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Millennials and the false 'gospel of nice'
Jesus confronts the money-lenders in the temple.
April 3rd, 2014
10:29 PM ET

Millennials and the false 'gospel of nice'

Opinion by Daniel Darling, special to CNN

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(CNN) - Perhaps you’ve heard that there is trouble brewing among evangelicals.

Younger Christians are weary of pitched cultural battles and are longing for the “real Jesus” – a Jesus who talks more about washing feet and feeding the poor than flashpoint issues like same-sex marriage and the sanctity of life.

If key evangelical influencers don’t listen, we are told, they are about to lose the entire millennial generation. Or, maybe that generation is already gone.

This story has been told with testimonials, chronicled in best-selling books and posted on popular blogs.

Here’s the short version: If only orthodox evangelical leaders would give up their antiquated beliefs, get more in step with the real Jesus, the church and the world would be better off.

Embedded in this narrative are two presuppositions:

• Young evangelicals are fleeing the church at a rapid pace.
• The real message of Jesus looks nothing like orthodox Christianity.

There’s only one thing wrong with these two ideas: They aren’t true.

Let me explain.

First of all, evangelicals don’t have a youth problem. I’ve heard the apocalyptic “leaving in droves” narrative since I was, wait for it, an evangelical young person myself.

But experts who have weighed this data point beg to differ.

Bradley Wright, a sociologist from the University of Connecticut, has thoroughly examined the data that purportedly shows an exodus of young evangelicals and says it doesn’t support the “disaster narrative.”

Wright says the biggest drop of faith in young people happened in the 1990s, and that current levels are about the same as the early 1970s.

Ed Stetzer, the president of Lifeway Research, has also looked at the statistics and has concluded that while religious identity has declined in America, it’s mainly the nominal Christians and mainline Protestants who’ve suffered - not evangelicals.

“The reality is that evangelicals have been relatively steady as a percent of the population over the last few years,” Stetzer writes, and “no serious researcher believes Christianity in America is dying. Not one.”

Of course, there are legitimate concerns about the evangelical church in the United States.

For the last several years, some Southern Baptist leaders have voiced concern about the decline in baptisms and membership.

But nobody is suggesting that orthodoxy is the reason for decline.

If anything, leaders are pointing to a lack of faithful evangelical preaching and intentional gospel witness as the culprit. Church history doesn’t bear out evidence that a mushy, heterodox movement is the cure for stagnation.

What’s more, there is anecdotal evidence that seems to indicate a robustly orthodox evangelicalism is growing among the young.

Networks such as The Gospel Coalition, Together for the Gospel and others are growing. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, an unflinching bastion of orthodoxy, enrolls more Masters of Divinity students than any other institution accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

One might argue that young evangelicals aren’t fleeing core conservative institutions, but flooding them.

Perhaps the doom and gloom story seems familiar - if also wrong - because we’ve heard it so many times before. As young scholar Matthew Lee Anderson puts it, the “change or die narrative is presented as a perennial problem.”

Progressive hand-wringers are missing the point, in my view. If history teaches us anything, it is that what dies is malleable, un-rooted faith and not 2,000 years of Christian orthodoxy.

But even if the change-or-die narrative is true, even if faithfulness becomes less attractive in this new age, this shouldn’t be cause for worry.

Jesus prepared us for seasons like this, urging his followers to a counter-cultural faith, one that gains the favor of heaven, but earns the antagonism of the world.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me,” Jesus says in the Gospels.

The pop Jesus of progressives sounds less like the Jesus of the Bible and more like a malleable deity who easily aligns with our cultural sensibilities. A mascot for every chic cause, except for that difficult mission to which he called his followers: cross-bearing.

Consider some of Jesus’ statements:

“You will be hated by all for my name’s sake.”

“If anyone does not hate his father or mother, he cannot be my disciple.”

“If any man will be my disciple, let me him take up his cross and follow me.”

“For this cause, shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife.”

What’s more, Jesus praised John the Baptist, that culture warrior, for his prophetic word against Herod, the monarch who committed adultery.

Yes, it is true that Christians should be known more for what they are for than what they are against.

But if you move past the rhetoric, you’ll find that it is often not aggrieved ex-evangelicals who are founding and leading charitable organizations, but the stubbornly orthodox. Faithful Christians are not the only ones in the trenches, relieving human need - but they make up a large percentage.

All over the world, you will find faithful followers of Christ adopting orphaned children, rescuing girls from trafficking, feeding the poor, digging wells and volunteering in disaster relief.

My own denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, operates one of the world’s largest relief operations while holding fast to its theological commitments.

And some of the world’s most effective ministries to the poor and marginalized were started by and continue to operate according to evangelical Christian beliefs. They live in the tension of the New Testament, which calls believers to both faithfulness and charity.

In fact, the most effective agents of hope in this world likely don’t have Twitter accounts, have never blogged and might never have even uttered the words, “social justice.”

And yet silently, quietly, patiently they serve the least of these, not because they first jettisoned their quaint notions of orthodoxy, but because they held them tighter.

Daniel Darling is the vice-president of Communications for the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and the author of several books, including "Activist Faith." The views expressed in this column belong to Darling.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Bible • Christianity • Culture wars • evangelicals • Opinion • Protestant

soundoff (1,027 Responses)
  1. bostontola

    Scientists smash barrier to growing organs from stem cells
    (Phys.org) —Scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have overcome one of the greatest challenges in biology and taken a major step toward being able to grow whole organs and tissues from stem cells. By manipulating the appropriate signaling, the U.Va. researchers have turned embryonic stem cells into a fish embryo, essentially controlling embryonic development.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-04-scientists-barrier-stem-cells.html#jCp

    It won't be long before man creates life in a laboratory. There has already been speciation in a laboratory. The Large Hadron Collider will answer more questions of the universe's beginning. Studies of the Cosmic Background radiation will do the same. The list goes on and on.

    The territory God (the concept) can occupy is rapidly drying up.

    April 4, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
    • hotairace

      We'll see how long The Babble Humpers allow the scientists to continue their research.

      April 4, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The best part is that stem cells no longer be solely sourced from embryonic tissue, pretty much eliminating any potential moral outrage from anti-abortion evangelicals.
      In 2006, Shinya Yamanaka at Ja.pan’s Kyoto University won a Nobel Prize for figuring out how to reprogram adult skin cells into stem cells using a “co.cktail” of just four genes.

      April 4, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
  2. bostontola

    Spiritual but not religious (SBNR) is one of the fastest growing groups in the US. They believe in God, many believe in Jesus, but they don't have a religion. In fact, they shun religion. People who believe and have faith, but no religion.

    By thefinisher1's logic, SBNR is a religion, even though it's definition is no religion.

    thefinisher1,
    You really need to bone up on your critical thinking skills.

    April 4, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
    • Peaceadvocate2014

      Another denomination, when will the division ends.

      The only division is good vs evil, right vs wrong PERIOD.

      April 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
      • ssq41

        You may want to run down the road to Wittengen and try to beat Luther to All Saints. He was only on the 93rd Thesis when i last saw him...

        O wait, you missed him...and his buddies of the Protesting Reform that was the Big Bang of Christianity.

        April 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
      • bostontola

        Peace,
        I don't agree, but I do respect your right to that position. thefinisher1 tests my resolve to respect others, it really works hard to earn lack of respect.

        April 4, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Boston,

          I saw your exchange with thefish .. You seem a decent human being and i also saw your post regarding your sons experience at work. I dont think i need to remind you what is right or wrong because youu are doing it. Action. The way you raised your son. Offerng the other cheek. A teaching we both could agree on. God or not.

          April 4, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        The division comes when discussing who determines good and evil, right and wrong – men or gods?
        Do we base our laws (and therefore de-facto ethics) on popular consensus or do we allow ancient precedents to guide us?
        If the latter option, do we look at governmental examples, like The Code of Hammurabi, or do we look at religious tomes like the Torah or the Vedas?

        April 4, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Doc,

          Precisely! The whole debate . What is right or wrong? What is moral? Religious denominations or beliefs are the underlying thruth that humans have different interests than others.

          April 4, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
  3. ssq41

    KERMIT!
    KERMIT
    KERMIT....READ:

    Don't know if you got this earlier....you mentioned that about how Jesus claimed to be the son of God and backed that up with miracles and things.

    Read the gospels again and see how little the "miracles" affected the population and especially the disciples. Peter still denied him and the other ran off.

