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Vatican unveils commission to combat sexual abuse
Pope Francis delivers a prayer from the window of his apartment at the Vatican on November 17.
December 5th, 2013
01:33 PM ET

Vatican unveils commission to combat sexual abuse

By Hada Messia, CNN

Rome (CNN)–Pope Francis is creating a commission to prevent the abuse of minors and to support victims of abuse, Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley announced Thursday in Rome.

The new commission is expected to tell church officials to collaborate with civil authorities and report cases of abuse, O'Malley said.

But he also said that the church has focused on the judicial aspect of sexual abuse in the past, and that Pope Francis now wants to focus on the pastoral side, and caring for victims.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (723 Responses)
  1. JW

    Why true Christian abstain from Christmas:

    History of Christmas

    1-Celebrating Jesus’ birthday: “The early Christians did not celebrate [Jesus’] birth because they considered the celebration of anyone’s birth to be a pagan custom.”—The World Book Encyclopedia.

    2-December 25: There is no proof that Jesus was born on that date. Church leaders likely chose this date to coincide with pagan festivals held on or around the winter solstice.

    3-Gift-giving, feasting, partying: The Encyclopedia Americana says: “Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles.” The Encyclopædia Britannica notes that “all work and business were suspended” during Saturnalia.

    4-Christmas lights: According to The Encyclopedia of Religion, Europeans decorated their homes “with lights and evergreens of all kinds” to celebrate the winter solstice and to combat evil spirits.

    5-Mistletoe, holly: “The Druids ascribed magical properties to the mistletoe in particular. The evergreen holly was worshiped as a promise of the sun’s return.”—The Encyclopedia Americana.

    6-Christmas tree: “Tree worship, common among the pagan Europeans, survived after their conversion to Christianity.” One of the ways in which tree worship survived is in the custom of “placing a Yule tree at an entrance or inside the house in the midwinter holidays.”—Encyclopædia Britannica.

    December 6, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • Grinch

      Ooooga, Booooga!

      Pagan / schmagan.

      Please provide verified evidence that that your Israeli god character is real - or that these celebrations make one whit of difference to any other fantasy god character.

      December 6, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
      • JW

        Grinch- you are a non believer, you dont understand why.

        December 6, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
        • Grinch

          JW,

          I didn't comment on "why". Yeah, I could understand some imaginary petulant monster getting his nose out of joint for stuff like that. I commented on the veracity of the old Hebrew stories, and that any such god has any such feelings.

          December 6, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
        • sam stone

          JW......as a believer, there are things you don't understand just as much as you claim non believers don't understand your mythology

          December 6, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You just need to get in the mood, JW.

      The holly and the ivy,
      When they are both full grown
      Of all the trees that are in the wood
      The holly bears the crown
      O the rising of the sun
      And the running of the deer

      December 6, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Rodents for Romney

      "2-December 25: There is no proof that Jesus was born on that date. Church leaders likely chose this date to coincide with pagan festivals held on or around the winter solstice."

      - The thing there is no evidence for, is that there even WAS a Jebus. Nazareth was not a town, (it was only a graveyard). Philo (the Jew from Alexandria) preached that Jesus died up between the Earth and the moon, and rose in three days, right before the Christians say Jebus came along. There is no way to sort out who was talking about what.

      December 6, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • Russ

      @ JW: didn't we already have this lengthy discussion on p.2? should I copy & paste it here?

      December 6, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
      • JW

        Russ- why copy and past everything?? Dont waste your time...the bible is clear enough to give us an explanation of how and who God is...Remember? 1+1=2..not 1+1=3 or 4!

        December 6, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
  2. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Robert: "If he provided a way for all humanity to be live forever, wouldn’t he be loving?"

    In the Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy's protagonist makes it throught the ritualized torment of hazing at a military college. When it's over the plebes who make it and the upper classmen who tortured them are expected to shake hands and be friends. The fellow decks the first person who offers to shake his hand. Should God expect something different when he offers some of us eternal life?

    December 6, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      What we mean when we say God is good and loving is that he loved everyone who would ever be, enough to provide a way that they could become a child of God. That is how he is good, loving, and merciful.
      We think a loving God would provide us with life without harm; everything is good all the time, which is the way we think a good and loving God would behave. Basically, the thought is that we should have heaven here on earth if God really loved us. This isn’t heaven; the earth is the training ground for heaven.

      If you have the opportunity to become acquainted with God in time Tom, and hope & pray you do, I don't think you will be angry or resentful. I don't think you will blame him for the suffering you have endured. I praise him for being merciful and patient with me & I think most who have been born again express thankfulness to God for his love.

      December 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        If God is good, then I will be allowed to land at least one good one.

        December 6, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Humor is good medicine.

          December 6, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
      • Rodents for Romney

        And Robert thinks he is somehow tuned in to what a creator of six hundred se'xtillion starts is, or does, or thinks. He's not arrogant. No. Not at all.

        December 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
      • Dandintac

        "What we mean when we say God is good and loving is that he loved everyone who would ever be, enough to provide a way that they could become a child of God. That is how he is good, loving, and merciful."

        The problem Robert, is that the claims typically made are that God is ALL-LOVING. That his love is absolute, perfect, infinite, etc. This does not fit in with the universe that we observe.

        Furthermore Robert–I have to question whether the God character described by Christian dogma is really good at all. Robert–have you ever burned your hand or finger? It's excruciating, isn't it? Even for those brief seconds. Try to imagine that going on all over your body, all the time, non-stop. Then imagine that going on for all eternity. Then imagine that going on for billions of people, many children, for all eternity. All for thought crimes like not believing in his invisible existence, even though, being all-knowing, he knows what would persuade everyone of his existence, but refuses to do so. Yet he is willing to burn people for all eternity for the Thought Crime of non-belief.

        Let that thought sink in for a minute.

        This is not a loving god by any stretch of the imagination. This is a truly sadistic, capricious and monstrous being without parallel. Any rational, moral person who absorbs this and fully comprehends Hell and what Christian dogma says will send you to hell–(namely nonbelief), cannot honestly say this is a "Loving God", except under the duress and sheer terror of what might happen to them.

        Think further. Eternity is a long time to exist under the constant scrutiny of such a being. It is inevitable, given this being's capriciousness, and willingness to do this with others, that eventually he will send you there too. It's inevitable simply as a matter of mathematical probability given the infinite time spans involved.

        It is obvious that Hell and this God are inventions of man, and are designed to terrify an ignorant ancient populace into submission. This terror, backed up by the actual burning nonbelievers and heretics for centuries, have induced parents to be sure to brainwash their children ever since–for their own protection.

        December 7, 2013 at 1:09 am |
  3. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Topher: "Completely ridiculous. I don't deny history or science. The Bible is completely compatible with both. In fact, they confirm the Bible."

    Topher means they conform to the Bible, at least within his understaniding of history and science they do.

    December 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Colin

      History and natural science are about as compatible with the Bible as they are with the Flintstones.

      December 6, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Topher

      What history or science should I believe that don't fit with the Bible?

      December 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Topher. You said that science is compatible with the bible. That is not correct at all. Geology, big bang, evolution, etc. show that the creation and flood stories in Genesis are not correct. Science contradicts not confirms what is the foundation for your religion. Creation not as stated, creation not in the sequence stated, no original sin, no flood, etc.

        December 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
      • Topher

        In Santa we trust

        Evolution is not science. Science rejects it.

        Big Bang ... kinda the same thing, thought it's more believeable than evolution. The Big Bang is not testable nor repeatable.

        Geology ... I don't reject geology. I just reject what your presuppositions tell me. We both have the same rocks and layers. We just come to different conclusions based on those things.

        December 6, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Topher, What on earth do you mean that science rejects evolution – the vast majority of scientists believe it is fact.
          If testable and repeatable are your criteria – good luck with the creation as described in the bible. Big bang is not based solely on seeing the actual big bang but on cosmology etc. measuring the after-effects.
          Even if you were successful in discrediting science that still is not evidence for the biblical creation myth.

          December 6, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
        • Topher

          In Santa we trust

          "Topher, What on earth do you mean that science rejects evolution – the vast majority of scientists believe it is fact."

          That hardly means anything. Ever hear the phrase, "Science doesn't say anything, scientists do."

          "If testable and repeatable are your criteria – good luck with the creation as described in the bible."

          It's not MY criteria, it's the scientific method. If something isn't testable or repeatable, you could classify it as "historical science" at best. Meaning you'll never be able prove it. And as far as creation, to be fair, it doesn't have to meet the scientific method. Creation would have been supernatural.

          "Big bang is not based solely on seeing the actual big bang but on cosmology etc. measuring the after-effects."

          Right. Which is why I said it is a bit more believable than evolution. But it still has many problems that even secular scientists will admit to. Plus again, it's not testable or repeatable. So it's historical science.

          "Even if you were successful in discrediting science that still is not evidence for the biblical creation myth."

          I'm not trying to discredit science as I like science very much. Just the worldview that says these things are true. And I do believe that if something can't come from nothing, order can't come from an explosion and nature can't create itself (first law of thermodynamics) there had to be a Creator. And that's exactly what we find with God and so far, His Word has proved to be accurate.

          December 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          oops, sorry, I posted slightly below

          The gist of it is that the principles of evolution are taken as fact because it is, for practical purposes, impossible to see how life could occur and proceed as we observe it without those principles.

          December 6, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Topher,
          Evolution explains all that we observe about life on this planet. See http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/lines_01
          There is no evidence for creation and all the evidence supports evolution.

          I know it is the scientific method; my point was that the creation story does not meet the scientific standard – yet you are willing to accept that with only the word of Bronze Age goatherders.

          You accept the science that brings the technology for the internet, satellite TV, GPS, automobiles, aircraft, vaccines, etc. all produced using the same scientific method and yet you distrust that method once it contradicts the biblical stories.

          There are plenty of videos on the internet explaining how the universe, the solar system, etc. were formed. From the singularity to today and even when it will all end.

          There isn't enough water on Earth to cover the earth to the height of Everest.

