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December 24th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

CNN Poll: Pope's approval rating sky-high

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - As Pope Francis prepares to celebrate his first Christmas at the Vatican, Americans' opinions of the pontiff appear to be as high as the dome on St. Peter's Basilica, according to a new survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday found that 88% of American Catholics approve of how Francis is handling his role as head of the 1.2 billion-member church.

The popular pontiff has also made a positive impression among Americans in general: Nearly three in four view Francis favorably.  The new survey suggests that the Pope is arguably the most well-regarded religious figure among the American public today, said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Nine months into his papacy, the Argentine-born Francis has captured attention with crowd-pleasing acts of compassion, from embracing a severely disfigured man, to washing the feet of juvenile delinquents, to hosting homeless men at his birthday Mass this month.

The Pope has also shown a common touch rare for such a lofty religious leader. He has eschewed the trappings of the papacy in favor of humbler digs, simpler vestments and a cheaper car. He worked as a bar bouncer and a janitor before he was a priest, and is not shy about telling people.

Pope: I was once a bar bouncer

According to one study, Pope Francis was the most talked about person on the Internet this year, and even atheists have professed appreciation for the 77-year-old pontiff.

The breadth of Francis' popularity was on display at American newsstands this month: he was named person of the year by both Time magazine and The Advocate, a gay and lesbian publication.

"While 2013 will be remembered for the work of hundreds in advancing marriage equality, it will also be remembered for the example of one man," The Advocate said. In remarks that rippled across the globe, Pope Francis said in July, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?

Pope Francis on gays: 'Who am I to judge?'

While the Pope has not changed church doctrine, he has urged Catholics to shift their focus from culture war issues to caring for people on society's margins, especially the poor.

"I see the church as a field hospital after battle," Francis said in September.

American Catholics appear to like the new course the Pope has set for their church. Nearly two-thirds agree with him about the amount of attention that should be paid to issues such as abortion and homosexuality, according to the CNN/ORC poll.

More than 85% of American Catholics say Francis is neither too liberal nor too conservative, and 86% say he's in touch with the modern world. By comparison, more than half of American Catholics said Pope John Paul II was out of step with the times in 2003, near the end of his 26-year-long papacy.

But Francis has been a fierce critic of the status quo, especially what calls the "idolatry of money" present in modern-day capitalism. In a papal statement last month, for example, the Pope blasted the theory of trickle-down economics, calling it "crude and naïve."

Conservative critics such as Rush Limbaugh pounced on the Pope's remarks, calling him a closet Marxist. But nearly two in three American Catholics agree with the Pope about capitalism and the free market's effects on the poor, according to the CNN/ORC poll.

Pope: Marxist ideology is 'wrong'

On other key issues for Catholics - the role of women in the church and the sexual abuse crises - Francis gets similarly high ratings from his American flock.

More than six in 10 American Catholics agree with Francis' comments about women in the church, according to the CNN/ORC poll. The Pope has said that women should have a larger role in church governance but cannot be ordained as priests.

Similarly, more than six in 10 American Catholics say Francis is doing a good job handling fallout from the church's sexual abuse scandal, even as most (64%) also say the church overall has done a poor job on the issue.

This month, the Vatican announced the creation of a new commission to care for victims of clergy sexual abuse and to prevent future crimes.

American Catholics had given especially low marks on the sexual abuse scandal to Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, with just 36% saying in 2010 that he had handled the issue well.

CNN's Holland said it's difficult to ascertain exactly how Francis' popularity stacks up against his predecessors, however. "It's a tough question since polling on Popes is pretty sparse," he said.

What's more, like political polling, approval ratings shift depending on the public mood and perception of a Pope's performance.

For example, three-quarters of American Catholics approved of how John Paul was leading the church in 1994; that number rose to 84% in 1999 and dipped to 64% in 2003, at the height of the church's sexual abuse crisis.

It remains to be seen how long the honeymoon will last for Francis, and how long he can continue to build goodwill among American Catholics.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International on December 16 through Thursday, with 1,035 adults nationwide, including 191 Catholics, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Pope Francis' greatest hits of 2013

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture wars • Leaders • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Pope John Paul II • Sex abuse • Vatican

soundoff (3,274 Responses)
  1. lol??

    Satan flunked on the loving back part. Reward him?? HHHHmmmmm, family law.

    December 30, 2013 at 1:46 am |
    • Austin

      its past your bed time

      December 30, 2013 at 2:56 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Both of you need medicated, so it is rather funny to see one crazed man tell another crazed man that it's past their bed time. Tell me you too, how do you manage to evade the asylum when you're both crazed individuals?

