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Pope Francis to church: Don’t be a closed caste or afraid of outcasts

(RNS) Pope Francis celebrates a mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, February 15, 2015. Photo by REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi. * This photo can only be used with RNS-POPE-CHALLENGE, transmitted Feb. 15, 2015.
(RNS) Pope Francis celebrates a mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, February 15, 2015. Photo by REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi. * This photo can only be used with RNS-POPE-CHALLENGE, transmitted Feb. 15, 2015.

(RNS) Pope Francis celebrates a mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, February 15, 2015. Photo by REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi. * This photo can only be used with RNS-POPE-CHALLENGE, transmitted Feb. 15, 2015.

VATICAN CITY (RNS) In a powerful sermon that signaled his desire to push ahead with historic reforms, Pope Francis on Sunday (Feb. 15) said the Roman Catholic Church must be open and welcoming, whatever the costs.

He also warned the hierarchy not to be “a closed caste” but to lead in reaching out to all who are rejected by society and the church.

“There are two ways of thinking and of having faith: we can fear to lose the saved and we can want to save the lost,” Francis told hundreds of cardinals and bishops arrayed before him in St. Peter’s Basilica at a Mass centered on the story of Jesus healing a leper rather than rejecting him.

“Even today it can happen that we stand at the crossroads of these two ways of thinking,” the pope said as he outlined the current debate in the church between those seen as doctrinal legalists and those, like Francis, who want a more pastoral approach.

“Jesus responds immediately to the leper’s plea, without waiting to study the situation and all its possible consequences,” Francis declared. “For Jesus, what matters above all is reaching out to save those far off, healing the wounds of the sick, restoring everyone to God’s family. And this is scandalous to some people!”

“Jesus is not afraid of this kind of scandal,” the pontiff continued. “He does not think of the close-minded who are scandalized even by a work of healing, scandalized before any kind of openness, by any action outside of their mental and spiritual boxes, by any caress or sign of tenderness which does not fit into their usual thinking and their ritual purity.”

Since his election almost two years ago, Francis has pushed the church to focus less on denouncing the sins of others — especially on issues of sexual morality — and to instead to reach out more to the poor and social outcasts.

He also wants the church, especially the leadership, to reform itself, and he has convened a series of high-level summits at the Vatican to discuss overhauling the Vatican bureaucracy and changing church practices to, for example, enable divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

But there was a sense at meetings in the Vatican over the past week that the momentum for change may be slowing — in part due to resistance from doctrinal conservatives and the Vatican’s old guard — and could use a jump-start.

Francis seemed to provide such a jolt on Sunday in remarks that were “truly foundational,” in the words of the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, an Italian Jesuit who is close to the pope.

The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Canadian priest who works with the Vatican communications office, tweeted that “more than anything I’ve heard from (the pope) today’s homily is his mission statement.”

Throughout his 15-minute homily, Francis repeatedly slammed the “narrow and prejudiced mentality” of believers who cling to religious laws out of fear. They wind up rejecting the very people they should be ministering to, he said, which means anyone on the margins of society “who encounters discrimination.”

“Total openness to serving others is our hallmark, it alone is our title of honor!” Francis said at the Mass to mark his appointment of 20 new cardinals on Saturday.

“We will not find the Lord unless we truly accept the marginalized!” he concluded. “Truly the Gospel of the marginalized is where our credibility is at stake, where it is found, and where it is revealed.”

The new cardinals had joined Francis and more than 150 other members of the College of Cardinals for talks over the past week on restructuring the dysfunctional papal bureaucracy known as the Roman Curia.

But the background noise to those meetings, and in other, smaller meetings among the pope’s top advisers, was the ongoing and increasingly pointed arguments between those who want to slow or halt Francis’ drive for change and those who think the 78-year-old pontiff needs to act more decisively, and soon.

Francis himself seemed to acknowledge the opposition, citing New Testament passages in which St. Peter (considered by Catholic tradition to be the first pope – was rebuked by other early church leaders for entering the house of a pagan, and when St. Paul faced criticism for not requiring Christian converts to observe all aspects of Jewish law.

“Charity is creative in finding the right words to speak to all those considered incurable and hence untouchable,” Francis said. “Contact is the true language of communication.”

