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November 18th, 2013
12:17 PM ET

Disfigured man embraced by Pope: 'I felt only love'

By Daniel Burke and Livia Borghese, CNN

Rome (CNN) - The photo roused emotions and sparked conversations around the world - but the man at the center of the image says the moment left him speechless.

"I tried to speak, to tell him something, but I couldn't: The emotion was too strong," says Vinicio Riva, the disfigured man embraced by Pope Francis in images that went viral earlier this month.

"It all lasted not more than a minute, but it seemed an eternity," Riva told the Italian magazine Panorama this weekend.

Riva, whose body is covered with tumors due to a rare disease, said his unusual appearance has led to a lifetime of living on the margins.

That is, until he showed up at St. Peter's Square on November 6.

Riva went to Rome on the advice of a friend with whom he travels to Lourdes, the Catholic shrine in France visited by thousands of ailing and infirm pilgrims each year.

After meeting Francis in St. Peter's Square, Riva said he kissed the Pope's hand. Francis then pulled Riva toward him, hugging the 53-year-old Italian and kissing his face.

MORE ON CNN: Why the Pope's embrace is so powerful

Riva, who lives in Vicenza in northern Italy, said he suffers from neurofibromatosis Type 1, which causes painful tumors to grow throughout his body. His younger sister and late mother also suffered from the rare disease, Riva told Panorama.

The first signs of the disease began when he was 15, Riva said, and since then, he has often felt ostracized because of his unusual appearance.

But the Pope showed no sign of discomfort as he approached, said Riva. Instead, the pontiff's face broke into a calm smile.

"But what most astonished me is that he didn’t think twice on embracing me," Riva said. "I’m not contagious, but he didn’t know. He just did it; he caressed all my face, and while he was doing that, I felt only love."

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Faith • Health • Pope Francis

soundoff (829 Responses)
  1. Madtown

    Why would I go over to another — and thus lesser — religion?
    ----–
    Holy thick-head Batman........yeah, that's just what the people you're trying to convert think. They also think they've got the best religion, and the back-and-forth of idiocy goes on and on. They've never even heard of your religion, how could it be the "only way"? Doesn't God also love them? If it was the only way, wouldn't God have provided it to them also?

    November 20, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Madtown

      Sorry, this was in reply to Topher way down the bottom of the page.

      November 20, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Answer

      Pride.

      The unwavering pride that a believer thinks that his religion is the best. Logic tells us that this is the gravest error.

      November 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  2. Akira

    Both Indian and bostonola are correct, unfortunately.

    November 20, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • niknak

      I have been called way worse then that.
      Or just told I am going to hell because I won't play along in all the fun reindeer games.

      November 20, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
      • Akira

        There is a definite prejudice towards an atheist if people find out, I have observed.
        Kind of how they treated Rudolph because of his red nose.

        November 20, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  3. Indian

    Some atheists commenting here assume that if you are an Christian you fall somewhere between retarded and insane.

    November 20, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • niknak

      Don't worry Chief, we atheists feel that way about all religions, not just Xtianity.

      November 20, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • Crom

        Some of us do, at least. I think making blanket statements about people who do not share any value system is not the correct way to speak of "all atheists".
        If you have certain values, you can be sure they have zero to do with atheism and everything to do with how you developed as a person throughout your life. If you are anti-religion, then that is a secularist sort of position. I argue with a lot of atheists who are not anti-religion, who think we can all live in peace with a majority of us immersed in a schizophrenic culture as long as its their own brand of crazy.
        Nothing personal, I'm just skimming along and thought a reply to your reply would be a good spot to lay this down.

        November 20, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  4. bostontola

    Some Christians commenting here assume that if you are an atheist you fall somewhere between untrustworthy and evil.

    November 20, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • lol??

      If the glove fits, you must not acquit, or else buy another.

      November 29, 2013 at 8:39 am |
  5. Pujols

    Why do Catholics oppose fun weddings?

    November 20, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • niknak

      I don't know.
      Why does the Pope wear a funny hat?

      November 20, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  6. John

    Wow. What a total d bag Ocean is. And I say this as a Christian.

    He does Christianity no favors.

    November 20, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Pacific

      I think he is pretty cool. You are probably an atheist posing as a Christian.

      November 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        I bet you've got a cousin named Atlantic.

        November 20, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Ocean

      If asking atheists certain questions they do not like is acting like a "d-bag", than I am. If atheists don't like having what they believe and think questioned, they shouldn't be here in the first place!

      November 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • niknak

        You are still not getting the whole atheist definition, are you Ocean11?
        We don't have a belief in any gods or supernatural beings.
        If you want to question us on our favorite TV show, or what color we like or car we prefer to drive, we will answer you.
        But questioning us on something that we don't believe exists is not going to get you anywhere.

        November 20, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  7. Typical Atheist

    deformed man says: 'I felt only love' Is that supposed to be evidence? Feelings? What a straw man argument!

    November 20, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Ocean

      I don't think you ever experienced love so you insult the man for saying. How atheist of you.

      November 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
      • bostontola

        I think the OP was a caricature of an atheist.

        November 20, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • bostontola

      A person receiving love from another person happen billions of times every day, no evidence required.

      A person receiving love from an invisible being also happens billions of time a day, but that doesn't mean there is an actual being giving that love. As an example, when a tribe member from Borneo feels love from his imagined god, does that make that god real? Asking for objective evidence seems reasonable.

      November 20, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
      • Ocean

        And it still doesn't disprove God. Get over yourself.

        November 20, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • bostontola

          I never said it did, I said asking for objective evidence was reasonable. If you have a reading comprehension problem please let me know and I'll filter my comments accordingly.

          November 20, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • Ocean

        Why would I listen to a biased troll like you?

        November 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
        • bostontola

          I'll admit that I have some biases, but that doesn't mean I'm trolling.

          Do you think you are without any bias?

          November 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  8. Ocean

    According to recent statistics, there are roughly 2.1 billion Christians worldwide and Islam having about over a billion followers. Add the total along with Judaism and you roughly get about 3 billion or so. Now there is roughly about 7 billion human beings in this world which means about 4 billion(give or take) have no religious affliction to those 3 faiths. Non-Christians outweigh Christians by a long shot. In America(which is where most atheists that come here live) many cultures and religions reside here as well that have no connection to Christianity. So where's these "laws" atheists talk about forcing non-Christians to believe in God? It does not exist. The fact that non-Christian religions can even be in America and are allowed to practice it without being killed for it, proves atheists are lying. Christianity maybe the dominate "force" or widely believed in America means nothing. Politicians lie all the time and typically believe a religion that is popular among the people for SUPPORT. Politics is all about lying for support. Atheists should fight the politicians not the people who have no political power.

    November 20, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Ocean, This was answered yesterday. You as an individual may not be pushing your belief onto society, but many believers do. There are many examples: blue laws, gay marriage, abortion, christian prayers at public meetings, christian texts on public buidlings, creationism taught as science, etc.

      November 20, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
      • Ocean

        Creationism is not in EVERY classroom in America. In fact, I stated my times I went to a public school and was never taught a drop of creationism. If that happens in YOUR state and JUST YOUR state alone, YOU must fight THE LAWMAKERS of your STATE. I cannot make this anymore clearer for you. Since teaching creationism is NOT a NATIONAL LAW, you must actually face the issue head on in YOUR own STATE. Can I make this any more clearer for you? If its a national law, you must go higher up than state lawmakers. States are allowed to create their own laws within their state that only applies in their state and no other state. Each state can decide if they wish to allow gay marriage or not UNLESS a law is passed nationally declaring gay marriage legal or banning gay marriage. Seriously, do you have trouble comprehending where you do to actually go to solve these problems? Instead atheists have a new trend-attacking people on the internet without going to where they need to go to SOLVE the problem. If you don't face the issue head on, well, its your problem since you are too afraid to do it in real life. If its a law within just your state, you MUST go directly to the source and who has the power to pass laws or change laws. If its a national law, you have to go higher up on the power chain. What part of this don't you understand? Is it because you are too afraid to actually face this issue in real life or do you need a reason to keep complaining when the power has been given to us(the people) to change unfair laws we deem unfair?

        November 20, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • Billy

          "you must actually face the issue head on in YOUR own STATE"

          Yes, you must do this and you must also, at every opportunity, try to educate others. The internet can be a tool for that in certain ways. When there used to be demonstrations against the U.S. involvement in Viet Nam, did we see only demonstrations at the Capitol? Heck no, they were all over the place.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
        • Billy

          Civil rights – same thing. Gay marriage is a civil rights issue, like it or not.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Ocean, I know how to solve these problems – defend separation of church and state. Your school may not have taught creationism but there are regular attempts to introduce that, e.g. Dover, Texas school board. I'll bet Jesus was mentioned during your schooling; equally I'd bet that Vishnu wasn't – so that's a christian bias right there.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • Ocean

          You expect something different from southern states or something? What has been taught for hundreds of years in the south is still very strong and alive today. In fact, most people would label the southern states "rednecks". You seriously expect something to change fast when its rooted deep within their history taught from parent to child who teach it to their kids? You would have to break the tradition as well. Boy, I do a lot more thinking than you atheists do.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
        • Jerry from Bayonne

          **Boy, I do a lot more thinking than you atheists do.**

          You're full of yourself. No one thinks more than an atheist than Jerry.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Typical Christian

      I agree, atheists should just shut up and be glad we don't kill them.

