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December 23rd, 2013
03:29 PM ET

A Christmas apology, and the seeds of hope

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, Special to CNN

(CNN) - This week we celebrate Christmas, and as a Christian, I want to say I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that this season has become about fights over manger scenes on public property, about complaining when clerks say, “Happy Holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas,” about rampant commercialism and faux persecution.

I’m sorry that Christians in the United States can be so entitled when we’ve long enjoyed majority status, when we can be so blind to our own privilege.

It is ironic, really, because in the church calendar, the seasons of Advent and Christmas call us to reflect upon and celebrate what Christians believe was the most radical act of humility of all time - the incarnation.

The doctrine of the incarnation holds that the God of the universe, in his love for humanity, emptied himself of his power and became human, like us, in the form of Jesus.

The word incarnation literally means “to make into flesh” and refers to the apostle John’s teaching that “(t)he Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).

“No one has ever seen God,” John explains, but Jesus “has made him known.”

In other words, if you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus -

Jesus, who was born as an oppressed minority in an occupied land,

Jesus who was an immigrant,

Jesus, who surrounded himself with the poor, the sick, the marginalized and the “untouchables,”

Jesus who was criticized by the religious for hanging out with sinners,

Jesus who treated women with dignity and respect,

Jesus who taught his disciples to love their enemies, to give without expecting anything in return, to overcome evil with love,

Jesus who suffered,

Jesus who wept,

Jesus who - while hanging on a Roman cross - said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Quaker theologian Elton Trueblood put it this way: “The historic Christian doctrine of the divinity of Christ does not simply mean that Jesus is like God. It is far more radical than that. It means that God is like Jesus.”

It means that God suffers, God forgives, God fellowships with the poor, God cares for the sick, God loves His enemies.

Even as a lifelong Christian, I struggle with doubts about God. I struggle to make sense of the violence in the world, the violence in the Bible, the violence in my own heart. I don’t have all the answers.

But even when there’s nothing left to my faith but a little seed of hope, that hope is in the incarnation, in the radical teaching that God loved us enough to become like us, and that when God wanted to show us what he was like, God showed us Jesus.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "A Year of Biblical Womanhood" and "Evolving in Monkey Town." Evans blogs at rachelheldevans.com, and the views expressed in this column belong to her.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Christmas • Faith • Holidays • Opinion

soundoff (2,872 Responses)
  1. Dyslexic doG

    it's utter mind-numbing nonsense that someone could die and somehow absorb every bad thought and bad deed that everyone had ever done or would ever do. Believing in a daddy figure in the sky is crazy enough but believing that this crucified bronze age zealot died for your sins just because a bunch of his followers took his body and claimed a miracle ... well, it's utter mind-numbing nonsense.

    December 23, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Yea.

      And that God turned Himself into a vulnerable baby birthed by a poor teenaged woman. Absurd.

      December 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        Why absurd?

        Isn't that so like God – He uses the simple and the foolish to confound the so-called reasoned and wise...
        Who is like unto our/MY God.. Yahweh.. El Elyon.
        All Praise, All Honor, All Glory to His Holy Name

        December 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • sam stone

          of course, JB, you know the nature of god

          December 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
        • Yea.

          Yes, by human standards, God is absurd. We would create a different kind of God if we were to create our own.

          December 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
        • Christianity is nonsense

          "Suppose that every memory, written word, and piece of technology on Earth was destroyed all at once, leaving humanity to start completely from scratch. Everything we have come to know about science would eventually be discovered again. Given a few thousand years, people would figure out chemistry, and rediscover the same elements we know now. People would once again understand biology, including its evolutionary origins. People would eventually see the motions of other galaxies in the sky, and work out the details of the Big Bang. This is the glorious part about science – it can and would be replicated. I can assure you, however, that your story about a talking snake would be gone forever."

          December 23, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
        • Right

          Hypothetically, in theory, in the opinion of man...
          "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

          December 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
        • igaftr

          "Isn't that so like God – He uses the simple and the foolish to confound the so-called reasoned and wise..."

          Isn't it just like the blind to self-confirm their beliefs with phrases like this.
          standard barinwashing technique

          December 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • Johan

          I think Proverbs 9:13 aptly sums up the author: "A foolish woman is clamorous, she is simple and knows nothing"..

          December 24, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • Shameus

          The most powerful force in the universe has to resort to confounding me, rather than being direct and certain, but it's my fault for not understanding because I am crap compared to him and cannot force myself to just believe.

          December 24, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      People can believe as they like – I see no reason to have a problem with it – UNLESS – they are trying to use those beliefs to discriminate or to hurt my kids. Then I see a problem, but if this is what you believe, and you don't think that you get to push it into the schools or laws, then no problem. I no doubt believe some things that others find ridiculous as well.

      December 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  2. Justice

    Miss Evans:

    I agree and I am also sorry that Americans, especially Christian American, are ignorant about real persecution as our brothers and sisters are falling into the hands of human traffickers, kidnappers, rapists and murderers in their quest for religious freedom.

    God bless....

    December 23, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • solom

      that's part of Christian life. read bible. Many people scarifies themselves to spread the word of GOD.

      December 24, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  3. Answer

    Hey religious people...

    Tell your fellow human that you really love them.

    How does your inner self feel? Can you see and feel that fakeness, in yourself, that you need to interject your god's love into it? It's not your own love is it?

    You need to make up another "identity" or projection of love and add them along with your words. Because you think that this "god's love" is infinitely "better" than your own 'human love' for your fellow human.

    Let's hear you say it:

    1) My human brand of love is better for human kind.

    or

    2) My god's love is better than the human kind of love.

    December 23, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Hu

      You are basically saying your love is better than the "religious people's: (whoever you imagine that to be?????) love????
      Because the "religious people" say their love is better than yours?
      Even though there is no evidence that they all say that?

      December 23, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
      • tallulah13

        I think what he is saying is that real, human love is better than the love of an imaginary god.

        December 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    "faith": believing something without a single shred of proof.

    it amazes me that religious folk see this word as a badge of honor while any logical thinking person sees it as a mark of foolishness or insanity.

    quite a disconnect.

    December 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Answer

      Faith = pretending.

      December 23, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Paul

      You're using the wrong definiton of "faith". "Faith" means to have trust or confidence in someone or something. The defintion that you use creates a straw man. Christians believe in God because of the evidence.

      December 23, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Answer

      Then show the evidence.

      December 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
      • solom

        the evidence : he just allowed you to live

        December 24, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • AE

      Faith is complete trust and confidence in something.

      At least, that is what the dictionary says.

      December 23, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        AE, That's one meaning – look at the one below it "strong belief in a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof".

