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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

    definition: "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 27, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • AE

      faith
      fāTH/
      noun
      noun: faith

      1.
      complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

      December 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
      • John

        From the sane definition:
        2.
        strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

        December 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • AE

          Right. And there are other definitions.

          "2.
          belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact."

          "8
          Christian Theology . the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved. "

          http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith

          December 27, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
        • Vic

          You are referring to empirical proof. There are logical as will as spiritual proofs.

          Also:
          http://www.thefreedictionary.com/proof

          December 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • Austin

          I believe that spiritual influences are much stronger than people admit. For example , I went through a time in college when my view points against the bible grew very emotional and i was receiving a "demonic logic", and emotional argument against God.
          Basicall, I was upset at God's plan and will, and the outcome of this world. And Satan was helping me point my finger.

          December 27, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Austin

          I was so upset, and for some reason I just started begging God to help me. What He has done for me is worthy of eternal glory. The Holy Spirit is a sanctifying spirit that bears the truth of God's word on a person's heart, and He counseled me and held me dearly.

          December 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Vic

          Good points. Demonic influence is experienced all over the world, and no one seems to care empirical evidence in that regard. And yes, I believe in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I have my own experiences.

          Furthermore, consciousness, mind, sentience, basic instincts, intuition, common sense, etc., are non-verifiable by empirical science, yet they exist, they are spiritual entities.

          December 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • Vic

          "..and no one seems to care about empirical evidence in that regard. And.."

          December 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Austin

      you can have it though, and it can be confirmed within you, and that is real. you do have to try. The gift is free, and the journey is upheld through supernatural love.

      December 27, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        more hokey, greeting card sayings.
        like safety blankets for Christians.
        they can spit them out on demand.
        and somehow think that they proved a point.

        December 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Vic

      We all put our faith in so many things around the clock, it's just we don't call it that. For example, a patient puts his/her faith in a doctor for treatment, a worker puts his/her faith in a boss for good appraisal, a customer puts his/her faith in a server for good service, a player puts his/her faith in the lottery for a windfall, someone in danger puts his/her faith in a rescuer for safety, a believer puts his/her faith in God for Salvation, and so on and so forth.

      December 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Dyslexic doG' presents a form of the straw man fallacy.

      http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      December 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
      • SkyTag

        Unfortunately that is true.

        December 27, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • lol??

      Faith is believin' what God says. No emergency disconnect switch in sight, doggie. That's just a plain ol' straw dog disconnect argument.

      December 27, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
      • lol??

        The Waldorf Salad is limp.

        December 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • DdOgCatcher.

      internet atheist – (n) Angry atheist who trolls internet sites denouncing God, Christians and religion; Atheist internet troll who demonstrates a basic ignorance of reason; Atheist internet troll who is ignorant of science and logic while claiming strong adherence to the same; Atheist who contradicts themselves through poor reasoning, especially one who exhibits hypocrisy.

      Rational people understand that the claim "There are no absolutes" is a self-defeating statement. Internet atheists? Not so much.

      December 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

        TV Reporter: When asked if MOOP's strike will stop them from illegaly downloading music, 1% said "yes". 2% said "no". And, 97% said "Who the hell is MOOP?" Back to you, Tom.

        December 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • Hardy

          doG: All religion does is cause violence! Blah! Blah! Blah!

          Rational person: You're an internett atheist! What about all of the soup kitchens, hospitals, charities, and orphanages run by beleivers? Are you forgetting about that? Also, did you not take into consideration all the violence and persecution that occurred under the militant atheistic policies under the Soviet Union or Cultural Revolution?

          December 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Methinks that you replied to the wrong person...

          December 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          hardy har har

          December 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  2. Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

    TV Announcer: Rob Schneider derp de derp. Derp de derpity derpie derp. Until one day, a-derp a-derp a-derp a-derp. Derp de derp, de tittaly tum. From the creators of "DER" and "TUM TA TITTALY TUM TA TOO", Rob Schneider is: "DA DERP DEE DERP DA TEETLEY DERPEE DERPEE DUMB." Rated PG-13.