          The bible story is not supported by any evidence and is contradicted by the evidence we do have; the foundation of the bible is incorrect and little else in it has been proved correct.

          Obviously pre-singularity we don't know and probably never will and therefore a god is a possibility, but it wouldn't be the god of religions.

          December 6, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Scientists begin to believe something is a fact when it seems nearly impossible to believe it is false, when nothing you know works without it. Today in New Orleans at the annual Hematology meeting we saw, for the ten thousandth time it seems, how therapy provides selection pressure that causes tumours to change in such a way as to evade therapy (death for tumour cells). Evolution is taken as fact because its principles work in obvious ways. Someone trying to explain what is seen while denying those principles would be in an impossible position.

        December 6, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
        • Topher

          Tom, Tom

          If you are interfering with what it does naturally, how is that evolution? (And if you know how to answer this, keep it simple, dude.)

          December 6, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Imagine tumours are a rowdy bunch of cells. Most aren't anything special, but some very few are lucky. Through therapy we kill the run-of-the-mill sort, but the lucky ones escape because they have the right changes in a few genes. The first month of therapy things look great. Then the lucky ones come roaring back.

          The evolutionary landscape of natural selection is the same thing. Pressures are put on populations. Some individuals survive those pressures because they have combinations of specific types of specific genes that allow them to do that. They establish new populations.

          December 6, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  4. JW

    Is Jesus equal to God or lesser than God? Jesus once said: “I and the Father are one,” which seems to contradict his statement that “the Father is greater than I am.” (John 10:30; 14:28) To understand those verses correctly, we must examine what the Bible really says about Jehovah and Jesus rather than try to harmonize the verses with the Trinity dogma, which is not based on the Bible. The Bible shows that Jehovah is not only Jesus’ Father but also Jesus’ God, the One whom even Jesus worships. (Matthew 4:10; Mark 15:34; John 17:3; 20:17; 2 Corinthians 1:3) Jesus is not equal to God.

    The context of Jesus’ statement “I and the Father are one” shows that he was talking about the oneness of purpose that he shared with his Father, Jehovah God. Jesus later said: “The Father is in union with me and I am in union with the Father.” (John 10:38) Jesus shared this unity of purpose with his followers as well, for he prayed to God about them: “I have given them the glory that you have given me, in order that they may be one just as we are one. I in union with them and you in union with me.”—John 17:22, 23.

    December 6, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • igaftr

      JW
      "Is Jesus equal to God or lesser than God"

      Easy one to answer. It depends on how you think of them in your mind, since that is where they both exist. Everyone is different, so all believers believe a little differently, so the only place to answer that question, is within your own mind.

      December 8, 2013 at 8:10 am |
  5. Advent

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2Gw63Ble5E&w=640&h=360]

    December 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • oo oo

      Dorothy. Sup? Got to tell u, I love how u have so many sky fairy defenders

      December 6, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
      • oo oo

        Dorothy. O Dorothy. Cowardly loud mouth WHO condemns others, sup? Y not defend your garbage yourself?

        December 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
        • Ned

          Dipshit.

          December 6, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • #FundPlametary

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

          December 6, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
      • jimbo

        Amen to that

        December 8, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  6. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Time to go home and rake leaves (grr...) this has been a lark... ciao

    December 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • oo oo

      C?

      December 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • oo oo

      Dorothy, come on! Tell us about ur next best sellerr. Y can't u buy a good review?

      December 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
      • Ned

        You can't buy a clue, so.....

        December 6, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
  7. Apple Bush

    @CQ

    Dude are you a dude or a chick? I just realized I don't even know for sure...lol

    Also East, West or in between?

    December 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Where the hell is Topher?

      December 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
      • oo oo

        U, my love, need his forgiveness as much as a foul mouthed blue collar slob

        December 6, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Where the fuck did you come from and what the hell do you want from me??

          December 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      AB
      I do have a pair such as they are, but probably larger than our Topher's. Northeast, put it this way, I can look down on Bostonians but really do like Brady and the Pats.

      December 6, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Ok, cool good to know. The only problem is I am a Dolphins fan. Not much of a rivalry there though. Just waiting for Brady to retire. I bet Topher is a Jets fan.

        December 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Topher has to be a Buffalo fan and probably has prayed for OJ to be forgiven so our Topher can see him play in the all star game in heaven when our Topher gets there and can get tickets. I am rambling but Topher has to back a loser, he is a Baptist.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          I stand corrected.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
      • oo oo

        Only little cowards hide like u. U need him. Ur cancer is destroying the temple of God. U don't have long

        December 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          CQ I can't tell if god is being destroyed here or you?

          December 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        LET's Religiosity Law #12 – The Patriots are the best football team in the NFL. This law cannot be impugned.

        December 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Perhaps I should remind you of a certain Super Bowl the Pats lost, thus not going undefeated and allowing the Dolphins alums to continue uncorking the champagne every year?

          December 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Don't make me use the 'Bigfoot Defense'

          http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CEAQtwIwBA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DJGepBtBCuTY&ei=XjSiUrm1LPShsQSsrYCIAw&usg=AFQjCNEouMIx7k5qcm2zoeYiu_kdyy0vfw&bvm=bv.57752919,d.eW0

          December 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          HA! Work firewall sure didn't like me posting that as a link... I'm surprised anything showed up at all...

          December 6, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          LMAO

          December 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Bummer... trying to get out the door... I meant to say "Chewbacca Defense"

          December 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          LET
          Even though they lost one of their great players/disciples, for which I despair, Wes Welker to the ultimate challenger, I try to keep the FAITH. The only faith I have, come to think of it.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          CQ, don't forget who stupidly gave up Welker in the first place! The Chargers, then the Dolphins THEN the Patriots.

          December 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          AB
          Thanks for reminding me that all those fools went with the "he is to small to play in the NFL". Did he ever prove that crowd wrong, hall of famer when he packs it in.

          December 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
      • G to the T

        Sounds like we may be in the neck of the woods there CQ – stay warm!

        December 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          G to the T
          Mukluks, developed the habit when I visited the Arctic.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
        • G to the T

          That's funny – my dad brought a pair back from Alaska a decade ago and you couldn't pry them off him in the winter. 🙂

          December 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
      • oo oo

        C?

        December 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • oo oo

      Y lie? U have no evidence he is not exactly who he said he was. Y run from his claims?

      December 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Are you lost?

        December 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Not lost... but apparently not very bright

          December 6, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
      • oo oo

        C?

        December 6, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
        • oo oo

          Off their memorized script they get buried in the weeds in two secomds!

          December 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • oo oo

      Prison donkey puncher

      December 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • oo oo

      Prison donkey puncher!

      December 6, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  8. Susan StoHelit

    Here's hoping for a good result from this.

    I'm an atheist, with a Catholic family much hurt (emotionally – not victims of any pedophiles) by the church's response to the pedophiles, and I've been watching the Vatican deal with this scandal for decades, literally. This is about the only time I've had any real hope, since the Vatican rejected and watered down to irrelevancy the American bishops council recommendations way back during Pope John Paul's time.

    I've seen some positive results already – hoping he gets into some solid reforms here. My ideal would be if he'd say that the Vatican would respect any and all subpeonas for any of it's bishops and cardinals and priests, and order them to the country of origin – as well as continuing what they seem to be doing and reporting all credible allegations to law enforcement.

    December 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Unfortunately I think it is just more PR / damage control from the Catholic Church. They have a nice face to put on it now. A face with many chins. There is certainly nothing unreasonable about your proposal but don't hold your breath.

      December 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      Susan
      This announcement came two days after the Vatican refused to give any information to the UN Commission on the Rights of the Child, saying that it was the responsibility of local bishops. Damage control, part of the cover up.

      December 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Dandintac

      Susan, I've been impressed with your intelligent and thoughtful comments on this blog. Does your family know you are an atheist? When and how did they find out? What was their reaction?
      Thanks

      December 7, 2013 at 1:16 am |
  9. Jesus' Beloved

    bostontola:"Doesn't the story of Noah say that God used evolution to achieve his objective? That was an extreme case of "selection". What I don't get, is why his creation was so poorly done that he had to eradicate Humans 1.0. If God had simply done a better job with his creation, that genocide wouldn't have been needed. Most other religions have God stories with much better Gods. They didn't have to decimate their own creation to get what they wanted.

    Creation was perfect. Gen 1:31. God placed man in a finished, good, creation to enjoy all that He had made.
    When sin was introduced, the nature of man changed. Not only the nature of man, but the nature of animals, the elements etc.
    Just like the days of Noah (when he spent more than 100 yrs building a boat and warning of what was to come... the people didn't believe him. It took just as much faith for Noah to build the ark for 100+ yrs and suffering the ridicule of people who taunted him and perhaps called him illogical, not using intellect etc. Remember a tree doesn't grow overnight. Just because something doesn't happen immediately doesn't mean it's not going to happen).
    Anyway, from Noah we know, just as the Bible said everything comes from a seed. You cannot find one single item right now that didn't come from something that already existed, even the computer you're using is from things that already existed.

    If Noah had not been faithful and obedient to the call of God, there would not have been a person for Christ to be born through to save mankind.
    Thank God for His great wisdom, we are heirs to everlasting life through the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of His Son.

    Have a great and blessed day. I pray the Holy Spirit will reveal Himself to you in a mighty and powerful way that you will never ever doubt the awesome power and love that is your heavenly father.

    December 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Madtown

      the days of Noah (when he spent more than 100 yrs building a boat
      -----
      So, Noah wasn't human? The typical human lifespan is around 80 years(at this time). How old is Noah alledged to have been?

      December 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Ned

      Oh, Jeez. Who introduced sin? GOD!! I get so tired of people just ignoring that if God didn't want sin, HE WOULD NOT HAVE SUBJECTED ADAM AND LILITH 2.0 TO IT! God seems like a puppet master in this respect.

      December 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        God created Lucifer as a powerful anointed angel. However, Lucifer wasn’t satisfied with that, and he didn’t remain the anointed cherub that God created him to be.