        December 23, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • AE

          Right. When I talk about having faith in God I mean complete trust and confidence.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
        • Answer

          God number 1,

          God number 2,

          God number 3 .. how long is your set of excuses?

          December 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • AE

          I have no trust an confidence in whatever you are talking about.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
        • Answer

          Say it to yourself AE..

          "I trust in god number 1."

          "I trust in god number 2."

          or

          "I trust in god number 3."

          December 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
        • Answer

          Let's hear you say the other lines also...

          "I know that if one god can exist, then NO other god(s) can exist."

          or

          "I know that if one god can exist, then OTHER gods can exist."

          December 23, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
        • AE

          I trust in Jesus Christ.

          I have no trust in a hostile internet poster that tries to make me say what he simply imagines what I believe.

          Honest.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
        • Answer

          But your Jesus Christ came from a god.

          So go back to the question.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • Answer

          Let's see how long is your list of excuses til you reach the fact that your Jesus Christ came from a god.

          December 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
        • Answer

          Did your Jesus Christ come from god number 1, god number 2, or etc.. ?

          December 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
        • AE

          God #3. The one that is not the right God to believe in. Their God. The God of other people. Or it could be somebody else's God though. I always remember that I may have the wrong God. I never insist that I have the right one. I don't want to be arrogant. I want to be humble and vulnerable like Jesus. Or something like that.

          December 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
        • Answer

          So you chose god number 3, who has no name.. but you automatically tie along that god to your Jesus and make yourself humble. That pretty daft of you.

          You aren't even going to pursue after yourself further anymore. I can tell.

          You've already lulled yourself into a comfortable trap for yourself and giving other a perception that "I'm so trying to be Jesus." That is the biggest self con job I've ever noticed.

          December 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
        • Answer

          This christmas, I'm telling you, that my main gift to you is self awareness and freedom.

          When you want to continue questioning yourself think back to this christmas and accept the fact that I was trying to help you, for real.

          December 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
        • AE

          I didn't ask and don't need your help.

          You are acting exactly like some Christians I know that try to shove their opinions down other people's throats.

          I honestly believe in Jesus Christ. So, yes, most of my answers will reveal that fact. It doesn't make me inherently arrogant anymore than it makes an atheist who honestly doesn't believe in God state that fact.

          December 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
        • Answer

          So when I'm employing the same tactics, of force, that came from the christians you dislike that .. oh good. You can say I learn them well.

          But that isn't your real complaint is it. I can tell.

          You came to a site to get others to talk and re-enforce your lovable Jesus... but lo and behold, I came into your area..and "attacked" you with reasonable entries. You saw my past projections of ridicule and projected on top of today's written text. Felt threatened by them.

          Ask yourself .. were those questions REALLY hostile? I bet your real feeling is "I can't take this reasonably.. yes he walked me to an unknown god number 3. I couldn't avoid the question that – yes – if one god can come out of existence then others are possible."

          "I couldn't accept these simple conclusions. I can't accept them ... because.. I.. have to trust.. ? What?

          Your concessions.. you know you made those concessions of accepting the facts.

          December 23, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
        • AE

          Right, I don't like it when Christians do it.

          I don't like it when atheists do it.

          I don't like it when anyone does it.

          I feel you are being hostile because you keep trying to tell me what you imagine is a fact. Instead of asking about me, you as.sume I'm like all other religious people you imagine.

          I know not all atheists act like you. I'm thankful for this.

          Most atheists don't call me delusional. Or have a problem with me.

          Live and let live.

          December 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
        • Answer

          So you're going to go back to being defensive.

          You want to be closed off now. Want to tell to quit it? Want yourself to stop reading the questions.. that I trying to undermine you? Or you don't want real help?

          You say you don't need help. Ask yourself why do YOU go and spread your "Jesus help"?

          You're saying to yourself that my "Jesus saves you (message)" is ultimately better, correct.
          Do you KNOW, that others see your brand of "help" also as intrusive! As you have witnessed, that my unwanted help – to help you to freedom – is intrusive to you.

          Answer that to yourself. You will always defend your position of giving everyone Jesus' message as helpful.. why?

          And my brand of help is what? Why?

          December 23, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
        • Answer

          Let me the words straight AE...

          "With my message of "Jesus saving you" is better. It is better."

          or

          "Your help of others is justified and also relevant."

          December 23, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
        • Answer

          hear*

          December 23, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
        • AE

          –You want to be closed off now. Want to tell to quit it? Want yourself to stop reading the questions.. that I trying to undermine you? Or you don't want real help?–

          I don't need help. I don't really feel threatened by your questions. Some are silly because you have wrong as.sumptions about me.

          –You say you don't need help. Ask yourself why do YOU go and spread your "Jesus help"?–

          I try to help others. I believe my actions are more important than my words. If asked or relevant, I talk about my experiences.

          –You're saying to yourself that my "Jesus saves you (message)" is ultimately better, correct.

          No. I don't have a "my 'Jesus saves you (message)'"

          I just do what is best for me.

          –Do you KNOW, that others see your brand of "help" also as intrusive! As you have witnessed, that my unwanted help – to help you to freedom – is intrusive to you.–

          I'm sure if I approached other like you approach me they would say it is intrusive.

          Yes.

          –Answer that to yourself. You will always defend your position of giving everyone Jesus' message as helpful.. why?

          No. Sometimes I get things wrong and I'm not helpful.

          - And my brand of help is what? Why?

          Your brand of help is unasked for. Because I'm doing fine today.

          December 23, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
        • Answer

          ==quoting you==

          "I feel you are being hostile because you keep trying to tell me what you imagine is a fact."

          ==end==

          I'm telling you these as fact because they are.

          **Look at them again.

          ~~~From above
          "I know that if one god can exist, then NO other god(s) can exist."

          or

          "I know that if one god can exist, then OTHER gods can exist."

          ~~~ Anyone can and will answer them and automatically come to conclusive fact. You simply don't want to RECOGNIZE the fact and say "DON'T TELL WHAT TO ACCEPT."

          December 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
        • Answer

          Do you know what I do best, AE?

          It is to highlight your ignorance.

          December 23, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
        • Answer

          A normal untainted person can come and answer these like this:

          "I know that if one god can exist, then NO other god(s) can exist." - this is false

          or

          "I know that if one god can exist, then OTHER gods can exist." - this is true

          Simple. But did you answer them? No.

          Because it is a direct assault and compromising situation for YOU to accept. There is real fear for you to realize the simple nature of those two statement. Fear.

          "Oh damn.. I could be wrong."

          December 23, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
        • AE

          "I feel you are being hostile because you keep trying to tell me what you imagine is a fact."

