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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. sinsarakris

    I'm not reading any comments because religious people are stupid but I just wanted to say on a humanity level, this Pope rocks. I'm not Catholic.

    January 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
    • 00 00

      y did pharisees murder him?

      January 13, 2014 at 10:38 am |
  2. Alvina Forlani

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    January 5, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
  3. Fallacy Spotting 101

    Lengthy post by 'Opposing View' below largely consists of multiple instances of the ad hominem fallacy and strawman arguments.

    http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

    January 5, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
    • Opposing View

      Fallacy Spotting… If you truly believe that nonsense, then you should also hope that fallacy.fiies.org has a plan for getting you out of hell should it turn out their info is wrong (and it is)…

      You shouldn't believe everything you read. There is only one truth. And that is the truth which cometh from God. And you can only get that truth by listening to the true sent preacher….

      January 6, 2014 at 10:13 am |
      • Logical default

        Don't believe everything you read??? You mean like.... THE BIBLE? LOL

        January 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
      • Fallacy Spotting 101

        Post by 'Opposing View' is essentially a form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager, accompanied by other basic fallacies.

        http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

        January 12, 2014 at 10:40 am |
  4. End Times

    You won't live forever. When death cometh for you, sam stone, we shall then see who is the liar and who is a speaker of truth…

    January 5, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
    • Ben

      End Times, google "Pascal's Wager", you stupid, ignorant moron.

      January 5, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
      • Charming Dork

        They don't no what it means

        January 5, 2014 at 10:03 pm |
        • Opposing View

          What is Pascal's Wager? Answer: Pascal's Wager is an argument created by Lucifer to prevent simple-minded people like you from believing in the truth. And all who do not believe in the truth, will end up in hell…

          There is only one truth, and that is the truth which cometh from God. All other info is of the devil. And you can only get that truth by listening to the true sent preacher….

          January 6, 2014 at 9:46 am |
        • Piccolo

          Nope. Pascal's wager is a argument based on FEAR. Believe religion X or burn forever in hell. The only problem is that the same wager can be made for almost every religion. How do you know which one is right and which ones are wrong? They all have equal evidence (zero). Believing something out of fear is not truly believing and if god exists he will see right through those types of phonies.

          January 6, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
    • End Times

      Ben… Google is of the devil and so is Pascal's Wager. So what does that say about your argument?…

      Charming Dork… I know that both you and poster Ben is not saved and that you're on your way to hell. Imagine that...

      January 6, 2014 at 9:21 am |
      • Paul

        End Times, well done at proving Ben right about you. You are a detriment to your team.

        January 7, 2014 at 9:59 am |
  5. Opposing View

    The Five Lies of An Atheist…

    Lie #1 – Atheists love to say, "There is no evidence that God exists." They are liars. There always has been evidence that God exists. Only it's not the kind of evidence the atheists are willing to accept. For there is no greater evidence than Jesus Christ himself. And he is all the evidence you need to believe in God and be saved. If you can believe in Jesus Christ, then you can be saved. If you cannot believe in him, then you shall continue on to the lake…

    Lie #2 – Atheists love to say, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof." If such proof is required, then there is no greater extraordinary proof than Jesus Christ himself, who was the only begotten of the Father, prophesied about for thousands of years before his arrival, born of a virgin, healed the sick, caused the blind to see, made the lame to walk, turned water into wine, fed thousands with a few fish and loaves, walked on water, commanded the wind, died on the cross, rose from the dead, stepped on a cloud, and ascended up into heaven. I'd call those things pretty extraordinary. In fact, Jesus Christ was the most extraordinary man in history, bar none. And if you can't believe in Jesus Christ then something is wrong with your mind…

    Lie #3- Atheists love to say "You can't prove a negative". It's their favorite line and is totally hogwash. You can indeed prove a negative. People do it all the time. Every single time you prove that a positive is untrue, you're proving a negative. For example, people once thought the earth was flat. That is, until someone came along and proved it was round. That is proving a negative. People once thought the sound barrier could not be broken. That is, until someone came along and broke it. People once thought the speed of light could not be calculated. That is, until someone came along and calculated it. All of those things are proving a negative. So the atheists are liars. We say God exists. They say he doesn't. We say prove that he doesn't – and don't even talk about you can't prove a negative…

    Worse, some atheists will still lie about it and say that's not proving a negative. They are liars. As proof of this, we say God exists, the atheists say he doesn't, we say prove that he doesn't (in other words, prove that our positive statement is untrue). In every case, the first words an atheist will say is "You can't prove a negative". So by their own admission, they're admitting that proving our statement untrue would indeed be proving a negative. So they are liars. Atheists love to claim that statement when it works for them, but then try to deny it when it works against them. Which only illustrates that atheists are the biggest of liars who cannot be trusted. Even worse, if they have the gall to say that proving our statement untrue would NOT be proving a negative – okay, then prove God doesn't exist then, and stop giving us an excuse…

    Lie #4 – Atheists love to say "they can't believe unless we show them absolute proof that God exists, unless we can convince them of that fact". They are liars. The atheist request for proof is both immaterial and irrelevant. It's immaterial because it's nothing but a smokescreen. They're intentionally asking you for something they feel you can't provide. And when you can't provide it, they feel they'll then have an excuse to continue being an atheist. Which is their motive. They're not searching for truth at all, and nor are they being honest. Because no matter what proof you show them, they'll only say it's not good enough. Which is their intent. To make you think there's not enough evidence to convince them to change. When the reality is, they have no intention of changing, no matter what proof you show them. Their request is irrelevant because the system of God has never required anyone to have proof to believe in God and be saved. Instead, all that is required is faith. That you have faith in the preacher. The system also doesn't require you to have faith in some invisible spirit you've never seen. Instead, all it requires is you have faith in him whom you have seen: the preacher. If you can believe in the sent preacher, then you can be saved. If you can't believe in the preacher, then you shall continue on to the lake…

