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August 9th, 2014
06:01 PM ET

Why missionaries put their lives on the line

By Daniel Burke and Ashley Fantz, CNN

(CNN) - It wasn’t as if God's voice boomed through sun-parted clouds, telling Kent Brantly to move his family to Liberia.

Still, the young doctor said, the call was clear.

It echoed through the congregation where he was raised, Southeastern Church of Christ in Indianapolis.

Standing before the church community in July 2013, months before he left for Africa, Brantly said he heard the call in the teachers who urged him to memorize Scripture and the neighbors who funded his first mission trip years ago.

He saw it in the aunts and uncles who spent their vacations running Bible camps, organizing youth groups and serving missions themselves in Africa.

“It may not seem like much,” Brantly said in an emotional address to the Southeastern congregation, “but when you connect the dots you see a grand design that God has used to draw my life in a certain direction.”

For Brantly, that meant serving a two-year medical mission in Liberia with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief organization. But in a grim twist that garnered international headlines, the 33-year-old contracted Ebola while treating patients and was airlifted back to the United States.

Brantly and a fellow missionary, Nancy Writebol, who was serving with SIM, another Christian aid organization, are being treated for the disease at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

After Liberia's outbreak began in March 2013, Writebol volunteered at a hospital in Monrovia, where she disinfected doctors and nurses working with patients stricken by the disease.

Despite their weakened health, their trust in God remains strong, family members said.

“Mom is tired from her travel, but continues to fight the virus and strengthen her faith in her Redeemer, Jesus,” said Jeremy Writebol, Nancy’s son.

On Friday, Brantly said that he felt a spiritual serenity even after learning his diagnosis.

“I remember a deep sense of peace that was beyond all understanding,” he said. “God was reminding me of what he had taught me years ago, that he will give me everything I need to be faithful to him.

Though Brantly's wife and children had been in Liberia with him, they had returned to the United States when he became ill.

In addition to the American missionaries, a nun and a priest from Spain who worked in Liberia also contracted Ebola, two more victims in an outbreak that health officials describe as the largest and most complex in the history of the disease.

As of Saturday, 961 people have died, nearly all in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, where more than 1,770 cases have been reported, according to the World Health Organization.

Heroic or foolish? 

In the United States, much of the attention last week focused on the missionaries, who knowingly put themselves in harm’s way.

Christians have long debated the effectiveness of missions, with some arguing that they can, at times, cause more harm than good – both to missionaries and the people they are trying to help.

But rarely has the debate ranged as far afield of Christian circles or become as bitterly divided as it has since the American missionaries' return to the United States.

Prominent Christians, such as R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Russell Moore, called Brantly and Writebol heroic.

The missionaries knew the risks of contracting Ebola but worked with patients, doctors and nurses to try to contain the outbreak, the evangelicals said.

On the other hand, real estate mogul Donald Trump tweeted that people who travel to foreign countries to help are "great" but “must suffer the consequences” of their actions.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter was even more unsympathetic, saying Brantley’s health status had been “downgraded to ‘idiotic.’”

“Why did Dr. Brantly have to go to Africa?” Coulter wrote. “The very first ‘risk factor’ listed by the Mayo Clinic for Ebola - an incurable disease with a 90 percent fatality rate - is: ‘Travel to Africa.’”

Nancy Writebol's husband, David, who remains in Liberia, answered the critics on Friday.

Writebol said he knows that some think missionaries like his wife are "foolish, or worse," to "put everybody in danger by going" to places like Liberia.

"But it’s that very calling," he said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "that demonstrates the characteristics, the great things that Christ has done for humanity. He left heaven and he came to a place of suffering and trouble and went about doing good.”

The Great Commission 

Besides the personal pull described by missionaries like Brantly, for centuries Christians have followed a more general call to spread the Gospel through word and deed. Known as the Great Commission, it began when Jesus told the apostles to “go and make disciples of all nations.”

Since then, millions of believers – from Baptists to Mormons to Jehovah’s Witnesses - have stuffed scriptures into suitcases and preached the Gospel in nearly every corner of the globe.

For centuries, serving those missions meant spending decades abroad, learning a culture and its language, and trying, with varying degrees of success, to convert native peoples to Christianity.

But short-term missions - often defined as less than two years - exploded in the 1970s and ‘80s with the advent of cheap and safe travel, scholars say. For evangelicals in particular, mission trips have become almost a rite of passage. In his 33 years, Kent Brantly had already served missions in Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Nicaragua.

In doing so, Brantly is one of an estimated 1.6 million Americans adults who embark on short-term mission trips to foreign countries each year, according to Princeton University sociologist Robert Wuthnow.

If domestic missions and Christians under 18 were included, that number would rise to about 2.4 million, said David Armstrong, executive director of Mission Data International.

It’s an indication of how seriously Christians take Jesus’ call to reach “all nations,” a task to which they bring ever-increasing technical sophistication.

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, for instance, keeps tabs on the precise percentage of the world’s population who have been “evangelized.”

As of mid-2014, about 71% of the world has heard the Gospel through personal preaching, radio, television books or other media, the center says.

But not all missions are about evangelizing.

There are basically three types of missionaries, said Albert W. Hickman, a researcher at the Center for the Study of Global Christianity: those who preach, those who do good works, and those who do both.

SIM, which Nancy Writebol joined in 2013, belongs in the last category.

'Do you mind if I pray with you?'

Originally know as Sudan Interior Ministry, the Christian group has been active in Africa since 1893, when two young Canadians and an American set out to preach the Gospel in sub-Saharan Africa.

Within months, the men contracted malaria. Two died, but one survived and went on to help lay the groundwork for the modern SIM, which now stands for the more general Serving in Mission.

“Even early on, our people were willing to sacrifice or to die for their faith,” said George Salloum, SIM USA’s vice president of finance and operations.

More than 1,600 SIM missionaries now work in 60 countries.

The majority are recruited online, a process that starts with questions for applicants like: Do you share your faith with others? Is prayer a regular part of your life? Are you disciplined, accountable? Have your really thought about how hard being a missionary will be?

The list of missions SIM offers is extensive – from a Bible school teacher in Mongolia to a water engineer in South Sudan. The group also sends medical professionals to mission hospitals and clinics throughout the world.

Before they travel, missionaries go through cross-cultural training, learning, for example, how close should they stand while taking to someone and how different cultures greet strangers.

Missionaries also are also trained in their most critical skill, Salloum said: How to provide practical help while simultaneously spreading the Gospel.

For instance, when a person suffers from an illness or injury, the medical missionary will approach and ask if they can help. “The missionary just shares something ... and then sometimes they’ll say, ‘Do you mind if I pray with you?’”

“People will say, ‘Why are you doing that?’ And we tell them that’s what Christ did,’” Salloum said. “It’s a natural transition – someone who has a physical need then to have a spiritual need.”

That's precisely what Nancy Writebol did in Liberia, said the SIM executive. “She talked to children, she shared the Gospel. She was just available, there for the people. That was her world.”

Writebol and her husband are originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, and have two adult sons, according to SIM.

In Liberia, before the outbreak, Nancy served as a personnel coordinator, guiding new missionaries as they entered the West African country. She also volunteered on the staff of ELWA hospital, where David Writebol worked as a technical services manager of the 100-building complex.

"We aren't going to stop our ministry – we believe we can serve wherever God sends us," David Writebol said on Friday.

Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian relief organization Brantly worked for, declined to speak to CNN.

David Armstrong, from Mission Data International, said the organization, which is headed by Franklin Graham, focuses chiefly on emergency aid, particularly the physical needs of native populations. But they also try to tend to spiritual needs, which means providing Bibles and setting up prayer meetings.

“They are sharing the Gospel, but it’s more of a one-on-one, person-to-person thing,” Armstrong said.

Good works (without preaching the Gospel) 

One of the world's largest faith-based organizations doesn't even like the "missionary" label, according to a spokesman, because of the word's association with proselytizing.

Though Catholic Relief Services says it is motivated by the Gospel to embody Catholic social and moral teaching, it does not preach to the people it helps.

In fact, you don't even have to be Catholic to work for Catholic Relief Services. Among its 4,500 workers are many Muslims, Hindus and members of other religions, said Bill O’Keefe, the organization’s vice president of advocacy.

“We assist people of all backgrounds and religions and we do not attempt to engage in discussions of faith," O’Keefe said. “We’re proud of that. We like to say that we assist everybody because we’re Catholic, we don’t assist people to become Catholic.”

Founded in 1943, CRS has 4,500 workers more than 60 countries, including 250 CRS workers in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria, the West African nations hit hardest by the latest Ebola outbreak.

“The biggest obstacles they’re facing is misinformation,” said CRS spokesman Michael Stulman, who was recently in Sierra Leone. “The people believe that Ebola is a curse or that it’s a lie made up by authorities.”

Meredith Dyson, CRS’s health program manager in Freetown, Sierra Leone, said her job is to get the public to stop believing those myths.

Some Liberians, for instance, believe that a soft drink can cure the disease, or that Ebola is a nefarious plot concocted by nongovernmental organizations and the government.

“People say don’t go to the hospital, you won’t come back because healthcare workers are injecting people and killing them,” she said.

“Every myth is born of some kind of truth – it is partly what they’re seeing – people are going to hospital and not coming home.”

Dyson, 31, studied public health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where she met people who worked for CRS. Though not Catholic herself, Dyson said the church's teachings on human dignity and social justice resonated deeply with her.

Describing the recent Ebola outbreak, Dyson's voice breaks as she recalls two CRS colleagues - both Africans - who died will trying to help others.

“The people who work in this setting are close knit,” she said. “They become your family. It can be really hard.”

Unexpected places 

Back in the United States, sitting in an isolation room at Emory University hospital, Brantly said he didn’t move to Liberia to fight Ebola, but that it became necessary after the outbreak there.

He said he held the hands of countless patients who died of the disease, and still remembers each of their faces and names.

Brantly's mission may not have been what he imagined when he spoke to Southeastern Church of Christ those many months ago, but his focus remains the same: going wherever God leads.

“One thing I have learned," Brantly said, "is that following God often leads us to unexpected places.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Catholic Church • Charity • Christianity • Ethics • evangelicals • Faith & Health • Foreign policy • Health • Health care • Liberia • Missionaries

soundoff (2,880 Responses)
  1. austin929

    @ Bob........I keep tying to explain rev 2:23 to you. here it is again. this verses is about Jezebel. Jezebel slaughtered all the prophets of God, and this was when the awesome Elijah was alive. so why would you defend Jezebel instead of God, when she was already guilty of murdering the prophets? isn't there something odd about that?

    20Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into s.exual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

    bob, you are talking about the children of the satanic force of the prophets of baal and the devil. the children of Jezebel?

    have you ever researched Jezebel? do you know who she is? she has a demonic presence.

    August 11, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
    • Bob

      No, Austin, what you are showing, and in regard to one particular quote, is just more nasty vengeance and excessive violence from your foul sky fairy. Take a look at the other nastiness there from your jerk in the sky too:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      1 Timothy 2:11
      "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

      Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

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

      August 12, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
  2. new-man

    For Bob:
    What is Love?

    The word that was used for love in the days of Jesus and during the time the New Testament was written was ‘eros,’ Eros love is generated by the nature of the object that is loved, whether a thing or a person. Eros love distinguishes between that which is lovely and that which is undesirable based upon the inherent value of the person or thing. As we all know, people and things change over time. Thus, eros love moves on to the newest thing that is better than the older thing that once was loved, or to a different person that seems more worthy of love than the person who was once loved.

    Eros love is driven to satisfy its own desires. Love is declared for a person based on the satisfaction that person is giving to the other. If another person comes along who is more desirable, the first ‘object’ of love is cast aside and a new object takes their place.

    The word ‘eros’ does not appear in the New Testament. The word used to express God’s love for man is ‘agape.’ Agape love is not based in the attractiveness of the person or thing, but rather it arises in the heart of the Lover regardless of the condition of the one loved. Agape love reaches out to all men regardless of their condition, beauty or what they can do for the Lover. It is an unconditional love based on the heart of the Lover (God) that knows no limitations or boundaries.

    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) This agape of God springs from His heart and is infinite and unwavering. This love does not fade with time. This love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. This Love never fails.

    That is why Paul prays…. that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love (agape) may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love (agape) of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

    God is Agape. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:7-11)
    Barry Bennett (CBC)

    August 11, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      He is going to yell at you for that. And call you an idiot. And tell you that you have a nasty sky-fairy for a God. You know, the usual hostile CNN Belief Blog anti-theist response.

      August 11, 2014 at 10:03 pm |
      • new-man

        lol... as long as he reads it. (the people who name-call and insults waste their hatred on me, because I'm totally unaffected by them- for the most part I actually laugh when I see insults – I know I've encountered a spirit: be it religious, pride, anger, hate, anti-Christ etc.) I wanted him to read the foll. but decided to post the whole thing.

        The word ‘eros’ does not appear in the New Testament. The word used to express God’s love for man is ‘agape.’ Agape love is not based in the attractiveness of the person or thing, but rather it arises in the heart of the Lover regardless of the condition of the one loved. Agape love reaches out to all men regardless of their condition, beauty or what they can do for the Lover. It is an unconditional love based on the heart of the Lover (God) that knows no limitations or boundaries.

        August 11, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yea. You set a good example. Reminds me of MLK, JR:

          "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

          I need to follow that, not react to hate with hate.

          August 11, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
        • new-man

          I know you already know it's a continuous growing process, as you've been more tolerant of and more willing to turn the other cheek than most (myself included).
          So God Bless You.

          rbb – I'll get to your comments at a later time. Blessings!

          August 11, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • Bob

          The Christian bible has plenty of instruction purportedly from your evil sky fairy for you to hate and be bigoted and to do violence. Just a few samples, from both foul testaments:

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          1 Timothy 2:11
          "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

          Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

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

          August 12, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Ok, Groot. Keep saying the same thing over and over.

          August 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • Bob

          Coward Dalahast, as usual, you cannot reply with any substance. No surprise there.

          August 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • hotairace

          If Dalahast is stuck for an answer it probably means that the charlatan shamans running the cults he attends are stuck for an answer.

          August 12, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Ace – I think you and Bob are more like the people you imagine run my church than the people who actually run my church.