    December 27, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Jesus

      Now here you see an ordinary pitcher of water. Now turn around. T.. Turn around.

      December 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
      • Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

        Randy: Stan, are you okay?
        Stan: Yeah dad, we're just rehearsing our band.
        Randy: Ohh. I thought a group of Vietnamese people were getting their intestines pulled out through their mouths. [closes door]

        December 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
      • Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

        [Jesus hands up, is talking to two Iraqis]
        Jesus: Yea, look upon me and know me. My children, you should know something. [a knife comes out of his sleeve] I'm packing!
        [Jesus stabs one Iraqi with the knife with one hand and kills the other with a silenced handgun]

        December 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • DGogg

      Going to religion for an original idea is like trying to surf on quicksand.

      December 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the pagan Saturnalia festival hoping to recruit the pagan masses in with it. Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.

    The problem was that there was nothing intrinsically Christian about Saturnalia. To remedy this, these Christian leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday.

    The New Testament gives no date or year for Jesus’ birth. The earliest gospel – St. Mark’s, written about 65 CE – begins with the baptism of an adult Jesus. This suggests that the earliest Christians lacked interest in or knowledge of Jesus’ birthdate.

    Christianity: centuries of shameless fraud on a grand scale.

    December 27, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • AE

      Hey, what is your source for all this information?

      According to wikipedia, some of the claims similar to yours come from unreliable and dubious sources.

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

      December 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
      • John

        So how did Christians arrive at the December 25 date?

        December 27, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
        • AE

          "The date of Christmas may have initially been chosen to correspond with the day exactly nine months after early Christians believed Jesus to have been conceived,[20] or with one or more ancient polytheistic festivals that occurred near southern solstice (i.e., the Roman winter solstice); a further solar connection has been suggested because of a biblical verse[a] identifying Jesus as the "Sun of righteousness".[20][21][22][23][24]"

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

          I'm not denying the Pagan influences. American Christmas contains elements from other cultures, not just ancient Romans traditions.

          December 27, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
        • lol??

          Gubmint slackers.

          December 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
        • John

          So it's conceivable that the date was taken from Saturnalia?

          December 27, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
        • lol??

          Birthday parties are mentioned twice in the Bible. The celebrations didn't turn out so hot for some people. My position is these types of parties will be part of the two parts cutoff.

          December 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
        • AE

          Not all Christians celebrate on December 25th. But our tradition of celebrating on the 25th may relate to our Roman heritage, yes.

          December 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
        • lol??

          Speaking slacks, Sansabelts for me.

          December 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • Austin

          lol, your comments are awaiting moderation.

          December 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
  4. Ginny Bain Allen

    How predictable – the progressives are spewing forth their venom all over this page, just like they do on every single other page if ever Jesus, His Father or the Bible are mentioned.

    December 27, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      poor persecuted Ginny ...

      Preventing you from forcing others into following your deluded rules is not persecution. Preventing you from making religious laws, is not persecution. Preventing you from injecting your fantasies into public schools, is not persecution. You have churches on every street corner in America. You have 100% representation in government. You have your motto imprinted on every dollar bill and uttered at every baseball game. You are the persecutor, not the persecuted. You confuse "not being in charge" with persecution.

      - SP

      December 27, 2013 at 11:36 am |
      • AE

        Ginny didn't say he/she was being persecuted. I think they were talking about the phenomenon on how Christian opinion pieces attract trolls that hate on Christians.

        December 27, 2013 at 11:42 am |
        • midwest rail

          And those same pieces don't attract any hateful Christians ?? Please.

          December 27, 2013 at 11:45 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          I don't hate Xmas... I got a Bose Soundlink Mini!

          December 27, 2013 at 11:45 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          sorry AE, I mistook Ginny's whining for the usual Christian claim of persecution whenever anyone disagrees with their claims, no matter how far fetched or infantile.

          church is the greatest example. you can claim absolutely anything in church and claim it is god doing it or god told you to do it or god is to be praised for it ... and everyone will nod their heads and say how wonderful it is. People seem to check their brains at the door when they enter church. Logic and common sense do not live there.