    Lie #5 – Atheists love to say "they can't believe in something unless it can be scientifically proven, verified, and confirmed." Hogwash. Atheists don't even follow their own rules. Then why do atheists believe God doesn't exist then? They have no proof of that. So why do they believe it then? Answer: It's because that is what they want to believe, and it has nothing to do with proof. Those same atheists will get on a plane and never even see the pilot. They don't know if he's drunk or high on cocaine. Yet they trust and believe he's able to fly the plane. They'll buy food from the supermarket, and have no idea if the food is contaminated or not. When have you ever seen an atheist rush home and do scientific tests on food before eating it, to verify it is safe? Atheists don't do that. They simply trust and believe the food is safe. So why can't they have the same trust in God? Why can't they have the same belief in the preacher? Answer: It is because they don't want to. There is no other reason…

    It is easy to understand why atheists are such big liars. In fact, every atheist I've ever met has been a pathological liar. They lie so much because they have no God to keep them moral, and they have nothing to constrain them to keep them honest. Therefore, most will lie in a heartbeat and will lie whenever it suits them and think nothing of it. In fact, most will lie until their dying breath. Why? It is because they are atheists. And it is because they are without God…

    January 5, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Lengthy post by 'Opposing View' above largely consists of multiple instances of the ad hominem fallacy and strawman arguments.

      http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      January 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
    • Piccolo

      I know I've read this nonsense somewhere else. It's hilarious that you refer to atheists as liars, simply because they don't believe your ridiculous world view. Nothing you mentioned is actually a lie. This should be called the 5 lies of Opposing View. Easily debunked and what's even funnier is I don't have to call all Christians liars or make some other generalizing insults to do it.

      1. Atheists say that there is no OBJECTIVE evidence for god. That means, tangible, scientific, verifiable, observable evidence. It's funny how you refer to something else that is completely unverifiable such as the gospels of Jesus. That is circular reasoning and your evidence is completely subjective. There is also subjective evidence that wizards existed in the ancient past. The story of Frodo Baggins is all the evidence you need!

      2. Same argument rehashed into another. Jesus cannot be verified. God cannot be verified. The supernatural events in the bible cannot be verified. If you could show evidence that Jesus actually did ANY of those things written in ancient texts you'd have a point, but you can't. In fact the texts all contradict each other and were written decades after the alleged crucifixion. Again, the same standard of proof can be applied to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Frodo could turn invisible from a magic ring. That's all the evidence you need!!

      3. You are once again wrong. Proving something wrong isn't the same thing as proving a negative. It has to do with existence, not hypotheses about things in the world. You cannot logically assume something exists with no evidence. Christians constantly say to prove god wrong, which is on equal footing to asking to prove Frodo Baggins wrong. And BTW, flat earth was an assumption that a large portion of the world did not believe. It was never a scientific viewpoint, it was a guess because the earth "looked flat" and we didn't have the science to fully test that. You have a very warped view of atheism and logic. If you suggest something exists, the burden of proof is on YOU, not the person who says you are wrong. Can you prove Frodo Baggins wrong? Can you prove invisible unicorns don't exist? Can you prove FSM doesn't exist? If you honestly think that "but you can't prove god wrong" is a logical argument for god, you need a course in logic. There are millions of things you can't prove wrong, but that doesn't mean they are right.

      4. That isn't a lie, it's simple logic. No evidence = I don't believe in it. It's a very simple philosophy, and it is 100% honest. If I'm going to believe something of that magnitude, I'm not going to do it blindly because some ancient texts say so. YOU are lying when you claim that atheists wouldn't believe if you showed them the physical proof. So basically religion requires you to put your faith in MAN, not god and you just admitted it! Hilarious!

      5. The same exact argument as #4. When somebody gets on a plane, they know there is a pilot because he routinely speaks with them and planes cannot yet fly themselves. Pilots are proven to exist and are necessary to flying a plane. God has not been shown to be required for ANY function of nature. NOT ONE. I have never once heard god speak and nobody else in the world has either. Of course you can blindly believe ancient outdated texts to be the word of god, but again, that's similar to believing the story of Frodo Baggins as fact. Atheists don't perform tests on their food because there are companies and organizations that already do it and there is verifiable proof that they do. Your idea of faith is comical. Atheists don't believe in god because there's no evidence. Sorry but that's the truth and to claim that YOU KNOW the answer as to whether or not he exists would be a LIE, because nobody knows.

      Funny that you call all atheists liars every 2-3 sentences, but don't even know what a lie is. You need to take a logic course because none of what you said is logical in the least. It sounds like ramblings of a 3rd grader.

      January 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
  6. christiansteve

    Pharisees have failed to offer a single argument to defend their faith. The best they can do is to ask questions and run.

    January 5, 2014 at 9:47 am |
    • Opposing View

      That is all they ever do. Which is precisely why I won't waste my time debating with them. I'll say what I have to say and they can take it or leave it. It's true what they say that "fools hate knowledge"…

      Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction…

      Proverbs 1:22 – the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge…

      January 5, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
      • 00 00

        dodo, i mean ov, y do u love jesus?

        January 7, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
  7. Opposing View

    The question was asked… "if god knows what i am going to do before i do it, and god cannot be wrong, how does free will exist?… I normally don't respond to such rubbish but in this case I'll provide the answer...

    (Excerpt from my post "Every Person Born on Earth Existed Once Before.)…

    …Every person born on earth existed prior to that moment. Your soul existed. And in that place where you existed, God tested your soul to see if you'd choose good or evil. To see if you'd choose the ways of God or choose the ways of the devil. For those who chose "good", God labeled your soul as a sheep. For those who chose "evil", he labeled your soul as a goat. He then erased your memory and he placed you on earth where you were born. Have you ever wondered where that feeling of deja vu comes from, the felling you've done certain things before? That is where. It is because you really have done certain things before, only you don't remember it. All souls went through that testing stage, the stage where God tested your soul to find out if you were a sheep or a goat. Therefore, God already knows if you're a sheep or not. And he also knows if you're a goat. That is why Jesus said, "I know my sheep, and I shall loose not a one of them". Thus, God already knows what you're going to do before you do it, and he knows what you're going to think before you think it. How? It's because you made those same choices once before. And you'll make those same choices again…

    Disclaimer: The above is all I will say on the topic, and I'm not trying to convince you of anything. Nor do I expect many to believe it. I'm only telling you the truth. You can take it or leave it…

    January 4, 2014 at 11:13 am |
    • doobzz

      " I'm only telling you the truth."