    Either the gospel stories of the miracles are false, or they occurred and show how they didn't really impress anyone of the larger audience and had no apparent long-lasting effect. Even Jesus warned the 12 not to bank on the sideshow.

    Can I suggest a great book on the subject of Matthew? John Macarthur, whether you hate him or love him, wrote a really insightful commentary on it and he goes into what I just described.

    Here's the amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Matthew-MacArthur-Bible-Studies-John/dp/1418509590

    I enjoyed reading it many years ago when I was a Christian. It, along with anything written by Phillip Yancey made me see my walk in a more engaging light.

    And, if I remember correctly, the only place that Jesus really claims to be "the son of God" in any divine sense is John...and its relatively late date creates a controversy about the Jesus of John compared to the Jesus of the other gospels.

    Remember, even Ceasar claimed he was the son of god. Apparently a common thing in 1st century Med.

    Oh, and devotionally, Philip Keller's "A Shepher Looks at Psalms 23" was remarkable with his interpreation of the Psalm in light of his experience growing up in Kenya as a shepherd.

    April 4, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
    • transframer

      Well, many people claimed they are god, son of god or something like this. But I don't know of anyone who resurrected dead people like Jesus did

      April 4, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
      • ssq41

        Oh, yea...that was a great story. Almost forgot about that.

        April 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
      • G to the T

        You should read more mythology. Greek, Roman and the rest of the polytheistic belief systems contain multiple examples of people being raised from the dead. Should we believe those stories as well?

        April 5, 2014 at 10:14 am |
        • kermit4jc

          bad argument on your part...the Gospels were written during the time the eyewitnesses would be alive..those other myths you posted were looooooong after the alledged events..don't compare apples to oranges..doesn't look good for your arguments

          April 8, 2014 at 2:06 am |
    • kermit4jc

      I answered you already and said yo uwere being deceptive...you either willfullyugnored whathappened next..or you don't know what youre talking about..Peter INITIALLY Denied KNOWING Jesus..NOT Hismiracles....and then Peter went on to preach to all the places he went..im sorry..but youre grasping at straws and don't know what youre talking about...with that..anything you give me only shows you are not really doing actual study and reading of the BIble

      April 5, 2014 at 1:57 am |
      • ssq41

        Oh, Kermy...that was actually a very genuine recommendation of a book by someone who is a very well known apologist and evangelical. The other authors as well.

        My explanation was from memory of my Christian experience some 15 to 40 years past, thus, my accuracy in explanation of the events and the theology might have been off. That you would find an excuse in my explanation to not even bother to consider the text speaks volumes.

        My offerring was from a genuine respect for you...but, as is typical of the immaturity that you share with devin and so many others here, your God-given arrogance blinds your ability to see.

        And, hey, you're absolutely correct. Because when you are a Christian and the carrier of absolute truth and have all the right answers, there is no reason to care, to listen, to respect others, or to be kind.

        In your interactions here with the atheists and others, you have an amazing opportunity to learn and to be a genuine witness...

        I still hope you'll consider Philip Yancey, at least. He is one of the few, genuine examples of someone who actually cares about others and even in his books he displays such an amazing maturity and humility. There are few like him that can actually be called "Christ-like."

        I wish you well, Kerm...

        April 5, 2014 at 11:27 am |
  4. Wildman

    Perhaps the numbers of Southern Baptist youth are currently at 1970s levels, but that still doesn't prove your point because: 1) numbers have been declining since the 1990s so by definition So. Baptist numbers of youth are declining and 2) the number of children in the US is significantly higher now than in the 70s. Same number of attendees, but smaller slice of the pie.

    April 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yep. less future christian soldiers. yay!

      April 4, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
      • Wildman

        Fewer in number, perhaps. But the ones who are still engaged are more committed. And believe it or not, that's a good thing for everyone. Historically, committed Christians have been responsible for much social good. It's the marginal Christians who use religion as a tool to achieve their own political / ideological ends that are poison.

        April 5, 2014 at 11:15 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      According to this data (from a religious site) total Evangelicals in 1970 was 20%. This is lower than today at 23%-24% (likely includes historically Black Protestant Evangelicals).

      http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com/blogs/blackwhiteandgray/files/2013/03/Evangels-in-US.png

      The peak was around 1990 and is declining. The article where this illustration is from tries to conflate "born agains" as meaning the same thing where in the article they state that they're really not.

      April 4, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
  5. CS

    Bible Fan Fiction

    This chapter: Jesus confronts the money-lenders in the temple.

    One man stared over his left shoulder at Jesus and saw the flames burning in the Nazarene’s eyes. Terrified, he hauled up his Santa sack and scrambled for safety, away from the Lord’s whip. To his left another money lender with a fine mustache takes time from the violence to observe a comely young ladies breast as it peaks over her robe. Sheep bleat and men scream as the chaos roars and the Lord Jesus Christ beats the holy living shit out of the bankers and their whores and livestock. They should have given Jesus that loan.

    April 4, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
    • Peaceadvocate2014

      You too apparently did not get the message or you glorify money so much that make you refuse Gods teachings.

      Idolizing money. If true is misguided. There are nore important things other than money. Have you heard?

      April 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
      • observer

        Peaceadvocate2014

        "Idolizing money."

        So are you opposed to all the TV evangelists?

        April 4, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Observe,

          Who am i to oppose all evengelicals? Dont know if they follow gods teachings or not. I am not god.

          What i am oppose to is using religion to fool folks into giving money to their churh or belief. Charity disguised as profiteering ent:ties.

          April 4, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Sorry. Profiteering ent:ties disguised as a charitable inst:tutions. I think thats better.

          April 4, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
      • Akira

        Peace,
        This should clue you in:
        Bible Fan Fiction

        April 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Some may have been fiction or exaggeration but what is important is the message from God. If you understand gods teachings everything is oh so real.

          April 4, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • sam stone

          Or, it is man's writings that some people attribute to god

          April 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • Akira

          Peace,
          I know you cannot honestly think that CS is anything but an atheist.

          C'mon. The lesson here is to not take any lesson from an obvious piece of fiction.

          April 4, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Akira,

          As i said important thing is the message. Fiction or not.

          April 4, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
        • Akira

          Peace,
          What do you think CS's message is?

          April 4, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Akira,

          I think his posts is meant to ridicule the bible. Where i pointed out the true message of what he implied.

          April 4, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
      • CS

        Bible Fan Fiction

        This Chapter: Judgment Day

        The fires were as a giant ocean with demons fishing using long poles. Broken souls hung from hooks, dangling above the heat, toes just touching; blistering and blistering again. Satan’s flying minions picked the bones of those well-done and the enormous iron gates were shut tight by their own weight.

        The bargaining table sat in the bow of a thickly made, plain wooden boat. The table was round with a green felt top. One by one the souls came seeking good fortune. Satan looked on as the dealer tabulated a naked man’s losses. All his chips in a pile, he begs for a chance.

        The flaming pool of magma slurped in yet another pair of legs and feet as two pot-bellied men were hurled into the molten bath. Two creatures looked on; thrilled by the spectacle. One with drum and horn, face long and crude, his wooden shoes and silk robes out of place. The other walked on feet like a chicken and thought himself quite fancy with his hair of wool and blue undergarment.

        Neither frog nor human he had two arms and two legs. His body was his face and his face was their torture chamber. Two brown eyes opposed each other as they kept watch over the slaughter. He grabbed the two sides of his large round mouth and stretched it wide to fit more filthy naked sinners.

        One of the women was pregnant as they both stared down into the deep black waters they would drown in. Holding their arms behind their backs, a small man with a red-handled dagger the length of his arm and wearing a shimmering peacock feather as a coat forced them to join the other tormented souls swimming in the oil.

        Sharpening the serrated edges of the jagged knife while sitting on its edge. A naked man, his scrotum ripped from his groin. Forever he will straddle the grotesque torture device while sickly wet brown frogs stand guard against his escape.

        April 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
  6. ssq41

    kerm, go to page 3 of this blog, half to 3/4 down and read the comments I worte to you...there's link to a book I think you'll like.

    April 4, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
  7. thefinisher1

    Bostotola
    Your atheism is a religion and a life style for you. Stop trying to hide it, you dumb troll. You can't fool us.

    April 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
    • bostontola

      Is Theism a religion?

      April 4, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Atheism is religion, yes.

        April 4, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • bostontola

          Ok, is Theism a religion?

          April 4, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Enough with your childish troll statements. Your atheism is a religion and like all religions, you have faith. Admit it and be free from the brainwashing that has been done to you!