      November 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      • Typical Atheist

        Circular reasoning, straw-man theory and other phrases that make appear rational and intelligent.

        November 20, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • G to the T

          LOL... fail!

          November 20, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • Doris

          They've always had to keep saving up straw since they've never known exactly how much is needed for Solomon's stables. First they have to figure out how many stables.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
        • Typical Atheist

          Fairy tales, Santa Clause and a complete copy of Horus.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
      • Ocean

        Nobody should die for believing whatever it is they believe. In fact, most people give into peer pressure more than anything else when it comes to following popular opinions. If you don't follow the popular opinions, bad things have happened to people in history who didn't give in to peer pressure.

        November 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          Religion is the bellbottoms of the last 3000 years, finally we have people willing to tell the truth about how uncool they are...

          November 20, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • Typical Atheist

          Atheism is five fingered shoes.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • Ocean

          Technically speaking, no it wasn't. If people didn't give in to the pressure to believe, they would die for it. Or if someone questioned the authority of someone with power, that's when the real problem occurs. You can question God all you want, that part is normal, but question the power and authority of man, that's where you face death, imprisonment, or worse. Which brings me back to my original statement-people are to blame NOT their religion. Their religion doesn't make them kill. If a man gets inspired to kill people based on playing a video game, would more people blame the video game rather than seeing what actually caused it? Like a mental condition? Hate/anger? If atheists ignore these things, blaming religion is illogical because there's a bigger picture than you are willing to admit.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
        • Doris

          Did someone take over the WordPress "Ocean" which is no longer a hyperlink?

          November 20, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • Ocean

          Its still me troll Doris. I just changed it so I wouldn't have a hyperlink...

          November 20, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
        • Typical Atheist

          It is just easier to ignore facts and scapegoat religion as the source of all human problems.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The great problem with religion is that it relies on faith.
          Any proposition that relies on faith can and will be twisted by unscrupulous individuals for their own gain. Its just far too easy to manipulate those who are willing to suspend critical thinking and accept something without evidence.

          November 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        • Sphere

          That's why political correctness is the national orthodoxy.

          November 23, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Doris

      "In America(which is where most atheists that come here live) "

      Can someone please and interpret and tell me what Puddle means here?

      November 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
      • Ocean

        Most atheists that post on this forum live in America....

        November 20, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Except for those of us who don't, eh.
          Pass me a serviette – I got poutine on the Chesterfield.

          November 20, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Ocean is a troll.
      It proved it in a previous conversation where it tried to say something negative about atheists, then refused to try to support its assertion, and I gave it 9 chances.
      It will dance and send up a lot of smoke, but it really has nothing of value, and it will say a lot of things to try to get response.
      It is not a christian, it is a troll. Treat it accordingly.

      November 20, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • Poseidon

        I'll bet that @Ocean considers himself/herself one of them thar "Salty Christians".

        I shall smite him and the seahorse that he rode into town on.

        November 20, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • Doris

          LOL

          November 20, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • Poseidon

          Witness my power in recent days in Sardinia. It has been way too long since they sacrificed a horse to me to ensure their safety!

          November 20, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • Ocean

        If anyone is a troll it would be you, Richard.

        November 20, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • Reality #3

          +1!!!!!!!!

          November 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          In what way do I fit the defintion of an internet troll?

          "In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally[3][4] or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[5] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion

          I post cogent arguments in response to others. Disagreeing is not trolling.
          You post inflammatory posts with the intent of getting a response, but refuse to actually debate, nor back up what you post. You post gibberish and doubletalk that has nothing to do with the topic.
          Please show me where I fit any of the above definition.
          I am not a troll because I disagree with you.
          I do not attack people for no valid reason, I post logical, cogent arguments.

          Why have you not given examples of where atheists have forced their beliefs on you?... I gave you 9 chnaces and got a lot of nothing in response.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
        • Ocean

          And you failed to answer my questions so I won't answer yours. This is 3rd time I asked you to answer my questions. I will stop responding if you fail to answer MY questions.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Now you are lying.
          I responded with a question, THAT YOU STILL HAVE NOT ANSWERED.
          You instead answered with a question, which I answered immmediately. Then asked again, now 10 times I have asked (this is 11) and you refuse to answer again.

          You are the very definiton of troll.
          answer the question. It is the only question I have asked you, and now after 10 tries, you refuse to back up what you wrote.

          When have atheists ever forced their beliefs on you, specifically?

          I'll start the music up so you have more to dance to.
          For those of you who want to see a punk troll, see the previous exchange on previous page where this troll started out complaining about atheists forcing their belief. My response was simple.

          November 20, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Globally:

      http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

      Religion………………………… Adherents

      Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion

      Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion

      Irreligious/agnostic/atheism…… 1.1 billion

      Hinduism 900 million
      Chinese traditional religion 394 million
      Buddhism 376 million
      Animist religions 300 million
      African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
      Sikhism 23 million
      Juche 19 million
      Spiritism 15 million

      Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million

      Baha'i 7 million
      Jainism 4.2 million
      Shinto 4 million
      Cao Dai 4 million
      Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
      Tenrikyo 2 million
      Neo-Paganism 1 million
      Unitarian Universalism 800,000
      Rastafari Movement 600,000

      November 20, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • Ocean

        Which proves non-Christians outweigh Christians by a longshot.

        November 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          So people lie on the US Census forms? Lie during Pew Inst-itute reviews?

          November 20, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
      • Ocean

        No, I said many FAKE believing. Learn to read better "reality".

        November 20, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Fake believing? How does one do that? Can one fake believing in their gods?

          November 20, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        Christianity is still the major religion in the USA (~75%). This will change rapidly as the pedophilia, se-x and corruption scandals will slowly expose the weak underbelly of Christianity i.e. the severely flawed history and theology.
        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

        November 23, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
  9. Lionly Lamb

    I live out Life on just $13,000 a year... The costs of keeping one person in prison is around $50,000 a year... Justice Files...

    November 20, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Lee

      and $12,000 of that is probably spent on illegal narcotics.

      November 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  10. Boris

    Blessed r ye when all men shall hate thee!

    Glory!

    November 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Appy-polly-loggies.

      Justin Bieber must be the Anointed One.

      November 20, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
      • G to the T

        Him or Hilter I guess...

        November 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
  11. If I am someone who....

    …probably wants to increase world happiness and reduce suffering.
    …holds thousands of beliefs for which she has no well-tested evidence.
    …often makes irrational decisions.
    …may or may not believe in free will.
    …may believe any number of things about morality.
    …almost certainly holds some beliefs that logically contradict other beliefs she holds.
    …is plagued by over a dozen powerful cognitive biases.
    …may believe any number of things about who the Historical Jesus was.
    …may be anywhere from extremely intelligent to frightfully stupid.
    …is probably outraged by some religious beliefs and practices.
    …may have any range of beliefs about evolution, cosmogony, and the nature of spacetime.
    …may hold any of several views about metaphysics.
    …may or may not have a highly positive view of science.
    …may or may not believe in absolute truth.
    …holds many beliefs and atti-tudes out of trust, not evidence.
    …may hold any of several views about the historicity of the Bible.
    …sometimes acts against her own moral principles.
    …can be angry, satisfied, sad, happy, lazy, or industrious at different times.
    …often makes assertions about topics she knows relatively little about.
    …may live in a bubble of like-minded friends or have many friends with diverse beliefs.
    …may or may not regularly doubt her own worldview.

    ...I may be a Christian or an atheist.

    November 20, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Appy-polly-loggies.

      Very true, but an element of doublethink is necessary for Christians with several of those attributes.

      November 20, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
      • Bill Clinton Peace Talks

        – 1 for you.

        November 20, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  12. Mike

    'After meeting Francis in St. Peter's Square, Riva said he kissed the Pope's hand. Francis then pulled Riva toward him, hugging the 53-year-old Italian and kissing his face'.

    That is showing love, humility, compassion, kindness and thoughtfulness! Viva il Papa!

    November 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Appy-polly-loggies.

      "That is showing love, humility, compassion, kindness and thoughtfulness!"

      Not really. I hug and kiss prost!tutes and those emotions are generally the last thing on my mind.

      November 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Lee

      All done in the convenience of a recording device.
      Did the pope not return to his palace in Italy? Did this poor deformed man not return back to squalor?

      Who really gained something out of that photo op embrace?

      November 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  13. bostontola

    From Science Daily:
    One of the most important processes in the life of cells is genome replication, which consists of making exact copies of the DNA in order to pass it on to their offspring when they split. In most organisms, from yeast to human beings, genome replication follows a set plan, in which certain regions of the genome replicate before others; alterations in the late replication phases had previously been related to cancer and ageing. Now, a team from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), led by Alfonso Valencia, has for the first time related this process to evolution over millions of years of life on Earth.
    Valencia explains: "We have discovered that replication is like a mirror that reflects the evolutionary history of living beings: the first genes to be replicated are the oldest, whilst those that replicate later on are the youngest". The later genetic material is copied, the greater the probability of the DNA being damaged and of mutations accu mulating. This way the older genes, which are vital for life, are located in protected regions −those that accu mulate less mutations− which replicate early; while the newer genes replicate in more unstable regions of the genome − those that accu mulate more mutations− which replicate later on. "This allows the most recent genes to evolve much more quickly than the older ones".