      December 31, 2013 at 6:33 am |
      • truthprevails1

        too=two (dippy is not around to correct)

        December 31, 2013 at 6:34 am |
  2. Bender Bending Rodriguez

    Hello All,
    I was watching a conversation between Biologist Richard Dawkins and astrophysicist Lawrence Kraus at ASU that someone posted on another thread last night. Dawkins said he found it disturbing that an unnamed astrophysicist believed that the earth was 6000 years old. I certainly agree that the earth is billions of years old but he then said that even if that particular individual kept his religious beliefs to himself, he still shouldn't be a scientist. Likewise, if an eye doctor believed that the stork gives newborns, he shouldn't be a doctor, regardless of how good he is at his profession and if he keeps his beliefs away from his profession.

    I find that view a little upsetting. If that hypothetical eye doctor did actually believe that and did resign, he would still believe that a large bird still delivered babies but the world would then be deprived of a good eye doctor. Plus, if we would crack down on scientists/doctors that believed something absurd, where would we draw the line at what would be considered absurd? If believing in Christianity, Judaism, etc would be considered absurd then should someone attempt to find a new doctor if they found out he/she was a churchgoers? If the professional was a football coach, should they resign knowing that he is encouraging his teammates to play a game that places them at an unnecessary risk for concussions?

    If the end result, is the same, why rid the world of a credible professional?

    December 29, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      That's a fair point and, in my view, Dawkins is a little harsh/fundamentalist; however, his point is not as drastic as it sounds, is it? How comfortable would most people be if their excellent, wonderful doctor also practice "w!tch doctor"-ing in the evening and thought that his patients were REALLY cured whenever he sacrificed a goat or chicken in his basement?

      December 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
      • Bender Bending Rodriguez

        I certainly respect Dawkins and read one of his books but I feel that he is doing more harm than good when criticizing religion. I can certainly understand how he can be against the religious individuals who say you'll go to hell if you believe in evolution but the fact is that some will not abandon their faith. I have heard him say that he likes it how some churches speak against evolution as he's hopeful it will cause some to religious people to lose their faith. I feel he should embrace those that believe God used evolution.

        December 29, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Dawkins believes that most religions are mostly bad; thus, his opinions with which you disagree are consistent with his own views. He may believe and profess ideas with which we disagree, but he is no hypocrite.

          December 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • devin

          Actually, Dawkins is the epitome of hypocrisy. He trumpets the scientific method, all the while maligning every form of known religion, and yet his adamance that the earth is 6 billion years old is no less a form of faith. Granted, the preponderance of evidence would seem to support his claim, but the reality is, none of us were there in the beginning to observe and verify this claim. This is not something tangible like measuring the speed of light in a vacuum. Speculation and faith in decay rates, sediment deposits etc..all come in to play. Mr. Dawkins is a man of his own self imposed religion.

          December 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Devin,
          Actually the earth is about 4.5 billion years old. This age is based on evidence from radiometric age dating of meteorite material and is consistent with the ages of the oldest-known terrestrial and lunar samples. It is not faith in the religious sense (accepting the word of ancients whose knowledge was orders of magnitude less than ours and who did not have powerful computers to calculate and model). The universe can be "tracked back" to within a few nanoseconds of the Big Bang – there are plenty of documentaries about the universe and creation of earth and the later creation of the moon etc. which provides the evidence that supports that age for the earth.

          December 29, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Devin, suppose I have faith that invisible unicorns exist and help me to be safe throughout my day and without them I would meet death a thousand times in 24 hours. Suppose that I also have faith that my car will start tomorrow as it has for the past several thousand mornings except when I had to replace my battery that went dead.

          Do you see a difference in the faith I use for the two scenarios? What do you call "faith" that has mountains and mountains of evidence that imply such a conclusion (my car will start tomorrow). What do you call "faith" that has ZERO evidence to imply such a conclusion (that unicorns exist and affect my life every second of the day)?

          Thanks for answering.

          December 29, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Santa:
          "It is still a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science." – Friedrich Nietzsche

          December 29, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Perhaps so, Russ, but the difference is in the application. "Faith" that the mysterious action of quantum tunneling will work today as it apparently has since a few seconds after the Big Bang causes transistors to operate as planned.....thus... your computer and GPS devices work exactly as science predicts it will work. That's the power of prediction based on scientific results.

          So, yes, I'll continue to hold faith that science provides predictable results because the practical applications prove my faith correct over and over and over again, each time I have that faith. Faith in god produces speculation and dogma, but NEVER predictable, practical results. If faith really worked, you could carry on this conversation without a computer or access to electricity and the internet....and it would work every time you tried it. Is that the sort of faith you are using, today? Or are you DISCUSSING "faith" that has no predictable, verifiable results by UTILIZING faith in the very science you put down to the level of any other invisible function?