          December 27, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • AE

          doG,

          You are not one to complain about other people's ideas being far fetched and infantile.

          I know for a fact that what you imagine about church is not true at my church, or probably any church in America. It is just your imagination getting carried away.

          December 27, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • AE

          > And those same pieces don't attract any hateful Christians ?? Please.

          It does. There are Christian trolls. And they even troll the atheist opinion pieces.

          December 27, 2013 at 11:57 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          AE, my ideas are based on provable, observable science and fact.

          Your ideas are based on an old book written by primitive peoples that is patently fanciful, contradictory and factually lacking.

          that's what I mean by "checking your brains at the door".

          December 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • AE

          No, your ideas are not based on proveable, observable science and fact.

          Your ideas are often wrong and lacking in facts.

          I know for a fact that there are real life Christians that know more about science and understanding logic than you.

          If you decided to get a proper education in one of those fields, you most likely will be taught by a religious person at some point.

          December 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          now you don't know whether I am a ditch digger or a nobel prize winner.

          as such, your statement is pure imagination, like your religion.

          December 27, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • AE

          BINGO!

          And your claims are just as invalid about me and my beliefs. You are just telling us what you imagine religious people must believe.

          But the evidence points to a fact that there are religious people who demonstrate the use of logic better than you.

          December 27, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • lol??

        Son of a Dog sayz,
        "............................You have your motto imprinted on every dollar bill ........................." Can't get it right?? The pwogwessives turned the dollar bill into 2 cents. That was was by magical mystical dismisanthropomormorical hatred of the mob the socies wanna lead. No LUV amongst thieves.

        December 27, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
        • lol??

          Chicken tacos and a cold Budweiser for lunch, please.

          December 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

      TV Announcer: Rob Schneider is a Wall Street executive who has everything going for him. Only problem is, he's about to become a carrot!
      Rob Schneider: I'm a carrot!
      TV Announcer: It's 24-"carrot" comedy! Rob Schneider is "A Carrot"! Rated PG-13.

      December 27, 2013 at 11:38 am |
      • Joe

        Announcer: Stan Marsh is a washed up fourth grader.

        December 27, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • K-switch

      The only thing more predictable is your comment.

      December 27, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • John

      Your ignorant idea that all atheists must be progressives is without merit.
      It's like saying all Christians are redneck toothless hillbillies.

      December 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
  5. Dyslexic doG

    If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people!

    – House

    December 27, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • lol??

      Dogs should only speak when spoken to.

      Doggy Daddy

      December 27, 2013 at 10:57 am |
      • romnesia

        whereas lol?? should never speak her nonsense

        December 27, 2013 at 11:07 am |
      • lol??

        I like pizza with Alpo instead of sausage.

        December 27, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
        • Austin

          one day at work there was this kid who always ate spam, and he had the sloppiest beef jerky,and so we say some dog treats that looked identical, so we tossed some in there. sure enough, after a few days, it was all gone and he would have sauce all over his face.

          December 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ Austin

          You gave your coworker dog food as a joke? Would you slip pieces of pork into a Muslim coworkers food as a joke, too? Meat into a vegetarian's food? Sugar into a diabetic's?

          Your sense of humor needs work.

          December 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
        • Austin

          give me a break. there are certain jokes that don't have to be that offensive as the way you draw out other evil comparisons.
          it was a taste test.

          December 27, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • AE

      “If we need an atheist for a debate, we go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use.”

      –Robert Griffiths, winner of the Heinemann Prize in mathematical physics.

      December 27, 2013 at 11:17 am |
      • Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

        TV Announcer: Rob Schneider was an animal. Then he was a woman. And now Rob Schneider is a stapler! And he's about to find out that being a stapler is harder than it looks. Rob Schneider is "The Stapler". Rated PG-13.