      Hilarious.

      January 4, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
    • midwest rail

      When A.B. is bored....

      January 4, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
      • doobzz

        Yeah, I suppose.

        January 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
      • Trez

        If this is AB, he needs to scrap this character. Obnoxious is what comes to mind with this one.

        What an ass

        January 4, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
    • nullcodes

      Do you have any evidence, even biblical, for any of that? For example take each sentence in the following paragraph of yours:

      "Every person born on earth existed prior to that moment. Your soul existed. And in that place where you existed, God tested your soul to see if you'd choose good or evil. To see if you'd choose the ways of God or choose the ways of the devil. For those who chose "good", God labeled your soul as a sheep. For those who chose "evil", he labeled your soul as a goat. He then erased your memory and he placed you on earth where you were born"

      Now, do you have ANY evidence or proof that even one of those sentences is true, let alone all of them? Each sentence has a high probability of being untrue, and when you add more and more dubious assertions that you take as "fact" .. it only weakens your argument even more. Basically, your premises are not based on any evidence therefore your argument is based on fantasy and very likely to be false.

      January 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      So......No one has free will any more because they're already labeled according to the free will they expressed in some spiritual realm before we were born? LOL!!

      Great job, OV, according to your view, it doesn't matter what any does, ever. God's already "labeled" them.

      January 4, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
    • l33ter

      Not sure where you get your truth. Have you ever met or even seen a shepherd? There are many in the Middle East. The to "know your sheep" is to know which ones belong to you. A shepherd can ID his sheep, if any strange ones come amongst them, and if any are missing. Is this from the bible? Doubt it.

      January 4, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
    • mzh

      To OV:

      “Your soul existed” – no one knows about the soul except the one who created…

      Here is one of the places in the Quran that talks about the soul when Muhammad was asked about soul and than the answer came from the one who created the universe:

      January 4, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
    • mzh

      17:85 – And they ask you (O Muhammad SAW) concerning the Ruh (the Soul); Say: "The Ruh (the Soul): it is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord. And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little."

      January 4, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
    • Piccolo

      Thanks for defining the exact problem with many theists today. They claim that their viewpoint is fact and truth, but when asked to prove it they say it's based on faith. That directly contradicts itself. We know you believe it, but don't say your beliefs are truth, because they aren't. They are BELIEFS. Please try just a LITTLE bit of honesty, please. You just went into a tirade about atheists being liars (which was all lies by you), and now you are claiming that you know the absolute truth about something that nobody could possibly know. Atheists wouldn't speak out against religious folk as often if they would simply admit that their religion is based on faith and stop trying to peddle it off as truth or fact. It's not either.

      January 6, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
  8. MrBlohm

    "In Germany, we have experience with two totalitarian systems–with the Nazi system and with the Communist system–and we do not want this to happen again."
    –Thomas Gandow, protestant minister and open critic of atheism

    January 3, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
    • ?

      How freaking strange that you would conflate totalitarian dictators with atheism. Especially because Nazis WERENT.

      January 3, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Totalitarian: God's system: King/servant
      Communism: The early church in Acts and the "best functioning" system according to every authority on the New Testament and the church

      Atheism: a disbelief in gods that are invisible, undetectable, and--as far as we can tell--irrelevant.

      January 3, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
      • l33ter

        Karl Marx was the inventor of communism and was not around in biblical times. Communism provides that private property exists only after surplus is achieved. What attributes of this "early church" lend you credit to label it as communist?

        Where do you learn about the "early church"?

        January 4, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Communism is living as a communal body sharing wealth and goods. Have you read your own bible???? In the book of Acts??? The description is a perfect fit.

          But I can understand why you'd want to argue this point instead of my point about god being a tyrant who breaks his own rules and tortures people and uses the fear of torture to get what he wants.

          January 4, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
  9. Walker

    "It's only science if I want it to be"

    —Richard Dawkins, Inventor of Science

    January 3, 2014 at 11:29 am |
    • mzh

      Sounds arrogant....

      He it is Who has created you from clay, and then has decreed a stated term (for you to die). And there is with Him another determined term (for you to be resurrected), yet you doubt (in the Resurrection). – 6:2

      Have they not seen how many a generation before them We have destroyed whom We had established on the earth such as We have not established you? And We poured out on them rain from the sky in abundance, and made the rivers flow under them. Yet We destroyed them for their sins, and created after them other generations. – 6:6

      O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you. – 4:1

      Peace!!!

      January 3, 2014 at 11:58 am |
      • Saraswati

        Yes, we get that god was a murderous jerk in all forms of the Abrahamic religion.

        January 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • mzh

          Sara:

          The Almighty God is soooo much merciful to the mankind that we would not be able to imagine... if there is One Who is in control of everything then there will be only ONE truth... its human who brings the misfortune upon them and not The Almighty God....

          AS FOR THE ABRAHAMIC RELIGION – Abraham (pbuh) was way before these religions and how could one say that a grandfather was a follower of his grand grand grand child? Would you be agreed that your grandfather was what you are following? But human makes stories whatever pleases them... and actually this is also another example of The Almighty is being merciful to them who accuses incorrectly either to The Almighty God (by saying that He has a son or daughter or any sort of associations) or to human (by saying that the human is son of God and so on)... have you seen anyone being punished? nope i have not seen and I do not hope for it either but i hope The Almighty God will open and guide their hearts towards the Truth...