          Hmmm?

          December 29, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
        • devin

          Captain

          Obviously I see the difference in your two scenarios, much in the same way I see the glaring dissimilarities in comparing the Christian faith with that of invisible unicorns. That faith has "zero evidence" is simply your own construct, not factual, just your own.

          December 29, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
      • devin

        Santa

        My apologies for the "6 billion" reference, I'm quite aware the claim is 4.5 billion. I must have had 6 on the brain from the OP's reference to 6000.

        December 29, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Bender,
      "If that hypothetical eye doctor did actually believe that ... a large bird still delivered babies ..." it would seriously undermine his/her credibility. In the same way that there is at least one "geologist" who believes in young-earth creationism – that view is incompatible with the way that coal and oil deposits came into being and the way certain strata can be predicted; how could one rely on his professional judgement?

      December 29, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • Bender Bending Rodriguez

        It certainly would. However, let's put this into perspective. One who believes in God would not be the same as what we're talking about. I presume you see a PVP, dentist, eye doctor, and dermatologist and the odds are that one of them believes in a higher power. I don't feel it discredits their work.

        December 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • Bender Bending Rodriguez

          That was supposed to be "PCP" and not PVP.

          December 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Yes, Bender, plenty of intelligent professionals have faith that god exists in some form and faith in the science of their particular discipline. The quality of such a professional's work depends on where they utilize which faith. If the professional utilizes mostly his faith in science to attempt to cure illnesses and repair components and mostly his faith in god to attempt to control his emotions, then that person is probably competent and successful to some degree. If the professional utilizes mostly his faith in god to attempt to cure illnesses and repair components and mostly his faith in science to attempt to control his emotions, then that person is probably incompetent and unsuccessful to some degree.

          Science MUST prove itself; religious belief CANNOT prove itself. Science ALWAYS produce measurable results; religious belief NEVER produces measurable results.

          December 29, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      A 21st century critique of religion:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

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

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

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

      earlychristianwritings.com/

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

      Current RCC problems:

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

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

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

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, the Filipino “koranics”and the Boston Marthon bombers.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current problems:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      December 29, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
      • Red

        I like how you didn't include negative and angry atheists who can't prove a damn thing they "believe" in.

        December 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • Alias

          I have lots of proof that the christian god does not exist as is described in the bible.

          December 29, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
        • Red

          I'm a monotheist. I don't have any knowledge of any Biblical Gods, so I'm sure you have plenty of proof, but it wouldn't do anything for me. Sorry.

          December 29, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Red:

          A few questions.

          1. What do atheists believe that you need proof for? (I will try to answer as best I am able, as an atheist)
          2. Does a person who does not believe in unicorns need to have proof to not believe that unicorns exist?
          3. Because you have ZERO proof that I am not flying an invisible spaceship in the room where you are currently siting, should you believe that I am flying such a spaceship in the room where you are currently sitting? After all, you have no proof that I'm not there flying such a spaceship.

          December 29, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Red:

          A few questions.

          1. What do atheists believe that you need proof for? (I will try to answer as best I am able, as an atheist)
          2. Does a person who does not believe in unicorns need to have proof to not believe that unicorns exist?
          3. Because you have ZERO proof that I am not flying an invisible spaceship in the room where you are currently siting, should you believe that I am flying such a spaceship in the room where you are currently sitting? After all, you have no proof that I'm not there flying such a spaceship.

          Thanks!

          December 29, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
        • Red

          1) I don't need an atheists' proof for anything
          2) Whoever believes in unicorns is free to do so and I nor any other monotheist ridicule them about it (that's how it works in monotheism, not sure about other faiths).
          3) You may be in this room, you may not be. It doesn't matter as long as my home isn't harmed..... So why the fuss? Why does everyone KNOW everyone else in disagreement with them is wrong? Do you see my point?

          December 29, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
        • Opposing View

          Alias… You stated – "I have lots of proof that the christian god does not exist as is described in the bible."…

          Is that right? Then please do show us even a single shred of proof. We are all so anxious to see it…

          And if you cannot show us proof, then you are a liar who is bound for the lake…

          December 29, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
        • G to the T

          "monotheist" – You keep using that word like it's the name of a religion... but it's not. Just what do you believe?

          December 30, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Strong circ-umstantial evidence that there is no god (or did they all die as martyrs?)

