You Can’t Hate Religion and Love Jesus

Spoken word artist Jefferson Bethke is getting a lot of attention recently because of an Ode-to-Jesus video making the rounds on all your Christian friends’ Facebook pages:

The music, editing, and performance are admittedly impressive. It sounds refreshing, too, until you actually pick apart what he’s saying.

Like this excerpt:

Now back to the topic, one thing I think is vital to mention,
How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums,
One is the work of God one is a man made invention,
One is the cure and one is the infection.
Because Religion says do, Jesus says done.
Religion says slave, Jesus says son,
Religion puts you in shackles but Jesus sets you free.
Religion makes you blind, but Jesus lets you see.

Talk about a false dichotomy…

He acts like the problem is the church and not the people who attend it, with the structure people have given their faith and not the beliefs themselves.

He’s wrong. And saying “I’m not Christian. I’m a follower of Jesus” makes as much sense as “I’m not an atheist. I just don’t believe in god.” You might feel superior but you sound like an idiot.

Mankind created churches just like we created the myths told in the Bible.

Most of the followers of Jesus fight against abortion rights for women and equal rights for gay people just like other Christians. They believe in prayer and heaven and the resurrection of Jesus just like other Christians. They want to “save” you from a place they invented just like other Christians. If I put a Jesus follower next to a Christian, you won’t be able to tell the difference. The Followers are no better than the people who love their rituals. You can talk about love all you want; it means nothing until you put it in action — and Christians (or whatever the hell they want to call themselves) have a lot to be ashamed of in that regard.

Bad Catholic is religious, but offers a detailed critique of the lyrics. It turns out the Bible contradicts much of what Bethke says. (I know… contradictions in the Bible?! Who knew.)

Jon Fitzgerald at Patrol isn’t a fan, either:

See the problem is, Bethke doesn’t mean religion either, but he’s rehearsing a popular evangelical trope, that the freedom that Christians find through Jesus is freedom from structure, organization, and authority. Of course, Bethke, like all Christians, is a member of a religion…

What Bethke is actually railing against is people whose expression of religion doesn’t look like he believes it should. Thus, rather than discounting religion, he is just discounting other religions, or even just other manifestations of his own religion.

Godless Girl puts it beautifully:

You can’t follow Jesus without religion. The only reason you even know about Jesus is because his followers created his legend within the framework of religion. Go ahead, leave the shitty parts of your religion in the dust; for that I applaud you. Love others, be genuine, and hate hypocrisy all you want. Just don’t think you can redefine something just to make it less disgusting and objectionable. Your love of this hippie Jesus guy and dislike for empty ritual doesn’t mean his teachings are any more true or reasonable from your mouth than they are when it’s preached within the four walls of a cathedral. You can’t whitewash Christianity and ignore the reality.

And if your friends — who rave about this video on Facebook while boasting about attending church, all without seeing the irony — share this with you, I suggest you send them back this video. It’s by another Christian who’s not a fan of Bethke’s poem:



About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • James Reade

    You have one thing wrong – the guy in the video doesn’t claim to not be a Christian. He claims to not be “religious”.

    You’d also do well to avoid the broad brush generalisations of what Christians apparently do. How many do you know in order to make your statement? I’d love to know your sample.

    I am a Christian and I certainly would not argue against equal rights for homosexuals – the church and the state should not be the same thing and Christians should not be forcing things on others.  All are created equal in God’s sight and we shouldn’t deviate from that.  I think a woman has rights, but I think the unborn child also has rights – but again I’m not advocating banning abortion for the same reason as with gay rights – the church and state are two separate entities and Christians should not force upon others things they would not otherwise do (regardless of how unworkable a ban of abortion would be).

    • Anonymous

      James,

      Do you contest the fact that most people who identify as Christians in America unequivocally opposed to abortion and gay rights? You may want to call it a “broad brush generalization” simply because you happen to be a liberal outlier, but it doesn’t change the facts. Here’s an idea: why don’t you gather up all the other Christians in the world and come to a consensus on what “true” Christianity is and get back to us so we can be sure to avoid “broad brush generalizations” in our criticisms of the Christian religion.

      • Anonymous

        Moderate and liberal Christians do seem to be pretty rare.  A church with UU-like stances are outliers as far as branches of the faith go.

        It’s really hard to believe a lot of them are around if there isn’t one moderate or liberal Christian prominent enough to boldly call out Pat Robertson on his BS and people outside that group hear about it.

        • Anonymous

          I am a Christian, and I strongly disagree with the BS that Pat Robertson spews. He is a hate monger. Many Christians disagree with him. But there is a religious view that you should never question what comes from the pulpit and some people buy into that. The young man in the video is pressing that we should make our own decisions and question our world views. I completely understand if most people on this thread think that any argument for any type of belief outside of atheism is wrong and that is fine. I think that people shouldn’t be baptized until they can make that choice on their own. I believe that evolution is real. I believe that Jessica Ahlquist was right in the fact that her school was wrong. I also think that there is a God. I think that as a “Christian”, I have a responsibility to be as true to the things I believe without trying to destroy the beliefs of others, just as anyone should.    

          • Thin-ice

            Are you a Christian? Do you believe in heaven and hell? Do you believe that “without Jesus” I am going to hell? If you do, then you are as bad as Pat Robertson, no matter how friendly and nice and tolerant you are on the surface. 

            If not, then you are a liberal, moderate Christian who has rejected the core of Paul’s teachings, and in fact a great chunk of the New Testament, right? If that is the case, then why continue calling yourself a Christian?

            • Billa808

              Great way to condemn someone for what they believe and give them only one option, to follow what you say. Wow you are about as hypocritical as many of religious people you judge!

              Hey! Stop and follow what I am telling you to do! I’m right, you’re wrong so follow me and my atheist ways.

              Thanks for the enlightment Thin-ice.

              • Thin-ice

                Sorry, Billa, you should read comments before you comment on what you “assume” someone said. I gave two options: fundamentalist or liberal christian. What’s so tough about that choice, eh? And the last sentence/question was not rhetorical, it was a genuine question, and I’d be interested in hearing the answer. Chill, dude.

                • Beckyw1622

                  In fairness, you offered two choices yes, but then invalidated the fact that a liberal Christian can actually be “Christian” since s/he has apparently “rejected the New Testament” in your opinion. If you don’t want to be seen as one of the arrogant believers you dislike so, you might try looking at your own words a little more carefully yourself.

                • http://twitter.com/blamer Blamer ..

                  Yes, Thin-ice, although you yourself may never be able to make sense of it, many have accepted that the full text needn’t be wholly taken at face-value, just its take on salvation and the character that saves (who said he was the character described in the Jewish text).

                • Leo Buzalsky

                  OK, it’s not necessarily that Thin-ice is unable “to make sense of it.”  It’s rather that you have a problem if you reject a bunch of the text.  Particularly, on what basis are you selecting the part “on salvation and the character that saves”?  All the while igoring the other parts?  Where is this coming from?  If it’s coming from outside your religion (which would seem to be the case), why do you need religion in the first place?  The answer seems to be that you don’t.  But then you people go on defending religion, even when that’s not what makes you a good person.

                • http://twitter.com/blamer ɹǝɯɐןq

                  I’m not defending religion. If anything I’m defending why christians call themselves christians.

                  >>you have a problem if you reject a bunch of the text

                  Leo, nonchristians have that problem. Evidently christians have no such problem.

                  >>on salvation and the character that saves
                  >>Where is this coming from?
                  Christian rhetoric and gossip. Yes primarily the NT, fictions about its jesus character.

                  >>If outside your religion (seems to be the case)

                  Well christians assume their religion is manmade but also true, or god-guided and therefore true.

              • paulalovescats

                There are no “ways” to follow when you’re an atheist. You have it mixed up. This ^ is religion.

            • Anonymous

              Yes I do believe those things(the Jesus part of it), and you can feel free to judge me how you wish. I choose not to lump everyone in the same basket and I hope you do the same. Everything is always not black and white, if it was we would not have discussions about anything. I am not even sure that the God I believe in would send you to hell if you don’t believe in him the way the bible says. I choose to question the things that people present to me. Don’t forget that the bible was created by men who were describing the things that they learned and witnessed, so there are going to be differences of interpretation. Then you have someone reading that and they have their own take on the writings. But having a discussion without deciding someones views for them is what I think it is all about. That is one of the great things about our country. And I for one  am behind people who uphold the right to choose what they believe even if that means to not believe in any creator.

              • Billa808

                well I think the biggest problem people have with Christianity is hell. However, Christians don’t stay Christian because of fear. Trust me, I have seen many leave and forgotten all about it. People only stay in Christ because of his love and I have never encouraged anyone to be a Christian for fear of hell. It is silly, when Jesus focused more on love and healing/helping the lost.

                • Brian Scott

                  To me, a very common thread of deconversion is fear of hell. They no longer believe, but they still fear they’re going to hell for that.

                  It’s irrational on the face of it, but that’s what indoctrination does to you. It’s a bit of psychological manipulation.

                  Some argue that such situations may result in essentially a form of PTSD. E.g. http://journeyfree.org/rts-its-time-to-recognize-it/

                  I don’t doubt the majority of Christians don’t actually stay Christian because of fear of hell, but for those seeking to leave the fold, it’s a powerful psychological weapon against them. It’s also implicitly encouraged in at least some denominations: look up “imperfect contrition” for the RCC version.

                • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

                  “Some argue that such situations may result in essentially a form of PTSD.”

                  Yup, that’s me. For years, I could not walk into a Christian church without my stomach involuntarily clenching. My former fear of eternal torment in hell was behind that response. Those emotions were strong enough that it was literally physically uncomfortable for me to be in a church.

                  Growing up LGBT in a Christian church in the 70s and 80s will do that to a person. Back then, the message was pretty clear: if you aren’t a gender-normative heterosexual, Jesus and god are going to kick your ass.

                  Consequently, I hated Christians and Christianity for years. I don’t feel that way anymore. However, I feel no remorse for those years of hatred because Christianity has a long and terrible history in way it has treated LGBT people.

                  Change is here, finally, and that sense of hatred has relaxed.

                • http://twitter.com/MyVintageSoul V.G. Grace

                  I’m sorry you endured such abuse. There is a great deal of bigotry preached from the pulpit in a variety of forms…anti-gay and anti-black/anti-semitic as well. My interracial family went to churches off and on through the years trying to find a “good” one and kept going through one racist debacle after another before giving up entirely. This is the central reason why although I do believe in God, I’ve been completely turned off not only to organized religion, but the group-think mentality inherent in organized religion. It really has become politicized by the conservatives, exploited, and used as a weapon against various minority groups. It has very little to do with any sort of ‘God-like’ compassion or mercy.

              • oambitiousone

                “…the bible was created by men who were describing the things that they learned and witnessed…”

                No one who helped compose the Bible was there in Jesus’ time.

                Have you read Bart Ehrman?

                I heard him on NPR and, although I was not technically Christian, I still believed there was a Jesus. Once I got an evidence-based look at the Bible and its roots, it made me realize that a lot of what I believed was heresay…much like the Bible.

                Not trying to tie you down, man. Trying to set you free.

                • Anonymous

                  I have not, but I have read Walter Bauer’s works which I have heard he bases a good deal of his work on. Is it similar?

                • monyNH

                  Not to mention the several gospels that were jettisoned in the process of compiling the Bible, because they didn’t corroborate the politics and theocracy of the earliest Church.

                  Word of God, my arse…the whole thing is a man-made piece of propaganda.

                • http://twitter.com/spiritworldblog Supernatural Spirit

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            • Gerbertfloor

              What do you define hell. Let’s assume for the sake of the argument that there is a God, then hell can also be seen as the place where he is not, a darkness if you will. I red some interesting ideas from a guy who claims to have a vision, in the vision a man dies, and gets to go to heaven, but he doesnt know Christ, his sins are not forgiven and therefore everybody can see who he really is, not who he pretends to be. He cannot stand the presence of a almighty God, so he flees to the darkness called hell. The choice in the end is his own.

              I’m Christian btw, doesn’t mean I don’t want you in heaven, I do. But it’s my believe that the only way to be with God is the fact that you love to be with him, I find that pretty logical. I beleieve that God wants you to choose with your own free will that you in the come home to him. But it isn’t so weird that if someone chooses not to belong to God, that he finally goes to another place as where God is. It’s not intolerant, it’s just logic. If you don’t believe in god or heaven, how can you be mad at me for not going there. Never fully understood this argument… I actually want you there, and God says numerous times as well that he wants you there, you are the one you don’t need to be there because it isn’t there.

              • Anonymous

                >” then hell can also be seen as the place where he is not, a darkness if you will.”