        Ezekiel 28:13-14 describe him as he originally was in the Garden of Eden:

        “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.”
        Hebrews 1:14 says this about angels:

        “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

        Lucifer wasn’t sent to the earth to tempt Adam and Eve but to bless them. He was an angelic being sent to be their protector, to minister to them, and to serve them. He was there on a divine mission, still in his perfect state. It was in the Garden that his transgression against God was conceived and carried out.

        Ezekiel 28:15 goes on to say,

        “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”
        So, what made Lucifer turn against God? Lucifer watched as God did something for man that He had never done with any other of His creation. When God created man, not only was he made in the very image of God, but he was then given unconditional authority over this earth.

        Genesis 1:26 says,

        “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

        He didn’t say to them, “Now as long as you follow my leading and as long as you do what I want you to do, I will let you have dominion over the earth.” There was zero qualification for this power and authority. God spoke it and that was it.

        December 6, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
        • Ned

          So Lucifer bucked God AFTER A&L.2 was created. Ah.
          So Lucy was jealous. Gee. God created Lucy too. God could have stopped Lucy, but didn't. So again, puppetmaster comes to mind.
          Bittom line: GOD CREATED THE SIN.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        God says in Psalm 89:34,

        “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”

        In Hebrews 1:3 it says,

        “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (emphasis mine).

        What this is saying is that God cannot lie; it’s the integrity of His Word that holds the entire universe together. Unlike human beings who reserve the right to change their minds, God will not violate His Word. When He told Adam and Eve they had dominion, authority, and power to subdue and rule, it was done.

        Lucifer understood the integrity of God’s words, and when he heard this, I believe his antenna went up. He saw that Adam and Eve had something he wanted but didn’t have: They had unconditional authority. In a way, they had been made the gods of this world; it was theirs to rule and subdue.

        We read in Psalm 115:16,

        “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.”

        Even though Lucifer may have been God’s number one angel, he still wanted more. He was jealous and envious; he actually wanted to take God’s place.

        In Isaiah 14:13 it says,

        “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.”

        The next verse says,

        “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

        Lucifer understood that if he could deceive Adam and Eve into willingly relinquishing their authority to him that he could become the god of this world. He could take the authority that was given to mankind, use it to thwart the kingdom of God, and receive the praise and adoration and glory he wanted.

        December 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • Madtown

          God says in Psalm 89:34
          ---
          Correction: "MAN says in Psalm 89:34"

          December 6, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • Ned

          God. Created. Sin. He. Did. Nothing. To. Stop. It. Puppet. Master.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        Romans 6:16 says this,

        “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”

        So, who made Satan? We did! The moment Adam and Eve yielded to Lucifer, he became Satan, the god of this world. You might be thinking, But Satan deceived them. Shouldn’t God have stopped him?

        Read 1 Timothy 2:14:

        “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”

        Adam knew what he was doing.

        I believe the moment Lucifer transgressed against God, he lost his angelic power. Satan now has no power or authority of his own; he only has what he has been able to deceive people into giving him. Now, that is a powerful statement.

        Think about what that means to you as a believer. When we are resisting the devil and fighting against him, Satan does not have a superior power or authority. He is absolutely dependent upon the cooperation of a human being who will empower him with the authority God gave them.

        Satan is going about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He is looking for people who will open the door through things like lust, rebellion, strife, unforgiveness, fear, and more. When we yield to those things, we are empowering him to destroy us, and I guarantee you, given the opportunity, he will eat your lunch and pop the bag.

        Taken from: Andrew Wommack Ministries. (I reference it because it's what I believe as well).
        God Bless

        December 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • Ned

          God created the sin scenario. God created Lucifer. God is the ultimate puppet master. Sorry.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      JB
      You are joking right? You do not actually believe the flood story? Topher does, he believes that all the animals and reptiles all had wings to get them to their distant habitats ( Australia, Asia, the Americas) and subsequently lost their wings over time. Do you concur?

      December 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
      • Ned

        Has Topher ever explained how they all lost their wings? Did they just drop off en masse, or did they EVOLVE? Lmao

        December 6, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Ned
          You would really have to as k our Topher but do not expect an answer. This is one of the many questions our Topher ducks, how all the different species ended up where they did.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      hey, remember when noah condemned one of his sons to slavery because he walked in on noah laying in a drunken stupor with his junk hanging out? the punishment for glimpsing dad's one-eyed trouser snake is slavery.

      man, that's a funny story.

      December 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        The ultimate lesson there is the power of words. Everyone's word carries the power to create i.e. you speak what you want to see and that's what happens. The world doesn't believe this- they speak what they already see. Not so with God, and those with the faith of God.

        December 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • G to the T

          "you speak what you want to see and that's what happens" You are either being very symbolic or very wacko here. If what you are saying were actually true, you could test it and confirm the effect.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          As you all love to use the word "prove", and this is a very easy one to "prove". So go ahead and do it. Go ahead and prove it wrong. It's impossible.

          God Bless.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • G to the T

          "So go ahead and do it. Go ahead and prove it wrong. It's impossible." Sorry what are you talking about? Do what? Try to effect the physical universe with my word? Prove what (I never said "prove" by the way) wrong?

          I would agree it's impossible, but only because I have no idea what criteria you are setting.

          December 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          I said "you speak what you want to see, and it will happen".
          You resorted to name calling.
          I said you can go ahead and prove that it's true, it's quite simple. Whatever a person says, and believes, if he calls it forth it comes into being (it becomes a reality). I'm saying this is not difficult to prove. Every single person lives this reality everyday.

          Sometimes the things we call forth (i.e. the words we speak) occur the same day, within a week, month, year, years etc.
          That's how powerful our words are. Every word a person speak has only 2 functions – life, or death. That's why the words we speak over ourselves, our families, children, even the government are very important.
          As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

          ex. the reason people die when they say such things as 'dying for that piece of cake etc.' is that they don't actually believe they'll die.
          ex. the reason a dr. or even you can say to a healthy person, 'you have 2 weeks left to live' and within that time frame or perhaps even a little longer that person dies is because they actually believed the word that was spoken over them. So the speaker has brought into reality with his words that which never existed in the physical before.
          ,
          That was my initial point regarding Noah cursing his son. His son didn't immediately become a slave, but what Noah spoke over him did come to pass, because that's the power of words.

          December 6, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          The example should read:

          the reason people don't die... is they don't actually believe what they say.
          However saying the same thing (speaking life or death) over and over again will eventually have an effect for good or bad depending on what's been spoken.

          December 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Rodents for Romney

      Human life spans were not that long in those days. Noah was a myth. All floods leave silt layers. There is no silt layer. To build a ship of that size, one would have to be a sea-faring culture. They were not. To come to rest on Mt Ararat, the water level would have had to be of more volume than has ever existed on the planet. Please get over your delusions.

      December 6, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
  10. Apple Bush

    Nothing can be "supernatural". If it exists, it is natural.

    December 6, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Only the supernatural can explain the existence of the natural.
      All physical (natural) enti.ties are mutable, therefore contingent. Since causal chains cannot be infinite in length, then all physical (natural) and therefore mutable and contingent enti.ties must draw their origin from the supernatural which is neither mutable nor contingent.

      December 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        I would love to read more about this. Can you kindly cite some resources?

        December 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          If you are in doubt, then show me one physical quant.ity that is neither mutable nor contingent.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Ned

          How about you cite your sources like AB asked instead of dodging the question?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Dallas Willard, USC Philosophy Professor, Speaker, Author

          December 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          LoB,

          Really?! You are citing a man for known for his writings on Christian spiritual formation. Boy that is some serious evidence.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Dallas Willard
          Not another Christian apologist, how quaint!

          December 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Sorry, can't get it straight today.

          @LoA

          Really?! You are citing a man for known for his writings on Christian spiritual formation. Boy that is some serious evidence.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Apple Bush,
          Fine, then discount the source if your opinion stands apart from that of his peers, and instead go to the logic of the argument, and answer my challenge.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          It seems silly but I will play. First just because something is mutable doesn’t mean it will change or fluctuate, so your first sentence is false.

          Why can’t a causal chain be infinite? Causality may be circular or even shaped like a bubble. You don’t know any better than I do or anyone else. One could argue causality for years. Oh yeah we have, at least back to Aristotle.

          So all physical entities may or may not be mutable. Therefore you are wrong. Ok?

          December 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          LoA are you there??

          December 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
      • Ned

        Bull. Chit.

        December 6, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
      • Cal

        Arguing semantics is fun, isn't it?

        December 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Meh, I call it an appeal to logic and reason to posit the existence of that which the existence of all physical quant.ities depend. Namely, the supernatural.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
      • Lawrence of Alabia

        Only the not-natural can explain the existence of the natural.

        All physical (natural) enti.ties are mutable, therefore contingent. Since causal chains cannot be infinite in length, then all physical (natural) and therefore mutable and contingent enti.ties must draw their origin from the non-natural which is neither mutable nor contingent, nor verifiable which is why it's non-natural.

        A natural bunny comes out of a natural top hat, now that is not natural, so the hat must be non-natural, there can be no other explanation. Sure we could reserve our conclusion till we had more information and were able to see the hat to find out if it was or wasn't natural, but I just don't have time for that so I will believe in magic and just sent my check to David Cop-a-feel...

        December 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Why resort to mocking as a defense? Grow up.
          Until you show me a physical quant.ity that is neither mutable nor contingent, then the logic of my argument is sound.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • Dandintac

          You make a lot of extraordinary, sweeping claims, with no evidence to back them up.

          Please provide evidence that this alleged supernature even exists. You claim a supernature, and insist that the natural world we actually have evidence for requires this supernature which we do NOT have evidence for.

          We do not know if causal chains can be infinite or not. We do not fully understand the nature of causality. Causality could be circular, as has been suggested. Anyway, this is an argument from ignorance.

          How do you know that an immutable supernature is needed to create a mutable nature? How can the mutable arise from an immutable? Do you have an example of this happening that can be observed and tested? How do you know this to be true?

          This is just a more complicated way of filling in "MAGIC" in the blanks of our scientific ignorance.