    Here are a couple of ways of putting this result into context:
    1. God, the intelligent designer, designed DNA replication in this clever way to promote evolution allowing life forms to adapt to the changing environment on earth (that God also controls). This design has the unfortunate side effect of causing cancer, but obviously God knew that.
    2. Robustness of the most basic processes of life (e.g. metabolism, that are mostly common among animals) emerged from natural selection, and later adaptations are allowed to be more flexible for adaptability to the environment. A cold trade-off of adaptability vs. cancer was brought into balance by natural selective forces.

    Commentary:
    I've heard many people say God didn't create cancer, sin did. My problem with that is, why did my dog get cancer? Most animals can get cancer, did they sin? Does God afflict all animals for man's sins? If there is an intelligent designer (don't worry there is no evidence there is), science says they intentionally created cancer.

    November 20, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Ocean

      Actually YOU think that not science. That's your opinion and nothing more. Troll I mean try harder.

      November 20, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
      • Appy-polly-loggies.

        😉

        November 20, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
        • Ocean

          Looks like I have a stalker and a admirer😊

          November 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
      • bostontola

        Ocean,

        Of course I think that, I specifically said that was what I think!
        How can science think anything?

        Why are you so defensive?

        November 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
        • Ocean

          If atheists speak like what "science says" is a fact but it's actually their opinion and not science, what do you think that causes? False information and confusion. Congrats. You lie for "science"!

          November 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • bostontola

          Ocean,
          I never said science said anything. Science can't talk or think. I reported a scientific result. Then I commented on it. What is wrong with that? You attack me instead of the commentary, perhaps that is because you have no counter argument?

          November 20, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • Ocean

          Your last sentence of your original post said "science says" yet it was what "you say". Two very different things yet you said like it is a fact. Lie number 1.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
        • Madtown

          Right. Much better to rely on the opinions of humans that authored literary works such as the bible.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • bostontola

          You're right, my mistake.

          Scientific results imply that if there were an intelligent designer, it intentionally created cancer.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • Ocean

          And you also have to provide verses that support what you said, sorry what you think. If Christianity doesn't actually say God created it, your "fact"(opinion) falls apart because you are assuming it. Fail again.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
        • bostontola

          Ocean,
          The bible doesn't say God created DNA, does that mean someone else did? Or are you saying DNA doesn't exist?

          November 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
        • Ocean

          But you said God created sin but no verse supports you. Should I believe you blindly simply because you think you're right? An atheist teaching blind faith?!

          November 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          Why don't Abrahamists understand omnipotence and omniscience?

          November 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • bostontola

          1. You didn't answer my question.
          2. I did not say God created sin.
          3. You don't talk like Ocean, you talk like the very angry imposter (whose name shall not be mentioned) that poses like an atheist on some days and a Christian on others. The give away is the extreme level of weak critical thinking skills.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • Maddy

          This is Boston's quote:

          "I’ve heard many people say God didn’t create cancer, sin did."

          You're exhibiting trolling behavior, Ocean.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • Ocean

          Look at his last sentence Maddy troll.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • bostontola

          Maddy,
          It's not Ocean, and it's not AE below, it's the imposter. It's brand of anger and baseless arrogance is quite distinct.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • AE

          Actually that is me below. I was making a joke with the dog food comment.

          I don't know about Ocean.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • bostontola

          The imposter calls Maddy a troll, hahaha. Another signature move of the imposter, accusing others of their own immature behavior. It jumps to ad hominem, then accuses others of that, it trolls, then accuses others of trolling. I hope that person gets help before they totally blow a gasket and hurts someone physically.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • bostontola

          AE,
          If that is you I apologize. The real AE is usually very respectful and wouldn't say things like "wrong again", but I could be wrong.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • AE

          Oh, I always think you are wrong!

          Seriously, I was just trying to make a joke. Sorry about your dog.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • bostontola

          AE,
          Please tell me what is wrong in my OP.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • Maddy

          Ocean, he admitted his mistake in wording.
          He then goes on to say "Scientific results imply that if there were an intelligent designer, it intentionally created cancer."

          Not God.

          What is your purpose here? It looks as if you are just trying to pick a fight. That is trolling behavior.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • bostontola

          Maybe it's AE after all.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • bostontola

          Meant to say; maybe it's NOT AE after all.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • AE

          I didn't read your OP. What did you say?

          November 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • bostontola

          AE,
          OP means original post. You responded to it with the comment about the dog.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Topher

      "I've heard many people say God didn't create cancer, sin did."

      True. When God finished the Creation, He said it was good. If death and disease existed at that point, He couldn't have said that.

      "My problem with that is, why did my dog get cancer? Most animals can get cancer, did they sin? Does God afflict all animals for man's sins?"

      Not just man and animals but ALL of creation. "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." Romans 8:22.

      November 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
      • Appy-polly-loggies.

        Surely Yahweh created everything? Omnipotence and omniscience say that he did.

        November 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Of course, you do know that our Topher believes god created Satan just for the hell of it.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
        • Topher

          God created everything that is good. So we have to figure out where evil comes from. Basically evil is the absence of good. So naturally when you have good you get evil where there is no good. When sin entered the world, it pushed good away.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          I think Peter Griffin can explain Satan.

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzKZcVtO8f4&w=640&h=360]

          November 20, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          And Yahweh created sin, otherwise he's not omnipotent/omniscient.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
        • Madtown

          When sin entered the world
          ----
          In what fashion?

          November 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • Topher

          Appy-polly-loggies.

          "And Yahweh created sin, otherwise he's not omnipotent/omniscient."

          All sin is is a transgression of God's Law. Adam brought sin into the world.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          So he's not omnipotent/omniscient then.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • Topher

          Of course He is. Why don't you think so?

          November 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Topher
          You again fail to say were the serpent that spoke through the snake to the air head Eve came from? Did your god create everything or not? Were there two gods the big bad god and the goodie two shoes god, the one you like? Did the bad god create all the sweeties in the Land Of Nod, East of Eden, that Caine knocked up and created a new race of people? So many questions, so few rational answers.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          Well, if he created Adam knowing exactly what Adam would do, he's responsible for sin. If he's not responsible for sin (as you claim), then he's not omniscient/omnipotent. It's not difficult to draw that conclusion.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
        • Madtown

          Adam brought sin into the world.
          -----
          Ah, so God didn't create humans perfect to begin with. I didn't think so.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Joey

          God would have had to create sin in order for Adam to bring it into the world.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • Topher

          Appy-polly-loggies.

          "Well, if he created Adam knowing exactly what Adam would do, he's responsible for sin. If he's not responsible for sin (as you claim), then he's not omniscient/omnipotent. It's not difficult to draw that conclusion."

          I don't think you understand what those things mean. God did create Adam knowing what He would do (omniscient). Adam was perfect but with a free will. It was his choice to sin. So God isn't responsible. Adam was. And we are.

          Omnipotent means unlimited power and authority. Has no bearing here other than to say God is the just judge and will punish those who break His laws.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • Joey

          If god knows what you are going to do, and can't be wrong you don't actually have free will.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "If god knows what you are going to do, and can't be wrong you don't actually have free will."

          This is a fallacious argument. Just because He knows what you are going to do doesn't mean the choice isn't yours.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          But he didn't just know what Adam was going to do, he created him to do it. Yahweh creates people knowing that his creation will commit certain actions. If they're going to commit these actions which he finds so reprehensible, why not just create them differently? He either meant for sin to exist or he's incompetent.

          If I program a drone to kill a bunch of Afghans, is it the drone's fault that it killed some them or mine?

          November 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • Sara

          Topher, true. However either he created a world in which your thoughts follow laws, in which case you are not meaningfully free in the sense of deserving eternal punishments, or your thoughts do not follow laws in which case there's nothing meaningful, period.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • Joey

          Yes it really does mean that. It may seem like you have a choice, but in the end you don't.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          If there's an omniscient and omnipotent god, free will is, at best, an illusion.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Sara

          Joe, while I agree with you that there is no "choice" in any sen that would be necessary to justify Christian praise and punishment, it cannot follow from gods knowledge alone...there just aren't enough premises there.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • Joey

          I will say that after watching Through the Wormhole last night, it appears that humans don't exactly have free will.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Topher
          Doing the dance again, circle left, do sa do, our Topher just cannot see past his delusion, sad really.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • Topher

          Appy-polly-loggies.

          "But he didn't just know what Adam was going to do, he created him to do it."

          No. But since He knew it would happen, He had a plan already in place.

          "Yahweh creates people knowing that his creation will commit certain actions. If they're going to commit these actions which he finds so reprehensible, why not just create them differently?"

          Different how?

          "He either meant for sin to exist or he's incompetent."

          Nope. One doesn't mean the other. He knew man would sin. And He gets glory for punishing those who deserve to be punished. Likewise He gets glory for saving those who don't deserve it.

          "If I program a drone to kill a bunch of Afghans, is it the drone's fault that it killed some them or mine?"

          This doesn't work. The drone didn't have free will. It couldn't change its mind. In fact, it doesn't have a mind. The two scenarios aren't compatible.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          Circulus in probando.

          This is just getting tedious. We'll be here all day if we carry on like this.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • AverageJoe76

          @Topher – I just love how the divine rules of 'good' and 'evil' since the beginning of time are explained by mortals...............

          and with confidence.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • Topher

          Why not have confidence? We have God's Word.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • Joey

          Actually, Topher, all you have is an old book that claims to be the word of god.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Topher
          Technically, it was Eve who brought sin into the world.
          That's why God punished her more than Adam and made childbirth extraordinarily painful and risky and full of sorrow.
          Oh, and also giving womankind over to be ruled by the men.