                That’s called Judaism. Hell is a Christian invention that doesn’t exist in the Torah/OT. It’s gentle Jesus who first scared people with the threat of eternal burning

                Of course I wouldn’t want to be in heaven. According to your Bible, it’s endless slavery, obedience, praise and groveling. Sounds like hell

              • Brian Scott

                The common perspective on hell in Christianity I see is http://youtu.be/lSZeNK0TA80

                Also look up “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/edwards/sermons.sinners.html

                This line of thought in common Christian doctrine is not new. Look up also 
                http://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/summa.XP_Q97_A5.html for Aquinas’ view (note especially Objection 3 and how it names the Christian God as an active agent in the punishment) and how he makes mention of Augustine, one of the earliest Christian theologians, to hold similar views.

            • Gerbertfloor

              What do you define hell. Let’s assume for the sake of the argument that there is a God, then hell can also be seen as the place where he is not, a darkness if you will. I red some interesting ideas from a guy who claims to have a vision, in the vision a man dies, and gets to go to heaven, but he doesnt know Christ, his sins are not forgiven and therefore everybody can see who he really is, not who he pretends to be. He cannot stand the presence of a almighty God, so he flees to the darkness called hell. The choice in the end is his own.

              I’m Christian btw, doesn’t mean I don’t want you in heaven, I do. But it’s my believe that the only way to be with God is the fact that you love to be with him, I find that pretty logical. I beleieve that God wants you to choose with your own free will that you in the come home to him. But it isn’t so weird that if someone chooses not to belong to God, that he finally goes to another place as where God is. It’s not intolerant, it’s just logic. If you don’t believe in god or heaven, how can you be mad at me for not going there. Never fully understood this argument… I actually want you there, and God says numerous times as well that he wants you there, you are the one you don’t need to be there because it isn’t there.

            • James Reade

              Ok, I did some research on this Pat Robertson chap. There’s a world of difference between someone who believes in what the Bible says (hence believes in Jesus, and believes he is the only way to earn salvation from God), and someone who says what Pat Robertson says.

              Not least, the Bible says that all are welcome, provided the repent and sin. I don’t hear Robertson saying that.  The Bible talks of loving one’s neighbour. I don’t hear Robertson saying that. The Bible does not say terrible things like 9/11 happen because of specific sins committed by a nation. I don’t hear Robertson saying that, but some grotesque twisted version of it.

              So please, invest a little bit more time into the things you write before you fire off on a rant like that.

              • http://twitter.com/MyVintageSoul V.G. Grace

                Pat Robertson is a lunatic. Nobody–atheist, agnostic, religious, or somewhat religious–should be measuring anything against him and his babble.

        • James Reade

          Again, back up your opinion with some actual facts instead of your perception, formed from the outside. Let me tell you from the inside of Christianity – there’s plenty of liberal Christians out there. They just don’t buck society’s liberal preferences as much as the conservative ones do.

          But I’m lost, who is this Pat Robertson you’re talking about (not got time for a Google search). Bear in mind I’m writing as a Brit here. 

          • Anonymous

            OK then, American Christianity.  There aren’t any well-known liberal Christian leaders in America.  Pat Robertson is one of the bozo ultra conservative American Christians that constantly says dumb shit.  There are plenty of videos on YouTube and RightWingWatch.

            • http://twitter.com/MyVintageSoul V.G. Grace

              That’s probably because a whole lot of liberal, tolerant (essentially, SANE) religious/somewhat religious people within the wider blanket of the ‘American Christian’ community have probably been shouted down, bullied, and intimidated by the wacko fundamentalists. I know fundamentalists have attempted to bully me when I’ve challenged them on their b.s. More normal, tolerant individuals should probably consider seriously challenging the failed structure of organized religion today so they have more freedom of expression…there is a lot of repression within the mainstream religious community in society, and that repression is highly politically charged.

          • http://twitter.com/spiritworldblog Supernatural Spirit

             ACTUAL FACTS (NATURAL) and (SPIRITUAL) FACTS.

            What is not a RELIGION is “IN CHRIST.”
            Religion is the CHURCH in GOD. 
            In Christ is You in GOD.

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      • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

        You bring up an interesting point, but the evidence seems to indicate that what constitutes Christianity in the minds of many is evolving rather quickly. We are only able to take a snapshot of what people might believe (or not believe) at any particular moment and that being the case, we are limited in our ability to make any serious projections or assumptions based on that knowledge. We are a fickle species and the trend could suddenly turn the other way, but barring some sort of global apocalyptic event, I suspect it will not.
        If we obtain a consensus on what Christians believe at this very moment, it will indeed bear your argument out, but it provides an incomplete picture of the state of Christianity, which is in a rather dynamic state of evolution at the moment…at least in the developed world. We can’t discount the idiocy that is curently taking place on the African continent in regards to the spread of Christianity, courtesy of the Roman Catholic Church.
        Just as the atheist ranks are growing daily at the expense of religion, so too are the numbers of individuals who think and believe as James Reade does. Few actually go from one extreme to the other (religious fundamentalist to atheist), most of us take a middle path. While I find religious liberal-progressives to be more conflicted in their logic than fundamentalists, the human mind seems capable of maintaining a perpetual state of cognitive dissonance.  It’s not an ideal situation, but it’s something I can live with.

      • James Reade

        I’m not a liberal, that’s for sure!

        Again, I challenge you, stop using those broad brush strokes, and look a little more into it. You’ll find that liberal Christians are actually a lot more prevalent than you think – if they were not, then there would be less of a fuss about Christian churches ordaining gay ministers, since the church wouldn’t be doing that!

        I will make one broad brush generalisation though about you – you haven’t actually ever researched what Christianity is, and the result is if I challenged you to define the core beliefs of Christianity, you couldn’t. Go on, prove me wrong!

        • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

          Actually, in the diverse beliefs of Christians I’ve known–from progressive to conservative–there’s a bit of disagreement over which beliefs are “core” and which are not. There’s also disagreement over how to apply those few core beliefs that are shared.

          There are as many interpretations of scripture and canon as there are Christians… and that’s OK. Out of that disagreement comes social change.

          Unfortunately, the most authoritarian, repressive forms of Christianity are currently in political ascendance here in the states. Between twelve years of Reagan and George Bush Sr., eight years of George W. Bush and a number of years under a conservative Christian controlled congress, the states have been put through the ringer.  I think a lot of the fear, anger, and general negativity you witness on this website are exacerbated by that unfortunate political reality–a political reality that is driven by an electorate that often embraces religious extremism.

          In spite of this, some of us USian atheists do still recognize that a diversity of belief exists among believers. However, trying to get atheists and progressive religious people to recognize each other and co-operate is a bit like herding a mass of wet, angry cats into one room… not an easily manageable situation, unfortunately. It would be nice if we could learn to cooperate because the religious extremists that control our government are doing tons of damage…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=581276312 Jeffrey Blaisdell

      You do realize how rare that makes you… I applaud your stance on church/state separation, but most Christians who engage in politics don’t share it.

      • Billa808

        Has anyone even read the letter that Jefferson wrote about separation of church and state? If you had you would know that the modern day interpretation was NOT what he had in mind at all. He didn’t want the church to receive favoritism by the gov’t and he didn’t want the church to have any power in the gov’t, but what it is today has been perverted and twisted. Trying to dismantle and destroy every piece of Christian history that they can! Go read it for yourself if you don’t believe me.

        • monyNH

          If you read Jefferson’s original draft of the letter, you get an even more thorough view of what he intended to say (“a wall of eternal separation” was replaced with the phrase we are today more familiar with). He not only sought to, as he wrote to a colleague, issue a “condemnation of the alliance between church and state”; in the original draft he explained that he would not issue proclamations of thanksgiving or fasting or any other “religious exercise” (his words), as he felt doing so was intrinsically tyrannical and would open the door to a British-style monarchy.

          The letter was re-drafted, the original language muted, for political reasons–Jefferson had been vilified as an “atheist” throughout his election, and didn’t want to give his opponents any more fodder. The more things change…

          I’m so curious, in what way have you seen both Jefferson’s statement and the Establishment Clause be “perverted and twisted”? Who is “dismantling Christian history”, and where? Because when those types of statements are made, what I really hear is, “There are more of us than there are of you, so just let us steamroll over you and don’t make a fuss.” Kind of like King George III and the colonists.

        • http://ted.schober.us/ Ted

           Its really interesting how religious apologists want to make Jefferson out a Christian.  He liked Jesus – so much so that he cut all the “crap” out of the New Testiment to make his own Bible with only the story of Jesus’ life and what he said. 
          He had no use whatever for organized religion.  The other founders even had to edit the Declaration of Independence to put God into it, as he kept his draft sterile of any mention of a creator.

      • http://twitter.com/MyVintageSoul V.G. Grace

        If the majority of self-professed Christians refused to allow mainstream American religion to be co-opted and exploited by fanatical right-wingers, I am 100% certain there wouldn’t be one-eighth of this conflict. Non-religious people are understandably disturbed at the political exploitation and infringement on citizens’ rights that’s going on in the name of God, and people who do have some manner of belief in God that disagree with the “party line” are struggling to differentiate themselves from American fundamentalists. It’s a hard road, but ultimately I feel that conversations like these are good. It opens people’s minds up on both sides and creates a thought-provoking dialogue.

    • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

      Reading comments like yours gives me hope for our species. Well said.

    • Justin Miyundees

      I’m sure there were some nice Nazi’s too, but they were in league with a madman and a part of the machine.  YOU are part of the machine no matter what platitudes you put forward to make yourself feel better about it.  

      I was a Catholic and the thought that one 1/1000 of 1¢ of the quarters I put in those tidy little offertory envelopes went to give support, transport and cover to a pederast makes my stomach churn.  I’m out!  And so should you be if you had any backbone at all.

      • James Reade

        Thanks Justin. I’m not part of the machine thanks very much. I’m not putting platitudes forward, I’m putting forward reasoned arguments, ones you seem incapable of processing, based on this evidence.

        A few things. (1) I’m not a Catholic. (2) Christianity is about Jesus, and not the organised church. (3) Christianity says that we are all sinful, particularly large organisations (hence the evil the Catholic church, and other churches, have fostered on others.

        I’m not going to reject Jesus and what He did because some deranged people do horrific things in His name.

      • http://twitter.com/MyVintageSoul V.G. Grace

        Dude, you lost any credibility when you brought up Nazis. Let’s not get ridiculous here. There are some self-professed “religious” people who hold Nazistic/degenerate ideologies, and there are people who could give two shits about religion who have put forth some of the worst massacres, crimes, and abuses in the world. Human immorality has little to do with religious belief and a lot more to do with a distinct lack of integrity and moral compass. And one can find that repellant behavior amongst people who both profess to be avowed “Christians” (or Muslims, or Jews, or Hindus, etc.) and avowed atheists. Retain some objectivity and hold off on the reactionary nonsense.

    • http://CoffeeShopAtheist.com/blog Patrick

      James.  Here’s the thing as a point out in my blog (http://wp.me/p22arm-6t ): 
      Every time you say that Jesus told you something about how some other Christian is wrong, you are proving the ultimate irony: You’re arguing about whose inaudible voice is more correct.  

      Good on you for ignoring the bible.  It’s fairly dated.  But the thing is, is that Christians everywhere trust it as the infallible word of God, and trust it over the establishment as a plan for living.  They put their faith in God that he told them the right things in the bible, and that that should be the ultimate standard, which trumps gay rights and abortion rights (for the gays’ and mothers’ own good).

      And therein lies the problem.

      • James Reade

        Hi Patrick.  I’m not ignoring the Bible, thanks. I take the Bible very seriously even though, as you point out, it does indeed trace from a long time ago.

        The problem here is you’re way, way off on a tangent. I read the Bible, I take it as God’s word, inerrant, etc. But it doesn’t then lead me to say there should be no rights for gays, and that we should ban abortion. The Bible tells us many fundamental principles, and properly applied they imply that many things are sins – all sex outside of marriage, heterosexual or otherwise, being one example. The Bible though doesn’t tell us to make this a legal statute, a punishable offence by a government – in short, the Bible doesn’t tell us to impose this on others! The Bible tells us it is for God, and God alone to judge – not us, and not for us to impose on others what we believe.

        • Brian Nowosatka

          But what about stoning?

    • Hi, How are you? :)

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    • paulalovescats

      If you’re christian you’d better be religious.

      re·li·gious

      1. Having or showing belief in and reverence for God or a deity.

      2. Of, concerned with, or teaching religion: a religious text.

      3. Extremely scrupulous or conscientious: religious devotion to duty.

      n. pl. religious

      A member of a monastic order, especially a nun or monk.
      c.1200, “devout, pious, imbued with or expressive of religious devotion,” from Anglo-French religius, Old French religious (12c., Modern French religieux) and directly from Latin religiosus, from religio

  • Wonderer

    I get it. I think you can wrap Bethke’s video up in one sentence, his own “man searching for god”. He is just as much rife with questions as he is answers. If ever a skeptic stood at the edge of conception, I think you’d see it with this video. Defending his assertion that it’s God inside him that matters, not the religion, he really is pointed into himself. It feels like that moment when you have circled your own mind a hundred times looking at what you know as truth and that last spin around the block it looks a little weird. Disillusionment with the system of religion is probably the first step someone makes to some sort of real awareness. That’s just my opinion, only because I’ve been there once. I spit out  a lot of comments here, never facts-I’m no super genius :) . Just “feelings”, be them right or wrong. And after watching the video, I gotta feeling this guy is confused about his own religious identity and doesn’t even know it. Like I said though, just my opinion. I could be as far from the truth as this guy.