          December 7, 2013 at 1:30 am |
      • Ungodly Discipline

        It seems silly but I will play. First just because something is mutable doesn’t mean it will change or fluctuate, so your first sentence is false.

        Why can’t a causal chain be infinite? Causality may be circular or even shaped like a bubble. You don’t know any better than I do or anyone else. One could argue causality for years. Oh yeah we have, at least back to Aristotle.

        So all physical entities may or may not be mutable. Therefore you are wrong.

        December 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
      • G to the T

        You postulate attributes for something called the "supernatural", I wonder, where exactly did you get this theory?

        December 6, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
  11. Apple Bush

    I believe that two universes collided with the big bang. It wasn’t the creation of a new universe, it was the explosion of two universes touching one another. That is why there are Christians. They come from another, less intelligent universe that mingles with ours.

    December 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Some Antics

      There is matter and anit-matter, then there may be minds and anti-minds, and I think we all know who the anti-minds are... you will know them by their fruits, the anti-minds will belabor progress, hamper science, hide discovery and attempt to strangle voices of dissent, so yeah, that would be the religious...

      December 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      Hey AB
      An anti-matter universe and a matter universe annihilated each other in all ten dimensions in a burst of pure energy, the big bang. It also created Charm Quarks that unfortunately decay almost instantaneously. I am fleeting. BTW how is the Bug going.

      December 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      LOL, hang in there CQ!

      Bug is going good! Thanks for asking.

      December 6, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        AB
        Are any of your off spring in the production? It can be very difficult to direct your own child knowing all to well their strengths and weaknesses.

        December 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          No, my show is rated 'R'

          You are right, I don't think I would want to direct my daughter. She is currently performing in a Holiday show with six broadway stars and is one of the soloists. She is 12.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Dandintac

      Apple, you may be interested to know that evidence of the Multiverse theory has been found. We now have direct evidence that other universes other than the one we live in may actually exist. The theory predicts that we should see signs of impacts with other universes in the Cosmic Background Radiation. And sure enough they have! They have found areas of the universe that look as if there was an ancient impacts.

      December 7, 2013 at 1:48 am |
  12. Apple Bush

    universe, it was the explosion of two universes touching one another. That is why there are Christians. They come from another, less intelligent universe that mingles with ours.

    December 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • ME II

      Or did the devil create them to tempt rational people?

      December 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Leela A: This is getting confusing. Why don't we call our universe "Universe A" and this universe "Universe B"?
      Bender 1: Hey! Why can't we be Universe A?
      Fry 1: Yeah!
      Amy 1: Yeah!
      Farnsworth 1: We want A!
      Zoidberg 1: It's the best letter!
      Fry A: We called it first. Besides, this place kinda feels like a "B", y'know?
      Leela 1: Alright, you can be crummy Universe A and we'll be Universe 1.
      Fry 1: Or "The Mongooses". That's a cool team name. The Fighting Mongooses!

      December 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  13. Robert Brown

    Atheists don’t believe a truly good God exists because evil exists. If there was a God who was all powerful, he could eliminate evil. They claim they are better than God, because if they had the power that believer’s claim God has, they would not permit tragedies and catastrophes to occur.
    Luke 13
    4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
    5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

    This was the response of Jesus when they were asking him about sins. People tend to say when something bad happens to someone that they had done some bad sin and God is punishing them, some blame God, or claim he doesn’t exist when bad things happen. He was telling them we are all sinners and unless we repent we all will perish.

    Bad things happen because people in the flesh do bad things. Also, the devil is loose in the earth seeking whom he may devour.

    God does what he wants and he doesn’t answer to you, he can stop catastrophes and he is very caring. For God so loved the world…..
    God has expressed his love for everyone in the world by making the way for us to be reconciled to him. We don’t know why he allows evil to continue until the end, but it seems he wants everyone to have the opportunity to turn to him. We trust in his goodness and mercy.

    December 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • bostontola

      Robert,
      I find your statement in direct conflict with an omnipotent all loving being.

      December 6, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Bostontola,

        If the God of the bible is real and he created everything we can perceive, wouldn’t he be all powerful?

        If he provided a way for all humanity to be live forever, wouldn’t he be loving?

        December 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • Alias

          that depends on the quality of the life we were given.
          A merciful god would proabably let us die instead of making us suffer in hell forever.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Or suffer an eternity in heaven with a bunch of insufferable christians...

          December 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
        • Topher

          Alias

          But then He wouldn't be just.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • G to the T

          How "just" is punishing someone for eternity?

          December 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,
          Eternal punishment for finite crimes is not justice.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Alias

          @Topher
          Exactly how does justice require eteranl torment?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
        • Some Antics

          "Eternal punishment for finite crimes is not justice."

          Well then what explains the fact that Topher has to live this life with half a brain? Is that not injustice?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • ME II

          Some antics are uncalled for.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Topher

          What's finite about it?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • Topher

          Alias

          If I lie to a child, nothing will 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, that's treason and I'll be thrown in prison. Notice the same crime is committed in each of these scenarios. But what changes is against whom the crime is committed. So how much more so should we be punished when the crime is against a holy and just God?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          Topher – you're having a child. You sometime should answer to yourself, as you love your child, would any definition of love EVER include you allowing your child to die, be tortured in a burning fire for as much as a year, let alone eternity?

          Your wife loves you, your boss doesn't – nor does your country – that's the difference in the response.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • Madtown

          What's finite about it?
          ----
          Our existence on this earth is finite. All actions taken in this life are finite. Therefore by extension, any punishment for finite actions undertaken in this life would also need to be finite, to maintain any notion of justice.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Topher

          Susan StoHelit

          "Topher – you're having a child. You sometime should answer to yourself, as you love your child, would any definition of love EVER include you allowing your child to die, be tortured in a burning fire for as much as a year, let alone eternity?"

          Not sure what this has to do with anything.

          "Your wife loves you, your boss doesn't – nor does your country – that's the difference in the response."

          And yet the boss' punishment is worse than my wife's because the authority is higher.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • Alias

          Topher
          As usual, your analysis is too shallow. Not all lies are equal. If I tell a child Santa is coming on Xmas eve, that is different from a priest telling a child to pose nude for pictures. If I tell the government I wasn't really driving that fast I have not committed treason. How could your god send me to hell for these lies along with people who kill children for no reason and call it justice?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "Our existence on this earth is finite."

          Our souls are not finite. And our souls are the very essence of our being. It's completely just.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • Topher

          Alias

          Because God is holy (meaning perfect) and requires you and I to be perfect in thought, word and deed. Jesus told us to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
        • Topher

          Alias

          And so even one tiny little white lie like Santa exists corrupts you and makes you imperfect. And that's why the Bible says that all liars will have their part in the lake of fire.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher
          "What's finite about it?"

          Unless you think that no one can change their mind once dead, then there exists the potential to stop committing any crime, thought or otherwise, hence finite.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • Topher

          ME II

          Change their mind ... do you mean as far as changing your mind about God?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,
          Yes. I was assuming that the most probable post-death sin would be "rejection of God" and therefore a change of mind/heart would end that sin/crime, would it not?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • Madtown

          Our souls are not finite.
          ---
          In this life on earth, they most certainly are.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
        • Madtown

          Because God is holy (meaning perfect) and requires you and I to be perfect in thought, word and deed
          -----
          Which is an impossible feat, for humans to be perfect. Why would God punish us for eternity for being imperfect, when he created us in such a way that perfection is impossible?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • sam stone

          Gopher, your god is not just, he is a vindictive, petty pr1ck. Thanks for playing

          December 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • sam stone

          "If I lie to the government, that's treason and I'll be thrown in prison."

          No it's not, gopher.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
        • Topher

          ME II

          "Yes. I was assuming that the most probable post-death sin would be "rejection of God" and therefore a change of mind/heart would end that sin/crime, would it not?"

          Technically, once you're dead your choice is made. It's too late after you die. "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" Hebrews 9:27

          December 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "Which is an impossible feat, for humans to be perfect. Why would God punish us for eternity for being imperfect, when he created us in such a way that perfection is impossible?"

          Exactly right! We can't be perfect. But God also loves us and doesn't want us to go to hell. That's why He provided the Savior. Christ paid our fine and so satisfies justice.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,
          "Technically, once you're dead your choice is made. It's too late after you die."

          If one can no longer choose then one is no longer accountable for the choice. Punishment for a prior choice is still "just", I think, but that would be a finite choice, i.e. prior to death. Choices made and actions taken while alive would be finite sins/crimes, in that they are not ongoing sins/crimes.

          I could understand punishing someone eternally for crimes that continue, e.g. on going "rejection" if that is a crime, for eternity, but otherwise eternal punishment seems unjust.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
        • Madtown

          That's why He provided the Savior
          ----
          Not to everyone he didn't. Why again do you think you're special, and your preferred form of man-made religion is the best, when other humans who are your equal(outside of intellect) are NOT provided this savior? And.....we're back to square #1. Different day, different week, same bs.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • Fan2C

          Topher,
          " "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" Hebrews 9:27

          What makes you think that Paul of Tarsus knew anything special? Because he **said** he did?

          December 6, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
        • Topher

          ME II

          "If one can no longer choose then one is no longer accountable for the choice. Punishment for a prior choice is still "just", I think, but that would be a finite choice, i.e. prior to death. Choices made and actions taken while alive would be finite sins/crimes, in that they are not ongoing sins/crimes."

          Obviously I disagree. If you killed someone in your past you still deserve to be punished for committing the crime. Just because you no longer kill women you're not less guilty. And once you're caught and in front of the judge, of course you won't be killing anyone else. It's your judgment day.

          "I could understand punishing someone eternally for crimes that continue, e.g. on going "rejection" if that is a crime, for eternity, but otherwise eternal punishment seems unjust."

          Again we get back to the authority against whom the crime was committed. If I came up to you and punched you in the nose and you had me prosecuted, I'd agree with your finite stance. That was a man on man crime. But a sin is a crime against God. It's completely just. Besides, He's offered you a way out because He loves you. If you reject the offer, you can't really blame anyone but yourself.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
        • Topher

          Fan2C

          "What makes you think that Paul of Tarsus knew anything special? Because he **said** he did?"