          As the revered protestant theologan Calvin stated:
          "It is necessary that woman recognize this, and that she learn to what she is subjected; and not only against her husband. This is reason enough why today she is placed below and that she bears within her ignominy and shame."

          A proper Christian woman should be silent, submissive, subservient and filled with shame for the curse her gender forced on humanity.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Topher
          So in the beginning god himself had no morals, he allowed Lucifer to fall and corrupt his human creations, so god himself allowed evil into his creations. That is one dumb god you have there, most of the other gods you have to choose from are smarter, check them out.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • Madtown

          So God isn't responsible. Adam was. And we are.
          -----
          I am not responsible for the act in question. It isn't at all "just" to punish someone for the transgressions of another.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
        • Madtown

          We have God's Word.
          ---
          Not all of us. You keep forgetting that many of your human brothers/sisters have never heard of your version of God, and don't know what the world "bible" means. You still doubt God's power? You must, if you really think God would create a volume of his word, yet not be able to disseminate out to all his equal creations.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "I am not responsible for the act in question. It isn't at all "just" to punish someone for the transgressions of another."

          Yeah, bad phrasing on my part. Sorry. You are not responsible for what Adam did. But because Adam is your Federal Head, you inherit his sin nature. What you ARE responsible for is the sins you commit. And if you're anything like me, that's a LOT to answer for.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown
          "Not all of us."

          You do. So do I.

          "You keep forgetting that many of your human brothers/sisters have never heard of your version of God, and don't know what the world "bible" means."

          Good thing God gave us the Creation and a conscience so that we will be without excuse.

          "You still doubt God's power?"

          I don't doubt His power at all.

          "You must, if you really think God would create a volume of his word, yet not be able to disseminate out to all his equal creations."

          The Gospel was given to the Jew first, then the Gentile. He then told those to spread the Gospel to every creature. It's our responsibility to take His Gospel to the entire world. Would you like a list of the countries where this is illegal or where the government is hostile to Christianity? Would you like to discuss the atheist' war on it in this country? If you're part of that, you'll have to answer for it, too. Just like if someone in my family dies without knowing about Christ, their blood will be on my hands.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • Madtown

          Of course I'm responsible for myself. But my sins don't deserve eternal punishment, nothing that I do is really that egregious. I'm a pretty low-key, kind, and charitable person. Certainly not perfect, certainly not evil.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • Madtown

          It's our responsibility to take His Gospel to the entire world.
          -----
          Not only is this wrong, it's not even possible. You wouldn't even know where to start to look for some of the HUMAN BEINGS we're referencing, they don't live in major cities or have internet access. Still, they are your human equal. You don't know where they are......but God does. HE PUT THEM THERE. How could you possibly think it's up to you to reach them, when you don't know where to start looking? Oh of course......the book that humans wrote told you so. Did God need the help of humans to create the universe, this world, and all life within? But he needs your help to distribute a simple message?!? Think man!!

          November 20, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "But my sins don't deserve eternal punishment, nothing that I do is really that egregious. I'm a pretty low-key, kind, and charitable person. Certainly not perfect, certainly not evil."

          On man's level I'm sure you're right. But God's standard is far superior to ours. You've probably seen me use this scenario before, but I think it's fitting and explains why our "minor" transgressions deserve punishment for eternity.

          If I lie to a child, nothing is going to happen to me. If I lie to my wife, I'll be sleeping on the couch. If I lie to my boss I'll be fired. If I lie to the government, I'll be thrown in jail. Notice the crime is the same, but what in this scenario changes? The person to which the crime was committed against. So how much more should a punishment be when it's against a holy (perfect) and just God?

          November 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "Not only is this wrong, it's not even possible."

          If it's not possible, it's for the reasons I gave earlier.

          "You wouldn't even know where to start to look for some of the HUMAN BEINGS we're referencing, they don't live in major cities or have internet access."

          That's what missionaries are for.

          "How could you possibly think it's up to you to reach them, when you don't know where to start looking? Oh of course......the book that humans wrote told you so."

          God wrote through humans, yes.

          "Did God need the help of humans to create the universe, this world, and all life within?"

          Of course not.

          "But he needs your help to distribute a simple message?!? Think man!!"

          He doesn't NEED me to. Regardless, that's what He's told us to do.

          November 20, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
        • Madtown

          But God's standard is far superior to ours
          -----
          This is probably true, but since you have no idea what God's standard is, it's really just your opinion. Also, since our lifetime is finite, it is in no way "just" to be given in infinite punishment.

          November 20, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
        • Madtown

          "You wouldn't even know where to start to look for some of the HUMAN BEINGS we're referencing, they don't live in major cities or have internet access."

          That's what missionaries are for.
          -----
          Are you distracted? You appear lost in a fog again. What good are missionaries, when the missionaries have no clue where to go to do their missioning? They have no idea what the destination is, how could they start the journey? Besides, the notion of missionaries is one of arrogance, it means you think your way is the "right" way, relative to any other way. How would you respond to a missionary from another religion knocking on your door, with that person telling you that their religion is the correct way and that yours is wrong? Would you accept what they say and convert? Especially when you've never heard of that religion? I know the answer. But, here you expect that other people will convert to yours? A nice double-standard you have there.

          November 20, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "This is probably true, but since you have no idea what God's standard is, it's really just your opinion."

          Of course I know what it is. He told us so in His Word.

          "Also, since our lifetime is finite, it is in no way "just" to be given in infinite punishment."

          Has nothing to do with each other.

          "Besides, the notion of missionaries is one of arrogance, it means you think your way is the "right" way, relative to any other way."

          Of course. Jesus said HE is "the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the father but by me." That means there is NO other way.

          "How would you respond to a missionary from another religion knocking on your door, with that person telling you that their religion is the correct way and that yours is wrong?"

          It's happened that others have knocked on my door. So what?

          November 20, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I used to answer the sort of questions Topher is answering with very similar answers. Then one day I stopped DODGING the issues.

          So, Topher, do you ever think you'll stop dodging and start really considering the ideas? Do you have the guts?

          November 20, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
        • Topher

          Cpt. Obvious

          "So, Topher, do you ever think you'll stop dodging and start really considering the ideas? Do you have the guts?"

          Every time I'm told I'm dodging, I ask what I've dodged and never get an answer. So are you going to dodge, or will you please tell me what I've dodged? I won't promise I can give an answer because I don't know everything.

          November 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
        • Madtown

          Of course I know what it is. He told us so in His Word.
          -------
          Yes! The mindless merry-go-round continues!! Such fun. Dizzy yet? I'm not, it's entertaining. Yes, yes...his word. Again, blowing up the fact that God hasn't written any word that we possess or know of, the bible represents the writings and notions of human beings, and one way(among many) of thinking about God. Once again, why do you doubt God's power? This universe is enough evidence for you that God is powerful? You don't think he's strong enough to pass around a few words in a book, if he was actually responsible for authoring them? I doubt God is pleased with your criticism of his omnipotence.

          November 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
        • Madtown

          It's happened that others have knocked on my door. So what?
          ----
          So what?! Did you convert? Why not? Their religion is the correct one, so they say. Why didn't you convert? Why would you expect them to convert to your religion, when they already follow the correct one, and have never heard of yours?

          November 20, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "So what?! Did you convert? Why not? Their religion is the correct one, so they say. Why didn't you convert? Why would you expect them to convert to your religion, when they already follow the correct one, and have never heard of yours?"

          Because what other religion has an answer for the sin problem? None. I can know God exists because of the Creation (I can look at the world, see its order and complexity and know it couldn't have come from an accident) and a conscience (that tells me there's a God). And I know that I've done wrong because I don't need to be told it's wrong to lie, steal, murder, etc. God has written His laws on our heart. So now I've got a problem. God is angry with me because I've sinned against Him. What other religion answers that for me? Islam doesn't. Buddhism doesn't. Atheism REALLY doesn't. Why would I go over to another — and thus lesser — religion? Why should I expect them to come over to Christianity? I think the above is pretty good reason to switch.

          November 20, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • Madtown

          Why would I go over to another — and thus lesser — religion?
          --–
          Holy thick-head Batman........yeah, that's just what the people you're trying to convert think. They also think they've got the best religion, and the back-and-forth of idiocy goes on and on. They've never even heard of your religion, how could it be the "only way"? Doesn't God also love them? If it was the only way, wouldn't God have provided it to them also?

          November 20, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
        • Snow

          the stoopid " sin problem" is central to christian belief topher.. you pick a problem created by a religion and on which the religion and its tennets are based on, and say no other religion has an answer for it. what kind of logic is that?

          Besides, every person who follows a religion thinks his own religion is the best among the lot.. just like a person's patriotism. what you said are your reasons for following your religion makes me think your main problem is not your sin, but you att*itude. Your better-than-thou atti*tude can be defined by a few words in english language.. conceited, pretentious d-bag

          November 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • bostontola

        Another example where the God of the bible punishes creatures not responsible for the transgression. That is a questionable morality to me.

        November 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        Topher
        Born Agains present a different set of challenges. While technically belonging to the Christian faith, they are a separate enti ty unto themselves. We are hesitant even to refer to them as Christians, because their behaviour reflects badly on the majority of Christians who are not insane.
        Born Agains are the most dogmatic of all, because it is the dogma itself that forms their belief system. The Born Again believes that everyone needs to be told what to do - and realistically, that is the only thing keeping them out of jail. This group has a powerful system of beliefs, and they will tell you about it whenever they get the chance.
        Bobby Henderson
        Should have been on the last page as a reply, can you identify with the above Topher?