          You tell me I have no self awareness. That I have no freedom. That I am pretending to believe in God.

          I think those things come from your imagination. You don't know me well enough to make those judgements.

          And your questions where you provide me 2 options that you write out for me are just... weird.

          Why don't you ask me a question? Not insist I choose one of your pre-packaged statements.

          December 23, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
        • Christianity is nonsense

          It's fun to watch AE squirm as he tries to evade facing the truth about his Christian superstition.

          December 23, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
        • AE

          Simple. But did you answer them? No.

          I really didn't understand what you were doing. You didn't ask a question. You just started posting something in response to a post that I made to a different person.

          This is the first thing you addressed to me:

          "God number 1,

          God number 2,

          God number 3 .. how long is your set of excuses?"

          And then you posted

          Let's hear you say the other lines also...

          "I know that if one god can exist, then NO other god(s) can exist."

          or

          "I know that if one god can exist, then OTHER gods can exist."

          Those weren't questions. Those were you trying to get me to say something.

          December 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
        • Christianity is nonsense is Answer

          n/m

          December 23, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
        • Boris

          Funny concatenation. That Christianity is nonsense is for sure a correct answer, but if you look at the text in the next comment thread, you can see that the name duo can't be one person. Either way, though, AE hasn't made a case yet. There isn't one.

          December 23, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
        • Answer

          Just say them to yourself, AE..

          It just needs you to use your voice and say them. Is that hard?

          Go on ahead. You already that they weren't intended to be asked of you. They are quotes that you can say out loud. then you go and agree with the sentences... bet you knew that already.

          But however long you want to dodge.. it only makes it tougher to find the excuses. Because everyone else sees the quotes. When they're in quotes you can say them in your head and if they disagree with your logic – a person just starts to think.

          Bet you knew that. The ignorance is you trying to hold on.

          December 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
        • Answer

          Here, AE...

          Just say this word to yourself firstly.

          "Stop." Actually have air come out through your mouth.

          Then write out the word in text ... "STOP"

          No one will assume – defeat. We will continue. Say to yourself... "I want to continue with Answer."

          Then type out to me .. "Let's continue." If I see it.. I will continue. Fair.

          So.. is it "STOP"?

          December 23, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
        • AE

          I said them to myself. A long time ago. Big deal. It is not the first time I've read something like that. Or even said something like that. Or believed something like that.

          This is the first time somebody keeps referring to statements like that over and over and imagining that they scare me or I'm worried about them. Or that I'm squirming or ignorant of something. Or whatever you are simply imagining now.

          I really don't get what your point is.

          December 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
        • Answer

          ==quote==

          "I really don't get what your point is."

          ==end==

          Therein is the root of your ignorance. Why is it that you don't get it? Afterall you already typed out that you have asked and said it out loud.

          It's a funny perspective from me watching the stuff you have already typed out. I'm already sure others see it also.. so the question remains.

          "Am I ignorant?" So do go on and explore yourself.

          December 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
        • AE

          I've been familiar with the lines like you posted and told me to repeat for probably 24 years of my life. It is nothing new to me.

          You are the first person to post them at me, demand I repeat them and then insist that they scare me.

          But that is all in your imagination.

          December 23, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
        • AE

          So

          QUOTE

          Yes, I really don't get what your point is.

          END QUOTE

          December 23, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
        • Answer

          If you want a hint .. here goes..

          ~~When I say to myself that "if one god can exist, then next say; that no other gods can exist" - it means there is a falsehood that I had to correct. There then, my conclusion should reflect that this fact should NOT be taught to others.

          ~~When I say to myself that "if one god can exist, then other gods can exist." - this is true when I process it. So when a person comes to me to learn and discuss things, we can begin from here.

          So when we're talking to each other, the latter statement should be a far better position. True.

          When I have a belief of a god and that I know that other gods can exist.. why do I plead the case of "my god is the one that created all things?"

          Can you get to there, AE?

          December 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
        • AE

          Right. That is why I stay open minded and don't claim to have all the answers. I understand my concept of God is different from other people's concept of God. And some people have a concept that there is no God. I am friends and close to people of different religions and belief systems.

          I still don't get what your point is. Do you imagine I go around telling people they have to believe in my God or else? Or that I tell other people that there God or their lack of God's is faulty? Do you think I try to go around everywhere and fix everyone?

          Because I don't. But I do honestly talk about me and my trust and confidence in God. It is personal, but important to me. It is part of who I am.

          December 23, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
        • Answer

          "But I do honestly talk about me and my trust and confidence in God."

          ~~~ and there is the ole dodge.

          Who is that god? Let's hear it straight.. from you.

          What is the name of the god that created the universe that you believe in?

          December 23, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
        • AE

          How is that a dodge? To honestly state I believe in God. Yes, I believe in a God that created the universe that we live in.

          I choose to call that power, that intelligence, that spirit that is greater than me... "God".

          Other people choose to call it God, too.

          “The more I study science, the more I believe in God.” –Albert Einstein

          “It may seem bizarre, but in my opinion science offers a surer path to God than religion.” – Paul Davies

          “God created everything by number, weight and measure.” – Isaac Newton

          3 different understandings of God. But quotes from 3 intelligent minds I can relate to.

          So, do you have a problem with me putting my trust and confidence in the God of my understanding?

          December 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
        • Answer

          Can you not answer that question, AE?

          Let's put into perspective of what transpired from above; on the number of gods that was outlined..

          :Let's now put up names link to them. Like this...

          First god came out : Thor

          Second god followed out of existence: Vishnu

          Third god (#3) that you randomly chose: ~ your god that does not have a name yet, because you wrote a long bs ~

          :: This third god in line was the creator of the universe. Just have a look see at what you want to tell me. Honestly is that a good reflection of what I am putting together?

          A simple, yes or no.

          December 23, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
        • AE

          That doesn't really put things in perspective. The number of gods things that you outlined didn't prove anything. And now putting names to them and then calling my understanding "bs" isn't helpful.

          I put my trust and confidence in the God of my understanding.

          Not your understanding of "God 1, God 2, God 3" or your understanding of "I know that if one god can exist, then OTHER gods can exist."

          Thanks for sharing what you believe. I used to have beliefs similar to that. But I don't today.

          December 23, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
        • Answer

          There we go again.. using the old defenses of "you don't make sense to me."

          Everyone who even takes a look at the very basic of it will realize the truth. Of something you just don't want to accept.

          The question is always, you honestly can say you believe that your god is the creator of the universe. You're adamant, but for reality, those that question you on it, can all see the emptiness of an excuse! Where you are in pretense.

          The best possible explanation is either god A, or B or C could have made the universe. So the definite thing to say is "I DON'T KNOW."