          April 4, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • bostontola

          I said ok. Now, is Theism a religion? That is a very simple question.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          I call Poe's law.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • bostontola

          While this is not a Poe situation, my intent is clear:
          If Theism isn't a religion, then Atheism isn't a religion.

          Now, do you consider Theism a religion?

          April 4, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          That's a childish question because you already know the answer. Poe's law, ignorant child.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • bostontola

          You call Poe, I'm calling you a coward.

          Anyone reading this very short thread will see incontrovertible evidence that you are a coward.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Coward? You already know the answer but your intent is to be a Poe troll. Anyone with brains will see you are brainwashed.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • bostontola

          Coward. I was up front with the intent. You avoid the question. Is it because you know that if you answer honestly it undercuts your silly assertion that atheism is a religion? Of course. You are a coward. But don't worry, there is no points taken off in Christianity for being a coward.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          You have faith like theists do so...your question is meant to troll. Theists have faith as do you. No point in denying that but you do to feel a sense of superiority.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • bostontola

          Oooo...look at the shiny object over here!

          More diversions only add evidence of your cowardice. Keep digging.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          The question has already been answered but your false logic has prevented you from seeing it.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • bostontola

          Is Theism a religion?

          April 4, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          "You have faith like theists do"

          Faith is a religious concept but your false logic won't let you see that you're wrong😜

          April 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • bostontola

          The depth of your cowardice is boundless. It's a yes/no question.

          Is Theism a religion?

          April 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          I have already answered so this convo is done. May your false logic god revel the truth that you're wrong.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
        • bostontola

          How can I be wrong when I asked a question?

          If an atheist has faith that doesn't mean s/he has a religion. There are people that believe in God that have faith that don't have a religion. Many barbers have faith, is hair cutting a religion?

          No.

          Just like there are many Theistic religions, there can be Atheistic religions. Some regard Buddhism as an atheistic religion.

          But that doesn't make Theism or Atheism a religion.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
        • observer

          thefinisher1

          Atheism is a life style as much as your failure to worship Zeus makes that ALONE a life style for you regardless of any other religious beliefs.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • bostontola

          Not exactly a good example of a finisher.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color

          April 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          skepticism is a way of thinking, if that's what you mean by lifestyle. atheism is not. skepticism often leads to atheism, but atheism is just saying you don't have a belief in god.

          April 4, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color"

          I enjoyed my hobby of not collecting stamps today too!

          April 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
  8. bostontola

    thefinisher1,
    Is theism a religion?

    April 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
    • amen2godonly

      The first thing you need to know is "Do you have any understanding of anything at all? The reason I ask is because your input contributes nothing. If so, then simply enjoy life and stop pretending to part of the intellectual crowd.

      April 4, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
      • bostontola

        Why do you assert that my input contributes nothing?

        April 4, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
      • Akira

        amen2godonly,
        Are you also posting as thefinisher?

        April 4, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
  9. kermit4jc

    non evangelical? define please....I use only the name Christian..one who Follows God..who has a personal relationship with God..there are those who say they are Christian by name only..cuase mom and pop were Christuians.that isnt same thing as knowing God peraonally.....if thats what you mean..but I takle people on individual basis on what they say themselves

    April 4, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
    • bostontola

      meant as reply?

      April 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
  10. Mount Sinai

    Nicely written Mr. Darling.

    The youth group in our church is looking to learn the scriptural truth. We are not looking for some feel good, false teaching of scriptures that expects no accountability from us. People who are not grounded scripturally are the ones that will walk away when tested.

    April 4, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
    • CS

      You should be convicted and thrown in jail for child abuse.

      April 4, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
      • humanistfox

        Agreed.

        April 4, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
      • guidedans

        The Greatest in the Kingdom
        "And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."

        April 4, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
    • Akira

      What church is that?

      April 4, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
    • kudlak

      Personal accountability isn't licence to demonize others, is it?

      Besides, why assume that there is one "correct" way to read scripture? Maybe how you choose to interpret it is a test of character, and those who use it to bash others don't end up scoring very well?

      April 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
      • Akira

        That's where Theo and I go round and round.

        April 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
    • joey3467

      All of Christianity is about avoiding accountability. That is what Jesus is for. The sacrifice of Jesus allows Christians to let him be held accountable for all of their sins.

      April 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
      • guidedans

        Joey, how are you going to right all the wrong you have done in your life?

        April 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
      • kudlak

        And why try to fix the damage we're doing to the environment when Jesus is going to magically fix it soon anyway? Rather convenient how much personal responsibility the whole thing dodges, eh?

        April 4, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Because we are not to sit back and twiddle out thumbs waiting for God...we still have responsibilities....

          April 5, 2014 at 2:02 am |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Plenty of Climate Change deniers appear to be just waiting for God to either fix things or just end the world, and most actually seem to prefer the later.

          I find the theology of having "stewardship" over the earth much more responsible. After all, your God never promised to stop humans from destroying the earth, did he?

          April 5, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          right cause God is not a Puppet master...we still make choices to take responsibility of the earth..or we dont

          April 8, 2014 at 2:13 am |
  11. bostontola

    Is theism a religion?

    April 4, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
  12. timetravelerfrom2121

    So everyone everywhere is lying when they say less and less people are being fooled by "God", "Jesus" and "the Devil" and instead Evangelism is remaining steady as a minor denomination of Christianity?
    Because some chubby evangelical guy (prob in the closet) says so? Sorry dude, God won't love you more because you resisted dudes on earth and are brainwashed by an ancient middle-eastern book.

    April 4, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
  13. thefinisher1

    If I reject the religion of atheism, will I burn forever in the pit of evolution hell? Will I evolve endlessly in their hell? Atheism is a brutal and unloving religion. Ban it. Ban it now and keep it away from our children!!

    April 4, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If you committed one of the atheistic mortal sins, like believing a proposition without proof, Galapagor, the man-ape overseer of the Atheist Underworld, may leave your essence as a trilobite deep in the fossil layer.
      All the transitional fossils buried in the Earth are nothing more than the transmogrified remains of sinful atheists.
      Creationists ascribe it to another of Satan's lies, but every atheist knows deep in their heart that we must answer to Galapagor upon death.

      For lo! I shall speak as the Prophet of Atheism!
      While quietly clicking through the Belief Blog one evening, an enormous terrifying half crocodile, half duck wreathed in flame appeared unto me. Though his words were like roaring quacks to my ears, in my head I heard his meaning plain as day.
      He gave unto me a magic, glowing tablet that contained a new, hidden chapter of "Origin of Species".
      As I touched each square, new mysteries were revealed to me. As I hurled brightly coloured, irate ornithological specimens into crude, wooden structures and unclean, green hued porcine creatures, I understood Darwin's Final Truth.

      For the low, low fee of 10% of your annual net worth, you too can know Darwin's Plan for the ultimate evolution of mankind.
      Cash only. And in small bills.

      April 4, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Darwin wasn't even an atheist so you atheists day have stolen the ideas of evolution and made it into your own religion. You people are pathetic.

        April 4, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Charles Darwin is an apostate.

          Creation formed in the big boil from the primorial sauce.

          Biological evolution postulates an unguided natural process that has no humanly discernable direction or goal. The directions and goals of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (pasta be upon him) can only be known by HIM.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      not even trolls are sent to any sort of heII according to atheists so I think you'll be just fine. Everyone gets the same fate, is that not good enough for you? Do you need to lord it over others for you to have any self worth? Must you demand inequality from your fellow humans because you think you are just so much better than they?

      April 4, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Better? Wrong. That's the job of atheists to boast how much better you are than non-atheists.

        April 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I see, so where I said that every is the same and gets the same fate that is me somehow lording it over you? Are we atheists claiming that we know who the universal creator is and get to communicate with this all powerful being telepathically and believe that this deity listens to us and will torment our enemies while rescuing us and our families and friends to enjoy some cloudy club med while the rest of the universe screams in agony?

          April 4, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          My guess is you got info on hell from atheist websites? If you actually read the bible, God doesn't send anyone to hell nor does he torment them. Isn't lying against logic? You violated your own logic code? Bad! Very bad!

          April 4, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • bostontola

          Can you provide even 1 link to a statement by an atheist where they say they are better than non-atheists? Just 1. It should be easy since you assert that is what they do.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Atheists endlessly boast about how only they have logic and non-atheists don't. Proof? LOL!!! You are too stupid to even begin to see the hypocrisy on your own side, troll Bon.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • bostontola

          Just provide 1. Why can't you do it?