Francis said this mission applied to anyone in today’s world who is pushed aside “for whatever reason.”

But he also listed specific examples, saying the cardinals should see “the crucified Lord” in the hungry and the unemployed, those who are in prison and “even in those who have lost their faith, or declared themselves to be atheists, or turned away from the practice of the faith.”


About the author

David Gibson

David Gibson is a national reporter for RNS and an award-winning religion journalist, author and filmmaker. He has written several books on Catholic topics. His latest book is on biblical artifacts: "Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery," which was also the basis of a popular CNN series.


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  • Atheists on the margins of society & “pushed aside”? I don’t think this guy is up to speed on current events, certainly in the West.

  • “This guy?” “This guy” is the Vicar of Christ. You can disagree with his assessment in this manner, but your dismissive choice of words shows a flagrant disrespect for his position.

  • Wish Pope Francis could have followed St. Pope John XXIII. He embodies the spirit of Vatican II and the option for the poor. He will move the Church to reclaim its original fervor and mission. We will become more the Church of love rather than law and order. God is love.

  • Pope Francis to church: Don’t be a closed caste or afraid of outcasts

    Sayeth the man abusing the Franciscan Friars.

    As for Francis’ administrative ‘reforms’, from what we’ve seen so far, the default assumption should be that nothing will be repaired because Francis does nothing well.

  • Dr. Bob-We are to love people yes but in Truth. Many think that Grace allows
    you to sin but Grace allows us to Repent. Big difference. We all must Repent!
    Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law not to abolish so we are free to choose not
    at all bound by it/the law but we want to follow it/Truth if we’re truly one of His!
    Jesus said you are one of Mine only if you continue in My teachings/follow Me
    If people still get drunk,sleep around,gamble/go to the casinos, be mean and
    don’t change/follow Him they’re going to hell. If people say they love God and
    dont follow the Bible/religion/Jesus no Truth is in them! We all must follow Him!
    Only one of the guys next to Him/Jesus on the Cross went to heaven! That is because only one of the guys Repented! Luke 13 says to Repent or perish!
    1 Corinthians 5 and 6 the whole chapters are what need to be taught today.
    God is Truth and love is part of that Truth so is holiness so we must Repent!
    If someone is heading for hell telling them they are okay is not love. We must
    love people in Truth. Bible is very,very clear that we all need to must/Repent!
    Bible says Repent and believe the Gospel to be saved! We all must Repent!

    Many today ave created a god/idol to suit themselves which is called idolatry
    and no idolater will enter/inherit the kingdom of God/heaven. Many deny the
    Truth by creating their own version of it therefore seperate themselves from God forvever in a literal place called hell/eternal punishment. Matthew 25:46.
    Many don’t want to Repent cause they love their sin so they have created a
    false god/idol. It’s idolatry of ones self/they become their own god which was
    what happened to Adam and Eve in Eden/they were tricked by the devil and the same thing is going on today. Gossip,coveting,pride and sleepin around,
    jealousy,bein mean/sharp tongues/people who now belittle others and laugh
    after like that makes it all okay,gettin drunk,takin His/the Lords name in vain
    are all sin. 1 Corinthians 6:9-12 lists many sins right along with homosexuals.

    Many only want to talk about gay marriage and/or abortion. Ephesians 5:18
    don’t get drunk and 1 Corinthians 6:10 says that all the drunkards go to hell
    including people who get drunk on strong wine cause Jesus made a diluted
    wine for a symbolic reason not to get drunk plus John 2:10 says the cheap
    wine was broguht out last so best for last refers to a poorer/watered down
    wine. Bible also says do not get drunk with strong wine for it is debauchery
    so all of the people who get drunk on strong wine are also wrong/go to hell.
    Bible saysRepent and believe the Gospel to be saved. We all must Repent!

  • Whether one is a woman seeking ordination, a divorced individual barred from receiving communion, or an LGBTQ couple hoping for inclusion and acceptance in their church community, one can take heart in the Pontiff’s determined efforts to ratify the outdated values and biased viewpoints upheld by the majority of today’s Roman Catholic Church hierarchy. Let’s hope that as the Church moves forward and catches up to the rest of the world, the bonds that were broken can be restored as we move forward toward inclusion and gender-equality in every aspect of religious life.