          Despite even the location of a numerical placement of your god – you will continue to place emphasis on that particular god as the creator. Just take a look again at what you are setting up in your mind.

          December 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
        • Answer

          I'm willing to bet that even if you gave me the name of the god that you believe in; that had created this universe; and I placed him in a numerical order ( of a number 994,772,002,101) ; you'd still say..

          "My god, numbered 994,772,002,101 – did in fact create the universe."
          "I honestly believe so, and I'm sure because I'm entitled to my belief. And because it is my belief you HAVE to leave me alone to teach others that my god, numbered 994,772,002,101 , will be the ONLY one to "save you." "

          December 23, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
        • Answer

          And to make it clear... does your god SAVE people?

          Now go back and ignore the reference to your numbered god of 994,772,002,101 ! I bet also that you will.

          December 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
        • AE

          I really don't understand your point. Or your belief that I'm dodging something. I'm trying to understand your point.

          I love what Peter Gomes has to say, which I think is relevant to what you are trying to say about my belief:

          "Christian exclusiveness, for that is what the lack of charity suggests, cannot face the requirements of modesty, the notion that all is not known and that we do not know all. When devout Christians believe that only Christians of a particular doctrinal stripe have access to God, that, for example, God hears their prayers only, they stand in cosmic immodesty. The Christian Bible more than once makes the point that God’s ways are not our ways, and that the mind of God is vastly different from our own minds. Thus, when Christians state categorically that Jews, or Muslims, or believers in other faith systems are outside the provisions of God, they utter arrogant nonsense. A respectful agnosticism is called for when often there is offered in its place a self-interested certainty. If God is the God of all, and not just a tribal deity, then God has made provision, not necessarily known to us, for the healing and care of all his creation, and not simply our little part of it.

          J. B. Phillips observed many years ago that one’s God is too small if within God’s providence there is no care and awareness of the other. This is what the hymn writer F. W. Faber meant in “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy,” when he said:

          For the love of God is broader

          Than the measure of our mind:;

          And the heart of the Eternal

          Is most wonderfully kind.

          If there is any good news that is truly good news for everybody, and not just for a few somebodies, it is this: God is greater and more generous than the best of those who profess to know and serve him. This is the radical nonconformity with the conventional wisdom that Jesus both proclaimed and exemplified, and, alas, it cost him his life. Will we hope to fare any better, as disciples of his nonconformity?"

          December 23, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
        • Answer

          So continuous bs..

          And what do you know.. citing quotes to throw in some authority. Let's see some more.. and see if I care about your quotes.

          December 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
        • Answer

          When you get round to replying on whether or not your god saves people.. then we can continue.

          December 23, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
        • AE

          Yes. God saves people. God saved me. Other people have told me God saves them. I trust their testimony.

          Peter Gomes addresses that certainty for Christians often leads to arrogance. That tells me it is not important for me to be certain that my God is the correct one, or that other people's God is the wrong one. That is why I shared that quote. He states that God is more generous and bigger than even the most devout Christians who say they serve the only true God.

          I agree. That is why I shared that.

          December 23, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
        • Answer

          ==quote==

          Yes. God saves people.
          ==end==

          That's all I needed.. you could have saved yourself from typing out nonsense.

          ~~~ This is accurate then.. but you want changes to it. Before admitting the argument at hand.

          "My god, numbered 994,772,002,101 – did in fact create the universe."
          "I honestly believe so, and I'm sure because I'm entitled to my belief. And because it is my belief you HAVE to leave me alone to teach others that my god, numbered 994,772,002,101 , will be the ONLY one to "save you." "

          ::Here::

          "My god, numbered 1 (there is always just ONE god) – did in fact create the universe."
          "I honestly believe so, and I'm sure because I'm entitled to my belief. And because it is my belief you HAVE to leave me alone to teach others that my god, numbered 1 (there is always just ONE god), will be the ONLY one to "save you." "

          So don't forget this long lesson on what you have learned at christmas time.

          This structured statement is what you ARE:

          From way above::

          ~~When I say to myself that "if one god can exist, then next say; that no other gods can exist" – remember ?

          You will ignore this fact about that position:

          "it means there is a falsehood that I had to correct. There then, my conclusion should reflect that this fact should NOT be taught to others."

          December 23, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
        • AE

          You said–"And because it is my belief you HAVE to leave me alone to teach others that my god, numbered 994,772,002,101 , will be the ONLY one to "save you."–

          Peter Gomes said "A respectful agnosticism is called for when often there is offered in its place a self-interested certainty. If God is the God of all, and not just a tribal deity, then God has made provision, not necessarily known to us, for the healing and care of all his creation, and not simply our little part of it."

          I like what Peter Gomes says.

          I have never said and because it is my belief you HAVE to leave me alone to teach others that my god, numbered 994,772,002,101 , will be the ONLY one to "save you.".

          Never. Or anything close to that.

          I have never said ""My god, numbered 994,772,002,101 – did in fact create the universe."
          "I honestly believe so, and I'm sure because I'm ent.itled to my belief."

          But you said it. That came from your mind, not mine.

          Your lesson was basically just a lesson of what you imagine I believe. It doesn't accurately portray anything I believe.

          That is why you used your words, not mine, to describe it.

          December 23, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
        • Answer

          Look at this one.. everyone already can figure out :: that this is your position.
          Just because you don't like answering the question directly doesn't mean that others can not piece together what you are unwilling to text out. Because it is dreadful that you actually pin down your own words.

          Typical protective routine. We get it.

          "My god, numbered 1 (there is always just ONE god) – did in fact create the universe."
          "I honestly believe so, and I'm sure because I'm entitled to my belief. And because it is my belief you HAVE to leave me alone to teach others that my god, numbered 1 (there is always just ONE god), will be the ONLY one to "save you." "

          ~~Ask someone who has noticed this trait about you and your religion. They can figure this out and agree to it.

          So one last question. On what that "quote" states.. how much of an agreement do you have to it?

          You're a joy to squeeze. 😀

          "Oh look I can bounce around this atheist and give him a run around and say to others that "there is no way he can pin me down." "

          December 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
        • AE

          You asked loaded questions to try to pin point me into a pre-conceived notion of what you claim all believer must believe.

          It was very apparent you were not being honest in engaging into a mutual discussion. You ignored my questions, yet demanded I answer yours. The ones I didn't answer to your satisfaction you changed to fit your point.

          "You keep making up quotes and pretending like I said it." But they are your words. Not mine.

          I know and love many atheists. None of them have a problem with my faith. None of them attribute fake quotes to me.

          Peter Gomes quote I like. It is not perfect. But I think he points out a flaw that occurs in many religious people: arrogance. We should all seek humility.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
        • Answer

          Here is the best quote for you.