        December 27, 2013 at 11:20 am |
        • AE

          Mr. Dawkins: Well what if I told you there was a flying spaghetti monster: Would you believe it simply because it can't be disproven?

          Mrs. Garrison: [Thinks a moment] You're riiight. It's so simple! God is a spaghetti monster. Oh thank you, jeez! My eyes are opened! [stands up] Hey everyone, I'm an atheist!

          Mr. Dawkins: Really?? Oh that's wonderful!

          Mrs. Garrison: No, I totally get it now! Evolution explains everything! There is no great mystery to life, just evolution and God's a spaghetti monster! Thank you, Richard!

          December 27, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

          [Jesus hands up, is talking to two Iraqis]
          Jesus: Yea, look upon me and know me. My children, you should know something. [a knife comes out of his sleeve] I'm packing!
          [Jesus stabs one Iraqi with the knife with one hand and kills the other with a silenced handgun]

          December 27, 2013 at 11:42 am |
      • lol??

        Debates are an unprofitable means of attaining TRUTH. That's why they're popular.

        Party Animal

        December 27, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • midwest rail

          Says the poster who has been shown (repeatedly) to be the most prolific liar on these boards. Hilarious.

          December 27, 2013 at 11:25 am |
        • lol??

          I like pepperoni pizza, thin crust, extra well done. From Priesta Hut.

          December 27, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • Austin

          no lol, you do not like pepperoni.

          December 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • lol??

          Wrong Austin. I love pepperoni.

          December 27, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  6. AverageJoe76

    Maybe the most important question: If God is all-powerful, and has created all things; "why isn't he accepting responsibility for creating sin and evil, for that matter?"

    He's like, "I am all-powerful, I created everything you seeith............ but not that stuff over there...... I don't know what cretaed that..... but it smells funny. I don't LIKE IT!!! Don't touch that stuff that I created... .errr I mean, that spun off my original creations..."

    "Do AS I SAY, not as I DO. I'm God! That's it!"

    December 27, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • lol??

      He will make everything right. That's authority. If you can't just quit complainin'.

      December 27, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  7. Vic

    Jesus Christ, what happened here?! There was a gigantic thread here last night!

    December 27, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      [insert]something ironic and funny[/insert]

      December 27, 2013 at 10:07 am |
      • Vic

        I wish the url HTML tag worked in here!

        December 27, 2013 at 10:10 am |
      • Max

        Right!? Maybe JC got sick of Vic's italics.

        December 27, 2013 at 10:11 am |
        • Vic

          Usually, italics, which are for emphasis, look much better on most common fonts. Unfortunately, they look odd on this blog's font, they look much better in boldface.

          Example:

          Italics

          Italics

          December 27, 2013 at 10:19 am |
        • Max

          I know what they're used for. You tend to use them indiscriminately, however.
          There was no difference between your two sets of italics.
          Let me try: Italics

          December 27, 2013 at 10:28 am |
        • Max

          It doesn't let us use bold and italics at the same time. Curious.
          Vic

          December 27, 2013 at 10:30 am |
        • Max

          Won't let us use bold anymore; tried doing so with Vic's name. Hmmmm.

          December 27, 2013 at 10:31 am |
        • Vic

          That's odd, it should work fine. People use them all the time.

          December 27, 2013 at 10:56 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          bold italics

          December 27, 2013 at 10:57 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Italics

          December 27, 2013 at 10:57 am |
        • Vic

          There we go!

          December 27, 2013 at 11:05 am |
        • lol??

          Who'd a thunk Jackie was a socie "Wegodian", "And away we go!!"

          December 27, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • lol??

          Who'd a thunk Olive Garden would be such a perfect place to drink tap beer all afternoon??

          December 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • Austin

          wow i am sure that they have just the right combo for your pallet to go along with the fine dining.

          December 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Vic

      Test

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/

      December 27, 2013 at 11:02 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Thank Satan that still doesn't work... Now if they would just disable the YouTube links

        December 27, 2013 at 11:04 am |
        • Vic

          LOL!