    • Justin Miyundees

      I get it.  

      If I really really try, the emperor’s robes are magnificent and lavish and beautiful.  All it takes is practice.  
      Practice and surrender and credulousness and mamby pamby mealy mouthed mincing around the fact that there is NO evidence of an afterlife.  If I can do that, I live forever and don’t even need proof.

  • Heather

    ‘“I’m not an atheist. I just don’t believe in god.” You might feel superior but you sound like an idiot.’

    What’s wrong with rejecting labels?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=581276312 Jeffrey Blaisdell

      It’s wrong to reject a label if it is correct.

      • Heather

        Sorry, wasn’t aware people were canned goods.

        • Jett Perrobone

          You’re certainly free to refuse to call yourself an atheist.  But that doesn’t mean that you aren’t one.

          • Elizabeth

            Uh, did you read the original comment? It was by the friendly atheist himself so I think you didn’t. Here it is:
            He’s wrong. And saying “I’m not Christian. I’m a follower of Jesus” makes as much sense as “I’m not an atheist. I just don’t believe in god.” You might feel superior but you sound like an idiot.

            • Jett Perrobone

              I did read the original comment, and I agree with it.  When I say “refuse to call yourself an atheist”  I might mean to simply say “I don’t believe in gods” without saying the “A” word at all.  I kind of pity those who are afraid of the word.

    • Justin

      The guy that pushed me the last bit over the edge to Atheism refused to call himself an atheist saying he doesn’t like the label and weight associated with it. Until we invent another word, however, that label fits. It’s silly to reject it because you’re actively circumventing the most succinct method of describing yourself, if nothing else. If the label has negative connotations it’s up to those that fit the label to fix it.

      • Anonymous

        Interestingly, everything you just wrote could/does apply to feminism as well, imo.   These two terms (or rather the reaction(s) to them) seem to highlight the (perceived) difference between using words as mere, simple adjectives and using words as ‘personal labels’.

        I’ve seen some people who do not have any active belief in deities jump through unbelievable hoops as they try to justify rejecting the ‘atheist’ label…….and ditto for many women who-believe-in-equality but don’t think they’re feminists.

    • Matto the Hun

      It’s not a label, it’s a word that has a definition. You wouldn’t say “stop labeling guys who put kitty litter on vomit for a living as janitors! How dare you label them!” or “Don’t label that hard red fruit thingy as an Apple, it can be anything it wants.”

      • http://www.bblss.org/ Miki

        “It’s not a label, it’s a word that has a definition.”

        Phrase of the Day! Thank you, thank you, fucking thank you!  

      • http://twitter.com/MyVintageSoul V.G. Grace

        Sorry, but anyone who can deny all of the many complexities that are a part of spirituality & the human experience by whittling it down to a kitty litter analogy, has completely missed the point.

    • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

      I understand where you are coming from Heather. As an Arab-American, I’ve spent my entire life fighting against being labeled. I think it’s a good idea to reject assumptions about a person merely because of their race or ethnicity.
      When it comes to ideology or religion, however, we are entering into a completely different realm of human interaction and understanding. In order to have meaningful and productive discourse on any subject, the participants need to agree beforehand on basic meanings of concepts and definitions. If not, either side can just make things up as they go along and nothing useful will result.

    • http://twitter.com/spiritworldblog Supernatural Spirit

      Actually, HE JUST MISSED ONE THING.

      The Word “IN CHRIST”

      The definition: Someone who does things according to the Word of God and not the Church.  In Christ is not Christianity.

      [In Christ] is mentioned in the Bible: Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

      Know More:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CohBhzHM11M
      SCIENCE + THE WORD OF GOD = THE TRUTH.
      Evolution is a HUGE MISUNDERSTANDING.

      Topics Explained In the Blog -
      Ghosts, Death, Life, Heaven, Hell,
      Science, NDE, Religions, Faith, Spirit, Soul, Body, The Holy Bible,
      Astrology, Aliens, Miracles, Witchcraft, Reincarnation, Dimensions,
      String Theory, Time, Space, Matter, Atoms, Gravity, Ancient
      Civilizations, World History, Languages, Ethnicity, Sexuality, Age,
      Evolution, Creation, Neanderthals, Angels, Demons, Gods, Churches,
      Technology, DNA, The Human Body, Earth, Nature

  • Anonymous

    And of course this rebuttal by The Amazing Atheist is pretty good:

    “I Hate Religion, And Jesus Too”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBo7Z_abiLE 

    (Some people find his style off putting, but has something worthwhile to say here.)

  • Michael

    I often feel sorry for Jesus. I can’t shake the feeling that he never wanted any of this. He spent his life telling people off for religious hypocrisy and in death those people got their revenge by putting him at the epicenter of religious hypocrisy. It seems like the best way to respect Jesus is probably to let him stay dead and get on with our lives.

    • Elizabeth

      You are close to how I feel on this issue.  People like the guy in the video who share that Jesus never wanted anything to turn out like this are really revealing how small his god is.  How can Jesus hear all our prayers and answer all our moment to moment needs while letting his entire religon run in the wrong direction for 2000 years?  That’s a real contradiction to me.  Also on a more personal level, I am frustrated enough when a Christian will not befriend me because of what I believe, so it’s ludicris to see a Chrsitian calling out other Christians.  What brass….

    • Anonymous

      He’s not dead. You can’t prove someone is dead without a body. 

      • Anonymous

        I’m reasonably sure that if he existed he died at some point in the last 2000 years

        • Anonymous

          Wouldn’t you think that someone as great as Jesus would have a proper burial site to those of  Napoleon, Mohammed and Buddha. Oh wait, there isn’t one. Do you know why? It’s because no one has Jesus’s body.  And there’s no “if he existed”. Even scientists know for a fact that Jesus is a real man. 

          • oambitiousone

            Which scientist?
            There’s nothing written about him for decades.

            I grew up believing all this shit, but it just doesn’t hold up.

            • Michael

              Well, if he didn’t exist then it doesn’t matter, but if he did then I kinda feel bad for him. Those followers aren’t what he’d have wanted.

          • Littlebrownbird

            Stev84 said “if” he existed.  The point is that if he ever lived, he is certainly dead by now.  I think you missed the sarcasm.

        • Hi, how are you? :-)

          He did…..thing is, he didn’t stay dead, he’s alive now…when the disciples saw him again, He told him he couldn’t stay or else they wouldn’t received “the promise” – as he called it…the same promise they waited for as described in the book of Acts.

  • Jett Perrobone

    Religion is man searching for God, Christianity is God searching for man.

    I don’t know, perhaps I’m missing something, but…

    Isn’t Christianity a religion?

    • Anonymous

      So the Christian god created humans and then misplaced them?

      • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

        D’oh!  We were under the couch cushions this whole time!

    • Anonymous

      Religion is man searching for God.

      In the Christian religion, God is searching for man.

      Hence Christians are man searching for God searching for man searching for God searching for man, etc.

      In other words, Christianity is like a dog chasing its own tail.

    • New40

      Christianity is the  belief in Christ.  Being a “Christian” is to strive to be more Christ like.  People expect “Christians” to be perfect examples.  We arent.  We are imperfect creatures who fail and fail again but try to follow Christ example. Church’s, Mosk, etc…..All “religions”………man made.  Christ often refered to “the church” and he was talking about the people. Not a man made structure for worship.  We all are born as impefect creatures, but given the greatest gift…Choice.  Athiest choose not to believe, Christians choose to believe. People are so quick to point out anothers downfalls, shortcomings, etc. Nothing puts that target on you like admitting your a Child of Christ.  Like I said, being a Christian is striving to be Christ like.  Deeds not words if you will.
      That there is so much hate is a sad, sad thing.  I have a close personal friend whom I love dearly thats an athiest.  I dont “preach” to him, dont attempt to “save” his soul from damnatation but love him as he is.  The Christ I serve hung out with beggars,  prostitutes, tax collectors, the sick, the poor, etc.  He never passed judgement on them, he led by example as well as his words.  I dont condemn or judge others religious or non religious beliefs, they are judged by the people they are.

      • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

        If you think Jesus was a wonderful teacher, then by all means, go ahead and based your life on what the Bible says about him. That’s not what bothers atheists. The part we have a problem with is Christianity’s supernatural assertions, such as the one you made: “We are all born as imperfect creatures.” Most Christians use that belief to promote concepts like “sin” and hell,” both of which I find to be deeply immoral. If Christianity were just a religion that promoted positive things, then I wouldn’t really care much about it. I still wouldn’t think that gods were real, but at least it wouldn’t be doing any harm. As it stands now, I see Christianity doing a lot of harm, and Christians can’t or won’t keep it to themselves. They insist on forcing Christianity into our government. They insist on pushing their religious beliefs into our secular laws, especially laws that affect women and the LGBT community. They insist on inserting religious dogma like creationism and intelligent design into public school science classes. And on and on and on.

      • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

        It seems that Jesus is a lot like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.   While you are alive, Jesus is all lovie-dovie (Dr. Jekyll) but when you die, Jesus become Mr. Hyde and damns you to hell for not believing in the right stuff. 

        A very strange character indeed.  Perhaps He is off his meds.

      • http://www.facebook.com/alewis2 Adam Lewis

        New40 wrote: “Athiest[s]  choose not to believe, Christians choose to believe.”

        This stuff about nonbelief being a “choice” is nonsense.  I could no more “choose” to believe in the Christian God than I could “choose” to believe that Scientology is real.   I doubt any Christian could “choose” to become a Muslim.  That’s the same scenario. 

        To the best of my rational ability, I’ve concluded the supernatural is completely imaginary. 

        I’d wager that most Christians did not “choose” either.  They think it is true and therefore believe it. 

        And if they do actually “choose” to believe something, we know they aren’t concerned with what is true.

        http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-humanity-naturally/201109/disbelief-is-not-choice

      • anicon2

        “Any
        individual, who was able to think in an unfettered fashion and dared to
        question the tenets of religion, was labelled by Christianity as being evil or
        a heretic. The original sin according to Judaic and Christian dogma is man’s
        capacity to think!” …and excerpt from a story about survival of man after a worldwide apocalypse (“Moses was a Liar” by Stewart, B Raider International Publishers 2010) which also states: “The term ‘Christianity’ is used
        generically. It is accepted that there are different forms of it ranging from
        the Roman Catholic Church to Protestant denominations, evangelical
        congregations, contemporary sects and cults. It is virtually impossible to
        determine what constitutes ‘Christianity’ except a common belief in the
        divinity of Jesus Christ according to widely divergent rituals, liturgy and
        principles.”

      • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

        Nothing puts that target on you like admitting your a Child of Christ.

        In the US, where 76% of the populace identifies as Christian, this claim falls completely flat. If you think that puts a target on your back, try identifying as Muslim, Pagan, gay, transgender, atheist, or any other marginalized group of people.

        Your group controls the US government and most of US culture. You claim the status of a despised minority and yet you harbor so much privilege. As with most people of privilege, you deny the power and advantages society bestows upon you.

        If you want to know why you have witnessed hatred against Christians, consider how the nastier parts of the religion treats outsiders.  Consider the way the nastier parts of Christianity deals with LGBT people, women, and religious minorities. Even though hatred is an emotionally toxic way of dealing with the uncivil behavior of a more powerful, oppressive group of people, I understand why that hatred exists.

        A lot of vile and hateful practices have been embraced by the more powerful representatives of Christianity. If people’s negative attitudes about Christianity bother you, then challenge the oppressive behaviors and bodies of belief which Christianity has promulgated. The Christians that call out the injustices perpetrated by the seedy side of their religion are the Christians that I trust and respect. The Christians that acknowledge the privileged position they now occupy in most western nations and the potential for abusing that power, are Christians who actually have a grasp on reality.

        This is not ancient Rome. It is your group who now holds the keys to caged lions.

  • Lambert

    I stopped after this line ”
    How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums,” 
    First of all “spectrums” is not the plural of “spectrum”, that would be “spectra”. Secondly spectra do not oppose each other. The cliche he was groping for was “are at opposite ends of the spectrum”.

    How odd that a Xtian should not know this. Perhaps he was not paying attention in school: too busy praying?

    • Justin Miyundees

      That’s the whole shebang.  Religion is ignorance.  It’s an anchor – a drunken uncle that brings us down and holds us back.  

      The ancient Greeks described atomic theory.  Where’d did that go?  Instead of building on it, it was driven underground by Christianity and we enjoyed nearly 2K years of ignorance and submission to the authorities of superstition.  

      What wonders did we exchange to assuage our fears?  ”A walk on part in a war for a lead role in a cage”?  