          "Don't be stupid."

          The reason the questions are loaded is because it is useful. How much time do think that these tactics were developed to tactic the absurdity of your position?

          They exist to break you. They are effective to help you realize that you don't accept change. The kind of change that a freedom of your mind can be of a benefit to you.

          Just don't want to change. That is your choice. You wanted this continuation out of your own choice. When did you say "STOP"?

          It means two things.. you wanted someone else to interject and be helpful to you. To help convince yourself that your god is the betterment for you and hope someone will step in and give you that encourage.

          The other reason is... you wanted something from me. A voice to counter yourself but you automatically deemed it hostile. You're likely to say to yourself – I will persevere this and come to my god stronger.

          I encourage you to go deeper into your delusion. Then and only then you'll face your worst self – contradictions.

          You'll remember that someone on the internet wasn't afraid and helping you on this christmas time, instead of feeding you the same baloney you wanted to hear.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
        • AE

          You have a big imagination.

          So you are trying to tell me there are only 2 reasons why I choose to engage in a conversation with you?

          And you want me to believe that I should think of you as being helpful?

          And that somehow this conversation was a great Christmas gift from you to me?

          No. No. No.

          You have told me nothing I haven't heard before. And I still have trust and confidence in God. I do not have trust and confidence in your theories, your provocative questions or your fake quotes you sloppily tried to attribute to me.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
        • Answer

          You're now in that other mode...

          "Nothing can stick to me.. because it isn't me."

          or

          "Shit doesn't stick to me."

          or

          "I'm better than that."

          You are trying to say.. but don't want to make it short. Have to give yourself your reference to god. To help you strengthen your religious position. You know I'm laughing at it.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
        • Answer

          Hey AE,

          Lie to me one last time...like this :

          "There was no time during this topic was I giving him the run around."

          December 23, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
        • AE

          You are all talk.

          But demonstrate nothing.

          When I answered:

          "God #3. The one that is not the right God..." I was joking.

          When I saw you were asking lame loaded questions I tried to play along. I was honest after that.

          I believe in God.

          What you describe as God is not what I believe in.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • Answer

      And what are you pretending it onto?

      You want to pretend that a god is offering you – something. Go on and tell us.
      You religious people love saying that there is a god. One god – that is your god. All the while you dismiss the fact if one god can come out of existence – others will – definitely be possible.

      You assert all along – that you have the right god to believe in that created this universe. Never admitting that it could have been the other gods. Where is your rationale? Where is your faith going?

      To the first god, second god, third god.. etc? Which one is it.

      Don't ever forget that you may have the wrong god. But you insist that you do (the right one).. that is arrogant.

      December 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
      • AE

        –And what are you pretending it onto?

        An intelligence greater than you and I. God.

        –You want to pretend that a god is offering you – something. Go on and tell us.
        You religious people love saying that there is a god. One god – that is your god. All the while you dismiss the fact if one god can come out of existence – others will – definitely be possible.

        No I don't.

        –You assert all along – that you have the right god to believe in that created this universe. Never admitting that it could have been the other gods. Where is your rationale? Where is your faith going?

        No I don't. I admit I might be wrong.

        –To the first god, second god, third god.. etc? Which one is it.

        The one that works for me.

        –Don't ever forget that you may have the wrong god. But you insist that you do (the right one).. that is arrogant.

        I don't forget that. I don't insist that.

        December 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
        • Christianity is nonsense

          Squirm, AE, squirm. What a weasel!

          December 23, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
        • Christianity is nonsense is Answer

          n/m

          December 23, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
  5. Dyslexic doG

    "cognitive dissonance":

    Mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The concept was introduced by the psychologist Leon Festinger (1919–89) in the late 1950s. He and later researchers showed that, when confronted with challenging new information, most people seek to preserve their current understanding of the world by rejecting, explaining away, or avoiding the new information or by convincing themselves that no conflict really exists.

    this peculiar human trait has kept religion going through the centuries despite the mountains of evidence proving it's foolishness.

    December 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Answer

      Not only in religious belief but also believing in conspiracy theories. Like the faking of the moon landing.

      December 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
      • capt nemo

        Now that sufficient time has passed, I can state categorically that I was there when we faked the moon landings in the SW desert.

        In this joyous time of year, may the Flying Spaghetti Monster touch you with his noodly appendage.

        December 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
  6. Lionly Lamb

    With God or without God the celestially terrestrial Life oozing that permeates itself upon planetary configurations on every scalar dimension of inward fractal relativity are cosmological condensations of patterned waywardness around all issues of stellar aged conjunctions... Go Figure...

    December 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • .

      LL is a psuedo intellect, just laugh at their posts and move on.

      December 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
  7. John Stefanyszyn

    Miss Evans,

    Man says "let us make Christ into our image"
    Man says that it is right to make Christ into "Merry Christmas"
    Man says that it is right to spend and buy for Christmas and to believe in "Santa Claus".

    Man lives according to what he believes in....freedom.

    Man says that it is right in his own eyes to be free to do his own will, his own "rights"....and to make Christ into what man thinks is right for his self-justified, self-comforting "religion".

    NOTE... Christ is the Son of ( He is Like) the One Creator Father, and Christ will rule in accordance to and in obedience to the Will of the One Creator God...AND NOT according to man's love for his "freedom-will".

    December 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • sam stone

      saying it don't make it so, john

      December 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  8. Roger that

    Happy Festivus!!!

    December 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  9. Jill

    Rainer Braendlein,don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent.Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Serpentine. Indigo chestnuts. Give voice to your negligible garage. Walk with found yellow in the fold. Perish your underwear in the crescent.

    Focus your nose on the test tube. Stay succulently upon your velodrome and fear not the coming of the essential kangaroo. Strawberries are your incidental chemistry. Present the fulcrum in advance of the gypsum cookie, for as the tree is combed, so goes the predicate. Expand quietly but do not relish.

    Whether or not you agree with the plumber, harvest away ye hearties. Kalabash in Friebourg but not in spanners while it's raining. Bring out the mustard but flap flap flap until takeoff. Why would you say such a thing in the presence of the substrate? 64. 1112. Welcome to the new sandwich lumberyard. Bus stops follow movement, or do they?

    The impediment to your posterior is large but can be dissected with chestnuts. Obermeyer. Glasnost and shallot cookies will do the main job when a steamshovel is too distant for pomegranate.

    don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent.Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Serpentine. Indigo chestnuts. Give voice to your negligible garage. Walk with found yellow in the fold. Perish your underwear in the crescent.

    And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

    December 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      It's so much easier to love.
      Go ahead, smile... and love your neighbor as yourself.