          3:65 – O People of the Scripture, why do you argue about Abraham while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Then will you not reason?

          3:67 – Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah ]. And he was not of the polytheists.

          3:68 – Indeed, the most worthy of Abraham among the people are those who followed him [in submission to Allah ] and this prophet, and those who believe [in his message]. And Allah is the ally of the believers.

          Laki assalam!!!

          January 3, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • sam stone

          mzh: the monotheistic gods the middle east are vindictive, petty pr1cks.

          January 3, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • Austin

          Sam Stone
          John 3:17 ►

          Parallel Verses
          For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

          The "Son of God", is Gods full expression of Love.
          Philippians 2:5-11

          5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[b] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

          January 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • mzh

          Sam: The monotheistic and gods – two different thing… if it is monotheistic, it has to be God (the word God is both pluralistic and can be both male and female, but Allah word in Arabic has no plural or different gender) and if you gods then it has to be polytheistic…

          And God The Almighty is One… whether you go to mid east, farther east or as far west as you can go… or up or underneath of the earth… where would you go? And also if you see human being cant stay an inch above the ground as we have been created to be on the ground… but unfortunately we human being are so ungrateful to our The Creator…

          Peace to you my friend…

          January 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • Austin

          mzh
          Father Son and Holy Spirit, are one. They are not 3 different God's. He is one God with 3 forms, and He can transfigure into anything He wants. God is not limited to human perception.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • sam stone

          Wow, Austin, you can quote a book!!!

          I can only speak for myself, but i find that very impressive indeed.

          So, what were you in the stripey hole for? Boink a little girl? A little boy? Rob a bank? Kill someone?

          Come on, Austin, confession is good for the soul

          Tell me, I promise it won't go any further

          January 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • Austin

          sam stone, i got behind the wheel impaired. it was a misdemeanor.

          January 3, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • mzh

          Sam:
          Here is a great example of the use of ‘Free Will’…

          Here is one faith – claims monotheistic by make three as one
          Here is another faith – totally against it and pure monotheistic and if you explain these both to a kindergarten student and I pretty sure would be able to separate it…

          Now, both can not be Truth but either one has to be truth but we have followers all over the world practicing either one of these two…

          If you want to go further… we take the examples of Hindus who believes thousands of Gods/Goddesses OR Atheists…

          Have you seen anyone is not being blessed with the common bounties to the mankind which are the sun, the wind, the oxygen, the moon and water and anything, you name it? The answer is NO… everyone is being well taken care regardless of they believe… this is one of the definition of The Creator The Almighty is being merciful to the entire mankind and the other definition is the use of ‘free will’…

          Just a thought that I wanted to share with you my friend but not asking you buy it… 🙂

          Peace!!!

          January 3, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
        • sam stone

          mzh: i am not buying it. your example has nothing to do with free will.

          please answer this direct question directly.....if god knows what i am going to do before i do it, and god cannot be wrong, how does free will exist?

          none of the christian posters to this blog have even approached a rational answer to this, and i am not optimistic that you will either.

          but, give it a try

          January 4, 2014 at 8:20 am |
        • mzh

          Good Morning Sam:

          I think we are looking into the concept of ‘Free Will’ from 2 different ways…

          I was saying the ‘Free Will’ to choose what you want to believe or you don’t want to believe at all… as we have humans around the earth choose any deities they want, whether in a human form or in an object or in any animals or making three etc etc… this is because of human has the free will otherwise you would find entire mankind worshipping One True God The Creator of the heavens, earth and anything between them…

          Peace!!!

          January 4, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • mzh

          @Austin

          I think if we take a kinder garden student and explain this – he/she will say that how can three be one... its three... the entire egg is one but when you break it, its not one any more... it has three visible substances... anyways, I only hope the best for you and i ask Allah The Almighty our Lord and The Lord of the entire creation so that your hearts will open to see the truth...

          112:1 – Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One,
          112:2 – Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks).
          112:3 – He begets not, nor was He begotten;
          112:4 – And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.
          20:8 – Allah! La ilahla illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He)! To Him belong the Best Names.

          3:85 – Say, "We have believed in Allah and in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Descendants, and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [submitting] to Him."

          2:285 – The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination."

          Peace my friend...

          January 4, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • Bagel Mode

          mzh, why would an omnipotent being, this "god" that you claim, require "worship" (or anything else) from us, such as your holy book instructs you? For that and many other reasons, we can reject the god depicted in the Quran as complete nonsense. To be fair, we can do that with the Christian "god" also.

          January 4, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • sam stone

          Amazing. You, like other theists, dance around the DIRECT question, not giving a DIRECT answer. I will try to make it as simple as possible for you.

          if i apparently have two choices, A or B, and god KNOWS i am going to choose B, and god cannot be wrong,what are the chances that I am going to choose A and prove god wrong?

          Try to answer that directly.

          Secondly, if belief is a choice, I have an intellectual exercise for you.

          Try very, very hard to believe that there is a tiny, invisible squirrel driving a tiny, invisible 1954 buick around saturn. contemplate it, pray on it for days and days. can you believe it? if not, why not? do you find it impossible to believe what you think is unbelievable? if that is the case, why do you think others can do the same?

          January 4, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        • sam stone

          "this is because of human has the free will otherwise you would find entire mankind worshipping One True God The Creator of the heavens, earth and anything between them…"

          only if that "One True God The Creater of the heavens, earth and anything else between them" wanted everyone to worshp him. you totally dismiss the possibility that the god does not want everyone to worship him. after all, several of our most delusional christian posters claim that god uses both mercy and judgement for his own glory. would that not include setting aside some (in this case way more than half the world) to torture forever to glorify himself?

          January 4, 2014 at 10:35 am |
        • sam stone

          i am not saying that free will is impossible. i AM

          January 4, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • sam stone

          ...saying that free will is incompatible with a god that knows our choices before we make them.

          January 4, 2014 at 10:39 am |
        • mzh

          To BM:

          First of all I am not the one to answer your question as I am just a human being like you...