          No. But because ALL Scripture is inspired by God. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" We hold that the entire Bible is from God. Not just the red letters, but all the black ones, too.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
        • G to the T

          Topher – so one book says that "scripture is inspired" and then another group of people take a collection of books and combine it with that one and now all the others are scripture so they must be inspired too?

          Honestly – I don't think I'm capable of the amount of faith it takes to believe the bible is anything other than a very human book.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Madtown

          Again we get back to the authority against whom the crime was committed
          -----
          But there's the issue of jurisdiction here too. If God(your definition of God) is the ultimate authority, why again has he opted to not make certain all his human creations are aware of his laws? In no way is it just to punish someone for eternity, for breaking laws you never bothered to inform them exist in the first place.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,
          "If you killed someone in your past you still deserve to be punished for committing the crime."

          I did not say otherwise. However, that is a finite crime, murder. Is a just punishment for murder, eternal torture? I don't think so. One or two lifetimes of torture, should be sufficient, but after ten or so lifetimes of torture it's just gratuitous and sadistic.

          "Again we get back to the authority against whom the crime was committed..... But a sin is a crime against God. It's completely just."

          I disagree, it is the act that is primary in the punishment. Murder is murder regardless of the person.

          "Besides, He's offered you a way out because He loves you. If you reject the offer, you can't really blame anyone but yourself."

          That's a cop out. When a mugger says "your money or your life", are you to blame for getting killed because "he offered you a way out"? That's called extortion, I think.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          We don't need to have a copy of The Bible in order to know His Laws. You already know it's wrong to lie, steal, murder, commit adultery, etc. The Bible tells us He wrote His Laws on our heart. Second, it also says we know there's a God because we have the Creation (and see the order and complexity to know it didn't come about from an accident or explosion) and a conscience that tells us He exists. And because of this, the Bible says, we will be without excuse on Judgment Day.

          Now, as far as there being the issue of these things don't reveal the gift offered through Christ ... One, I don't know all the details and we likely never will this side of heaven. Two, Christ told us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. So basically, if there's a group of people out there who have never heard the name of Jesus, that's our fault. And three, I think those numbers in this day and age are very small. But that's still no excuse.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • Fan2C

          Topher,
          "We hold that the entire Bible is from God." "All scripture is given by God..."

          What makes you think that? Because the men who wrote the Bible stories **said** it was? And Paul of Tarsus again...?

          December 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,
          "You already know it's wrong to lie, steal, murder, commit adultery, etc. "

          Sure, just ask any child which day must be kept "Holy", because it's written on their hearts.

          December 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • Fan2C

          Topher,
          "The Bible tells us He wrote His Laws on our heart."

          Well, The Bible also says:

          "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" –Jeremiah 17:9

          December 6, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • Topher

          ME II

          "However, that is a finite crime, murder. Is a just punishment for murder, eternal torture?"

          Yes. Because the crime is against God.

          "One or two lifetimes of torture, should be sufficient, but after ten or so lifetimes of torture it's just gratuitous and sadistic."

          I think you may be looking at this as if it should be something like our prison system ... supposedly to get them to see the error of their ways while justice is being served. It doesn't really work that way in the afterlife. You're either in prison or you're not. Knowing what God offers you (forgiveness of sins) and you reject Him, do you really think you're going to change your mind while in Hell? You didn't want Him in this life and you won't in the next, either. He can't just say, OK, you've served two years, your punishment is over. Where would you go? You can't go to Heaven because your sins have still not been purged through Christ.

          "I disagree, it is the act that is primary in the punishment. Murder is murder regardless of the person."

          You're telling me if I take the life of a bum and you take the life of a politician you and I will receive exactly the same punishment? Of course we won't. One's life was esteemed higher than the other.

          "That's a cop out. When a mugger says "your money or your life", are you to blame for getting killed because "he offered you a way out"? That's called extortion, I think."

          What God offers you is not extortion, it's the most kind thing anyone could ever offer you. You don't deserve to be mugged. But you do deserve to be punished for breaking His Laws. But God loves you, dude. Please consider this before it's too late. None of us are promised another day.

          December 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • Topher

          ME II

          "Sure, just ask any child which day must be kept "Holy", because it's written on their hearts."

          If you know in your heart God exists, shouldn't you keep every day holy?

          December 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Madtown

          We don't need to have a copy of The Bible in order to know His Laws.
          -----
          Thanks, with this I believe you make the point of most everyone here. If we don't need the bible to know God's laws and thus break them, then we don't need Jesus as our savior by extension. Again, if we don't need the laws outlined in christianity to know we've sinned, why would we need the savior outlined in christianity for redemption?

          December 6, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,
          "It doesn't really work that way in the afterlife."

          And you know this how exactly?

          "You didn't want Him in this life and you won't in the next, either."

          Why not? After a supposed revelation that there is an after-life many people's perspectives are bound to change.

          "He can't just say, OK, you've served two years, your punishment is over."

          Why not? He is supposedly God, right?

          "Where would you go? You can't go to Heaven because your sins have still not been purged through Christ."

          Why can't sins still be purged? Did Christ forget how to purge?

          "You're telling me if I take the life of a bum and you take the life of a politician you and I will receive exactly the same punishment? "

          Given like situations, yes, absolutely, we should receive the same punishment. (Note: I will not address what actually happens because 1) no two situation are identical and 2) we are discussing what should happen, not what does happen.)

          "What God offers you is not extortion..."

          What's the phrase, "turn or burn"? There is an explicit threat.

          "But you do deserve to be punished for breaking His Laws."

          This has not been established, at all. let alone whether the punishment fits the crime.

          December 6, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • sam stone

          Gopher is another who doesn't simply believe, the KNOW.

          Arrogant fvcks

          December 6, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher
          "If you know in your heart God exists, shouldn't you keep every day holy?"

          Why?
          Why would one assume that a supposed God cares what we do? And what exactly does keeping a day "Holy" really mean anyway?

          December 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Topher,

          Two brother both live similar godless lives. One dies at 30, still without faith in god. The other lives to 80, finding god in his sixties. What happens to each?

          December 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "If we don't need the bible to know God's laws and thus break them, then we don't need Jesus as our savior by extension. Again, if we don't need the laws outlined in christianity to know we've sinned, why would we need the savior outlined in christianity for redemption?"

          Because once you've sinned, you deserve to be punished. You are corrupt and there's nothing you can do to make up for it. The Bible tells us there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood. God is the only one who can do that for you. Remember when John the Baptist called Jesus the "lamb of God"? He was our sacrifice because He is a "spotless lamb" (just like was required in the OT). Understand since you can't pay your own fine, you need someone who meets two basic standards ... one, he must be a man so that he's a representative of descendants of Adam (why Christ is also called the Second Adam) and he must also be God so that not only was he perfect, but has the power to defeat sin and death (which He did three days later when He rose from the grave.)

          December 6, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • Madtown

          if I take the life of a bum and you take the life of a politician you and I will receive exactly the same punishment? Of course we won't. One's life was esteemed higher than the other.
          -------
          I find this very offensive. "One's life was esteemed higher than the other"? You arrogant POS. Really?! I say those 2 HUMAN BEINGS are completely equal. We don't know what circ.umstances led to one of those humans becoming a "bum". You seriously think God sees them differently? If so, God is not worthy of our worship, period. ALL human life is valuable, equal in terms of the value of human life. Even a mindless dipshyt like you is equally valuable as anyone else.

          December 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • Topher

          Saraswati

          "Two brother both live similar godless lives. One dies at 30, still without faith in god. The other lives to 80, finding god in his sixties. What happens to each?"

          I have to as.sume that by "finding God" you mean he met the Biblical standard of repentance and faith. OK, so the 30 year old died without Christ and thus His sins weren't forgiven. So he would get what he deserved ... punishment. The 80 year old had Christ, so God sees him as innocent and righteous and will go to Heaven.

          December 6, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
        • Madtown

          The Bible tells us there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood.
          -----
          Well, why should we care what the bible says? You said a few posts up that we "don't need the bible to know we've sinned, because God's laws are written on our hearts". Again, if we don't need christianity to know we've sinned, we don't need christianity to be forgiven.

          December 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Topher, is the one who died early just unlucky or did god know one would repent and one wouldn't and so let the one brother live longer?

          December 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          I didn't say God esteemed the two victims differently. If I insinuated that, I apologize. I'm saying that how we esteem them and I'm not saying that's right. But the fact remains. When the crime is committed against GOD, the authority is higher and thus the punishment is higher.

          December 6, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "Well, why should we care what the bible says? You said a few posts up that we "don't need the bible to know we've sinned, because God's laws are written on our hearts". Again, if we don't need christianity to know we've sinned, we don't need christianity to be forgiven."

          Yes, you do. Well, you don't so much need Christianity as you need Christ. And without knowing what He says about Himself and what it takes to be saved, how will you be forgiven? Knowing you've broken the laws is enough to condemn you. You still need Christ.

          December 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
        • ?

          Topher
          Wouldn't jesus be the third Adam, Noah being the second or at least his wife being the second Eve since all humanity after the flood came from her progeny, her va gina? Why doesn't Eve II get any credit, just because god didn't bonk her?

          December 6, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        • Topher

          Saraswati

          "Topher, is the one who died early just unlucky or did god know one would repent and one wouldn't and so let the one brother live longer?"

          None of us knows when our time is up. Every day we have is grace from God to get right with Him. So I couldn't tell you why one lived longer than the other. But yes, God does know what you will choose. But let's say that tonight in your sleep your number is called. Will you be ready?

          December 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
        • Madtown

          Knowing you've broken the laws is enough to condemn you. You still need Christ.
          ---–
          But why? What you're saying is not consistent. You can't say I "don't need the bible" to know I've broken God's laws, then also claim that I "need the biblical savior" to be forgiven.

          December 6, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "But why? What you're saying is not consistent. You can't say I "don't need the bible" to know I've broken God's laws, then also claim that I "need the biblical savior" to be forgiven."

