn't judge the Bible – it has been said that Scripture interprets Scripture though, if that is what you intended by your remark, then, yes, I would agree. And I can go deeper into what that means if you wish. What the Bible does is judge us, and our worship, and it determines what true worship is.

          Next, you claim that the Bible has been proven false by science... Well, that's not a true statement either. Or is at least intended to be highly misleading. The Bible comments that the earth is round and rotates on an axis. Has that been proven false by science? The Bible describes the hydrological cycle, isostacy of the earth, etc. Have these been disproven by science?

          What you have a problem with are the descriptions of miracles and the supernatural in the Bible for which, by definition, there is no scientific explaination. And no theologian should have a problem with that.

          October 22, 2013 at 11:06 am |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          What is your reference for the Bible stating the Earth rotates?

          October 22, 2013 at 11:30 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          MEII,
          Sure... Check out Job 38:14 for instance... It makes a comparison between the earth and a clay seal that is rotated in order to imprint its characters into clay. Look up the Nabonidus Cylinder and you'll see an example of what is being spoken of... The seal rotates, and in the same way, the earth is changed... It too rotates.

          October 22, 2013 at 11:34 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          MEII,
          Also, Psalm 104:5-8 speaks about how the earth is "balanced" so that it will not "totter."

          October 22, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Richard Cranium : Since the bible has been proven false using science

          Repeating something without providing any supporting evidence falls into the logic fallacy category called "Ad nauseam".

          October 22, 2013 at 11:37 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Live4Him

          Do you seriously believe that Noah and his 3 sons managed to find suitable trees, cut then down, season the wood, transport it, cut and shap it, nail together and then seal all the wood for 216,525 square feet of the Ark's frame, plus load-bearing walls, interior rooms, stalls, pens, and staircases using nothing but Bronze Age tools?
          Where did they get the raw materials to produce the thousands of gallons of pitch needed to waterproof the ship's exterior of 114,750 square feet?

          And what, more importantly, did they do with all the sh1t generated by all manner of creature, great and small for an entire year? The humans must have spent every moment of their day gathering it, moving it on deck and tossing it overboard.

          October 22, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          LoA
          The list of sciences that disprove the Noah's ark include geology, oceanology, icthyology, biology, physics, meteorology, genetics and many more.
          There has never been a world encompassing flood since life began on the planet.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • Alias

          @DOC
          FYI they didn't have nails at the time the arc was built.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Richard,
          Well, if there really was a worldwide flood, what would the evidence be? Billions of dead things buried in the rock layers layed down by water, all over the earth... And that's exactly what we see.

          October 22, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          LoA
          Not exactly. we see fossils all over the world. That part is true. But there is much more that we would see.
          There is absolutely no evidence, and a great deal of evidence to the contrary of a flood that happened in all parts of the worls at the same time.
          There are MANY other parts of that story that have been proven wrong, like the change in salinity that would kill nearly all of the marine life in the planet...Did noah have a giant aquarium....large enough for two Blue Whales ( and all of the other species), since the water at that low salinty would kill the whales? Also, what about all of the plant life.....gone, everywhere.
          Find your own evidence, it is everywhere.
          To cling to the belief in the face of such overwhelming evidence to the contrary is proof of your delusion.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Richard,
          "There is absolutely no evidence, and a great deal of evidence to the contrary of a flood that happened in all parts of the worls at the same time."

          Not true sir. The evidence abounds, but evidence must be interpreted, and for something that occurred many thousands of years ago, no matter what paradigm you happen to subscribe to, it is not an easy task.

          "There are MANY other parts of that story that have been proven wrong, like the change in salinity that would kill nearly all of the marine life in the planet..."

          I'm sure it DID kill most of the marine life.

          "Did noah have a giant aquarium....large enough for two Blue Whales ( and all of the other species), since the water at that low salinty would kill the whales?"

          No, no aquarium, but you're usually the first to tell me that animals change over time – can we really assume that whales were precisely the same as they are now, requiring the same salinity levels? Can we even assume anything about the conditions of the earth pre-flood? I don't know, I'm just saying...

          "Also, what about all of the plant life.....gone, everywhere."

          Yep, exactly. But seeds are very resistant to this sort of thing. I grew up on the beach where we had floods about twice a year due to hurricanes, and I've seen just how persistant these little buggers are.

          "Find your own evidence, it is everywhere."

          I agree!

          "To cling to the belief in the face of such overwhelming evidence to the contrary is proof of your delusion."

          Nah, you observe the same evidence that we do, you just look at it differently.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          "Sure... Check out Job 38:14 for instance... "

          The words are "The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;" not a clay seal. It is refering to the topology of the earth, like when you press a seal, of any kind, into soft clay it leaves impressions like mountains and valleys. This is reinforced by the very next line "its features stand out like those of a garment." Unless you are going to claim that this is referring to a woman twirling, i.e. rotating, in a dress?

          Additionally, the lines just prior are referring to a "place" for "dawn" as well as the "edges" of the Earth. If you want to claim va.gue poetry as science then shouldn't you claim it all?

          "Also, Psalm 104:5-8 speaks about how the earth is 'balanced' so that it will not 'totter.'"

          Please clarify this one. All I see are references to the earth having a "foundation", so "That it should not be moved for ever."

          Which, of course, is completely false.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          "Well, if there really was a worldwide flood, what would the evidence be? Billions of dead things buried in the rock layers layered down by water, all over the earth... And that's exactly what we see."

