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March 26th, 2014
04:17 PM ET

Vatican landmark Obama will miss

CNN's Ben Wedeman gloats over what President Barack Obama likely won't get a chance to see on his visit to the Vatican on Thursday. Take a look inside the Sistine Chapel - and gaze up at its famous ceiling.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Art • Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Church and state • Italy • Pope John Paul II • Vatican

soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. realbuckyball

    I think it's hilarious one the most famous ho'm'ose'xual artists of all time did the fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, in the seat of the cult that says it can't accept gays, yet is full to the brim with them. Think of all the popes with mistresses and children and whor'es that have been in there. I also like the dude painted into the ceiling "mooning" the church.

    March 28, 2014 at 10:51 pm |
  2. joeyy1

    v
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_F9nIps46w

    March 28, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
  3. CS

    Maybe it’s because some people are just lucky, or others just don’t really care. I mean, an expensive rug matters to me and it’s ruined. Because I gave the love of a pet priority over the value of a rug. I guess that makes me a dumb guy, letting a bunny pee on my rug. Some with rugs far more valuable than mine have giant dogs running all over their valuable rugs and carpets. No problem for them. Well you know, if loving animals and losing sight of material worth is wrong then I am wrong. I love the silly bunny. That reminds me of a story about some bunnies that lived in a hutch….it didn’t end well.

    Just to stay topical, whatever story about the pope is currently the article for discussion, I agree with some of it and disagree with other parts.

    March 28, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    For a being that can supposedly create the universe, it's pretty pathetic how he needs people's constant worship and adoration. "oh love me, love me, tell me how wonderful and how great and how powerful I am! Now tell me again! Oh, and again!"

    March 28, 2014 at 10:14 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H.Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history."
      – Robert Heinlein

      March 28, 2014 at 10:24 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      GOD: Oh, don't grovel ... do get up! If there's one thing I can't stand, it's people groveling!!
      ARTHUR: Sorry ...
      GOD: And don't apologize. Every time I try to talk to someone, it's sorry this, and forgive me that, and I'm not worthy and ... What are you doing now?
      ARTHUR: I'm averting my eyes, Lord.
      GOD: Well, don't.
      GOD: I really don't know where all this got started. It's like those miserable psalms. They're so depressing. Now knock it off.
      ARTHUR: Yes, Lord.

      Monty Python and the Holy Grail

      March 28, 2014 at 11:18 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Let us praise God. O Lord...
        ...ooh, You are so big...
        ...So absolutely huge.
        Gosh, we're all really impressed down here, I can tell You.
        Forgive us, O Lord, for this, our dreadful toadying, and...
        And barefaced flattery.
        But You are so strong and, well, just so super.
        Fantastic.
        Amen.

        March 28, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        O Lord, please don't burn us.
        Don't grill or toast Your flock.
        Don't put us on the barbecue
        Or simmer us in stock.
        Don't braise or bake or boil us
        Or stir-fry us in a wok.
        Oh, please don't lightly poach us
        Or baste us with hot fat.
        Don't fricassee or roast us
        Or boil us in a vat,
        And please don't stick Thy servants, Lord,
        In a Rotissomat.

        March 28, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • jensgessner

          Oh, and Jenkins – apparently your Mother died this morning...

          March 28, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
    • sam stone

      And this omniscient being, even though he knows what we are going to do before we do it, will behave like a petulant child if he doesn't get it

      March 28, 2014 at 11:26 am |
  5. Jep

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3lILWN_nuc&feature=player_detailpage

    March 27, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
    • Jep

      Natural for men to have long hair? Says who?

      Long haired men are generally hippies and it is quite uncommon to spot a hippie these days anyways...

      According to the grooming code in work places, most men are clean shaven with short hair.

      March 27, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
      • Jep

        Most workplaces must have borrowed their dress code from 1 Timothy 2:9.

        Apostle Paul is indeed a visionary!

        March 27, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • observer

          Jep,

          Not exactly: (I Timothy 2:9 ) “I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments”

          March 27, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • Jep

          What's your issue with women dressing modestly?

          March 27, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • observer

          Jep,

          Not my issue, it's theirs. You can try telling them that they can't braid their hair or wear gold or peal charms, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, watches, etc.

          March 27, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • Jep

          It's not clear.

          Who is "they"? Which "they" is having an issue with women dressing modestly?

          March 27, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • observer

          Jep,

          Women, of course.

          March 27, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
        • Jep

          Women have a problem with dressing modestly? Really?

          I have not met women who have a problem with dressing modestly.

          March 27, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
        • observer

          Jep,

          So you don't know ANY women who like to braid their hair or wear gold or peal charms, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, watches, etc.?

          lol.

          March 27, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
        • Jep

          At my wife's place of work she is instructed not to wear sleeveless blouse or something that is garish or has sequins and skirts of a certain length. There is a dress code she has to abide by.

          She has no problem with dressing modestly as demanded by her workplace rules. I'm assuming her female co-workers all comply with those rules.

          March 27, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
        • observer

          Jep,

          Is she PROHIBITED from braiding her hair AND wearing gold or pearl charms, bracelets, brooches, necklaces, earrings, rings, AND watches?

          March 27, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • Fallacy Spotting 101

          Immediate root post by 'Jep' presents an instance of the Non Causa Pro Causa fallacy.

          http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

          March 27, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • Jep

          Read the passage again, it's exhorting women to dress "modestly".

          March 27, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
        • observer

          Jep,

          (I Timothy 2:9 ) “I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, NOT WITH BRAIDED HAIR AND GOLD OR PEARLS OR COSTLY GARMENTS”

          Is English a second language for you or is it just a reading comprehension problem?

          March 27, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • Jep

          A call to dress "modestly" is a fallacy.

          Try quoting that fallacy to your HR rep next time when you go against the dress code rules at your workplace.

          You want to talk about the topic about "modesty" stick to it, don't flail around hopelessly.

          March 27, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • Jep

          This is the whole passage read again:

          "I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes"

          Which part of the "modesty" , "decency" is going over your head?

          March 27, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • observer

          Jep,

          Obviously, it's a reading comprehension problem.

          So is wearing a gold ring or gold watch NOT dressing modestly?

          Get serious. Wake UP!

          March 27, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • Jep

          Not to forget "propriety".

          March 27, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • Jep

          Keep reading it over and over again till you understand what it means to dress "modestly" with "propriety".

          Come back when you have understood the meaning.

          March 27, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
        • Ed

          Nope, Jep, our dear Mr. 101 is right this time. You have attributed the origin of the modest dressing rule to a bible excerpt, without proof that is the cause, and when there are many other possible causes.

          Better think that one through again, son. You are looking pretty stupid.

          March 27, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
        • observer

          Jep,

          Still waiting for an answer.

          Is your wife a HYPOCRITE who EVER goes to your place of worship wearing gold or pearl charms, bracelets, brooches, necklaces, earrings, rings, OR watches?

          March 27, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
        • Jep

          Be gone troll!

          March 27, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • observer

          Jep,

          Sounds like you have helplessly lost and may be running away.

          Still STUMPED?

          Is your wife a HYPOCRITE who EVER goes to your place of worship wearing gold or pearl charms, bracelets, brooches, necklaces, earrings, rings, OR watches?

          March 27, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        • Corinth

          Speaking of propriety, it reminds me of a grandma in our neighborhood who is quite the show-off. She loves to dive into the swimming pool wearing her long braids, pearls, gold and her expensive Gucci watch.

          March 27, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
        • Drake

          Speaking of propriety...it reminds me of a grandma in our neighborhood . She loves to dive into the swimming pool wearing her long braids..."

          — Where did that granny come from? Brazil?
          — Looks like she needs a lesson on "Modesty 101".

          March 27, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Jep
          Women need to be very careful about how they dress, lest they incur God's wrath like the Daughters of Zion in Isaiah 3:18.
          God will take all of their fine clothes, jewelery, makeup and mirrors. He'll turn them bald and rotten smelling and then kill all of the males they care about.

          March 28, 2014 at 7:59 am |
        • Drake

          Lesson on "Modesty 101"

          In the case of granny it's a lesson to teach her to dress "appropriately" as the occasion demands.

          Don't go dressed decked like a "Christmas tree" to the swimming pool however tempting that may be, even though granny is gung ho about gold, pearls, watches and braids and watches.(did we mention watches already?)

          March 28, 2014 at 8:33 am |
        • colin31714

          Well Jep, not really. It is well accepted that 1 Timothy is a forgery. It was fraudulently written under the name of Paul by an unknown interloper in the early to mid Second Century. So, yes, the Bible did blunder and in a much bigger way than you thought.

          It amazes me how little Christians know about their own book.

          March 28, 2014 at 8:49 am |
      • Corinth

        Long haired hippies at work??? Not seen one in a long time, not sure if Jared Leto has chopped his fine locks as yet? Wink!

        March 27, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "According to the grooming code in work places, most men are clean shaven with short hair."

        On what planet is this? An LDS outreach center?

        March 27, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
      • Doris

        Jep: "According to the grooming code in work places, most men are clean shaven with short hair."

        Nonsense. Didn't they tell you about a hair net, Jep? Granted, if I were serving up fries, I would probably opt for shorter hair to save time.

        March 27, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
      • Drake

        Careful there, Jep! "Boris" channels her inner Bob Marley look!

        March 28, 2014 at 8:21 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Most of the men I know where there hair long-ish. Below their ears at a minimum. I have a number of male friends with hair longer than mine. My work place has no prohibition against it or facial hair. Big chunk of my male friends have facial hair also. And piercings: ears, nose, eyebrow.

        As to women...well my employer has the right to impose a dress code to a certain degree. But demanding no sleeveless clothing would have me (and several other women) taking them to the wall over it. Eighty percent of my wardrobe is sleeveless, for a number of reasons (I run very hot and in most indoor situations, even with air conditioning, I'm sweating if I'm in anything with sleeves). Sleeveless isn't immodest.

        And therein lies a big part of the problem with a "modest" dress code. Who gets to decide what is and isn't modest?

        March 28, 2014 at 10:04 am |
    • Chris

      Paul is a great apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul was a humble, powerful witness for Lord Jesus Christ. Arguably, no other human figure in the Bible demonstrated more humility while sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ as Paul. Acts 20 tells us that he “served the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to [him] through trials.” In Acts 28:31, Paul shares the good news of Jesus Christ: “Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul was not afraid to tell others what the Lord had done for him. This verse is the very definition of Paul’s newfound life in Christ. He would spend the rest of his days working tirelessly for the kingdom of God.

      March 27, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
      • Bob

        Chris, this pathetic "lord" Jesus Christ sacrifice-salvation story that you are harping about ad nauseum is complete nonsense out of the gate. How is it that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers?

        Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there. The foundation story of your entire religion is just a steaming, stinking pile of bull-do.

        Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
        Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
        http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

        March 27, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Claiming god came and talked to you directly and therefore what you say has the authority of the creator of the universe is not "humble"...what a joke.

        March 27, 2014 at 10:47 pm |
    • Corinth

      That was funny!

      March 27, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
  6. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    In other news, while in Rome President Obama will not put his hand in the "mouth of truth" (Bocca della Verita) made famous by Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.

    Nor is throwing coins in the Trevi Fountain on the Presidential itinerary.

    I know the belief blog isn't for news, but really?

    March 27, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
  7. lunchbreaker

    Anyone else think the ti tle of this article sounds like yoda speak?