          Number of god's creations who died horrible deaths from the following diseases:

          1. 300,000,000 approx.
          Smallpox

          2. 200,000,000 ?
          Measles

          3. 100,000,000 approx.
          Black Death

          4. 80,000,000–250,000,000
          Malaria

          5. 50,000,000–100,000,000
          Spanish Flu

          6. 40,000,000–100,000,000
          Plague of Justinian

          7. 40,000,000–100,000,000
          Tuberculosis

          8. 30,000,000[13]
          AIDS pandemic

          9. 12,000,000 ?
          Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague

          10. 5,000,000
          Antonine Plague

          11. 4,000,000
          Asian Flu

          12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

          December 30, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • G to the T

      I'm not sure about "eye doctor" and "stork" as one doesn't impact directly on the other, but the age of the earth and astrophysics certainly seem like they should.

      I think I can see what Dawkins means though – what if that doctor was a gynecologist and believed in the stork? Would you still consider them a reputable doctor? Or if a geologist believed the earth was 10K years old – would you still consider him a reputable geologist.

      I think saying "they aren't a scientist" is a bit of "no true scotsman" but I certainly would see them as being "reputable" in their field as they hold beliefs contrary to the foundation of thier fields.

      December 30, 2013 at 11:00 am |
      • G to the T

        Dang it – "...would NOT see them as reputable" I meant...

        December 30, 2013 at 11:01 am |
  3. Jesus' Beloved

    Austin, are you going back to visit your friend today?

    Continued prayers, and throw out all of those negative fliers in his room 🙂

    December 29, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  4. Help

    Cpt. Obvious

    JB

    You said that spiritual laws work for everyone; thus, everyone should be able to observe such laws in action and measure their individual results.

    What can any person do to test your hypothesis? How can a person perform an action that will verify that spiritual laws exist?

    Thanks.

    December 29, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      Here is a very simple one:

      As a man thinks in his heart so he is. Why because out of the abundance of his heart he speaks.

      If you want to know what your life will be like in the next year, just take notes on what your thoughts are now.

      December 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        That is not a testable/verifiable experiment, JB. There are no real controls. You don't seem to understand what a "law" is and how it works and can be verified. Try again?

        December 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      Here is another you can do:

      Take 2 plants – curse one daily, bless the other daily. Eventually the cursed plant will die.

      Another – Take similar container of water – curse one, bless the other. Freeze the water in both. Use a microscope to look at the crystal formation of both.
      The blessed one will be uniform; the cursed one jagged. See, I've even gone ahead and told you the results.

      Anyway, the same thing applies to your life.

      Understand

      December 29, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Obvious Fail.

        If you can get that experiment to work, JB, submit your testing controls and results to the Nobel committee and go collect your prize. You're about to become the most famous person on earth.

        December 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
      • GMAB

        "Take 2 plants – curse one daily, bless the other daily. Eventually the cursed plant will die."

        In that case my yard would have no weeds, and the danged Mulberry trees would have disappeared a decade ago!

        @@@@@ <-– point to head and make those little finger circles toward it.

        December 29, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
      • igaftr

        "Take 2 plants – curse one daily, bless the other daily. Eventually the cursed plant will die.

        Another – Take similar container of water – curse one, bless the other. Freeze the water in both. Use a microscope to look at the crystal formation of both.
        The blessed one will be uniform; the cursed one jagged. See, I've even gone ahead and told you the results."

        Flat out lies. Neither one of these yeilds those results. I don't care how many times you wave a magic wand or whisper to water, you do not effect the water even slightly.
        As far as plants....flat out ridiculous. No scientific validity in the slightest.

        December 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
      • Alias

        If I try these and they fail, what conclusion should I reach?

        December 29, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          According to JB's logic, they cannot fail, ever, for any reason, for any person, at any time. Or, if these tests do fail, it proves that there is no such thing as a spiritual law, ever, for any reason, for any person, at any time. Hey, let's not argue with JB's logic!!

          December 29, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
      • Damocles

        Shocking, late-breaking news: plants eventually die. The horror.

        Wizard's First Rule

        December 31, 2013 at 7:16 am |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      Here is another Spiritual Law – whatever you sow, will be multipled 30, 60, 100 times.

      No matter how little you have, if you sow into those who have even less than you – your seed will be multiplied.

      In layman's terms – feed the hungry, clothe the naked, take care of orphans and widows. You're not doing to get back in return, but because of the laws in existence, your giving (seed) will be multiplied.

      Read Matthew and everywhere it says, the Kingdom of Heaven is like... there you'll find spiritual laws

      December 29, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
      • igaftr

        There are no spiritual laws. If there were, they could be universally applied....and none can be.

        December 29, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • Opposing View

          Just like an atheists. Big words and not an ounce of evidence to back it up...

          December 29, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
        • igaftr

          OV
          Once again you show the inability to use logic. I am not the one claiming something is there whne there is no evidence of it.
          The onus is on the claimant, not me.
          Seriously, take a class in logic and critical thinking, lest you continue to look like an idiot.