          April 4, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Militant atheists do and their part of your atheism so....you must accept the faults of atheism and live a free life away from all the brainwashing you had done to you.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • bostontola

          Atheists are riddled with faults.
          Now, provide one link.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Link? Militant atheists are proof, ignorant brat.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
        • bostontola

          You asserted; "That's the job of atheists to boast how much better you are than non-atheists".

          You couldn't provide 1 link to an atheist boasting that they are better.

          Are you a liar or just a wind bag?

          April 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "... a liar or just a wind bag?"

          He's a dissembler.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
    • ssq41

      Nope...the only punishment is a life free for your choosing...you won't get to run for public office in Texas, however, and you will be persecuted (per Kermit's definition) by bible-believing Christians...

      However, should things change and the Consti.tution is amended or replaced by a Christian government, then all bets are off and concentration camps and free helicopter rides over the Gulf of Mexico will be authorized.

      Bring your snorkel and water wings should this occur...that fall from the H-60 is a long one.

      April 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        And if America becomes an atheist nation, people can say goodbye to their freedom.

        April 4, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          May you be touched by his noodly appendage.

          R'Amen

          April 4, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • believerfred

          Our world as far as recorded history has shown has never known godlessness except within a few small pockets of civilization. We actually have no idea what global godlessness would bring. The atheist would like to conduct a live experiment on our children allowing relative moralism to run its course. God has opposed this by assuring the worlds superpower never has an atheist president. Actually, presidents of the U.S. must show their Bible and raise it high, at least during election.
          It was no coincidence that the Declaration of Independence asks for Gods blessing before any of the 56 representatives would sign, which they did unanimously.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "Actually, presidents of the U.S. must show their Bible and raise it high, at least during election."

          OK Fred that's truly funny. It's sad that it is essentially, though of course not literally, true.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
        • hotairace

          That's only required to get Babble Humper delusional believers to vote for them.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • Akira

          I think the atheist just doesn't believe in any gods, Fred; can you provide a link to your assertion of a live experiment, or is that speculation on your part?

          April 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • ssq41

          Dear, Fred...there is an over-abundance of biographical books on Thomas Jefferson...his life, his thought, his belief....pick one and read.

          I know it is difficult to understand with that literal life you're living, but there is a contextual reason why Tom put that in there.

          And remember, when a politician tells you he or she is going to change things if you put them in office, you gotta try real hard not to be disappointed when he or she doesn't do what they said they would.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • believerfred

          Akira
          Desire for a godless world applies to the militant atheists on this site who constantly assert a godless world is best for our children. It also applies to anyone who claims we do not need God and actively seeks to undermine hope that is not limited to ourselves.
          Some on this site are experimenting on their children by indoctrinating them with godlessness from birth. We know the spiritual and eternal results from parents who raise their children according to the way of God. We know everyone would be better off if the basic way as shown by Christ was simply followed.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • observer

          believerfred

          "experimenting on their children by indoctrinating them with godlessness from birth."

          Good one. Guess what? Children don't know anything about them UNTIL someone tells children about God, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny.

          April 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
        • Akira

          So, Fred, no link. Just your opinion. Just supposition from a militant Christian who would want to impose a suppressive Theocracy based on the laws of the Old Testament, where women and children are abused and beaten and sold as slaves, and rape is sanctioned as long as there is a forced marriage involved.

          See how utterly absurd it is to speculate?

          Do you think your scenario is any truer than mine?

          April 4, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • believerfred

          ssq41
          I hadn't realized Tom inserted "Supreme Judge of the World", I thought he was a bit upset over its insertion by congress. When I get a chance I will check it out.
          He liked the use of the word eternal separation and used it to highlight the difference between our freedom and our British brethren. I believe Tom had the words of our creator wound throughout his life and character. Any suggestion he would depart from that is without evidence.

          April 4, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • observer

          believerfred,

          Thomas Jefferson was a brilliant man and a constant thinker.

          He thought the Bible was so full of nonsense, he edited his own version down to around 50 pages. He didn't believe in the same God you do. His God never impregnated an engaged woman or had a son named Jesus.

          April 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • believerfred

          Akira
          It was God who granted the desire of his people to be ruled by man rather than God. It was the Hebrew who wanted a King like other nations. God warned them of the consequence and gave them what they wanted. Regardless of form of government there are consequences to any King other than God as your head. The Grand Ayatollah, Stalin, Mao and Obama have capacity for good or evil yet all are subject to God and all existed under a predominate world view that believed in something greater than man and bigger than life itself.
          Are you suggesting atheists are not promoting godlessness? Are you suggesting atheists are not actively taking down the cross of Christ.................do you need a list of web sites to show the attacks on hope from atheists? Do you need a list beginning with Madalyn Murray O'Hair, do I need to paint a picture of public schools and respect for authority when prayer was read every day verses the godlessness of todays public schools?

          April 4, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • believerfred

          observer
          Thomas Jefferson had respect for others and honored God. No two people have the same image of God because we were created or as Jefferson said endowed by our creator with certain gifts. The fact we all express our image of God in an infinite manner is in itself a wonder as it attests to our creative capacity that is not limited. We are free to worship God as we find God and express love as we are capable of expressing it. God does not limit our creativity, love or understanding.

          I am puzzled that you want to limit your existence as to time and space when time and space do not have fixed boundary. Why limit your love to what you as physical being can put through a cold scientific experiment and subject to measurement and consensus from others? You are free to love God or limit hope to objective consensus of piers you don't even know or by definition must set aside that which makes us human in order to produce falsifiable results.

          April 4, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "as Jefferson said endowed by our creator with certain gifts

          You do realize Fred that Jefferson likely isn't the one who wrote that don't you. It wasn't in his original version. You do realize that there was a committee of five nominated by the Congressional Congress to write the declaration.

          It was emended by the committee and this is plain in the draft copy. My hunch is that it was Franklin who included it but it could have been Adams. It almost certainly wasn't Jefferson.

          April 4, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
        • observer

          believerfred,

          I'm an agnostic. As soon as atheists or believers can PROVE God exists or doesn't exist, I'm perfectly willing to accept the proof.

          I would have no problem at all if it turned out that a God exists, but would hope that he was much nicer, caring, smarter and far less self-centered than the one portrayed in the Bible.

          April 4, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
    • CS

      Standard troll + no imagination or intelligence = douche

      April 4, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Does CS stand for CompletelyStupid? That fits you well, troll.

        April 4, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • ssq41

          The very palpable love of the Living God just flows from your tender heart, finished. I'm so glad your Jesus died for the likes of CS.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • CS

          No you are incorrect do/b>uche.

          I am not a troll and "CS" stands for the Central Scrutinizer.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • CS

          douche lol

          April 4, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          How do you know what a Christian? Better yet, why did you assume it without evidence? doesn't that make you violate the logic code or something?

          April 4, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          •why do you assume I'm a Christian

          April 4, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Only because you dissemble like so many Christians do.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          I have not stated what I believe. Your assertion is foolish.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Nevertheless you dissemble like many Christians do.

          (At least the Christians of the 'liars for Jesus' kind.)

          April 4, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          And you lie for atheism. Your point, child?

          April 4, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Where have I lied?

          April 4, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          You assumed(call me a Christian when I made no mention to to what I believe) and claimed it to be true without proof. You lied on behalf of your atheism. Grow up, coward.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Hardly a lie. Certainly an unfounded assumption on my part.

          Since you will not discuss what you believe, my assumption might even be true. You refuse to either confirm or contradict this assumption.

          Please read the definition of dissembling. It fits you precisely.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Lol your not even in the ball park, kid. Totally wrong.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • CS

          I don't care what you do or don't believe in. I think we can all agree you are a douche.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Same to you CS.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The noodle's prayer (according to the reformed/combined version of FSM) from the prophet Ragu:

      Our pasta, who art in a colander, draining be thy noodles.
      Thy noodle come, Thy sauce be yum, on top some grated Parmesan.
      Give us this day our garlic bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
      as we forgive those who trample on our lawns.
      And lead us not into vegetarianism, but deliver us some pizza,
      for thine is the meatball, the onion, and the bay leaves, forever and ever.
      R'Amen.

      April 4, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
      • Vic

        I can't help but LOL on this one and think "Ramen Noodles."

        April 4, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Well, that's not a coincidence Vic.

        "In the Name of the Pasta, and of the Sauce, and of the Holy Meatballs, R'Amen"

        April 4, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
  14. Vic

    ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰ ♰ ♰

    Jesus Christ Is Our Focus

    Keep your eyes on the prize. Whenever you take your eyes off the target, you lose direction.