        November 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • Topher

          Charm Quark

          First, if you're not "born again" you're not a Christian. So calling someone a "born again Christian" is an unnecessary repeti.tion.

          Second, as a Christian myself I don't believe I need to tell you what to do. But perhaps I'm missing your meaning.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Topher
          Really, you constantly tell all on this blog that if they don't repent and accept your delusion as their saviour, they will suffer the consequences of your vindictive deity. You are not telling others what to do, please?

          November 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • Topher

          Charm Quark

          "Really, you constantly tell all on this blog that if they don't repent and accept your delusion as their saviour, they will suffer the consequences of your vindictive deity. You are not telling others what to do, please?"

          I'm telling them the truth. Warning them that there's wrath coming. But that God loves us and has provided a way for us. And that this is the only way to God/eternal life with Him. But I'm not forcing anyone to believe, to actually repent and trust Him. I can't do that. It's your choice.

          And dude, if you don't stop being disrespectful I'm not going to keep talking with you.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • UncleM

          How do you tell if a Christian is spouting nonsense? They call it the TRUTH!

          November 20, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Topher
          Fellow Dude!, answer the question who created the serpent/snake, where did it come from if your god created everything, was the serpent not evil?

          November 20, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • bostontola

          If God created the serpent, and the serpent tricks Eve, isn't that entrapment?

          November 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • Topher

          Charm Quark

          God created the serpent. AND He created Lucifer who "influenced" the serpent. But He didn't force either to do what they did.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Topher
          If god created Lucifer he created evil, AMEN.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • Topher

          Charm Quark

          "If god created Lucifer he created evil, AMEN."

          Nope. Lucifer fell. He was not created evil. And he took 1/3 of the angels with him.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • bostontola

          "God created the serpent. AND He created Lucifer who "influenced" the serpent. But He didn't force either to do what they did."

          An omniscient being would know the consequences of those creations, by the definition of omniscience.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • BRC

          Topher,
          You're missing the problem. Lucifer's fall and anything that happened after or because of it are ALL on "God's" shoulders. IF "God" is truly omnipotent, then when Lucifer went south, he could have just snapped his fingers and made him good again, him and all the angels (which never should have been able to go bad to begin with given that the mythology says they were without will, so if they DID in fact have will then that in itself is an error by "God"). But let's say "God" doesn't feel like instantly fixing the problem, Lucifer can do what he wants, he's got other angels, the instant that snakey bugger touches down in Eden, the fact that "god" is omniscient means that he absolutely knew that now Satan would try to corrupt Adam and Eve, and he knew that he would succeed. At that point, he could have simply gone poof, and made the problem go away (move the tree, banish Satan, make it so Adam and Eve were incapable of perceiving anything touched by Satan; which would fit with the mythology pretty well because they had not yet possessed the knowledge of good and evil, so it should be nothing to ensure they can't perceive it) and still "God" did nothing, KNOWING that one of his creations would cause one of his other creations to break his rules.

          If "God" truly was omnipotent and omniscient, then there is no way that evil could exist without either his action or inaction. "He" would either be directly responsible for it, or at the least complacent in allowing its existence.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • Topher

          bostontola

          "An omniscient being would know the consequences of those creations, by the definition of omniscience."

          He knew what would happen, yes.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
        • bostontola

          If God knew that creation would turn evil, then how is that different than creating evil?

          November 20, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • Topher

          BRC

          So what you are saying is why does God not stop evil right away? That's a fair question. Are you OK with Him starting with you? I don't say that to be snarky, but we are all evil. We've all sinned against Him. And if God were to put a stop to it now, He'd have to kill us all. But there's good news. He WILL put a stop to it. He promised to return and judge the world in righteousness. And then those of us that are in Him will live in a place where ... "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4

          November 20, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
        • Topher

          bostontola

          "If God knew that creation would turn evil, then how is that different than creating evil?"

          Because that's not what happened. His creation was "good" not "evil."

          November 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
        • bostontola

          Please allow me to clarify:
          God created Lucifer, and he was good. Lucifer became evil. God knew Lucifer would become evil.

          How is that not God creating evil?

          November 20, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • BRC

          Topher,
          Yes, if there is a "God" and he thinks I am evil, he is welcome to strike me down. I would be okay with that. Fortunately, I am not evil, and I have seen no evidence of gods.

          Now, can you explain how "god's" lack of action in removing evil that was well within his supposed power to remove, doesn't make him responsible for its existence?

          November 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • Topher

          bostontola

          "God created Lucifer, and he was good. Lucifer became evil. God knew Lucifer would become evil."

          Yes.

          "How is that not God creating evil?"

          Free will. God didn't create evil. He created good — an absence of evil. But when you have an absence of good you get evil. You can choose to reject the ultimate good — God — which means you choose evil. Christ said if you're not FOR Him, you're AGAINST Him.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • Topher

          BRC

          "Now, can you explain how "god's" lack of action in removing evil that was well within his supposed power to remove, doesn't make him responsible for its existence?"

          Because it's loving. I know many of you are going to think that is ridiculous. But let me explain. As a sinner (which we ALL are) we have broken His Laws and thus deserve to be punished. We're evil because we reject Him and His ways (because He Himself is perfection.) By not killing me or you right now He is giving us more time to repent and trust Him to save us. Even though you reject Him, shake your fist at Him, continue to sin against Him, He is showing you love and grace by giving you more time. But be warned, none of us are promised another day. The time for repentance is now.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        • bostontola

          Topher,
          God creates everything, including people with free will. Is it a good assumption that God has free will also?

          God knew some of his creation would become evil, then God created evil, no?

          November 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • BRC

          Topher,
          You continue to avoid the question. I'm not talking about now. I'm talking about "God" allowing Lucifer to fall and to take other angels with him. If he hadn't allowed Lucifer to turn bad (Angels were never given free will, that's in Christian mythology, free will is a gift unique to humans supposedly, it's why we're special); or even if he had allowed Lucifer to fall but had stopped him from influencing Adam and Eve (which he KNEW he would do), then you wouldn't be burdened with sin, and you wouldn't "deserve to die" (a preposterous notion). He didn't even need to destroy Lucifer, could have jsut willed him to be good again. SO, because "God" sat on his hands and did nothing from the very start, evil is his fault. How can you show this to be false?

          November 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • Madtown

          when you have an absence of good you get evil.
          -----
          Very black and white. I think you also have a tremendously warped definition of "evil". By your definition, a human "sins", is "evil", by telling a little white lie, or daring to look upon a beautiful woman with physical attraction. Neither meet the general definition of evil. But again, you are just being you.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          There is no objective evil, there is only subjective evil.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • Topher

          BRC

          "You continue to avoid the question."

          Not trying to ...

          "I'm not talking about now. I'm talking about "God" allowing Lucifer to fall and to take other angels with him. If he hadn't allowed Lucifer to turn bad (Angels were never given free will, that's in Christian mythology, free will is a gift unique to humans supposedly, it's why we're special);" ...

          Can you tell me where it says in Scripture where angels don't have free will? Remember, we are just a little bit lower than angels. Also I'd like to point out it's not really ever said in the Bible that Lucifer was an angel.

          " ... or even if he had allowed Lucifer to fall but had stopped him from influencing Adam and Eve (which he KNEW he would do), then you wouldn't be burdened with sin, and you wouldn't "deserve to die" (a preposterous notion)."

          What's preposterous about it? If you break a law, you deserve to be punished, right?

          "He didn't even need to destroy Lucifer, could have jsut willed him to be good again."

          So you'd prefer a world absent of love. You can't have love without free will. What you'd have is robots.

          "SO, because "God" sat on his hands and did nothing from the very start, evil is his fault. How can you show this to be false?"

          I've repeatedly answered this already. Free will. God didn't force Adam to sin. And He doesn't force you to sin. But he did. And you do. And I do. That's our faults we choose evil. Not His. His creation was "good."

          November 20, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "By your definition, a human "sins", is "evil", by telling a little white lie, ..."

          A "little white lie" is still a lie. God demands perfection in thought, word and deed.

          " ... or daring to look upon a beautiful woman with physical attraction."

          You can look at a woman and think she is pretty or find her attractive. Jesus said if you look with LUST that it's adultery in the heart. There's a big difference there.

          "Neither meet the general definition of evil."

          If you're not perfect, you're corrupt. Thus evil. It might not be man's definition, but what does that matter? What's important is God's definition.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • Madtown

          If you're not perfect, you're corrupt. Thus evil
          -------
          Yours is a world of simplicity. Again, extremely black and white. Also again, extremely warped. No wonder you have such low self esteem, look at what religion has done to you! Perfection is impossible, no one can ever possibly attain it. This is ok. Or, at least it should be. According to you, it's "evil". It's a shame for you, it really is.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "Perfection is impossible, no one can ever possibly attain it."

          Exactly right. This is why we need a Savior.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
        • Joey

          The fact that humans aren't perfect hardly means that anyone needs to be saved from anything.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
      • G to the T

        "If death and disease existed at that point, He couldn't have said that." Why not? Death is a necessary part of life and diseases ARE life (just very small).

        So there was no cell division before the fall? Is that what you are trying to imply? Cell division is somehow "bad"?

        November 20, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • Topher

          G to the T

          "Why not? Death is a necessary part of life and diseases ARE life (just very small)."

