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My Faith: What people talk about before they die
January 28th, 2012
11:00 PM ET

My Faith: What people talk about before they die

Editor's Note: Kerry Egan is a hospice chaplain in Massachusetts and the author of "Fumbling: A Pilgrimage Tale of Love, Grief, and Spiritual Renewal on the Camino de Santiago."

By Kerry Egan, Special to CNN

As a divinity school student, I had just started working as a student chaplain at a cancer hospital when my professor asked me about my work.  I was 26 years old and still learning what a chaplain did.

"I talk to the patients," I told him.

"You talk to patients?  And tell me, what do people who are sick and dying talk to the student chaplain about?" he asked.

I had never considered the question before.  “Well,” I responded slowly, “Mostly we talk about their families.”

“Do you talk about God?

“Umm, not usually.”

“Or their religion?”

“Not so much.”

“The meaning of their lives?”

“Sometimes.”

“And prayer?  Do you lead them in prayer?  Or ritual?”

“Well,” I hesitated.  “Sometimes.  But not usually, not really.”

I felt derision creeping into the professor's voice.  “So you just visit people and talk about their families?”

“Well, they talk.  I mostly listen.”

“Huh.”  He leaned back in his chair.

A week later, in the middle of a lecture in this professor's packed class, he started to tell a story about a student he once met who was a chaplain intern at a hospital.

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“And I asked her, 'What exactly do you do as a chaplain?'  And she replied, 'Well, I talk to people about their families.'” He paused for effect. “And that was this student's understanding of  faith!  That was as deep as this person's spiritual life went!  Talking about other people's families!”

The students laughed at the shallowness of the silly student.  The professor was on a roll.

“And I thought to myself,” he continued, “that if I was ever sick in the hospital, if I was ever dying, that the last person I would ever want to see is some Harvard Divinity School student chaplain wanting to talk to me about my family.”

My body went numb with shame.  At the time I thought that maybe, if I was a better chaplain, I would know how to talk to people about big spiritual questions.  Maybe if dying people met with a good, experienced chaplain they would talk about God, I thought.

Today, 13 years later, I am a hospice chaplain.  I visit people who are dying in their homes, in hospitals, in nursing homes.   And if you were to ask me the same question - What do people who are sick and dying talk about with the chaplain?  - I, without hesitation or uncertainty, would give you the same answer. Mostly, they talk about their families: about their mothers and fathers, their sons and daughters.

They talk about the love they felt, and the love they gave.  Often they talk about love they did not receive, or the love they did not know how to offer, the love they withheld, or maybe never felt for the ones they should have loved unconditionally.

They talk about how they learned what love is, and what it is not.    And sometimes, when they are actively dying, fluid gurgling in their throats, they reach their hands out to things I cannot see and they call out to their parents:  Mama, Daddy, Mother.

What I did not understand when I was a student then, and what I would explain to that professor now, is that people talk to the chaplain about their families because that is how we talk about God.  That is how we talk about the meaning of our lives.  That is how we talk about the big spiritual questions of human existence.

We don't live our lives in our heads, in theology and theories.  We live our lives in our families:  the families we are born into, the families we create, the families we make through the people we choose as friends.

This is where we create our lives, this is where we find meaning, this is where our purpose becomes clear.

Family is where we first experience love and where we first give it.  It's probably the first place we've been hurt by someone we love, and hopefully the place we learn that love can overcome even the most painful rejection.

This crucible of love is where we start to ask those big spiritual questions, and ultimately where they end.

I have seen such expressions of love:  A husband gently washing his wife's face with a cool washcloth, cupping the back of her bald head in his hand to get to the nape of her neck, because she is too weak to lift it from the pillow. A daughter spooning pudding into the mouth of her mother, a woman who has not recognized her for years.

A wife arranging the pillow under the head of her husband's no-longer-breathing body as she helps the undertaker lift him onto the waiting stretcher.

We don't learn the meaning of our lives by discussing it.  It's not to be found in books or lecture halls or even churches or synagogues or mosques.  It's discovered through these actions of love.

If God is love, and we believe that to be true, then we learn about God when we learn about love. The first, and usually the last, classroom of love is the family.

Sometimes that love is not only imperfect, it seems to be missing entirely.  Monstrous things can happen in families.  Too often, more often than I want to believe possible, patients tell me what it feels like when the person you love beats you or rapes you.  They tell me what it feels like to know that you are utterly unwanted by your parents.  They tell me what it feels like to be the target of someone's rage.   They tell me what it feels like to know that you abandoned your children, or that your drinking destroyed your family, or that you failed to care for those who needed you.

Even in these cases, I am amazed at the strength of the human soul.  People who did not know love in their families know that they should have been loved.  They somehow know what was missing, and what they deserved as children and adults.

When the love is imperfect, or a family is destructive, something else can be learned:  forgiveness.  The spiritual work of being human is learning how to love and how to forgive.