          December 30, 2013 at 8:15 am |
  5. Jesus Number one son...he love me long time.

    Clearly you can see from the name, I have not learned a single one of Jesus lessons in humility, for I have exalted myself, if only in my name.

    December 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Austin

      ex·hor·ta·tion (gzôr-tshn, ksôr-)
      n.
      1. The act or an instance of exhorting.
      2. A speech or discourse that encourages, incites, or earnestly advises

      we dont really have all day to sit around and compromise and say, you have this right so don't worry about the wrong there and there and there.

      no, habitual sin is the rejection of sanctification. that is a lost sheep. the good shepherd seeks ALL, of his sheep. in love.

      that is not His only character trait and mood. he flipped over some tables.

      December 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
      • sam stone

        austin: sin is a religious concept that has no value outside of the minds of believers

        December 29, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Jesus Number one son...he love me long time.

      Exhalted....not exhorted.

      I am loved by Jesus...it says so in my name...I need not be humbled by it, not at all, even though Jesus said I should. My name sets me on a higher pedastel.

      I exhalt myself in his name...

      December 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
  6. AtheistSteve

    In the flavor of "And Now For Something Completely Different" since it has nothing to do with this article or blog.

    "Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said he is now taking steps to officially renounce his Canadian citizenship."
    Huffington Post

    And I for one couldn't be happier. Smell ya later, Eh?

    December 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Austin

      and she huffed and she puffed and she blowed his hows down eh? mate?

      December 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
      • AtheistSteve

        Austin is an Aussie?
        Who'd a thunk it?

        December 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I saw that, Steve. Not at all obvious, is he?

      December 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • AtheistSteve

        Yeah really. If he ever makes his bid for the POTUS chair the debacle Obama faced over his birth certificate will pale by comparison. Can't alter the fact that he wasn't born in the US.
        And if by some chance he actually pulls it off then maybe he can convince Harper to join him. Kill 2 birds with one stone.

        December 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  7. Jesus' Beloved

    Part 3:
    Later Abram returned to Terah's house. And Terah had twelve gods of large size, made of wood and stone, after the twelve months of the year, and he served each one monthly, and every month Terah would bring his meat offering and drink offer to his gods; thus did Terah all the days. Jash 9:8 When Abram saw all this he pondered within his heart the meaning. And
    Abram saw the sun shining upon the earth, and Abram said unto himself Surely now this sun that shines upon the earth is God, and him will I serve. And Abram served the sun in that day and he prayed to him, and when even came the sun set as usual, and Abram said within himself, Surely this cannot be God. ... And Abram saw the stars and moon before him, and
    he said, Surely this is the God who created the whole earth as well as man, and behold these his servants are gods around him, and Abram served the moon and prayed to it that night.
    And in the morning when it was light and sun shone upon the earth as usual, Abram saw all the things that the Lord God had made upon earth. And Abram said unto himself Surely these are not gods that made the earth and all mankind, but these are the servants of God; and Abram remained in the house of Noah and there knew the Lord and his ways, and he
    served the Lord all the days of his life, and all that generation [Nimrod's] forgot the Lord, and served other gods of wood and stone, and rebelled all their days. Jash 9:13-15, 17-19.

    December 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      JB

      You said that spiritual laws work for everyone; thus, everyone should be able to observe such laws in action and measure their individual results.

      What can any person do to test your hypothesis? How can a person perform an action that will verify that spiritual laws exist?

      Thanks.

      December 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  8. Austin

    In John:8:31, 32 we find, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him. If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

    (2) Idolaters shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Those who offer to others what belongs unto God are idolaters. A person's idol might be a huge, grotesque image carved out of stone before which he bows. Or it might be his own desires. It is anything that a person adores more than God. Idolatry will keep one from entering heaven.

    December 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Austin

      habitual sin

      December 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
      • igaftr

        "habitual sin"

        If you mean your posts, you are correct.

        Jesus had many, many lessons of humility....apparently you have not understood one.

        December 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • Austin

          which eternal destiny did he talk about more?

          December 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  9. Jesus' Beloved

    The birth of Abram has many similarities to the birth of Jesus. On the night that he was born, the wise men and con.jurors saw a large star swallow up four other stars. They were alarmed for King Nimrod and made this report to him. And thy servants were astonished at the sight which we saw, and were greatly terrified, and we made our judgment upon the sight, and knew by our wisdom the proper interpretation thereof, that this thing applies to the child that is born to Terah, who will grow up and multiply greatly, become powerful, and kill all kings of the earth, and inherit all their lands, he and his seed forever. ... If it seemeth good to the king to give his father value for this child, we will slay him before he shall grow up and increase in the land ... Jasher 8:11,
    13 Much like the story of Herod and the child Jesus, it was thought that Abram was killed, but he was secretly taken to a cave for 10 years and then later to Noah and Shem.