          "I was barked at by numerous dogs who are earning their food guarding ignorance and superst.ition for the benefit of those who profit from it. Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is of the same kind as the intolerance of the religious fanatics and comes from the same source. They are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who—in their grudge against the traditional "opium of the people"—cannot bear the music of the spheres. The Wonder of nature does not become smaller because one cannot measure it by the standards of human moral and human aims." – Einstein

          August 12, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Typical ignorant nonsense of a Fundie.
      The word eros was Greek, as well as was the Greek work "agape". They werein use at the same time, and both long before and apart from any of new-man's religious crap. Christianity appropriated what was already in wide use, and slapped it onto their deities.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agape The Hebrews made no such distinction until they became Hellenized.

      August 11, 2014 at 10:12 pm |
      • new-man

        well, aren't you smart. the New Testament was written in Greek.

        August 11, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
  3. kenmargo

    I have to give them credit. I don't have the onions to go myself. Maybe these groups can get republicans to accept the medicaid expansion so poor people IN THIS COUNTRY can get the heath care they need.

    I wish both the best in a speedy recovery. I have zero qualms about them being brought back here for treatment. We have the best doctors and they deserve the best care.

    August 11, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
  4. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    If only your religion would inspire people to develop medicines and vaccines effective against the diseases of the impoverished world, then your missionaries might have something to offer when they go out into that world. But your religion makes you comfortable to send them out offering plati tudes and false hope while your 401K grows on profits drug companies make on vanity and hypochondria closer to home.

    August 11, 2014 at 9:08 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      Right! And this is why Canadians and people from all over the world come to the U.S. for medical treatment.

      August 11, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
      • observer

        awanderingscot,

        Except for Sarah Palin's family who went to Canada instead.

        August 11, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        That wasn't my point, but it is interesting that Americans are going to India, Indonesia, Argentina and other places to get affordable care. But perhaps that will change as social reforms progress in America.

        August 11, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Yikes.

      August 11, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
  5. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Missionary work is a slippery slope.

    Traditional missionary work – the building of schools and infrastructure, particularly to instruct young people and specifically intended to proselytize and convert people is wrong.

    The "great commission" is wrong. It presumes a monopoly on "truth" held by the 'commissioned'.

    Missionary work done without any expectation of a quid pro quo, in providing medical services, clean water, mosquito nets, or whatever is very laudable, but this is a difficult path to tread without it becoming a slippery slope into the conversion process.

    The idea of bearing witness by living a good life is all very well and good and I think it's reasonable for anyone to explain their faith to someone who is curious – if asked, but that should not be the purpose of the mission. The purpose of the mission should be the charitable work itself – not an outcome that results in conversions. I think missionaries may find the temptation to proselytize – whether the subject of the proselytizing wants it or not – difficult to resist.

    At some point it becomes a bit like a sales person or a lobbyist with an expense account – they are trying to sell someone something. That's all well and good in the commercial world, but less laudable in the spiritual world.

    That these two people risked their lives to help others who are suffering is very commendable. I hope the help they provided came without strings attached and I hope they can recover from this horrible disease.

    August 11, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      From the article:

      "There are basically three types of missionaries, said Albert W. Hickman, a researcher at the Center for the Study of Global Christianity: those who preach, those who do good works, and those who do both."

      Wikipedia has this to say of 'Samaritan's Purse' (run by Franklin Graham and the sponsor of Kent Brantley):

      "In March 2001,The New York Times reported that Samaritan's Purse had "blurred the line between church and state", in the way it had distributed publicly funded aid to victims of the El Salvador earthquake. Residents from several villages stated they first had to sit through a half hour prayer meeting before receiving assistance. In a statement, USAID said Samaritan's Purse had not violated federal guidelines, but emphasized the need for the organization to "maintain adequate and sufficient separation" between prayer sessions and publicly funded activities."

      August 11, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
    • sealchan

      I agree. One should, perhaps, be prepared, as a representative of the Christian organization to communicate one's beliefs and even assist with conversion, but it should not be in any way shape or form a required part of the charitable service they provide. That makes it sort of like you are selling the Word. In the sense that you are buying an audience who may easily pretend to be interested. This is not a model for a sincere exchange of knowledge or even belief. It is selling timeshares.

      August 11, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
    • LaBella

      Well, a missionary is, by definition, someone sent to a foreign country to promote Christianity, so it's going to be hard to separate that...

      August 11, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        It can be done. The article provides this example:

        "Though Catholic Relief Services says it is motivated by the Gospel to embody Catholic social and moral teaching, it does not preach to the people it helps.

        In fact, you don't even have to be Catholic to work for Catholic Relief Services. Among its 4,500 workers are many Muslims, Hindus and members of other religions, said Bill O’Keefe, the organization’s vice president of advocacy."

        I argue that "Good works (without preaching the Gospel)" is the 'right' way to run a mission.

        Of course there are plenty of other charities that do similar things: Médecins Sans Frontières, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, etc. They are not religiously based so I wouldn't call them missionaries.

        August 11, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
        • LaBella

          All of the organizations you listed are stellar, with Doctors Without Borders holding a special place in my heart.

          August 11, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      It is not wrong and it is not wrong because you say so. They do a good work in easing suffering and leveraging a better life for these people; but what is more admirable is they have the eternal welfare of these people in their hearts and minds. Just because YOU don't want to go through the door doesn't mean you have to begrudge others who may want to go through that door! Shame on you.

      August 11, 2014 at 9:08 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Is it right to offer people things that are eternal when there is nothing eternal?

        August 11, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
      • LaBella

        If receiving those medical necessities is contingent on conversion to a religion, any religion, it is wrong.

        August 11, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Believing that you have a 'monopoly on truth' and that your culture and traditions trumps the culture and traditions of others, simply because it is yours, is arrogant and wrong.

        August 11, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Eternality is a hope that all humans have seated in the heart and mind, like a distant memory placed there long ago. Some choose to deny it and believe the devil's lie; and some humbly accept the promise our heavenly Father holds out.
          Everyone, including you believe they are right. It's none of your business what anyone else believes. Furthermore, it is the Holy Spirit that quickens and makes the heart receptive to the gospel and that's none of your business if others embrace it.. Only an evil mind would presume that conversion is a precondition to receiving charity by those who offer charity (love).

          August 11, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "Everyone, including you believe they are right. It's none of your business what anyone else believes."
          --------------------–
          I agree with you 100%. This is why trying to convert people is wrong.

          Like you said "it's none of your business what anyone else believes" – they are ent.tled to believe what they want and it is no one's position to tell them their belief is wrong and that they should believe something different.

          August 11, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
  6. thesamyaza

    Missionary are causing a social in India.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IzsXOnsH3w

    a woman dressing in her traditional garb attacked in a christian neighborhood for wearing her traditional garbs, end the christian mission now!

    August 11, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Lots of people in India don't want Christian missions there.

      Only an idiot would be a missionary in a place like North Korea or Iran.

      August 11, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
      • austin929

        the church in india is growing at a higher rate there than anywhere in the world.

        August 11, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
  7. Bob

    While we have ass hole Robert Brown mis-quoting what I said and attributing bible quotes to me rather than to his horrid holy book, let's take a look at some quotes from his horrid bible. From both foul testaments, and read closely this time, stupid ass wipe Robert Brown:

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    1 Timothy 2:11
    "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

    Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Leviticus 25
    44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
    45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
    46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

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

    August 11, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Forgot one :

      If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. - Deuteronomy 21:18-21

      August 11, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
      • new-man

        I bet you do not even know which covenant you're under.

        August 11, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          I just knew you were going to cook up that one. The fact is you pick and choose when you decide to keep the "Old Law" or the "New One". The fact is even Paul was capricious about it. YOU say we still muct keep the COMMANDMENTS, right ? The OLD LAW ? Paul said women must keep quiet "according to the law". SO which is it. Free from it, or bound by it ?

          The fact is there were many "covenants". Jesus never said he was ushering in a new one. He thought the end was coming soon. The original "covenant" was that the polytheistic Hebrews agreed to worship only one of the gods they believed in (Yahweh the Babylonian war-god), IF he would help them with their battles.

          August 11, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          BTW, I thought you people think morality comes from the gods. If your deity is timeless and changeless, how come it's given morals changed ?

          Oops.

          August 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • new-man

          The new covenant begins with Jesus on the cross. A covenant/will/testament is only enforced when someone dies. The death of Jesus on the cross is of such importance.

          For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

          And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

          For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

          In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

          August 11, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
        • new-man

          the morals of God have not changed. the 10 commandments can be summed up into the law of love. when you love God and you love others as yourself, then you're in essence keeping the 10 commandments– because you will not covet, commit adultery, steal, murder etc.

          God doesn't change.
          If you try to understand the covenant He had with the children of Israel and what their agreement was to His covenant. God always keeps His word. It's man who can't keep His.
          That's why the new covenant is made between God and God ensuring that it will never/it can never be broken.
          Such a great, awesome and loving God we have.
          God loves you.

          August 11, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
        • Science Works

          About 17,800,000 results (0.68 seconds) for – comedy gold cnn belief blog Scot and Vic made the front page.

          August 11, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
        • LaBella

          Science Works,
          What?

          August 11, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          "The morals of god haven't changed". Then the covenants are the same. Can't have it both ways.
          I see you could rationalize absolutely anything. Do they teach "slippery-slimey" (how to be intellectually dishonest) in Fundie school ?

          August 11, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Such a capricious deity you have. He promised in the OT that he would EVER AGAIN make another covenant. Yet he did, apparently.

          God loves no one. She is a figment. .

          August 11, 2014 at 10:17 pm |
        • austin929

          Bucky, God got tired of the empty rituals. God regretted making man. God has shown us a patient process that had steps along the way.

          the law was laid down so that we would see the history of breaking it , the cycle of falling away and being redeemed,
          .......again............by God. again. again..........again.....again......redeemed.

          August 11, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
        • Science Works

          Oops Labella – aushop mentioned comedy gold so i did a fun search on google ma... and posted in wrong spot.

          World Cup final: It's Pope versus Pope – CNN Belief Blog ...
          religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/09/world.../comment-page-3/
          CNN
          Jul 9, 2014 – By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor (CNN)– Will the World Cup final ... "awanderingscot" as a 2014 BB Comedy Gold Award nomination.

          August 11, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
        • Science Works

          Dang- ausphor

          But on another note –

          August 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
        • LaBella

          Science Works,
          Ah. Gotcha.

          August 11, 2014 at 10:37 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      I know! Let's leave interpretation of Holy writ to an unregenerate atheist! He'll surely get it right. LOL

      August 11, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        wandering,

        OK, let's hear your interpretation of those verses.

        August 11, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          My interpretation is that God is glorious and righteous in all of his decrees and commandments. In every story, in every parable in the Bible God is found righteous and just and vindicated. I didn't read "Bob's" entire hateful diatribe but the first thing he wanted everyone to think is that God is some kind of monster for His decree in ordering the annihilation of the Midianites. The Lord was justified in this since these wicked people had purposefully corrupted Israel with fornication and idolatry. They had caused the Lord to send a plague amongst the Israelites because of their fornication and idolatry. In addition they also engaged in sacrifice of their young to their god Baal, (he was in reality a demon as are all so-called 'gods'). We reap what we sow and the Midianites fully reaped what they had sown.

          August 11, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          wandering,

          Do you really think that is the best an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent being can do – indiscriminate action.

          August 11, 2014 at 11:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Bob seems to have hopes that you will recover from religion. He is an optimist and you should be grateful for his attention to your condition.

      August 11, 2014 at 9:32 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Haha.

        Good ones.

        That guy has never said a positive, kind or nice statement in the 100's of posts I've seen him make. It is all doom and hate.

        August 11, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
        • Bob

          False. Take the trouble to learn to use a site search, lazy coward Dalahast, and you will find many positive comments that I have made.

          August 11, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Haha. I love Bob. I knew he would return with something hateful. Mwah!

          August 11, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
        • Bob

          Again, coward Dalahast cannot respond with any substance in support of his sicko religious delusion. No surprise there, from that cowardly dodger.

          August 12, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The irony.

          If you would only hold yourself to the same standard you judge others by.

          August 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • Bob

          Coward Dalahast, as usual, you cannot reply with any substance, and can only continue your personal attacks. No surprise there.

          August 12, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Right back at you, Bob.

          What the heck is there to cower from? You parroting the godhatesamputees.com website? I've addressed your opinions on the matter. How is that being a coward?

          August 12, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
        • observer

          Dalahäst,

          So far, you seem to be are cowering from answering my questions.

          August 12, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I tried to answer your questions. Sorry if I didn't do it to your satisfaction.

          August 12, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        Bob is a tool, a tool of the devil.

        August 11, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
        • tallulah131

          And you are a troll, freeloading in your mom's basement because you are too lazy to get a job.

          August 11, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
  8. Robert Brown

    While we've got Bob dumping bile on us by the truckload from his book of nasty, let's take a look at some of the vicious guidances that are really in there purportedly from his vicious heart. From both foul posts, and note the text following the quotes:

    contains such nasty guidances as these, according to Bob’s book of nasty AKA his heart?
    dumping
    bile
    nasty
    vicious
    foul
    Note that Bob is also very clear that he thinks you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Bob sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, Bob really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in his post, look it up. Yes, Bob purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if he thinks the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your Bob couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a post that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic Bob that you've made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the Bobs that man has created.

    August 11, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
    • observer

      (Lev. 1:9 “Its [bull] entrails, however, and its legs he shall wash with water And the priest shall offer up in smoke all of it on the altar for a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord.”

      Did God's love for the smell of burning sacrifices change between Testaments?

      August 11, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Lev. 1:6-9.
        6 And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces.
        7 And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire:
        8 And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar:
        9 But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.
        “But to what purpose,” would some say, “was this waste? Why should all this good meat, which might have been given to the poor, and have served their hungry families for food a great while, be burnt together to ashes?” So was the will of God; and it is not for us to object or to find fault with it. When it was burnt for the honour of God, in obedience to his command, and to signify spiritual blessings, it was really better bestowed, and better answered the end of its creation, than when it was used as food for man. We must never reckon that lost which is laid out for God. The burning of the sacrifice signified the sharp sufferings of Christ, and the devout affections with which, as a holy fire, Christians must offer up themselves their whole spirit, soul, and body, unto God. 8. This is said to be an offering of a sweet savour, or savour of rest, unto the Lord. The burning of flesh is unsavoury in itself; but this, as an act of obedience to a divine command, and a type of Christ, was well pleasing to God: he was reconciled to the offerer, and did himself take a complacency in that reconciliation. He rested, and was refreshed with these inst.itutions of his grace, as, at first, with his works of creation (Exod. 31:17), rejoicing therein, Ps. 104:31. Christ’s offering of himself to God is said to be of a sweet-smelling savour (Eph. 5:2), and the spiritual sacrifices of Christians are said to be acceptable to God, through Christ, 1 Pet. 2:5.
        Matthew Henry’s Commentary

        August 11, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Christ’s offering of himself to God is said to be of a sweet-smelling savour (Eph. 5:2), and the spiritual sacrifices of Christians are said to be acceptable to God, through Christ, 1 Pet. 2:5.