    Thank you for posting the Pope’s homily. I will be proud to “Share” it on my author’s page today!
    JB Richards
    Author of “Miriamne the Magdala-The First Chapter in the Yeshua and Miri Novel Series” and Content Creator for The Miriamne Page

  • The Friars continue their fundraising, er I mean, ministry and their big donors keep on giving. Money makes their world go round, so don’t be so concerned.

  • one can take heart in the Pontiff’s determined efforts to ratify the outdated values and biased viewpoints upheld by the majority of today’s Roman Catholic Church hierarchy.

    Why not tart up your cliches with a Mike Douglas cover of Simon and Garfunkel?

  • @N,

    “‘This guy’ is the Vicar of Christ….you show flagrant disrespect.”

    Excuse me?
    Sounds like you are showing flagrant disrespect for
    “The Vicar of the Leprechaun King”
    whose ruler is just as demonstrable.

  • But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!
    (Galatians 1:8)


    Your job isn’t to preach “The
    Gospel of the Marginalized”. It’s to teach and have others spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every corner of the world and to every human being.

    The gospel isn’t about lifting up the marginalized. It’s that every single human being ever to have lived has sinned against a perfectly holy, righteous and just God, and by his very nature must judge and condemn everyone one of us to hell if he is to remain perfectly holy, righteous and just.

    It’s the fact that God is also perfect in love that we can be saved at all. He did this by sending his perfectly holy, righteous, just and loving son to become human and live the perfect life we could not. Then after living a perfect, sinless life, he was put to death on the cross to pay the debt for our sins required by a holy, righteous and just God. And all we must do to obtain this gift of pardon is to repent or turn from our sinfulness and believe in Jesus Christ, truly making
    Him Lord of our lives.

    That’s the true Gospel. That’s what must me spread to every person, rich or poor, popular or unpopular, healthy or sick!

  • To Art Deco and Atheist Max
    What do you hope to accomplish by your jibes?.
    Has this man offended you, has our Church hurt you?

    We are a community of people who have put our hope in a man who is also God who was crucified in public shame and rose from the dead, demonstrating that this life is only the beginning of something and death is not the end.
    Most of us are fully aware that we are evil-doers with a much more comprehensive hatred of those evils than you can imagine and know we are just like you except in what we believe.
    Despite dungeon, fire and sword there has been a community just like us for more than 2000 years. It will endure to the end of time and continue to seep out the knowledge, ideas and beliefs into the wider community.
    You have no idea how much of your righteous judgement has been formed by Judeo-Christian influence which has appealed to the beautiful side of your humanity as you were made to be.
    I invite you to go another step and consider accepting acting in forgiveness, reconciliation and mercy in your approach to life.

  • So, Francis comes under your judgement and condemnation for reading the riot act to a fraternity of men, who took a vow of poverty and a vow of honour and obedience to the Pope, and are connected to money making and embezzlement.
    This is acting like a troll, why?

  • Dr. Phillip,

    “Has this man offended you, has our Church hurt you?”

    As a former Catholic of 44 years I have a long list of damages:

    My knuckles were bloodied by a Nun in Catholic school because I asked honest questions about the claims she was making about God. I was frequently scolded that it was wrong for the pot to question its maker – my critical thinking was willfully stunted by such ‘education’.

    My sex life has been needlessly contorted and disfigured by claims about what is appropriate ‘godly’ sexuality – it was the only major area of disagreement between my wife and I in 28 years of marriage! our huge mistake was to ever believe the church.
    Thankfully we stopped having children after having TWO and told the priest to screw off and stay out of our business after that – Thankfully we committed heresy CHOSE CONTRACEPTION over the priests wishes.

    My wife’s sex lifewas completely distorted with guilt in our first years of marriage. Unbelievably needless and stupid problem for any adult to be saddled with.

    My ability to think clearly about reality was thoroughly distorted by claims about Hell which were drilled into my head at an early age by lying priests and nuns who insisted any number of thoughts could lead to eternal damnation. I still occasionally have needless fears of Hell even when thinking naturally lusty thoughts even for my own wife! Despicable, needless burden on people!

    The Problems with Religion:

    Religion is frivolous; “thou shalt not masturbate”
    Religion is annoying; “Creationism makes planes fly”
    Religion is expensive; Al Queda, Hamas, ISIS, The Vatican, David Koresh – all of it costs human lives for nothing in return.