    March 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
    • Bob

      Certainly the case it is. And at least a demi-god Yoda must be. Looked so good CNN headlines have never.
      http://www.yodajeff.com/pages/talk/likeyoda.shtml

      March 27, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The Yoda version would be:

      Obama will Vatican landmark miss.

      March 27, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
  8. observer

    Theo Phileo,

    I Corinthians 11:14 “Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him,” So is dishonor "natural"?.

    Your "brilliant thinker" said "Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife." and "(1 Cor. 7:1-2) It is good for a man not to have s3xual relations with a woman.”

    Oooops. Didn't think that through too well. End of civilization. But that wasn't too important since it was coming SOON according to him.

    So BOTH he and God discriminated against women. ( I Timothy 2:11) “Let a woman learn in silence with full submission”.
    ( I Timothy 2:12) “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.”.

    A couple more BRILLIANT commands:

    "(1 Cor. 11:6 “For if a woman does not cover her head (while praying), let her also have her hair cut off”
    (I Timothy 2:9 ) “I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments”

    Don't expect Christian HYPOCRITES to mention those. It's more fun for them pick on others.

    PLEASE actually READ a Bible so I don't have to tell you ALL the parts you don't know.

    March 27, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      Oh, bother, please get a study Bible and stop reading atheists websites... I don't have time to get into all of this before I have to leave for the day... I could suggest a few if you'd read them.

      March 27, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
      • observer

        Theo Phileo,

        When the Bible is QUOTED EXACTLY, why are you PRETENDING that the source matters?

        So you had no response. Will you try again? It appears that you might need to go the sites you referenced.

        March 27, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        observer,
        You can claim whatever reasoning that you will for the reason that I choose not to answer you, but the fact of the matter is that you have no desire to know why Paul said some of the things that he did. You are a troll. And your only desire is to insult that which you obviously have no desire to understand, and I am through feeding trolls.

        March 27, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • hotairace

          I am through feeding trolls = I cannot answer straightforward questions about my childish beliefs.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          "It is good for a man not to have s3xual relations with a woman.”

          Do you agree with what this "BRILLIANT THINKER" said? YES or NO?

          March 27, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          You mean the whole passage, taken in the way he means it as an answer to a letter written to him by those in Corinth? Yeah.

          March 27, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          Please explain to us why "It is good for a man not to have s3xual relations with a woman.”

          March 27, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • joey3467

          It doesn't matter why he said it, if he said that women should be kept silent he was an evil person. end of story.

          March 27, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Remember – if the Bible verse you quote is contrary to modern morality, it must be
      1) Taken out of context
      2) A metaphor
      3) A translation error
      4) The mysterious, ineffable way of God and shut up don't ask questions you heathen

      March 27, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        And don't forget the atheist motto: "If it has to be explained then it must be wrong."

        March 27, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • observer

          And don't forget the apologist's motto: If it's ridiculous, blame the God in the Old Testament. Otherwise, English words don't mean what everyone knows them to mean.

          March 27, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • sam stone

          christian motto: "i am a sinner and i deserve hell"

          what a joke, eh corn pone?

          March 28, 2014 at 9:21 am |
      • workingcopy12

        But Doc–these verses are taken out of context. Why is it that atheists always seem to refuse to entertain context when they cite verses? Who was Paul writing to? Why was he writing this letter? What was going on at the church in Corinth–what was the historical background? Do you know the answers to these questions–that, of course, requires an understanding of context. The long and short, for those who don't want to study the issue–the new believers (new female believers) were coming from a Pagan background in which there attendance at church was hyperse.xualized. Paul is freeing them from the requirement that they dress like (at the time) prosti.tutes.) That is the context for this church and Paul's reason for his letters on this specific subject. Context. Kind of changes the atheist drum beat.

        March 27, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • observer

          workingcopy12,

          Yep. When Paul says “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.”, it doesn't mean "I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.”.

          March 27, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          There were many a Jew at the temple in Corinth as well (mentioned in Acts 18) and Paul's order of importance in preaching Jews first, then Gentiles. He even praises his intended audience for keeping up Jewish customs in 1 cor 11.

          The mix of Jewish and Greek perspectives caused a fair bit of confusion to the poor folk in that Synagogue.
          Paul came and told them that some Jew had been nailed to a Roman cross and they were therefore absolved of sin – and so them folk started doing whatever they wanted – most especially when it came to s.ex.

          Paul had to come back and give them a refresher course in what Christian self-denial, guilt and shame are all about...

          March 27, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • joey3467

          What bothers me is that apparently there are people who think that there is a context in which that is acceptable. I would say this is unacceptable no matter the context.

          March 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
  9. bchev

    Here's a theoretical question. What would really be lost to Christianity if they just discarded the works and writings of Paul? As an athiest, I have no real investment, but as I've stated, he's a generally dishonest seeming, self agrandizing, dislikable individual, with no solid reason to be trusted. The only reason to accept him as being a messanger of Jesus, is because he says so; which is a really bad reason. SO, what if he was just ignored? Would there be any major policy changes (there shouldn't be, it's supposed to be based on God/Jesus right?). If there were changes, would they bad, or good (ie. getting over the whole man on man thing)? Ar ethere currently any Christian groups that discount Paul, and base their tenants on just what the original apostles actually said Jesus said and did?

    March 27, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
    • new-man

      if, as you said, you have no real investment in your hypothetical question – why then was it necessary to sow this seed of thought, given you've already determined there"shouldn't be any changes"?

      One is know by the fruits they produce. If you see an apple tree, you do not have to guess what fruit it produces- it's very apparent to the observer. The same manner, Paul is known by his fruits.

      I just want to greatly bless your day greatly in Christ Jesus. Blessings.

      March 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
      • joey3467

        Going by that logic Paul seems pretty rotten to me new-man.

        March 27, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
      • observer

        "Paul is known by his fruits."

        Pathetically, they are that men should not have s3xual relations with women and he trashed marriage by saying that it must exist because people can't control themselves and their lust.

        March 27, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
      • bchev

        new-man,
        Thanks for replying. Honestly, because I find much of Paul to be caustic and contrary to the words of Jesus (while I don't believe he was the son of "God", I do think he had some pretty solid philosophies on life). My "things shouldn't change" line was slightly tongue in cheek, because I believe they would, for the better, I'm just not 100% sure how or how much. As to why ask the question at all? Meh, gotta keep the brain working or it gets fat and lazy. Just because I'm not a Christian doesn't mean that I don't see, know, and live with them, or that their doctrine doesn't have the potential to affect my life, or the lives of those I care about.

        March 27, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
        • new-man

          bchev,
          I appreciate your tone.
          and speaking of tone, I believe in some of Paul's letters his tone might be misinterpreted by some. For example in 1Cor he was using a sarcastic tone, others might think otherwise.
          The more I read Paul's writings, I see how truly he understood his identi.ty as a son of God; I see how he uses that authority that can only be assumed when one truly realize their right standing (righteousness/right believing) with Father.

          Obviously, I believe that Yeshua is the Son of God, and have do not find Paul's teachings to be contrary to the Word of God.
          As I love to say, Jesus taught the gospel of the kingdom of God. It was this gospel that Paul preached and warned against anyone, even an angel from heaven making any changes to this gospel.
          I think you would agree with me, that just based on his background, Paul was a very brilliant man; yet even he came to the revelation that earthly wisdom and knowledge alone is but dung if one lacks spiritual knowledge and wisdom, the latter which can only come through a relationship with the Holy Spirit.

          One of the main reasons Jesus came was so God/Father could live/dwell with us through His Holy Spirit.
          Personally, I think the biggest mistake a person can make (I've made it) is to discount the awesome Power of the Holy Spirit.

          I will say, I acknowledge your reason for asking the question and in the same manner I guess I could say, yes, it's good to revisit why we embrace certain teachings.

          I know with 100% certainty that the teachings from the kingdom of God will only have a positive effect on those who hear it and live it.
          regarding the doctrines of man, passed off as the doctrine of Christ – that's another story.

          Blessings.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • Akira

          "The more I read Paul’s writings, I see how truly he understood his identi.ty as a son of God"

          This is rather the impression Paul gives; that HE is Jesus...

          Is it Paulianity or Christianity?

          March 27, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • new-man

          it's "Living the Kingdom of God"

          Those who have no knowledge or understanding of their identi.ty will always accuse others of trying to be God.
          Paul, like any believer is a son of God. Yeshua is the Son of God.
          Paul, like any believer is a joint heir with Yeshua, destined to be co-creator and to reign, and best of all, all this can be done here and now so that one can have a life of significance and not just waiting until one gets to heaven. Yeshua told us, pray in this manner – thy [Father's] will be done IN earth as it is in Heaven.

          a person's self-esteem is directly proportional to their inheritance; so obviously those who know their identi.ty and inheritance (authority, power & dominion) will be regarded as arrogant.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • Akira

          Okay, fair enough. Your interpretation is noted, and added to all of the other interpretations I read on a daily basis here.

          And thank you very much for confirming that women, at least
          Biblically, means absolutely nothing.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • bchev

          new-man,
          Common human behavior would tend to disagree with you. Arrogance is quite often a front for self doubt and internal weakness (yeah, I may not be strong, but I'm smarter than everyone else here and I'm gonna show it). There have been studies that show that people who are naturally better at a task tend to under evaluate themselves, while those who are not good tend to self inflate their abilities... but not the point here.

          Comfort in your position, and the theoretical serenity that would coe with knowing your place in the universe as "God" sees it would certainly allow for comfort and a sense of inner peace. But Paul went beyond that and into the realm of real arrogance. He went out of his way to spell out how he was different from the other Apostles, and how his sufferings had been so much greater. Jesus was supposedly the Son of "God", and even he didn't take the time out of his day to brag. If you're going to be a leading holy person, shouldn't your behavior be up to that standard?

          March 27, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • new-man

          Akira : "And thank you very much for confirming that women, at least Biblically, means absolutely nothing."

          If you're interested in having a honest dialogue, you would not ascribe to me things that are not true. You do not know what you're speaking of.

          JUDGES 4:4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in Mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came to her for judgement.

          WHO COMMANDED THAT DEBORAH BE ESTABLISHED AS A JUDGE?

          Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
          Paul wrote the above. If you and others like you truly understood what Paul was saying you'd stop making this claim that women meant nothing. Absurd.

          ACT 21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. ACT 21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

          Then there is the story of the woman who evangelized an entire town so that they came to Jesus. His disciples did not particularly like the idea of Jesus even talking to a women – but Jesus did it anyway. Note that the Bible specifically states that she talked to the men in the town.

          Num 27 – the daughters of Zelophehad who went to Moses regarding their inheritance.
          "Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father."
          NUM 27:6 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,NUM 27:7 The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.

          fr. dayspringfromonhigh – Song of Deborah ( it continues)

          March 27, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • new-man

          I don't like seeing this on other's post, so let me quickly correct it here.

          Then there is the story of the woman who evangelized an entire town so that they came to Jesus. His disciples did not particularly like the idea of Jesus even talking to a woman – but Jesus did it anyway. Note that the Bible specifically states that she talked to the men in the town.

          a woman. one woman.
          two or more women.