          So Christ offered himself to himself. Ok.
          Makes perfect sense.

          August 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
        • observer

          Robert Brown,

          "So was the will of God; and it is not for us to object or to find fault with it."

          That was a really weak and blind answer. Point to Bob.

          August 11, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Bucky,

          As a lamb slain before the foundation of the world.

          August 11, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Observer,

          From a natural perspective, I see what you mean. It has been a few years since Mr. Henry wrote his commentary, but I get what he is saying.

          If there is a God who created all we can perceive, who are we to question his will?

          August 11, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Presupposes the concept of "sacrifice". Humans cooked up the concept of "sacrifice" to try to control the gods. It doesn't work. John changed the day of Jebus' death, (from the synoptic gospels" to support the idea he was the "paschal lamb". Thanks for reminding us of that fact.

          It STILL makes no sense. It demonstrates that your deity is SUBJECT to Reality, not it's master, OR it could have just said "I forgive you".

          August 11, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Bucky,

          The son was with the father before creation.

          John 1 King James Version (KJV)

          1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

          2 The same was in the beginning with God.

          3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

          August 11, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, ….. us and our

          August 11, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          OR it could have just said "I forgive you".

          Kind of like people do?

          August 11, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
        • observer

          Robert Brown

          "If there is a God who created all we can perceive, who are we to question his will?"

          Answer: Logical, intelligent people who try to maximize usage of the brain that God supposedly gave us.

          August 11, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't know if you meant that as just a joke (if not that ironically wasn't a very logical or intelligent statement), but what about all the logical, intelligent people who do believe in God?

          August 11, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
        • observer

          Dalahäst,

          Not a joke at all. There are logical and intelligent Christians like in any group.

          Unfortunately, the Christian explanation for things that make no sense at all, is often that you aren't supposed to do any thinking, but just accept the magic of God. They proudly recite verses from the Bible saying that wise people aren't actually wise. It's not much of an endorsement for Christianity, but they like it.

          August 11, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          A lot of the explanations non-Christians on this blog give are not that intelligent or make that much sense, either. I know they say it does. And will belittle anyone who doubts their opinions or understandings. But it is not like they are rocket scientists or brain surgeons themselves. Often they are just anonymous message board posters with a grudge against viewpoints that doesn't match theirs. They definitely don't act like most of the logical or intelligent people I've met in my life.

          August 11, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
        • observer

          Dalahäst,

          I agree. The level of respect on here needs to greatly increase. There is no excuse for the rudeness and name-calling.

          You have expressed your objections about non-believers on here, so I'll talk about some of the believers. Just like the others irritate them with their comments, it works both ways. Give a thought sometime to what it's like to talk to people who insist, for instance, that the word "forever" means "for a fixed period of time which in some cases is over" or that "vengeance" does not mean "punishment". The "elephant in the room" is that unless you do exactly as Christians insist the Bible says, then you are such a terrible person that you deserve to spend eternity in hell. It's pretty hard to top that for an insult.

          August 11, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Oh, I know. I'm not that logical or intelligent myself all the time. Really, nobody is. Some, especially those that display some self-restraint and respect for others, seem to fit that bill in my opinion (regardless of what their personal beliefs entail). But I just can't seem to grasp the idea that most Christians avoid thinking or don't have well thought out arguments for their beliefs. I don't agree with what all Christians believe. But that doesn't make them stupid. Nor does it make anyone who oppose them smart. Which seems to be the mindset a few of the very vocal posters on here possess.

          August 11, 2014 at 9:55 pm |
        • observer

          Dalahäst,

          My argument is not that Christians are stupid, but that they often try to explain nonsense by claiming we shouldn't try to be logical and apply intelligence.

          Here is an example from this thread which triggered my comments:

          “But to what purpose,” would some say, “was this waste? Why should all this good meat, which might have been given to the poor, and have served their hungry families for food a great while, be burnt together to ashes?” So was the will of God; and it is not for us to object or to find fault with it.

          August 11, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I never saw him say you shouldn't be logical or apply intelligence though.

          August 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
        • observer

          Dalahäst,

          Try to apply LOGIC and INTELLIGENCE to that and NOT find any FAULT when God needs to have animals slaughtered in order to prove to him what people had in their hearts, since he apparently DIDN'T KNOW.

          August 11, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm not sure your explanation on it is the only or even the most logical and intelligent explanation.

          August 11, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
        • observer

          Dalahäst,

          Christians insist that God knows everything that EVERYONE does and what is in EVERYONE's heart.

          Now please use ALL of your LOGIC and INTELLIGENCE to explain why sacrificing animals so God can enjoy the aroma to prove something he is SUPPOSED to already know is better than saving the innocent animal or feeding it to those who are dying of starvation at that same time? Let's see you use all your logic and intelligence and FAIL to come up with something that shows you can find ANYTHING to OBJECT to or FIND FAULT with.

          August 12, 2014 at 12:42 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Of course I've used logic and intelligence to try and understand this. So have thousands and thousands of people before me. And logic and intelligence does not lead everyone to the same conclusion you have presented.

          It is hard for me to relate to that passage. I don't feel compelled at all to sacrifice an animal for my sins. I think things have changed over the millennia that makes it hard for me to understand what God was up to.

          This was a law for followers of a different religion than I belong to who lived in a different society than I lived in. One I and others can't completely understand, but instead speculate about.

          Isn't the premise that the bigger the sin, the bigger the sacrifice God would ask people to give to the temple? It must have been hard to sacrifice an animal – the livelihood of those people.

          And why at times did God instruct to NOT sacrifice animals?

          And what if this is not just about God being omniscient and knowing a person's heart? What if knowing the people's heart – God asked for sacrifices to help them?

          "When a person sacrificed an animal they were meant to see that blood. They were meant to see the blood and realize the cost of their actions. They were supposed to realize what it meant to have blood on their hands. Because of something selfish they did, something died! The blood was meant to teach their heart about the cost of their sin."

          – http://keltonburgpreacher.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/why-did-god-require-animals-to-be-sacrificed/

          I do have a better understanding of the sacrifices Jesus asks us to make. And the fact that his followers stated that taking care of the starving people, poor and orphaned in this world is very important.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:48 am |
        • observer

          Dalahäst,

          Yep. Nothing there to OBJECT TO or find FAULT with. Tough luck to all the starving people, but God does love the smell of burning flesh.

          I'm sure that after animals were cramped in tiny quarters and bounced around on the flood waters for a year, it was fitting that the first act God wanted when the pitiful animals got onto land again was to sacrifice them for their smell. Nothing there to object to. I'm sure that taught Noah a lesson.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:01 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I didn't say there wasn't anything to object to or find fault with. I have a very skeptical nature. So of course I've considered the points you have brought up. But it isn't the only points to consider or accept. You can speculate what it would be like to be all-knowing, but that doesn't logically or intellectually mean you understand – especially in regards to human nature – what it entails to change a man or woman who is self-centered, selfish and arrogant. Which is a condition people had back then, and still do today. And I don't think we will ever be immune from it in the future.

          I'm sure there are some sacrifices you can make in your life that can help those who are starving today, right? Why not focus on that?

          August 12, 2014 at 2:13 am |
        • observer

          Dalahäst

          "I didn't say there wasn't anything to object to or find fault with."

          Good. Now we are back to my original example where that comment was made by a Christian quoting another Christian. My whole point was that this is a frequent answer to questions for Christians.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:20 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Right. But logic and intelligence does not lead exclusively to your conclusion. The author was writing about people who knew God and were trying, and often failing, to live up to the ideals God desires. And what God desired was for them to "“Love your neighbor as yourself”. They choose to make these sacrifices to make up for the harms they caused, because they often failed to live up to those ways.

          A writer in the NT went on to explain it like this:

          "and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is much more than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices."

          August 12, 2014 at 2:47 am |
        • observer

          Dalahäst,

          "Love thy neighbor" had NOTHING to do with the poor animals that endured the horrors of being cooped up on a tiny boat for a year and then sacrificed as soon as they got a chance to walk around again. But at least they smelled good.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:59 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Here is an example of somebody using logic and intelligence to address the concerns Bob has with some of those verses he highlighted.

          http://www.paulcopan.com/books/files/Are-old-testament-laws-evil_God-is-great.pdf

          August 12, 2014 at 3:51 am |
        • Bob

          That is just more hand waving defence of some horrid stuff that is plainly in your evil doctrine. Again, take a look at the direct quotes, and the following text: The vengeance and horror of the evil Christian sky fairy is very clear, in both foul testaments of the Christian book of horrors AKA the bible:

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          1 Timothy 2:11
          "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

          Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

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

          August 12, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
    • new-man

      great job Robert, thank you.
      in reality, I don't read Bob's long and overly repeated diatribes.

      August 11, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
      • observer

        new-man,

        In spite of Bob's rudeness, why don't you respond to his quotes DIRECTLY from the Bible?

        Why do you just PICK-and-choose from the Bible?

        August 11, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • new-man

          seems to me if I'm choosing to respond from the appropriate covenant we have with God, then I am in fact quoting DIRECTLY from the Bible.

          I am not under the law. If you wish to debate the law then do it with someone who doesn't know which covenant they're under.

          August 11, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • observer

          new-man,

          Was the God who gave us a LONG list of reasons to kill people the same PERFECT and UNCHANGING God that is in the New Testament?

          August 11, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
        • new-man

          observer,
          of course He's the same God, and I know where you're going with this so let me just set you straight.
          As mentioned above, the covenant/agreement God had with the children of Israel was one in which they chose to be judged by their goodness and not by God's grace and mercy-as we currently have. They told Moses to tell God, "ALL that you command, we will do" so when they didn't keep their part of the covenant, God is bound by His words and in turn has to keep His part of the covenant.

          Have you asked yourself, how is it that Cain killed Abel, yet God protected Cain. See, they weren't under the Mosaic Law (which of course was not yet agreed to).
          My point is, you have to read the Bible, then read it again, this time you should know how the plot and how the story ends, so now all the scenes should open up to you to reveal a more unified picture.

          August 11, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
        • observer

          new-man

          "Have you asked yourself, how is it that Cain killed Abel, yet God protected Cain."

          Yes, The "perfect" and "unchanging" God changed his mind on how MURDERERS should be dealt with.

          August 12, 2014 at 12:25 am |
      • Robert Brown

        New man, thanks. Just kidding around with Bob. I don't think he can help it.

        August 11, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I used to think he was a bot. Programmed by that anti-theist website to spam religious board with copy/pastes of their packaged messages. But then he started to get personal with his attacks. Yikes.

          August 11, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • Bob

          As usual, Brown and Dalahast can only respond with ad hominems. They have no valid case that they can make in support of their foul, bigoted Christian religion, and no valid rebuttal to my points above. No surprise there.

          August 11, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          One step in getting the others on this blog to take you seriously might start with you not making so many ad hominems yourself.

          August 11, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
        • Bob

          Take your own advice, coward Dalahast. Stop your usual cowardly dodging and attacks, and try instead to address the points that I have made above using direct quotes from the nasty Christian holy book. If you cannot stop making personal attacks, then just SHUSH.

          August 11, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Anytime I try to engage in a conversation you just start insulting me and declaring yourself the winner of the argument.

          August 11, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
        • Bob

          No, coward, Dalahast, and again you are dodging rather than addressing the original points. It is the norm for you, and I am not surprised. Generally, it has been yourself who has started the personal attacks. You are a coward and a dodger.

          August 11, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The original point of this thread is that you are just as nasty acting as the book you declare is so nasty.

          It is not the first time somebody has pointed that out to us.

          Why do you post the exact same thing over and over? And when anyone attempts to engage in a conversation with them you start acting like a bully – telling them to either stop questioning you or declaring they are a coward?

          Ask questions?

          August 11, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
        • Bob

          Your statement is false as usual, coward Dalahast. My posts above are clearly not violent in their intent, but do directly quote just a few of the many instructions to do terrible violence that are in your horrid holy book purportedly from your "god". It is your own (man-made) doctrine that is obviously far more nasty than my comments are.

          August 11, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Right.

          Those quotes are in the Bible. Nobody I know is trying to take them out. Or deny that they exist. Nor do I know anybody that suggests they are instructions for us to do terrible violence. In fact I've found people in a community that actually preach intentional kindness. And to do things like love our enemies and turn the other cheek. And I've seen these people actually carry this out. Which isn't easy in my opinion. Being intolerant and rude to others is easy in my opinion. Anyone can do that.

          I've never seen them advocate violence. I've seen some sacrifice their livelihood and safety to ensure others are protected from terrible violence. I've seen them be a blessing to my community – not to just those who share their faith but to those who disagree with them, too.

          I've seen people acknowledge those quotes exist. But offer a different understanding that you do. And they do it in a respectful and mature manner.

          James 1:27
          "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

          Matthew 5:9
          "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God"

          August 11, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
        • Bob

          Good progress for you to acknowledge the existence of that evil guidance purportedly from your nasty "god". Now, regarding interpretation issues, I have already addressed that, so get back to your goat sacrifice or your nasty god will whup your lazy cowardly ass.

          Again, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

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

          August 12, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Uh, no.

          There are logical and intelligent explanations to your simplistic and hostile reaction to select verses in the OT.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • Bob

          No, coward Dalahast, and again you can present no such case as you claim, as usual.Those quotes are quite explicit regarding instructions purportedly from your "god", that nasty sky fairy of yours, and they make very plain how murderous and revengeful your doctrine is:

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          1 Timothy 2:11
          "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

          Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

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

          August 12, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • halero 9001

          I'm afraid this is true, Dalahast. There are methods by which a believer can find other sentences or segments in the same book that will achieve the meaning for which they are looking when the apparent meaning is not satisfactory. Sometimes this can take a long time to apply such a method.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is hard to take anyone seriously who presents such a closed-minded argument. Especially when a person suggests we should ask questions – but if you question him he has a fit and resorts to name calling and starts spamming the blog with packaged answers from godhatesamputees.com.