    December 29, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Austin

      like!

      December 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
      • Austin

        i loved Jubilees, Jasher, Enoch, and Macabees . should re read them.

        December 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          I've only read Jasher and Enoch... didn't finish Enoch ...

          Love Judah – "Praise"

          December 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  10. Jesus' Beloved

    Why Abraham was Chosen.

    The Book of Jasher gives us some general background about Abram. He was born in the days of King Nimrod in the times before the tower of Babel fell. His Father Terah was a chief military officer in Nimrod's army. All of the earth was of one tongue and words of union, but Nimrod did not go in the ways of the Lord, and he was more wicked than all the men that were before him, from the days of the flood until those days. And he made gods of wood and stone, and he bowed down to them, and he rebelled against the Lord, and taught all his subjects and the people of the earth his wicked ways; and Mardon his son was more wicked than his father.

    Abraham was also a con.temporary of Noah and Shem and secretly visited them at times to receive instruction in the ways of the Lord.
    So this sets the stage for the advent of the birth of Abram who the Lord called to turn away the earth from worship of many idolatrous gods.

    December 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • lol??

      Here I thought it was because he got his marriage license from Sodom and was lawfully wedded.

      BBBbbbwwwaaaaaaaaaaaahahahaha

      December 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
      • Austin

        no you cant do ......................

        December 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Austin

      that food tastes so good to my soul.

      December 29, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  11. Jesus' Beloved

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_2OlLxyeAM

    For you Austin
    One of my favorites – the song in tongues at ~15 mins

    December 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • igaftr

      tongues...otherwise know as spewing gibberish.

      December 29, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • lol??

      What's the proper name for the bride, the body of Christ??

      December 29, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
      • Austin

        the Church?

        December 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          New Creation Church in Singapore

          December 29, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • RB

      I've watch a few of his sermons, he does a good job. The ones where he gets into the Hebrew are very interesting.

      December 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        I agree, it's very interesting to see the pictogram etc.
        I especially love how he reveals Jesus hidden in the OT.

        Blessings and Great Prosperity in the New Year

        December 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        I agree, it's very interesting to see the pic.to.gram translated etc
        I especially love how he reveals Jesus hidden in the OT.

        Blessings and Great Prosperity in the New Year

        December 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  12. lol??

    Better get the law of Christ straight in your minds before inventing spiritual law. 'Sides it sounds too much like CHURCH law which is the biggest baddest most demonical, heretical doctrine of all time, and an oxymoron, I might add.

    December 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Austin

      lol, you can admonish me and we will still be good friends. what sounds like church law?

      December 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • lol??

        If I have, you wouldn't take it wrong.

        December 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • Austin

          keep it on a stand brother.

          December 29, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  13. Austin

    Ecu.menism mainly refers to initiatives aimed at greater Christian unity or cooperation. These initiatives are often referred to as interdenominational. It is used predominantly by and with reference to Christian denominations and Christian Churches separated by doctrine, history, and practice. Within this particular context, the term ec.umenism refers to the idea of a Christian unity in the literal meaning: that there should be a single Church. Ecu.menism is separate and distinct from Nondenominational Christianity.

    The word contrasts with interfaith dialogue or interfaith pluralism aimed at unity or cooperation among diverse religions and referring to a worldwide "religious unity" by the advocacy of a greater sense of shared spirituality.

    December 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Austin

      We should not tolerate non biblical doctrines. Ecu.minism is not authorized in the bible.

      December 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • Jep

        Catholics are responsible for assembling the Bible.

        December 29, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • Austin

          the book of peter, a supposed catholic. did he pray to mary?, the rest of the books, written by non catholics, did they pray to anyone besides God the father?

          praying to Mary started in 1000 ad. how can you authorize that without it being ordained in scripture?

          Mary was hailed while she was alive, not dead. Why would you be filled with the holy spirit, and then pray to mary, a non-god?

          December 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • lol??

          The first pope was Simon the sorcerer. Protest THAT!

          December 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Jep

          Do you know that he didn't?
          No.

          Are you a Bible literalist? Do you stone adulterers and gay people?

          December 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • Anonymous

          Austin,

          "Hail, Mary!" (inscription at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth [A.D. 200]).

          Explain.

          December 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • lol??

          Hey Jep, that must be why Jesus never "addressed the gays". They were all STONED!

          December 29, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • Austin

          Jep you are right i have no authority to condemn you and maybe i got carried away. i have always been disappointed in people who judge the salvation of any one else, but if you do read through the bible, you can easily come up with objections to things that appear to me, to be idolatry in the church.