          Second, let me ask you something... at your work, don't you try to do things to please your manager or are you try to please your parents through whom you saw the world? now wouldn't you be humble yourself to The One Who created you and taking care of you and your systems running inside / outside of your body?

          Peace be upon you my friend...

          January 4, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        Once again for the brainwashed- from- birth mzh and his fellow sisters and brothers of Islam:

        From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi----–

        The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

        ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

        Are you ready?

        Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

        The First Five of the 77 Branches:

        "1. Belief in Allah"

        aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

        "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

        Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

        "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

        A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

        "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

        Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

        Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

        Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

        "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
        be upon him) alone."

        Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

        Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

        Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

        Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

        January 3, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
        • Bagel Mode

          Great stuff, Reality. Keep up the good work.

          January 4, 2014 at 9:51 am |
      • mzh

        Reality2:

        Have you considered knowing about the crusade? These people ate the flesh of human...

        I said it before and I am saying it again my friend that Islam does not allow violence but people with the name of Islam do that and we do not know what is the reason behind... mostly it would be for some earthly benefit or political issues or something but not for Islam...

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLidFSx47-o&feature=em-subs_digest-vrecs

        Peace my friend and keep up the good work as BM said... 🙂

        January 4, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • Fallacy Spotting 101

          Post by mzh incorporates an instance of the Two Wrongs Make a Right fallacy.

          http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

          January 4, 2014 at 10:40 am |
        • Reality # 2

          And once again to show the violence and horror that is Islam :

          As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

          The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

          ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

          and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

          and more recently

          1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

          1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

          2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

          3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. Iraqi civilians killed as of 05/10/2013/, 113,249-123,978 mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

          4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

          5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

          6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

          7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

          8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

          9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

          10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

          11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

          12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

          13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

          14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

          15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

          16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

          17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

          18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

          19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

          20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

          21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

          22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

          23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

          o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
          o
          BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
          The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

          25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

          (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

          26 ) September 12, 2012
          U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED
          Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

          27) Boston Marathon horror – April 2013, four dead, hundreds injured and maimed for life.

          January 5, 2014 at 8:34 am |
        • Piccolo

          ^I just hope you're not a Christian, because just as much, if not more can be attributed to that religion.

          January 6, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Freedom of Information:

          The Twenty (or so) Worst Things GOD'S CREATURES Have Done to Each Other:

          M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

          The Muslim Conquest of India

          "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

          Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

          1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

          2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

          3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

          4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

          5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

          6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

          7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

          8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

          9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

          10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

          11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

          12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

          13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

          14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

          15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

          16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

          17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

          18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

          19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

          20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

          January 7, 2014 at 12:52 am |
    • Saraswati

      Citation?

      January 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
      • mzh

        I am sorry... I am not sure what did you mean by that?

        January 3, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • Saraswati

          That message was for Walker, the OP.

          January 3, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
      • mzh

        ah okay...

        January 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Please site the source of your quote. I can't seem to find it anywhere else. Are you just another liar for Jesus, Walker?

      January 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
      • Piccolo

        No way! Christians NEVER bear false witness!

        January 6, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
  10. AvdBerg

    Y do u love god, Austin?

    January 3, 2014 at 10:10 am |
    • Consentine

      I think love is an illusion caused by chemical reactions. Once I learned this I realized my parent's love was nothing significant. I've been hostile toward anyone that loves anything ever since. We must teach the the truth about chemical reactions.

      January 3, 2014 at 11:09 am |
      • Reality # 2

        Please cite reputable references to support your conclusion.

        January 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
  11. Reality # 2

    As with Francis, Austin was Bred, Born and Brainwashed in his religion. Can he be deprogrammed? As with Francis, probably not.

    January 3, 2014 at 8:03 am |
    • mzh

      Reality:

      Don't you think that you are also brain washed with whatever you believe as you t.itle others?

      Peace!!!

      January 3, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
      • Austin

        God bless us one and all ! Peace and good tidings to all men!

        January 3, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Catholicism but easily deprogrammed by Rational Thinking:

        From Rational Thinking:

        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.

        A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

        e.g. Taoism

        "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

        Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

        January 3, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
  12. Austin

    Sam
    "how can i believe in something i find unbelievable"

    because you do not find sin unbelievable. and how "through the gift of faith"

    sin
    faith.........its a gift, not an ability

    sin
    faith.......ask the one who gives it freely.

    January 3, 2014 at 4:34 am |
    • Austin

      His sin was unbelief. He doubted the promise of God. In this particular case unbelief took the form of a doubt of the divine veracity, or a mistrust of God's power. Either he doubted whether God really meant what he said, or whether it was within the range of possibility that God should fulfill his promise. Unbelief hath more phases than the moon, and more colors than the chameleon. Common people say of the devil, that he is seen sometimes in one shape, and sometimes in another. I am sure this is true of Satan's first-born child—unbelief, for its forms are legion.

      January 3, 2014 at 4:40 am |
      • truthprevails1

        The grand 'believe in me or else' crap. Sounds like spouse-"do as you're told or you will be punished".
        You can make whatever excuses you wish but they are just that-excuses meant to make you feel better about this imaginary friend you have. What happens to the 5 billion of the planet who don't share your god-are they all doomed to suffer? Why are you so special?
        Why would you wish eternal torture on another human (and yes, it is you wishing it...you are the one speaking here, not your imaginary friend)?