          Some other atheists pointed out to me that some on here are suffering from personal issues. Perhaps Bob is unaware that he is nastier than what he says God is.

          I know he will reply with me being a coward. And then copy and paste his same packaged answer.

          But anyone can do that. That is easy.

          It is hard to be kind to others. I wish Bob could demonstrate a better way.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • Bob

          No, coward Dalahast. I am rather obviously not as nasty as your own doctrine specifically states that your own ass hole in the sky that you worship is, as these quotes direct from your mythbook regarding your excessively violent and vengeful, bigoted sky fairy plainly show:

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          1 Timothy 2:11
          "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

          Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

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

          August 12, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
  9. Bob

    While we've got new-man dumping bible bile on us by the truckload from his Christian book of nasty, let's take a look at some of the vicious guidances that are really in there purportedly from his vicious sky fairy "god". From both foul testaments, and note the text following the quotes:

    contains such nasty guidances as these, according to your Christian book of nasty AKA the bible?

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    1 Timothy 2:11
    "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

    Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Leviticus 25
    44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
    45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
    46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

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

    August 11, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      Why are you such an angry hateful individual? I see nothing unrighteous or evil amongst the verses you quoted. If you were really earnest in trying to understand the verses i would gladly try to help you. As it is you don't really desire to know the truth and in your small evil mind you suppose you can shake someone's faith with your vile hateful crap. You won't.

      August 11, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        wandering,
        "I see nothing unrighteous or evil amongst the verses you quoted."

        Really? Slavery is fine by you? Honor killing is fine by you?

        August 11, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
  10. new-man

    The Importance of Jesus’ Words

    As certain ‘teachers’ seek to cast doubt on the Scriptures in order to make room for their personal doctrinal preferences, I’m coming across a number of posts and articles that encourage believers to discard the words of Jesus. Jesus’ ministry is labeled as a ‘law ministry’ and not relevant to New Covenant believers.

    While I understand and agree with the idea of rightly dividing the Word of God, and I understand the topic of covenants, to rightly divide does not mean to wrongly subtract Jesus’ words from our belief system.

    All of Jesus’ words can be and should be included in our gospel message. While certain statements are obviously directed to the law keeping of the time, beneath every statement lies a spiritual truth that can give life. Consider the following:

    For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God (Jn. 3:34)

    ….the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (Jn. 6:63)

    Words that are spirit and life have no expiration date!

    ….He that is of God hears God's words (Jn. 8:47)

    Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words (Jn. 14:23)

    When we consider that the option was to continue to keep the law of Moses, this statement becomes quite relevant. Do you love Him? Do you love His words?

    Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. (Mt. 4:4)

    If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you. (Jn. 15:7)

    Has this promised been annulled? Are Jesus’ words no longer worthy of our time and meditation?

    For I have given unto them the words which You gave me (Jn. 17:8)

    Jesus final prayer in the Garden emphasized the importance of His words for the sake of reaching the world.

    I have given them Your word…..Sanctify them through Your truth: Your word is truth. As You have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. (John 17)

    The words that Jesus’ spoke were God’s words, the truth that sanctifies. The disciples are then sent into the world with these God words that are Spirit and life.

    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you (Mt. 28:19-20)

    A gospel that doesn’t teach Jesus’ words is NOT the gospel.

    Pastor Barry Bennett

    August 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
    • Bob

      While we've got new-man dumping bible bile on us from his Christian book of nasty AKA the bible, let's take a look at some of the vicious guidances that are in there purportedly from his vicious sky fairy "god". From both foul testaments, and note the text following the quotes:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      1 Timothy 2:11
      "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

      Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

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

      August 11, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
      • new-man

        God loves you Bob. You are worth His only Son Christ Jesus. When you have a revelation of how much God loves His beloved Son, you will come into the awesome revelation of how much God truly loves you.

        "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1Co 6:20)

        I understand how to glorify God in my body. This refers to my willingness to subdue the flesh and live by the Spirit of God. But how do we glorify God in our spirits? Are we not one spirit with Him? (1 Cor. 6:17)

        Men are spiritual beings. Even those who do not know God have a spirit.

        The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the inner depths of his heart. (Prov. 20:27)

        Thus says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him. (Zech. 12:1)

        For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? (1 Cor. 2:11)" P. BB

        August 11, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
        • Bob

          new-man, the whole Jesus-sacrifice thing, the foundation of your sick delusions, is a steaming pile of bull-do out of the gate. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

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

          August 11, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Often what people post reveal more about themselves than the others they ridicule. I'm not the first to notice or suggest that Bob sounds like a lonely and troubled guy. I've never seen him display any kind of kindness, respect or love for others. Zero. Nothing. What a sad way to live. What do you say to someone that is that troubled?

          August 11, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
        • new-man

          Dalahast,
          great point/observation.
          as I said to Tallulah yesterday, the words one speaks comes from what's in their heart.
          I would still say the same to Bob and keep saying it until he gets a revelation that God is love. God is not his enemy. God loves you Bob so much, He wants your thoughts to be focused on His goodness, love and mercy instead of upon self as the quickest way to depression, self-hatred is when one's thoughts are turned inward to self.

          Bob: my comment to you is why do you think Jesus had to come as a man- a human being. Nothing God does is without significance.

          August 11, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I hope he gets better. It does get better. Anyone I've known with that much anger and bitterness had some trouble bigger than what they were lashing out at others about.

          August 11, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
        • Bob

          As usual, cowardly Dalahast can only respond with ad hominems. As always, he has no valid case that he can make in support of his foul, bigoted Christian religion, and no valid rebuttal to my points above. No surprise there. Dalahast, do the world a favor and google 'ad hominem', and read up on it for a few years before you bother us again.

          August 11, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I do hope you get better.

          I'm familiar with ad hominems. You do realize you commit them yourself, right?

          August 11, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Us? Are there like 2 or 3 of you posting under "Bob"? Who is "us"?

          August 11, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • Bob

          Two wrongs do not make a right, coward Dalahast. It is clear that you have no valid case to make for your beliefs. Now get back to your goat sacrifice, as your bible plainly demands of you to please your vicious, vengeful sky fairy.

          August 11, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • observer

          Dalahäst,

          Wouldn't it be better if you actually responded to Bob's quotes from the Bible rather than try to change subjects and IGNORE what the Bible says?

          August 11, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Observer,

          You have to be completely blind to not see Bob has no interest in a reasonable conversation. I have, and I have observed others, try and discuss the points he brings up. And instead of engaging in a mature, reasonable discussion, he dodges any questions. He copies and pastes the exact same thing over and over. I've tried responding to those exact same packaged answers he posts. And all I get in return is called a coward and derogatory names.

          Most reasonable atheists distance themselves from him. For a good reason. I'm surprised his tactics don't bother you. Try posting other a different name and respond to the quotes he posted. Unless you sound like a hostile anti-theist he will just be disrespectful and rude toward you for failing to see his viewpoint on the matter. I'm surprised you haven't observed that by now.

          August 11, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
        • colin31714

          Well Dalahast, to return to the original point, the whole Jesus died for us sins saga doesn't make a lot of sense. God makes the rules, so why demand a sacrifice of oneself to oneself to forgive the original sin of a couple everybody knows never even existed? At its core, Christianity is a pretty silly, childish fairy tale.

          August 11, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Not necessarily. First, Bob is guilty of doing what many accuse Christians of doing – cherry-picking quotes (often out of context) to make his point. You can call it a silly, childish fairy tale. But not everybody sees it that way. I know you feel very strongly that it is. I disagree with you. Anytime I've disagreed with you or Bob you return with venom and hate. I just can't help but wonder why no reasonable or rational people I've ever met in life act or behave like you two. It seems like there is something deeper going on that you either can't or won't see about yourself.

          August 11, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
        • Bob

          Again, my post addresses your cherry-picking claims, and again, two wrongs don't make a right, coward Dalahast.

          If you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

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

          August 11, 2014 at 10:47 pm |
        • observer

          Dalahäst,

          I have OBSERVED many of the things you said about Bob. In spite of his numerous times of cutting-and-pasting, I've yet to OBSERVE a really good answer. I've seen responses that basically amount to saying "the terrible things God did were in the Old Testament and so they don't count". I've seen responses that say that the long list of reasons to kill people and the subsequent TOTAL repeal of them are not a CHANGE by God. I've even seen responses that say that when God said that killing people who worked on the Sabbath was "FOREVER", but it just meant "for a fixed time".

          Let's see if everyone can OBSERVE a good answer from you in regard to EXACT QUOTES from the Bible that Bob (rudely or not) listed.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:05 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I've seen good responses. I guess it is up to each person to judge for themselves the understanding that works best for them.

          I've seen bad responses, too. Again, I've got to decide for myself.

          I tend to think that Bob is really not interested in a discussion on the matter. Why does he just ridicule anyone who asks questions? I honestly tried to engage in a mature manner with him. I just haven't seen him ever act like a decent human. Most of his posts he is being demanding.

          I really don't see the difference between how he posts and how Salero posts. In fact even other atheists have made comments that admit some atheists have the same mindsets as the religious fanatics. And that it is dangerous and short-sighted to live that way.

          Regardless of what side of the issue a person stands – how they treat others who disagree with them is important. I'm thankful for the reasonable atheists that do post on this blog. They bring a refreshing viewpoint – one that those who routinely post the same packaged answers over and over (which is basically spam, especially when one promotes a website) and are quick to demean others... well, I wish they would emulate those reasonable posters on here. It would be better for everyone.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:03 am |
        • observer

          Dalahäst

          "In fact even other atheists have made comments that admit some atheists have the same mindsets as the religious fanatics. And that it is dangerous and short-sighted to live that way."

          Agreed.

          One difference between Bob and Salero, however, is that Bob posts ACTUAL QUOTES from the Bible and Salero often posts nothing but an insult. It would be nice to see responses that are deeper than the usual "that's from the Old Testament and so it doesn't count".

          August 12, 2014 at 2:15 am |
        • Dalahäst

          It is quite relevant to point out that Bob is posting his verses out of context and implying things that are not taught in all churches. Some of those verses are in the Bible for a reason. And it is not to instruct people to be nasty to each other.

          Do you find it at all ironic that Bob is just as nasty as he professes the Bible to be? I would be more impressed if he could demonstrate with his actions and words he is better. Most Christians I've met are at least kinder and respectful, which makes them capable of engaging in a conversation with others.

          The unfortunate part is when trying to explain my point of view he seems to have a temper tantrum if I don't agree with his understanding.

          Again, I have seen some atheists oppose him. Just in the same way the oppose Salero's tactics and choices to engage in conversation in others.

          I've also seen some atheists display a double standard. Ignoring the logical flaws and shortcomings of their fellow atheists, while leaping out of their seat to attack anyone who happens to believe in God.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:29 am |
        • observer

          Dalahäst

          "It is quite relevant to point out that Bob is posting his verses out of context and implying things that are not taught in all churches."

          This is another frequent cop-out for Christians. It's the old "out of context" switcheroo.

          Let's take Bob's first DIRECT QUOTE from the Bible: "Numbers 31:17-18 17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man."

          Please explain the CONTEXT here. Was this an "accurate" quote or was the Bible actually trashing God's #1 man and mouth-piece Moses who said it? That's basically what Bob, however rudely, was pointing out.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:40 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't think it is necessarily a cop out. A lot of the verses are taken out of context.

          The Bible is honest. It doesn't sugar coat things. It describes people as they were – warts and all. I don't get to cut out parts of the Bible I don't like. But I don't hide from them. We discuss them in our communities of faith. And I always see people troubled by them. We admit we are troubled by them. And often are encouraged to discuss and question these things.

          This story is about humans when they were still fairly primitive. And war was a way of life. At times it was a kill or be killed world. And in that story God is trying to keep Israel separate from other nations. And other nations are trying to destroy Israel.

          Look at our nation, The United States, has fought in many wars. And has shed the blood of many innocent people. That troubles me. And I can only imagine it troubled people in those days, too. Or maybe not as much. I don't know.

          But one thing is clear in the NT. We are to love our enemy. Jesus did something that changed our world. And God is raising us to be people who act out of love.

          I don't really know what the purpose of those verses are teaching for sure. It is unclear to me. But in Jesus the nature of God and His will are more clear to me. And it is clear I'm not living by those old laws, of those old people in that old time.

          Like in Leviticus it clearly says to love your neighbor. When somebody asked Jesus who there neighbor was, he told them it included their enemies and those who intend to do them harm.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:31 am |
        • observer

          Dalahäst

          "The Bible is honest. It doesn't sugar coat things. It describes people as they were – warts and all."

          So the Bible is full of stories that are presented as how to live your life and stories showing how NOT to live your life and yet make NO OFFICIAL distinctions. Not one word from God saying which story is right and which is wrong. Just use your OWN morals and decide for yourself.

          Interesting.

          August 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No. That was not the point I was trying to make. But I'm not surprised you would take it that way.

          August 12, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • Bob

          Dalahast is a coward and will never respond directly to any challenge. You can see his dodging again and again above. His Christian doctrine is so explicitly violent and vengeful that his dodging and that of others is what is required to defend it, when it contains such explicit instruction for violence and bigotry as these direct quotes plainly show:

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          1 Timothy 2:11
          "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

          Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

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

          August 12, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I make every attempt possible to address questions and concerns brought to my attention.

          I have no idea how you have concluded I NEVER respond directly to any challenge. Seems a bit of an exaggeration. And ironically you often ignore questions and concerns brought to you.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • Bob

          Yet again, cowardly dodger Dalahast is unable to respond with any substance. No surprise there.

          August 12, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          There is nothing you do that demonstrates courage or bravery, though.

          Why should anyone take you seriously?

          I have still yet to see any reasonable person on here come to your defense. I've had atheists, even ones I disagree with, come to my defense on this blog. They painted a different picture of me than the one you keep demanding is true.

          Do you seriously think you are some kind of threat? Or that you put fear into anyone? You are anonymous poster on an opinion blog. There is nothing that indicates you are a credible source or a reliable source of information.

          Relax. This is an opinion blog. Look at how others, the more reasonable atheists, engage in conversation. I guarantee you your message will come across better to others if you show respect to them.

