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February 28th, 2014
12:24 PM ET

Homeless Jesus statue sparking debate

(CNN)–A sculpture of Jesus as a homeless man installed outside a church causing some controversy, as WCNC's Tony Burbank reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Episcopal • Houses of worship • Jesus

soundoff (528 Responses)
  1. derado8

    For about $150 mil one time, the government could put the 44% of the homeless who are working into RV's. It's not perfection but what a good start.

    February 28, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
    • igaftr

      There are more empty homes and other living quarters in America than there are homeless.
      Space is not the issue.

      March 4, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
  2. derado8

    Well good it's about time people focus on what is important instead of nonsense like bigger churches and all that nonsense. Now if only Oklahoma builds a "homeless Satan" statue maybe everybody can come together for something important for once.

    February 28, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
  3. hotairace

    Why does it have to be jesus? Many others were crucified too. Why couldn't it be a homeless person without shoes suffering from open sores?

    February 28, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Somehow a suffering "god" promotes more empathy.

      February 28, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
      • hotairace

        Suffering god – is that an oxymoron? Why would an all powerful god have to suffer anything? Cue the "we're all sinners and make baby jesus cry" crowd!

        February 28, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Exactly...ever hear about Lord Raglan's 'hero pattern'?

          February 28, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • hotairace

          Just gave it a very quick read. But, but, but! Jesus is unique and the one true god! Really, it has to be 'cause my parents and the dirty old man priest said so. Really!! NOT!

          February 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Between that and the literary "ring structure" of the Gospels in the New Testament, they are strong indicators of the Jesus story being myth.

          February 28, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
    • Vic

      God requires man to fulfill His Law with 100% correctness to be redeemed. Since that's not possible, God substituted all the Law and its temporal sacrificial offerings with the "Ultimate Sacrifice," the "Lamb of God," that is without a blemish. Now, no man ever existed, nor will ever exist, that is without a blemish, to be the ultimate sacrificial offering; therefore, God incarnated in the flesh to be the "Ultimate Sacrificial Lamb" that is without a blemish. In other words, ONLY God is without a blemish (Holy) who could fulfill the Law and its sacrificial system for the "remission of sins."

      As for the "Son of God," that is the "Second Person" of the "Triune God" (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) Who incarnated in the flesh but is NOT a created being. Jesus Christ, when on earth, was Fully God and fully man. He had to confine Himself as God to the human level to fulfill the Law and its sacrificial system for the "remission of sins." I am of the opinion that "begotten" means God's Son in the human flesh, and that can only be done by God. In other words, only God can be the "Son of God" and be "begotten" by God in the flesh!

      February 28, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
      • the0g0to0the0t

        "Since that's not possible" – who says? Even Paul claimed he was "blameless before the law".

        March 4, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The crucifixion reference is an identifier. This art is not about crucifixion. It challenges how people perceive the less fortunate including the homeless.

      ... the least of these my brethern, etc.

      February 28, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
  4. Doris

    I see now that I was silly for asking why the Archbishop of Canterbury hasn't come out publicly to speak against what is going on in Uganda – the jailing of gays; threats to jail those who don't report gays. When Mr. Lively from the U.S. incited violence with misinformation about gays there, there were few voices that might have had even a little impact. And that one voice, an Anglican bishop – Christopher Ssenyonjo, was silenced; given walking papers; essentially excommunicated if he were a Catholic. Supposedly the AC has sent a letter to Uganda; but what can we expect with such extreme factions of Anglicanism under his fold – I'm sure he doesn't want to stir the pot too much in any one direction.

    From BBC News 31 Jan:

    ======

    "The head of the Anglican Church in Uganda has given a critical response to a letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York warning that gays and lesbians should not be victimised.

    Their letter was sent to all presiding archbishops of the Anglican Communion.

    It was also sent to the presidents of Uganda and Nigeria, which have recently introduced anti-gay legislation.

    Archbishop Stanley Ntagali responded that "hom-ose-xual practice is incompatible with Scripture".

    He said he hoped the Church of England would "step back from the path" it had set itself on "so the Church of Uganda will be able to maintain communion with our own Mother Church".

    =======

    Great communion you've got going there Anglicans. Good job in spreading the love of Jesus! I hope you're not trying to impress anyone with that disgusting nonsense.

    February 28, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
  5. Russ

    And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
    (Mt.8:20)

    The lady at the end of the video seems utterly unaware of this aspect of Jesus' ministry.

    February 28, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Last century, L Ron Hubbard wrote a book, as foolish as it is, making all sorts of outrageous and outlandish claims, backed up by zero evidence, and he has millions of followers. They all quote that book. What does it prove?