          I would say the same thing about non denominational church that are too head strong.

          I have a concern that is out of love and the desire to see people united in a pure doctrine and obedience.
          Most saved people are still not willing to suffer for God, we will go to work, and go home for convenience every day, and for what the pope has to say on these issues i agree that we should reach out and let go of convenience.

          The world is at war for convenience.

          December 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
  14. jhhgjgjerqwergjg5656654

    WAIT CNN.
    CIFI.

    Shockwaves VERY LOW FREQUENCY CALL YOU THE THUNDER.

    EVENTS TO HAPPEN WITH SEVERAL OTHER thinkit THAT DO NOT LISTEN.

    WITH THIS IF YOU THINK OTHERWISE DELETE PART OF ESIMULOS.

    DIZZY AFTER STROKE

    CALCULATION FOR THE TRIP AND OTHER EVENTS OCCURRING IN FRACTIONS OF SECOND

    EVEN IS SENT FOR CALLS TO CELL TAKES.

    SPIES ARE THOUSANDS OF 7 SATELLITES IN VENEZUELA.

    OBSERVATORY IS COMPLICE

    ALL COUNTRY AGENCIES WORKING IN VENEZUELA.

    BY MONEY.
    RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

    December 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Austin

      hey you stole my other handle!

      December 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
      • Lily

        He appears to be just as nuts as you are.

        December 29, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  15. jhhgjgjerqwergjg5656654

    WAIT CNN.
    CIFI.

    Shockwaves VERY LOW FREQUENCY CALL YOU THE THUNDER.

    EVENTS TO HAPPEN WITH SEVERAL OTHER thinkit THAT DO NOT LISTEN.

    WITH THIS IF YOU THINK OTHERWISE DELETE PART OF ESIMULOS.

    DIZZY AFTER STROKE

    CALCULATION FOR THE TRIP AND OTHER EVENTS OCCURRING IN FRACTIONS OF SECOND

    EVEN IS SENT FOR CALLS TO CELL TAKES.

    SPIES ARE THOUSANDS OF 7 SATELLITES IN VENEZUELA.

    OBSERVATORY IS COMPLICE

    ALL COUNTRY AGENCIES WORKING IN VENEZUELA.

    BY MONEY.
    HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    December 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  16. Austin

    lets chat up here. knowing what we know, reading through new testaments about false doctrine and reading through the old testament, I firmly believe, and feel, that people who are steeped in unrepentant idolatry, do not show sighs that show that they are responding the Holy Spirt.

    Say they struggle with a sin , I think that the Lord sanctifies us of these through a process, but for people who need all the extra seductive "beauty" surrounding the finished work of Christ, and the Holy Spirit, I feel that such idolatry is the manifestation of the rejection of the Holy Spirit, and I think they have fallen pray to a VERY SEDUCTIVE SPIRIT. .similar to baal worship, and the spirit of Jezebel.

    These people WORSHIP MARY, they put the pope under a microscope, and he really is a big time compromise to many forms of disobedience as perscribed in the bible.

    The Catholic church claims a supreme authority and rite, and all of this absolutely reeks of the worst idolatry. I feel the Catholic Church is a satanic masterpiece of deception. Would something like that line up with prophesy, absolutely.

    and my ultimate goal, is to encourage catholics to stay FAR AWAY, from such a religious show. That is my intention. The warn them of the horrid idolatry, and the FACT, that God does not show favoritism.

    December 29, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Jep

      THEY DONT WORSHIP MARY, you hateful Christian bigot.
      The only thing you're doing is being a gigantic Christian hypocrite.

      God DOESNT show favoritism. Which is why YOU will be judged the exact way YOU JUDGE.

      Hypocrite. Bigot.

      December 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
      • Hugh

        do you have a biblical response to the graven images and praying to anyone other than God? that is my point!

        December 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • Jep

          Your point is moot, as Catholics don't WORSHIP them.

          Bigot.

          December 29, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
        • Austin

          Im looking out for people. JEP, is there authority in the word of God? if so, can you provide an example of praying to a deceased individual that negates this verse

          1 Timothy 2:5 ►

          For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,

          December 29, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          " if so, can you provide an example that negates this verse?"

          Yeah...pretty much every other baloney verse in the book.

          December 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
      • Austin

        Isnt that interesting that india or asia? have the highest rate of growth / salvation? i wonder what the mission field would be like over there.

        December 29, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
        • Jep

          Why don't you go there? Christianity is CLEARLY on the wane here, mainly because of religious BIGOTRY.

          December 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
        • I wonder

          @Jep,

          Do you really think that posting the same thing under numerous different screen names makes more of an impression?

          December 29, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          There's no need to call names, we're all one in Christ.

          He who loves God love his brother also.