          March 27, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • new-man

          bchev,
          I agree with you and have said as much in some capacity here: "The paradox of the oak tree. It's strength becomes it's weakness when the confidence and strength are in one's self rather than the Lord."

          regarding humility – I read this somewhere, humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.
          While I can see where you'll use this to bolster your position on Paul's writings, I will respect your position on Paul, while keeping mine intact.
          I heard a teaching recently which brought up pretty much what you are saying now, but regarding the disciples when they were arguing amongst themselves who was greatest.

          I'll let you view it here if you so choose.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWhZpaooOTM&list=PLC138F257E7991994

          March 27, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • new-man

          it's Steve Thompson – Why we Don't Have People Moving in Power All the Time

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWhZpaooOTM&list=PLC138F257E7991994

          March 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • Akira

          Newman, apparently sarcasm escapes you. I'm sorry. I had no idea you were so sensitive.

          However, if I weren't interested in having a conversation, I wouldn't be talking to you at all.

          People here know more than you think. Underestimating me/us isn't wise.

          Where did Jesus forbid women from being ordained ministers? Not Paul. Jesus.

          March 27, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
      • Doris

        As to how Paul saw himself, we can only speculate, but the signs of a political beginning are as obvious as spam in a spam folder. Paul at some point must have realized a golden opportunity to garner the following of the more religiously fundamental people who longed for the way of life comfortable and traditional to their parents and grandparents. Rolling in of traditional law with the gaining popularity of the newer movement was a sure way to pacify the young and old, and to establish yourself as a prophet for generations yet to come. So I still see Paul as the Joseph Smith of his day, but perhaps as the right-winger of his day.

        March 27, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Doris

          append to end: ..of his day also.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      In 2 Peter 3:1-2, Peter affirms only two sources of Holy Scripture: 1) the Prophets, and 2) the Apostles. In 2 Peter 3:15-16, Peter authenticates Paul's writings as scripture, inherent in that is an agreement to his apostleship. And there are other internal evidences for authenticating Paul as an apostle as well...

      March 27, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
      • Doris

        "Peter authenticates Paul's writings"

        lol. Many NT scholars believe the author of Peter was not Peter the apostle. Some even suspect it could have been a disciple of Peter's who wrote it as a tribute.

        March 27, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Yeah, and those NT scholars occupy the room right next to the guy who claims to be a poached egg.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • Doris

          You wish, Theo. You know what the consensus is on Peter and the authorship of the Gospels. Try again.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Doris, if you're referring to the Jesus Seminar folks, they're historical revisionists...

          March 27, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • Doris

          No, I was not referring to that.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
      • bchev

        @Theo,
        I didn't say Paul wasn't regarded as an apostle, I said he wasn't one of the original apostles (I think he made the distinction as well). It's not a question of scripture, dogma, or interpretation, its a simple statement. The question is, how would Christianity change if Paul was NOT regarded as an apostle, and if his writings and works were discarded?

        March 27, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Well, if we're talking in hypotheticals, we would be without Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Ti.tus, Philemon, and possibly Hebrews. Although it would be detrimental to the things which lead to holy living, we would still have the gospels and know the way to salvation.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • bchev

          @Theo,
          Fair enough, the essentials should remain intact. Apart from passages that are very popular at weddings, is there anything in those books that you think really benefits Christianty, a policy or tenant that you think strengthens it as a faith. I'll be fair and recognize that I have a very limited sense of wonder, so if the main value of those passages is that they are simply beutiful for people to read, and they "touch people's hearts", but they aren't intended to carry direction or a specific message, then it's just a disconnect that's going to remain, I'm never going to be able to make the mental leap to see why that has value in forming a faith that is supposed to guide one's way of life. Doesn't mean that isn't a real value, jsut means I can't appreciate it.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Well, we first have to understand that all scripture is "God breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16, reflecting Psalm 19 and 119) That is, God ordained the very words of the Bible, and carried out His dictates through men whom He appointed as apostles and prophets.

          The qualifications of an apostle are:
          1)The Church was founded on them and the prophets (Ephesians 2:20)
          2)An Apostle had to be an eye witness of the resurrected Christ (Acts 1:21-26, 1 Corinthians 9:1)
          3)Directly chosen by Jesus (Matthew 10:1-5, Luke 6:13-16)
          4)Authenticated by signs, wonders, and miracles (Acts 14:3, 2 Corinthians 12:12)
          5)Absolute authority (Jude 1:17)
          6)They have a unique place forever (Revelation 21)

          John 14:26 tells us that when the Holy Spirit comes (after the resurrection at pentacost) He would teach the apostles and bring to their remembrance all that God intends to be in Holy writ

          When Peter authenticated Paul as an Apostle (among other authentications in scripture) he was saying that, speaking from the authority as an apostle himself, God had ordained Paul to be an apostle, and thereby would be a vessel to transmit God's word to man.

          So when we look at Paul's writings, we can be assured that they are the words of God.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • hotairace

          Even though we can't be assured there is even a single god. . .

          March 27, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • igaftr

          "So when we look at Paul's writings, we can be assured that they are the words of God."

          If by assured you mean you have no actual idea, then you are correct.

          For all you know, the bible was inspired by Satan himself. More likely, men just made up the whole thing.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • bchev

          Theo,
          Okay, after that one, I'm going to go ahead and assume that you aren't actually planning on participating in this thought exercise. If I'm wrong in that assumption, and you decide to answer with a relavent example, I'll be happy to read and engage.

          To clarify, I don't need the litany of reasons WHY Paul is regarded as an Apostle, remember, I don't believe the Bible is from "God", because we KNOW it was written by men, their influence is debatable, their output is not. My question, is what does Christianity be recognizing the parts written by Paul. What does he tenant doe he put forward that makes things better? How many rules of the faith are dirived by what HE says Jesus told him, that can't be found anywhere outside of his secitons? Would things be better, if the faith focused only on things that Jesus supposedly said while he was alive?

          March 27, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • Doris

          And again, a number of NT scholars have very good reasons for not considering Peter the apostle as the author of Peter. Of course regarding "witnesses", we have nothing to go on except for Paul's word along with his best bud Luke.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          bchev
          There is no part in the Bible that is contradictory to any other part. Pauls's writings square with Jesus' teachings which square with the books of Moses which squares with the Revelation. If one were to "undo the progression of revelation" (as revelation WAS progressive) and remove portions of the New Covenant, such as the books of Paul, then we would have an incomplete covenant. The Covenant was made in Jesus' flesh, and its terms were described by the apostles, although the prophets such as Jeremiah also alluded to the terms.

          No, there is no "new" teaching that Paul describes that wasn't already apparent with the close of Malachi to them who were ready to search the scriptures, but the NT writers unwrapped the details of the New Covenant in such a way that made it available to a new people, namely, the Gentiles, who had no background in the prophecies of old.

          March 27, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • Doris

          Theo: "There is no part in the Bible that is contradictory to any other part"

          LOL. So from which of the over 41,000 sects do you hail, Theo. Or are you one of those sects of one who has managed to come up with the correct interpretation?

          March 27, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • observer

          – II Chronicles 36:9 “Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king”
          – II Kings 24:8 “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king”

          March 27, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          I don't have a computer with internet at home, so I had to wait until I got back here this morning to write my response about Jehoiachin. So, was Jehoiachin 8 or 18 years old? The answer? Yes… That is, he began his reign at eight years old as coregent with his father, and reigned ten years while his father was alive, and after his father’s death, which was in his eighteenth year, he reigned alone three months and ten days. This is born out in Ezekiel’s description of him in Ezekiel 19.

          This is an elegy in typical lamentation meter dealing with the captivity of Kings Jehoahaz (609BC) and Jehoiachin (597BC), and the collapse of the Davidic dynasty under Zedekiah (586BC). Here, Judah is the “lioness,” just as in verse 10 she is the “vine.” Her cubs symbolize kings who were descendants of David exposed to the corrupting influences of heathen kings (“young lions”).

          Verses 5-9 refers to Jehoiachin, who in 597BC was carried to Babylon in a cage as in verse 9 (2 Kings 24:6-15). Though he reigned only 3 months, he was oppressive and unjust. God used the pagan nations of Egypt and Babylon to judge these wicked kings. The Babylonians kept Jehoiachin imprisoned for 37 years, releasing him at the age of 55 (2 Kings 25:27-30, Jeremiah 52:31-32 – where the decree was made on the 25th, and carried out on the 27th).

          To anyone who reads and studies the Bible, he will see that there are no contradictions in doctrine. Scribal additions or notations are known, and account for less than 1% of Biblical text, but none of them affect doctrine, and essentially are no different than picking up an annoted Bible today.

          March 28, 2014 at 8:54 am |
      • observer

        Theo Phileo,

        It would seem to be better for believers to NOT claim Paul's writings as gospel. He seemed to be a real dim bulb. He put women down, put marriage down, put s3x down, and apparently was clueless what would happen if people actually followed his views.

        He even claimed that long hair on men was unnatural (supposedly worn by Jesus) and yet Christian HYPOCRITES never mention that when trashing gays as "unnatural".

        March 27, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "He seemed to be a real dim bulb."
          -----------
          Not so, before his conversion, he was a Pharisee, although Jesus taught they were wrong on their views of scripture and were ignorant of the true God, they were nontheless brilliant thinkers. Paul places himself as one of the most astute – a "Pharisee of Pharisees" and this was never contested.

          "He put women down, put marriage down, put s3x down..."
          -----------–
          No, he was restating God's dictates in Genesis as to the roles of men and women in the family and in the church. Furthermore, his opinion on marriage was that if a man desired to serve God as an elder, then it is better for him not to marry since then his duties would be divided. But it was only a suggestion by Paul, not a mandate. And he nowhere puts s.ex down. Hebrews is often attributed to Paul, and he says that the "marriage bed is undefiled." (Hebrews 13:4)

          "He even claimed that long hair on men was unnatural (supposedly worn by Jesus) and yet Christian HYPOCRITES never mention that when trashing gays as "unnatural"."
          ---------
          I don't have a clue where you're getting the long hair thing from but it's not in scripture...

          March 27, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
    • Russ

      @ bchev:
      basically every major theological point Paul held can be found on the lips of Jesus, too.
      jettisoning Paul to escape these doctrines fails to understand Scriptural redundancy & unity – much less that Paul ultimately got his theology *from* Christ.

      here's a quick overview of the theological unity of Jesus & Paul:
      http://carm.org/questions/other-questions/did-jesus-and-paul-teach-same-thing

      March 27, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
      • bchev

        @Russ,
        One point, Paul says he got his inspiration from Jesus, there is no corroboration or supporting evidence for that, you really just have to take him at his word. I have a problem with that association, because when you see things that people can't do, or ways that people can't live, or things that it is wrong for people to be, it is in a section written by Paul (with the exception of Jesus decrying those that warped faith to serve their own purpose or worse yet to make money off of it). The topic of marriage is attributed to Jesus THROUGH Paul, it's never broched by Jesus himself. How many other issues are like that? How radically would the church change if those topics that are ONLY relayed through Paul, were ignored?

        March 27, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • Russ

          @ bchev:
          you seem unaware of the historical background to the biblical texts & the broader scholarship here.

          a) Paul is not claiming his sole knowledge of Jesus came from the Damascus Road. he had extensive interactions with the disciples (as detailed by Luke in Acts).

          b) though Paul was one of (if not the) earliest biblical writers, he had contemporaries – several of which are co-authors of the NT. they corroborate his claims regarding what happened when, etc.

          c) it sounds like you have not read the Gospels – at least not carefully. Jesus certainly has the same att.itude toward sin & repeatedly states that fact ("things you can't be/do/etc.") – and yet do not miss the essence of the Good News of Jesus: namely, he did what we couldn't.

          d) Jesus repeatedly addresses the topic of marriage – either tangentially or directly. he speaks about it in the famous Sermon on the Mount, in the face of adulterous situations, regarding the adultery of the nations, to the Sadducees, etc. he even speaks of himself as the Bridegroom. it is a major topic off Jesus' lips.