    As Christians, our "focus" shall always be Jesus Christ Himself, Faith in Him, for He is our Lord and Savior, Who did everything on our behalf. We should not concern ourselves with something else. When the Church is about 'Rules & Regulations' anymore, people turn away.

    Here is an example story from the Bible:

    Martha and Mary

    Luke 10:38-42
    "38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”"

    "Righteousness" is not of one's own derived from the 'Law,' rather, it is from God through "Faith" in Jesus Christ.

    Philippians 3:7-9
    "7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,"

    All Scripture Is From:

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

    http://www.biblegateway.com/

    April 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " Jesus Christ Is Our Focus "
      Patently false. The primary focus of the contemporary evangelical movement is politics and the demonization of anyone who dare disagree with them.

      April 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
      • Vic

        I am a mainline Protestant, and I don't bank on cynicism.

        April 4, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • midwest rail

          A statement of the reality of the situation is not cynicism.

          April 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,""

      +++ righteousness is thinking your brand of religious craziness is infallible.

      "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
      - Steven Weinburg

      April 4, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
    • kudlak

      Vic
      Jesus could have just waited until all the work was done before teaching too, right? Better still, he could have offered to help, and make the work go more quickly.

      April 4, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
  15. Bootyfunk

    this author doesn't like reality. the youth aren't leaving the church in droves? yes, they are. you can find a few "experts" that disagree, but the vast majority agree. church leaders themselves complain about empty pews. but the author doesn't bring up one of the biggest reasons for the youth leaving the church - the internet. instant fact-checking is killing religion. people don't have to believe everything they're told by priests and ministers anymore. religious brainwashing is very difficult to break. being intelligent doesn't make you immune. there are very smart christians that just obey obey obey.

    unclasp your hands, get up off your knees, go outside and put your hands to use helping your brothers and sisters of this world - no god necessary for you to be a good person.

    April 4, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      “Secrecy is the keystone to all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy and censorship. When any government or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, "This you may not read, this you must not know," the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man who has been hoodwinked in this fashion; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, whose mind is free. No, not the rack nor the atomic bomb, not anything. You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.”
      ― Robert A. Heinlein

      April 4, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        great quote

        April 4, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
      • new-man

        The Highest form of Freedom:

        Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Whoever commits and practices sin is the slave of sin.

        35 Now a slave does not remain in a household permanently (forever); the son [of the house] does remain forever.

        36 So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free.

        Amen

        April 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • hotairace

          Jesus allegedly answered them ...

          April 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • ausphor

          How era you newman?
          What?

          April 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • new-man

          ausphor,
          paraphrased:
          Whomever the Son [Christ Jesus] sets free, is truly free!

          so let your friends know – it's time to remove the mental shackles of slavery to sin [consciousness] because sin has already been judged and punished in the body of our Lord, Savior, and Redeemer, Yeshua.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • Akira

          Wait a minute...consciousness is a sin?

          April 4, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • ssq41

          Yup, Akira. That was our biggest argument against the evil evolutionist and atheist back in my day...they had a reprobate mind.

          Scripture you ask? Why yes, Paul's got that covered: Romans 8:7..."Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

          It's a strong defense for one who has no answers. Just demonize the unredeemed mind...hate the mind not the sinner.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • kudlak

          Is not being convinced that God is real a "sin"?

          April 4, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • new-man

          Akira,
          consciousness is NOT a sin. It should have read "sin-consciousness";
          The point was, don't be sin-conscious (i.e. constantly thinking of where you have fallen short in the past or even in the present) because sin has already been judged and punished in Christ.

          ssq41
          you're incorrect.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
        • ssq41

          41,000 Christian denominations and new-man says I'm wrong!

          Hahahahahahaha....oh if I were still a Christian me and my brother's and sisters in Christ would thrown communion wafers at you until we pierced your hand, feet and side.

          Yes, I remember the heady days when we charismatics were certain we were the only one who had the deepest relationship with Jesus 'cause we spoke in the angel-tongue!

          Nothing new about your arrogance, new-man. Thanks for your witness to the exclusive power of the blood of the Lamb.

          April 4, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • kudlak

          new-man
          I don't know about you, but I learn from my mistakes. Thinking about where I went wrong in the past seems helpful to me in avoiding future mistakes. If I didn't let my mistakes bother me what's the incentive to improve?

          April 4, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
        • new-man

          kudlak,

          you are correct that one should reflect on past mistakes so they can make corrections in their present, and future.

          That said, how does dwelling on past mistakes and constantly being conscious of them allow you to move forward. I think it's fair to say if a person is living in the past, they're not living in the present...and this would further suggest that they have not learnt from the past mistakes, otherwise they would have been able to move forward.

          April 4, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • kudlak

          new-man
          Keeping my mistakes in mind helps guide me forward in a way that hopefully keeps me from making the same ones. If you go in with the notion that getting Jesus' forgiveness is the only important thing about making mistakes, and getting that forgiveness is as easy as asking for it in your mind, what's to stop you from making mistakes? Life is not like some video game where you get countless tries to get through a level.

          I don't harp on my mistakes enough to hold me back in any way. The Christian method reminds me too much of abusive relationships: If the wife keeps on forgiving the beating husband, what incentive does he really have to stop beating her?

          April 4, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
  16. Paul

    "Millennials and the false 'gospel of nice'"??

    No, more like "Millennials and the woman of Proverbs 9:13-18"

    Rachel Hell Evans fits the biblical profile of Proverbs 9:13-18, perfectly!!!

    April 4, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
    • midwest rail

      And by purposely misspelling her name in the fashion you chose, proves you perfectly embody the three primary characteristics of contemporary evangelical Christianity. Well done.

      April 4, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
      • kudlak

        I thought that he was doing Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" credits?

        April 4, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
      • fortheloveofellipsis

        Yeah, that Crischin Luv(tm) just oozes out of you, Paul...

        April 4, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
    • Vic

      With this statement, you just wiped out all the good Scripture you posted, sir.

      April 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
      • Mount Sinai

        Do you have a problem with that assessment? Can you list your points against that assessment?

        April 4, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Do you not have a problem with his condescending and purposeful misspelling of her name ?

          April 4, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • Mount Sinai

          That was a question to @Vic and not to you. Thanks for stopping by, though.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • midwest rail

          It's an open blog, and the question remains. The critique is not with his assessment, but his deliberate misspelling of her name. Is the question too difficult ?

          April 4, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • Mount Sinai

          Again, that was addressed to @Vic and not to you.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Too difficult. Gotcha.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "That was a question to @Vic and not to you"

          Maybe an exchange of emails would be best if you want a private conversation and no other input. Once again, as stated, this is a public blog. So care to be mature and answer the question put to you??

          April 4, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • Vic

          Yes, I do have a problem with his assessment based on Proverbs 9:13-18.

          Rachel Held Evans is calling for following Jesus Christ as described in Luke 4:14-44 & John 13:1-17 and refraining from what is described in Matthew 23, and that's wisdom and not folly.

          She confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, so she is a Christian, and so is everyone who does.

          April 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
        • Mount Sinai

          Not sure what you are trying to convey with the passages you have cited.
          Read Matthew 7 13-21.
          People who are in the trenches doing the will of God are not the ones attacking evangelism.They are busy serving God.
          Someone who is not of the faith and has no conviction in the word of God is the one who will advocate compromising scriptures to suit their agenda.
          After reading these blogs if you are still not able to discern the folly, you have been misled.
          Without repentance there is no forgiveness and if anybody teaches otherwise,they are going against the word of God.
          Also, read Matt 22:14 . Christian living is a hard choice and a difficult path, it's not easy.

          April 4, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Yes, exactly...that is what the "gospel of nice" is missing...misogyny

      April 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        yes/.some in the BIble..but not supported by it

        April 4, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You are right...no support at all

          1 Timothy 2:11-14

          2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
          2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
          2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
          2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

          April 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          are ou serious with this Adam thing..that he was made first it was mysogrenic? silly!! as for the women being sulten..get the context behiond WHY Paul says it...youthink perhpas because it was the women making too much noise? THINK..if it were the men doing it..Paul would have said that towards the men..second...the women in Ephesus were teacning false gospels (see Book of Ephesians) thirdly Timothy was a young pastor...and still obviously having a mind of one which means the best way to handle the spread of the false Gosels was for the women not to preach at this time and place..get the context dude

          April 4, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • ssq41

          Not to mention the millenia of blaming women because of Eve...not least of which:

          "During labor, midwives administered no painkillers, except for alcohol. Pain in childbirth was considered God's punishment for Eve's sin of eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Women were merely advised to "arm themselves with patience" and prayer and to try, during labor, to restrain "those dreadful groans and cries which do so much discourage their friends and relations that are near them."