          So you're saying cancer is a good thing? Death is not natural. Before the fall, death and disease didn't happen. If it did, how can you call the creation good?

          November 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Joey

          Topher, one could argue that with all of the death and destruction caused by god in the Old Testament that god likes death and destruction.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "Topher, one could argue that with all of the death and destruction caused by god in the Old Testament that god likes death and destruction."

          He certainly is longsuffering. But He's also just to have killed those people. And note that He doesn't want any to perish and wants all to come to Him so He can save them.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • Joey

          If god actually wants that all he has to do is snap his fingers and everyone is saved. So why doesn't he do that instead of the absurd situation the bible presents?

          November 20, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "If god actually wants that all he has to do is snap his fingers and everyone is saved. So why doesn't he do that instead of the absurd situation the bible presents?"

          Do you love God and want to spend eternity with Him? If not, would that make you happy if He forced you to be with Him? I'd say not only would that not be kind but also not loving. He isn't going to force you into heaven against your will. If you don't want Him now, you won't want Him later, either.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
        • Joey

          If hell is as bad as Christians make it out to be, then yes I would prefer it if he forced me to spend eternity in heaven with him.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • G to the T

          You didn't say cancer. You said "death and disease". Let me ask you this – what did mosquitoes eat before the fall? The idea of a "pre-fall" world would certainly be miraculous as it wouldn't be a self-sustaining eco-system without something working to keep it going all thet time.

          How about this tact – what did the animals eat? Or do you not feel that plants and bacteria are "alive".

          If that isn't a problem, how is it "just" for the sins of the fathers to be carried by the sons? How is it "just" to punish an entire nation as if it was an individual?

          November 20, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Joey

          Basically Topher believes that might makes right.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "If hell is as bad as Christians make it out to be, then yes I would prefer it if he forced me to spend eternity in heaven with him."

          Then I have good news for you. You can go there without being forced.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
        • Joey

          I don't currently believe that heaven or hell exist, so if god wants me in heaven he will have to force me.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • Topher

          G to the T

          "You didn't say cancer. You said "death and disease"."

          Is cancer not a disease?

          "How about this tact – what did the animals eat? Or do you not feel that plants and bacteria are "alive"."

          They are not alive in the same way that man and animals are. Life is in the blood.

          "If that isn't a problem, how is it "just" for the sins of the fathers to be carried by the sons?"

          You won't be judged on what your father did. Nor will your child for what you did.

          "How is it "just" to punish an entire nation as if it was an individual?"

          It happens all the time. Even today. It's usually the reason for war. We might not hate a country's citizens, but because their leader did something, the country is fought against.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "I don't currently believe that heaven or hell exist, so if god wants me in heaven he will have to force me."

          He's not going to do that. So you better be SURE you're right.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Joey

          As soon as a believer proves to me that they exist I will believe. My soul rests in your hands Topher.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "As soon as a believer proves to me that they exist I will believe. My soul rests in your hands Topher."

          So IF they exist, do you think you have been good enough to get into heaven?

          November 20, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
        • Joey

          Topher, do you think god will hold you responsible for doing more to make me an atheist than you have done to make me a Christian?

          November 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
        • Joey

          According to the bible I don't have to be good, I only have to believe that Jesus died for my sins.

          November 20, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "According to the bible I don't have to be good, I only have to believe that Jesus died for my sins."

          Yeeeaaaah ... that's not all of it though. And it's not just that you don't have to be good, it's that you're NOT good. Answer some of these establishing questions for me ...

          Have you ever told a lie?

          Have you ever stolen ANYTHING?

          Have you ever used God's name in vain? (used it as a curse word?)

          Have you ever looked at someone and had a se.xual thought about them?

          November 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • midwest rail

          If you pay close attention to the questions Topher ignores, then you'll get an inkling of just how pointless the conversation will be.

          November 20, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • Madtown

          ... that's not all of it though.
          ----–
          You routinely say "Jesus paid our fine for us", and that we can't do specific work to get good with God. You've used this notion as the reason you prefer christianity over other religions.

          November 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "You routinely say "Jesus paid our fine for us", and that we can't do specific work to get good with God."

          Very true.

          "You've used this notion as the reason you prefer christianity over other religions."

          It's not really about preference, but truth. Though I would of course say the Christian model is a far superior model.

          What I'm getting at above is that knowledge Christ paid for our sins isn't enough. The Bible tells us even the demons believe this ... and they tremble at the thought. They aren't going to heaven. The Biblical model is repentance (which means not just say you are sorry but to also turn away from sins) and trust Him to be and do what He claimed.

          November 20, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
        • Madtown

          Yes, "truth". Thank goodness for you, that you have access to this truth! Since God is unjust, apparently he's decided that entire regions and cultures don't deserve to learn of the "only way", and he has denied them this. You're one of the lucky ones.

          November 20, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • sam stone

          topher: you remain a pretentious coward

          November 25, 2013 at 6:32 am |
    • AE

      What kind of dog food were you using?

      November 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
      • bostontola

        Almost all animals get cancer.

        November 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
        • AE

          Not those that eat strictly organic and drink strictly filtered spring water.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • bostontola

          Must be an AE imposter.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • AE

          Wrong again!

          November 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
        • Sara

          You might want to look up Irish wolfhounds as an example of how food won't always help. Cancern is triggered by millions of small things, with food only one aspect.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Crom

      Sorry to hear of your dog getting cancer. Sometimes I think it is the polluted crap they call pet food that gives it to them, but they don't know enough to avoid all contaminants, either. There are too many ways to get cancer.

      November 20, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
  14. Apple Bush

    There is a reverse side to reality; I can see it in my feverish dreams

    The power of the anti-world is as frightening to me as a gun to my temple; exciting and dangerous

    So many possibilities yet so few people willing to climb out from the tall grass to embrace the magnificence of being conscience

    Hiding behind fantasies rather than breathing in the thick air of strangeness

    November 20, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Appy-polly-loggies.

      I think you've been watching a bit too much Inception.

      November 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Hey Appy, what is Inception. I am not familiar. TV show?

        November 20, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          It's a pretentious (although visually impressive) film by Christopher Nolan based around dreams.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          I will have to check it out.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          I wouldn't bother, there are far better films out there.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • Sara

          I thought inception was pretty silly. We all seed ideas in others all the time – what on earth was the whole fancy dream business needed for? And the psychology is hokey and has little to do with how dams actually work. Maybe for people who are under some naive impression of individucal freedom and have no understanding of psychology this stuff made sense, but really it was off the wall. It did introduce "inception" as a good word for subtle idea seeding, but beyong that I wouldn't bother.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • G to the T

          You should check out "Paprika" instead. It's the anime that Inception pretty much stole it's idea from.

          November 20, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  15. Prayer

    Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    Where there is injury, pardon;
    Where there is error, truth;
    Where there is doubt, faith;
    Where there is despair, hope;
    Where there is darkness, light;
    And where there is sadness, joy.

    O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
    To be consoled as to console;
    To be understood as to understand;
    To be loved as to love.
    For it is in giving that we receive;
    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
    And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

    November 20, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Appy-polly-loggies.

      Doublespeak.

      November 20, 2013 at 11:46 am |
      • Prayer

        Beauty in words.

        November 20, 2013 at 11:58 am |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          Do you work for the Ministry of Truth?

          November 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
        • Prayer

          Life is full of paradoxes. Like being born is a death sentence.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • Akira

          Ten more points to Slytherin for the "1984" reference, Appy.

          You're on a roll.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          That one is true, I guess.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          Thanks Akira, I'm rereading it for the second time. It's a masterpiece. There are only three other novels which I've read that even come close to it (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Blood Meridian and Catch-22 are the other three, if you're interested).

          November 20, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
        • Prayer

          Catch 22, another great paradox!

          November 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
        • Akira

          Thanks, Appy. I am alwAys looking for new reading material.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • 404 Error

      @Prayer

      Message Undeliverable:

      Addressees, "Lord" or "Divine Master" are not locatable. Please verify the existence of these addressees.

      November 20, 2013 at 11:59 am |
      • 404 Error

        @404 Error

        It is for human beings, not computer programs.

        November 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
        • G to the T

          FAIL!

          November 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Peace Prayer of Francis of Assisi? Actually, it is just another legend. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_of_Saint_Francis

      November 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  16. Rainer Braendlein

    The pope treated Riva very kindly but he could not cure him, neither his body nor his soul.

    Bonhoeffer said that the sick people belong to God.

    How did he mean that?

    We all have a problem. We live outside God's presence, the sphere of life. Yet, we had been created to live in God's life-giving presence. Therefore outside God we have to suffer some serious damage because we don't live in the fitting environment.

    Our basic problem is that we don't appreciate God himself and his friendship enough. We are not really convinced that he wants to do us good, or that he cares for us. Often we don't wait for certain things, and try to get them faster even on the cost of our neighbour. Example: Certainly God wants to give a wife to everybody of us, and there is no need that we take the wife of our neighbour. Certainly God wants to give us money through our daily work, and there is no need that we steal any goods.

    Always when we try to get things too fast we are in high danger to "sin", that means that we act against God's will. God does not want that we take things on cost of our neighbour but he wants us to wait for His help. God loves our neighbour like he loves us. God does not prefer us against our neighbour. God wants the wealth of us both.

    If we are sick, we can be happy. That sounds crazy but it isn't. If we are sick, God has started to take care of us. Through the visible disease of the body he wants to show us the invisible disease of our soul. With the same naturality with which we ask for physical cure we should ask for spiritual cure of our soul.