          It is easy to call others a coward, dodger and others names. Anyone can do that.

          August 12, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • hotairace

          Bob, I agree with you 100%.

          August 12, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Nobody is surprised by that Ace.

          August 12, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
      • observer

        Dalahäst

        "But I'm not surprised you would take it that way."

        Since you did NOT address the real questions, I will restate them.

        Numbers 31:17-18 says "17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man."

        Was this taken out of CONTEXT?

        Was this given as an example of someone's "warts and all" but NEVER criticized in the Bible? If it was wrong at the time, did God say "Hey guys, wait. WAIT. My main man Moses just screwed up. Don't believe him."? If it was wrong, how do we know that WITHOUT God teaching us those "morals"?

        So what is the story behind the quote from Bob from the Bible? Waiting for an actual answer.

        August 12, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yea, I tried to explain it.

          This was about a nation that was determined to destroy Israel. Did you read what happened before this? What was this nation doing?

          Who said this was a story about teaching morals?

          August 12, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • observer

          Dalahäst,

          Do you agree with God and Moses that women can be a PRIZE of war?

          August 12, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          women were never a prize in war according to Moses and God....that's your misconception of the war executed by the Jews...sems you wanna say all wars are alike...they ar enot

          August 12, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't believe women should be a prize of war.

          I also don't like how you ask loaded questions like that. If you want to debate, fine. But isn't asking questions in that manner is an example of a logical fallacy? The loaded question fallacy?

          August 12, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • observer

          kermit4jc,

          The women were kept as PRIZES of war.

          Is English a foreign language for you? Do you have a major reading comprehension problem?

          August 12, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          according to rhe BIble they wer NOT kept as a prize....English IS my language I speak...however..I also use CONTEXT of culture...according to the Bible, women were never seen as a prize to be won.....read gensis 1 about Adam and eve..noting about having a prize...it is YOU who misuse context of CULTURE....

          August 12, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • observer

          Dalahäst

          "I don't believe women should be a prize of war.
          I also don't like how you ask loaded questions like that".

          I fully understand why you don't like questions that show how disgusting God can be.

          August 12, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          it shows how disgusting your ignorance of context is obserer

          August 12, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
        • observer

          kermit4jc,

          The women were KEPT as PRIZES for the use of the winning male soldiers. What did you think the men would do with them?

          Get into the REAL world. Start telling yourself the TRUTH instead of just making things up.

          August 12, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          see..here you are making a silly assumption without context..again to the JEWS (not the world as a whole, which you dishonestly try to inject) sought marriage as IMIratant and sacred...and women as EQUAL (again look at Gensius 1...men and women BOTH made in image of God.thus BOTH equal...so no one is a prie...again you are ignorant of CULTURE>..you seem tro refuse to look into context..why you scaed of truth? yes..in the REAL world thT DOES happen..but that does NOT mena it happens at every instance as you wrongflully asume

          August 12, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          show me the word "prize" in the passages...prove to me they are a prize

          August 12, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          observer

          I think you are being quick to jump to conclusions about me. And again, I've been trying to discuss this with you. Why the insults?

          Are you sure there aren't any other understandings or explanations that are just as valid as the ones you and Bob are preaching?

          August 12, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
        • observer

          kermit4jc,

          So Jewish men would NEVER take advantage of a virgin that they were given possession of?

          lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol. lol.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          uhhh..two thins..firstof all.....the COMMAND is different from REACTION you fool! My God yo uare so dense..first of all...the men were to {ROTECT the women...see to it they are cared for...(remember, the soceities which those women lived in did not allow them freedom-IM referring to the Canannite soceities-the very ones who molested their own children and burned them alive for their gods...The Jews saved them from this atrocity and siought to see they are cared for..the men did not have to marry the virgins..but can give them away in marriage....those times were NOT like TODAYS times..so stop pretending that..and make a better attempt to get the context and being ignorant and inserting your own biases

          August 12, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
        • observer

          Dalahäst,

          I have told you repeatedly that I don't agree with Bob's rudeness.

          Now what "insult" did you claim I made towards you?

          August 12, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
        • observer

          kermit4jc,

          "the COMMAND is different from REACTION you fool!"

          It's likely that Jesus wasn't referring to ONLY siblings.

          (Matt. 5:22) "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with their brother or sister will be in danger of judgment. If they say to their brother or sister, ‘You idiot,’ they will be in danger of being condemned by the governing council. And if they say, ‘You fool,’ they will be in danger of fiery hell.” - Jesus

          I don't want you to go to a fiery hell, so please READ a Bible.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          nice..why don't yo look up the word "fool" and then also read REST of the passage (YOU told me to read the BIble?) and see what exactly jesus was referring to about fools....don't presume to try to teach me something you don't know about...thanks (I STUDIED the Bible for over 28 years-not merely read it) and I taught it for 15 + years)

          August 12, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
        • observer

          kermit4jc,

          "And if they say, ‘You FOOL’ they will be in danger of fiery hell.” – Jesus

          Unreliable source? Was he lying?

          August 12, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          tell me oh wise one...what is Jesus talking about....what is the passage referring to, who was Jesus talking to and why did he say such? do you know? did you read the full passage, or are you too lazy and just wanna cherry pick? make your choice..Ill wait

          August 12, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Your loaded questions. And then following it up with your presumption I just don't like your questions, because the argument you are making is right. Your reasoning seems circular.

          You are familiar with the different arguments and understandings in regards to that passage, right? You are free to check out other sources other than GODHATESAMPUTEES.com and see what others say. I've met atheists that don't agree with what GODHATESAMPUTEES.com says – there are different understandings available.

          I don't have all the answers. I appreciate people who want to talk about these things. But when people start making accusations and try to lead me into their questions to make a point I wasn't trying to make – it is tough to take the conversation serious.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
        • observer

          Dalahäst

          "But when people start making accusations and try to lead me into their questions to make a point I wasn't trying to make – it is tough to take the conversation serious."

          So people should not "try to lead me into their questions to make a point I wasn't trying to make"?

          Interesting statement from someone who apparently is proud of their open-mindedness.

          August 12, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
        • observer

          kermit4jc,

          Did Jesus say there that it was okay to call others "fools"?

          August 12, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Jesus was a myth. He said nothing. Everything that was placed in his mouth, as a literary device, was borrowed and stolen from other myths.

      Mithra was born on December 25th of the virgin Anahita.
      The babe was wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed in a manger and attended by shepherds.
      He was considered a great traveling teacher and master.
      He had 12 companions or "disciples."
      He performed miracles.
      As the "great bull of the Sun," Mithra sacrificed himself for world peace.
      Mithra ascending to heaven in his solar cart, with sun symbolHe ascended to heaven.
      Mithra was viewed as the Good Shepherd, the "Way, the Truth and the Light," the Redeemer, the Savior, the Messiah.
      Mithra is omniscient, as he "hears all, sees all, knows all: none can deceive him."
      He was identified with both the Lion and the Lamb.
      His sacred day was Sunday, "the Lord's Day," hundreds of years before the appearance of Christ.
      His religion had a eucharist or "Lord's Supper."
      Mithra "sets his marks on the foreheads of his soldiers."
      Mithraism emphasized baptism.

      August 11, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
      • new-man

        if you wish to be taken seriously, and retain even a gram of credibility you would have at least conceded that Jesus did in fact exist.
        that you can boldly say Jesus was myth renders you totally clueless and woefully ridiculous.

        it's one thing to say YOU do not believe Jesus exists but to declare the existence of Jesus as a myth-Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and [a]godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

        Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

        August 11, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Thanks for a perfect string of non-sequiturs.
          There is not a shred of evidence Jesus existed, apart from the testimony of those who already believed in him.
          The Church Fathers admitted they valued deception, and accused each other of it.
          Dr. Richard Carrier (PhD Columbia) is taken very seriously. He does not buy that Jesus existed.
          How would you know the difference between him and all the other dying, rising, and miracle -working deities of the day ?

          August 11, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • tallulah131

          It is possible, maybe even plausible that Jesus actually existed as a person. But since there isn't an ounce of contemporary evidence to prove it, one cannot honestly say for certain that Jesus existed.

          August 11, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • new-man

          rbb and Tallulah, perhaps you should speak with Reality regarding docu.mentation of Jesus' existence.

          rbb, that you would hinge your spiritual life on the words of a fool, is rather foolish.

          August 11, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I always defer to reality (not the poster who uses that name). The truth is found in reality, not in mythology. There are no contemporary accounts of Jesus.

          August 12, 2014 at 3:50 am |
        • hotairace

          Nor any actual evidence for a divine jesus or any god. Ok look, there's no actual evidence to support religious beliefs at all!

          August 12, 2014 at 5:23 am |
      • Dalahäst

        Hey, can you post a link where you got that information from?

        I've seen people make those claims before. But haven't been able to find any credible sources to back them up. Apparently some atheist website have been spreading some false info about Mithra.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithra

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2012/06/better-atheist-fact-checking.html

        If you can help, thanks!

        August 11, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Dala, Taken as a whole there are plenty of similarities between the various myths. The hebrew god was not the first or only god worshipped in that region. As I believe you have noted before there are flood myths in many cultures, so there's a good chance that those myths were borrowed and embellished. Same with Jesus.

          August 11, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I was just wondering if he had any credible sources to back up all those claims he made. I've never seen anything that shows the Mithra story predated the Christian story with those claims. In fact, it appears those things he listed about Mithra came after writings about Jesus Christ.

          August 11, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
        • joey3467

          Dala, I might buy that if people living at the time hadn't come up with such notions as diabolical mimicry in order to explain why Jesus was so similar to other stories that already existed. If the stories came out after Jesus then they wouldn't have had to do this.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          But the similarities the OP listed were not written before Jesus existed. I can't find any thing that shows that. In fact some of the similarities appear to be made up way after the fact.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Dang! I've been looking for over an hour and can't find anything to support those claims.

        Any luck on your search?

        August 11, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
  11. myweightinwords

    What I believe is a big part of who I am and it drives me to behave a certain way, including what we might call "good deeds"....I see this as part of who I am because of what I believe.

    I see pain, I wish to help heal it. I see need, I wish to help fill it. I see suffering, I wish to ease it.

    I have no need to marry that aid to my faith, or to use that need as an avenue to talk about my faith. I find that abhorrent, actually. People in need are vulnerable and using their need to sell them a faith you THINK they need is manipulation.

    Do the deed, save the life, pay the bill, whatever. That should be all the statement of faith you need, in my opinion.

    August 11, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Haven't seen you in a while MWW. Hope things are going well for you.

      August 11, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        I read more than I post, lunchbreaker...but life is good, busy, but good.

        I sometimes get discouraged by the never changing arguments here, and rather than contribute to the vitriol coming from so many regardless of label, choose to remain silent.

        August 11, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Yes. Help others. And treat them as equals. If they want to know more about you and ask, then let them know. It works better that way, in my experiences.

      August 11, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Yes, Dala, it does.

        Live your faith, let others live theirs. Let your actions be your message. It will mean more than your words ever can.

        August 11, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
  12. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    "I am not going to talk about religious beliefs, but about matters so obvious that it has gone out of style to mention them."
    "I believe in my neighbors."
    "I know their faults and I know that their virtues far outweigh their faults. Take Father Michael down our road a piece –I'm not of his creed, but I know the goodness and charity and loving kindness that shine in his daily actions. I believe in Father Mike; if I'm in trouble, I'll go to him. My next-door neighbor is a veterinary doctor. Doc will get out of bed after a hard day to help a stray cat. No fee – no prospect of a fee. I believe in Doc."
    "I believe in my townspeople. You can knock on any door in our town say, 'I'm hungry,' and you will be fed. Our town is no exception; I've found the same ready charity everywhere. For the one who says, 'To heck with you – I got mine,' there are a hundred, a thousand, who will say, 'Sure, pal, sit down.'
    I believe in my fellow citizens. Our headlines are splashed with crime, yet for every criminal there are 10,000 honest decent kindly men. If it were not so, no child would live to grow up, business could not go on from day to day. Decency is not news; it is buried in the obituaries –but it is a force stronger than crime."
    "I believe in the patient gallantry of nurses...in the tedious sacrifices of teachers. I believe in the unseen and unending fight against desperate odds that goes on quietly in almost every home in the land."
    "I believe in the honest craft of workmen. Take a look around you. There never were enough bosses to check up on all that work. From Independence Hall to the Grand Coulee Dam, these things were built level and square by craftsmen who were honest in their bones."
    "I believe that almost all politicians are honest. For every bribed alderman there are hundreds of politicians, low paid or not paid at all, doing their level best without thanks or glory to make our system work. If this were not true, we would never have gotten past the thirteen colonies."
    "I believe in Rodger Young. You and I are free today because of endless unnamed heroes from Valley Forge to the Yalu River."
    "And finally, I believe in my whole race. Yellow, white, black, red, brown –in the honesty, courage, intelligence, durability....and goodness.....of the overwhelming majority of my brothers and sisters everywhere on this planet. I am proud to be a human being. I believe that we have come this far by the skin of our teeth, that we always make it just by the skin of our teeth –but that we will always make it....survive....endure. I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching, oversize brain case and the opposable thumb, this animal barely up from the apes, will endure –will endure longer than his home planet, will spread out to the other planets, to the stars, and beyond, carrying with him his honesty, his insatiable curiosity, his unlimited courage –and his noble essential decency."
    "This I believe with all my heart." ~ Robert Heinlein

    August 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
    • new-man

      …“What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:28–29

      Nothing To Do, Only Believe

      When I was a young Christian, I attended a seminar on what we must do to “work the works of God”. I was told that we had to pray more, fast more, know our enemy and so on. I came away from the seminar confused. Then one day, I found the same question in the Bible. But the answer was very different!

      In the Gospel of John, we find Jesus being asked the same question by the multi.tude who had been awed by His miracles—“What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” The people had seen Jesus healing the sick, and feeding 5,000 men with only five loaves and two fish.

      Notice how Jesus answered them: “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” My friend, the greatest doing is believing—believing in Jesus the sent one, who has done it all for you at the cross!
      JPM

      August 11, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
      • Reality

        As noted previously, John's gospel is historically nil. Details previously presented.