    Religion is a joke; “Bats are a kind of bird” (Leviticus 11:13-19)
    Religion is dangerous: “Execute them” – Jesus (Luke 19:27)
    Religion is poisonous: “Creationism makes medicine work”

    Religion is a lie: “Many people rose from the dead” (Matthew 27:51-53)
    Religion kills: “Slay them” (Surah 2:190-) “Kill unbelievers” (Deut.)
    Religion destroys critical thought: “only believe” (Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism)

    Religion destroys critical thought: “People can live inside a fish for 3 days”
    Religion encourages mental illness: “Jesus turned into a cracker for you”
    Religion encourages self hatred: “Your sickness is caused by your sin”
    Religion encourages mental illness: “Hate your mother” – Jesus (Luke 14:26)
    Religion encourages mental illness: “Hate your life” – Jesus (Luke 14:26)

    Religion cheapens life: “Die for me” – Jesus (Matthew 16:24)

    Jesus advocated public JUDGING,
    shunning and shaming of completely innocent people


    (1 Corinthians 5:11)

    “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

    “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” (1 Corinthians 5:11)

    “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting” (2 John 1:10)

    “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)

    “For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)

    “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault.” (Matthew 18:15)

    “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:9-11)

    “Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:13)

    “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)

    “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

    “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord!” (1 Corinthians 16:22)


    “deem them unworthy…remove your blessings of peace.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:13)

    “Don’t waste….on the people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!” – JESUS (Matthew 7:6)

    “shake the dust off…FOR A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM.” – JESUS (MARK 6:11)

    According to the Catholic Church, Jesus has threateningly said,
    ‘I shall return and you shall Kill OUR ENEMIES in front of me – the obedient servant shall be handed the blessing of killing the disobedient.

    “bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and execute them in front of me.” (Luke 19:27)
    Jesus tells this parable of the minas about the importance of obedience and fear. The Catholic Church claims Jesus is presenting in the parable a veiled threat – he plays the ‘nobleman’ in the parable and warns that capital punishment is to be expected for servants who disobey his rules while he is gone – it is the story of the coming Parousia.

    And I have not even touched on the charges against the Catholic Church for well-known crimes it is currently committing against my society overall in the face of international condemnation.

    Yes. These things harm us all and should be abandoned by intelligent, decent people everywhere.

  • Please turn to the true Jesus today. We are to repent of sin. We are not to fellowship with unrepentant sinners. We are to abide in the truth and doctrine of the bible. We are to love the dying and hurting world around us. We are to extend the gospel to them. We are to help the poor and oppressed. We are to love the saints and the sinners and our enemies. False religion will ultimately make you turn away from God. But you can return. Come, or come back to the one true Jesus. Jesus loves you. The truly saved love you too. If you hear His voice today, turn to Him alone who can heal and save you.
    one saved by grace alone through faith alone by Jesus alone

  • Truthinlove,

    You have yourself all worked up in a lather.

    I don’t mind you having your own religion. That is fine.
    But I don’t want it, and I insist you keep it out of our laws.

    for Peace, Civility and The Separation of Church and State

  • Pope Francis insists that Christians welcome those “rejected by society and the Church.” He hasn’t noticed those “rejected by society” are Christians and the Church?

  • The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
    (Romans 1:18-20)

    While you still have breath in this world, there is time for you to repent, believe in Jesus Christ and be saved, but there are no second chances after this life. The problem we all have is that we don’t know when our time in this world will be up…..

  • Wow Atheist,

    That’s a long list; it seems you have an anger that has spilled over into nearly every part of your life. Was it Jesus? Or the Church? Or maybe something else triggering that anger? All I can say, is “properly understood,” Christianity makes complete sense. But it is very difficult to understand God when we have our blinders on. The truth of the matter is, God is God. He has a nature, and that nature is unchangeable. He has created a world, filled it with every kind of life, and gave us a promise that if we pursue him in this life, then we will be rewarded with eternal life with him. That is not a whole lot different than some of the game shows I’ve watched on TV. You have to follow the rules to win the prize. And people will do some pretty hellacious things to compete in those games. The problem is the rules Jesus has established do not suit the people of our age. They want to run wild, then be rewarded as if they had not. The good news is that people can wait until the last minute to re-covert. But usually their hearts are hardened by then, and they end up in the eternal abyss. And by the way, God doesn’t send anyone to hell; people send themselves there to hide from God. Once the soul is separated from the body, it is frozen in its final state (whether reprobate, or moral), and if that final frozen state is opposed to God, then the soul flees from God, and finds itself in the company of the fallen angels. And that is when the horror begins.