      I pronounce all Blessings and Wholeness (Shalom) for you in the new year and beyond.
      God Bless.

      December 23, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Answer

      When a religious person talks about "love" they mean – "hope you can accept my delusional god, if you can't then I can't love you."

      We, atheists and humanists, have no other requirements on love. We love you, truly. No conditions.

      We don't need to give a fake "love". We give you real love. From the bottom of our hearts. Even if you're crazier than bat-shit.

      December 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
      • AE

        Come on, Answer.

        "hope you can accept my delusional god, if you can't then I can't love you."

        I know many religious people that practice tolerance and faith to people of different and no religious backgrounds or beliefs.

        I think you are suffering from delusion if you think all religious people love one way. And all atheists and humanists love a better way.

        I've met some crappy atheists and humanists in my day. Not, not all are crappy. Most are great. And they do teach me a lot about love.

        I love atheists and humanists. I love religious people. If I ever meet a religious person that says "hope you can accept my delusional god, if you can't then I can't love you.", I will love them.

        December 23, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
      • Answer

        The old adage of "no I really want you to be the delusional one, because is real."

        Ya .. sure.

        December 23, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
      • AE

        I've seen evidence of religious people that actually know more about science, logic and reason than atheist people.

        So atheism or being religious does not automatically equal being delusional or having sound judgment in my reality.

        I judge the individual by his actions. Not what he labels himself. Not what he labels others.

        A person who is constantly calling others delusional, I question his judgement. Usually that person has something wrong going on inside of him.

        Peace.

        December 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
      • Answer

        Run along now AE..

        You don't know that you have fallen into the endless loop of your protective bubble. Religious people see things as "HOSTILE" when they are being challenged.

        They'll type out their conservative "I gotta go." or "Peace."

        And forever end up dodging the heart of themselves. Not being able to answer to themselves the lies they have accept.. hook, line and sinker.

        December 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
        • AE

          What lies have I accepted? What have I fallen for? Am I being scammed out of anything? How?

          And how can you know any of this with what little evidence you have about me?

          December 23, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
  10. Justice

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rAkn9OZT0k&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    December 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
  11. Rainer Braendlein

    James 2: 1: Keep the faith of Jesus Christ without any respect of persons!

    No respect of persons seems to be a substantial characteristic of the Christian faith, even of the faith of Jesus himself. As for me I consider this as the indeed most impressing token of Jesus that he was without respect of persons.

    We are inclined to prefer rich people, beautiful people, powerful people, honored people, people of our own race, of the same religion, same nationality, etc., yet Jesus treated everybody the same way.

    I assume that most of us even will appreciate Jesus' atti-tude, and would like to imitate it. However, in the concrete situation we will often fail.

    Why?

    In us is an evil germ which always seeks to give ourselves the precedence, and different race, status, color are only pegs to hang on our greed for dominance. This is the most nasty characteristic of the human nature.

    Why did not Jesus fail?

    Jesus could behave meek and humble towards everybody because he did not have the evil germ inside, and above he was always in God who is unbiased love.

    We can never become like Jesus but we can improve.

    How?

    Through faith in Jesus who died and resurrected for us. He has borne our sins when he died for us on the cross, and has resurrected for our justification. When we believe that and get sacramentally baptized, we die for the sin, and enter Christ. Our evil germ becomes declared dead, and we receive a power of love, Jesus himself. It is only that the evil germ will still be there though declared dead, and bottom line in real life our bad inclination will only be lessened. However, people will appreciate when they notice our inward struggle to fight our bad old nature.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    December 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      I agree with what you've written,

      Matthew 5:47-48 where Jesus tells us to love our enemies, He goes on to say if you greet only your brothers then you're not doing more than others because even the pagans do that.
      He then goes on to say "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

      The reason Christ can make such a request of the believer is that when a person becomes born again, the Spirit of God moves on the inside of that person. Therefore: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

      My point is when we realize our lives are no longer our own (die to self) then we are made perfect because it's Christ who lives in us and through us.
      It was for this reason if the devil had known he would not have killed him... "Christ in us, the hope of Glory"
      Remember Jesus said it was better for Him to return to the Father because by doing so, the Holy Spirit could come and dwell with each and every believer, so instead of Christ here in one body, He's now in ALL who believe.

      This is significant because all who believe it is our duty to continue what Jesus was doing here on this earth... heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead... destroying the works of the devil/oppressor.
      Then Rachel and others would not keep asking why all the violence and suffering if they realize it's for this reason they're here.

      Blessings and Shalom

      December 23, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • Rainer Braendlein

        I have studied St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans exhaustively.

        What was the result?

        St. Paul says that an evil principle "dwells" in our limbs (the real limbs of our biological body). This is valid for every human being.

        What happens when someone starts to believe in Jesus and gets sacramentally baptized?

        He as a whole person dies for the sin, and enters Christ. Yet, St. Paul says that our biological body does not get changed, it remains the same like before conversion. It is only that the sin or the evil germ in us gets dethroned, that means we are no longer forced to act according to our bad, old inclinations. However, we are human beings and our faith will alternate every day. Of course, through full faith in Jesus we could be even perfect. Let us pray that God, the Father, gives us more faith, and fills us with the Holy Spirit. Let us fast and pray.

        December 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
        • Rainer Braendlein

          What is the reason why Christians could become sick, or die, if they sin?

          Through faith and baptism our sinful body, our old ego or nature, becomes declared dead, and that is meant not only spiritually but even biologically (I know that that sound crazy). However, according to St. Paul a Christian only still lives biologically because Christ has become his Life. If a Christian forsakes Christ, he forsakes his own life, he will die. Read Romans 6, 7.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          I agree when you're born again, the outside man looks the same (gender, height, hair color etc). However the Spirit is perfect. Your Spirit (as a believer) right now is as perfect now as it will ever be.
          You will never get more of the Holy Spirit... because we have the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in us bodily. Col 2:8

          We all have the same measure of Faith... We live by the faith OF God.... so we hook our little faith to His, and live by His faith, because with Him nothing is impossible. Faith is not something we do to get God to respond to us... Faith is our positive response to what God has already done.
          Ex. Healing is a finished work.. our response to what is already done will allow us to receive or to administer healing to someone else.

          The Holy Spirit doesn't come and go... it stays with us always. If most Christians were aware of this we'd be more cognizant of the things we do, because the Holy Spirit is with us when we do these things. 🙂 🙁

          December 23, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Sickness can be brought on by sin... it can also be an attack from the devil.