    How to get this cure?

    The basic problem has to be solved: The disease of our soul. And then also our body will become healthy.

    We shall confess our sins in presence of a pastor or simply a Christian brother. A Christian has the right to forgive sins in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Of course, we should be ready to stop the certain misbehaviour we have got used of. Yet forgiveness AND deliverance comes from God. On the basis of Jesus' sacrifice we receive forgiveness and deliverance. This forgiveness and deliverance is assured to us by a Christian in God's name. We can be sure that the assurance of our brother is God's assurance as if God himself had spoken to us.

    It is very sad that the pope as alleged highest bishop of the world doesn't know this simple truth. Probably his high rank is pure imagination or fiction, and he needs to become a Christian at all.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    Get the real thing!!!

    November 20, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Appy-polly-loggies.

      Don't be a d!ck.

      November 20, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • tallulah13

        Wheaton's Law.

        November 20, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          Indubitably.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:34 am |
        • Akira

          *snerk*

          November 20, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Akira

      Why did you repost this?
      And do you understand what I mean when I say your post is the epitome of religious divides?
      Something that, perhaps, the Pope understands and you don't?

      November 20, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Reality # 2

      RB's dislike for anything Catholic stems from his rigid Lutheranism.

      November 20, 2013 at 11:34 am |
  17. prophet

    Dylan. Alice cooper

    November 20, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Lennon. Greg Graffin.

      November 20, 2013 at 10:57 am |
      • Appy-polly-loggies.

        Sergius Golowin. The Hampton Grease Band.

        November 20, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • tallulah13

          Robyn Hitchcock. Rob Zombie.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Frank Zappa, Canned Heat

      November 20, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Henry Rollins. The Cure.

      November 20, 2013 at 11:12 am |
      • Akira

        Did you see that Henry Rollins had a show on H2?
        The Cure. For sure.

        Depeche Mode.

        November 20, 2013 at 11:20 am |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          Depeche Mode? Really?

          November 20, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • tallulah13

          I saw that! I may have to check it out.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • Akira

          Only because they're continuously questioning their faith, Appy.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • Akira

          Tal, they revamped it from the first season, and Henry is much more colorful than David Eisenbach.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          I'd prefer if they questioned their musical prowess. Still though, each to their own.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:51 am |
        • Akira

          Lol. As always, your mileage may vary.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  18. Rainer Braendlein

    The pope treated Riva very kindly but he could not cure him, neither his body nor his soul.

    Bonhoeffer said that the sick people belong to God.

    How did he mean that?

    We all have a problem. We live outside God's presence, the sphere of life. Yet, we had been created to live in God's life-giving presence. Therefore outside God we have to suffer some serious damage because we don't live in the fitting environment.

    Our basic problem is that we don't appreciate God himself and his friendship enough. We are not really convinced that he wants to do us good, or that he cares for us. Often we don't wait for certain things, and try to get them faster even on the cost of our neighbour. Example: Certainly God wants to give a wife to everybody of us, and there is no need that we take the wife of our neighbour. Certainly God wants to give us money through our daily work, and there is no need that we steal any goods.

    Always when we try to get things too fast we are in high danger to "sin", that means that we act against God's will. God does not want that we take things on cost of our neighbour but he wants us to wait for His help. God loves our neighbour like he loves us. God does not prefer us against our neighbour. God wants the wealth of us both.

    If we are sick, we can be happy. That sounds crazy but it isn't. If we are sick, God has started to take care of us. Through the visible disease of the body he wants to show us the invisible disease of our soul. With the same naturality with which we ask for physical cure we should ask for spiritual cure of our soul.

    How to get this cure?

    The basic problem has to be solved: The disease of our soul. And then also our body will become healthy.

    We shall confess our sins in presence of a pastor or simply a Christian brother. A Christian has the right to forgive sins in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Of course, we should be ready to stop the certain misbehaviour we have got used of. Yet forgiveness AND deliverance comes from God. On the basis of Jesus' sacrifice we receive forgiveness and deliverance. This forgiveness and deliverance is assured to us by a Christian in God's name. We can be sure that the assurance of our brother is God's assurance as if God himself had spoken to us.

    It is very sad that the pope as alleged highest bishop of the world doesn't know this simple truth. Probably his high rank is pure imagination or fiction, and he needs to become a Christian at all.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    November 20, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Doris

      Yes, there is a lot of variation in the world, which we may call imperfection. I assume based on what you wrote that you think God is the essence of perfection. Can you demonstrate such perfection for us without babbling and running in circles?

      November 20, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I first became disillusioned with religious foolishness at the tender age of 13 thanks to idiocy like the above posting.
      I was good friends with a young man who sufferred from a degenerative eye disease in which scar tissue was slowly but steadily building over his corneas.
      His parents were devout Baptists and told him that God would cure him if only he would purify his soul and heed God's word to the letter.
      As time passed, my friend steadily lost more of his sight and began to believe that he was at fault becuase he was a "sinner".

      Foolish theology like that of the Christian Scientists or the Worldwide Church of God that preaches "faith healing" and eschews medical science is dangerous and damaging.
      You can't pray away disease.

      November 20, 2013 at 10:30 am |
      • Appy-polly-loggies.

        To be fair to other denominations, Christian Scientists are double retarded. The average Christian (from my experience) doesn't look too kindly on them.

        November 20, 2013 at 10:36 am |
        • Topher

          True. Christian Scientists are in the same boat as the health-wealth prosperity people. Which means they teach things not found in the Bible and things that are even anti-Bible. So false teachers.

          November 20, 2013 at 10:40 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Don't get me wrong – I don't think that the majority of Christians adhere to that kind of nonsense.
          Both of my parents are Christians and both are medical professionals. That's likely why faith healers rouse my ire so much.
          Faith can certainly be a positive thing during the healing process, but it should not and cannot take the place of actual medicine.
          You don't get cancer becuase you picked the wrong religion.

          November 20, 2013 at 10:49 am |
      • Rainer Braendlein

        The issue is not that there is no faith-healing but the issue is that many American free churches are not in God (all there service is in vain, and pure imagination or dellusion).

        Why they are not in God?

        They do not accept sacramental baptism including infant baptism but they rebaptize. Rebaptism is a spiritual crime. American free churches have not realized the sacral character of Christianity which is especially expressed through sacramental baptism where all health comes towareds us from outside through a divine act. Sacramental baptism gives us what our reason cannot grasp: deliverance through Jesus' sacrifice. This baptism can allways be renewed through confession of sins.

        November 20, 2013 at 10:39 am |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          'The issue is not that there is no faith-healing '

          Yes it is.

          November 20, 2013 at 10:41 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I don't understand infant baptism.
          One should be of the age of reason before making such a profound, life changing decision as accepting Jesus as one's Lord and Saviour.

          November 20, 2013 at 10:53 am |
        • Rainer Braendlein

          In the Early Church only infants of believers were baptized. In pious families miracles are possible, even the miracle that yet an infant believes despite his small reason.

          See John the Baptist who became a believer when he was still in the womb of his mother Elisabeth. Even an embryo can yet believe through the impact of the Holy Spirit.

          Today infant baptism is abused by the mainline churches (RCC, Anglican Church, German Evangelical Church, etc.) because they also baptize infants which don't come out ouf pious families, they baptize every infant even if the parents are outrageous sinners.

          However this baptism is also valid, and the certain person can refer to it in his riper years when he wants to start to follow Jesus. No rebaptism.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • Akira

          Wait, what? Are you RC or not?
          Are you implying that no one may convert?
          I get a different message every time I read your posts.

          November 20, 2013 at 10:54 am |
        • Rainer Braendlein

          Real conversion is when somebody wants to obey God on the basis of his sacramental baptism including infant baptism.

          This is what Bonhoeffer said: The believing one is obedients, and the obedient one believes.

          The real rebirth is the sacramental baptism is connection with faith, that means obedience on the basis of the releasing power of baptism.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:02 am |
        • Reality # 2

          And again:

          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,

          November 20, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • Akira

          So where dies "born again" come from?

          I am not asking Bonhoffer.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:13 am |
        • Topher

          Christ said we must be "born again."

          November 20, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          Like a Phoenix. Or Dennis Hopper.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:21 am |
        • Akira

          I understand that, Topher, but I don't understand how it is that Ranier says a second baptism is wrong. Especially if one was entirely too young to understand the first one. Especially if they are converting from one religion to another.

          For example, a RC wants to convert to Baptist. Should they say "no, got baptized when I was a baby, I'm good"?

          November 20, 2013 at 11:26 am |
        • Topher

          Akira

          "I understand that, Topher, but I don't understand how it is that Ranier says a second baptism is wrong."

          Ah, I see. I have no idea what faith Ranier professes. So I'll let him explain himself. But I don't see the problem ...

          "Especially if one was entirely too young to understand the first one. Especially if they are converting from one religion to another. For example, a RC wants to convert to Baptist. Should they say "no, got baptized when I was a baby, I'm good"?"

          I'd say that no matter if you have been baptized before, if you're just now saved, you should be baptized. It's what is commanded in Scripture. That includes if you were baptized as a baby in, say, a Presbyterian church (which is completely orthodox). For instance you were baptized as a baby and now at age 23 you are saved. You should be baptized again. And also if you're coming from Catholicism to a Baptist church. But even then you shouldn't be baptized unless you've been saved. Just changes churches doesn't save you. Same with baptism. It doesn't save you.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • Decorater

          Rainer & Topher,

          I wonder if you can advise me on the correct positioning of my client's lucky horseshoe above the door? Should it be placed facing upward or facing downward?