  • “For Jesus, what matters above all is reaching out to save those far off, healing the wounds of the sick, restoring everyone to God’s family. And this is scandalous to some people!” – His Holiness Pope Francis.

  • Best not respond to either professional atheists or those more Catholic than the pope in the com boxes. Responses only feed their wrath. Pray for them.

  • By giving this type of sermon and many others like it,Pope Frances is setting the stage to give Communion (Eucharist) to those in second /illicit Marriages.
    Those living in Mortal Sin.He will put himself in that same state of Mortal Sin if he follows through with this evil pastoral plan,as promoted by Cardinal Kasper at the Family Synod.(Synod to resume OCT.2015)

    Matthew 18:6 “But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

  • @Dave Backish

    “believe in Jesus Christ and be saved”

    Your Bible of contradictions also says we do not need to believe in Jesus at all and we are still going to be ‘saved’ (whatever that means) and there is nothing to fear.

    “ALL ARE SAVED..” (Corinthians 15:22)

    Now why not just be happy and remove those words “must believe” from your conversation? Pushing people around and telling them what they must believe is not going to win you anything.

    And if your beliefs bring you so much happiness why can’t you just be happy with it – you are going to heaven – good for you.
    I have no interest in heaven. Even if it isn’t a real place but just a state of mind it sounds like a jail cell.

    Keep your religion. But keep it away from me. Thanks.

  • @Athanatius:

    “Execute my enemies in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    Apparently this includes divorced people?

    Ah, yes. And then there shall be peace on earth.
    What a nightmare is this Jesus cult.

  • I was asked a question after I challenged an empty claim.

    “Execute my enemies in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    Just don’t tell me that this is love.

  • Greg,

    “You have to follow the rules to win the prize”

    Sounds like the life of a dolphin.
    And this is supposed to impress me?

    There is no prize.
    And if I have to kill people to get the prize…
    “Execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 1927)

    Or be mean, solipsistic and cruel to gays or others, you can keep your prize. I dont want it.

    For Peace, Civility and the Separation of Church and State

  • The verse you refered to is this:”For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” Note it does not say “because of Christ”, it says in Christ. Only those who have repented and believed in Christ as their Lord and Savior are in Christ.

    Why do I reach out to the lost, because my Lord commands all who are “in him” to, not to mention knowing my former state, on the road to hell, I would not want to see anyone, including those who see themselves as my enemy, lost for all eternity. I am willing to endure your insults for your sake.

    I can see from your other replies you and your family have been hurt by the Roman Catholic Church. I also was a Catholic for over 40 years until I was called out.

    The Roman Catholic Church is a religion of man. Christ didn’t come to start religion. He came to save you and me, and start a relationship with us, and all of us who have a relationship with Jesus are the true church.

    God loves you, me, and the whole world so much, that he gave his only son as a sacrifice for us so we wouldn’t be lost.

    I don’t want to see you or anyone else lost. That’s why I don’t keep silent.

  • Dave Beckish,

    “I am willing to endure your insults for your sake.”

    I’m not persecuting you – I’m responding to your claim which you directed at me.

    I’m not insulting you. I don’t insult people.
    I don’t know you. I cannot insult someone I don’t know. Please do not turn me into a persecutor.

    You are free to have your religion. I’m not denying your right to it.

    But you are making claims at me. How do you know Jesus wants you to do these things?

    Your Bible says he only came for the sick. I’m not sick.
    Why do you think I am sick?
    That is very personal and insulting. What is your evidence?

    Why shouldn’t I call you a bigot for insulting me?

  • One cannot simply quote a few words from the Bible and think it proves a point about anything. One must study scripture and learn what it truly means. Taken out of context, one cannot use it to prove a point. One can attempt to be the devil’s advocate, but it really doesn’t work for believers. One must always pray for the grace to believe and trust in God, and then to live as one who truly believes.