          I don't see what's inconsistent. You know you've broken His laws and thus should be punished. That doesn't mean you know what He has done in order to forgive you. For that you need to be witnessed to at the very least. But that person is going to have to have gotten that from the Bible.

          December 6, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
        • ?

          Topher
          You never see what is inconsistent with anything in the bible or anything you want to believe. All the knowledge that exists outside the bible, you have to deny, which includes history and science to believe as you do. You are quite pathetic.

          December 6, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
        • Madtown

          Gotta go. Have a good weekend, but quit making light of homeless people.

          December 6, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
        • Topher

          ?

          Completely ridiculous. I don't deny history or science. The Bible is completely compatible with both. In fact, they confirm the Bible.

          December 6, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          Have a great weekend! Thanks for the conversation. And dude, please consider what we discussed.

          December 6, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Topher, If god already knows what a person will choose, and can determine the destiny of a newborn, then there's no point at all in creating this life before jamming everyone into either heaven or hell.

          December 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
        • Topher

          Saraswati

          Sure there is. If God just tossed us into heaven because He knows what I would eventually choose, I would not have met my wife. We would not be expecting our baby.

          December 6, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Robert: "If he provided a way for all humanity to be live forever, wouldn’t he be loving?"

          In the Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy's protagonist makes it throught the ritualized torment of hazing at a military college. When it's over the plebes who make it and the upper classmen who tortured them are expected to shake hands and be friends. The fellow decks the first person who offers to shake his hand. Should God expect something different when he offers some of us eternal life?

          December 6, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Topher
          "Completely ridiculous. I don't deny history or science. The Bible is completely compatible with both. In fact, they confirm the Bible."

          That is not correct at all. Geology, big bang, evolution, etc. show that the creation and flood stories in Genesis are not correct. As that is the foundation for your religion, it does not confirm what the bible says – creation not as stated, not in the sequence stated, no original sin, no flood, etc.

          December 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Your god doesn't seem to stop disasters, did you not hear about Katrina, Sandy, et al

      December 6, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
      • Alias

        This is not a valid arguement.
        The fact that life is not fair does not prove anything about god existing.

        December 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • ME II

          ... other than, should God exist, He obviously allows unfairness.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • Alias

          I still don't see the necessity of a god making life fair for everyone.
          I'm still atheist, I just don't agree with this agrument.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • ME II

          @Alias,
          I think the idea is that one wouldn't expect an all-powerful and all-loving god to allow such disasters, i.e. theodicy.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Alias, I was responding to RB who said "God ... can stop catastrophes and he is very caring.", so my point still holds.
          The fact that life is not fair does prove that a god is not caring. Supposedly it set the rules and is omnipotent and omniscient and as such could do anything, but what is claimed as god's grace is indistinguishable from random luck. So why believe in something for which there is no evidence especially when all evidence points away from personal gods.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
        • Alias

          @MEII
          WHy not?
          Please think that through. We all have to die, and tens of thousands of us die every day. What is the big deal if a few thousand die in one spot?

          December 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
        • Alias

          @In Sant we trust
          The point where we seem to be dissagreeing is how this life matters.
          IF the biblical god exists, it really does not matter when or how we die here.
          All that matters is where we go after.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
        • G to the T

          "IF the biblical god exists, it really does not matter when or how we die here" – I would have to disagree. If you are "fallen" at the time of death (say to a natural disaster) than your chance at future salvation has been taken away (not to mention the disaster of being born to far away/too long ago to have heard the gospels).

          It's a bit like one of the problems I have with Noah's flood – am I to believe that everyone else on the planet was IRREDEEMABLY evil? Can a christian really believe that anyone is irredeemable and still be a christian?

          December 6, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
        • ME II

          @Alias,
          "WHy not?
          Please think that through. We all have to die, and tens of thousands of us die every day. What is the big deal if a few thousand die in one spot?"

          What kind of "all-loving" god would want to see, or not care about, people suffering and dying?

          Or are you being intentionally obtuse?

          December 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • Alias

          @meII
          As I have said before: IF the bible is right and IF there is an eternity after this life, pain and suffering here does not matter.
          What's a few decades of pain compared to Billions of years of total bliss? What would it matter if you enjoyed this life but spent FOREVER in pain?

          @G to the T
          Are you saying god owes it to you to kill you when you are in his good graces? Really? Isn't it kind of the point that you are responsible for your actions and if you sin you deserve what you get?

          December 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
        • ME II

          @Alias
          "As I have said before: IF the bible is right and IF there is an eternity after this life, pain and suffering here does not matter."

          In what way does a future bliss diminish today's pain?
          What degree of pain is below concern for an omnipotent, omnipresent, omni-benevolent god?

          December 6, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @RB – Keep repeating to yourself, "I'm not crazy... I'm not crazy... I'm not crazy... everyone else is crazy!" Rocking back and forth, while hugging yourself, as you mutter that might help too...

      December 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        LET
        You forgot to tell Robbie to take his meds and the electric shock treatments maybe uncomfortable but are necessary.

        December 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I don't take drugs.
          I used to, but then the voices stopped and I didn't know who to kill or what to burn.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          You have a well developed sense of humor Doc.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Alias

          Follow god's example Doc.
          Kill everyone and burn everything. It deserves it.

          December 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      So if God does not intervene in this life to save children and innocents from early and unfair tragedy and was not standing idley by at Sandy Hook then the only reason for Robert to pray would be to wish for more existence after this life ends, right? And if the whole point is to get to that happy place we know nothing about if it exists at all after this life, then shouldn't all Christians be super happy any time a loved one dies or if their children die at young ages since they believe God will take them to heaven? Is that not their ultimate plan and desire? To ditch this amazing plane of existence for the illusory promise of something else? To me, this planet, this universe, this life are amazing enough and should be cherished, not dicarded and maligned as just 2nd best as the religious do and eternally believing the grass is greener on the other side...

      December 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Just the Facts Ma'am...,
        I think God cares for us in this life, but it also seems obvious that God (an eternal being), places more emphasis on eternity. We can’t help but cherish this life because, as of yet, it is all we know. This flesh does not want to die, it wants to live. We want health and happiness for our loved ones, ourselves, and all of humanity. We grieve when tragedies occur, we wonder why. The same is true when loved ones leave time and enter eternity, we miss them, and the separation causes pain. We are comforted if they leave a testimony that they have made plans for eternity, but we are still sad because they are no longer here with us. I agree that creation is awesome and there are many things that we enjoy. Knowing our existence in time must end, the blessed assurance of a better place where there is no tragedy, no pain, no death, no sorrow isn’t meant to say that we hate it here; it just gives us an eternal hope when it is our time to leave time.

        December 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • Some Antics

          "it just gives us an eternal hope when it is our time to leave time."

          So, because a person doesn't want to die, but so far all humans do, heaven is that place you tell yourself you'll go so you don't feel as disappointed about leaving this life? Just because you think you should get more is enough reason to believe in an afterlife? Just because you think so highly of yourself you believe an eternal existence is more reasonable then to be born, live and die? Not even the stars themselves get more than that, they too are born, will live and eventually die, nothing in the entire universe can reliably claim any other sort of existence.

          It's fine if you think you have a magic ring that can turn you invisible if that's your jam, but keep your fantasy at home where you won't offend anyone else with your crazy naked but running around thinking you are invisible. If you want to hold to your claim of some eternal reward or punishment, practice your mumbo jumbo at home or church where it belongs, but keep it out of our schools and government.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          I see your point but doesn't that just mean religion is a pacifier to mankind to mae them feel better about dying? I would rather focus on the reality of this life than to feed myself feel good fluffery just because I was afraid.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Some Antics,

          Whoa, I’m sorry if you got the impression that heaven is the reason for my belief. I’ve learned a lot about heaven since I was saved, but heaven had nothing to do with my reasoning beforehand.
          The star dies and then what?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        • Some Antics

          The star dies, then new worlds are born out of it's star dust, just like us, we die and then new life is born from our dust.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Just the Facts Ma'am...,
          The hope of heaven is a comfort when the thought occurs or the time comes. There are also indescribable spiritual blessings in this life; we enjoy the good things as we go along on our journey.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Some Antics,

          So, you believe stars and people are eternal, in a way?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Ned

      Christians believe it's fine to abort, since the majority of women getting them, over 80%, are Christian.

      See how utterly ignorant it looks to open a narrative with generalizations?

      December 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Alias

      @Robert
      You are wrong to try to say all atheist have their beliefs for any one reason. Evil being in this world has nothing to do with how I lost my faith.

      According to your bible, god blames all people for the 'original sin' that Adam committed. Because of that sin, everyone who was born will go to hell. The only way (the bible is clear on this point) god could save us was to have a woman give birth to his son, and torture that person to death.
      I quit beleiving, in part, because this makes no sense.

      December 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
      • Susan StoHelit

        Yeah, that's one of the more funny things – raised Catholic, it never took – but until recently I didn't even think that point through enough to realize how illogical it was.

        OK, I'm an all powerful being. I want to wipe out someone's debt. Seems to me, that I don't need a bloody torture play – I just say, "Abracadabra – your debt is paid". There's no reason – unless some higher god ACTUALLY runs the universe and sets the rules the Jesus god works under – for this little game.

        December 6, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Alias,

        Would you like to know what I knew about original sin when I was saved? I knew absolutely nothing about it, not one thing. No amount of argument about things we can’t know, can take away the experiences I have had with God.
        Original sin demonstrates our sin nature, we are born with it. The flesh is against the spirit. If you would like to see the sin nature in action, put a few kindergarteners in a room and give them each one toy. Observe for a few minutes. Or, just watch your local news broadcast.
        The idea of original sin says we are born with a sin nature. Most learn that selfish behavior is inappropriate, but we are still selfish. We can also be empathetic, compassionate, and giving. If someone gives you a hug, chemicals are released that make you feel empathy toward the hugger. If someone smacks you in the face, chemicals are released that prepare you for battle. Science has yet to discover a chemical that would cause you to turn the other cheek.
        God said, the life is in the blood and there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood. Why? I have no idea, this is his rule. The blood of the sinless son of God was the only way that all the sins of every human past, present, and future could be forgiven. The work is done. All you have to do is believe, accept, and trust. Yet, you can’t even do that without God. He must draw you and convict you of your sin, before you can be born again.