          November 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
        • Topher

          No such thing as luck.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
        • Akira

          Thanks, Topher. That's what I thought.

          Decorator: lol. I've seen them both ways. Although down looks like the Greek letter Omega, which may appeal to many.

          But I'll wait for Rain's and T's learned answer.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
        • Decorater

          Topher
          "No such thing as luck."

          There is as much evidence for it as there is for your special bath rituals.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Please visit my website http://www.confessingchurch.wordpress.com because there you can find an origianal sermon of Dr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the famous German pastor, called "I am the Lord, your physician." according to the biblical verse. This sermon is about curing of soul and body through God.

      November 20, 2013 at 10:31 am |
      • doobzz

        Please quit stealing advertising space from CNN to pimp your ridiculous website.

        November 20, 2013 at 10:35 am |
  19. Ocean

    Hey atheists, stop forcing your atheism down our throats then we'll talk.

    November 20, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Appy-polly-loggies.

      😉

      November 20, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Doris

      Boring troll could not be more boring.

      November 20, 2013 at 10:15 am |
      • Ocean

        Says a troll.

        November 20, 2013 at 10:21 am |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          😉

          November 20, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Please show where atheists are forcing anything on you. Be specific.

      November 20, 2013 at 10:23 am |
      • Ocean

        Please show where Christians are restricting your freedom to be atheist and forcing anything on you. Be specific.

        November 20, 2013 at 10:26 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          1) Blue laws.
          2) Laws in several states prohibitting an atheist from holding office.
          3) Law in Arkansas preventing atheists from testifying in court
          4) The unconst!tutional change to the Pledge of Allegience excluding all who do not believe in gods
          %) The unconst!tutional change to the lie on our money.

          You hav not given any examples of where atheism is being forced upon you. You are still free to believe anything you want. Atheists are just trying to set things back to BEFORE the christians forced their beliefs on everyone else.

          Provide specific examples, with a cogent argument, otherwise you will have proven you are trolling.

          November 20, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • Ocean

          You don't have to say the pledge. I was never forced to say the pledge. In fact, most of my classmates didn't say it. Instead of facing the issue head on, atheists come to the internet people may or may not live in that state? It's very delusional for atheists to cling to the internet thinking it's going to magically solve the problem by debating with people with no political power. How atheist of you😄

          November 20, 2013 at 10:38 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          Since you refuse to provide any support for your statement, and continue to lie about atheists, you are just trolling.

          Knockout in the first round.

          November 20, 2013 at 10:40 am |
        • Ocean

          You do know you have to face that state alone and not the entire country? Is state is given the power to create their own laws within that state and since it's not a national law, other states must respect it. So you have the face the state which I know you're too afraid to even do. Clinging to the internet has become a trend for atheists because you are too afraid to handle the problem and go directly to the source.

          November 20, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          Well, if it isn't fat stinking billy goat Billy Boy in poison! How art thou, thou globby bottle of cheap, stinking chip oil? Come and get one in the yarbles, if ya have any yarbles, you eunuch jelly thou.

          November 20, 2013 at 10:47 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          Ocean
          Bob and weave...don't forget your foot work, remember to breathe... dance, dance dance.
          stop re-directing and deflecting.

          Address the first statement.
          Where have atheists forcing anything on you. I provided specifics. Be my guest., Where are your specifics?

          November 20, 2013 at 10:47 am |
        • Ocean

          If you aren't going directly to the source, it's your problem. My state doesn't have most of those laws and I live in Amish country where most of state(not all) is farmland. I grew up near Amish my entire life. I don't live anywhere near Texas or any other state you listed. I don't live in those states so I CAN't change them. If you live in those states and want to change those laws, FIGHT your state. Debating with people who don't live in those states acting like they are responsible for it, means you are actually afraid to confront the source of your problem. Some aren't even national laws. Even gay marriage is allowed in some states IF that state wants to allow it or not. You don't face the problem. You hide from it.

          November 20, 2013 at 10:58 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          Why do you keep refusing to provide specifics?

          If anyone else is following along, here we have an example of the common spotted troll...notice how it refuses to answer the simplest direct question, and then makes excuses for my specifics.

          Troll, you do of course realize that the laws restricting atheists were struck down in the 60's, just those states have not removed those laws from the books. That was from a FEDERAL level.

          Silly troll.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:02 am |
        • Ocean

          You want it changed? The internet won't change it. Face the source or stop complaining to people who aren't responsible for it.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:04 am |
        • Doris

          Puddle assumes it knows how certain people posting here voice their opinion. Feeble attempt.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          I provided specific information.
          You so far have refused to provide anything to back up your original statement.

          Why are you so afraid? Is it that you think people will identify the troll within you?
          We already know.

          Provide specific examples of where an atheist has forced anything on you, as you said in your original post.
          You continue to NOT address it.

          See children, how the troll continues to try to use smoke and mirrors to try to deflect. It really does not have any real point for debate, so just keeps dancing around the issue that It itself brought up.

          Notice it has brought up the internet as if the internet is involved with creating laws. The internet didn't exist when these laws were passed...That is a smoke shot, notice how you can avoid it simply by staying on point.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • Ocean

          But you would have the face the people who have the power to pass laws WITHIN YOUR STATE. If a law is unfair, YOU have to FIGHT it. The internet isn't going to help as people here aren't responsible for putting those laws in place. Instead you fight with Christians online but not the issue you are facing within your state? That means you are a coward too afraid to confront where the source of the problem is and how to change it. You want it changed? You must fight back not hide behind a computer screen thinking it will magically end the problem. You are just a troll that loves trolling people thinking it's their fault. No, it's not their fault.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:53 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          Notice the desperste tactics the troll starts to employ. It ignores the simplest request for it to site examples of its original post, and when that clearly does not work, it starts off on a tangent to change something when no one had addressed changing anything, then begins with saying I am hiding and not trying to get things changed.

          What does any of this have to do with the first point?
          Nothing, since it IS a troll, it will not address it's first post, and continues to try to deflect.

          Troll.
          Where are your specific examples of atheists forcing anything on you? That was your original post, and you have been asked many times for more info. Do not deflect, do not re-direct.

          Answer the direct question.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
        • Ocean

          By not going to the source of where the problem began(a law passed in the past or recently) you are hiding behind a computer screen. I don't vote for laws that are passed just in your state alone and you don't vote for laws that are just in my state alone. Get the picture yet? If people don't live in your state and if a law is passed restricting you have a right but it's not a national law, YOU must go directly to the people or person that have the power to pass laws. I bet hardly any Christian here is a lawmaker. You act like every Christian is responsible for what you face even if they were too young to vote when the law was passed(speaking of laws that were passed long before any of us were born). You want it changed? Go directly to the people or person that has the power to PASS laws. Boy, I cannot get any more clearer than this. I am not the source of your problem and I do not live in your state and I did not pass any law within your state. Stop denying and learn to read better.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          You continue to deflect. No one is talking about getting laws changed, no one addressed what you voted for and what you didn't, and no one addressed anything about the difference in state laws versus federal law.

          You originally posted that atheist were forcing their beliefs on you. I asked for specific examples...your response was to ask ME for examples of christians forcing their beliefs on others, provided.
          Address your original post troll

          When exactly have any atheists forced their beliefs on you?

          Don't bother responding if you can't address your original post. This is the SEVENTH request for you to simply address your original post, yet you keep dancing...Why are you afraid to try to back up your original post?
          Likely it is because there is NOTHING you can site.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • Ocean

          And your original statement was about laws that affect atheists and I asked you why YOU won't face the issue. You still won't answer the question because you know its true. If no Christian here is an actual lawmaker with no political power to change or pass laws, you have no reason to complain to us about it if you are too afraid to confront the issue head on in real life.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          8th attempt.

          When have athesist forced their belief on you?

          You keep trying to fly off on tangents. Start with your original post.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
        • Joey

          It is a good thing all Christians aren't as dense as Ocean is.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
        • Ocean

          By wanting biased laws they think should happen to only Christians and you know exactly what I'm talking about. If a real life atheist troll gets mad over childish things that can easily be solved but they want that law passes because they are extremely hateful, that hatred affects everyone.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          9th attempt.

          When have atheists ever forced their belief on you? Be specific.

          Can't answer a simple question troll?

          November 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
      • Appy-polly-loggies.

        Don't feed him Rich.

        November 20, 2013 at 10:26 am |
        • Akira

          Ten points to your House for the "Clockwork Orange" reference, Appy.

          November 20, 2013 at 10:58 am |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          Thanks Akira. I'm a Hufflepuff by the way.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          I just took the Hogwarts House test there. I'm actually a Slytherin. I should've known.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • Akira

          Griffyndor, myself.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          Mortal enemies, you and I. Slytherin kicks ass. Dark Arts, deviousness and we can talk to snakes. Come over to the Dark Side.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        • Akira

          Ah, but my boy Harry kicked ass in the end.
          Begone, serpent!

          November 20, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

          He won the battle, but the war is far from over.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • Akira

          Unless Rowling writes another book, it is.

          November 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
      • Doris

        Good job not answering the question, puddle. Shall we give you a star? Here, I have a brown one for you.

        November 20, 2013 at 10:33 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.