          SUM: again, virtually ALL of the major foci of Jesus' preaching are echoed in Paul. note well: Paul did not write the Gospel accounts (that, in & of itself is a huge piece of the corroboration your are seeking), and yet he echoes those sentiments in his own writing.

          March 27, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • Bob

          Russ, arguments over the interpretation of your old, multi-version, multiply-translated Christian book of folklore can go on all day. Let's cut to the chase and look at a bigger picture:

          Ask yourself why we should have to rely on very stale, thousands-of-years-old, multiply-translated and re-transcribed old text, that is only reasonably subject to debates over its meaning. Why is it that your pathetic sky fairy can't even get with the past decade and create his own web presence (no, religious shill sites don't count), or push some tweets out? Even the pope, that creepy hider of criminal priests, could do that much, as can most children. After thousands of years of radio silence, reasonable doubt in the existence of your sky creature is easily justified, to say the least. Your absurd "god" is also apparently less capable at communication than any modern 10 year old.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          March 27, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
        • Russ

          @ bob:
          1) are you Marshall Brain? I'm beginning to wonder about the severity of your preoccupation with him.

          2) there are scholars in this field with whom you might agree (Bart Ehrman, for example). Marshall Brain has NO expertise here. why put your eggs in that basket? his criticisms are exceptionally shallow. at least if you read Ehrman, the discussion could advance past your repeated parroting of Brain's straw man arguments.

          3) you said: "multiply-translated and re-transcribed old text..."
          you seem unaware of the facts again.
          a) we have access to very early texts in the original language. that's not "multiply-translated." it's simply once.
          b) compared to virtually any other ancient text, we have more copies closer to the autographs. just check out the facts in the charts here (if not read the whole article):
          http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/03/21/an-interview-with-daniel-b-wallace-on-the-new-testament-manuscripts/

          4) you said: "Why is it that your pathetic sky fairy can't even get with the past decade and create his own web presence (no, religious shill sites don't count), or push some tweets out?"

          if coming in person isn't enough for you, starting a website or using twitter certainly wouldn't be.

          March 28, 2014 at 12:34 am |
        • Bob

          Russ, that is a pathetically weak response that you made. And I'll ignore your pathetic appeal to authority.

          So, again, your supposed "coming in person" of the bastard son of your sky fairy (something that weirdly was required for him to remove "sin" that he purportedly caused) purportedly happened >2000 years ago. After thousands of years of radio silence, reasonable doubt in the existence of your sky creature is easily justified, to say the least.

          Again, step back and look at the picture. Seriously ask yourself why we should have to rely on very stale, thousands-of-years-old, multiply-translated and re-transcribed old text, that is only reasonably subject to debates over its meaning. Why is it that your pathetic sky fairy can't even get with the past decade and create his own web presence (no, religious shill sites don't count), or push some tweets out? Even the pope, that creepy hider of criminal priests, could do that much, as can most children. . Your absurd "god" is also apparently less capable at communication than any modern 10 year old, even aside from being unable to show up in person with proof in a modern context, if ever.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          March 28, 2014 at 10:58 am |
      • Doris

        Well given the number of different ways people interpret the Bible from some Christian point of view, it should be no surprise that one could find a way to make Paul jive with Jesus, right Russ?

        But that there are millions that disagree on some interpretation should suffice as evidence that motor-mouthed Paul wasn't on the same page as Jesus, right?

        March 27, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Doris: check that link i posted above again, Doris.
          of the given examples there, do you contest that ANY of those misrepresent the clear & directly shared theological contentions of BOTH Jesus & Paul? also, do you deny that those represent a majority of the central tenets of the Christian faith?

          you may hate Paul – but, if so, it's because you hate what Jesus taught as well.
          and since Paul got his theology from Jesus, your problem is ultimately with Jesus.

          March 27, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
        • Bob

          Russ, I think the problems are clearly your own, not Doris'. Ask yourself why we should have to rely on very stale, thousands-of-years-old, multiply-translated and re-transcribed old text, that is only reasonably subject to debates over its meaning. Why is it that your pathetic sky fairy can't even get with the past decade and create his own web presence (no, religious shill sites don't count), or push some tweets out? Even the pope, that creepy hider of criminal priests, could do that much, as can most children. Your absurd "god" is less capable at communication than any modern 10 year old.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          March 27, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • Doris

          Russ: "of the given examples there, do you contest that ANY of those misrepresent the clear & directly shared theological contentions of BOTH Jesus & Paul? also, do you deny that those represent a majority of the central tenets of the Christian faith? "

          Well that's the problem, Russ. There is not much agreement on the clear & directly shared theological contentions. Where you say one thing, the next Christian says something else. Where you say something is not a primary Christian tenet, the next Christian disagrees with you and proceeds to judge others from that view. So it doesn't matter what you present here – the conflict and hypocrisy is quite evident.

          Russ: "you may hate Paul – but, if so, it's because you hate what Jesus taught as well. and since Paul got his theology from Jesus, your problem is ultimately with Jesus."

          Again, that's your opinion among the myriad of different opinions. Also, it's pretty self-serving to claim that Paul got his theology from Jesus, since outside of his handler Luke, we don't seem to have much or anything to back up Paul's claims.

          March 27, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Doris:
          1) you said: "There is not much agreement on the clear & directly shared theological contentions."
          you clearly didn't go to the link. it simply posts *quotes* from the Gospels alongside quotes from Paul. And – in each case, with 15 different major theological topics – there is clear & direct agreement.

          here it is again:
          http://carm.org/questions/other-questions/did-jesus-and-paul-teach-same-thing

          2) you said: 'Where you say one thing, the next Christian says something else."
          again, if you go to the link, these are simply the biblical texts laid alongside each other. i was not asking you what *Christians* think. do *you* deny there is a clear parallel in teaching in the cited verses?

          3) you said: "so it doesn't matter what you present here..."
          a) then why are we having this conversation?
          b) are you willing to engage the *primary* sources? it sounds like you want to dodge the content of the *primary* sources by invoking disagreement in *secondary* sources.

          4) you said: "Again, that's your opinion among the myriad of different opinions."
          it's also the position of the vast majority of scholars – for good reason.

          5) you said: "Also, it's pretty self-serving to claim that Paul got his theology from Jesus, since outside of his handler Luke, we don't seem to have much or anything to back up Paul's claims."

          a) Paul is one of the (if not THE) earliest writers of the NT. most scholars consider the earliest, most attested sources as also the most authoritative.

          b) Luke was not Paul's "handler." according to Acts, Luke joined Paul on *Paul's* missionary journeys (and if the shift to 1st person in Acts 16:10 is a statement of when he joined Paul, one could even argue Paul was his mentor).

          c) you say we don't have much to back up Paul's claims, but we have all the other Gospel accounts, the non-Pauline epistles (in which other authors affirm Paul's teaching, both indirectly and even directly) & the historical record that makes clear Paul was regarded as authoritative. *IF* – as you claim – Paul was not highly regarded and accepted by the original apostles, now you have to come up with a conspiracy theory regarding how so much of the Bible was changed... despite being from independent sources... and sharing the same central convictions regarding Jesus... and affirming what Paul repeatedly claimed about Jesus & his apostles (e.g., 1 Cor.15:3-7, Php.2:6-10, etc.). Ockham's razor makes your argument untenable here.

          SUM: it's not "self-serving" to claim that Paul echoes Jesus. it's demonstrable literarily, theologically, and historically.

          March 28, 2014 at 12:15 am |
        • Doris

          Russ: [..] "again, if you go to the link, these are simply the biblical texts laid alongside each other. i was not asking you what *Christians* think. do *you* deny there is a clear parallel in teaching in the cited verses?"

          again, I don't care if what is there looks similar or that you think it's similar, Russ. My point is about interpretation in the real world and their effects, not some personal interpretation that you agree with.

          Russ: "so it doesn't matter what you present here...
          [.. then blah blah blah about "primary" versus "secondary" sources..]

          hmmmm...lol

          Russ: [" 4) you said: "Again, that's your opinion among the myriad of different opinions."
          it's also the position of the vast majority of scholars – for good reason. "]

          Well of course many Christian scholars would back up their story, Should that be any surprise? How about the non-Christian scholarship Russ?

          Russ [ : 5) you said: "Also, it's pretty self-serving to claim that Paul got his theology from Jesus, since outside of his handler Luke, we don't seem to have much or anything to back up Paul's claims."

          a) Paul is one of the (if not THE) earliest writers of the NT. most scholars consider the earliest, most attested sources as also the most authoritative. "]

          Most authoritative? I guess that would depend on which scholar you're reading or listening to and the specific topic.

          Russ: [" b) Luke was not Paul's "handler." according to Acts, Luke joined Paul on *Paul's* missionary journeys (and if the shift to 1st person in Acts 16:10 is a statement of when he joined Paul, one could even argue Paul was his mentor). "]

          Russ, I was using that as a nickname for alleged service as Paul's physician. But yes, it does seem he was also a disciple of Paul's.

          Russ [" c) you say we don't have much to back up Paul's claims, but we have all the other Gospel accounts, "]

          authorship on all widely contested

          Russ [" "the non-Pauline epistles (in which other authors affirm Paul's teaching, both indirectly and even directly) "]

          like who – Peter? –authorship of Peter is highly contested

          Russ [" & the historical record that makes clear Paul was regarded as authoritative."]

          what historical record? sure there are a number of hearsay accounts. anything else besides those?

          Russ [ " *IF* – as you claim – Paul was not highly regarded and accepted by the original apostles, now you have to come up with a conspiracy theory regarding how so much of the Bible was changed... despite being from independent sources... and sharing the same central convictions regarding Jesus... and affirming what Paul repeatedly claimed about Jesus & his apostles (e.g., 1 Cor.15:3-7, Php.2:6-10, etc.). Ockham's razor makes your argument untenable here. "]

          No, Russ, because I didn't claim any view toward Paul by anyone; I didn't claim that "so much of the Bible was changed". Also, being that the authorship of the Gospels is uncertain, I find it rather silly to think it matters much that you think they affirm anything.

          Russ [" SUM: it's not "self-serving" to claim that Paul echoes Jesus. it's demonstrable literarily, theologically, and historically. " ]

          Well that's fine, Russ, that's your opinion and I am sure there are others to agree with you, but what I see going in the world often reflects a disagreement on interpretation.

          March 28, 2014 at 1:15 am |
        • Russ

          @ Doris:
          1) you said: "I don't care if what is there looks similar or that you think it's similar, Russ. My point is about interpretation in the real world and their effects, not some personal interpretation that you agree with."

          if you went to the link, you'd see it's not a matter of interpretation. that's why i was *inviting yours.* the various theological topics there are merely quotes from Jesus & quotes from Paul laid alongside one another. it is my contention that *even you* will arrive at the same conclusion – provided you are actually willing to read them. i'm offering you the ready-made chance to debunk me here with *your own* reading of those verses (i.e., demonstrate that it is about interpretation). why not actually engage the content?