          December 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • Jep

          I only ever post under Jep. Do you think there is only one Catholic on here who may take issue having their faith dismissed by other so-called Christians?

          December 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
        • Austin

          you are also not giving biblical rebuttals of praying to other people that have died.

          therefore, are you going against the biblical model?

          December 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      I'll relate this story I saw on Andrew's site where he talked about the farmer walking with his cow and the cow had a prosthetic leg. When asked why this is so, and those that asked not being satisfied with the answer, the farmer finally blurted out. "It's a sacred cow, you just can't kill it all at once."

      When someone is steeped in religious traditions you just have to gently direct them to the Word. The Word itself tells us that, our man-made or religious traditions have made the Word of God of no effect in our lives.

      So while I agree with you, and I want to accomplish what you are trying to accomplish, trying to kill sacred cows all at once just wont work.
      It's much easier for an unbeliever to accept certain things based on the Word of God, because they have no man-made traditions.

      December 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
      • Austin

        I am really sorry. You are right.

        December 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Please, don't apologize.
          As Paul said, if we have all knowledge, understand all mysteries, and have all faith, and have not love, we are nothing.

          When we truly become love, we would have won the battle.
          Not by might, not by power, but by the Spirit of Love shall the battle be won.

          God Bless

          December 29, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Austin

          I feel the same way about Muslims I hope we can provide the right doctrine admonishing them in the truth about the trinity if i can use that word.

          Poly theism is myth and not a doctrine of The Word, The Way..

          December 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • igaftr

          Austin

          You are a christian supremacist, and in so being, have clearly not learned anything from your Christ character.

          December 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Austin

          the bible is supreme. not the church.

          Revelation 19:13 ►

          He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.

          ◄ John 1 ►

          The Word Became Flesh

          1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcomea it.

          December 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • Jep

          Do you know what polytheism even MEANS?
          Christians are closer to that discriptor that Muslims are with the Triune...
          I know the Triune isn't polytheism, but then Muslims worship one God...the God of Abraham.

          December 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
        • Austin

          yes i am saying they persecute us because of one main idea that is false, that we are poly theistic .

          they are absolutely wrong and should be admonished and exhorted into the proper understanding. every time they claim we are poly theistic, they imprison their own souls.

          December 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
      • Jep

        What you and Austin both dismiss is that Catholics ALREADY BELIEVE, and YOUR path to God is no less valid than THEIRS.

        Don't like it? Don't be Catholic. There are 40,000 other sects of Christianity to choose from.

        All you people do is promote divisiveness. Is that your goal?

        Stop bashing people's FAITH. Religious bigotry, especially by other "Christians", is insidious, and speaks volumes more about YOU than it does about the MILLIONS of Christians you condemn.

        December 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          Interesting. As an atheist my opposition to Christianity isn't condemning anyone to anything beyond implying they are at fault or in error for holding to superstition and myth.
          The flip side is them saying I'm condemned to an eternity in hell.
          Who is condemning who here?

          December 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  17. Jesus' Beloved

    Gen 10:6 These are the sons of Ham – Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan.
    The youngest son of Cush – Nimrod

    "Of all the children to great grandchildren of Ham, Nimrod was perhaps the greatest. He was the ultimate warrior, con.queror and administrator. He was a diabolical man but was also extremely intelligent and capable of...governance and nation building. He was a military genius, and brutally efficient. He saw into the future of world wide governance and attempted to create that future in his own generation until God cut him down."

    December 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Jep

      ....and?

      December 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      Gen 10:6 These are the sons of Ham – Cush, Mizraim, Ph.ut, and Canaan.
      The youngest son of Cush – Nimrod

      "Of all the children to great grandchildren of Ham, Nimrod was perhaps the greatest. He was the ul.timate warrior, con.queror and administrator. He was a diabolical man but was also extremely intelligent and capable of...governance and nation building. He was a military genius, and brutally efficient. He saw into the future of world wide governance and attempted to create that future in his own generation until God cut him down."

      December 29, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
      • Jep

        ...and?

        December 29, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          God did not intend for man to rule over each other.
          All/most of us recognize that we are involved in a warfare against hatred, intolerance, greed, and spiritual pride.
          While this fight is between the Kingdom of Heaven and the kingdom of darkness, what we need to realize is that the kingdom of darkness is the nations of the world that men have built.

          The devil had it in his heart to overthrow God, however all he ended up accomplishing was overthrowing humankind.

          That doesn't mean we're left Fatherless. From all these nations God has called out a people for Himself.

          Hope you all answer the call.
          God Bless.

          December 29, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
        • Jep

          I agree. I just am unclear about the placement of that on this particular article.

          December 29, 2013 at 2:07 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.