        January 3, 2014 at 5:19 am |
        • Austin

          2 groups of people
          those who acccept salvation-receive a just salvation
          those who reject salvation-receive a just seperation

          there is no injustice for you choosing your own way. Follow God Almighty. do not follow the other evil who rejected God.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:23 am |
        • truthprevails1

          You're not getting this, are you??? You're simply on more gullible fool who doesn't care that what he believes is based on evidence.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:25 am |
        • sam stone

          you remain a coward, austin

          you need forgiveness for some bread crumb "sins"
          you hide behind the sainted pincushion rather than be accountable to your vindictice pr1ck god
          you refuse to have your supposed prophecies examined, and hide behind your iron age comic book quotes for rationale

          jeebus is waiting.

          if you had any tes-t-i-t-uclar fort-i-t-ude, you would suck your shotgun and go see him

          but you won't

          because you are a coward

          January 3, 2014 at 7:14 am |
        • truthprevails1

          sam: It seems that as long as Austin can hold on to his delusions, he feels safe. I think he knows without question on some level that having his stories examined would show the world exactly how ill he truly is. He seems to think on the same level of some of the great christian psychopath's (Andrea Yates)...if that were ever shown to be fact, they'd lock him in a padded room. Showing him that he is wrong would destroy him literally.

          January 3, 2014 at 7:54 am |
        • sam stone

          delusional is one thing. delusional and preachy is another.

          in that sense, he is the same as my favorite, gopher

          January 3, 2014 at 8:50 am |
        • Austin

          lol! lol! Have mercy. Lord, help these people with supernatural healing... Jesus my risen Lord. Light up those whom you have called with your glory! Amen.

          January 3, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • sam stone

          austin.....jesus is waiting for you. leave this earth at once, he is calling you

          January 3, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
    • sam stone

      "because you do not find sin unbelievable"

      nonsense. i have posted here many times that sin was a man made concept that was only relevant to believers

      do you really just make stuff up when confronted with logic?

      you are a chump

      January 3, 2014 at 7:07 am |
      • End Times

        sam stone… You stated… "I have posted here many times that sin was a man made concept that was only relevant to beievers."…

        Your are correct. You have posted that same lie many times, and you know what – it is still only a lie. Even a thousand devils all telling the very same lie does not make it the truth…

        January 3, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
        • sam stone

          "Your are correct."

          "Your are correct"?

          "You have posted that same lie many times, and you know what – it is still only a lie."

          It is only a lie if I don't believe it to be true but continue posting it

          "Even a thousand devils all telling the very same lie does not make it the truth"

          The same could be said for the jeebus suckers and the end times warners, pen-day-ho

          January 4, 2014 at 8:30 am |
  13. G.I.O.

    Plant seeds and flowers bloom
    It’s miraculous

    No abstraction:

    no book, no description, no thought

    can contain or convey that miraculousness

    Yet the mind’s arrogance insists
    Its thoughts can
    contain and convey
    that miraculousness

    So the mind’s arrogance
    starts spinning
    sticky, unsatisfying webs
    of logic, reason, and thoughts
    attempting to capture
    to “know” with certainty
    that miraculousness

    Meanwhile our heart
    just wants our mind
    to shut up and
    get out of the way
    so we can get closer to
    and embrace
    the miraculousness

    Logic, reason and thoughts
    serve us very well
    much of the time
    They just cannot
    contain or convey
    the miraculousness
    of life unfolding

    They just cannot “know”
    how and why God works

    January 3, 2014 at 2:46 am |
    • sam stone

      the heart pumps blood

      nothing more

      January 3, 2014 at 3:42 am |
      • G.I.O.

        Dictionary:

        heart
        härt/
        noun
        noun: heart; plural noun: hearts

        1.
        a hollow muscular organ that pumps the blood through the circulatory system by rhythmic contraction and dilation. In vertebrates there may be up to four chambers (as in humans), with two atria and two ventricles.

        2.
        the central or innermost part of something.
        "right in the heart of the city"
        synonyms: center, middle, hub, core, nucleus, eye, bosom More

        I'm referring to #2.

        January 3, 2014 at 3:59 am |
        • Sam

          So the song "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" is not about a man leaving an organ that pumps blood behind....? OH, that makes so much more sense now. Thanks!

          January 3, 2014 at 4:08 am |
  14. mzh

    To my friend Austin,

    Here are some of the verses from the Quran talks about Jesus (pbuh) the son of Marry… I will let you decide as I am not a controller over anyone but just an informer / a reminder and also there is no compulsion in accepting religion (2:256) as per the Quran:

    - THE MESSAGE OF JESUS THE SON OF MARRY
    3:50 – And [I (Jesus) have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me (Jesus).

    3:51 – Indeed, Allah is my (Jesus) Lord and your (companions) Lord, so worship Him. That is the straight path."

    - THE MIRACLES WERE DONE BY JESUS (PBUH)
    5:109 – [Be warned of] the Day when Allah will assemble the messengers and say, "What was the response you received?" They will say, "We have no knowledge. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen"

    5:110 – [The Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favor upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the with Ruh-ul-Qudus [Jibrael (Gabriel)] and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and [remember] when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you designed from clay [what was] like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission; and you healed the blind and the leper with My permission; and when you brought forth the dead with My permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from [killing] you when you came to them with clear proofs and those who disbelieved among them said, "This is not but obvious magic."

    - LAST SUPPER
    5:111 – And [remember] when I (Allah) put in the hearts of Al-Hawarieen (the disciples) [of 'Iesa (Jesus)] to "Believe in Me and in My messenger Jesus." They said, "We have believed, so bear witness that indeed we are Muslims [in submission to Allah]."

    5:112 – [And remember] when the disciples said, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, can your Lord send down to us a table [spread with food] from the heaven? [Jesus] said," Fear Allah, if you should be believers."

    5:113 – They said, "We wish to eat from it and let our hearts be reassured and know that you have been truthful to us and be among its witnesses."

    - TRINITY CONCEPT WHICH WAS ADDED IN 3RD CENTURY BY CONSTANTINOPLE
    4:170 – O Mankind, the Messenger has come to you with the truth from your Lord, so believe; it is better for you. But if you disbelieve – then indeed, to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and earth. And ever is Allah Knowing and Wise.

    4:171 – O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word ("Be!" – and he was) which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] by Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, "Three"; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.

    4:174 – O mankind, there has come to you a conclusive proof from your Lord, and We have sent down to you a clear light.