        August 11, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Heinlein works existed... Jesus' existence and his magic acts are questionable/dubious at best

        August 11, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • Reality

          Jesus' existence has been shown via extensive docu-mentation and reviews of said docu-ments by many scholars. Details were previously presented. The miracles of Jesus however fail rigorous historic review.

          August 11, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Reviews by theologians should not be considered creditable sources

          August 11, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • new-man

          what a sad reality, to be corrected by Reality.

          Jesus exists! A person who identifies himself as Lucifer's Evil Twin should have at least that basic knowledge.
          You know God exists, because you know Jesus exists!
          Your denial of "evidence of His existence" doesn't nullify the fact & the truth & the reality of Jesus' existence.

          August 11, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • joey3467

          One correction new-man, Jesus (most likely) EXISTED, as in he used to exist (most likely), but he has been dead for some 2,000 years now.

          August 11, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • Reality

          For those looking for the historic Jesus:

          1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

          2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
          – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication– and a review of each

          30-60 CE Passion Narrative
          40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
          50-60 1 Thessalonians
          50-60 Philippians
          50-60 Galatians
          50-60 1 Corinthians
          50-60 2 Corinthians
          50-60 Romans
          50-60 Philemon
          50-80 Colossians
          50-90 Signs Gospel
          50-95 Book of Hebrews
          50-120 Didache
          50-140 Gospel of Thomas
          50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
          50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
          65-80 Gospel of Mark
          70-100 Epistle of James
          70-120 Egerton Gospel
          70-160 Gospel of Peter
          70-160 Secret Mark
          70-200 Fayyum Fragment
          70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
          73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
          80-100 2 Thessalonians
          80-100 Ephesians
          80-100 Gospel of Matthew
          80-110 1 Peter
          80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
          80-130 Gospel of Luke
          80-130 Acts of the Apostles
          80-140 1 Clement
          80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
          80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
          80-250 Christian Sibyllines
          90-95 Apocalypse of John
          90-120 Gospel of John
          90-120 1 John
          90-120 2 John
          90-120 3 John
          90-120 Epistle of Jude
          93 Flavius Josephus
          100-150 1 Timothy
          100-150 2 Timothy
          100-150 T-itus
          100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
          100-150 Secret Book of James
          100-150 Preaching of Peter
          100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
          100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
          100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
          100-160 2 Peter
          120-180 Trimorphic Protennoia
          120-180 Gospel of Perfection
          120-200 Genna Marias
          130-140 Marcion
          130-150 Aristo of Pella
          130-160 Epiphanes On Righteousness
          130-160 Ophite Diagrams
          130-160 2 Clement
          130-170 Gospel of Judas
          130-200 Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus
          140-150 Epistula Apostolorum
          140-160 Ptolemy
          140-160 Isidore
          140-170 Fronto
          140-170 Infancy Gospel of James
          140-170 Infancy Gospel of Thomas
          140-180 Gospel of Truth
          150-160 Martyrdom of Polycarp
          150-160 Justin Martyr
          150-180 Excerpts of Theodotus
          150-180 Heracleon
          150-200 Ascension of Isaiah
          150-200 Interpretation of Knowledge
          150-200 Testimony of Truth
          150-200 Acts of Peter
          150-200 Acts of John
          150-200 Acts of Paul
          150-200 Acts of Andrew
          150-225 Acts of Peter and the Twelve
          150-225 Book of Thomas the Contender
          150-250 Paraphrase of Shem
          150-250 Fifth and Sixth Books of Esra
          150-300 Authoritative Teaching
          150-300 Coptic Apocalypse of Paul
          150-300 Prayer of the Apostle Paul
          150-300 Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth
          150-300 Melchizedek
          150-350 Preaching of Paul
          150-350 Epistle to the Laodiceans
          150-350 Questions of Mary
          150-350 Allogenes, the Stranger
          150-350 Hypsiphrone
          150-350 Valentinian Exposition
          150-350 Act of Peter
          150-360 Concept of Our Great Power
          150-400 Acts of Pilate
          150-400 Anti-Marcionite Prologues
          150-400 Dialogue Between John and Jesus
          160-170 Tatian's Address to the Greeks
          160-180 Claudius Apollinaris
          160-180 Apelles
          160-180 Julius Cassianus
          160-250 Octavius of Minucius Felix
          161-180 Acts of Carpus
          165-175 Melito of Sardis
          165-175 Hegesippus
          165-175 Dionysius of Corinth
          165-175 Lucian of Samosata
          167 Marcus Aurelius
          170-175 Diatessaron
          170-200 Dura-Europos Gospel Harmony
          170-200 Muratorian Canon
          170-200 Treatise on the Resurrection
          170-220 Letter of Peter to Philip
          170-230 Thought of Norea
          175-180 Athenagoras of Athens
          175-185 Irenaeus of Lyons
          175-185 Rhodon
          175-185 Theophilus of Caesarea
          175-190 Galen
          178 Celsus
          178 Letter from Vienna and Lyons
          180 Passion of the Scillitan Martyrs
          180-185 Theophilus of Antioch
          180-185 Acts of Apollonius

           4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –"The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
          5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
          7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
          8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
          9.The Gn-ostic Jesus
          (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)
          by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/
          10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
          Presented on March 18, 1994
          ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
          11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
          wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
          12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
          faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb016.html
          13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
          mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
          14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
          15. D-iseases in the Bible:
          http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

          16. Religion on- Line (6000 a-rt-ic-les on the hi-story of religion, churches, theologies,
          theologians, eth-ics, etc. religion-online.o–rg/
          17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT n-tgate-way.com/
          18 Writing the New Testament- e-xi-sting copies, o–r–al tradition etc.
          n-tgat-eway.com/
          19. JD Crossan's c-onclusions about the a-uthencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:
          http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.p-hp?t-itle=Crossan_Inventory
          20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
          21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?
          in-fidels.o-rg/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
          22. NT and beyond time line:
          pbs.o-rg/empires/pe-terandpaul/history/timeline/
          23. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
          harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
          24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
          25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
          27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
          28. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
          29. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

          August 11, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • Reality

          A summary of the above references:

          I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
          preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
          named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
          girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

          Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
          the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

          He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
          a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
          Jerusalem.

          Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
          many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
          ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
          Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
          grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
          and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals

          August 11, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        new-man,
        Your anti-intellectual Presuppositionalist infantile approach to reality is quite insulting to the human race.
        Yet not suprising for a religionist why above all, NEEDS to keep the cognitive dissonance at bay. You do realize by your advice, the Nazis could come to rule again.

        "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
        - Galileo Galilei

        --------------------------–

        August 11, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • new-man

          For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],

          Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and [a]godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

          Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

          August 11, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
        • evolveddna

          New man..sorry you are just stringing together a lot of plati-tudes to god and think that it actually means some thing. I do not doubt that you believe it.. but imagine you are talking to a new recruit.. could you re- write that out in plain English in a form that makes sense?

          August 11, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      This speech always puts a lump in my throat.
      My kid is just at an age where she's starting to explore all the Heinlein juveniles in our library.
      While I don't agree with everything he opined in his work, his writing has left an indelible mark on my world view.
      Many years ago, I introduced a friend to his writing. She is now an electrical engineer and politician, representing the NDP in her riding and she credits Heinlein as one of her inspirations. When she found a copy of his hard to locate non-fiction book "Take Back Your Government: A Practical Handbook for the Private Citizen Who Wants Democracy to Work" she was kind enough to photocopy the whole thing, page by page, bind it and mail it to me.

      August 11, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Doc- I read every book Heinlein ever wrote before I was 16. 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress', 'The number of the beast', 'Stranger in a Strange Land' and 'Orphan Star' stand out as some of my favorite books to this day. I'm pretty sure 'Have Spacesuit will travel' was the first Heinlein book I ever read.

        August 11, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • Alias

          Of all the science fiction writers, why couldn't it have been Heinlein to start a religion?
          I bet his rules would have been cheaper and easier to follow.

          August 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          A religion created by Douglas Adams... can you imagine?

          August 11, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Alias
          There actually is a Church of All Worlds, based on the precepts in "Stranger in a Strange Land" operating right now in the US, founded by the self described neo-pagan "Oberon Zell Ravenheart".
          Heinlein was aware of them, but kept a polite distance.
          CAW.ORG

          August 11, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I've got "The Number of the Beast" and "I Will Fear No Evil" in my office right now.
          SiaSL and Time Enough for Love are at the top of my list of favourites – though it'll be a few years before my kid get her hands on those...
          "The Man Who Travels In Elephants" is another wonderful piece of his, though not exactly sci-fi.

          August 11, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • Alias

          Learning to hitchhike would have been holy
          We would all be building spaceships
          Government efficiency would be about the same
          All would be given a mac for computing
          Those driving slow cars would have been shunned.

          I'm sure I'm missing a few

          August 11, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          I actually know Oberon, and some of the other members of CAW.

          They have good intentions, and the Ravenhearts, including the late Morning Glory, are considered elders in the Pagan community around here.

          As books to base a faith on, Stranger in a Strange Land is better than many. I've never been to one of their rituals, though I've been to some of their parties.

          I've seen stranger beliefs, that's for sure.

          August 11, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
  13. guidedans

    Christians believe that the only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ.
    John 14: 6 – "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"

    Christians believe that the reward in heaven is far greater than any pain experienced on Earth.
    2 Corinthians 4:17 – "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."

    Christians believe that non-believers are at risk for judgement and Hell.
    John 3:36 – "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him."

    Christians are called to love one another, even their enemies.
    Mark 12:31 – "The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

    If you are a Christian, you are supposed to follow the commandments of God even if it causes you pain. That's what Jesus did on the Cross and, as we are supposed to strive to be like Christ, we are asked to do the same.

    To those of you who are condemning Christians for doing good works, while at the same time spreading the Gospel, what do you expect? Any Christian who truly believes in the Bible will feel that those who are not saved are going to Hell. If you are also asked to love your neighbor as yourself, you will definitely not want them to go to Hell. How do you save them from Hell then? You preach the Bible. Christians care about life, but we also care about eternal life. This life is like a mist that is here in the morning and evaporates in the sun. Salvation through Jesus is eternal.

    Even if you do not agree with Christians, you should still try to understand their point of view. We care about people, but we believe that your life is short and your afterlife is eternal. Saving your life will give you a few more years on Earth. Saving your soul through Christ will give you an eternity with your creator.

    In our eyes it would be like if someone were dying of cancer and they were also on the brink of death because of dehydration. You had both the cure to cancer and a glass of water, but you only gave them the water and withheld the cure that would save their life in the long term.

    To a Christian, we are called to help other AND to spread the Gospel. That is our faith and to be down on us is like being down on a Muslim for going to Mecca or being down on a Hindu for practicing Yoga.

    August 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      So you feel that as long as your beliefs compel you then any action is justified? I presume that means you're OK with forced conversion to christianity, how about forced conversion from christianity?

      August 11, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
      • guidedans

        So I guess that you believe that reducing someone's argument to its most ridiculous form and then attacking that is somehow a good way to argue a point?

        Religious beliefs are not a justification for an action, they are the motivation for an action. My desire to convert you to my belief is just as justifiable as your desire to convince me that my beliefs hold no merit.

        I am just saying that you should expect evangelism from Christianity. That is a key aspect of our belief. Just like I expect Jewish folks to not eat pork or Alaskan natives to erect totem poles with a bunch of sweet animal faces on them.

        Asking a Christian to not evangelize is like asking a doctor not to wash his hands before surgery. Sure we could do it, but we wouldn't be very good if we did.

        August 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • ausphor

          guide
          Rather strange that you would consider your OP as an argument more like a sermon. I know, I know, you can't help yourself, you're a believer, an obnoxious believer.

          August 11, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • guidedans

          I guess I just fall into that group of people that believes a certain way and should be treated differently for it then. It would be wrong for you to not lump me in with the entirety of Christianity, and then make the assumption that, because another Christian did something, said something, or believed something, that I somehow am in agreement of it or supporting of it.

          I do that all the time. Like when a person of a certain race drives poorly, I just attribute it to them being a part of that race. If someone wearing a turban talks to me, I just assume that they hold animosity towards me. If someone is a believer in Christianity, I just assume that they are another obnoxious believer.

          It is probably the best thing we can do. We all fall into various groups. We should all be held accountable for the actions of others in our group.

          August 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          And I was saying how do feel about being on the receiving end of evangelizing from other religions – it may be extreme but there are many examples of forced conversion to christianity and in the current news examples of forced conversion from christianity. Is it only OK when christians do it?

          August 11, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • ausphor

          guide
          Good on you. So do you and your fellow Christians want to do the right thing and collect funds for the people that have been scammed by Christian hustlers? Would that not be the moral/Christian thing to do? You could even put pressure on the bling preachers to sell off their luxury homes and toys for the poor, not going to happen is it? Comedy gold.

          August 11, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • igaftr

          guide
          Thank you for your confession of extreme bigotry.
          I wonder how your Jesus character would feel about that.

          August 11, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • guidedans

          Santa,

          No it is not OK to force someone to convert to Christianity and in fact, it would be impossible to force someone's conversion to Christianity, because Christianity is a personal choice to enter into a relationship with Christ freely. You can't enter freely into that relationship if someone is forcing you to do it. And I am fine with evangelism from other religions, I expect them to do it. They would be bad at their religion if they did not.

          Ausphor,

          Christians raise money for a lot of causes, including supporting those who were scammed by scam artists. You need money to run a church. Unfortunately, money corrupts people, Christian and non Christian alike.

          Here's the thing about Christians: they are sinners too. All people are sinners. Christians just admit to their sin and commit to turn away from it. Christians are trying to be good people just like non-Christians are, but just like non-Christians, Christians falter and make mistakes and do really bad things.

          David Killed a dude and slept with his wife. Moses was a murderer. Solomon had like a billion wives. Peter denied Jesus three times. Matthew was a shady tax-collector/thief. Paul killed Christians.

          When you guys point out the failures of Christians, you are really just pointing out the failures of people. Christians ARE people after all. We are no better or worse than on Christians. The only difference is that we have admitted that we cannot right our wrongs and that we need Jesus in order to be cleansed in the eyes of God.

          August 11, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • guidedans

          And igaftr,

          hyperbole mixed with facetiousness. literary devices to prove a point.

          I know you know this. You know that I know that you know this. God knows that you know that I know that you know this.

          August 11, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • LaBella

          Guidans,
          "I do that all the time. Like when a person of a certain race drives poorly, I just attribute it to them being a part of that race. If someone wearing a turban talks to me, I just assume that they hold animosity towards me. If someone is a believer in Christianity, I just assume that they are another obnoxious believer."