          2) you said: "blah blah blah about "primary" versus "secondary" sources..."
          do you deny that primary sources are more germane to the discussion? mockery doesn't substi.tute for lack of an argument.

          3) you said: "Well of course many Christian scholars would back up their story, Should that be any surprise? How about the non-Christian scholarship Russ?"

          at no point did i invoke exclusively "Christian scholars." that is something you have mistakenly injected into this conversation. not only did i say "i was not asking you what *Christians* think. do *you* deny there is a clear parallel in teaching in the cited verses?" but when i said "it's also the position of the vast majority of scholars – for good reason" i was speaking of the academy as a whole.

          4) i said: "most scholars consider the earliest, most attested sources as also the most authoritative."
          you said: "Most authoritative? I guess that would depend on which scholar you're reading or listening to and the specific topic."

          no, it is a principle of historical scholarship. unless there is some extenuating circu.mstance pressing for an alternative reading, it is a general principle that the earliest, most attested source is the most authoritative. do you deny that? it's a red herring here to bring up exceptions unless you can demonstrate such apply.

          5) i said: "you say we don't have much to back up Paul's claims, but we have all the other Gospel accounts..."
          you said: "authorship on all widely contested"

          you are demonstrating my point. unless you are claiming Paul somehow influenced these accounts or that they came at such a late date that Paul's theology was incorporated into them, the *variety* of authorship only highlights the theological consistency.

          6) i said: "the non-Pauline epistles (in which other authors affirm Paul's teaching, both indirectly and even directly)"
          you said: "like who – Peter? –authorship of Peter is highly contested"

          a) how late of a date are you claiming for the Petrine epistles?
          b) your objection here dodges the primary point: the NT gives theological resonance (if not redundancy). if you remove several of the books, you can almost always find the same theological points being made elsewhere. that's the problem with the original thread here.

          7) i said: "...& the historical record that makes clear Paul was regarded as authoritative."
          you said: "what historical record? sure there are a number of hearsay accounts. anything else besides those?"

          well, the Scriptures themselves are the primary account (as we've been discussing) – but not the only one. ancient history of the early Christians includes secular sources which echo the same sentiment in their encounters with Christianity. and then there's the writings of the early Christian fathers which again echoes a Pauline theology. but most noteworthy, your entire argument itself presupposes that Paul's argument swayed the church. it's self-defeating to now deny that fact.

          8) you said: "No, Russ, because I didn't claim any view toward Paul by anyone. I didn't claim that "so much of the Bible was changed". Also, being that the authorship of the Gospels is uncertain, I find it rather silly to think it matters much that you think they affirm anything."

          a) so, when you said: "But that there are millions that disagree on some interpretation should suffice as evidence that motor-mouthed Paul wasn't on the same page as Jesus, right?" i am supposed to believe that's not sarcasm? you weren't mocking a particular view of Paul (namely, that he *is* on the same page as Jesus)? either that's sarcasm, or your arguments are non-sequiturs.

          b) your blatant mockery of the historical view of Paul as follower (not a mutator) of Jesus *requires* assuming that somehow Paul duped the church and/or changed the historical record.
          i) if he duped the church, he got us to believe he was consistent with Jesus when he wasn't
          ii) otherwise, if he mutated the teaching, he would have to change the record as well

          c) you said: " being that the authorship of the Gospels is uncertain, I find it rather silly to think it matters much that you think they affirm anything."

          i) i've pointed you to Richard Bauckham's "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" before. the scholarship there presses your claim that the authorship of the Gospels is somehow radically uncertain. these *had* to be eyewitness accounts, as he demonstrates.

          ii) i pressed you already on this above, but a multiplicity of authors from independent backgrounds claiming the same thing is generally regarded as corroboration. you can't have it both ways. either you are claiming some sort of conspiracy theory (which you'd have to demonstrate) that the Gospels were all actually contrived together along with Paul, or the theological unity demonstrated across a variety of authors supports my point. so which is it: you have a conspiracy theory or you concede a variety of authors?

          SUM: you keep appealing to "interpretation." there is a place for that – but it comes AFTER engaging the primary source... which is something that – as of yet – you appear unwilling to do. until then, your entire argument is increasingly revealing itself to be a red herring.

          March 28, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • Doris

          Russ – the handful of quotes that you linked to appear to have Paul echoing Jesus' sentiments for the most part, in my opinion. I do think there is quite a difference for #13 – Sinfulness of man, although the similarity may become clearer with additional passages. But what Christians have feuded with other Christians over the millennia as much as against others often does not involve these primary tenets, so while you may see Paul as the good follower for these similarities, I see not a person that I hate, but rather the person whose words have, even if unintentionally, instigated hate by judging people in ways I don't think you always find with Jesus. More importantly, Paul's holier-than-thou rants have obviously paved the way for more holier-than-thou Christian evangelists down through the ages.

          OK, now regarding all of your dancing around the validation of Paul as an approved apostle of Christ. Well, you've provided book refs and reiterated you opinion on the relationship of key figure, and so on and so on. And you've insinuated that I have a particular notion of what Paul was trying to do. Maybe I have, but I don't believe I mentioned in this thread. I believe my statements focus on the ill effects including division that I believe were seeded with Paul's evangelism.

          But here's the thing, Russ. The authorship of the Gospels is highly contested – some scholars say we just don't know. I think that is very important – more so than the content. For stories of alleged supernatural occurrences, to believe it could be true based on iron age writings with few witnesses should cause skepticism. But to believe it could be true under the same conditions where the authorship of all of the key writings, the Gospels themselves, is highly questionable is beyond ridiculous.

          Paul and his physician, disciple, best bud, whatever you want to call Luke. That's all we have. That and hearsay "historians" who later just echoed what we know from Paul. Nothing from the alleged "500" – no names, no writings outside those special cases we hear about like Peter. Your claim seems to be that Peter affirms Paul's writings as scripture in 2 Peter. Well, this should be no surprise to you, Russ, but here's a quote from Bible.org specifically regarding 2 Peter:

          Most conservative evangelicals hold to the traditional view that Peter was the author, but historical and literary critics have almost unanimously concluded that to be impossible.

          The rejection of Peter as the writer of 2 Peter is by far the most common opinion today. In fact, the view of the pseudonymity of the epistle is almost universal.

          The history of the acceptance of 2 Peter into the New Testament canon has all the grace of a college hazing event. This epistle was examined, prayed over, considered, and debated more than any other New Testament book—including Revelation.

          I'm sure I can find many scholarly opinions in agreement with that statement.

          March 29, 2014 at 2:48 am |
        • Russ

          @ Doris:
          1) thank you. you were willing to actually engage the source I was offering. it should be a given here, but that is a courtesy some others on this blog simply refuse to do. and for your willingness, i say thank you.

          but more than that, you considered my point there (that Paul & Jesus agree on these central tenets) & agreed. that also shows humility. something worthy of double honor. thank you again.

          2) Paul's "holier-than-thou" rants must be taken in light of his mockery of his own "holier-than-thou" resume (see Php.3, for instance). the entire notion of the Gospel he is presenting is that his best efforts are no better than dung (Php.3:8). he needs grace as much as anyone to whom he speaks.

          as Paul says: "But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith..."

          and while he DOES press for God's holiness, he does that *within* the church. he doesn't expect the world to change without the Gospel, and so he calls for judgment *within* the church, not outside of it (1 Cor.5:12f).

          it's easier to hear correction a) when you share the same sense of God's justice & b) the call to change is from someone who himself admits he needs a Savior as well. i understand why you would be upset here, but Paul is most often speaking directly to the church & calling them to change. and he's a self-confessed former murderer of Christians...

          3) yes, i was picking up your position more from your insinuation & tone – though i have read your posts in the past.

          4) I am curious what you mean by this: "I believe my statements focus on the ill effects including division that I believe were seeded with Paul's evangelism." how is Paul's evangelism different than the Great Commission? and where are some of the "ill effects" to which you are referring?

          5) yes, i readily concede that in the academy, the authorship of the Gospels is hotly contested. The reason I pointed to Bauckham's book is because I think he does a good job distilling much of that discussion, as well as bringing some *new* research to the table. not least of which is this: these authors – whomever one might claim they are – were necessarily eyewitnesses. he backs that up not only with literary scholarship from *within* the text, but also contextual scholarship from *outside* sources – including some statistical data (name usage by region & decade) that conclusively demonstrates the author had firsthand knowledge of the immediate context. those are secular, extra-biblical sources demonstrating that claims the authors were vastly removed from the immediate situation are now untenable – with all the implications that brings. it places them at the scene (or – at the very least – writing down the information from someone who was there firsthand).

          in regard to all of your authorship objections, demonstrably firsthand accounts give you the access necessary to deal "directly" with the Jesus of history. the fact that there is a multiplicity of authors with a multiplicity of "angles" corroborates that reality. instead of a singular account, you have three dimensional access. you get to see Christ through multiple different sets of eyes.

          6) you said: "Paul and his physician, disciple, best bud, whatever you want to call Luke. That's all we have." you have punted Mark (whom many connect to Peter), whose Gospel is widely regarded as the earliest. you have also overlooked the Gospel of John, which – despite some claims that it is a late date (almost solely b/c of its theological complexity) – is demonstrably aware of a pre-diaspora Jerusalem (google the pool of Bethesda: once thought to be evidence of John's lack of awareness of Jerusalem, now giving clear evidence of his firsthand knowledge of the city before AD 70).

          7) you said: "Nothing from the alleged "500" – no names, no writings outside those special cases we hear about like Peter."
          no names? have you read 1 Cor.15:3-7? i count at least 14 names given (the 12, James the brother of Jesus & Paul). and i think you missed the point of the "500." Paul is writing within 20 (if not just 15!) years of Jesus' death – a fact virtually all scholars agree upon. you can't claim 500 people saw something that ridiculous when most of them would still be alive. the pax Romana & tightly-knit, Hel.lenized Jewish community (to whom the apostles first sought to witness everywhere they went, and which often made pilgrimage back to Jerusalem) certainly would do fact checking. why else does he give the names? and it certainly appears from the available extra-biblical sources & fragments we have that James (the Just) was a widely known, highly respected/hated figure. Paul is not giving an obscure bibliography.

          8) the claim that 2 Peter is pseudonymous is not unanimous – but your point is taken for the sake of this discussion. even so, i hope from what you can see from what's above, there is a broader array of evidences of Paul's legitimacy in the early Christian community – as readily evidenced from his particular knowledge, the perpetuation of his writings, the early dating of his writings, his standing among the pre-existing leaders of early Christianity, etc.

          March 29, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
  10. Akira

    Theo: [...]use of images ...Christ within the church[...]

    I have never, ever been in a church, any denomination, that didn't have a picture if Jesus in it. If it was a Christian church, there Jesus was portrayed somewhere.

    Of course, I haven't been in every church in the US, so one may exist....

    March 27, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
    • bostontola

      That's been my experience as well, in the US and overseas.

      March 27, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
    • otoh2

      I wouldn't be surprised if most of them do have some kind of Jesus depiction, but there are lots of Lutheran, Mennonite, Amish (and others) churches that are very spare (think Danish modern). They generally have only a large unadorned cross over the altar and not much else (maybe some candles). Google images of Lutheran, Mennonite, Amish church interiors/altars or something like that, and you'll see some. A few will have a "Holy" decorative banner or prism-like stained glass windows and some are totally stark.