      200 years ago, Joseph Smith wrote a book, as foolish as it is, making all sorts of outrageous and outlandish claims, backed up by zero evidence, and he has tens of millions of followers. They all quote that book. What does it prove?

      A few thousand years ago, unnamed desert dwelling goat herders wrote a book, making all sorts of outrageous and outlandish claims, backed up by zero evidence, and they have hundreds of millions of followers. You all quote that book. What does it prove?

      February 28, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
      • Russ

        @ Dyslexic: as i just posted to you below...
        the scholarship is there for those who'll actually do the reading...

        a couple of good, recent examples:
        "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" by Richard Bauckham
        "The Resurrection of the Son of God" by NT Wright

        February 28, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • the0g0to0the0t

          ""The Resurrection of the Son of God" by NT Wright

          That's gotta be a con. A book about the validity of the bible by a guy called "NT Wright"?

          March 4, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • fintronics

          Mythological scholarship....

          March 4, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    In other CNN News, an old man in Holmes County, Mississippi was dead but later came back to life in the funeral home. Does that mean he is the son of god?

    February 28, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      No. There are descriptions of other people coming back to life before Jesus in the Bible, and they weren't described as the Son of God.

      February 28, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        so resurrection is a pretty normal thing then?

        February 28, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No, it is not.

          February 28, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • kudlak

          And yet, there are thousands of stories of near death experiences from people declared clinically dead. Wouldn't it follow that they would have mistaken even more people as dead long ago, if modern medicine can't accurately catch them today?

          So, we have Jesus who spent only a few hours on the cross when others spent days, I believe, and didn't have his legs broken to finish him off, as was apparently the routine. Isn't it possible that he wasn't actually dead dead when he was placed in the tomb?

          February 28, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • hotairace

          There was one reported just today. Some dude was almost embalmed when he started moving. Of course, they're calling it a miracle, so maybe jesus is back.

          February 28, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes. The possibilities are really endless about what may have happened. I have come up with many different explanations, doubts and unanswered questions myself.

          February 28, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          And, yet, you choose to believe one particularly outlandish explanation. Why?

          March 1, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
      • colin31714

        So Jesus has returned from the dead, hey. Does he hear your prayers when you pray to him, Dalahast?

        February 28, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes.

          He knows you, too. And doesn't condemn you for your defects, shortcomings and mistakes. He can help you overcome them.

          February 28, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • colin31714

          How? I am just curious, how does he know what you are thinking?

          February 28, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't know how. But I've experienced it to be true in my life. And it is actually a good thing that can lead to my growth, not just something that will be used to condemn me.

          February 28, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
        • fintronics

          dala... I am not condeming you but have you considered god communicating with you to be just your imagination?

          March 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
      • kudlak

        But, isn't it possible that a popular preacher named Jesus just happened to be one of those rare cases of apparent death, that he walked away from his tomb as an outlaw, was seen in hiding, and that only served to spark further legends about him, including his divinity? It could have happened that way, right?

        February 28, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes. Or he could have been an alien. Or actually a woman. Or a time traveler.

          February 28, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Its even more possible the story is a complete fabrication.

          February 28, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
        • ausphor

          Guys and gals look up the process of how a body decomposes, thought dead for a few hours, possible. After three days a corpse is pretty much a mess, maggot food by then.

          February 28, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          None of those explanations are actually more weird than the traditional, popular one though.

          March 1, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
  7. Dyslexic doG

    why do Christians claim to be so selfless when their religion makes them purely selfish. EVERY thing they do is for their own self interest ... to get to heaven after they die. When they give to others ... it is to get to heaven. When they follow their rules ... it is to get to heaven. It's all for their own good so that they'll not just cease to exist at the end of their time but go to this magical place in the sky where they will always be happy and healthy and surrounded by those they love. Pure self interest.

    February 28, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Nope. Nope. And nope.

      Maybe some are motivated by just "getting into heaven". I'm taught that it is not about getting into heaven. Three is nothing I can do to earn a spot in heaven. And if I'm just motivated by self interest, I'm not following Jesus. I'm following my own desires.

      February 28, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
      • Doris

        Scott Lively probably isn't claiming that he's motivated by self-interest either. With such investment of time away from home, I would imagine he'll get a front-row seat in heaven.

        February 28, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Keep imagining.

          February 28, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • fintronics

          "keep imagining"............. how ironic.

          March 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        I thought that was the whole point – live your life according to your god's rules and you get to spend eternity in the good place and if you don't match up you go to the bad place. In your church, how would you get to heaven?