          Am I to understand that you assume all stereotypes are true, instead of taking each person as an individual?

          August 11, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • igaftr

          "I imagine God knows that you know that I know that you know this."

          Fixed it for you. You still have never shown your god to be anything but imaginary.

          August 11, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • LaBella

          Guidans,
          Oh....you were being sarcastic...
          Sorry. Carry on.

          August 11, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          guided,
          "No it is not OK to force someone to convert to Christianity and in fact, it would be impossible to force someone's conversion to Christianity, ..."

          Take a look at the history of the Americas and Hawaii among many examples.

          August 11, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
    • joey3467

      If god cared that everyone in the world believed in Jesus then he wouldn't let be born in parts of the world where they will never hear of him. Missionaries are one of the many reasons that I don't believe in the god of the bible.

      August 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
      • guidedans

        Joey,

        We don't ask why people are not Christians, we just know that we are called to preach to them. If they want to be Christians, then we are happy, if they don't, then we are sad. God is going to make everything work out for those who love Him. We are not here to question God's motivations, just to honor him by striving to do His will.

        August 11, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Jim Jones' followers couldn't have said it better...

          August 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • ausphor

          LET
          Do you think there is a chance of suing Harold Camping to get my stuff back, check around he is probably in hell by now?

          August 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Do you want to conduct a Sue-ance? Or I could ask my daughter Hel if he's available... be warned though... she isn't the friendliest goddess...

          August 11, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
    • ausphor

      guide
      So why does your lot thank god for saving their earthly lives from a natural disaster? I remember Wolf Blitzer asking a woman that if she thanked god for saving her and her children's lives after a tornado and her replying that she was an atheist, almost caused Wolf to pass out, hilarious. Of course your lot do not really, really believe in an after life or you wouldn't cling so desperately to this one; you would be running into the disaster not away from it. Damn, saved again, I missed going to jesus, sheet.

      August 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
      • guidedans

        Ausphor,

        Your comment demonstrates an extreme misunderstanding of the Christian world view. I made it clear that we value life on Earth. We just also value eternal life. Remember my analogy about the water and the cancer cure? It would be pretty bad if you cured the person's cancer but then let them die of dehydration.

        Christians are called to live on Earth, to love God, to love each other, and to bring people to God. You are not able to effectively do three of the four of those things when you are dead. Clearly, this world serves a function or else God would not have created it. Christians value life immensely, we just value eternal life more.

        Now, if you are going to bring up a bunch of dilemmas like, "What if you could make someone a Christian, but you would immediately have to kill them, or you could let them live out their lives as a non-Christian," go for it. Those types of things are like asking if killing one person is morally ok so long as 2 or more people are saved because of it.

        August 11, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • ausphor

          guide
          Well excuse me but I learned the Christian world view from Francis, fred, scot, Theo, Topher, new-man, et al, so you can understand where I might get confused. It really is amazing how crazy you people come across on this blog, take a bow.

          August 11, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • Doris

          Then there is the Christian world view of Scott Lively. I'm sure he finds comfort that he is saving many from the evils of ho.mose.xuality while he calls people to arms to commit violence in the name of his beliefs. It's a small price to pay – having people thrown in jail and inciting the killing of others, knowing that you are saving scores more from their dastardly deeds. Some Christians don't agree with him, but he is, after all, just evangelizing according to his Christian principles...

          August 11, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • guidedans

          Ausphor and Doris,

          If you want to learn about Christianity, read the Bible. Don't listen to folks on the belief board of CNN.

          And, please, just listen to yourselves. Your argument is basically: Dan, you belong to a group. This other person belongs to the same group. This other person is terrible. Therefore, your group must be terrible and you must be terrible too.

          Isn't that a little kind of like stereotyping someone?

          If I held you accountable for Richard Dawkins' weird ideas about mol.estation, would that be ok?

          No. It would not.

          The thing is, there are a lot of crazy people in the world. Some of those crazy people end up being a part of different groups. Then those crazy people act crazy using their group membership as an excuse. with 33% of the world being "Christian," you are going to get some wackos in there. And I am talking about the radicals out there, not the people posting on this forum.

          Now, I personally do not know all of the posters you talk about in your posts and I am not even sure if I would agree with them on all of their points; however, if they are Christians, I love them as brothers and if they are not Christians, I love them as neighbors. Behind your posts and my posts and their posts, we are probably just normal guys or girls trying to be good in a world that has a lot of junk going on in it.

          August 11, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • Bob

          guidedans, your Christian book of horrors AKA the bible, that you are recommending such study of, indeed reveals much of the evil and bigotry of the Christian religion, considering passages like the following, from both testaments. Note also the text following the quotes:

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          1 Timothy 2:11
          "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

          Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

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

          August 11, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • evolveddna

          Guide.. you see god missed a good opportunity there.. he could send you back here from the dead to do more work for him... now that would be a clincher for me... and most other atheists as well i would guess... see what a simple idea it is but god never thought about it?

          August 11, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • guidedans

          Evolved,

          Luke 16:31 "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead."

          August 13, 2014 at 1:18 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Religion – the pestilence that mankind can't seem to cure...

      August 11, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
      • ausphor

        LET...that and crabs.

        August 11, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • Alias

          FYI – the relatively new trend of shaving/waxing has severly reduced the transmission of crabs.
          I just like to share good news when I can.

          August 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
      • evidencenot

        Religion..... making bigotry acceptable for thousands of years.

        August 11, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • guidedans

          Bigotry has never been acceptable. It has merely been practiced. The reason why bigotry is allowed is not because of religion, it is because of power. Power lets people get away with bigotry. In the past, religion has been a source of power, but it has not been the only one.

          If religion vanished, there would still be bigotry.

          August 11, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          guidedans,

          If bigotry is defined as "stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own."

          Doesn't that make Jesus a bigot?

          August 11, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "If religion vanished, there would still be bigotry."
          This is very true.
          However, if there were no religion, people wouldn't be able to rationalize their hatred as being righteous because it is the Holy will of The Creator.

          August 11, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • guidedans

          Cheesemaker, if that is your definition of bigotry, then everyone is a bigot.

          Do you tolerate the beliefs of serial killers? What about those who believe in the se/xual assault of minors as an entrance into manhood? How about the beliefs of neo-nazis?

          Here's another question, what if someone came up to you and told you that 3+3 =7? Would you tolerate their belief? Maybe, but you would probably argue with them to try to correct their incorrect belief. You would also tell them that they are wrong in their belief about 3s and 7s. You would also not want their oppinion taught in schools because it wasn't true.

          So, I guess you would not be really tolerant of their beliefs would you. I guess we are all kind of bigots then...

          August 11, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • guidedans

          Cheesemaker, if that is your definition of bigotry, then everyone is a bigot.

          Do you tolerate the beliefs of serial killers? What about those who believe in the se/xual assault of minors as an entrance into manhood? How about the beliefs of neo-nazis?

          Here's another question, what if someone came up to you and told you that 3+3 =7? Would you tolerate their belief? Maybe, but you would probably argue with them to try to correct their incorrect belief. You would also tell them that they are wrong in their belief about 3s and 7s. You would also not want their opinion taught in schools because it wasn't true.

          So, I guess you would not be really tolerant of their beliefs would you. I guess we are all kind of bigots then...

          August 11, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Guidedans,

          That is the definition I pulled off of dictionary.com.

          Disagreement and opposition to something does not make one intolerant. As an example, I do not like what the neo-nazi's stand for and say. But I do think they have a right to their belief and speech.

          August 11, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
        • guidedans

          Cheesemaker, with your differentiation between disagreement and bigotry, Jesus would not be considered a bigot. Jesus loved everyone and embraced them wholeheartedly. He did not agree with them however. If someone believed incorrectly, Jesus rebuked them. He did not take away their rights to believe what they wanted to, He just told them what they needed to do to live rightly. There's a story of a young rich dude who asked Jesus what he needed to do to get to heaven. Jesus told the rich dude what to do, but the dude didn't want to do it. So the dude left. Jesus still loved that guy, He just knew the guy had the wrong motivations. Disagreement, not bigotry.

          August 13, 2014 at 12:37 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Really?

          Jesus doesn't judge people for having beliefs that contradict his? Jesus tolerates those who do not follow his beliefs? What does Jesus plan to do with anyone who does not "believe" in him?

          I may not agree with a person who holds racist views...but I don't think anyone should be punished just for holding those views...

          Jesus is all for punishing those who hold views contrary to his.

          August 13, 2014 at 12:58 am |
        • guidedans

          Jesus/God is not punishing folks for their beliefs. He is punishing them for their sins. Their belief would be the only way for them to avoid their deserved punishment, but their belief would have to be in the saving grace in Jesus and the commitment to following Him. God doesn't punish people for not believing in Jesus. He punishes them for sinning against Him. Belief in Jesus is the pathway to salvation from Hell. It would be like if you were falling out of an airplane and did not have a parachute, then you attributed your death to your lack of parachute, not your fall out of an airplane.

          August 13, 2014 at 1:11 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Their belief would be the only way for them to avoid their deserved punishment"

          Why?

          Your god is all powerful right? If your god is all powerful Jesus is choosing to reward people for belief and conversely refuses to forgive anyone who doesn't believe. An all powerful god does not HAVE to do anything so your argument is a non sequitor.

          August 13, 2014 at 1:32 am |
        • guidedans

          It is a total sequitur... You don't even know how sequitur it is.

          Jesus is not choosing not to forgive those who don't believe in Him. Those people are rejecting the forgiveness that Jesus gives freely. God can do whatever but He is not going to force you to love Him. I still think that you are confusing concepts here.

          There are things that prevent bad events from occurring. I would call these things negative baddies. There are also things that cause bad things to occur. I would call these things positive baddies. There are things that prevent good events from occurring, negative goodies. And finally, there are things that cause good things to occur, positive goodies.

          Jesus is both Negative baddie in that He stops the bad of Hell from occurring, and He is a positive Goodie, in that He causes you to go to Heaven. People are the positive baddies in this situation in that they cause themselves, through their sins to require punishment. Sin is also a negative Goodie because it separates us from a good thing, God.

          You are saying in your post that Jesus is a positive baddie, and He is causing bad to occur. In the Christian worldview, Jesus is a negative baddie because He stops bad from occurring, when it should have occurred. We are all headed to Hell because of our sin. Jesus offers the opportunity to avoid that fate, but He does not force it on anyone. If you want to pay for your sins yourself, He will let you. You will just be paying them off for a very long time.

          August 13, 2014 at 1:48 am |
        • hotairace

          I wonder if the people in Iraq, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Liberia or Missouri would accept your positive/negative goodie/baddie theory? Yes, your alleged but never proven gods do work in mysterious ways, ways that strongly suggest your gods only exist in your imagination.

          August 13, 2014 at 2:03 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Those people are rejecting the forgiveness that Jesus gives freely."

          No people are not rejecting anything. In order to reject something you have to believe it. Some people don't believe it. That is not rejection...it is just non belief.

          And what...Jesus can't forgive without belief...why? Your answer makes no sense.

          I can forgive people whether they believe I exist or not...they don't even have to know I forgave them....I guess that means I can do something Jesus can't do....or more my point, won't do.

          August 13, 2014 at 2:21 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Jesus forgiving you in that way does no tget you to heaven....there is justice..and Jesus is just..he cannot chnage that..its not based on feelings like you base it on...

          August 13, 2014 at 3:40 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Jesus forgiving you in that way does no tget you to heaven...."

          Why? Explain why it matters.

          August 13, 2014 at 10:26 am |
        • kermit4jc

          God is a JUSt God..not because he FEELS that way..it is His very nature..he cannot bypass that..otherwise he ceases to be God....

          August 13, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          kermit,

          That explained nothing. All you did was re-state your premise. What I am asking is what does "belief" have to do with "justice"?

          August 13, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          what do you mean by that..are you asking how does my belief in God make case for justice? IM not seeing the relationship youre asking for

          August 13, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          kermit,

          Do you want to live in a Society that rewards and punishes people based on what they believe and don't believe?

          Isn't that creating thought crimes?

          Please explain how it is just to punish based soley on belief?

          August 14, 2014 at 12:33 am |
        • kermit4jc

          if youre referring to EARTHLY society...no....we are all free to believe what we want (in terms of gods) but if in the spiritual/heavenly soceity..sure..why not? There is only one God...and one way to get to Him......we all sinned, and can do nothing ourselves to escape the eternal separation from God (by that I mean knot knowing His presence, His peace and Hope and Joy He offers) God is Holy..so much so that sin cannot coexist within His presence..it is demolished, along with the person who sinned...its not all based on feelings and egotistical thinking

          August 14, 2014 at 2:18 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          kemit,

          Got it. Punishing people for what they "think" is perfectly acceptable as long as your god does it.

          Thought crimes are Okey Dokey....

          Your god is the equivalant of a celestial Stalin...

          For the record kemit this is why I find Christianity to be lacking any actual morality at it's foundation. "Thoughts" are not "crimes"....and if you think thoughts are crimes I would like you to reasonably justify that with more than "god said it, I believe it". Use your brain for a change.

          August 14, 2014 at 11:16 am |
      • guidedans

        It is just a wonder to me why you are so much smarter than everyone else. All us sheep running around not thinking critically about anything. I just wonder how the world ever made it this far with so many people being these idiots that can't even think for themselves.

        It is a good thing that you are here now any can fix all of the problems that religion caused throughout the eons. You know, like global warming, nuclear proliferation, global pandemics, advent of new, potentially devastating technologies, and everything else.

        Once religion is gone, you will be free to advance to the point where you live forever, merge with machines, download your consciousness into a hive-mind, be able to be anywhere at once by sending out drones into the far reaches of the universe, figure out everything, conquer the universe and then exist forever as a enormous, connected, living creature that can do anything, know everything, and be anywhere.

        Good luck with that. I will be one of those fools who died from that pestilence you used to talk about.

        August 11, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • ausphor

          guide
          Now that last post sounds like you are talking to/about yourself? That is a very good start; now burn all your bibles and hymnals and only turn your TV on on Sundays to watch football. Evangelism is as addictive as drugs, put the remote down and back away.

          August 11, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          The only thing that will 'fix' mankind is nuclear/asteroid sterilization... unfortunately, beyond that, evolving past the need for religious superstitions and evangelist morons will take much longer than my lifetime...