      March 27, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
      • Akira

        I've been in Lutheran churches that depict Jesus; in fact, the one down my street has the life of Jesus frieze on the exterior of the church...
        I don't doubt there exists some churches that don't have any depictions of Jesus. I have just not ever run across any.
        So I guess my question is...why the hate when other denominations do it as well?

        March 27, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          It's not hate – it's a call to holiness. Because many churches display images of Jesus (and how they can think they know what He looked like is beyond me) that doesn't make it correct. The fact is, images influence our thoughts. And if an image influences us in a way that is contrary to scripture, then it is sin. Semper Reformanda.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Akira

          It is a call to hypocrisy, since other denominations do it as well.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • Akira

          It doesn't make it wrong, either, Theo. It just makes it wrong to you, based on your interpretation.
          And as we all well know, there is no one correct way to interpret the Bible.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
  11. bostontola

    I am always amazed how easily people can see the folly in other people's beliefs and rituals.

    It is most interesting to me when one group of Christians goes after another. "The Pope is under Satan's control", Catholics worship idols", etc.

    People can so easily see the folly in others' beliefs, but cling to their own beliefs relentlessly.
    They will say, "it's easy when you know the Truth".
    How do you know the Truth? "It's in the sacred texts".
    Please, show me. "Have a look here".
    That's not what it says. "You're not interpreting properly".
    Who decides the right way? "Each person does for themselves".
    But you said I did it wrong. "That's because it didn't reach a conclusion I agree with".

    Many religious find other people's beliefs that are different obviously wrong, while their own (no more evidence or reasonable) obviously true. They allow subjective experience as evidence and actually allow it to trump objective evidence. In other words, they trust their own human senses and brain more than the objective measurements (which are superior to our own). This leaves them unprotected from our many human flaws, and with communities, the flaws can get amplified.

    What about atheists? They are people too, so they are vulnerable to selection bias. Most of the atheists I know are believers in the efficacy of the scientific method. Objective evidence trumps subjective evidence and opinion. Measurements, collective review, and validation guard against, diminish, and minimize selection bias, dampening out those human flaws as much as possible.

    March 27, 2014 at 11:13 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      cognitive dissonance = religion's best friend.

      March 27, 2014 at 11:31 am |
      • bostontola

        Compartmentalization is a valuable tool, but it can be over used and misused.

        March 27, 2014 at 11:56 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      "Objective evidence trumps subjective evidence and opinion. Measurements, collective review, and validation guard against, diminish, and minimize selection bias, dampening out those human flaws as much as possible."
      -----------–
      I disagree. This is more of a modern approach (beginning with Kant I believe) to the search for truth where one forces empiricism to be the only means through which truth is discovered. This is found to be false though since even epiricle information must be filtered through reason.

      March 27, 2014 at 11:34 am |
      • bostontola

        Theo,
        You're barking up the wrong tree using a philosopher's testimony. To me, philosophy, while enjoyable and good mental exercise, is not on firm ground. It uses logic to expand on suppositional premise. Not very reliable.

        I never said the scientific method was the only way to search for answers, it's just the most reliable way. I can't always use it, and when I don't, I try to view the data with more skepticism.

        March 27, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • Akira

      They will say, “it’s easy when you know the Truth”.
      How do you know the Truth? “It’s in the sacred texts”.
      Please, show me. “Have a look here”.
      That’s not what it says. “You’re not interpreting properly”.
      Who decides the right way? “Each person does for themselves”.
      But you said I did it wrong. “That’s because it didn’t reach a conclusion I agree with”.

      Yes. This.
      One of the other things I see is the "No True Scotsman" complaint, usually on any article about the RCC. Amusing to me.

      March 27, 2014 at 11:49 am |
      • bostontola

        If there was a rule that every person was deemed non-Christian if any other Christian determined they are, there wouldn't be many Christians.

        March 27, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • joey3467

          There wouldn't be any Christians.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • bostontola

          There may be 1 left, like the show Survivor. Everyone else was voted off the island.

          March 27, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • joey3467

          You really think there wouldn't be someone, somewhere who would think that person isn't a real Christian?

          March 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • Akira

          Heh heh. I would say it, just so they know how absurd it sounds when s/he used it.

          March 27, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • bostontola

          joey,
          Technicality in the rule, they would no longer be Christian ; ).

          March 27, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • lewcypher

      Maybe another way to encapsulate your example is to say belief is not truth, if it were there would be only one god, one religion. As it is religionists would have you believe that 2+2=Fish

      March 27, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
      • bostontola

        lewcypher (love the name),
        I am personally agnostic when it comes to truth in general, i.e. I don't know in what context it exists. I get facts, measured data, etc., we can define things and show that something meets the definition, but truth regarding anything else?

        March 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
  12. lewcypher

    Religion.........the ultimate ponzi scheme

    March 27, 2014 at 8:46 am |
  13. Theo Phileo

    When speaking to the Catholic Church’s use of images of saints and Christ within the church, John Calvin had this to say:

    “It is well known what kind of monsters they obtrude upon us as divine. For what are the pictures or statues to which they append the names of saints, but exhibitions of the most shameless luxury or obscenity? Were any one to dress himself after their model, he would be deserving of the stocks. Indeed, brothels exhibit their inmates more chastely and modestly dressed than churches do images intended to represent virgins... Little heed can be given to doctrine by those whose eyes are carried to and fro gazing at idols…”

    March 27, 2014 at 7:58 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      When speaking about women's roles in society and why they should live in a perpetual state of guilt and shame, John Calvin had this to say:
      "Woman is more guilty than the man, because she was seduced by Satan, and so diverted her husband from obedience to God that she was an instrument of death leading all to perdition. It is necessary that woman recognize this, and that she learn to what she is subjected; and not only against her husband. This is reason enough why today she is placed below and that she bears within her ignominy and shame."

      While Calvin was mayor of Geneva, 58 people were executed and 76 were exiled for crimes like failing to attend his Sunday sermons. Burning at the stake was his favourite means of capital punishment for heretics.
      That was the fate Calvin and his cronies decreed for Michael Servetus, the physician who discovered how the circulatory system works. His heinous crime was to disagree with Calvinist doctrines regarding infant baptism and the trinity. The doctor and theologan begged to be pardoned and when he was denied forgiveness, he then begged to at least be granted a swift death by beheading. Instead, Calvin ensured they used green wood for his pyre in order to prolong the agony.

      Perhaps you shouldn't be so quick to cite Calvin as a moral authority.

      March 27, 2014 at 8:30 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        Although Calvin believed Servetus was deserving of death on account of what he termed as his "execrable blasphemies,” he did want his death to be as merciful as possible. Calvin expressed these sentiments in a letter to Farel, written about a week after Servetus’ arrest, in which he also mentioned an exchange with Servetus. Calvin wrote:

        “...after he [Servetus] had been recognized, I thought he should be detained. My friend Nicolas summoned him on a capital charge, offering himself as a security according to the lex talionis. On the following day he adduced against him forty written charges. He at first sought to evade them. Accordingly we were summoned. He impudently reviled me, just as if he regarded me as obnoxious to him. I answered him as he deserved... of the man’s effrontery I will say nothing; but such was his madness that he did not hesitate to say that devils possessed divinity; yea, that many gods were in individual devils, inasmuch as a deity had been substantially communicated to those equally with wood and stone. I hope that sentence of death will at least be passed on him; but I desired that the severity of the punishment be mitigated.”

        On October 24, the “Libertines” sentenced Servetus to death by burning for denying the Trinity. When Calvin requested that Servetus be executed by decapitation as a traitor rather than by fire as a heretic, Farel, in a letter on September 8, chided him for undue lenience. The Geneva Council refused Calvin’s request, and on October 27, 1553 Servetus was burned at the stake just outside Geneva with what was believed to be the last copy of his book chained to his leg.

        March 27, 2014 at 8:53 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Nothing like a little revisionist history, eh?
          Calvin had been salivating over Servetus' execution for quite some time. Years before he was actually caught, Calvin said "I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight." During the trial, Calvin further stated "I hope that the verdict will call for the death penalty."
          Of the 58 people who were put to death in Calvin's Geneva between 1542 and 1546, 13 persons hanged, 10 beheaded, 55 quartered, and 35 burned alive after being tortured. (there's overlap of the torture methods as many people endured multiple agonies).
          Two years of Calvin’s government produced 414 criminal processes, the vast majority of which were kangaroo courts in which the heretics were already condemned. Some, like Miguel Servet, had the temerity to request legal representation at their trial, but were denied.

          But sometimes, Calvin was more lenient.
          When a city official bad mouthed him at a banquet, JC handed down a comparatively light sentence:
          "He is condemned to go around the city in penitential clothing, bareheaded, carrying a torch in his hand. When arriving before the tribunal, he must kneel, confess having evilly and maliciously spoken vile words, and manifest his repentance; then, he must beg for mercy before God and the justice of man. He is condemned to pay all the expenses."

          March 27, 2014 at 9:31 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Nothing like a little revisionist history, eh?"
          ----------
          How was what I said revising history? I quoted him exactly in his own words.
          You're trying to discredit him by citing wrongs committed by him, but if we grant that he had done things that were contradictory, does that automatically mean that we MUST throw out everything that he ever said? Of course not.

          Luther later in his life, after being frustrated by his inability to convert Jews, he became anti Shemetic, but does that mean that we must throw out everything he ever said? No.

          Paul was a murderer, and killed many, many men because they didn't agree with his way of teaching. Does that automatically mean that we must throw out everything he ever said? No.

          March 27, 2014 at 9:48 am |
        • hotairace

          A person's actions should cause us to reflect on what a person says or rights, especially if they appear to be an earlier version of the leader of The Westboro Baptists, or claim to believe in voodoo.

          March 27, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Many people have revered Calvin's theology and moral teachings.
          One head of state who frequently cited him as an influence did many great things for his nation.
          He encouraged healthy youth activities and social programmes to enhance cultural pride and individual self worth, such as sports and recreational activities. He encouraged men to be men and women to be feminine, just like Calvin said is the proper order of things. Taking further cues from Calvin, this man stated on more than one occasion that "We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity."
          Sure, he may have slaughtered millions upon millions of people, but that doesn't mean we should toss out ALL of Hitler's ideas. After all, the VW Beetle is a nice car.

          March 27, 2014 at 10:00 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          If you don't like Calvin because he was a flawed human being, which I'm sure you are not, fine, I'll quote God Himself:

          "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments." (Exodus 20:1-17)

          March 27, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • hotairace

          Nothing like quoting an alleged but never proven god in a vain attempt to get out of a losing argument.

          March 27, 2014 at 10:26 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          lol. Just more HYPOCRISY. Go to any religious store and it's loaded with CRAVEN IMAGES of Jesus who is in heaven.

          March 27, 2014 at 10:31 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          How good a Christian was Calvin?
          Was he humble? He believed himself to be one of the "unconditional elect", automatically saved by God and pre-destined to be far superior to the teeming reprobates.
          Was he forgiving and compassionate? All the trials, exiles, executions and hair shirts during his time in power say otherwise.

          I tend to give more credence to moral teachers who led by example as opposed to "do as I say, not as I do".

          March 27, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Nothing like quoting an alleged but never proven god in a vain attempt to get out of a losing argument."
          ----------–
          1) The argument was neither winning nor losing for that was not the nature of the discussion. We know that all men are flawed. Calvin was a man, therefore Calvin was flawed. If we discount everything that all flawed men say, then we can have no meaningful discussion of anything.