          People would abuse that feature with inappropriate links, I guess. In the meantime, I believe inappropriate YouTube links are blocked out.

          December 27, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • doobzz

          @ Vic

          I'm not sure that they do. LionlyLamb can still post its cannabis videos all over.

          December 27, 2013 at 11:39 am |
        • Vic

          LOL!

          December 27, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
      • Science Works

        It works Vic !

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/news/fossils_ruins/origin_of_life/

        December 27, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • Vic

          I know it works, that's why it is called Natural Science, it is part of the nature that God created.

          December 27, 2013 at 11:12 am |
        • Science Works

          Dream ON Vic if that is what you need but.....

          Neanderthal Genome Shows Early Human Interbreeding, Inbreeding
          Population geneticists have produced the first high-quality genome of a Neanderthal, allowing comparison with the genomes ..

          December 27, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • Vic

          Whatever the case maybe, none of that addresses the Origin of everything.

          December 27, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Vic

          Whatever the case may be, none of that addresses the Origin of everything.

          December 27, 2013 at 11:37 am |
        • Science Works

          Vic it has been addressed and you call it the first cause/casual agent bs.

          December 27, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • doobzz

      Good morning, Vic.

      The thread disappeared yesterday. The only thing I can figure is that the CNN thread police decided we were off topic. I thought it was a good and civil discussion, but it's gone nonetheless.

      December 27, 2013 at 11:42 am |
      • Vic

        Good afternoon doobzz,

        Yeah..I was thinking along the same lines, the entire thread was off topic. And yes, I advocate the Cal Thomas & Bob Beckel, of Common Ground column in USA Today, example of civil discussion.

        December 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
  8. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    For HE so loved the people HE created... that HE sent HIS carnivorous fish to nibble off the toes and fingers of children...

    December 27, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Hmmm... dangle a baited hook... but no bites...

      December 27, 2013 at 11:01 am |
      • lol??

        Socie fish swimmin' at the Frankfurt School. A little nibble here, a little nibble there. Pretty soon yer talkin' BIG money.

        December 27, 2013 at 11:11 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          I know you think you are being funny or clever in some unfathomable way... but seriously, could you comment in a less ridiculous and tedious manner... are you capable of that?

          December 27, 2013 at 11:18 am |
        • lol??

          Says the poster who has been shown (repeatedly) to be the most prolific liar on these boards. Hilarious.

          December 27, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "Says the poster who has been shown (repeatedly) to be the most prolific liar on these boards. Hilarious."

          I saw that post... but it was not me who wrote it. Also, I may have my flaws... but being a liar is not one of them...

          December 27, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  9. christsfaithfulwitness

    Nice post on Christianity. Where are the believers to defend the faith? Atheists, I'm sorry if we Christians have offended you. Maybe you should get to know how we think before you jump to conclusions. Muslims, Be good for you to study Christianity as well so you can find out how Mohammed compares to Jesus Christ. Be very interesting. God bless you all Merry Christmas. This is written to both atheists and Muslims! http://christsfaithfulwitness.blogspot.com/2013/12/merry-christmas-time-travel-catholic.html

    December 27, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • sam stone

      maybe christians to get to know atheists to see how we think before jumping to conclusions

      December 27, 2013 at 6:18 am |
    • Reality # 2

      And for the new members of this blog:

      Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

      • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

      • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

      • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

      • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

      • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

      • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

      Added details available upon written request.

      December 27, 2013 at 6:23 am |
    • Max

      You're just spamming your website. Nothing more, nothing less.

      December 27, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • doobzz

      I was a Christian for more than fifty years. The most frequent response I get when a Christian finds out that I'm a nonbeliever is "Just try reading the bible." They simply assume I've never heard the "good news". Guess what? I've done that, many times over. It's what made me a nonbeliever.

      It goes both ways.

      December 27, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  10. skeptic AL

    I know there is no God because no loving God would allow anyone to suffer as much as I...
    …hold on. My cell phone’s ringing.

    December 26, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • doobzz

      Cute.