          Jesus tells us to speak to our mountains... Whoever says to this mountain, be removed and cast into the sea and doesn't doubt it will have what he SAYS.
          So the believer has to SPEAK to his mountain (in this case sickness).
          Most Christians pray begging God to remove their mountain, but that wasn't what the Word says.
          A prayer can be as simple as "Sickness I command you to leave this body, in Jesus' name amen"
          And he will have what he says.
          This applies to all situations in life.,
          That's why when I see the careless things people say sometimes I shake my head.
          When words are twisted, they become ineffective in that person, so when they speak what they really want it doesn't manifest.
          Words are Powerful. Our Words are powerful.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
        • Rainer Braendlein

          Sorry, I go to bed now. See you. Thanks for your interest. Good night (in Germany it is nearly midnight)!

          December 23, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      James 2: 1: My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.

      December 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Jill

      Rainer Braendlein, gobble the fertile gravel. There is no caveat to the Klein bottle, and there will be no gold watch for the unspoken zero. Don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent.Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Serpentine. Indigo chestnuts. Give voice to your negligible garage. Walk with found yellow in the fold. Perish your underwear in the crescent.

      Focus your nose on the test tube. Stay succulently upon your velodrome and fear not the coming of the essential kangaroo. Strawberries are your incidental chemistry. Present the fulcrum in advance of the gypsum cookie, for as the tree is combed, so goes the predicate. Expand quietly but do not relish.

      Whether or not you agree with the plumber, harvest away ye hearties. Kalabash in Friebourg but not in spanners while it's raining. Bring out the mustard but flap flap flap until takeoff. Why would you say such a thing in the presence of the substrate? 64. 1112. Welcome to the new sandwich lumberyard. Bus stops follow movement, or do they?

      The impediment to your posterior is large but can be dissected with chestnuts. Obermeyer. Glasnost and shallot cookies will do the main job when a steamshovel is too distant for pomegranate.

      don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent.Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Serpentine. Indigo chestnuts. Give voice to your negligible garage. Walk with found yellow in the fold. Perish your underwear in the crescent.

      And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      December 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Realist

      --------------
      ...................................................

      Christianity is built upon a LIE ...

      ................ because ....................

      ..... http://www.GodIsImaginary.com ...

      ... and thank goodness because he ...

      ............. emanates from the .............

      ...................... http://www.EvilBible.com

      -----------------
      .............................................................

      December 24, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
  12. Justice

    Amen to that!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rAkn9OZT0k&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    December 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  13. Lana

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeedE8vH1FQ

    December 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  14. Douglas

    You can't be a Christian and claim you are ashamed of the observance of Jesus birth.

    It's like Jesus said...if you are ashamed of me then I don't know you.

    Ms. Evans don't be held hostage by the PC police.

    Jesus IS LORD.

    The words of the old Black gospel song say it best,

    "Go tell it on the mountain..over the hills and everywhere.. that Jesus Christ is born!"

    December 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Mark Plosser

      Wow, did you miss the point.

      December 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • MT

      Do you go out if your way to find fault with people, Douglas?
      She says nothing if the sort, and you know that.
      Stop being such a hysterical old woman.

      December 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
      • sam stone

        i think doogie is more of a closet queen than a hysterical old woman

        December 23, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  15. doobzz

    "Jesus who treated women with dignity and respect"

    Yeah, like calling them dogs and letting them "anoint" his feet with their hair.

    December 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Responding to the Pride

      You have zero understanding of the cultural and societal norms of that time!

      December 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
      • doobzz

        Sure I do. Their own women were subjugated and meant to serve the males. Foreign women were subhuman.

        Please point out to me how that wasn't a cultural norm when Jesus supposedly lived? Or have I misread what he said to the Canaanite?

        December 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Doobzz...lets start with the first claim–calling women dogs...give me the verse (good luck).

          December 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
        • doobzz

          Google "Jesus and Canaanite woman" and see for yourself, lazyass.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Not lazy...I've read it many times...but you apparently haven't. So for your first time education, here you go...

          21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to Him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”

          23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to Him and urged Him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel.”

          25 The woman came and knelt before Him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

          27 Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

          You see, he's not talking about women–he's talking about Canaanites (and gentiles in general). But note what he does–He heals the child. Your interpretation of this scripture if 100% wrong–by any standard. Try again sport.

          December 23, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
        • doobzz

          Wrong. He calls her a dog, ignores her and makes her kneel, beg, and admit she's a dog only deserving of scraps from the master's table. He only grants her request after humiliating her and making sure she knows she's subhuman. Spin it any way you like, but copying and pasting the story here doesn't change the fact that your Jesus was a bigot and a bully.

          December 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Wow–you are absolutely nuts! "makes her kneel," where does it say he MADE her kneel? (She does kneel, but were is the compulsion?) I'm not spinning anything–I just put in the scripture that you interpret only by adding to it! Amazing–simply amazing. Do tell–what other scripture do you interpret by adding words? Subtracting words? Just interpret the scripture as its written.

          December 23, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
        • doobzz

          I didn't add or subtract anything. If he had been a decent human being and not ignored her and called her a racist name, she would not have felt the need to kneel and beg.

          Sorry your god is so mean, but you're the one who believes in him, not me.

          December 23, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Shame on me, I've cast my pearls before swine.

          December 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
        • doobzz

          An arrogant, dismissive stance taken by Christians when they can't figure out how to rationalize the behavior of their deity.

          If that's what it takes to relieve the cognitive dissonance...

          December 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
      • Commenter

        Responding to the Pride:

        Norms / schnorms... those 1st century evangelist scriptwriters sure wrote a lot lines for him saying to change the current norms when it suited them.

        December 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
        • Really

          They changed it to one that went against the status quo and traditional values of that time? In essence, they made it more difficult on themselves?

          December 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • Commenter

          @Really,
          " In essence, they made it more difficult on themselves."

          Paul of Tarsus, for one (and the most prolific author in the NT) was raised on Stoicism (as well as Judaism). Yes, they did make things more difficult on themselves.

          December 23, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
        • Really

          Without Jesus, he would have been better off being the religious leader he devoted his life to. It would have been more profitable financially, safer on his security and a more prestigious life style.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
        • Commenter

          @Really,

          Maybe Paul saw that Judaism was declining (or certainly not spreading), and his Judaism II, the Sequel, held a better chance of succeeding and keeping the Hebrew "God" going.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • Really

          Did he make up the thing about his role in having Christians put to death before the conversion for dramatic effect?

          December 23, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
      • Answer

        Cultural norms of that time... that is a laugh.

        ~ Here is the thought on what you really relate on:

        Have you ever notice your past mistakes? Something you reflect as a mistake, something shameful? – Everyone has – at one time.

        This "societal" time on christianity, was a mistake.