  • Although the healing of the sick were part of his miracles, this is what Jesus said about himself: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
    (Luke 19:10)

    So no, I don’t think you are ill.

    Here is the authority given to every believer by Jesus Christ to spread the Gospel. Note the instructions Jesus gives his disciples, and then tells them to make disciples, and that’s what’s been going on for the last 2000+ years.

    “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
    (Matthew 28:19)

    And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone.”

    Every single one of us is lost, unless we repent and believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

    Don’t let the things that man has done to you in the form of religion, cause you to reject the awesome gift of forgiveness and love from God. Deep down you know there is a God, because His word says so (Romans Chapter 1).

    He loves you.

  • The text you continue to refer to (Luke 19:27) actually points to the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, which is when the city drew a divine curse upon itself for rejecting Jesus as its messianic king.

  • Thank You for the backing of our “DEAR POPE FRANCIS” . Yes He is the Vicar of my Catholic Faith and I just dislike ones that put Him down and my Catholic Faith!!!!!

  • “fall of Jerusalem”

    Well that means Jesus didn’t say it.
    Because Jerusalem fell many years after Jesus died. I guess you are admitting that Luke was written in response to the fall of Jerusalem and not a book about what Jesus actually said.

  • Atheist Max,
    It shows that you had problems with the Church from an early age that has clouded your understanding. There are various methods to understand properly any written material and they apply to the Bible too. Different literary genres should not be mixed up as if they are all straight and literal in their import. Parables, figures of speech, allegory, analogy etc. are commonly used in all kinds of literature. If we insist on a literal reading like in the case of the end of the parable where Jesus says “bring them and execute them before me”, the whole import of the parable is lost.
    Atheist Max needs a little bit of Linguistic Analysis to understand the Bible. A word and its meaning are not the same and a word is not used like a label for its meaning etc. are commonly accepted by scholars today and applied to the understanding of the Bible. Kindly get into the mainstream of scholarship if you want meaningfully to criticize, especially the understanding of the Bible!
    John P. .S

  • Isn’t Atheist Max a hoot? I really, REALLY love that guy;he confirmed what I found out a long time ago : There is something SERIOUSLY WRONG with the Roman Catholic Church!! God bless you,Atheist Max!!

  • You need Jesus because like every other human being that ever lived you’ve broken God’s laws and because God is holy ( separate from sin), righteous (always does the right thing), and just (must judge and punish sin) you and I and everyone else are guilty and must be punished (hell) if God is to maintain his holiness, righteousness, and justice. Otherwise God would be a “corrupt judge”.

    Humans have the capability of sin because God has given you a free will. He wants you to choose whether or not you want to love him in return, but our free will always lead to sin in our lives, which then leads to judgement and separation (hell).

    Now, here is why you need Jesus. Because God is not corrupt, he must punish sin. However, because he loves you and me and every single human being, he sent his only son into this world to become human like us. Because he is the son of God, one with God, he was able to live a perfect sinnless life, qualifying him as a perfect sacrifice or substitute for all the rest of us. Jesus was punished for all the rest of us. He paid our “fine” in court so we could go free.

    The only thing God wants in return is for us to repent or turn from our old ways of deliberate disobedience, and trust in Jesus as our Savior and make him Lord.

    This is why you need Jesus.

    I’m not sure if you’ve ever given much thought about the almost infinite size to the universe, almost infinite amount of matter and energy, and the physical laws holding it all together.

    Science tells us that it all appeared from nothing at the point of the “Big Bang”. Where did this indescribable amount of matter and energy, and the physical laws that order all of this mass and energy come from? Nothing? Nowhere? Nobody?

    The best minds on this planet have no natural explanation for this.

    Are you willing to bet there is not a supernatural, all powerful, all knowing, all present being behind creation, who loves his creation, who loves you?

    Are you willing to bet your eternity that it came from nothing, nowhere, nobody?

  • Dave,

    “Because God is not corrupt, he must punish sin.”

    You must not have read your bible. God commands you to do exactly the things he says are ‘sins’ – as a way to get to heaven!

    Murder, rape, enslavement, abandonment, torture…Jesus commands all of it!