    4:175 – So those who believe in Allah and hold fast to Him – He will admit them to mercy from Himself and bounty and guide them to Himself on a straight path.

    - JESUS WILL BE ASKED BY HIS LORD
    5:116 – And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?'" He will say, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.

    5:117 – I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness.
    5:118 – If You should punish them – indeed they are Your servants; but if You forgive them – indeed it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

    5:119 – Allah will say, "This is the Day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness." For them are gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them, and they with Him. That is the great attainment.

    5:120 – To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is within them. And He is over all things competent.

    I hope my friends in Christianity will give it a thought to choose the truth as there are 2 different versions about Jesus the son of Marry and Marry herself…

    To Sam stone: the ‘free will’ also applies here…

    Peace!!!

    January 2, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
    • Tom N. Jerry

      Oh that would be interesting! Austin, take all your vision dreams and google the key words in, and instead of adding the word "Bible", add the word "Quran." I bet your visions will return as much if not more than with the Bible. You could easily be a Prophet for Allah!

      January 2, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
    • Austin

      Question: "Why does God refer to Himself in the plural in Genesis 1:26 and 3:22?"

      Answer: Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'” Genesis 3:22 states, "And the LORD God said, 'The man has now become like one of us...'" There are other Scriptures in the Old Testament that refer to God using the plural. It is also interesting to note that "Elohim," one of the primary t.itles of God in the Old Testament (occurring over 2500 times), is in the plural.

      Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/God-plural.html#ixzz2pJ2JniSm

      January 2, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
      • Say Wha?

        You ask a "why" qouestion to yourself, then give an answer that doesn't say why, on a topic that has nothing to do with the thread.

        Are you okay?

        January 2, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
      • Austin

        If you read the book of Enoch, written before Job, this is where the ti.tle "Son of Man" was first prophesied.

        Brother, I respect you and lovinly insist that you hear me when I tell you that the crucifixion and resurrection are real, and that is why resurrection power has provided me with so many supernatural experiences that I could never loose my faith in God, because I have received the Holy spirit.

        The Holy Spirit is a sanctifyin spirit that bears the truth of God's word on a persons heart. This can be a gift of faith upon request to you. not intellectual but in spirit and truth.

        Revelation 3:20 ►
        Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

        Another way to see this is though understanding the Angel of The Lord, who was Christ, who blessed Ishmael, the beloved brother of Isaac. Yes, we have a problem with Idolatry as Hebrews, and Christians. And we need the truth about who Jesus was to bring the world together in peace. I love you brother.

        January 2, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
        • Observer

          Austin,

          You could BEGIN to have CREDIBILITY if you used Randi's challenge to prove your statements. Same for making 10 predictions for this new year.

          Until then, it's all just TALK.

          January 2, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
        • Twinkles, the Demon Squish-Kitty in Austin's Brain

          I love the way the Christian and the Muslim are telling each other they are friends and love each other when all they are really trying to do is convert each other. It's a silly dance, and disingenuous, because both think the other is wrong and doomed, and both are only interested in manipulating the other into conforming. Not exactly real love and friendship.

          January 2, 2014 at 11:45 pm |
        • lol??

          Twinkles, the Demon Squish-Kitty in Austin's Brain sayz,
          'I love the way ............................."
          LUV LUV LUV.Now ya got yer very own chaplain at Harvard. Gives us some of his quotes. You don't count.

          January 2, 2014 at 11:53 pm |
        • mzh

          To Twinkles... :

          I understand what you are saying but there are lot of other common grounds between human from all faiths... wouldn't you agree?

          So lets live in a same society by helping each other as long as we do not force other to accept but there is nothing wrong to express you faith like anyone else do... for example an atheist do express that there is no GOD and they expect others to accept them...

          So we can be in the common grounds that we all have and live with peace...

          Peace be upon you my friend (or you will not accept me calling you friend? hahaha)

          January 3, 2014 at 12:07 am |
        • lol??

          The Big Mo sure got this wrong. He must have not heard the, "You must be born again part." down at the loot meet.

          The Prophet Muhammad said, "No babe is born but upon Fitra (as a Muslim). It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Polytheist." (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6426)

          January 3, 2014 at 12:12 am |
        • mzh

          To Austin,

          My friend here is what the quran talks about the crucifixion of Jesus the son of Marry:

          HE WAS NOT CRUCIFIED:
          4:157 – And because of their saying (in boast), "We killed Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah," – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of 'Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)]

          BUT HE WAS TAKEN UP TO THE GOD ALMIGHTY:
          3:55 – And (remember) when Allah said: "O 'Iesa (Jesus)! I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you [of the forged statement that 'Iesa (Jesus) is Allah's son] of those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you (Monotheists, who worship none but Allah) superior to those who disbelieve [in the Oneness of Allah, or disbelieve in some of His Messengers, e.g. Muhammad SAW, 'Iesa (Jesus), Musa (Moses), etc., or in His Holy Books, e.g. the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), the Quran] till the Day of Resurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute."

          4:158 – Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.

          43:65 – But the sects from among themselves differed. So woe to those who do wrong (by ascribing things to 'Iesa (Jesus) that are not true) from the torment of a painful Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)!

          Peace!!!

          January 3, 2014 at 12:14 am |
        • Austin

          mzh,
          I am not even a blessed Hebrew, just a gentile, and received His promise of the Holy Spirit. this is evidence of resurrection power. one of the ways you can be absolutely sure that He was crucified, is throught Isaiah 53 written in 700 AD, or going back to Leviticus, 1400 BC, the festival calandar was ordained as Israel escaped the yoke of Egypt, Passover, Unleavened Bread, First fruits, and feast of weeks, the festivals in Nisan, were prophecies, fulfilled by Christ.

          for 1400 years they atoned with Lambs, and the very passover day, Christ was slain as they sacrificed their Lambs in Israel

          This type of prophetic power is devine, and would not fall short of the resurrection. He is risen.