      We might well have flown to the stars hundreds of years ago but for the anchor of faith – that ineffectual placebo that merely quells our fear of inevitable death but, despite it’s claims and claims and claims, fails to conquer it.  

      We are mired in denial and, apparently, we’ve bet the farm on it.

      It may ultimately prove to be our downfall.  The evolutionary flaw of homo sapiens may well be our own fear of death capitalized upon by our fellow humans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alewis2 Adam Lewis

    This idiotic semantic game of “I’m not religious, I’m a Christian” has been around for quite some time.  I remember hearing a story from my grandparents of an even older person they knew having that as an epitaph on their gravestone. 

    It’s merely the self-serving bias in action.  Everyone else has a religion, but mine is a personal relationship with God. 

    Perhaps though there is a nugget of good news in this in that even evangelicals realize that religion is man made.  They just don’t have the courage yet to admit that their religion also falls under that heading too.  

  • http://www.diannaeanderson.net/ Dianna

    Keep in mind, Hemant, that this is also the dude who did a ridiculous “poem” about how you should save sex for marriage, because obviously all premarital sex is anonymous hook-ups. Said poem opens with a disgusting parallel between person who has consensual sex and a rape victim (“the damage is lasting / you can see it in her eyes”). He then proceeds to blame MTV for his poor choices, and has the brilliant line: “they don’t make condoms for sin, you can’t just butter it up.” (Ummmm….what?). Not to mention, it’s terrible poetry.

    So, when I saw this pop up EVERYWHERE, I recognized him and went, Nope. Not listening.

  • LF

    Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives.

    Romans 3:22-24  Doesn’t matter what “religion” you choose or not!

    • Justin Miyundees

      Empty buzz word filled blather means nothing except your acquiescence to the same.

  • http://www.travismamone.net/ Travis Mamone

    At first I liked the video, because for the past few months I’ve been struggling a lot with my faith.  The words of Jesus that I read in the Bible give me hope, and yet I feel burned out by all of the hypocrisy and bullshit of organized religion.  I would like to believe, but not sure if I can anymore.

    Can one be “spiritual” without believing a god?  Would meditation be an option?  It does keep me centered.

    (I’m sure plenty of readers will say, “So why don’t you join us and be an atheist?”  If it is alright with you all, I would like to do more research before I make a life-altering decision.)

    • Anonymous

      Depends on the religion. Many strains of Buddhism are atheistic. Some worship Buddha as a godlike figure, but a deity isn’t strictly required to follow his teachings.

      I’d respect Christianity a lot more if it were similar. If it really were all about Jesus, why not just have him a mortal, human teacher? Why all the supernatural claptrap?

      There are also people who believing in something higher, but can’t or don’t want to define what it is

    • Xeon2000

      I’d suggest that you can be whatever you want to be.

    • Anonymous

      The words “of Jesus” that you like in the Bible are the words of men. You don’t have to limit yourself to that source. Search for hope and meaning wherever you look: Shakespeare, Plato, Jane Austen, Gene Roddenberry, or Joss Whedon.

      To be “spiritual” usually means to cultivate a sense of joy and peace within oneself, and to feel a reverence or awe of nature and/or art created by human beings. Certainly, you can do this without believing in a god. There are many atheists who don’t like the word (with good reason), but most don’t have any issue with the practice (as long as there’s no claim that there is something supernatural going on).

      Meditation is a method of inducing an altered state of consciousness and, again, you don’t need to believe in a god to do that. If it’s something that makes you happy and fulfilled, keep doing it.

      I  don’t think anyone here would advise you to stop doing research. Do *more* research.

      • http://www.travismamone.net/ Travis Mamone

        The reason why I said I needed to do more research is because I’ve had conversations with atheists in the past that made me feel like I HAD to become an atheist right there and then.  But of course, as we all know, a few bad experiences with members of X community does not reflect every single person in X community.

        • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

          I hope no one discourages you from doing research! I think learning about different worldviews is beneficial for everyone, no matter where they fall on the religious spectrum. Although, personally, I don’t think atheism vs. theism comes down to actually making a choice. For me, the question is whether I’m convinced of the supernatural claims that religions make. If you’re no longer convinced that a god exists, you can try to bolster your faith by reading books that support the viewpoint (or conversely, test your faith by reading books that oppose the viewpoint), but if those books don’t convince you, it seems to me pretty much impossible to hang on to faith, even if you are emotionally attached to the idea of Jesus. It’s not so much a choice to believe or disbelieve. At least not for me. I couldn’t choose to believe in a god. I could pretend, but that’s about all I could do.

          Incidentally, have you read any John Shelby Spong? I think he’s somewhere on the edge of theism, but he seems to mainstain a deep attachment to Jesus and Christianity while having rejected many (but not all) of the religion’s supernatural beliefs. At least, he seems quite progressive and has gotten rid of much of the harshness that traditional Christianity seems to promote.

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      I have not read it, but you might be interested in The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality by Andre Comte-Sponville.

    • Elizabeth

      If you keep researching and seeking, you will find what you need, and that is the most important thing. One thing you will find once you let go of organized religion, is the groundless uncertainty of needing to figure out what YOU need and what YOU believe, apart the the rest of the herd. It can be a scary time but just remember you are not alone. You are a seeker among seekers.

    • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

      Why not join a Unitarian Unilateralist church? If you find the right one, a lot of people from many different faiths and philosophies mingle there. You can find Christians, Buddhists, atheists, and people from many walks of life in the same space.

      Perhaps you can sort through things after you’ve chatted with people from a number of different persuasions?

      I’m going to say something that you won’t always hear in atheist spaces: keep in mind that sometimes your next step is a matter of asking your heart what is right. Logic can be helpful (and atheists love themselves some logic), but not everyone uses a linear approach to work through these matters.

      Above all, don’t overpressure yourself to figure out things overnight. Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself.

      • http://www.travismamone.net/ Travis Mamone

        Well, there actually is one right around the block from my house, literally.  In fact, a lot of my friends who have left evangelical Christianity ended up in the UU.

        • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

          Cool. Then I imagine that it might seem a little more inviting?

  • http://thefloatinglantern.wordpress.com/ Tim Martin

    “Forgiveness is my own, not based on my merits…”

    Why the bloody hell would you base it on anything else?!

    • Justin Miyundees

      It’s magical!  All you do is give up your rationality and follow the dictates of an authority,  a.k.a. “be saved”, and you’re golden!  You live forever!  Some cynics, like me, would claim that’s capitalizing on man’s fear of death.  But don’t it sell some books & shit?

      • Csoltermack

        Yes Justin it is magical. It is supernatural. And until you believe and know you are not “good,” you will never know the power of Jesus to save, to heal to bring joy, and peace like you have never known. He walked past the cities of the people who didn’t “believe.” I believe he knew they also didn’t want to. “I don’t come for the “righteous,” “He said, meaning He has no time for those who believe they are “righteous.” You must recognize that there are many who claim to be “Christians,” but have never truly encountered Him. I had an encounter where i was on trial for the person i was. I treated people unfairly at times, lied, attacked them and lived a life of sin. That is, doing what i wanted how i wanted and justifying it. I thought i was good. I also realized that the people i thought loved me were not truly there when i needed them. Neither were my friends. Neither were the churches not even the state. They told me i had to have a family to receive aid. I wanted to have my son but had nothing and no one to turn to except God.  I was pregnant and alone and no where to go. I couldn’t work and had always just worked to get by. I had made a lot of bad choices and realized i was between a rock and a hard place.I couldn’t feed myself as well as my child.  I broke in two. And when i did I realized i wasn’t alone. There was hope. And it was only in Him. He “saved,” me.  I received Him into my heart and He took the darkness out of my life. After this, the doors opened, and everything worked out and I now have a 9 yr. old son. The Bible’s words tranform. Period. I am better and live better not because of anything at all except Him and the Bible , which just happened to be the only place to look for this man and learn about this One who came to me named Jesus Christ. Yes, i go to church to be around fellow “believers,” but few have been down the road to truly know Jesus.  There are churches who preach about Him but yet do everything He said not to. That’s what this guy is talking about.  We really answer to no one except Him though churches still want “own,” you and declare you this or that. I go to a church where many are full of pride and serve only wanting to be seen. This is how the Pharisees were to Jesus. They knew the Old Testament inside and out yet helped no one and fed no one and condemned those who did try to help someone (Jesus) because it was on the “Holy,” Day. Sorry for the book, just wanted to share. 

        • monyNH

          I think we all appreciate you sharing your story here. One thing I always wonder when I hear stories like yours, though–why did it require Jesus to change your life? Why couldn’t you come to this better place on your own? I have read many great writers who have inspired me to reflect and grow as a person, without having any religious or spiritual construct around it. If I can live a happy, fulfilling life and make good choices without a Christ or a god, why can’t you? Or anyone?

          • Csoltermack

            Ah yes. I was inspired also. But who always makes good choices?Who lives a full life full of  good, perfect behavior?  We pursue everything that we think will make us happy. And many find a lot of happiness. I was in pursuit of  good health, education and a great job.  Yet it seemed to elude me. It was difficult and i didn’t and couldn’t handle the stress of life. This is much simpler for some and they take too much comfort in them.  Many believe these things are the foundation of their happiness. But what happens when life throws a curve ball. Bad things do happen. People divorce, people die, jobs and money go down the drain. They hit walls. Many people value all the wrong things and when their value is placed on these things something gets lost. There’s one thing  more precious than gold and that’s the relationship we have with our Creator. He’s gotten me through many deaths in the last year that i know would have sent me into a world of depression had i not had his peace while i was enduring these tough times. We do have choices but we rely many times on our emotions and feelings rather than what we know is right or wrong. We are human and He knows it. I knew I would be held accountable for every bad choice I had made one day.  We all know deep inside  there has to be accountability for our actions, and it’s not to our parents. I knew it and tried many different avenues to find fulfillment. I found I had moments of peace, moments of joy but not wholeness, and I drank and had sex with men who didn’t love me trying to fill voids inside that no one could fill. Love came and went. Friends did too. Family was there when they wanted to be.  There was nothing solid in my life and i knew it. You will never treat everyone well. You will never not tell a lie. You will never  be a person who behaves righteously all the time. Read all the books you want. Our pastor wrote books on relationships for the last 6 years that i know of, and guess what. Divorce. There it is. No one, even a strong person of faith has a perfect anything.  Period. So why Jesus? I didn’t know then. But i realized He was perfect. And people are not good enough to ever come before someone as Holy as God. We have to go through His Son to receive grace. Undeserved favor. He was God’s Son sent as a means to save us from ourselves. It is only through Him we can do a bit better at living less sinful lives. Jesus is the way we kind of  skirt around God’s “final” judgment.  You will not pass the final judgment because it is the Law. When Jesus says He came to fulfill the Law He meant only He was able to uphold every Law of God’s. We find salvation from this perfection. He gives us wisdom and self -control.  The benefit of doing it now rather than later is also that He gives you all the fruit i mentioned earlier. I am still a single mother  and I love the simple peace and joy of  living now. Money doesn’t matter  though i have it, I am still educating myself but now without fear of what is to come. I know that whatever life throws my way there is truly nothing and no one that can ever steal my joy from me. I may not be “happy,” all the time, but i am at peace. He is my rock.  He does and will change your life if you ask Him to. He stampeded into mine when i cried out.  I . I am not sure why it happened to me as it did. But i have seen crack addicts receive Him and never have a desire again for anything harmful to them.  He finds those who are lost and cry out to Him. As i said before i thought i had made some wrong turns maybe in life but I actually did think i was leading a pretty good life. Self-righteous i was. A blind man.   And that’s the whole thing. The bottom somehow does always fall out. Sometime or another. Some people’s issues are internal other’s are external. The guy who has a drinking problem may be the kindest gentleman on the planet while the business man without the drinking problem is the most wrathful, wife abuser or child abuser. No one is perfect and some people are just really good at hiding it. And it took me to just reach a breaking point and to cry out to the Lord. 

        • http://www.twitter.com/a_okafor007 Anthony C. Okafor

          This looks like the biggest bullshit I’ve ever seen. Personal experiences DO NOT count as fact or evidence for something

          • Gee Cee

             Sure they do.

            • http://www.twitter.com/a_okafor007 Anthony C. Okafor

              NO THEY DON’T

              • Csoltermack

                I think it’s interesting that in a court of a law, It Is A Person’s Testimony that makes and determines what a person’s crime is, and what their sentence would be. Any judge or lawyer would definitely beg to differ. 

                • http://www.twitter.com/a_okafor007 Anthony C. Okafor

                  Yep. That sure worked to prove Troy Davis was guilty right??? And that lady who was raped and picked the wrong guy out of the police lineup??? Like i said, personal experiences are NOT ALWAYS proof of something

  • Anonymous

    He said that we all deserve to be tortured and executed on a cross. Just another Christian psychopath.