    This is the synopsis of Christianity right here:

    “I God, personally arranged for the bloody torture of my son. Then I shot my son with the first century’s version of an AK47. I did this for your personal benefit. If you don’t believe me I’ll do worse things to you forever when I send you to Hell. So you better believe this story, or else!”
    – Yahweh.

    That is the story of Jesus.

    Your God commands Rape as a way to get into heaven through punishing your enemy:

    God commands Raping in daylight –
    “Thus says the Lord: ‘I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives [plural] while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall HAVE SEX WITH YOUR WIVES in broad daylight. You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.’ ” (2 Samuel 12:11)

    Rape neighbors wives in broad daylight!
    What morality is being preached here?

    Worst of all you have to lie to me to make all of this make any sense. So your religion depends on liars.

  • So lets look at the verse you took out of context from 2nd Samuel 12 in context with what was happening.

    David had committed adultery with Bathsheeba, she ended up pregnant, and ultimately David had Bathsheeba’s husband Uriah sent to the front lines of battle to be killed in order to cover up what David had done. As a result, David was called on the carpet for what he had done by the prophet Nathan, and was told what was going to happen as a result of the sins he had committed.

    What you did was take this verse entirely out of context with what was going on. God was not condoning nor ordering anyone to rape David’s concubines. What he did do was remove his blessing or favor on David which resulted in the loss of his hedge of protection provided by God, making it possible for his own son Absalom to ultimately commit adultery in plain view to embarrass David, and for Absalom to gain favor with his supporters in an attempt to overthrow David’s rule. Whether it was rape or consensual is not clear, but it was not commanded by God.

    I suppose if you did believe in God, you would be blaming him for all the bad things that happen in this world including rape, but since you don’t, I must assume you must believe rape is the result of evil people (if that’s what atheists say), and Absalom was certainly a bad actor.

    So, how do you think the Universe was created? What was the source of the Big Bang? How were the laws of physics derived, allowing everything to function in our universe? Are you able to answer these questions Athiest Max? You feel you are correct with everything else you believe, please answer these questions if you can.

  • Dave Beckish,

    “I suppose if you did believe in God, you would be blaming him for all the bad things that happen in this world including rape..”

    I don’t blame god for all the rapes.
    But he commanded rape as a matter of routine – so why are you saying RAPE is a sin?

    Of course rape is despicable and immoral.
    But not according to your god!

    God’s rules for Sex Slaves:
    “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.” – YAHWEH GOD (Exodus 21:7)

    God commands raping and stealing
    “Lo, a day shall come FOR THE LORD when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, WOMEN RAPED; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city.” – YAHWEH GOD (Zechariah 14:1-2)

    GOD CLAIMS HE IS HITLER – HIS Might makes right.
    “I have wiped out many nations, devastating their fortress walls and towers. their cities are now deserted; their streets are in silent ruin. There are no survivors to even tell what happened. I thought, ‘Surely they will have reverence for me now! Surely they will listen to my warnings, so I won’t need to strike again.’ But no!” (Zephaniah 3:16)


    “Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are perverse.” (1 Peter 2:18)

    Why are you promoting this garbage to me?

  • Some people have way too much time on their hands… if you honestly have time to post on this thread dozens of times you should be reevaluating how you spend your days…

  • “There are various methods to understand properly any written material”

    That is my problem with your Bible.
    It doesn’t come with a manual
    because it CLAIMS TO BE THE MANUAL!

    “Execute them” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    Dangerous, filthy nonsense.

  • @Heart315,

    “One cannot simply quote a few words from the Bible and think it proves a point..”

    Then why use the bible to argue anything at all? It is useless indeed.

  • The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
    (Romans 1:18-20)

  • Dave,

    “God has made it plain to them….”

    Plain? Obvious?