        February 28, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Nope. That pretty much is not the whole point.

          I don't get to heaven through my church.

          February 28, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • Doris

          Translation: (an Biblical interpretation of one)

          February 28, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          What is the point?
          How would you get to heaven?

          February 28, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The point is to change our hearts.

          I'm not trying to "get into heaven".

          February 28, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          So why christianity? Why not buddhism or whatever?

          February 28, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          When Dalahäst says "I'm not trying to "get into heaven"", he is being disingenuous

          February 28, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Why Christianity? I think we live in a culture that values money, possessions and self-centered motivations. For me, Christianity gives an alternative voice that places value in charity, spirituality and denying my self-seeking desires. I think Buddhism can be good for that, too. I learn from that religion. But I have chosen to follow Jesus.So far it has been challenging, but my life has a new purpose and deeper meaning than before. Today it works for me.

          February 28, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Isn't personal salvation a self-centred motivation?

          February 28, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes.

          February 28, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          If you claim that Christianity addresses any of the problems in your life then that still qualifies as a self-seeking desire, right?

          February 28, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes. I'm talking about becoming less selfish and more selfless.

          It is not about thinking less of ourselves. It is thinking of ourselves less. It is about developing compassion.

          February 28, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
        • Vic

          It takes a human to know one; humans cannot redeem themselves by their own merits.

          Christianity is the ONLY "Belief System" that proclaims "Time Dispensations" and "Salvation."

          The "Truth" resonates, registers and sells.

          Every other belief system proclaims "merit-based" redemption. Christianity proclaims the "Time Dispensation of Grace" wherein believers are "Saved" by the "Grace of God" through "Faith" ALONE in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior. That is the "Unmerited Favor" and "Free Gift—redundancy here is for emphasis and not for classification" of Salvation.

          That is the "Truth" that resonates with me.

          February 28, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Firstly no such "truth" has been established.
          Presumably christianity has heaven and hell for a reason – carrot and stick. Entry to whichever is decided on a judgement call by god – if you've lived by its rules the elevator takes you up and if not it takes you down.
          What I'm trying to understand is –
          How do you get to earn a ride on the up elevator?
          What's the point of god's rules if they are not the basis of the judgement?

          February 28, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • kudlak

          Vic
          "humans cannot redeem themselves by their own merits."

          Seriously, why not? Is magic really necessary?

          March 1, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
    • Vic

      John 3:16,17
      "16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."

      Ephesians 2:8,9
      "8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

      Scripture is from:

      New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

      http://www.biblegateway.com/

      February 28, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        Last century, L Ron Hubbard wrote a book, as foolish as it is, making all sorts of outrageous and outlandish claims, backed up by zero evidence, and he has millions of followers. They all quote that book.

        200 years ago, Joseph Smith wrote a book, as foolish as it is, making all sorts of outrageous and outlandish claims, backed up by zero evidence, and he has tens of millions of followers. They all quote that book.

        A few thousand years ago, unnamed desert dwelling goat herders wrote a book, making all sorts of outrageous and outlandish claims, backed up by zero evidence, and they have hundreds of millions of followers. You all quote that book.

        February 28, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Dyslexic: the scholarship is there for those who'll actually do the reading...

          a couple of good, recent examples:
          "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" by Richard Bauckham
          "The Resurrection of the Son of God" by NT Wright

          February 28, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • fintronics

          Again, the scholarship of mythology.... nothing more.

          March 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
  8. Dalahäst

    "If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered."
    Proverbs 21:13

    February 28, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.
      – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

      February 28, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
      • kudlak

        "Hearing voices no one else can hear isn’t a good sign, even in the wizarding world."
        -Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

        February 28, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          🙂

          February 28, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Amen!

        February 28, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
    • kudlak

      Dalahäst
      Where Jesus was anointed at Bethany with expensive stuff that could have fed the poor, he didn't seem to be placing their needs ahead of his own, right?

      February 28, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Judas and some of the disciples were upset at the actions of the woman, who poured the expensive perfume on Jesus.

        Jesus did reference this verse about that incident: "Since you always have the poor with you, I therefore command you, 'Open your hand to the poor and needy in your land.' Deuteronomy 15:11

        Jesus always showed special care and concern for the poor, and his disciples would be expected to continue to do so. But this is a special, one time event on the eve of Jesus' death.

        February 28, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Yet, Jesus' clothing was supposedly so expensive that soldiers gambled over it, covered as it must have been with the blood and gore of his whipping, right? He also mentions that people call him a glutton and a drunkard. Maybe he was rather rich, or profiting a lot from his follower's sponsorship. If that's true, then this incident would be more like certain followers of T.D. Jakes complaining about his Bentley, right?