        December 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • Alias

          @Robert Brown
          I know the bible is flawed. Factually wrong as well as logically wrong.
          You're telling me that your god requires me to ignore that and believe in him before he will reveal himself to me.
          even if I was to go looking for a god, why would I choose yours?
          Because after suspending all reason you decided he real?

          December 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • G to the T

          "can take away the experiences I have had with God." You had an experience and then decided that Yahweh existed and then decided that the Bible is an accurate testment to his will. The first I can support, the other two...

          December 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish"

      Yes, very loving, very caring.

      The notion of a "loving God" is absurd and why most of the pagan Gods are nasty, or at best uncaring. This fits much better with empirical observation.

      December 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Some Antics

      Was heII created before or after Adam sinned?

      If Satan can get out of heII to tempt man and is evil incarnate why wouldn't we be able to escape heII? Why isn't he getting the same punishment we would deserve for sinning against God? Should he not share our fate instead of getting his jollies torturing those who could never be half as evil as he has been?

      December 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
      • Alias

        Hell was created before Adam sinned. I guess god knew what was coming when he put that forbidden tree of knowledge in the garden.
        Also, Satan knew god. Satan lived with, spoke with, and saw god. Where is the logic in trying to fight an all powerful being? And why would a third of all other angel give up heaven and follow?

        December 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Alias,
          I think Satan knew God was powerful, but in the pride of the power God had given him, he thought he could take God on. He obviously didn’t believe God was powerful enough to stop him. He thought he could overthrow God and take his place.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • Some Antics

          Seems more likely that the angels and demons are really an alien race that seeded our planet and they themselves had created some invisible unseen "God" to worship that none had ever seen to explain their origins and thus Satan rejected the status quo... but then again, aliens? that seems pretty far fetched... you know, spirit beings from another universe or plane of existence are so much more likely than aliens...

          December 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • G to the T

          "He obviously didn’t believe God was powerful enough to stop him. He thought he could overthrow God and take his place."

          OR – that just the story and Lucifer never stopped working for God. Check out the jewish version of lucifer sometime, he's more of a prosecutor for god, tempting people to test their faith, not to oppose god.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • Alias

          @Robert
          I don't see it that way. IN your bible, Satan was face to face with the being that created everything. Unless Satan is powerful enough to duplicate that feat, it would take more than pride to rebel.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          G to the T,

          Yes, he’s still that old accuser.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • G to the T

          Rob – he's either working for God (jewish) or against him (christian) – either way he is only what his creator made him.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Some Antics
        Satan isn’t in hell, he is loose in the earth. He was thrown from have into the earth. He will be cast into the lake of fire in the end.

        December 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Some Antics

          So humans get thrown in as soon as they die but Satan get's plenty of time off for bad behavior so he can wander the earth like a lion seeking to devour someone? So Satan was Gods plan?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
        • Some Antics

          And is it just me or do Christians give Satan way more power than God has as they blame so many real things happening and influence on Satan but then say God can't help those praying to him for some reason?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Some Antics,

          The enemies of the believer include satan, the flesh, and the world. I don’t know why God allows him to exist until the end. It would all be speculation, maybe angels can’t die.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • Fan2C

          Robert Brown,
          "It would all be speculation."

          The same can be said for your entire belief system.

          You have the fantasies and superst.itions of ancient Middle Eastern men as a basis. There is not a shred of verified evidence that any of it is real.

          December 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
        • sam stone

          You are delusional, Robert. But, you are entertaining in that you are a fine example of the insanity of religion. It is sort of like watching a geek bit the head off a chicken at a circus

          December 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
        • sam stone

          Be careful now, Robert cannot be wrong, just ask him

          Like gopher and larry of arabia

          And, if you challenge the, they will release their bronze age comic book god on you

          If they weren't so pathetic, they would be funny

          December 6, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      I don't believe any god – good, indifferent, or evil – exists, because I don't see the slightest evidence for it. The reason atheists don't believe is because the evidence isn't there, not because "bad things happen" – that's the religious excuse many use to blind themselves to the real reasons atheists don't believe.

      Now, when it comes to your god – yes, you do have a problem claiming there is a good and loving god who could stop all the evil in the world – and just chooses not to. To claim good and loving – and then that they just allow evil – that's a contradiction. It's not the reason I don't believe, but it does leave me and many other atheists puzzled how you believe contradictory things simultaneously. Epicurus kinda summed it up there – for ANY god people believe in.

      Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
      Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
      Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
      Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

      Not to mention the oddity of an all knowing god who keeps making mistakes. Flood – oops, too much, I won't do that again. OT – oops, too strict, let's change it. Let's promote my one true religion with a book constantly edited by people and unevenly distributed.

      I don't believe because I have looked for, and seen no evidence, but I don't see how you ignore all of the contradictions in your own religion. It is odd.

      December 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        nail on the head.

        December 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Susan StoHelit,
        “To claim good and loving – and then that they just allow evil – that's a contradiction.”

        I don’t think so, I understand why it is perceived that way, but I don’t agree. What we mean when we say God is good and loving is that he loved everyone who would ever be, enough to provide a way that they could become a child of God. That is how he is good, loving, and merciful.
        We think a loving God would provide us with life without harm; everything is good all the time, which is the way we think a good and loving God would behave. Basically, the thought is that we should have heaven here on earth if God really loved us. This isn’t heaven; the earth is the training ground for heaven.

        December 6, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Robert,

          What do you believe happens to babies born a few hours after birth?

          December 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yes, god expressed a lot of love to the children he drowned in his great flood. when he filled baby's lungs with water, that was love.
      and when he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah outright, including the babies in those cities - that was love.
      when he killed the first born sons of all the egyptians - that was love.
      when he sent bears to kill 42 children all because they made fun of a prophet for being bald - that too was love.

      yes, god loves children so much he murders them. cult-think at it's finest.

      December 6, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      If God is omnipotent, then He cannot be bound by a higher law, He makes the law. If makes the law independant of any other rules the law is 100% arbitrary. Any sin in the Bible is only a sin because God says so. He created the flesh and all the desires that came with it and at His own whim decided which of those desires are sins. Or He is bound to a higher law and is not omnipotent.

      December 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Lunchbreaker,
        He did gives us flesh which has desires and if you stop right there, your paragraph appears correct.
        He also breathed into us the breath of life, giving us a spirit and soul. When we yield to the flesh we sin, when we yield to the spirit we are in the will of God. God is a spirit and all that worship him, must worship him in spirit and truth.

        December 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
        • Science Works

          This might be over your head robert – but it is all relative.

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTY1Kje0yLg&w=640&h=360]

          It Works too !

          December 6, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • sam stone

      That's not why atheists don't believe god exists, Robert.

      But, misrepresenting what people believe sure gives you an opportunity to blather on

      Does it make you feel all godly?

      December 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  14. bostontola

    Doesn't the story of Noah say that God used evolution to achieve his objective? That was an extreme case of "selection".

    What I don't get, is why his creation was so poorly done that he had to eradicate Humans 1.0. If God had simply done a better job with his creation, that genocide wouldn't have been needed. Most other religions have God stories with much better Gods. They didn't have to decimate their own creation to get what they wanted.

    December 6, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      It wasn't genocide.
      That's way to small for God.
      It was Unicide – every living thing on the entire planet (cept the boat).

      December 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  15. Richard Dawkins

    What's wrong with mild pedophilia?

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/09/12/atheist-richard-dawkins-doubles-down-on-mild-pedophilia-claims-amid-furor/

    December 6, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      That was not his point....nice "red herring" you have there.

      December 6, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Everything! And Dawkins never said it was OK.

      December 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • bostontola

      Even if Dawkins were the worst person in the world, it wouldn't bear at all on the correctness of his scientific findings. What point are you trying to make?

      December 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Pat Robertson

      Those Haitians, they were under the heel of the French, you know, Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.' True story.

      December 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  16. L

    If there is no God and we cease to exist after we die, what's the point of doing any good? In the end, you die and you're done according to atheists.

    December 6, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Commenter

      L,

      Is the lure of a "heavenly reward" the ONLY reason that you do anything good?

      December 6, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
      • L

        Nope. If we cease to exist after we die, there really is no point to doing any type of good as it won't matter.

        December 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • Commenter

          L,

          There is something called "enlightened self-interest". If you make things better for others, you benefit also, either directly or indirectly.

          (btw: in case you want to diss it as selfish, it's also what you are doing in your quest for your eternal "heavenly reward")

          December 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • Susan StoHelit

          Wow, are you brainwashed!

          You're so convinced this life doesn't matter, you can't even think that you could be wrong?

          What you do in this life is all that matters, BECAUSE when you die, it's for good. That makes this life all important, and what you leave behind, your legacy, your actions, those affected by your actions, the changes you make to improve or harm society in whatever large or small ways, EVERYTHING that you leave behind, and it's all that is important.

          That's why you do good things – it builds a better world for you to live in now, and whatever positive you do – it's what is left behind when you die. Everything we have today, this world so much better than feudal world, all the people who were once treated as chattel, as second class citizens, all the medical improvements, all the technology that means we need fewer and fewer people working themselves to death in dangerous jobs – all of it is because of people in the past each doing their little bit to improve the world. That's what you leave behind.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Behavior that is beneficial to the species is often observed in other animals. No promise of eternity in the sky needed.

      December 6, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • L

        Heaven is in the sky??? Woah!! This is news to me!!

        December 6, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          So you have GPS coordinates and can pinpoint its exact location? Whereever christians currently claim that heaven is, my point still holds.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      L, yes, that is about the size of it. We are animals that have evolved on this planet. We behave the way we have evolved to behave. It has nothing to do with any gods. Love and compassion are purposeful and therefore they exist. Our imperfections are obvious and are equally a part of the process of evolution. Again, no gods needed.

      December 6, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • L

        That's your belief and opinion. Nothing more.