    There 50,000 different sects of Christianity in the world

    Oneness Pentecostalism
    Cult of Santo Muerte Christian Universalist
    Pilgrims of Ares
    Lakeland Revivalist
    Rastafari Unitarian
    Vodoo Christian
    Santo Daime
    Metropolitan Universalist
    Jehovah’s Witnesses
    Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord
    Kingdom Ministry
    Makuya Fellowship
    Arian Catholic
    Christian Freemasons
    Roman Catholic
    Subbotniks Church
    The Two by Twos
    The Way International
    Millenial Fellowship
    Roman Catholic
    Martinist Churches
    Theosophy Fellowship
    Ecclesia Gnostica
    Gnostic Christians
    Friends of Man
    Unity Church
    Eastern Orthodox
    Russian Orthodox
    Melkite Catholic
    Albanian Byzantine
    Greek Byzantine
    Greek Charismatic
    Ukranian Greek Catholic
    Ukrainian Orthodox
    Mariavite Christian
    “True” Catholic Uruauay
    Palmarian Catholic
    Antiochan Christian
    Japanese Orthodox
    Autocephalous Orthodox
    Bulgarian Synod
    Celicia Christian
    Armenian Jerusalem Christian
    Malabar Syrian Coptics
    House of Yahweh Christians
    Indian Shakers
    The Grace Movement Church
    Gloriavale Unitarian Evangelicals
    Assyrian Christian
    Conference General of God
    Panacea Society Houses of the Holies
    World Mission Church
    Strigolniki Fellowship
    Branch Davidians
    Mar Tohma Church of the Non Apostolics
    Neo-Charismatic Born Again Church
    House of Aaron Messianic Fellowship
    Newfrontiers Church of Rebirth
    City Harvest Charismatic
    Apostles Initiated
    Messianic Sect of the Jewish Congregationalists
    Yeshua Unionists
    Jesus Army Charismatic
    Revival Fellowship
    Church on the Rock Neo-Charismatics
    Church of Faith
    Sovereign Grace Ministry
    Restored Apostolic
    Reformed Apostolic
    New Apostolic
    Bible Fellowship
    Higher Life Movement
    Third Awakening
    Sethianist Christian
    Valentinianist Christians
    Christian Friends of God Yahweh
    Northern Shakers
    Holiness Movement
    Jews for Jesus
    Jesus for Jews
    Christ Scientist
    Continental Reformed
    Lutheran Aryan
    Lutheran Sweden
    Latvian Evangelical
    Faroe God Movement of the Islands
    Sheng Kung Hui
    United Reformed
    United Church of Jesus
    Presbyterian Universalists
    Presbyterian Reform
    Presbyterian United Free Church
    Cook Islands Fellowship
    Social Brethren
    Schwarzenau Brethren
    Process Church of the final judgement
    Church of the Revelation

    Many have been to war with each other countless times.

    Within the above sects you will find HUNDREDS of completely opposed claims:

    Jesus came to save
    Jesus did not come to save
    Jesus came to judge
    Jesus did not come to judge
    Jesus didn’t come yet
    Jesus isn’t God
    Jesus is god
    Yeshua not Jesus
    Jesus not Yeshua
    Jesus has many names
    Jesus has no other names
    Yahweh is Jesus
    Yahweh is not jesus
    Jesus rose from the dead
    Jesus didn’t die
    Jesus never rose
    Jesus won’t rise
    Jesus will rise
    Jesus has still not risen
    Jesus can’t rise
    Jesus was a man
    Jesus was never a man
    Jesus is only a spirit
    Jesus was never a spirit
    Don’t utter ‘Jesus’
    Always utter ‘Jesus’
    Pray to Jesus not god
    Pray to god not Jesus
    Keep Jesus in your heart
    Jesus cannot be in your heart
    Ignore Jesus
    Pay attention to Jesus
    Jesus speaks to you
    Jesus never speaks to you
    Jesus will return
    Jesus will never return
    Heaven is real
    There is no heaven
    Hell is real
    There is no Hell
    the Bible matters
    The Bible doesn’t matter
    Jesus saves
    Jesus commands evil
    Jesus commands only good
    Jesus doesn’t save but God does
    Nobody is saved
    Everybody is saved
    Consubstantiation vs. Transubstantiation
    Communion is really Jesus
    Communion is not really Jesus

    Wars continue to be fought over these unverifiable claims.
    And real people are killed over FAKE ASSERTIONS.

    If one of these Christian rituals is correct nobody would ever know
    – because God never told us.

    If one is correct, the other 49,999 sects are absolutely wrong.
    Odds are extremely high that your version of Christianity is completely wrong.

    “What if we are worshipping the wrong god? Every Sunday we are just making the real God madder and madder..”

    There is only one thing that is plain and clear.
    The healthiest approach to all of this film flam
    is to doubt that any of them are correct.

    “Shun Them” (Romans 16:17)

    What a disaster!