          The eternal collateral damage of sacred scripture through the ages.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • kudlak

          It was pretty common in myth to place blame on women for all the problems of the world. That's the justification for not taking their advice seriously. Try cross-referencing the story of Eve with that of Pandora, for example.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          forst of all...Adam did not get out of this qwith no consequences..yes..HE blsmed eve...but the Bible did NOT say its ALl evers fault and none of Adams fault....

          April 4, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "are ou serious with this Adam thing..that he was made first it was mysogrenic?"

          Yeah, the part that says women should shut up had nothing to do with that verse, nor the part where it says that the first transgression was all HER fault. Way to pick and choose like a good christian cherry picker.

          "get the context behiond WHY Paul says it..."youthink perhpas because it was the women making too much noise?"

          Nothing misogynistic about that either. Women just make too much noise...

          "THINK..if it were the men doing it..Paul would have said that towards the men.."

          Right, the women were wrong, the men were right, otherwise Paul would have addressed the men...nothing se.xist about that.

          "second...the women in Ephesus were teacning false gospels (see Book of Ephesians)"

          And so were the men...excuses, excuses

          "thirdly Timothy was a young pastor...and still obviously having a mind of one"

          All the more reason not to trust anything he said.

          "get the context dude"

          Sounds like a lot of excuses for the "word of god" telling women to shut up. There are plenty of Christians who disagree with your "context"...not that your "context" is much better...DUDE.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          LOL...not trust anyting WHo said..Timothy? the letter was from Paul TO timothy..second;.l.IMnot cherry picking..Im using the context of what was happening in Ephesus in those days..something that you seem to not bring up or address (almost like youre avoiding it actually) so who is cherry picking here?

          April 4, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          kermit, I don't trust anything Paul said to be "scripture". YOU are cherry picking and spinning the verses. Out of all the misogynistic angles of just that one verse you focused FIRST on who was created first....when the most misogynistic part is telling women are not to teach and they should shut up, and then justifying that position by saying the issue in the garden was mostly a womans fault, implying very directly they can't be trusted. It didn't specify just the women under Timothy should be quiet, it was specific that Paul was saying ALL women should not teach at all, ever...the are to be subjectated under men. Your contextual BS is just that...BS.

          2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you still have yet to address the situation in Ephesus...thus yo ustill caim Im cherry picking..i used the context..i gave it to you...but you choose to ignore it..and you call ME a cherry picker? sir....research about the religious climate in Ephesus during those days..then report back to me..in the meantime..until you do..dont acccuse me of being a cherry picker when I have done the research into the context of this...

          April 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
        • observer

          (1 Cor. 11:7-9 “For a man indeed ought not to have his head veiled, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man: for neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”

          Oink! Oink!

          April 4, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          nice cherry picking...Paul was using an argument..and he ends this with in this church there is no such thing! He is saying..stop arguing about that...goodness....go actually read the BIble

          April 5, 2014 at 1:51 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

          Does it say "But I suffer not a woman to teach in Ephesus, nor to usurp authority over the man in Ephesus?

          No, it says women are to be silent...period. Where the woman were located made no difference to the point he was making. Excuses, excuses. Remenber, you said there is no support for misogyny in the bible...this is absolutely supported...Christians have been using it that way from the beginning.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          oh..I forget..you have to have every single lettoile thing spelled out for you cause you couldn't figure it out..you are still not addressing what was happening inEphesus..you are not addressing the religious climate..its stupid your argument because Timothy IS in Ephesus you fool! Timothy knows whats going on...but no..you cant figure that out,,doint address me anymore until YOU do some research as to the religious climate and hwo the women were dominating the men in their false religions and how they tried to carry it over with using false Gosepls!

          April 5, 2014 at 1:54 am |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          For the parallel to Adam in Greek myth you have to read about Prometheus. Both are accused of taking something from the god(s) and being punished for that crime.

          April 4, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          kermit, who is the "I" in

          "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence"....???? PAUL....PAUL isn't in Ephesus, he was saying he would not suffer to listen to a woman and neither should they. Case closed...you lose ....idiot..

          April 5, 2014 at 2:41 am |
        • spleenylutheran

          What Kermit is talking about is the incident in Ephesus, described in Acts 18, where Priscilla (and her husband) taught a man where he in error. Paul had no problem with Priscilla teaching men; in fact, he calls her a fellow worker in Christ in Romans 16:3 and 1st Corinthians 16:19.

          April 6, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
    • Akira

      And Mathew 7:1-5 was written for you.

      April 4, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
    • ssq41

      Hey, Kermy! Here's St. Paul persecuting another Christian...come look!

      April 4, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
    • Akira

      Why are you even bringing up RHE on a blog written by Daniel Darling, anyway? Seems a little odd to just throw that out there for no discernable reason.

      April 4, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
      • ssq41

        The darling Daniel's not so subtle way to slam her piece yesterday (?)....hey, Akira...does anyone know where Austin disappeared to?

        April 4, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • ssq41

          You know....that Christian on Christian violence so common in our low income neighborhoods.

          They keep forgetting their bible verses such as John 13:35.

          April 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • Akira

          ssq,
          No...I don't know where Austin's gone...I hope he's all right.
          He had some odd quirks, but I think he was a good egg.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • ssq41

          Yeah, I like his boyish honesty...I'm worried that his "vision" got him an invitation to the FBI/Secret Service Ball this month.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • Akira

          I'm worried about that, too. He disappeared soon after that...I really hope he's ok. I liked him, also.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
        • midwest rail

          While I do not wish Austin or anyone else harm, saying he had "some odd quirks" is akin to saying Wilt Chamberlain was a wee bit tall.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • Akira

          Lol, midwest...just a wee bit.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
    • Mount Sinai

      @Paul, that is a good assessment of people who mislead. Well stated and right on point!

      April 4, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
      • fortheloveofellipsis

        So you're saying that slander is a Crischin Vurchu(tm), right?...

        April 4, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
  17. Paul

    omans 10:9-10, and 13
    If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God,
    and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved ... For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

    April 4, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
    • kudlak

      "Saved" no matter what evil things you've done?

      And I suppose that you're condemned no matter how good you've been if you aren't convinced that Jesus was a god?

      And this seems fair and good to you?

      April 4, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        yep, according to christianity, child molesters go to heaven as long as they accept jesus and repent. atheists, even if they ran a charity organization to help children that are molested, go to hell to be tortured for all eternity.

        amen.

        April 4, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yes..even they do get to heabven..cause no one person can work their way ibto heaven anyways...a molester is as evil as anyone else..we ALL sin..period..no one is better than another...and we ALL get the same chance at salvation cause of GODS love for us....If he didnt love us..we would ALL to hell and hed forget all about it

          April 4, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • ssq41

          Kerm!!!! Stop persecuting yourself! Your "heabven" looks an awful lot like the atheist "babble."

          :0)

          April 4, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          So, Christianity is all about worshipping a guy as a god, and has no practical link with what we call "morality", or "justice", then? Who are Christians to lecture anyone on morality then?

          April 4, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          So, Christianity is all about worshipping a guy as a god, and has no practical link with what we call “morality”, or “justice”, then? Who are Christians to lecture anyone on morality then?<-huh? I am thinking you were respoinsding to a perevious post..which one was that so I can understand your response better?

          April 4, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Nope, I really was responding to you're post here. It really doesn't matter how you behave in this life if you believe that all you have to do is accept Jesus some time before you die, right? That makes about as much sense as having a law that allows criminals to avoid imprisonment as long as they compliment a judge before getting arrested. Where's the accountability for the harm born-again Christians did in life?

          April 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          firast of all..I still accept that OI made the mistake..and I will still right the wrong with that...according to my fellow humans (dfor example if I steal from them...I will make ammends and repay back..) I still pay and suffer consequences in THIS life here on earth..and justice means sins are paid for..not your earthly brand of jstice...earthly brand is only for earth....nothing more...

          April 4, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          That makes about as much sense as having a law that allows criminals to avoid imprisonment as long as they compliment a judge before getting arrested.<-nowhere near comparison to what is being taught..so useless anaology

          April 4, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Still, it won't disqualify you if you don't have an opportunity to make amends before you die, right? It's not those "works" that's saving you according to your system anyway, right? So, you really can squeak in just under the wire after a life of being a complete monster without a single consequence.