      Now do it again, but this time pretend you're a three year old Somalian orphan with AIDS.

      December 27, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  11. lol??

    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    lol??
    A HAHA Carol

    "Away in the Closet no Transcripts for Grades" has just been released for the billyboard season.
    Harvard chaplains are accepting donations for their doctrines.

    December 26, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Max

      Once more in English?

      December 27, 2013 at 10:52 am |
      • lol??

        Is that you, Mad??

        December 27, 2013 at 11:07 am |
  12. lol??

    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    No Affirmative Actions slots for the HAHA's They shot themselves in the foot now that they've created such a big mob and needed official leadership.

    Humanistic Atheists Harvard Agnostics

    Now that the holy day has been recaptured, one would think the'd be celebratin' at Hugh's bunnie clubs.

    December 26, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Max

      Are there even any of those clubs open? Somehow I am unsurprised you're stuck in 1960.

      December 27, 2013 at 10:19 am |
      • lol??

        You chased em all away with all your hip hoppin'? Say it ain't so Daddy O.

        December 27, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  13. Check

    Vic

    "Intermediate Technical Remark:
    Correct me if I am wrong. I believe inserting a reply in the middle of the chain is a privilege available only to registered users."

    Perhaps the WordPress registered posters' comments are time-stamped when they begin to type – not when they click "Post".

    ( I made this a separate post so as not to interrupt the discussion on the thread below)

    December 26, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • PC3

      It all vanished...

      December 26, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
      • Check

        Wow - what the...?

        December 26, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
        • PC3

          That happens sometimes, too.

          December 26, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
        • Science Works

          PC3

          It tends to happen after the religious stick foot in mouth too !

          December 27, 2013 at 7:55 am |
    • Max

      You're wrong. I'm not a registered WordPress user and here I am in the middle of a reply.

      December 27, 2013 at 9:42 am |
      • Max

        Oh, wait , I misunderstood. Yes, you're correct that WordPress users can insert a reply to whomever addressed them, even if it's in the middle of a thread, for continuity.

        December 27, 2013 at 9:47 am |
  14. youtube

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1It-gfybBcQ

    December 26, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
  15. Bill

    I agree with the author of this article. many people who are fed up with a world full of apposing religion, fights over land and wars for convenience and power, may push aside the character and patience of Jesus Christ. There are many great truths surrounding the compassion of who He was, and also what new testament seems to say about the difference between Christ and the Pharisees.

    December 25, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
  16. Jesus' Beloved

    Austin: There was a young man named Joseph who was accused of being a dreamer. The birthright is something that is given by the rights that one acquires at the time of his birth and is conferred upon the child by his parents. And yet Joseph the dreamer, who was younger by natural birth, ended up with the spiritual birthright.

    The "old men" referred to in Acts 2:17 are not those who are "old" in natural age. Instead the "old" men are those who are old in the age of their spirit. These are "the ancients" whose spirit existed even from before the foundation of the world.
    Isaiah 44:6-10

    December 25, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Austin

      there are things that concern me. like the error of Balaam, and in 2 peter it talks about apostates, relying on " the strength of their dreams". can you elaborate a bit more on acts 2:17 i am not sure how i should apply that. don't worry, you will not offend me because this has become something that at times is overwhelming .

      I have a controversial past too. I vandalized a church in 2001 i was upset about the people and their politics. looking back on it i realize that the people support zionism, and i don't know what to think.

      did you hear about how the orthodox jews met with ahmedinejad and called for the speedy dismantling of the "talmudic israel"

      that is a deep subject.

      December 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        The error of Balaam... God gives us tests at times to reveal to us the nature of our hearts.
        With Abraham when He told him he was going to destroy S&G. Abrahams heart revealed his love by him asking God not to destroy the city if He God could find 50 then down to 10 righteous people.
        Moses also passed the test when the Lord told him the people had strayed and he would destroy them. Then Moses told the Lord that they were His people and to consider what the Egyptians would say, and summoned the courage to and says almost the unthinkable to the Lord to "repent".
        The point being...A servant hides what's in his heart from his master...but true friends are honest with each other.
        This is the stage when one walks in friendship with God, where he reveals to God with humility what's in his heart.