    Also the typical nihilistic worldview that nothing matters as long as you aren’t a slave to Jesus

  • miller

    I feel like the critics are wasting too much breath on semantics and miss the deeper problem.

    Question: What is wrong with Christianity? Is it that you have to be associated with all those other Christians’ actions and be held somewhat accountable, or is it that you’re deriving morality from someone who lived two millennia ago?

  • Kn1ght

    Ok.  So you don’t believe in God.  How about looking at things within the most basic realm of existence? PHYSICS!  POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE.  At it’s heart this system of belief encourages love respect peace patience and forgiveness.  Even if you don’t believe in God, isn’t that something you can get behind? I understand that people who believe will let you down. The bible tells you that. It will also tell you that the war between good and evil (positive and negative) is NOT against flesh and blood (people). Positive and negative influence existed far before us puny humans and our opinions. If your motive is to prove to people that you can be positive without religion, then how about doing that instead of posting a page called the friendly atheist when by your comments and those by many others (not all) who post here are anything but? Your words are mean-spirited, filled with venom and intolerance for those with a different belief system (or lack thereof) than yours. Isn’t that what you are supposed to be fighting against? Or is it simply that you are just trying to prove there is no God?  If so, then the best of your atheism is no better than the worst of any other religion. There is nothing POSITIVE in your message. I’m not condemning you to hell. I’m just calling it like I see it. Those that believe only in what they can see should be able to identify with that.

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      Love, respect, peace, patience, and forgiveness? If that was really what Christianity stood for, then I wouldn’t mind it so much, even though I don’t believe it to be true. But I can’t get behind a religion that promotes the notion that humans are inherently bad, wicked, wretched “sinners” who should feel guilty for being human. Christianity not only posits the existence of “sin” and “hell,” it asserts that human beings must grovel to a tyrannical deity, whom they must love in order to be saved from eternal torture. I can’t get behind that. I think it’s sick and twisted.

      • Kn1ght

        Only one problem Anna. As much as people try to come across the aisle to try to find a common ground where people can all agree all I ever hear is atheists telling me how they can’t believe what I believe and pointing fingers at what they see as flaws. Hey, it’s your right to do that.  This is the failing point. How about reading my statement again with the understanding that no one is trying to convert you.  Universal laws like positive and negative influence don’t need you to believe in them to exist.

        Here’s a question to ponder. What are the opposites to Love, respect, peace, patience, and forgiveness?

        If you give a Bic lighter every time someone offers you an olive branch what are you really saying?

        • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

          An olive branch? You’re the one who came here and attacked us by saying we were “mean-spirited, filled with venom and intolerance.” All because we disagree with the creator of the video, who is promoting what we believe to be a false and immoral belief system. You allege that your religion stands for “love, respect, peace, patience and forgiveness,” yet I see just the opposite of that in your theology, and I pointed out why. I’m not understanding your issue here. If anyone is being bigoted and intolerant, I would say it’s the religion that tells people they are evil sinners deserving of eternal hellfire. I believe that type of thinking is false, harmful, and deeply immoral.

          If you really want to offer an olive branch to the atheist community, trying encouraging your fellow Christians to keep their religious bias out of our government and stop them from trying to push it into our secular laws and public schools. As an atheist, that’s all that I want. I don’t care what you believe. I’m not about to interfere with your minister’s right to say what he wants in your church, or tell you what to teach your children in the privacy of your own home. I might not agree with your opinions or actions, but you have the right to hold them. I only care when your religion intrudes into my life and affects those I love and care about in a negative way.

    • Anonymous

      There is nothing POSITIVE in your message.

      As a regular reader of this blog over the past 2-3 years, I can say without reservation, that the above statement is utter and complete horse pucky.

      Regularly updating readers on the activities/accomplishments of atheist/freethinking charities (and encouraging everyone to chip in), pointing out and critiquing unconsitutional actions whenever they happen, championing freedom of speech for all (and being utterly consistent in doing so), applauding and inspiring activism in young people…..i could go on…..

      Those are all big positives in my book.

      • Kn1ght

        That’s just my point. You entire statement is grounded by raising this country and it’s laws (as great and wonderful as they are) above the universal truth of positive and negative. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but your thinking is kind of near-sighted. People on the other side of the planet couldn’t care less about this country’s constitution, it’s laws,  or the people in it.  Elevate your mind and be positive.

        • Anonymous

          Could you please explain what’s negative about any of the things I listed?

        • Anonymous

          ?

          Read my post again please….you’ll see quite clearly that I AM “being positive”.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Religion is a socially acceptable delusion of grandeur.   If everybody was destined to grandeur, it wouldn’t be special so religions make it so that the grandeur is selective.  Not everybody qualifies. 

    Christianity’s success was that they make the selection not based on a genetic tribe, but on a tribe of belief.   Anyone can join if they believe the right things.   Likewise, if you don’t believe the right things, you don’t get the grandeur.  What separates the religious delusion of grandeur from the ordinary delusion of grandeur is that the grandeur of religion is deferred until after you die.  There is no accountability or falsification in this life.  Ordinary delusions of grandeur are falsifiable – by the grandeur not occurring in your lifetime.  With the religious version, the you can’t prove the grandeur doesn’t occur.  Although, you can’t prove that it does either. 

    I think it is quite disingenuous to say that Christianity is any different than any other religion before or since.  Christianity differs only in the details of the grandeur and who qualifies.  But it is still a delusion of grandeur.

    • Anonymous

      Religion is a socially acceptable delusion of grandeur.   If everybody was destined to grandeur, it wouldn’t be special so religions make it so that the grandeur is selective.  Not everybody qualifies. 

      Indeed.  I’m convinced that that’s precisely the same mindset/motivation behind the (mainly) religious fight against same sex marriage ~ the ‘harm’ that no-one-seems-to-be-able-articulate is of the “if you let those people into our country club……” variety……

      in other words, ‘how can we feel special without a group to call ‘lesser’?’

  • Thin-ice

    As an ex-christian and one-time missionary, the favorite mantra of myself and all evangelicals was “I have a relationship, not a religion.”

    I tried to talk to street evangelists about this once in Portland. I said, “according to Webster’s dictionary, religion is defined as a belief in a higher power. Do you deny you believe in God then, because you say you aren’t religious?” Flustered, he replied “You can’t believe what you read in the dictionary!”. While we continued to discuss why he didn’t think he was religious (while trying to tell me about Jesus as Savior), I handed a “tract” from Dan Barker’s Freedom From Religion Foundation to the other fellow with him. He was reading through it, and when he came to the back of the cover where it said “Freedom From Religion Foundation”, the guy shouted at me, “Hey, you’re handing out Satanic stuff!”. When I said, “hey, I’m just agreeing with you guys that freedom from religion is a good thing, isn’t it?”, they just got more furious, and started foaming at the mouth as I walked away! Their logic seems to have turned around and bit them in the ass!

    • oambitiousone

      If possible, I would “LOVE” this story.

  • Matt

    This is an example of someone who bought religion hook, line and sinker. He may not be some big loud conservative bible thumper but he has fallen for the delusion. He has been fully convinced that his religion is somehow completely different than others. 

  • Billa808

    I don’t know maybe it is just me, but I don’t think the author or most of you are friendly atheists. I have seen far friendlier….

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      I’m a very friendly person; I just don’t think religious or political beliefs are immune from criticism. I believe it is possible to express religious or political disagreement in a perfectly civil manner. Religious freedom doesn’t only run one way. Christians can express their religious beliefs, but we also have the right to respond to those beliefs and express a dissenting view.

    • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

      Yeah, things can get pretty off-putting on atheist websites. Those websites are usually focused on the constant critiquing of religion and to an outsider, it will seem pretty raw and unfriendly.

      The fellow atheists I talk to “in real time” are usually a far mellower bunch. Get to know us in real life and the feel will probably be a lot different.

    • http://www.twitter.com/a_okafor007 Anthony C. Okafor

      you mean the ones that are afraid to stand up for what they believe in??? LOL Hemant, in my opinion is sometimes TOO FRIENDLY. Maybe you just lie atheists who kiss your ass and tell you what you want to hear…JUST SAYIN’

    • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

      Uh, yeah. Like I said, get to know some of us outside of cyberspace.

    • Anonymous

      I’m perennially affable :)

  • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

    There’s nothing wrong with rejecting labels. It’s a simple way of drawing a boundary for oneself when the larger group has fallen into a pattern of dysfunction. It’s a way of trying to separate one’s perspectives and ideologies from the toxicity of that group and engaging in a kind of self-auditing process.

    I’ve seen people reject of
    the label of “feminist” because the movement has such a poor history
    with women of color, trans people, poor women, queer women, and many
    other groups. In spite of rejecting the label, they continue to embrace beliefs and values
    that are deeply feminist in nature. I think it’s pretty understandable when a person wishes to draw a boundary between themselves and the unhealthy, prejudiced attitudes of a social group one was once a part of. As a trans woman, I understand this because feminism’s relationship with trans issues has been absolutely terrible until very recently. There was time in my life when I too rejected the label “feminist” because the toxic, transphobic attitudes were more than I could stand.

    On more than one occasion, I’ve considered dropping the the label
    “atheist” from my own description because of the large, noisy contingent
    of jerks who also wear that label. In the realm of modern atheism, there
    is a high degree of ignorance and denial surrounding sexism, classism,
    racism and a whole host of other isms. Even though there are things about non-belief
    in deities that I find to be very positive, I’m often one or two steps away from saying “screw it” and dropping my association with the label.

    So yes, I empathize with anyone who finds many aspects of Christianity
    to be positive but the number of assholes so large that the label is
    unpalatable. It’s familiar territory. Both Christianity and atheism have their share of dysfunction and nastiness.

    Looking at this on a strategic level, it doesn’t make sense that some atheists are complaining
    about this (other than using it as a means of manufacturing petty insults toward a despised group). If enough people drop the label of “Christian” even though
    they believe in the Christ tradition, wouldn’t that help send a wake-up call to the prejudiced institutions and followers who
    give the religion a bad name? Won’t that help drain money and political power from a set of institutions that have done far too much damage? Fewer bottoms sitting in pews leads to the eventual closure of churches and religious institutions, especially in the unstable economy we seem to be mired in.

    Furthermore, I’ll bet there’s a subset of people who drop the label who are in the midst of challenging their belief in a god, as well. Why antagonize them with the petty snark of calling them foolish for disengaging from a word? The path from theism to non-theism has many variations. Alienating those folks is probably a bad idea.

    Here’s an odd notion: why not welcome the dropping of the label? Why not encourage someone’s disaffection from the crappiness of organized religion rather than insulting it?

    So, if someone wants to drop the label “Christian”, I say go for it. Positive change sometimes begins with the smallest of actions… and changing one’s self-identification isn’t necessarily all that small.

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      If enough people drop the label of “Christian” even though they believe in the Christ tradition, wouldn’t that help send a wake-up call to the prejudiced institutions and followers who give the religion a bad name? Won’t that help drain money and political power from a set of institutions that have done far too much damage? Fewer bottoms sitting in pews leads to the eventual closure of churches and religious institutions

      I don’t think we’re being petty. I think it’s more that it strikes us as disingenuous. ”Re-branding” doesn’t get rid of the problematic beliefs. The guy who made this this video is every bit as prejudiced as other fundamentalist and evangelical Christians. Most people who stop calling themselves Christians because they don’t like the “image” haven’t gotten rid of their sexism or homophobia, let alone horrific concepts like sin and damnation. If these were really progressive, liberal Christians trying to make amends for past wrongs, that would be different. As it is, this strikes me as a marketing strategy largely populated by uber-conservatives. And you can bet that these people do attend churches, so this won’t lead to the closure of any bigoted religious institutions.

      • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

        I just watched the video. (I didn’t realize there was an embedded video because I’m viewing this via an RSS feeder that doesn’t render videos. Yeah, it’s kind of a crappy RSS feeder.)

        No, this guy is far from perfect, but I’m seeing plenty of cracks appearing in religious circles, whether it’s Rob Bell critiquing the standard Christian concept of hell, this guy’s critique of religion as corrupt, or the appearance of the emerging church. The fact that there there are spreading critiques of religion appearing among US Christians is a sign that some kind of change is afoot. It may not be the rapid abandonment of supernatural belief that atheists want to see, but in the long term, it’s a move in the right direction.

        I also find it curious that this guy calls out the automatic connection between (USian) Christianity and the Republican party. That’s enough to piss off a lot of fundamentalists, right there.

        He’s also implies a fundamental irony of modern day fundamentalist Christianity–Jesus challenged the dominant religion of the day and was executed because of it. The Christian right has allied itself with powerful political forces (the GOP) and are analogous with the dominant religious group of Jesus’ day. Yeah, the guy in the video no doubt has really damaging beliefs, but given the wider discourse of criticism taking place, I can’t ignore the positive aspects of what he said.

        • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

          Maybe you’re more optimistic than I am. Bethke is challenging (to a very limited extent) some of evangelical Christianity, itself a subculture prone to in-fighting and schisms. But I don’t see that he’s challenging anything of substance. Of course, I don’t expect him to question supernaturalism - that would be too much to ask for. But he’s not taking on (to my knowledge) any of the harmful social teachings, either. If you watch his “Sexual Healing” video, you can see that he fits right in with other evangelicals and fundamentalists who are obsessed with sexual “sin.” The view he’s promoting seems to be a decidedly backwards one.

      • http://twitter.com/MyVintageSoul V.G. Grace

        “Most people who stop calling themselves Christians because they don’t
        like the “image” haven’t gotten rid of their sexism or homophobia, let
        alone horrific concepts like sin and damnation”

        There are a lot of people who have some manner of belief in God who are the furthest thing from sexist or homophobic. I am a liberal, feminist, mixed-race, anti-racist, anti-homophobia individual who, like I mentioned above, am not super-religious, but believe in God but not organized religion. What I dislike about this conflict the most are people assuming random stuff about others because they differ even somewhat from their personal point of view. You need to meet a lot more people from a lot more walks of life because I see closed-mindedness on the religious fundamentalists’ side and on the non-religious side as well. If I could call myself something, it would be “independent”. I don’t like crap coming from either group.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Essary/1594737104 Steve Essary

    I understand what you are saying. Christianity IS a religion, but deeper in the heart of the story of Jesus IS the story of the END of Religion… It has just been retold and retold by so many religious people that it has become horribly offensive and judgmental!!! Jesus shredded the rule book (symbolically) by dying on the cross!!! We CANNOT follow Jesus because we cannot accomplish what He did… Christians have it ALL backwards and therefore those who oppose Jesus have it backwards too, because what you’re really opposing is something that really makes no sense!!!

    What if I told you that the real message is that, because of Jesus, it doesn’t matter what you say or do or believe, because His actions cannot be undone? There is no one to follow, no standard to live up to… It is finished, like He said… There is no end of the world, because that was the end of the world. It was the end of the Old Covenant, and the New World is what we live in today!!! Everything changed in “The Hour We Least Expected” which is, coincidentally, the title of a book that I would like to recommend.

    All that being said, I don’t blame anyone for not believing in God or opposing Christianity. All I am suggesting is that maybe there is more to the story of Jesus that makes better sense. I mean think about this… Jesus tells us to forgive EVERYONE no matter what, but God doesn’t??? There is more to the story my friends!!!

    Love and Peace!!!

    • oambitiousone

      It’s a beautiful sentiment, except the source for the story has as much credibility as a pulp fiction magazine. (See Bart Ehrman–a biblical scholar). Once your source is debunked, the story fails, too. I’d also like Tolkien’s stories to be real, but…

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    This guy’s “Sexual Healing” video is even worse:

    A poem I originally wrote for open mic at Pacific University. It highlights my journey with casual sex and the conclusion I came to that sex as recreation, or just for fun, is unable to satisfy us the way we were meant to be satisfied. Sex is good, in it’s proper context. This poem mainly focuses though on anyone who has been deeply affected, hurt, and damaged by sexual sin. Forgiveness and mercy are given freely by Jesus. He cleans, restores, and heals us beyond measure and asks nothing in return. He saw all our sin and filth before he went to the cross and it was still his joy to go get us.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlJFvxad1_A

  • Angelhorns

    This guy is so wrong ….CHRISTIANITY IS NOT A RELIGION! CHRISTIANITY IS A FAITH! Enough Said!

  • Spam Abuser

    I would like to see you post a video and get 7,268,958 views in three days.

  • Csoltermack

    I posted this earlier but decided to share it.  Faith. It is magical. It is supernatural. And until you believe and know you are not “good,” you will never know the power of Jesus to save, to heal to bring joy, and peace like you have never known. He walked past the cities of the people who didn’t “believe.” I believe he knew they also didn’t want to, …to believe that is. He knew many would choose not to hear Him. “I do not come for the “righteous,” “He said, meaning He has no time for those who believe they are “righteous.” Those who want to “believe,” well that’s who he spoke to. And these i believe were the humble in heart.   In order to know Christ you must want to change yourself.  “Do you want to be better?” He told the lame man by the pool. “Get up and walk,” Walk by faith that is.  You must recognize that there are many who claim to be “Christians,” but have never truly encountered Him. I had an encounter with Him, where i was on trial for the person i was. I treated people unfairly at times, lied, attacked them and lived a life of sin. That is, doing what i wanted how i wanted and justifying it. I thought i was good.  This happened when i was at a low place in my life and I was full of resentment, anger, etc. I also realized that the people i thought who loved me were not truly there when i needed them. (I was pregnant, and unwed). Neither were my friends. Neither were the churches (I was not a Christian and few I went to seemed willing to help non-members.)Not even the state. They told me i had to have a family in order to receive any kind of financial aid. I wanted desperately to have my son but had nothing and no one to turn to except God.  I couldn’t work (I had chosen to keep my child but was having a bad pregnancy), and had always just worked to get by.  I had 2 yr.s of college but had a hard time paying all the bills. I had made a lot of bad choices and realized i was between a rock and a hard place.I couldn’t feed myself as well as my child.  I was at the end of my rope and it was inevitable. I broke in two. And when i did,  however, I realized i wasn’t alone.  He knocked at my door. There was hope. And it was only in Him. He “saved,” me.  I received Him into my heart and He took the darkness out of my life. After this, the doors opened, and everything worked out and I now have a 9 yr. old son. And the Bible’s words tranformed me.  They are still transforming me. But i am a new person. Period. I am better and live better not because of anything at all except Him and the Bible , which just happened to be the only place to look for this man and learn about this One who came to me named Jesus Christ.  I still treat people harshly at times and I still get angry but i find peace in Him and forgiving others for their mistakes well not always so easily done but it gets done eventually.  I pray for Him to take my longings for ungodly things away and  again sometimes quick sometimes not He answers. There is now a window to choose i hadn’t seen before. To choose His way or the other. Yes, i go to church to be around fellow “believers,” but few have been down the road to truly know Jesus.  Many profess it but have never been transformed. There are churches who preach about Him but yet do everything He said not to. That’s what this guy is talking about.  We really answer to no one except Him, though churches still want to”own,” you and declare you this or that (Denonimations and man made rules). I go to a church where there are many who are full of pride (because of their knowledge, yes knowledge of the Bible), and serve only wanting to be seen.  It’s a strange thing that happens sometimes when people forget to humble themselves to the Lord. The thing about true Christianity is this thing called “humility,” which few know of it, it seems.  Doing and behaving like Christ as best as they know how but yet with humility. In the end we are all still human I suppose. And God still gives Christians the same choices He gives to anyone to sin or not to sin.  That’s why there are so many ill-behaving Christians on this planet. Only through Him and trusting in Him is it more possible to turn away from it,(sin) and when you do, it is freedom not regret.  You are given promises to be in heaven with Him and you are no longer your own . He has you in His hands now and you don’t have to strive any longer in your own strength. You serve others rather than yourself because you just don’t matter as much because praising the One who saved you out of darkness, well He is worthy of it. It is a dark, cold world and  humans are always susceptible to “sin,” saved or not.  The difference is those who are truly “saved,” in their heart rely on God and act out of a spirit that is no longer their own but is found in Jesus. They have the fruit of the spirit. … But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  People working to do the right thing without Jesus in their heart can not exhibit these traits.  They are mere actors.  That’s the essential theme of the Old Testament. It just can’t be done. They judge people and believe themselves to be “good,” and “just.” But in their hearts they loathe, envy, are greedy etc.  This is how the Pharisees were. They were this way to Jesus. They knew the Old Testament inside and out yet helped no one, judged everyone,  and fed no one and condemned those who did try to help someone (Jesus) because it was on the “Holy,” Day.  Jesus told the story of the beaten man left in the road to die and the priests stepped over him but the Samaritan stopped to help. Hmm. What was he saying?  So yes, I have to say I now believe there is only One Way. Only because i saw and heard and received. I did fight and argue, don’t get me wrong but there was One good Man who wanted to be there for me and who let it be known He would always be and to trust in Him and if i did I would get through the storms of life.  The darkness would be on the outside now, and I was now Holy with Him,  in peace. Yes, always storms btw, and darkness would always be right there at my heels waiting for me to miss a step and maybe choose it’s dark path again. But I know now there is One way to be righteous, (the best we can be heart and soul), and one way to Heaven. And it is through a perfect Man who is the only One who can approach the Lord God Himself and through Him, we may be saved. Sorry for the book, just wanted to share.

    • Anonymous

      I posted this earlier but decided to share it.

      Doesn’t posting it once (earlier) constitute “sharing” it?

      • Csoltermack

        Well i meant i posted this in reply to someone else’s comment. I revised it a bit and decided to post it for everyone to see since sometimes you don’t see someone’s comment unless you click on that person’s comment thread. 

    • Anonymous

      Posted twice and I still haven’t — and won’t — read it word-for-word because a solid wall of text is too damn hard on the eyes! If you really want to “share” this stuff, please ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to break up a lengthy post into separate paragraphs. (Pro tip: It involves use of the “return” key.)

      ——————–

      BTW, I did skim over something about you being at a low point in your life when you (got sucked into Christinsanity) found the “LORD GOD HIMSELF.” I’ve heard that before, countless times. It sure would be refreshing to hear a Christian convert say something like, “I was living a great life. Everything was fine. Couldn’t have been happier. So then I accepted Jesus into my heart.”

      Not likely to happen. Christianity invented the fake illness (“sin”) and then sells the snake oil cure (“salvation”) to hook the rubes and keep them under control … and willing to pay for it. And, if the soul-recruiters don’t reach their quota by simply brainwashing gullible people into believing they are worthless and need the “LORD GOD HIMSELF,” they swoop down like vultures to take advantage of people when they are hurt and vulnerable. Dis-gust-ing!

      • Csoltermack

        And just who was it that “swooped,” down and sucked me up. lol. The Lord my God? Salvation happened to me, I didn’t go looking for it.  There is no one to swoop down and suck anyone into Christianity. He saves. That is it. That is all. As i said before and I will repeat it again, He doesn’t come for the “righteous.” When a (non-believing) person believes all is good and perfect in their lives, they are full of pride, they are self- righteous. Self-righteous because they are not giving the goodness in their lives to the very One who provides them with it. So no, you will not hear a person say everything was perfect when He showed up.  I think it’s interesting that in a court of a law, It Is A Person’s Testimony that makes and determines what a person’s crime is, and what their sentence would be. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/Tracy.Bradley1 Tracy Bradley

          I think it’s interesting that in a court of a law, It Is A Person’s Testimony that makes and determines what a person’s crime is, and what their sentence would be.

          Actually… it’s the strength of the evidence against the person on trial that determines guilt or innocence, not ‘testimony’.

  • Joanna Mounce
  • Gee Cee

    So much hate and misunderstanding. Instead of one worrying about the other, why can’t you worry about your own spiritual or non spiritual relations? And I just love it when someone says, ‘most christians’ or ‘most whatevers’ are this or that. Do you even know MOST of anyone or just a handful?
    I can respect other people’s beliefs till they try to shove it down my throat…

    • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

      Gee Cee, like all groups of people, atheists are a mixed assortment of people with widely differing goals. There’s a very vocal contingent that want to see religion completely disappear and everyone convert to atheism. There’s also a less vocal contingent whose goal is to simply increase understanding and acceptance of atheists, but do not have the evangelistic objective of ridding the world of religion. There’s yet another contingent that simply doesn’t care about being vocal in any way, and just want to live their lives and be left alone. And, of course, there are a lot of people who fall somewhere between those three positions.

      A lot of “atheist evangelists” frequent websites like this, and consequently, the atmosphere can become pretty intolerant at times. For a different flavor of atheism, give the website NonProphet Status a try. There’s also a post currently on the front page that discusses the differing (and often times, conflicting) spectrum of goals of atheists.

      Also, keep in mind that there is an extremely vocal, politically powerful contingent of right-wing Christians in the US who want to shove their beliefs down everyone else’s gullets (not just atheist’s, but also moderate and progressive Christian’s gullets, too). Some of the anger and vitriol you see in spaces like this come out of the push to turn conservative Christian beliefs into US law. Yes, there is indeed an unfortunate tendency to generalize those behaviors to all Christians, but a number of us do recognize that (similar to atheism) there is wide range of interpretation and belief and that the most rancidly vocal contingent does not truly represent the disposition of the entire group.

      • http://twitter.com/MyVintageSoul V.G. Grace

        Great comment! I wish I could *love* your comment! :)

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      I don’t hate anyone. However, I look around and see a culture that is awash in supernaturalism, and it frustrates me and makes me sad. I would prefer if people didn’t believe false things, but if they insist on having supernatural beliefs, I would prefer them to adopt more humane and progressive ones. To that end, Jefferson Bethke is doing nothing positive. At least not from my point of view.  He’s not questioning the existence of the supernatural (quite the opposite) and he’s not taking organized Christianity to task for its harmful beliefs, either. I’m worried about that because I’m worried about the future of our country. I see Christian groups trying to insert their religion into our government, into our laws, into our public schools, and it makes me worried about the negative effects that will have on my life and the lives of those I care about.

  • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com Mike Gantt

    The reason Jefferson Bethke’s video is receiving so much attention is that he is distinguishing the baby of Christianity (Jesus Christ) from its bathwater (church, rituals, and all that mankind has attached to His story).

    Jesus is Lord!

  • Andrew Pham

    ~when the church is viewed as an organization set up by man, under the system of religion set up by man then yes they are one and the same.
    but, when the church is properly viewed, according to what is revealed in the Bible: not as thing but a Person (Eph 5:25), not simply as a building or a place to go to “church”, but a group of people called out by God, His bride, then no, they are not one and the same.
    The word “church”, or ekklesia in Greek means “the called out ones.” They are called out of what? called out of religion. From Matthew to John we see the reproving of the religious ones, even it was the religious leaders who persecuted Christ the most and ultimately crucified Him. With all due respect, with proper examination of the Bible they are not the same. 
    To digress: Why am I saying to examine the Bible? Because whether you believe what it says or not, that is where the word “church” that we are discussing originated. It is necessary then to give proper context to what we are debating about by careful study of the Bible, because if everyone were to come up with their own definition and opinion for the meaning of these words, then there is no longer a benefit for discussion. i say this because it seems like we have overlook this very basic need.

    “We think we know, because we are only thinking what we know.”

  • Andrew Pham

    ~when the church is viewed as an organization set up by man, under the system of religion set up by man then yes they are one and the same.

    but, when the church is properly viewed, according to what is revealed in the Bible: not as thing but a Person (Eph 5:25), not simply as a building or a place to go to “church”, but a group of people called out by God, His bride, then no, they are not one and the same.

    The word “church”, or ekklesia in Greek means “the called out ones.” They are called out of what? called out of religion. From Matthew to John we see the reproving of the religious ones, even it was the religious leaders who persecuted Christ the most and ultimately crucified Him. With all due respect, with proper examination of the Bible they are not the same. 

    To digress: Why examine the Bible? Because whether you believe what it says or not, that is where the word “church” that we are discussing originated. It is necessary then to give proper context to what we are debating about by careful study of the Bible, because if everyone were to come up with their own definition and opinion for the meaning of these words, then there is no longer a benefit for discussion. i say this because it seems like we have overlook this very basic need.

    “We think we know, because we are only thinking what we know.”

  • http://twitter.com/moonjp James Moon

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb1N3RJPRHc

    If you’re a Christian but against the wars, then support Dr. Ron Paul

    • Anonymous

      Oh STFU

  • Anonymous

    I think a couple of things should be clarified. As a christian i support gay rights, not because i condone or approve of the lifestyle but because i am guilty according to the religion used to condemn homosexuality. all sins are equal in god’s eyes, but Christians like to take the moral high ground. based on this guy’s testimony (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjmnoUKXaZM&list=UUc4yillQaNo6a-iG2PYbbrA&index=6&feature=plcp) he rejects man’s invention and accepts only god. now i now most of the readers of this are atheist. he rejects the facade. now i’m not saying the poem is biblical, but you have to consider how this guy views religion: ”God and the bible=/= religion, and religion=legalism.”  now as far as abortion is concerned, its murder in my mind. but that’s not the point of this. His problem is what being a christian has become, a title, with meaning any sort of personal change or difference.  he’s not rejecting the faith but the modern practice. Anyway have a great weekend!

    • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

      When people consider homosexuality to be a sin and heterosexuality to be OK in “god’s eyes”, they are effectively creating a hierarchical dichotomy where heterosexuality is deemed to be superior to homosexuality. This is a form of prejudice and is unacceptable. If you embrace this belief, you are no better than a person who is racist or sexist.

      And don’t bother to tell me that you “love me” in spite of my “sin”. That’s just an excuse to make yourself feel better while holding terrible beliefs about an entire group of marginalized people.

      This prejudice has a real impact upon LGBT people’s lives. It is all too easy to learn to hate oneself as a child growing up under traditional Christianity’s prejudicial attitudes toward LGBT people. It is all to easy to be bullied (physically assaulted, emotionally abused, ostracized, etc.) by other children who have taken traditional Christianity’s hateful messages to heart.

      Children regularly commit suicide because of the terrible social conditions your version of religion has helped foster. That blood is on your hands and the hands of every other person who promulgates the notion that homosexuality (or being transgender) is a defective, sinful way of being in the world.

      So, don’t make any half-baked excuses about how your sin is equal to the “sin of homosexuality.” Your version of religion promotes violence against children and that is utterly and completely monstrous.

      I suffered through this kind of abuse as a child. I still carry the emotional scars of the experience with me.  I’m all too familiar with your religion’s fake, saccharine version of “love”… a love that is accompanied by hateful beliefs and hateful behavior.

      • Anonymous

        “It is all to easy to be bullied (physically assaulted, emotionally
        abused, ostracized, etc.) by other children who have taken traditional
        Christianity’s hateful messages to heart.”

        Here in Tennessee, legislators are considering a bill which would explicitly exempt gaybashing of that sort from penalties.

        http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/01/04/397378/tennessee-conservatives-seek-protections-for-religious-bullies/?mobile=nc

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/04/tennessee-anti-bullying-law-change-gays-religion-_n_1183915.html

        • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

          Yup, that’s exactly the kind of hateful stuff I’m referring to.

          Furthermore, this is the kind of horrible crap that happens when religious people think their prejudice gets an automatic pass because their deity/minister/religious scripture tells them that prejudice is moral. That’s why I’m irritated whenever I encounter a Christian who claims to stand for my rights but still thinks who I fall in love with is a personal moral failing. They think I should be somehow supportive of their fucked-up ideas because their religion says it’s OK. They think that religion gives them special privileges that makes uncivil, barbaric, hateful ideas acceptable. As long as you condemn who I am as inferior, I DO NOT TRUST YOU. As long as you view who I am as inferior, I don’t trust your claims that you support my rights.

          I oppose sexism, but I believe that men are inherently better leaders.

          I support civil rights for people of color, but black people are more violent than everyone else.

          I oppose religious discrimination, but Wiccans worship evil.

          I support gay rights but I think their choice of romantic partners is a moral failing.

          Do you get it, “gay rights supporting” Christian? Do you understand why I think your promises of standing up for my rights are empty lies that you fabricate so that you don’t have to face the fact that you are riddled with prejudice?

          • Anonymous

            Great post.

            • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

              Thank you, Obarryon.

    • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

      Oh, I just noticed the quip about abortion, too.

      Looks like we can add misogyny to the list, too.

  • http://twitter.com/spiritworldblog Supernatural Spirit

    WHY I AGREE  WITH CHRIST AND NOT WITH ATHEIST/RELIGION AND WHY YOU SHOULD TOO! – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CohBhzHM11M

    -Topics Explained In the Blog -
    Science, Nature, Humanity, Life, Death, Ghosts, Heaven, Hell, NDE, Religions, Faith, Spirit, Soul, Body, The Holy Bible,
    Astrology, Aliens, Miracles, Witchcraft, Reincarnation, Dimensions,
    String Theory, Time, Space, Matter, Atoms, Gravity, Ancient
    Civilizations, World History, Languages, Ethnicity, Sexuality, Age,
    Evolution, Creation, Neanderthals, Angels, Demons, Gods, Churches,
    Technology, DNA, The Human Body, Earth + More

  • Arlette81

    i am finding my religion really hard at the moment, im
    struggling and i dont know what to do. im a little scared to be honest. what i
    dont want to be is an atheist probably coz i have never met a friendly enough
    atheist i can talk to in real life. My experiences with atheist’s have been
    really negative and I have lost friends because of it. I am respectful towards
    other peoples beliefs and lack of but I find that it’s not recuperated, ive
    never tried to push my religion onto others so I don’t get why im constantly
    disrespected. Most treat me like im 
    stupid and dont know what im talking about. i also find it funny that
    most are surprised that im a Christian. i remember dating some guy who was an
    atheist, even though i knew he was, he did not know that i was a Christian and
    he was almost offended and acted like i tricked him into having feelings for
    me. i did not care but he had a massive problem about my religion. i also have
    noticed the atheist community is incredibly sexist and a little racist if im
    honest. Im not saying the christian community are not but I don’t think
    athiests hold a higher moral ground.

    if i were an atheist i would not want to look
    down at anyone or make the feel as though their thoughts and opinions dont
    matter and im somehow superior.

  • Arlette

    i am finding my religion really hard at the moment, im
    struggling and i dont know what to do. im a little scared to be honest. what i
    dont want to be is an atheist probably coz i have never met a friendly enough
    atheist i can talk to in real life. My experiences with atheist’s have been
    really negative and I have lost friends because of it. I am respectful towards
    other peoples beliefs and lack of but I find that it’s not recuperated, ive
    never tried to push my religion onto others so I don’t get why im constantly
    disrespected. Most treat me like im 
    stupid and dont know what im talking about. i also find it funny that
    most are surprised that im a Christian. i remember dating some guy who was an
    atheist, even though i knew he was, he did not know that i was a Christian and
    he was almost offended and acted like i tricked him into having feelings for
    me. i did not care but he had a massive problem about my religion. i also have
    noticed the atheist community is incredibly sexist and a little racist if im
    honest. Im not saying the christian community are not but I don’t think
    athiests hold a higher moral ground.

    if i were an atheist i would not want to look
    down at anyone or make the feel as though their thoughts and opinions dont
    matter and im somehow superior.

    • Anonymous

      There may be individual atheists who are “incredibly sexist and a little racist”, but it is unfair to characterize the community in that fashion. The atheists I know, including myself if I may toot my own horn a little, tend toward a rejection of gender, race, sexual orientation and other biases. A possibility here is that the atheists of your acquaintance are not atheist due to skepticism and reasoned disbelief, but rather are of the variety who call themselves atheist as a way to reject authority in general. These latter tend to be rather self-absorbed egoists with little regard for other people, and are often quite immature.

      • http://twitter.com/MyVintageSoul V.G. Grace

        Similar to the behavior I’ve witnessed from religious fundamentalists, I’ve also encountered atheists who have attacked me based on my gender when it has come down to me not believing exactly as they believe and I am not a fundie, evangelical, or even super religious, in the first place. Once had a man who was an atheist order me to “to get back in the kitchen” multiple times because I disagreed with his assertion that Hitler was a devout Christian. The absurdity of the claim practically made me ROFL. Sorry, wherever there’s patriarchal, rigid societal conducts in place, a woman will experience misogyny wherever she doesn’t parrot the party line…whether that line is based in religious fanaticism or atheism.

  • Arlette

    i am finding my religion really hard at the moment, im
    struggling and i dont know what to do. im a little scared to be honest. what i
    dont want to be is an atheist probably coz i have never met a friendly enough
    atheist i can talk to in real life. My experiences with atheist’s have been
    really negative and I have lost friends because of it. I am respectful towards
    other peoples beliefs and lack of but I find that it’s not recuperated, ive
    never tried to push my religion onto others so I don’t get why im constantly
    disrespected. Most treat me like im 
    stupid and dont know what im talking about. i also find it funny that
    most are surprised that im a Christian. i remember dating some guy who was an
    atheist, even though i knew he was, he did not know that i was a Christian and
    he was almost offended and acted like i tricked him into having feelings for
    me. i did not care but he had a massive problem about my religion. i also have
    noticed the atheist community is incredibly sexist and a little racist if im
    honest. Im not saying the christian community are not but I don’t think
    athiests hold a higher moral ground.

    if i were an atheist i would not want to look
    down at anyone or make the feel as though their thoughts and opinions dont
    matter and im somehow superior.

  • Arlette

    sorry my comment was rushed so there are loads of spelling mistakes.

    • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

      I believe there’s an “edit” option available at the bottom of each post that you make. Using this option, you should be able to correct spelling errors and make other modifications.

  • Arlette

    i was a little confused by his poem about sex.  i dont understand that whole saving youself until marriage. i love sex and am not in the slightest bit ashamed even as a christian.

  • http://twitter.com/spiritworldblog Supernatural Spirit

    What is not a RELIGION is “IN CHRIST.”
    Religion is the CHURCH in GOD. 
    In Christ is You in GOD.

    SCIENCE + THE WORD OF GOD = THE TRUTH.

    Evolution is a HUGE MISUNDERSTANDING.

    Know More: http://bit.ly/spiritworlds

  • anon101

    It’s funny how people can’t seem to separate religion from Jesus…  I think this guy is great.  Hey, he got you talking.

  • Costas

    Sorry, but I’m not sure you really understand the video. The video is talking about the fact that following Jesus is about a relationship with God. It’s not about following man made rituals or rules. It’s about cleaning the inside and not just the outside. It is talking about hypocrisy. Jesus came to abolish religion. He doesn’t care if you say the right words and go to church, if you do not feel them, believe them or practice them. He continually spoke about the hypocrisy of the pharisees, who paid attention to fine details of the law, but were empty and unclean on the inside.