          2) God is proven through the Law of Causality, supported by the law of non-contradition and applied to the argument from contingency. Empiricism is limited in scope in the sense that not all truths are determined by our senses – observational science is derived from empiricism, and is therefore handicapped in certain areas. Discussions of conscousness, emotion, and other truths determined mainly if not solely by subjectivism can not be defined empirically, but are nontheless real. Discussions of the existence of God are no different. Therefore to ask for "scientific proof" of God, ie, that which can be experienced by one of our senses, is akin to finding scientific proof of love. We may be able to put the chemicals used in our brains to control emotion into a bowl, but we can never say that the bowl loves us. There is something more to knowing "truth" than what can be shown to us through observational science.

          March 27, 2014 at 10:34 am |
        • observer

          Doc Vestibule

          "I tend to give more credence to moral teachers who led by example as opposed to "do as I say, not as I do".

          I agree completely. God is such a hypocrite if you believe the Bible.

          March 27, 2014 at 10:35 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "lol. Just more HYPOCRISY. Go to any religious store and it's loaded with CRAVEN IMAGES of Jesus who is in heaven."
          --------–
          I know, which is why I preach against them. How is that hypocritical? The problem is that since the reformation, many have fallen into laziness when it comes to continuously reexamining the church's doctrines and practice according to the word of God. Much of that is due to a lack of study. People these days don't want to do something if it takes effort, and studying the word of God takes effort.

          March 27, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          Probably every Christian religious store is HYPOCRITICALLY selling craven images that violate the Ten Commandments.

          March 27, 2014 at 10:40 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "I tend to give more credence to moral teachers who led by example as opposed to "do as I say, not as I do"."
          ---------
          You mean like Jesus? Yeah I agree.

          March 27, 2014 at 10:40 am |
        • Doris

          I forget, is Theo one of these types that believes the OT should be loosely interpreted to meet his own needs where the age of the earth is not indicated there, or is he one of these types that interprets it literally for his own needs and thinks God directed animals to the ark, and when necessary, puffed up the earth into a globe from a flat disc to fit more people?

          March 27, 2014 at 10:42 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Probably every Christian religious store is HYPOCRITICALLY selling craven images that violate the Ten Commandments."
          --------
          You may be right, I don't know, I've not been into every Christian religious store in the country yet... But that doesn't make it right.

          March 27, 2014 at 10:42 am |
        • hotairace

          How convenient that a cult's definition of their alleged but never proven god precludes proving the existence of said god. You are pretending to know things you do not. Your beliefs have no more substance or credibility than astrology or voodoo.

          March 27, 2014 at 10:45 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "How convenient that a cult's definition of their alleged but never proven god precludes proving the existence of said god"
          --------
          No, it is that your definition of proof has elliminated everything except the scientific method. And yet if you believe in emotions, then you are forced to agree that observational data can not define everything that we know to be true.

          March 27, 2014 at 10:49 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          Non-believers don't need scientific proof. If God took LESS THAN 5 SECONDS to make an simultaneous announcement all over the world, that would do. But 5 seconds is apparently TOO MUCH to ask for.

          March 27, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          One could argue that the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is a form of idolatry – worshipping the written word as opposed to the essence of God.
          How do you feel about stained glass windows in Churches?
          Back in the day, Calvinists were fond of smashing them (along with defacing, burning or otherwise destroying countless devotional works of art).
          Rembrandt was a devoted Protestant who painted many religiously themed masterpieces.
          Would you have them destroyed as examples of idolatry?

          March 27, 2014 at 10:56 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Non-believers don't need scientific proof. If God took LESS THAN 5 SECONDS to make an simultaneous announcement all over the world, that would do. But 5 seconds is apparently TOO MUCH to ask for."
          ----------
          But you assume too much.
          1) You assume that if God did present Himself in such a way that people really WOULD believe in Him
          2) You assume that everyone on earth SHOULD be saved (or you assume that at least if God does exist, then He should want to save everyone, because no one deserves everlasting torment)
          3) You assume that God has never showed Himself to the world at any time in the past (Or you assume that if God has appeared to all the world in the past, it was not enough, and needs to do so periodically)

          March 27, 2014 at 10:56 am |
        • hotairace

          You ignore the fact that while we may not know all there is to know about emotions, many aspects of emotions can be measured and emotions can be stimulated or induced. Science is expanding our knowledge while religion is squealing "leave me alone with my silliness!" If parents stopped indoctrinating their children from birth (because that's what their parents did to them) and religion did not occupy a special and undeserved place in society, religion would disappear faster than it currently is, and the remaining delusional believers would be treated just like astrologists. Enjoy your delusions and special place while it lasts, but please keep your nonsense away from children.

          March 27, 2014 at 10:59 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          If emotions are proof, then every steadfast believer in every religion ever conceived has been correct.
          Thetans MUST exist because once a Scientologist does enough auditing to become "Clear", they know in their hearts and feelings that they're better people.
          Psychic mediums must also be true because they can sense the emotions and actions of ghosts all around us.
          There are countless testimonies attesting to encounters with ghosts and poltergeists. The people I've met who have faith in such things are no less sincere in their feelings than any Christian.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:04 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "One could argue that the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is a form of idolatry – worshipping the written word as opposed to the essence of God.
          How do you feel about stained glass windows in Churches?
          Back in the day, Calvinists were fond of smashing them (along with defacing, burning or otherwise destroying countless devotional works of art).
          Rembrandt was a devoted Protestant who painted many religiously themed masterpieces.
          Would you have them destroyed as examples of idolatry?"
          -------------
          Great questions, but you do not understand the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. The doctrine does not nor never has it taught that the scriptures are worshipped. “Sola Scriptura” is from the Latin: “sola” having the idea of “alone,” “ground,” “base,” and the word “scriptura” meaning “writings”—referring to the Scriptures. Sola scriptura means that Scripture alone is authoritative for the faith and practice of the Christian. The Bible is complete, authoritative, and true. (See The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scriptures)

          As to images, If you were to take printed pictures from the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, and stand in front of an elementary school showing them to children, you would be arrested. The same goes for many statues, such as the statue of David. Images of saints are not bad in and of themselves, but they must be presented in such a way as to 1) not evoke a wrong impression of that which is portrayed in scripture, and 2) cannot intice one to sin. Furthermore, images of deity are forbidden, therefore it is safer to not have images at all.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:05 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          Get serious.

          You ASSUME that if everyone in the entire world heard the same message at the same time, that people wouldn't believe it.
          You say that people wouldn't believe it, but yet people unworthy of being saved, would be saved. (No logic at all).

          FIVE SECONDS to prove God exists.
          FIVE SECONDS to save BILLIONS and BILLIONS of souls.
          FIVE SECONDS to hugely reduce the terrible things that people do to each other.

          FIVE SECONDS – TOO MUCH to ask of God. TOO MUCH for God to do.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:08 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "If emotions are proof, then every steadfast believer in every religion ever conceived has been correct."
          -------------
          Do not misquote me. That's not what I said and you know that's not what I said.
          What I said was that the existence of emotions cannot be proven through the scientific method, thereby proving that there are some truths that are otherwise proven. I never said that having an emotion validates the experience. That is charismaticism at its worst.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "You ASSUME that if everyone in the entire world heard the same message at the same time, that people wouldn't believe it"
          ---------
          That's not my assumption, Jesus Himself said that in the following lines...
          Luke 16:29-31 – But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent! ’But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’

          Indeed someone DID come back from the dead, namely, Jesus, and most of the world still doesn't believe.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • hotairace

          The more science shows that emotions are physics, biology and chemistry the less mysterious emotions become. Whether proving the existence of some alleged god is the point or not, said god has less room to hide. Only a cult's definition of their alleged but never proven god protects it from reality.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:16 am |
        • hotairace

          Fixed it for you:

          That's not my assumption, Jesus (alleged but never proven to be divine) Himself allegedly said that in the following lines...

          March 27, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "The more science shows that emotions are physics, biology and chemistry the less mysterious emotions become."
          ----------
          Can you put all those chemicals into a bowl and say that the bowl loves you? It is more than the sum of it's parts, and defining the parts is all empiricle science can do. Now do the same thing with consciousness, and so on...

          Do you deny that truth that can solely or mainly be described by subjectivity is still truth?

          March 27, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "That's not my assumption, Jesus (alleged but never proven to be divine) Himself allegedly said that in the following lines..."
          --------------–
          "having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead." Acts 17:31

          March 27, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • otoh2

          Theo,
          "‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’"

          No,

          - It's more like: "even if there are unverified/unverifiable hearsay stories about someone rising from the dead...".
          - Is this omniscient and omnipotent "God" character totally stymied for a way to provide concrete, indisputable evidence? Poor guy.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • hotairace

          I don't claim we totally understand emotions. Are you claiming that physics, biology and chemistry are not involved and that we do not know more about emotions now than in the past? You seem to be on an "if science can't explain something 100% than some god did it prevails" track, without being able to provide any actual evidence for any god, of course.

          Re: the alleged resurrection, allegedly furnished, allegedly raised.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          hotairace
          I am merely saying that BOTH empiricism and subjectivity have authority in defining truth.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:38 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          "Indeed someone DID come back from the dead, namely, Jesus, and most of the world still doesn't believe."

          ZERO comparison on the impact between the two events. Absolute proof for the entire world versus when Jesus returned after 3 days and people didn't recognize him.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • hotairace

          Both have a role but at some point empiricism trumps mythology. No "gods exist story" yet has survived beyond mythology. In any other domain, such a poorly supported hypothesis would have been discredited or discarded. Given the current trend, it's only a matter of time before a majority of our descendants giggle at our current religious beliefs. But again, please enjoy your delusions but leave children alone.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:46 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "ZERO comparison on the impact between the two events. Absolute proof for the entire world versus when Jesus returned after 3 days and people didn't recognize him."
          -----------
          actually, it's a perfect comparison. If it would not be the case on a local level that those who saw Him after the resurrection would not believe, then we have no reason to beleive that people would be persuaded on a grand scale. And in fact, that's what we read of the tribulation in the book of Revelation. All the world will see the wrath and miracles of God, but instead of repenting of their sins, they curse God all the more – knowing full well at that time of His existence.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          What NONSENSE. If EVERYONE in the entire world had their lives interrupted to hear the SAME MESSAGE SIMULTANEOUSLY, it would be moronic to claim that this would not affect a HUGE number of people and save a huge number of souls.

          Your feeble attempts at PRETENDING this wouldn't occur are ludicrous.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The day CNN reports that a 7 headed, 10 horned, bear pawed, giant, amphibious beast has climbed out of the ocean is the day I become a Christian.

          Oh beware the tribulation to come! Many monsters will appear to smite the sinners!
          Fear the War Grasshoppers (Revelation 9)

          Minions of the Angel Abaddon, these golden crowned insects won't kill you, but they will make you long for death. Unlike earthly locusts, these beasties have human faces, a woman's hair and the powerful teeth of a lion – which ups the creepy factor significantly. Swatting them away seems unlikely as their carapace is as strong as iron, plus they travel in swarms that are louder than a herd of stampeding horses.
          Not only are they nigh indestructible, they also carry a venom in their scorpion-like tails that causes excruciating agony for 5 months.