        December 25, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • Austin

          ok thanks for that. I have to take a break for some company i look forward to your conversation.

          December 25, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

          New Torah For Modern Minds

          “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
          Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

          The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

          Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

          The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

          The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

          December 26, 2013 at 12:46 am |
  17. Jesus' Beloved

    Austin, do you interpret your dreams yourself, or does someone else?

    Do you know of John Paul Jackson?

    December 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Austin

      hey hows it going. i don't know who that is. . here is was another one.

      i had never studied Jeremiah, I did not know the story one bit. nothing about him being captive, nothing about a scribe, nothing about a scroll or cistern.

      one night in the middle of the night, i wrote a dream down that seemed useless. i saw an arch with a beautiful tile patio. it looked like it was at a million dollar house. and then there was a detatched arm, it reached down into a hole in the ground, and pulled out a leather pouch , and dust fell off it. then the pouch was opened, and there were jewels inside, many different colors.

      I did not think twice about the dream. just filed it away. later that day i read four chapters further in the book of jeremaih, at about 4 pm that day this is what i read....
      9 Take great stones in thine hand, and hide them in the clay in the brickkiln, which is at the entry of Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah;

      10 And say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them.

      December 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Austin

      i have not tried to interpret any of them, maybe i should . i figured they were just to show me His wit and presence, and to call me for the sake of the gospel.

      December 25, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        All this is true, however you should have them interpreted... that's how God speaks to His people.
        That's an incredible dream... I don't interpret dreams, however there are some things that I can understand.

        You have an incredible calling. I would love to hear more about your dreams.
        God Bless,

        December 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • Austin

          i can share more with you there about ten more. how bout you check on this blog, "godless mom strikes a chord with parents" which you can find through a google search, and i will put them on the last page by this time tomorrow. someone erased them, or i cant find where they were posted.

          December 25, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  18. Austin

    What a beautiful article! Author radiates.

    December 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • JoeCool

      Yes – Joel Osteen would be proud. Nothing in the article about redemption. Just the "Great Philosopher" Jesus. Not the savior Jesus.

      December 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • Ginny Bain Allen

        Joel Osteen fails to preach sin, sacrifice or suffering.

        December 25, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
      • Austin

        you may have a point, but you may also try to understand that the audience here at cnn regularly tries to taint the loving kindness of God. I think she is trying to reveal His love.

        but yes, the birth of Christ is God's declaration of war on sin and evil. Thank God for the new covenant promise and patience, grace and mercy. And let us be thankful for the Holy Spirit.

        December 25, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • sam stone

          and many others seek to paint the vindictive pettines of the character as loving kindness

          December 26, 2013 at 5:31 am |
        • Austin

          if you are not baptised by the holy spirit, you are still free to let death reign, but once you invoke the Holy Spirit within you , He will teach, heal comfort, and sanctify you. There is nothing you can do about it aside from make your soul miserable.

          17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

          December 26, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • sam stone

          you are delusional

          December 27, 2013 at 7:12 am |
  19. Austin

    1 Tim. 2:6) "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man." (Heb. 2:9) "And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:2) Here are three expressions: 1st, "ALL;" 2nd, "EVERYMAN;" 3d, "THE WHOLE WORLD.

    December 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Science Works

      Austin – so when will that be for you ?

      Americans' Belief in God, Miracles and Heaven Declines
      Belief in Darwin's theory of evolution rises

      http://www.harrisinteractive.com/NewsRoom/HarrisPolls/tabid/447/ctl/ReadCustom%20Default/mid/1508/ArticleId/1353/Default.aspx

      December 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
      • Rev 17

        And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great wh.ore that sitteth upon many waters:

        December 25, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
        • Science Works

          No the talking snake slithers – does it not ?

          December 25, 2013 at 3:53 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.