          August 11, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
    • Bob

      guidedans, the whole Jesus-sacrifice-salvation story, the foundation of your bizarre Christian supersti-tions, is a steaming pile of bull-do out of the gate. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

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

      August 11, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
      • guidedans

        Hey Bob,

        I disagree with your goals. You are attempting to lead people away from their faith and into faith in nothing. I believe that that is an awful goal to have. What do you want for your life and for humanity? You want to learn everything you can? You want to be happy? You want to make the world a better place? Shallow. Those goals are shallow.

        In your worldview:
        You will die one day and all your knowledge will be worthless to you.
        You will die one day and any happy emotion you ever felt will be forgotten and worthless to you.
        The world will be engulfed by the sun one day, and no matter how good you made the world, it will meet the same fate. Everyone will die and all of their accomplishments will be worthless to them after they are dead.

        In Humanity's best case scenario, humans advance to the point where they live forever, know everything, and can be anywhere they choose. They will be able to do this until the universe runs out of energy and matter decays into nothingness.

        That sounds like Hell. Just existing forever until things fall apart. That's where we are heading with our technological advancements. Good luck with that. I am going to fight for God and for Jesus. I believe in the grace described in the Bible. I believe in eternal life with God. You are fighting for eternal life apart from God.

        August 13, 2014 at 12:51 am |
  14. workingcopy12

    Alias...your comment about the U.N. is undoubtedly accurate. I also don't doubt that it is completely off topic to the discussion I'm having with Kudlak. But, perhaps you can answer the questions I posed to Kudlak–what is a typical Christian missionary organization? How do you derive at that answer?

    August 11, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
    • workingcopy12

      sorry, that was meant for below.

      August 11, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
    • Alias

      As far as I know, all of the largest christian denominations send missions around the world. While they do generally try to help the locals, they always give their god credit and attempt to convert people.
      So if it is funded by a christina group, it would be a christian missionary. 'Typical' would be difficult to define.

      August 11, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
      • ausphor

        Alias
        There is also a tradition among the missions that they be given land to put in a school, hospital or meeting place, read church, as part of the deal. At least in these days the missions ask politely rather than just steal what they want like in the good old days. All you have to do is look around the good old USA to see the vast amount of valuable land that the religions control, tax free of course, not just the Christian cults but all of them. There is an outstanding De Niro movie "The Mission" that is right on point, all Christians should be compelled to view it.

        August 11, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Doris

          Yes, quite an impact that movie had on me. Fantastic cast also included Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson & Aidan Quinn.
          And of course, one of the best scores ever.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V8aZLTpKXo
          (On Earth As It Is In Heaven – Live – Venice)

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6lO-v_H-E8
          (Gabriel's Oboe – Live – Assisi)

          August 11, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • ausphor

          Doris
          Me also. Funny thing is that in my area, Christian churches are closing and schools consolidating while at the same time brand new temples and mosques are being built for better or worse. Who really knows?

          August 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
  15. unsername1

    Was it heroic or foolish?

    If their mission was to help people then indeed it was heroic, but if they went there with hidden missionary agenda of spreading Jesus, then it was absolutely foolish. Only God knows what was on their mind.

    August 11, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
  16. kevinite

    Of course. I do believe there is some truth in most all religions, just that I also believe that not all religions are as equally complete in truth to each other.

    August 11, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
    • kevinite

      Meant in reply to Kudalk.

      August 11, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
      • Alias

        I'm trying to find a context where that would not be hysterically stupid.
        I'll consult the IPU and FSM for insight.

        August 11, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • kevinite

          Really, you are trying to find context and your not going over to the commenter whose comment I was trying to reply to? Now that's clever.

          August 11, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • Løki

          'you're'

          (sorry, couldn't help myself)

          August 11, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • Alias

          "there is some truth in most all religions"
          No, there isn't.
          Even if you truely believe in one of them you would have to conclude that all the others were wrong. Fo rexample, how many myths about the beginning of the world are compatable?

          August 11, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • kevinite

          Nice catch Loki. Yes Alias, just like like I believe that that a classic car that has missing the proper stock interior or even engine that can still be identified as the car of that same general make and model, I also identify that there are truths within all religions it's just that some are more complete than others.

          August 11, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • kevinite

          If it's deemed that theft is something that is considered morally wrong and that point is taught in both Christian and Non-Christian religions, then it can be considered a moral truth that is a part of all the applied religions.

          August 11, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • kevinite

          And yes I do tend to stutter in my written comments.

          August 11, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kevinite,
          What truths? And where they conflict with other religions, how did you determine which was correct?

          August 11, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • Alias

          So if two religions that have totally incompatible philosophies and gods, they both have truth as long as you agree with their stance on stealing. just as long as their priests drive the same cars.

          August 11, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          kevin,

          I think you would need to show that said morality is unique to religious thought...and it is not

          August 11, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • ausphor

          kevinite
          If you believe that Francis and scot learned their morals from your book of silly you must understand that we find the bible to be of dubious value, just saying.

          August 11, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • kevinite

          Alias
          "So if two religions that have totally incompatible philosophies and gods, they both have truth as long as you agree with their stance on stealing. just as long as their priests drive the same cars."

          Well yeah. Truth is truth no matter the source from which you retrieve it. The thing is though is that I believe that there is truth in all religions, but that doesn't mean that I believe that all religions are true. That one religion may have more truth than another.

          August 12, 2014 at 1:46 am |
        • kevinite

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers,

          "kevin,

          I think you would need to show that said morality is unique to religious thought...and it is not"

          What makes you think that I need to show that morality is unique to religious thought, especially when that is not what I believe? I believe that any person of sound mind and is accountable for their actions are naturally given a basic sense of right and wrong, but that not all follow through on those inert senses. That there are influences and choices that can take us away from following through with doing what is right not to mention that inspite that basic sense of morality that I believe there are further truths to build upon that can help us further.

          That although some basic morals are found universally, those additional truths I believe that come from God through his specific gospel are as a means for further progression to possible further perfection, happiness, and enlightenment, if one follows through with the teachings of that gospel given by God.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:01 am |
        • kevinite

          In Santa We Trust

          "kevinite,
          What truths? And where they conflict with other religions, how did you determine which was correct?"

          Where to begin? I guess the thing is that I talking about truths that I only believe are true. I can't provide irrefutable proof to verify my beliefs. I believe that there are certain truths that cannot be made known other than through first-hand experience like knowing what salt tastes like, that can only be done through trying it out for yourself.

          To paraphrase from Plato's Republic that to know the good is to do the good, which would be those truths that are built upon the basic foundation of morals that are naturally-given. So, to know whether if the gospel of Jesus Christ is true I believe that one would need to study it, practicing it in our daily lives, and even asking God in prayer about it.

          August 12, 2014 at 2:14 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          kevin,

          The fact that salt exists in the first place is not from personal experience...

          August 13, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          kevin you said,

          "then it can be considered a moral truth that is a part of all the applied religions."

          That is what I was referring to. So what if it is a part of all religions. It is a part of all societies...it is not exclusive to religion, nor did it originate with religion, as you implied.

          August 13, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • James XCIX

          kevinite – " So, to know whether if the gospel of Jesus Christ is true I believe that one would need to study it,..."

          Much of the world's population is illiterate (about 1 billion illiterate adults, according to UNESCO)–rather difficult for them to study the Bible, wouldn't you say?

          August 13, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • kevinite

          Cheesy,

          I didn't say that all morals originated with religion. You assumed that that was what I implied. Actually I do believe that that all who come into this world of mortality and are of sound mind and and are accountable have a basic sense of morality. The problem is that for one we don't always follow that basic sense of morality and two that there are additional truths to learn that are meant to be applied to that basic sense of morality to gain that perfected state of well being and happiness, and that is where religion comes into play.

          August 14, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • kevinite

          Jimmy,

          Where do you get that studying has to include reading? Studying also includes listening, asking, discussing, and pondering.

          August 14, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "You assumed that that was what I implied."

          kevin...Then explain your comment connecting "moral truths" to religion.

          August 14, 2014 at 11:58 am |
        • kevinite

          Cheesy,

          Did you fully read my last comment here?

          August 14, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I did.

          That did not answer my question.

          August 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
        • kevinite

          Well cheesy, then it looks like you just don't understand my point.

          August 14, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You are right I don't, and I am asking you to explain it.

          You seem to be saying moral truths are assimilated by religion and then religion expands on them. I would like you to explain how that works and how a moral truth is verified to be true by religion.

          August 14, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • kevinite

          I believe that religion deals with the application of those morals. Of commiting one's self to following those morals to a higher level than without making any such commitments. Also that religion deals with the reason or purpose of life. That for those who feel that there is more to one's existence than to just go through the motions of life and that there is a greater reason for our efforts and struggles to follow those morals than to just go through life in a civil manner. That following those morals can lead to greater joy and happiness. That religion can help to promote one's own potential; not in a prideful way but still promote one's own potential nonetheless.

          August 14, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Of commiting one's self to following those morals to a higher level than without making any such commitments."

          What do you mean by "higher level"? Can you demonstrate this to be true?

          "Also that religion deals with the reason or purpose of life."

          Yes, religion makes those claims, so what. Religion tries to impose its version of "purpose" but like everything else claimed by religion it is baseless. You frame these things as "truth" when in reality it is just as subjective as a non religion purpose.

          August 14, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • James XCIX

          kevinite (Notice I did not refer to you as kevvie). –

          "So, to know whether if the gospel of Jesus Christ is true I believe that one would need to study it,... "
          "Where do you get that studying has to include reading? "

          Well, if you're not able to read something for yourself then you're likely relying on someone else's rendition and interpretation of what they read (or heard from someone else), and I think we all know how many different interpretations there are of what the Bible has to say. I don't really see how that counts as studying something for yourself.

          August 14, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
  17. Løki

    Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctor's without Borders)... helping people in foreign countries since 1971 (no delusional belief in deities or conversion to said deities required)

    August 11, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
    • Alias

      Of course, to a bible hugger, that means run by Satan.

      August 11, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
  18. kudlak

    Good on Catholic Relief Services for providing aid to the needy without holding it hostage pending people's submission to proselytizing efforts. They're in stark contrast with typical Christian missionary organizations, where the actual aid appears to be secondary to the effort to mint new Christians in their likeness (even if they were formally Christians of another variety). In this, these other "charities" more closely resemble McDonald's including free toys in their Happy Meals.

    August 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
    • workingcopy12

      Kudlak...What is a "typical Christian missionary organization"? What do you base your answer upon? Is there a definition someplace? How do you come to the conclusion that typical Christian missionary organizations withhold their charity unless or until the subjects of that charity listen to their message? Do you have examples that render such action "typical"? Is this true of the organizations or is it also true of the missionaries themselves? Or, is it more likely the case that you want to attach some negative message to Christians to satisfy your own hate for them?

      August 11, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
      • kudlak

        In my experience, Catholic Relief Services stands as atypical to other Christian charities, including other Catholic ones. Can you name many other Christian charities which keep their gospel at home?

        August 11, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
        • workingcopy12

          Interesting that you chose not to answer my questions. O.k. I'll answer yours. Take, for instance, Take Action, Inc. It provides food for school-age children in the Portland area (who would otherwise go hungry over the weekend.) It is run by a Christian couple who feel this is their calling (by God). There are no tracts, no sermons, no contingencies, no obligations...I know because I've volunteered by time and $$ to it. The food is distributed at the schools so you can be certain (especially in PDX) that there is no preaching–its simply about caring for those in need. Your turn.

          August 11, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • workingcopy12

          Should have added...the "Inc." stands for "in the name of Christ"

          August 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • Alias

          Maybe someone shouuld look up how much food is distributed by the UN. I doubt they pass out religious propaganda with the humanitarian aid.

          August 11, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • kudlak

          workingcopy12
          So, your Christian couple are operating a secular charity, right?

          August 12, 2014 at 9:52 am |
  19. virtuesongage

    We know that all Missionaries have found their "pearl of great price" so they are so wiling to give their all for God..."they are in the world but not of the world" ...it is a fact that through missionary efforts that God's love and plan of salvation has been proclaimed throughout the whole world...so these two current missionaries of ours "Brantly and Writebol" are simply fulfilling God's call for them to "bring the good news up to the ends of the earth". God bless you both and all the other missionaries in every part of the world. God walk with you. Amen. http://.SayitWithGodsWord.com

    God's blessings and peace!
    Christie Gregor
    http://SayitWithGodsWord.com

    August 11, 2014 at 11:48 am |
    • guidedans

      Very well put. God Bless.

      August 11, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      Do you accept then that other religions should spread their "good news" to you and other christians?

      August 11, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
    • evolveddna

      virtuesongage..its just a shame that god did not have the same respect for them as they had . They are out there helping others and spreading " the word" and along comes god and allows them to get the Ebola virus. Other humans then have to risk their lives to get these folks help..supplied by humans of course..not god.

      August 11, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
  20. Rynomite

    A mythological being doesn't tell people they should help one another (though the chemical imbalances in some brains certainly make them think so...).

    In my experience, people see others in need and if they are able to help, they do. Regardless of religion (or lack thereof).

    August 11, 2014 at 10:37 am |
    • kevinite

      It's just a shame that we don't always follow those inert desires to help one another, and as a result there are the calls to repent.

      August 11, 2014 at 11:16 am |
      • evolveddna

        Kevinite you appear to repenting all over the place. how may repents do you get? can you get more?

        August 11, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
    • kudlak

      There were temples caring for the sick in ancient Egypt and various other similar examples from the pre-Christian, pagan world. So, plenty of people were actually inspired by mythological gods to help their fellow man.

      August 11, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
      • Alias

        At the time, joining the church was the way to help the sick. I suspect it was as much a desire to help others that led them to the religion instead the religion leading them to want to help others.

        Not to say they weren't other financial/security reasons to join a churh.

        August 11, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • kudlak

          I read somewhere that Christianity owes much of it's early popularity to it's ability to offer displaced rural people and slaves surrogate families and tribes in the cities of Rome. Plenty of modern people seem to gravitate to it for much the same reason these days.

          August 12, 2014 at 9:58 am |
      • kevinite

        Of course. I do believe there is some truth in most all religions, just that I also believe that not all religions are as equally complete in truth to each other.

        August 11, 2014 at 12:35 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.