          February 28, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "Then Herod and his soldiers treated Him (Jesus) with contempt; and after mocking Him, he put a splendid robe on Him and sent Him back to Pilate." (Luke 23:8 – 11)

          Jesus was given new and expensive clothes to wear by Herod and the soldiers. It was part of them mocking him – dressing him up like a king.

          February 28, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Oh, yeah, I forgot that part.

          How about my other point? Is there anything in the NT to suggest that Jesus was actually poor, or at least not being supported rather lavishly by his patrons?

          February 28, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't think he was lavishly rich. He was raised in a family that was not rich, and probably would be considered poor by today's standards. He had no possessions on him when he died. No house. Most of the people he choose to be his disciples were not rich.

          February 28, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • hotairace

          He allegedly was ...

          February 28, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Middle class then?

          March 1, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Blue collar, lower middle class.

          March 1, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Maybe, but he may have been fairly flush depending on how much gold he got from the Magi that time. 🙂

          March 2, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Buzzards got to eat...same as the worm"

      ~Josey Wales

      February 28, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
  9. Vic

    ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰ ♰ ♰

    February 28, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
    • Doris

      How are you, Vic. Vic what do you think about this situation in Uganda?

      February 28, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
      • Doris

        How are you, Vic? Vic what do you think about this situation in Uganda? (sorry, that was two questions)

        February 28, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
  10. Ryan

    Christians are called to be good Samaritans to their less fortunate neighbors.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53Pqw20xK10&feature=player_detailpage

    February 28, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
    • doobzz

      It's a shame that it's done at the point of a sword so often. Or with conditions.

      Yes, we'll help you build wells so you don't have to walk five miles every day for water and a clinic where your children can be vaccinated. So long as you also let us build a school and a church where everyone will learn to follow our god and our ways.

      February 28, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      The pious religious leader and a man studying to be a religious leader wouldn't help the man, because it would cause them to break the law, inconveniencing them.

      The despised Samaritan sacrificed what little he had to help the man. Jesus used somebody outside their religion to teach them about how God wants us to be.

      February 28, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
      • kudlak

        That would be like Pat Robertson helping a gay couple plan their wedding, right? 🙂

        February 28, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It would be like Pat Robertson choosing to not help a gay person in need, while an atheist shows up and actually helps.

          February 28, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
    • Vic

      The Parable Of The Good Samaritan

      Luke 10:30-37
      "30 Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, 34 and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ 36 Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” 37 And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”"

      All Scripture Is From:

      New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

      http://www.biblegateway.com/

      February 28, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
      • fintronics

        Jesus may have been a real person, but the biblical accounts of him are untrue and based on myths.[

        March 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
  11. Doris

    "Pretending to know things you do not know is the lifeblood of religion." –Sam Harris

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

    February 28, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Sublime.

      February 28, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      superb.

      February 28, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
  12. Apple Bush

    This art works on several levels:

    1. Eye sore
    2. Beauty
    3. The location in juxtaposition to the church
    4. Reminder of Christ's life
    5. Broken stereotype
    6. Sadness
    7. Happiness
    8. Peacefulness
    9. Despair
    10. Fear

    February 28, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      It is nice that it is functional too, with space to sit or pray or meditate.

      February 28, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
      • doobzz

        I dunno, it sure looks like Jeebus is hogging the whole freakin' bench for himself!

        February 28, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          And his feet double as ashtrays.

          February 28, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • doobzz

          LMAO!

          I was hoping for a cup holder too.

          February 28, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
  13. Vic

    John 1:10-11
    "10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His [a]own, and those who were His own did not receive Him." (NASB)

    February 28, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
    • doobzz

      “I am not a liberator. Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves.”
      ― Ernesto Guevara

      February 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
      • new-man

        if the people liberated themselves, seems to me they are liberators, and therefore liberators do exist.

        February 28, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • doobzz

          The point was that anyone can post a quote.

          February 28, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
    • new-man

      Vic...
      as the Word says, there is nothing new under the sun.
      What you posted was recorded in the NT... we find in the OT Pharoah saying "Behold I have not found the name of your God written in this book, and his name I know not."
      Pharaoh was not an exception to the rule... he is the rule.
      Today you have many who boldly proclaim the same.

      "This world is under a spell of darkness but to the people who live in it, this darkness seems like a bright light because they have been deceived they cannot fathom the true depths of their gross ignorance.... seek the Lord while He may be found."