          So, there's a divide here. What happens on Earth stays on Earth, eh? The guy whose greatest sin was returning a book late to the library is just as bad as Hitler in God's eyes, but if one of them happens not to be convinced that Jesus has the power to save them from hell then that's where he's going? Sorry, but I just don't see any justice in that.

          Where, exactly, is my special law analogy flawed?

          April 4, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yes..because your focus is on you and your sins..compared to others...you are not the standard..God is the standard..He is Holy and eternal..thus it isn't what you do compared to what fred doesd...fred nor yo uare the standards..and sins against a HOLY God is all equal..THAT is Justice...that's why you don't see it..you don't know much about this God

          April 5, 2014 at 2:00 am |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          God's behaviour cannot be the standard: He would be a separate species from us. We don't judge rabbit behaviour on what we would do in that situation, and we don't judge our behaviour on what a shark would do in our situation, so why does God get to judge us?

          What kind of context can God even have for judging his own behaviour? Does he live in a community of other gods? Did he ever look upon Isis with lust in his eyes, or feel tempted to steal Neptune's trident? He lives alone, and basically does whatever he wants to do and calls that "good", right? He's more like some lady shut in with her 150 cats and disciplining them for not using the toilet like she does.

          April 5, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          bad argument on your part..we don't make rabbits....sure we can breed them..btu that is not same thing..God is our Creator...so thus your argument is moot

          April 8, 2014 at 2:12 am |
      • kermit4jc

        I see it as fair.because the STANDARD is not merely "good" its perfect..GOd is perfect..He is holy (notbecause he feels like it..it is Hisverynature) and evil cannot coexist within full manifest of holiness..it doesnt work out that way...besides...that waypretty much leads to arrogance (IM better than you)

        April 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • G to the T

          That may be where we disagree then. I don't believe "perfect" exists. It's an idea (an ideal if you will), not something that exists outside of the heads of humans.

          April 4, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          By what standard is God "perfect"? His own? Yours?

          April 4, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          It is as God declared..he is the Stndard..and I accept that

          April 4, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          So, he gets to dictate how great he is? How is that any kind of fair and accurate assessment? You're not allowed to actually judge his goodness, are you? How do you really know that he's good then?

          April 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          he doesnt just say it..he shows it..and proves it...

          April 4, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          do you have a problem with God being judge..and why?

          April 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          Than actual moral conduct means LITERALLY NOTHING. I can machine-gun a kindergarten class and go to Heaven if I have a Born-Agin' 'Speriense(tm), but if I devote my life to doing all the good I can for my fellow humans but don't have that 'Speriense(tm), I go to Hell? if that is true, then why the the Christ teach us how to treat our fellow humans? Just for the yuks?...

          April 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          God does a lot of things in the Bible that I don't see as "good". Nearly destroying all of humankind in a flood and ordering genocides is some seriously evil stuff, IMHO. If you're talking about something that you're personally experiencing today then how do you know that God is actually involved?

          I don't believe there actually is a God judging me. As far as I know, people's interpretation of what some character named "God" might think of me based on what he says in a book is what's judging me. Why should I take that any more seriously than people's opinions of how much Tarzan might like me?

          April 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
  18. Paul

    Romans 6:23
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

    April 4, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
    • kudlak

      Wouldn't that mean that non-believers don't go anywhere after they die, their should just die, but believers's souls are "saved" and get to join their saviour?

      I would have no problem with that. In our world people join all kinds of exclusive clubs and get rewards for that membership. Any club that went out of it's way to punish non-members would be seen as criminal, right?

      April 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        you go somewhere....we don't cease to exist.....nonbelievers go where they cannot know the presence of God..and they are in anguish of their own doing ..realizing they are doomed for eternity for their own decisions to reject God....and reject all that he offers (eternal hope peace and joy)

        April 4, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          How are you so certain of this?? Did the voice you hear that you label god tell you this??? Back it up with evidence that has been shown to exist and is supported or admit that you don't know for certain!! "Extraordinary claims, require extraordinary evidence."
          It is horribly immoral to wish or agree with anything that would be so evasive that it would not make itself known to all and yet send people who do question it to some horrible punishment. Very abusive god you worship!

          April 4, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so we are back t oblaming God that since we dont believe Him..its His fault for not being convincing enough..i find tha tarrogant...as if you have no fault in it...sorry..i doint buy the blame game

          April 4, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          I'm not blaming a god I don't believe in. I'm saying that if this god you believe in wants people to believe in it, why would it not appear to everyone and simply stop the questioning? Only 2.3 billion people on this planet believe in the christian god, are you trying to claim that the other 4.7 billion are doomed? Does that actually make sense to you?
          I have no fault here, I simply am not accepting things on faith alone. I happen to care that my beliefs are based on actual evidence and your stories or the stories of others who already have a preconceived notion of this god, do not count as evidence, just as the bible doesn't count.
          You say you don't play the blame game but yet when I say I don't see the evidence for your god, you make it my fault...give me a break, I once was christian...I know the game and I'm not falling for it. I asked you a simple question and as always you totally evaded answering it.

          April 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
      • kudlak

        kermit4jc
        We're nonbelievers already, so what possible difference will being "separated" from God make to us? I'm not in any anguish over this now, so why would I in the future? I didn't reject God, as though I actually know that he exists. I don't think that there's enough reason to believe that this is a serious threat. You don't lose sleep worrying about vampires, or anything else that you don't believe in, right? So why should I worry about God punishing me for not being convinced that he's real?

        Wouldn't eternal hope, peace and joy be like some never-ending LSD trip, or case of brain damage? Why would I want that?

        April 4, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • kudlak

          Oops, I've been informed that LSD trips can be very scary and that what I meant to say was some kind of combined weed and ecstasy trip. What do I know; I've never tried any of them!

          Here's a question, though. If the joy and bliss lasts forever wouldn't you forget what pain and suffering was like after a while and, if you did, how would you know that you're supposed to enjoy this feeling after a millennia or two? Seriously, I enjoy having good company over like anything else, but I'm ready to get rid of everyone I know after being around them for a while, know what I mean? How do you Christians know that you won't get bored up in heaven?

          April 4, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • joey3467

          I'm pretty sure whoever wrote Revelation took the brown acid.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          IM referring to the afterlife..things will be different..god is noticeably present here..but once thats done with....you wont have any peace joy or hope..period.....

          April 4, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • kudlak

          joey3467
          There use to be a theory that John of Patmos may have come in contact with some funky gases in that cave of his, like the Oracle at Delphi supposedly was.

          April 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          How is God noticeably present here? Can you point out where?

          Here's something else, will the joy, peace and stuff in heaven be so overwhelming that you wouldn't be capable of having empathy towards the suffering you know is going on in hell? If it is, then you really won't have any free will anymore, but if you can feel empathy wouldn't God consider that a betrayal and send you there for the crime of having compassion?

          April 4, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
  19. Paul

    Who is a Christian?

    –A follower of Christ.

    April 4, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
    • Paul

      What is evangelism?

      -Evangelism is sharing the good news of the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ. An evangelical, then, is a person dedicated to promoting the good news about Jesus Christ.

      April 4, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
      • Paul

        All Christians are called to be evangelicals.

        April 4, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • Paul

          Romans 3:10-12, and 23
          As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God.
          All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” ... For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard

          April 4, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • Paul

          Romans 6:23

          For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

          April 4, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • Paul

          Romans 5:8
          But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

          April 4, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Yes, it is sad that instead of being true evangelicals most Chrisians are just a bunch of evangenitals...

          April 4, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • Paul

          Romans 10:9-10, and 13
          If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God,
          and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved ... For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

          Romans 5:1
          Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

          Romans 8:1
          So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus

          April 4, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • G to the T

          Is your name intended to be ironic or are you not aware that you only quote Paul as the authority for your beliefs?

          April 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          I see you NEVER quote from anything but the Epistles. IOW, you worship Saul of Tarsus, not Jesus of Nazareth. Typical...

          April 4, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
      • sam stone

        evangelism is the pompous claim that you know god better than the person you are preaching to

        April 4, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • Russ

          @ sam stone:
          being anti-evangelism is the pompous claim that you know the truth better than the person who is speaking to you... (if not an outright claim that your opinion is more important than the God who commanded them to do so).

          see how that works?
          the debate is not "who is more arrogant?" but "what is the truth of the matter & is it worth offending others' beliefs?"