          Isaiah 53
          New International Version (NIV)

          53 Who has believed our message
          and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
          2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
          and like a root out of dry ground.
          He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
          nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
          3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
          a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
          Like one from whom people hide their faces
          he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

          4 Surely he took up our pain
          and bore our suffering,
          yet we considered him punished by God,
          stricken by him, and afflicted.
          5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
          he was crushed for our iniquities;
          the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
          and by his wounds we are healed.
          6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
          each of us has turned to our own way;
          and the Lord has laid on him
          the iniquity of us all.

          7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
          yet he did not open his mouth;
          he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
          and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
          so he did not open his mouth.
          8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
          Yet who of his generation protested?
          For he was cut off from the land of the living;
          for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
          9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
          and with the rich in his death,
          though he had done no violence,
          nor was any deceit in his mouth.

          10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
          and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
          he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
          and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
          11 After he has suffered,
          he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
          by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
          and he will bear their iniquities.
          12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
          and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
          because he poured out his life unto death,
          and was numbered with the transgressors.
          For he bore the sin of many,
          and made intercession for the transgressors

          January 3, 2014 at 1:02 am |
        • Observer

          Austin,

          All TALK. You've got chances to prove God exists and that you've been telling the truth but run away from them.

          January 3, 2014 at 1:27 am |
        • Austin

          observer, and sam. you two sure do give me a lot of flack. I do not know how to explain why this is not about proving things to anyone . especiall James Randi. Is James Randii a noble spokesperson for Christ with a Godly reputation? No.
          That is why if he does not pray directly to God, for forgiveness, and for the baptism of the Holy Spirit,and if he does not declare with his lips that Christ was God and man, and is risen from the grave, then I doubt I can focus on him or his money.

          I am not here for money, was I asking you for money when I was telling you the truth? no I am simply trying to shed light on the truth about your soul as eternal and salvation as a free gift of God. we have been over this many times.

          Observer, Sam, tell me who the resurrected Lord and Savior is. Are you saved have you prayed for salvation and the for the Holy Spirit, and repented from any unbelief and began to Trust in the Word?

          January 3, 2014 at 2:21 am |
        • Observer

          Austin,

          ALL talk. If you are telling the truth, you could prove God's existence and save BILLIONS of people. You could win $1 MILLION for your church. You are UNWILLING to do either.

          Instead, all we get are feeble EXCUSES. You can't fool anyone when you REFUSE to prove your claims.

          January 3, 2014 at 2:35 am |
        • sam stone

          Observer: Austin won't do that. He, like our friend Gopher, is a blovating coward

          January 3, 2014 at 3:45 am |
        • sam stone

          "observer, and sam. you two sure do give me a lot of flack."

          every bit of it well deserved. you come on a public forum and start blathering about prophetic visions and expect NOT to be challenged?

          "I do not know how to explain why this is not about proving things to anyone"

          Then what are you doing here?

          "I am not here for money, was I asking you for money when I was telling you the truth? "

          the truth? how pompous.

          "I am simply trying to shed light on the truth about your soul as eternal and salvation as a free gift of God."

          see the above comment

          "we have been over this many times."

          yes. and you seem immune to rational thought

          "Observer, Sam, tell me who the resurrected Lord and Savior is."

          A myth from the iron age

          "Are you saved"

          Free people do not need to be saved, only slaves

          "have you prayed for salvation and the for the Holy Spirit"

          i do not desire salvation. i do not seek heaven, i do not fear hell. i think both of them are man made concepts and only fool the gullible

          "and repented from any unbelief and began to Trust in the Word?"

          how is belief a choice? can you believe in something you find unbelievable?

          here is an intellectual exercise for you, although i doubt you would have the honesty to take it....

          believe as hard as can, pray on it for days and days, that there is an invisible squirrel driving a miniature and invisible 1954 buick around saturn right now

          can you do it?

          if not, why not?

          is it because it is unbelievable?

          welcome to our shoes

          also, why would god give us reasoning ability and then want us to suspend that ability to believe in him?

          is he that much of a pr1ck?

          January 3, 2014 at 4:10 am |
      • 00 00

        thanks faux xtians for denouncing snakebo. like her, you strain out a gnat but swallow a camel

        January 3, 2014 at 1:55 am |
        • Akira

          Lol. Pot, meet kettle.

          January 3, 2014 at 11:04 am |
    • Reality # 2

      And then there are these passages for the Koran that mzh never mentions:

      http://www.muslimaccess.com/quraan/arabic/005.asp et al
      o "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)
      o
      "Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-)

      "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

      "...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them..." (Surah 9:12-)

      "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:29-)

      "It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it." (Surah 9:31-)

      "If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

      "Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

      "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

      "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)

      "'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)

      "Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)

      "Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

      "Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

      "Shall the reward of goodness be anything but good?...Dark-eyed virgins sheltered in their tents...They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets...Blessed be the name of you

      January 3, 2014 at 12:20 am |
      • mzh

        Laka assalam Reality (may the peace and blessings be upon you R)...

        I only hope best for you my friend R...

        January 3, 2014 at 1:57 am |
        • Span.k Your Imam

          mzh, you sound like you are very sore today. Were you spanked forthrightly by an unripened imam?

          Do not be embarrassed as such with red posteriority. We have experienced vestal goats close quartered in Tehran if you need to be resanctified.

          Of this year, shall no imams be spanked without above goats. No more.

          Here it is written and must be so.
          Here it is written and must be so.

          January 3, 2014 at 2:04 am |
        • mzh

          Laka assalam S...

          I only hope the best for you my friend S...

          January 3, 2014 at 7:28 am |
    • Span.k Your Imam

      mzh, subsist. Here it is written. It is forbidden to spank one’s own monkey unless an imam has closely humped another imam on the same day, or if a trinity of goats is present.

      Here it is written and must be so.
      Here it is written and must be so.

      January 3, 2014 at 2:07 am |
      • mzh

        I do not know what did you mean by this but I only hope best for you my friend...

        January 3, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.