        December 6, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Street Epistemologist In Training

          L, it doesn't appear that you want to actually entertain an answer to your question. What point are you trying to make?

          December 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Alias

          Actually there is a great deal of science and facts that support such a position.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Alias

      Just because you don't like reality, that does not make it any less real.

      December 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Atheists are less likely to commit crime. Countries with high percentages of atheists do a better job caring for the poor, sick, everyone that callous people are OK leaving behind.

      And if you're only doing good for a reward, or out of fear of a punishment – what kind of crappy person are you? Anyone should be able to do good, just because they are a good person. A person who ONLY does good when threatened with being killed if they do not (Hell), or when promised an incredible reward if they do (Heaven) – that's a really crappy person. Atheists are good people – and we don't require someone watching and judging all the time to do it.

      This life is all we have, all of us – and we should do good to help each other, build a better world. That's why you do good things – it builds a better world for you to live in now, and whatever positive you do – it's what is left behind when you die. Everything we have today, this world so much better than feudal world, all the people who were once treated as chattel, as second class citizens, all the medical improvements, all the technology that means we need fewer and fewer people working themselves to death in dangerous jobs – all of it is because of people in the past each doing their little bit to improve the world. That's what you leave behind.

      December 6, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • ME II

      @L,
      Among other reasons 1) it hopefully makes our own life better and 2) it hopefully makes the lives of those we care about better after we die.

      December 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  17. Bootyfunk

    a good start for the vatican would be for them to put forth all the names of priests they already know to be child molesters, to help the police/district attorneys arrest and prosecute these monsters. another commission that will do nothing to stem the tide of molesters in the church ranks... words without actions.

    December 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Ad Homineminem

      Okay, Richard Gere. If you say so.

      December 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
      • Ad Hominy

        Translation: "don't name me. I like my "work."

        December 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • L

      Troll.

      December 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Ned

        You should talk.

        December 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Street Epistemologist In Training

      100% agree. The Pope needs to come clean on everything the Vatican knows.

      December 6, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
      • Science Works

        Everything including miracles !

        By the way street L might not have the street smarts to get it .

        December 6, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  18. Ungodly Discipline

    God created sin, then died for our sins so we could go to heaven. If God did not create sin, the rest of the bizarre story would not exist as there would be no sin to be concerned about. So this begs the question, why did God saddle unborn babies with sin that He invented in the first place? Then die for those sins even though God can't die? Christians are very weird.

    December 6, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Responding to the Pride

      ..."Christians are weird"...so is your interpretation of basic Christian 101 theology. "God created sin" – not in the vain you suggest. He has given us free will (love cannot exist without it). Free will inherently requires the ability to go against God's will (i.e. sin) We choose to sin (no baby is saddled with it–we sin because we chose to–plain and simple) . You won't get to blame God for your sin.

      December 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        and only a tyrant deity says "do what i say or suffer." it's not really free will, is it? you can do what you want, but i'll punish you for all eternity for it. or do what i say and you get to live in a magic cloud city when you die. free will? lol.

        December 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Booty...it is still free will. You can either do it because you feel compulsion or you can do it because you really want to–that choice is also yours. Consider, for example, the concept of murder. Do you refrain from murder because you don't want to go to jail (compulsion), or do you (as I'm sure is the case) refrain from murder because you know its wrong, you want to be a good person, and you don't want any part of it–its the same concept.

          December 6, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          is it free will still? i disagree. it's like putting a gun to someone's head and saying, "you can say i'm your master or i can pull the trigger - it's up to you." is it? is it if someone is being threatened with eternal torture if they give the 'wrong' answer? i don't think so. such threats don't leave much choice.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Booty–God is not putting a gun to your head, any more than a parent who tells his or her child if you do bad thing "X," the consequence will be bad thing "Y."

          December 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          it's worse than a gun - it's eternal torture. god doesn't give you the option of not playing in his game. you follow his rules or you are tortured forever - you really think that's a choice?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Of course it is. I can prove it. I've chosen to accept Christ as my savior. You have not. Voila.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        God and sin are figments of your imagination...

        December 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
        • L

          Just like you.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Ohhh... burned me!... Oh wait a minute, you've already demonstrated that you are an imbecilic tool, so no... self-acknowledged burn retracted...

          December 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
      • Ungodly Discipline

        You have a fantastic imagination.

        December 6, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Hey, look...you're the one assigning a creative interpretation to a concept that the followers of that concept have never believed.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          These concepts have never been believed? Christians don't even ponder these concepts.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Ponder and Belief are two entirely different things. I think most Christians have pondered many theological concepts–including the concept of origination of sin. But that is a far cry from then believing that God created sin as you have interpreted it.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Of course the followers of the concept don't believe that interpretation, if they did they would find the concept as inane as we do.

          That doesn't make the followers interpretation the correct one, it just makes it the "accepted" version.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          RtP, what existed before God?

          December 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "what existed before God?" Turtles and Ice Giants...

          December 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          R t P, that is what I thought you would say. Nothing, meaning in your world, God did create sin.

          December 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Blessed–if you want to articulate why my interpretation is wrong, feel free to do so.

          Ungodly–Christian theology says nothing existed before God because God has always existed. With that said, I can not articulate how that is possible (any more, BTW, than you can articulate what might have existed) as it is beyond what we understand to be the natural laws of cause and effect. In other words–God is supernatural. It is not difficult, however, for me to believe that "something" was first. I choose to believe that is God.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          "R t P, that is what I thought you would say. Nothing, meaning in your world, God did create sin." ??????? I've responded to everyone of your posts in this string–what are you talking about?

          December 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You interpretation is wrong because your idea of free will is wrong. Accepting or rejecting the concepts of christianity is not a matter of free will. Belief in your god is not a matter of free will. Christianity requires that they keep these concepts of free will as part of their dogma because to do otherwise would expose it as the immoral concept that it actually is.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          You missed one post in there but no worries. Nice talking to you.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          *that was for R tt P

          December 6, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          @Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Exactly. Nice post.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Blessed: you state: "Accepting or rejecting the concepts of christianity is not a matter of free will. Belief in your god is not a matter of free will." Yes it is. Just as with Booty above, let me explain: I have chosen Christ as my savior; you have not. Free will in action. I choose not to participate in certain behaviors I believe is sin, whereas you may choose to participate in them. Free will.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Ungodly...what post did I miss-I don't want you to think I'm evasive. Point it out and I'll respond.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          Ungodly Discipline

          RtP, what existed before God?

          December 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |

          December 6, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Contrary to Christian teaching, "belief" is not a "choice", yet Christianity teaches it is a "choice" and those who do not "believe" are actually "rejecting" the belief. Can you "choose" to suddenly believe that Vishnu, the Hindu god is real? Of course not. Therefore rewarding and punishing people based on belief or non-belief is immoral. A perfect god would know and understand this. The Christian god does not exist.

          December 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Ungodly...see my post at 2:00 (first responding to Blessed, then I responded to you).

          December 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Blessed–you're not making any sense. "Can you "choose" to suddenly believe that Vishnu, the Hindu god is real? Of course not." Of course I can–just like the millions who have themselves made that choice, but instead I chose (and continue to choose not to). Why is that so hard to believe?

          December 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Blessed, Pride,

          It is my experience that some people can choose to believe things, even very strange things, and easily commit the,self to that belief. For others this is much harder. Belief is a very tricky area of psychology and the diversity between people great.

          December 6, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Ok, change your mind and believe Vshnu is real, I don't me just say it, I mean actually believe it, as much as you believe Jesus is really god.

          Let me know when you are done.

          December 6, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Sara,

          Of course people CAN choose to believe things, we are really good at fooling ourselves, and when we do it is often called delusion. And I agree free will is very complicated, but according to PRIDE free will works like changing your mind on what your favorite color is. I think he is being intentionally obtuse and therfore dishonest.

          December 6, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Blessed...if you were driving a car, you would be pulled over for suspect DUI...."but according to PRIDE free will works like changing your mind " That's certainly part of free will!

          We can go around and around on this, but instead, why don't you give me your exact definition of free will...I think the problem is that I'm describing one side of the fence and you're describing the other–its still the same fence though. We'll see.

          December 6, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Why don't you define yours?

          HAve you changed your mind about the existence of Vishnu yet? Should be easy enough according to you.

          December 6, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Blessed...if you were driving a car, you would be pulled over for suspect DUI...."

          Talk about self rightous Pride....you have it in spades.

          December 6, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          "I don't me just say it," Need I say more?

          "Self Rightous" ? – Not when you're not making any sense. But since you refuse to define free will, it pretty much establishes that you really don't know what you're talking about.

          December 7, 2013 at 8:15 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I didn't refuse to define it, I asked you to give yours. I know how you work, you use such questions as oppotunities to through out red herrings that have nothing to do with the point. And what IS the point?

          The point is that belief in a concept or idea should not come before the evidence and demonstration of such concept or idea. But that is exactly what you (and apparently your god) are asking people to do. Believe first, THEN you (or your god) will provide the evidence and demonstration. That is bass ackwards. I will challenge you to provide one example where belief should come BEFORE the demonstrable evidence of such a concept being true outside of religion. And I am well aware of the "If god provided absolute evidence it would violate humans free will" argument. That argument is garbage. I don't know if you would try that line, but don't, it logically fails the test.

          As far as when I wrote.... "I don't me just say it" ....It was a typo, it should have read "I don't MEAN just say it". That should have been easily apparent but for some reason you were not capable of picking up on that.

          December 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "throw out red herrings"

          oops another typo...I must be drunk

          (hopefully you can pick up on sarcasm, my second favorite 'asm')

          December 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  19. Reality # 2

    Money wasted as the "vomit-inducing" ped-ophilia and coverup will simply hasten the decline of all religions as they finally go extinct from their own absurdity.. It is time to replace all religions with a few rules like "Do No Harm" and convert all houses of "worthless worship" to recreation facilities and parks.

    December 6, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  20. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    “We are amazed to find how often a man, who would be behind bars if he were not a Priest, is entrusted with the care of souls”
    -Father Gerald Fitzgerald, 1957

    December 6, 2013 at 11:40 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.