          The coming tribulation shall be heralded by the re-appearance of God's Cherubim – and they don't look anything like winged babies. hese guys travel in fours and seem to have four of just about everything.
          Each of them have the faces of lion, a human, an ox and an eagle.
          Their four wings each have human hands.
          While they may have only two legs, their feet are shiny, bronze hooves.
          And the icing on the quad-cake is that these guys are entirely covered in eyeballs.
          At least they're easy to see coming given that they like to travel in clouds of fire and lightning.

          Gygax never dreamed up monsters more terrifying that John of Patmos.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • joey3467

          Calvin appears to have been more flawed than most because I personally don't know anyone who thinks it is o.k. to burn people alive for disagreeing with them.

          March 27, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • bchev

          @Theo,
          Actually, yes, "Paul's" actions should cause you to question everything he has ever been attributed as saying. I've never understood the biblical obsession with following Paul's words, as he has EVERY marker of a scam artist. Let's start with the fact that he changed his name for no reason. But really that's a minor thing, everything in the Bible has like 4 names anyway, but the fact that his people distrusted him and when he saw an opportunity to gain influence he completely changed his stance on his faith is a bit more suspect. Still, people have a change of heart, that happens. Of course the fact that his treatment of those people he had once been a part of smacks of vengeance. Then there's the fact that he never met or even saw Jesus, and the only tie in he has is that he claims to have had visions of conversations with Jesus. But again, different times, all sorts of people had prophetic visions back then. I consider it suspect that almost every negative, exclusionary, or discriminatory policy attributed to the NT comes from Paul, not Jesus, to be a great big flashing red light but maybe I'm just a skeptic.

          Moral of the story, a person that he seemed pretty anxious to leave and then even revile his background came in with absolutely no firsthand experience with the "savior" bringing along a message that was Jesus' words turned kind of sideways- and he is quite literally taken as gospel. Yes, I think the fact that he was a killer should cause his words to be discounted. That and many other reasons.

          March 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • Akira

          "As to images, If you were to take printed pictures from the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, and stand in front of an elementary school showing them to children, you would be arrested. The same goes for many statues, such as the statue of David."

          These probably aren't shown in public schools, no, because they are paintings of a religious nature. When I learned about this in parochial school, I was told about Michealangelo's reasoning behind it, and all of the trials and controversy that went behind each one of his works.
          Adam was portrayed naked because he was created naked, and this was before the fall.
          (As an aside, look at the shape of the bubble or whatever containing God...what does that shape remind you of? Hint: it's not dirty.)
          David was shown with a fig leaf. Sheesh.

          Anyone who looks at The Pieta and doesn't feel the heartbreak of Mary is...I don't even...

          Some people take sheer beauty and have to pervert it. So sad. Same folks as look at a newborn child and automatically see the ugliness if a sinner, and not the beauty of an innocent newborn. Because newborns ARE innocent.

          Again, it all goes back to what bostontola said at the top of this page; it's all in the interpretation.

          March 27, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        Because of Servetus’ critique of Trinitarian theology and his devaluation of the doctrine of original sin, he influenced the beginnings of the Unitarian movement in Poland and Transylvania. Piotr z Goniądza's advocacy of Servetus' views led to the separation of the Polish brethren from the Calvinist Reformed Church in Poland, and laid the foundations for the Socinian movement which fostered the early Unitarians in England like John Biddle. Because of his rejection of the Trinity and eventual execution by burning for heresy, Unitarians often regard Servetus as the first (modern) Unitarian martyr.

        Servetus’ nontrinitarian views influenced those who believe in what is known as Modalism. He was accused of heresy because of his insistence on denying the Trinity and the individuality of three divine Persons in one God. Other nontrinitarian groups, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, and Oneness Pentecostalism, also claim Servetus as a spiritual ancestor. Oneness Pentecostalism particularly identifies with Servetus' teaching on the divinity of Jesus Christ and his insistence on the oneness of God, rather than a Trinity of three distinct persons.

        March 27, 2014 at 8:57 am |
        • G to the T

          Not really surprising, there were many different "flavors" of christianity in it's first couple of centuries (as indeed, there still are today). The trinity doctrine was one way of saying Paul's church wasn't like those that believe Jesus only seemed human or those that believed Jesus was fully human. Over the course of the church's history these views have often crept back in despite the best efforts of the "universal" church and it's decendants.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:10 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        As to Calvin's statement regarding women... He is doing nothing more then repeating the reasoning that Paul gives in Timothy for God's ordination of roles for men and women. This is reflective of What was said in Deuteronomy 22:5 and 23:1 that anything that tends to obliterate the distinction between the se.xes is forbidden.

        Men and women DO fulfill different roles in life. And it is modern thinking that is in error when it tends to erase the distinctions between the se.xes.

        March 27, 2014 at 9:15 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Calvin's stated opinion was that " all women are born that they may acknowledge themselves as inferior in consequence to the superiority of the male s/ex."

          It isn't about "eliminating the distinctions" between genders – it is about recognizing the fact that women are people too.
          That they shouldn't have to spend their lives guilty of some imagined sin perpetuated in a mythical garden.
          That a woman's proper place isn't to be placed below males – that nobody should live "full of ignominy and shame".

          March 27, 2014 at 9:38 am |
        • hotairace

          How far back would you rewind the clock on women's rights? Take away the vote? Reduce their work and educational opportunities? Require them to cover up, head to toe? Allow them to be ra.ped as long as The Babble's rules are followed? Re you married? Do you have a daughter?

          March 27, 2014 at 9:41 am |
        • Doris

          Goodness, Theo, I do hope you keep a little cross and some garlic handy for those times when you might walk by a unisex hair salon. (big eyeroll)

          March 27, 2014 at 10:31 am |
        • G to the T

          "is doing nothing more then repeating the reasoning that Paul gives in Timothy"

          Even though there's good reasons to believe Paul didn't write those words?

          March 27, 2014 at 11:11 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Even though there's good reasons to believe Paul didn't write those words?"
          ---------------
          Many modern critics delight in attacking the plain statements of Scripture and, for no good reason, deny that Paul wrote the Pastoral Epistles (1,2 Timothy, Ti.tus). Ignoring the testimony of the letters themselves (1:1, 2 Timothy 1:1, Ti.tus 1:1) and that of the early church.

          If you believe the Jesus Seminar, then you believe historical revisionists akin to those who believe that the Confederate States of America won the War of Northern Aggression in 1865...

          March 27, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • Akira

          Paul was a flawed man, also. Why should anyone take his well-known misogyny as a reason to keep women from spreading the word of Jesus? Where is Jesus's direct words about it?

          March 27, 2014 at 11:41 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Akira,
          Pauls admonition was against women elders in the church. His reasoning was from Genesis where God defined the roles for men and women. He wasn't against women, but femenists today would have us think he was because many wish to usurp roles in the church that were ordained for men. That is only further proof of the Genesis curse though.

          March 27, 2014 at 11:45 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          Of course Paul was against women. He didn't even want them to talk in church (so much for choirs), but to wait and ask (their supposedly smarter husbands) questions at home. What a joke considering that the person with the highest IQ in the world today is a woman!

          March 27, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • Akira

          Feminists today have zero to do with this; kind of a weird red herring to throw in to the mix , IMHO. Sorry you have problems with feminists, but it does explain your position on the subject better...

          And if one is not going to follow all of the OT laws...one should follow none....weird pick and choose going on.
          Mind you, I'm not talking about the common laws that make for a better society. Just the ones that are oddly specific. I trust you get the picture.

          Since Christianity is based on Jesus , (you do agree with that, right?) where are the words of Jesus on the subject of women spreading His word as ordained ministers? Did I miss that verse?

          March 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Many modern critics delight in attacking the plain statements of Scripture and, for no good reason, deny that Paul wrote the Pastoral Epistles (1,2 Timothy, Ti.tus). Ignoring the testimony of the letters themselves (1:1, 2 Timothy 1:1, Ti.tus 1:1) and that of the early church."

          Testimony of the letters – one of the most common techniques used in forgeries was admonishments against forgeries. If gives them the appearance of authenticity.

          Testimony of the early church – these would be AFTER it had been decided these were Paul's words. Testimony after the fact isn't very impressive in this case.

          "If you believe the Jesus Seminar, then you believe historical revisionists akin to those who believe that the Confederate States of America won the War of Northern Aggression in 1865..."

          LOL... no. I've heard it mentioned of course, but I've never read the Jesus Seminars. I work from a variety of christian and non-christian sources to try and get as balanced a view as I can.

          March 27, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
  14. Reality

    The Sistine Chapel? An great edifice depicting one of the great cons of human history !!!

    March 27, 2014 at 7:25 am |
  15. unsername1

    funny, BB hasn't reported it yet, but CNN World reports:

    " Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a German bishop who was under investigation for spending $42 million on the renovation of his residence."

    what the hell these messengers of God think they are? some kind of royals!!!

    March 26, 2014 at 8:21 pm |
    • hotairace

      But he does nothing about child abusers and their protectors. . .

      March 26, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
    • Akira

      I remember that guy. And the renovation wasn't even complete. That guy actually reminded me of Liberace. Flamboyant as all hell.

      March 26, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
      • unsername1

        I think his resignation should not be accepted, but transfer him to some African countries like Ethiopia or Somalia, where children of the same churches get one meal a day, if they are lucky.

        March 26, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
    • Doris

      Creflo Dollari$m. At loo$e in the world, He i$ in your heart$ and mind$. Amen.

      March 26, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
  16. CS

    Hey world reflection;
    Whipped misery gardener.

    Flowers; evil children.
    Cain disengaged.

    Murderers breaking ground;
    Disposable nobodies.

    Personal; beautiful God.

    March 26, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
  17. Akira

    Now why is Ben gloating? Rather immature.

    March 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
    • CS

      I thought that was a weird thing to say...

      March 26, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
    • CS

      Not what you said, I mean the article of course.

      March 26, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
      • Akira

        Lol. I know.

        March 26, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
    • Doris

      I thought is was OK, but it seemed so faded, especially after walking through so many rooms filled with so much gold that you almost wanted to keep sunglasses on.

      March 26, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
      • Akira

        I don't know why I can't view it, but I can't for some reason. Jimmy Carter, either.

        March 26, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
        • Doris

          For certain videos I can't use FF, but have to use Safari, IE or Chrome.

          March 26, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • Doris

          Oh and I'm not sure i was clear, but I was speaking about being there several years ago. I've never seen so much gold in one place.

          March 26, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
  18. doobzz

    Yesterday I was wondering when we'd get another pope story and voila, three in less than 24 hours!

    Somebody must have been going through withdrawal.

    March 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
    • Akira

      See? The power of suggestion...lol....ya jinxed us!

      March 26, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
      • doobzz

        I know...next time I'll just be grateful and leave it at that.

        March 26, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
    • CS

      The Pope detail is gung ho.

      March 26, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
    • Alias

      Are you sure you were 'wondering' and not 'praying'?

      March 26, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
      • doobzz

        If you consider, "It's been a while since there was an article about the fucking pope" a prayer, maybe I was.

        March 26, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
  19. Bootyfunk

    yes, the pope lives in a palace.

    March 26, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
  20. Frank

    While the artwork at Sistine is impressive, the cameraman's focus on the naughty bits not as much!

    March 26, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
    • Alias

      Uh, the cameraman didn't.
      Please seek professional help.

      March 26, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Do those naughty bits offend you? Sad when grown adults get offended by nudity.

      March 26, 2014 at 6:59 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.