          April 4, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          actually..not so..its that we kNOW God....personally.not any better....because those we peach to don't KNOW God personally...and iti s not pompous to say such..we are no special than another

          April 4, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Doesn't it sound pompous to say that non-evangelical Christians just aren't as close to God as you are?

          April 4, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "being anti-evangelism is the pompous claim that you know the truth better than the person who is speaking to you..."

          Is telling you that your beliefs are unsubstantiated opinion "anti-evangelism"? When you say "we KNOW God" and I reply "Please provide some empirical evidence of this" am I being "anti-evangelical" just because I know you are unable to provide such evidence? I am a bit confused as to how I go about not being "anti-evangelical" while still not accepting their ideology.

          April 4, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • Russ

          @ neverbeen:
          1) the point of my remark was the futility of the "who is humbler here?" argument.

          my goal was not simply to reciprocate the sentiment (i was actually pointing out the hypocrisy of the theistic version), but to draw the debate down into the foundational divide. hence the question: "what is the truth of the matter & when is it worth offending others' beliefs?"

          2) i like that you are honestly asking those questions.

          a) you want empirical evidence. in Christianity, God came in the flesh. that's the basis of the Christian faith. it doesn't get any more empirical in religion than a claim that the transcendent became immanent – that God entered space & time in a tangible way. after all, Christianity is not claiming to be advice from God, but NEWS.

          yes, yes, i know the outcry that follows such a statement – especially among naturalists. here are two excellent scholarly resources on the EVIDENCES:
          Richard Bauckham, "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses"
          NT Wright, "the Resurrection of the Son of God"

          b) your appeal for "empirical evidences" seems strongly to imply such is the ultimate foundation of truth. that would be a claim of naturalism... which is itself a metaphysical (read: faith-based) system of belief.

          for example, saying "only what is empirically verifiable is true" is often THE litmus test of truth/objective reality/etc. in naturalism. here's the rub: that statement ITSELF is NOT empirically verifiable. it FAILS its own criterion. it is self-refuting.

          if the foundation crumbles, it doesn't matter how sturdy the walls are.

          c) to clarify: when naturalistic atheists conflate science (methodological naturalism) with their own metaphysical claims (philosophical naturalism), it often leads to "you have faith; i have science" type arguments – which is simply not the case. (physics *presupposes* metaphysics – it cannot speak to its own presuppositions.)

          as Nietzsche said to his fellow atheists: “Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as science without presuppositions…a philosophy, a ‘faith’ must always be there first, so that science can acquire from it a direction, a meaning, a limit, a method, a right to exist…It is still a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science.”

          in short, the philosophical naturalism of many atheists is guilty of the very same *leaps of faith* they criticize. and theists are not alone in saying that – plenty of atheists are levying that claim against themselves (aside from Nietzsche, Thomas Nagel of NYU & the editor of the New Republic have made this argument in the last few years).

          April 4, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • Russ

          @ neverbeen:
          you said: "Is telling you that your beliefs are unsubstantiated opinion "anti-evangelism"?"

          in short: no, that's simply *your* version of evangelism (spreading what you believe to be the truth).

          it still requires the underlying debate:
          what is the truth? how do we know it? when is it worth offending others over?

          April 4, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I believe there is a truth. I have read several ancient texts including the bible claiming to have that truth. So far, in my estimation, science has been the vehicle that brought us out of a dark age where every unexplained phenomenon was attributed to the supernatural. So far we have peeked in millions of crevices and stared out into the cosmos watching, studying, examining the reality around us and we have yet to find a single example of anything supernatural. I'm not saying it can't exist, i'm just saying so far there is no reason to believe it does simply based on the fact that we don't have all the answers yet. If the spiritual world and the scientific world do not overlap and thus one cannot detect the other, then how can we prove any truth in the spirit world or after life or whatever cage you want to invent to place the things people call gods, angels, demons, jinn and the like. If this is some sick game of hide and seek where mankind is cursed to die unless they figure out how to serve the right spirit creature right way then I would rather live as well as I can and give none of these theocratic theorists a dime or my time.

          April 4, 2014 at 11:15 pm |
        • Russ

          @ neverbeen: it's exactly the opposite. the very things you are citing ARE evidence that there is the supernatural.

          you exist. you didn't make yourself. that's true for the entirety of material existence. it presses the question: how do you get something out of nothing?

          note well: Stephen Hawking certainly understands the seriousness of this argument. it's what led him to write "Grand Design" (which was *heavily* & widely criticized). Thomas Nagel is another atheist who has pointed out the serious problems of advocates of naturalism failing to recognize they EQUALLY are making metaphysical (i.e., faith-based) claims. it's not just the religious. that was Nietzsche's point in the quote i gave as well.

          your argument fails to recognize that you ARE making an enormous leap of faith. the entirety of naturalism is based on an self-refuting premise (as i demonstrated above). and to be clear: it's not a battle of science versus religion, but naturalism versus theism. science carefully avoids making that leap by operating with *methodological* naturalism (*as if* there was nothing else) but not *philosophical* naturalism (which *presupposes* there IS nothing else).

          in short, you are doing naturalism & calling it science.
          that's not science, but scientism.
          my qualm is not with your science, but your religion/metaphysics/faith/etc.

          April 5, 2014 at 11:58 am |
      • kudlak

        Paul
        Does "sharing" and "promoting" the Good News also include imposing this view on everyone else?

        April 4, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • amen2godonly

          Just because one spreads the word of God does not mean that person is imposing his will on you. If anything that person is helping you realize the word of God. Ask yourself: If you assisted a person with properly filing their US Tax Returns, would you consider that imposing your knowledge of filing taxes on that person OR would you simply consider it a "helping hand."

          April 4, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          A very frank yes, kudlak; they believe that if the nation Turns Away From God(tm), God will destroy that nation. Thus, their beliefs must be written into the secular law to save that nation–despite the Christ's open statement that His kingdom is not of this world. And they never quite catch the irony that Rome only fell AFTER it made the Roman church the established religion to be followed under the force of law...

          April 4, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • kudlak

          amen2godonly
          I don't have any problem with people sharing opinions, but I do have a problem with people demonizing others just because they disagree, or legislating against people having the right to do something simply because of some superst.ition. You wouldn't appreciate somebody voting to pass a law preventing you from having a black cat, would you? Nobody can prove that black cats are unlucky any more than anyone can prove that allowing gays to marry will incur the wrath of some superbeing. They've legalized it in several countries and states and, so far, nothing bad has happened to them, right?

          April 4, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
        • kudlak

          fortheloveofellipsis
          Well, Rome was falling apart before Constintine tried to unify the parts with Christianity, but you're right, it sure didn't save it.

          April 4, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
    • kudlak

      Who gets to define what a true "Follower of Christ" is? When hundreds of different Christian sects all have a different opinion on this isn't that definition rather problematic?

      April 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        The BIBLE showsit...certainly the writers were of the first Christians..and the bIble clearly shows what a Christian is

        April 4, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
      • Akira

        Now this is a good question, kudlak, since Paul goes on to trash RHE, who clearly is a Follower of Christ.

        April 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
      • kudlak

        Akira
        Well, Paul does trash people who preached a "different gospel" than he did, which would mean Peter and James, guys who actually knew Jesus.

        April 4, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
      • kudlak

        kermit4jc
        And, again, hundreds of Christian sects all have different opinions of what the Bible says about that. So, why should we believe that your opinion happens to be the correct one?

        April 4, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          uhh..we mostly agree on same tenants that been discussed here...I think youare speaking out of ignorance of what different sects believe

          April 4, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          On that World Vision issue, plenty of Christian sects wouldn't have a problem with working alongside gays. Within Evangelical circles this feeling must be growing too if they had to smack down the leaders of that evangelical charity, right? Seems like the potential cause of a major schism to me.

          April 4, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
      • fortheloveofellipsis

        Kudlak, the obvious answer is Kermit himself, because he has a Personal Relationship with God(tm) and therefor can tell us exactly what He thinks on any given point. The fact that millions of other people who also have that Personal Relationship with God(tm) have different opinions means nothing to him, because all of those other people are wrong. And then we wonder why religious wars are the most vicious...

        April 4, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
  20. Dyslexic doG

    Ahhh religion. You can make it anything you want it to be. It's a license to imagine up your magical happy world and then tell others that it's what god wants.

    what a giggle!

    April 4, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
    • Salero21

      hum... To the letter sound more like the imaginations of atheism/evolution/idolatry of course being dyslexic or a dog doesn't help.

      April 4, 2014 at 6:06 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.