      February 28, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
  14. Doris

    God of the gaps. It's an expression to denote what theists use to "fill in the void" for the unknown.

    As astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains in his talk The Perimeter of Ignorance, throughout history many of the great minds give virtually no mention to any god for their discoveries and explanations. (Ptolemy, Isaac Newton, Laplace, Huygens, Galileo.) That is, until they reach the problem they feel they cannot and will never fully tackle.

    Perhaps that is all God has ever been – a placeholder for discomfort or frustration over the unknown; an excuse of last resort when, for one reason or another, one gives up investigation. It is at that point of discomfort over the unknown when one should remember what humanity has already witnessed: that today's scientific explanations were often yesterday's gods.

    What is the effect when man relies solely on his gap-filling gods?

    We see some who will let their children die rather than seek medical care for their children.

    We see many who would rather see disease continue to spread rather than take a realistic stance on contraception.

    We see ministers traveling to Africa and inciting violence there against other humans.

    "[If] the nature of... government [were] a subordination of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, I [would] consider it as desperate for long years to come. Their steady habits [will] exclude the advances of information, and they [will] seem exactly where they [have always been]. And there [the] clergy will always keep them if they can. [They] will follow the bark of liberty only by the help of a tow-rope." –Thomas Jefferson

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxiLnC7ikw8

    February 28, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      I appreciate Tyson.

      I also am glad to not have the "God of the Gaps" as Tyson describes.

      February 28, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
      • hotairace

        Why do you believe NdGT observation does not apply to you?

        February 28, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          He is speaking to people who are trying to change policy in ways that undermine the training of scientists and practice of science.

          February 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • hotairace

          So a behavioral trait (figuring things out scientifically until their limits are reached then declaring "some god did it") that applied to many of the most brilliant minds does not apply to you?

          February 28, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Many scientists who believe in God demonstrate they continued to search for answers, and didn't stop and declare "some god did it". Some were honored with prestigious awards like the "Nobel Prize". Which is an award Tyson has not been honored with yet. He probably will someday though.

          February 28, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
  15. Rynomite

    Like all great Shamans, Jesus used his mind to manipulate free food and lodging from people who actually worked for a living.

    February 28, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
  16. kudlak

    Very good art! Great juxtaposition!

    Wasn't Jesus unemployed and "homeless" during his ministry, being fed and taken in by others?

    February 28, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
    • Akira

      Yes. And that is why I think this is such a great idea.

      February 28, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
  17. Ungodly Discipline

    That is fucking awesome.

    February 28, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
  18. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    This is an excellent and thought provoking art installation.

    Way to go St. Albans Episcopalian church!

    February 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
  19. new-man

    LOVE CONQUERS FEAR

    John 9:27 "He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?" (JOHN 9:6-27)

    This man showed great courage in confronting these religious leaders. Even Peter later backed down for fear of this same group of men (Lk. 22:54-62). Certainly one thing that gave him this boldness was that he knew what Jesus had done for him. And even beyond the physical healing, he knew that Jesus had healed him because He loved him. It's our security in the Lord's love for us that gives us the strength to face rejection from others. As Proverbs 28:1 puts it, "the righteous are bold as a lion." The antidote for fear of men is a large dose of the love of God.

    One of the greatest truths of the Bible and one of the hardest to comprehend, is that we are the objects of God's love. God didn't just pity us or feel some sense of moral obligation to save us. He saved us because of His infinite love for us (Jn. 3:16). An experiential understanding of God's love is the key to being filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19).

    Paul prays in Ephesians 3:19, that we would experience the love of God which passes mere knowledge about it. How can we know the love of God if it passes knowledge? This sounds like a contradiction. It's not. The knowing is experiencing it. The end result of having understanding and experiential knowledge of God's love is that we will be filled with all the fullness of God. God's love is the key that opens the door to everything that God is. God is love (1 Jn. 4:8).

    It's not just a casual acquaintance with God's love that we need, but an intimate understanding and experiential knowledge of the depths of God's love. Just as a tree's roots provide stability and nourishment for the tree, so our revelation of God's love is the foundation upon which everything else we receive from God is built.

    AWMI

    February 28, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
    • doobzz

      Just don't make fun of a bald guy, or you'll get mauled by a bear. 'Cause god is love, you know.

      February 28, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
  20. doobzz

    I like the story about "hot Jesus" better.

    February 28, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
    • Akira

      I would hate to read the fan-fic on that.

      February 28, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
      • doobzz

        LOL, I'm sure it's out there.

        February 28, 2014 at 6:42 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.