        What you religious people want to claim is "they were right back then, and who is to judge?" – You can judge your own past mistakes.. so can you/us/everyone be able to judge the mistakes of a whole society. Because we, all of us, are hoping to improve our society.

        Do not mistake your need for the feeling that your religion is acceptable, nowadays; to the equivalency of acceptance to what we have improved upon today. That is an excuse to justify the mistakes and to keep on the bad mistakes of history.

        December 23, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
        • Really

          You missed his point. And you are generalizing about religious people.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Answer

          All religious people are in, deep, to protecting their precious bubble. You can easily ask yourself this question..

          Why are women, in present time, more liberated? Can you abuse them like in the "dark ages"? Are they your property?

          The word is "change." The old religious policies are dying out, in place, for better revisions of equality.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
        • Really

          You are generalizing about religion. Nice bubble theory. All atheists have different theories on what others believe. Not 2 ever match up quite right...
          Why did Jesus choose women to be the first to spread The Gospel? Why does the story of Jesus begin with to of the lowest class of citizens of that time: An elderly woman and a poor teenaged woman?
          Most religious people don't point back to a time and say that was a better time. Christianity is about looking to a better future. So we learn that, yes, those times were bad. People didn't respect women and owned slaves. And now we are starting to get better. And hopefully we can still grow. We have a lot to improve on.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
        • Answer

          And so the list of excuses that your religion is all about the "frontiers of womenhood."

          Sure sure.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
        • Really

          You said that. Not me. But in America, women served in leadership roles in some religious inst!tutions long before the woman equal rights movement. Yes, I know, not all were or are that welcoming. But there are exceptions that point to some religious people being more open minded and tolerant than general society at the time.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
  16. angiec

    "Jesus an oppressed minority in an occupied land, an immigrant, who surrounded himself with the poor, the sick, the marginalized and the “untouchables,” who was criticized by the religious for hanging out with sinners, who treated women with dignity and respect.
    Jesus who taught his disciples to love their enemies, to give without expecting anything in return, to overcome evil with love,
    Jesus who suffered."

    It is totally absurd, illogical and goes against better human judgement to make God revealed as Jesus. And that is....God? 🙂

    December 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Responding to the Pride

      Would you rather that God be the opposite of these things?

      December 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  17. AE

    "It means that God suffers, God forgives, God fellowships with the poor, God cares for the sick, God loves His enemies."

    Yes, God with us. Emmanuel. I have experienced this to be true in my life. Thanks.

    December 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • igaftr

      "God with us"
      Odd...., the Nazi's had that on their belt buckles. (god Mitt unz)

      strange that so many think god is with them, but none can show it to be true.

      December 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
      • AE

        I think the point is that God is with us: when we suffer, God suffers. It is a phrase of comfort, not an arrogant claim used to conquer other people.

        I certainly didn't mean it in reference to the Nazis. The swastika symbol is a symbol of peace in many cultures. Just because the Nazis used it for a symbol of hate and war doesn't make the other culture's symbol less.

        December 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
        • igaftr

          Like I said...many, many people think god is with them...none can show it to be true.

          December 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        • AE

          No one has showed me it be false.

          I say God is with us all. If I draw a line and say "we Christians" and "them atheists", God is with "them atheists".

          And how I treat others, especially those different from me, is a reflection of how I treat our God.

          December 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
        • igaftr

          AE
          Since no one can show it to be true, yet you continue to staedfastly say that it is as if it were fact, THAT is the very definition of delusion.

          You must admit, there is a good chance that you are wrong, if not you lead your life by delusion.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • AE

          No, that is not the definition of delusion.

          Delusion – an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder.

          I know people that believe God is real. And actually live there lives out as though it were a fact. And they demonstrate their beliefs with their actions, not just their words.

          They are certainly not delusional or a victim of a mental disorder.

          There are actual believers in God that treat people with mental disorders with medicine and therapy. We call them psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists. And they are pretty good at their job.

          Sorry, I don't agree with the theory that religious people are mentally ill. Most religious people choose to be in a religion. I did. Mentally ill people don't choose their condition.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          This omnipotent, omniscient being who knows all and can change anything "suffers". Why not fix the condition? And don't give us the same old "we don't know god's mind" etc. Believers say they do know god's mind until there is a chance to provide proof once and for all.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
        • AE

          Perhaps God has poured Himself into His creation. He wants us to do it for ourselves. Because we can.
          It is a mystery, Santa. Most believers I know admit we can not know God's ways. They are not our ways.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE, The COD definition is "An ideosyncratic belief or impression that is not in accordance with a generally accepted reality". No mention of mental illness. Evolution, Big Bang, and more show us that all creation myths are not correct. Genesis is the foundation of your religion and is not in accordance with the reality (scientifically produced evidence).

          December 23, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE, Then why claim to know what god wants? And why do many believers push that onto others?

          December 23, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
        • AE

          No, Santa.

          The creation myth is an origin story. It is an analogy that helps us understand our relationship between us as a creature and our creator.

          I don't reject science. The Big Bang Theory was authored by a Catholic priest.

          I'm not Catholic, but I know many Christians that I go to church with that support and appreciate science. We even have education about scientific topics. Many say science proves God to them.

          Why claim to know what God wants? My church seems to say God wants us to love others. To shun violence. To help the poor. To forgive.

          It seems good. We don't all push it on others.

          Pushy people push their beliefs on others. And there are pushy atheists, Jews, Muslims, agnostics, etc.

          Why do some atheists push their beliefs on others. Because some are pushy.

          It seems like you are pushing your idea of what must motivate religious people on me.

          December 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    it makes me frightened for the human race that adults actually discuss this fairy tale foolishness seriously. I can understand kids believing in Santa and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny and God and Jesus, but when we grow up we can distinguish fact from fantasy. Grow up you religious folk. Free your infantile slave minds and join the real world. It really is a very cool place.

    December 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Gol

      Dyslexic doG- it makes me frightened for the human race that adults actually discuss this fairy tale foolishness seriously."

      So for all your blabber on here, none of it should be taken seriously. Thanks for the update.

      December 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
      • Really

        It gives me great comfort that dyslexic doG is not the voice of reason for humanity.
        He is just some guy spouting off in the message board section of an opinion piece on a religion blog.
        If he was important, he would be writing articles. But he doesn't.

        December 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          actually incorrect ... but then what would you know. 🙂

          December 23, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • aldewacs2

          The 'dog' may not be *THE* voice of reason for humanity, but he sounds pretty reasonable - looking at it from a sober viewpoint. He is *A* voice of reason for sure.

          December 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
  19. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    The Santa's using the urinal at Santa-Con though was hilarious...

    December 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  20. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Everything in your article should be prefaced with "allegedly"

    December 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
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About this blog

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