    The church, is not a building, but is made up of the people that follow Christ. I don’t mean the people that go to church and then go off living contradicting lives, but the true followers who live it. It’s a place where sinners can go and be healed without judgment. 

    When asked about the greatest commandment:
    37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”(Matthew 22:37)

    Notice the absence of rules, procedures and regulations. He speaks about a heartfelt relationship.

    • Piet Puk

      “This is the first and greatest commandment.”
      How is this not a rule?

  • manielse

    As an Agnostic, who grew up Christian, I can relate to what he was “trying to say”. I interpret his word “Religion” to mean “Organized Religion”. Maybe its because I was bitten by the Church in the past but “Organized Religion” and “Jesus/God” can certainly be separated. The Church and Organized components are the marketing and brainwashing components that lead to a very wealthy set of enterprise brands with lobbyist power.  

    • http://twitter.com/MyVintageSoul V.G. Grace

      “but “Organized Religion” and “Jesus/God” can certainly be separated.”

      You got it. Great comment.

  • http://twitter.com/blamer Blamer ..

    >>How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums,
    to what we experience of the here-and-now.

    >>One is the work of God one is a man made invention,
    but no one can but guess at what on earth is divine.

    >> One is the cure and one is the infection.
    Outsiders distrust the labels and so won’t swallow either one.

    >>Because Religion says do, Jesus says done.
    Humanity has made sense of it, it’s what modern minds can do.

    >>Religion says slave, Jesus says son,
    we know this text to be as holy as any other ones.

    >>Religion puts you in shackles but Jesus sets you free.
    To feel divinity in anything and name it what you will.

    >>Religion makes you blind, but Jesus lets you see.
    Characters in books like god are unable to be killed.

  • Mary

    The reason I don’t believe in religion but love Jesus is that every religion has it’s own man made rules there own doctrine. I was raised United Pentecostal was taught from little that if I didn’t wear long dresses it was a sin, if I didn’t speak in tongues and receive the holy ghost I wouldn’t make it to heaven. You don’t need to look for God or speak in tongues Jesus is with us always just waiting. It says in the Bible the holy spirit searches all things even the depths of God. We are all Gods children and I know everyone knows the unconditional love you have for your child. He knows what you are going to do before you do it because he is your Father just hoping you listen to the voice in your head(the holy spirit) and choose to do the right thing. I do believe in the Bible and the fact that he sent his only son to pay the ultimate price for us All. I don’t believe in religion with there own man made rules I simple believe in John 3:16 and asking for forgiveness like the murderer that was next to him on the cross. It saddens me when people judge anyone because of sin he loves us all unconditionally. So no I don’t believe in religion I wouldn’t say I hate it like he says in the video I just don’t agree with many religions. The church I was raised in didn’t welcome everyone like homosexuals which is horrible because they also are Gods children and I guess I just wish more people could be like Jesus I have always had so much empathy for everyone and just wish everyone would just follow the golden rule. I just can’t wait to see Jesus. It says no one shall get to the father except through me and I believe the first thing we will see in heaven is Jesus and his unconditional love and all that God asks is to believe.

  • Charlesjschram

    Apparently you missed the whole part with the pharisees, the religious nuts that preach religious politics and not LOVE. Jesus is love, not rules. He did not “buy back our souls”, He paid the penalty for our sins; that is ultimate love. THAT’S why I love Jesus and hate religion. There is nothing Christ-like about the church today..

  • Charlesjschram

    Anna, you are sadly mistaken when you claim sin doesn’t exist. Sin simply translates into wrong-doing. Regardless of whether you believe in heaven or hell, you cannot deny that sin exists. If I cannot do wrong, and there is no God, why should I try to be “moral”. Did evolution teach us morality? No, evolution teaches us survival of the fittest. So if a man cannot win a fight against me and I beat him to death for his belongings, is that not just survival of the fittest? How can you deny the existence of sin, adhere that there is and should be morality, and then deny the very core of evolution of survival of the fittest?

    Furthermore, I find you do not truly know the meaning of Atheism. Atheism is not the belief that there is no God (or god(s)), it is the refusal to explain the existence of life; because any attempt to explain our existence is going to come back to intelligent design (even a big bang would have to be by an intelligent creator given how our universe looks..).. Even evolution must come back to acknowledging that there was an intelligent creator that created the parameters of our universe and created science, and let science run its course. Atheism skips the crucial step of explaining creation, be it by any theory..

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      Sorry, Charles, but I can very much deny that it exists. “Sin” is a religious construct. It is an imagined offense against a deity, and since there is no evidence of deities, there is also no evidence of any such thing as “sin.” It only exists as a tool of psychological guilt and manipulation, and it only affects people who have already been indoctrinated to believe it exists.

      Atheism is a lack of belief in any and all deities. It has nothing to do with the ultimate origins of the universe, let alone your particular deity or your particular creation story or your particular religious mythology. If you have evidence of deities, then go ahead and present it. The burden of proof lies with those who make positive assertions.

      • Charlesjschram

        I’m sorry but I’m not going to form a rebuttal to your statements when you completely read over most of my response..

        • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

          I responded to what you wrote, but if you have no rebuttal, I’ll just take that as a point for my side, LOL.

          • Charlesjschram

             ”Did evolution teach us morality? No, evolution teaches us survival of
            the fittest. So if a man cannot win a fight against me and I beat him to
            death for his belongings, is that not just survival of the fittest?”
            …..

            • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

              Atheism has absolutely nothing to do with evolution, although from your comments, it appears that you know very little about both subjects.

              Atheism is a lack of belief in any and all deities. Once again, it has nothing to do with your creation myth or with your religion at all. If you’re making positive assertions that supernatural entities exist, then the burden of proof is on you to provide evidence of them. You can’t just make baseless assertions and expect people to agree with you. Since theists have never provided evidence for any of their gods or goddesses, it is perfectly reasonable for me not to believe in deities like Yahweh, Hanuman, Zeus, Shiva, Thor, Ra, Quetzalcoatl, Ahura Mazda, etc.

  • Robert Gonzalez

    i think u need 2 get a life cuz if u dont believe in God and pple do then how does that concern you and affect your life? kk bye :-*

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      This isn’t text messaging or a Twitter feed. If you want people to take you seriously, you might want to be aware that your spelling and punctuation reflect badly on whatever point you are trying to make.

  • Anti-theist

    I hate religion and jesusfags because none of that shit is real, fairytales bro.

  • A desperate sinner

    We can debate religion, doctrine, theology, eschatology, and the bible all day long. The fact of the matter is, Christianity is not based on religion, doctrine, theology, eschatology, or the bible. It is based on the real person and work of Jesus Christ, who died and is alive forevermore.

    We all know we live in a fallen world full of evil and sin (or call it what you want). If you don’t believe me, check the lastest news. But most of us are to afraid to admit it. We are afraid to admit that we are sinners, afraid to look at who we really are. I’m the worst one. There is probably no greater sinner than me.I believe in the Jesus. Call me crazy. I don’t care. All I know is that I’m a sinner. I’m not right. But thats why I throw myself fully on Jesus. It’s not accident that I have morals. Yet my tendency is to rebel against those morals like all of us do. It’s not just my choice, it’s my nature. Everyone on here has the same nature, to rebel against what we KNOW is right. The only reason most of you are on here is because deep down inside you know you are not right with God yet your natural tendency is to rebel so you spend your life trying to prove to yourself he (God) doesn’t exist. Because to you that feels better than accepting what you already know is the truth; that you are a sinner in desperate need of a savior. The only one who offers salvation is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. No need to respond to my comment. I’m not looking for arguments or debates. The truth is the truth and debating the truth is asinine. Thanks

  • Derrickpng

    There are so many words going on here, and in the scriptures it say, where words are many, sin is not absent. We don’t need to fight God’s battle, because he is almighty in fighting his own and in his own time. As Christians, be humble and loving. If anyone is to offend our faith, it is because they do not know it. Let them the see the way through us, which is in God alone. 

  • Lisa

    This guy should have done his homework before doing this “I hate religion” video on You Tube. The Catholic faith is a religion. It is THE religion that Jesus Christ Himself started. Apostle Peter was the first Pope. He is burried at the Vatican and his relics are there too (I have seen his crypt and his relics and you can too). St. Poly Carp and St. Ignatius of Antiach were disciples of John, who was one of the 12 apostles. We have their writings. (You can read them on the web). They describe the mass that John did and what John taught to be almost identical  to what mass is like and the teachings of the Catholic church are like today.  Love Jesus but hate religion? That’s fine. You don’t need to be Catholic or to have religion to get to heaven. But part of what this guy is putting down is the very “religion” Jesus started.

    • Brian

      @Lisa: Jesus didn’t create Christianity; he was (that is if we think he actually existed)’ he was a devout Jew and never preached the creation of a new religion and neither did he ever claim to be “god”. The architect of Christianity was Paul who never knew Jesus but preached his own version of what he thought Jesus was all about. The disciples were also all devout Jews and died as Jews with the possible exception of Peter (who quite frankly seemed to be somewhat of an opportunist).

  • http://twitter.com/MyVintageSoul V.G. Grace

    You know, suffice to say about this complex and often difficult debate–people have the freedom to believe in whatever they want, as long as they are hurting no one. That goes for the ‘Jesus follower’, the self-described Christian, the atheist, the agnostic or whoever else. I will never understand this ongoing debate between people who believe in God and people who do not. As for me personally, although I’m not super-religious, I do believe in God but not in organized religion. I distrust much of it in general because of the intolerance, the closed-mindedness, the bigotry, the homophobia, the misogyny…shall I go on? Organized religion has become much of a sham and has very little connection to any authentic spirituality but has rather become too concerned with whoring themselves out to the right-wing. At the same time, I am not an atheist although I fully respect their right to their own beliefs. I think we can all agree that we all deserve respect.

  • AugustineThomas

    No real Christian supports abortion, only confused idiots who want to feel hip and “progressive”. Also it would be a bit ridiculous for real religious people to support destroying a word given meaning by religion. Religion as it’s known in the West was a Roman Catholic sacrament that got passed to the heretical churches (which have let it diminish and created the godless heresy of modern secularism).

    The idiot who wrote that poem is making a product that other idiots will buy. These people are ingrates and too foolish to realize that all their little post modern multicultural poetry would have been impossible without the One True Church (which we now call the Roman Catholic Church).

    This rambling nonsense doesn’t spread spiritual wisdom, it spreads brainless stupidity.

    Galileo was religious. Leibniz was religious. Keplar was religious.

    Real Christians are religious. The modern “spiritualists” who love lust and abortion and every other horrible sin can keep their kooky “spoken word artist”..

  • John McNeil

    Gandi:

    What, then, does Jesus mean to me? To me, he was one of the greatest teachers humanity has ever had. To his believers, he was God’s only begotten Son.* Could the fact that I do or do not accept this belief make Jesus have any more or less influence in my life? Is all the grandeur of his teaching and of his doctrine to be forbidden to me? I cannot believe so. And because the life of Jesus has the significance and the transcendency to which I have alluded, I believe that he belongs not solely to Christianity, but to the entire world; to all races and people, it matters little under what flag, name or doctrine they may work, profess a faith, or worship a God inherited from their ancestors.

  • John McNeil

    You can hate religion and love Jesus… Gandi was an example of that. Someone who followed and emulated the teachings of Jesus Christ.

  • Jesse Dollemore

    Search, “why I hate religion dollemore” on YouTube to see my response to his video.

  • Jesse Dollemore

    ttp://youtu.be/MNxh7umVOZ0

  • ANDREW

    YOU SIR DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT

  • anon

    Sometimes when folks say “Jesus” or “God” they mean “compassion” or “love.” Just substitute the words when you read or hear something like this. That will turn it into a secular, universal teaching of wisdom. Do it with the Bible. Remove the deity aspect of the teachings and you’ll get something that resonates with the life of this entire world.

  • paulalovescats

    That’s irritating. It’s like listening to rap.

  • Kyle Wood

    I think that you might be picking apart lines in Bethke’s poem that aren’t meant to be taken literally. He claims not to be Christian but a follower of Jesus, not because he isn’t Christian, but to draw a delineation between what Christianity means to him and what the term has come to mean. Similarly, I beieve he understands that following Jesus is religious, but is simply claiming that today’s religious practices aren’t at the root of what he feels Jesus exemplified. I happen not to be “Christian” either and have shared this video with other folks, but I also support your right to be a “friendly atheist.” However, I hope that all of us can agree that religion in the way you see it or possibly in all the ways you do not, are central to how we see ourselves as individuals (or as parts of the whole). It isn’t something to be cast aside with casual words like “myth” or sarcastic comments in how the Bible “contradicts itself.” Regardless what truths you might find for yourself, I doubt any god or any moral, righteous, or logical standard to which you adhere would find that redeemable.


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