          Actually, that is not what we see. We see the fossils layered in such a way that progresses for early forms of organisms to later forms all in layers of sedimentary rock that would take millions of years to form completely.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • Joey

          I look at it this way: If someone actually believes that Noah's Ark happened there is no reason to take anything else they have to say about anything very seriously.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          LoA
          There is so much more evidence proving your myth to be false...but you refuse to acknowledge it, prefering to try to force reality into your bible. That is the very definition of delusion.

          Fact is, there is so many other ares I can destroy that one particular myth with it isn't funny...except when someone claims it is true...sad really.

          October 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          MEII,
          Here is what Job 38:12-15 is saying...
          As the earth rotates and the dawn approaches, the sunlight shows in great relief the features that stand out on the earth such as mountains. Here, God compares physical light to the spiritual light that judges all of mankind in that the light of the knowledge of God first reveals the wickedness of men, and then in the same way that someone would take a garment and shake it to get the dirt and impurities out of it, the light of God’s judgment purges wickedness from the earth…

          October 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia
          I'm sure that's what you would like it to say...

          "“Have you ever given orders to the morning,
          or shown the dawn its place,
          13 that it might take the earth by the edges
          and shake the wicked out of it?
          14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
          its features stand out like those of a garment.
          15 The wicked are denied their light,
          and their upraised arm is broken."

          Unless I'm mistaken there is not one single thing about rotation in that phrase.

          "14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;"

          No matter whether as seal itself is cylindrical or flat, when finished, the clay "under the seal" is flat, is it not?

          October 22, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • ME II

          should be "the seal" not " as seal"

          October 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • Joey

          I have to agree with Lawrence that the bible describes the Earth as round like a circle, which is flat, and therefore wrong.

          October 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          MEII,
          Ancient Hebrew isn't exactly the easiest thing to translate into English for sure, but that's why it takes diligent study, and sometimes a simple glance at the text just won't do. The paraphrase that I gave you wasn't my own, it's the understanding of many theologians. I shortened the description to fit here, but Matthew Henry wrote extensively on this, as well as MacArthur, and some of the puritans.

          What is it that you are trying to say that the text says? That the world is flat?
          Why then would God use the analogy of the approaching dawn that highlights the features of the earth as being like the exposing light of the knowledge of God that exposes wickedness? Then He compares the shaking of a garment to God's light of judgment that purges wickedness from the world.

          It's quite beautiful God's economy of words, how He can paint such a beautiful picture in just a few passages.

          October 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          "What is it that you are trying to say that the text says? That the world is flat?"

          I'm simply saying that to use this text as any kind of evidence that the Bible says the Earth is a sphere seems ridiculous. I'm not familiar with how the puritans interpreted things but the dawn on a disk shaped world would also be a revelatory process similar to the one on a spherical planet, especially in a hilly or mountainous area, i.e. hills like folds in a "garment".

          I won't go so far as to claim it says earth is flat because it is too ambiguous, although flat would work here, but it certainly does not call earth a sphere or anything ball-like. Much less make any claims what-so-ever that earth is rotating about an axis.

          What does it intend to say? I don't claim to know for certain. Perhaps that God is capable of shaking the wickedness off the Earth, by picking up the flat cloth of the Earth up and shaking it, literally.

          October 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • Alias

          The pope held galileo in house arrest for saying the world was round and orbiting the sun.
          Twist the scripture and argue the translation all you want to, the RCC clearly believed the world was flat.
          The pope was wrong then, and te bible is still wrong today.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • Madtown

        It serves as a measuring rod to judge everything
        ----–
        Again, how can it be a measuring stick for "everything", when it's not even available to everyone? How could I be cited for driving over the speed limit, when there are no speed limit signs telling me what the limit is?

        October 22, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • Crom

          This idiot actually worships the bible itself and treats it like a god, saying the bible judges people.
          A fundamentalist that gibbers and capers over the words, the texts, never realizing how insane they are, how badly written and contradictory the texts are, and never quite understanding anything but willing to be dazzled by more BS if it's biblical.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  20. Marty Brynildsen

    I think Lawrence is on the right track, although I can't put such a jagged biblical edge on this. The sing-song tunes that are being circulated through the media, and into some folks' "worship," is simply POP music. Yes, the words are nice, over and over and over again, and this is all many people know of music. I'm afraid they have no time to LISTEN. There is no other excuse for any rejection of ancient hymns and inspired liturgical music; but then, the people who use these tunes, as well as those who pander to their poor taste, have no regard for liturgy, or the formats for regular worship developed and practiced by the earliest followers of Jesus the Christ.

    October 22, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      The "Strange Fire" conference is going on now in Dr. John MacArthur's church, and he (and others) address the topic of worship: what it is, and what it isn't. It's a really fascinating conference from some very godly men that you might enjoy.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=S3_vli3t7Ds

      October 22, 2013 at 10:19 am |
      • Topher

        Funny. I caught almost all of the Strange Fire conference last week, but I missed this part. My wife and I sat and watched this very video last night.

        October 22, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Yeah, I love Todd Friel and how he "seems to know precisely where the line is, and never crosses it." He's a bit snarky, but I think you have to in dealing with the kids these days. Now that he's in Atlanta, just a short drive away from me, I've got to drive down and meet him someday and thank him for his ministry and how he's helped to shape my style of evangelism.

          October 22, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • Topher

          Yeah, I listen to Friel every day. When I first became a Christian he really got on my nerves ... you know, Sola Scriptura and that sort of thing. But now I'm right with him and learn stuff all the time.

          October 22, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Joey

      What is worship? First and foremost I would describe it as a giant waste of time.

      October 22, 2013 at 10:29 am |
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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.