We don’t have to use words of theology to talk about God; people who are close to death almost never do. We should learn from those who are dying that the best way to teach our children about God is by loving each other wholly and forgiving each other fully - just as each of us longs to be loved and forgiven by our mothers and fathers, sons and daughters.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Kerry Egan.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Death

soundoff (4,494 Responses)
  1. Reagan80

    I don't usually tout movies as fertile ground for theological arguments, there is a very profound line in the movie "Oh, God" with the late George Burns. Here's the line: "Is his existence any more improbable than our own?"

    January 30, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • *facepalm*

      "I don't usually tout movies as fertile ground for theological arguments"

      There's a very good reason for that...

      January 30, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • Reagan80

      True. But, if you disagree with the implication of the line, I'd like to hear your argument.

      January 30, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • *facepalm*

      The probability of existence of someone that actually exists would be 1. The probability that some deity exists, given the absolute complete and utter lack of definitive evidence would, by any reasonable calculation, be less than one. One you start talking about specific gods, it only goes down from there. It's a quote that makes a nice little sound bite unless you bother to actually put in any thought to it. It's hardly a basis for an apologist's reasoned argument.

      January 30, 2012 at 2:06 am |
  2. RockoMarx

    That's the Book of Zenith, second chapter, third verse..."And lo! the vacuum tubes did glow with the light of the Lord."

    January 30, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  3. Ali

    It surprises me that atheists seem so deadset to prove there is no God. Why would they work so hard ... for nothing?

    January 30, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • George

      And why are they so angry if they believe that God does not exist? And why are they so touchy about any mention of God in public?

      January 30, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Bin There

      Only George, talking to himself as Ali, would say and respond with such ridiculous idiotic comments. George you are a major ass of biblical proportions.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • electricgrendel

      Why is it that believers, after reading this beautiful description of faith, immediately turn to criticizing and bashing atheists? Why are they always so angry that someone doesn't believe the same way they do?

      January 30, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Q

      You, George, can mention God in public all you want. You can grab a bullhorn and stand on a soap box. You can hire a skywriter to spray "God" in 100 ft letters. Even elected officials can talk about God all they want when speaking as individuals. What atheists, agnostics and many intelligent theists don't want is a government promoting a religious view using public resources. The Establishment Clause is the "teeth" that protects your individual religious freedom provided under the Free Exercise clause from State encroachment. Simply put, the Establishment Clause protects minority religious views from majority religious views. Absent this protection, some States would be free to instruct their students that the Pope is the sole voice of God. Other States would be instructing their students that Catholics are in league with Satan. Best to just leave the State out of religious affairs all together...

      January 30, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Phil

      As an atheist, I think a lot of it stems from the fact that we are surrounded by religion everywhere we turn...at least it seems that way if that's all you focus on.

      Not all atheists are alike. We do equally share the belief that god does not exist - but some of us are more vocal than others. My level of broadcasting my beliefs (or non beliefs) depends on my mood. Tonight, for example, I'm calm and relaxed, and thus it shows in what I write. I have been known (even around here) to be the opposite and absolutely insist that you're wrong and we're right.

      Then I rant and rave about it for hours and my wife hates it because she's Catholic. I used to be Catholic too. I know all about faith but chose to walk away from it because for me, logically, it did not make sense. I tend to require more than just a good story and a building to worship in.

      Those of faith can be just as abusive when they write or talk about what they believe in.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • George

      @Q

      Just remember that it is the Year of the Bible in Pennsylvania which passed their legislature. Separation of church and state is a figment of the atheist's imagination.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • George

      @Phil

      I'm glad you admit that it's a belief on your part.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Q

      @George – And when Americans United for Separation of Church and State files suit, PA will realize that figments of atheist imagination are very, very expensive and unconsti-tutional. You may have noticed there's no more school-led prayer in PA and, more recently, that the Dover Area School Board spent 1 million dollars after losing their bid to introduce Intelligent Design into their science classes. It's a process you know... One that Jefferson and Madison set up and subsequent generations have incrementally, but inevitably put into practice.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Ali

      Phil: Thanks for bringing a level of understanding and civility to the conversation.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • George

      @Q

      You will lose when the Christian Amendment gets passed. This is why we must elect conservative Christians.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Q

      @George – LOL! Not a good track record for the various "Christian Amendments"... Can't even get a bible belt state to recognize "personhood" for a fetus. Maybe you just haven't been praying hard enough...

      January 30, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • *facepalm*

      @George,

      Curious to know why you think the likes of Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and even Washington were so completely and totally wrong on religion?

      January 30, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • George

      And another reason why we must elect conservative Christians to office is so they can appoint/confirm conservative Christian judges who will turn back the tide of secularism and restore this country as "one nation under God."

      January 30, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • Q

      "...restore this country as "one nation under God."" LOL! The glory that was America in 1954...

      January 30, 2012 at 1:36 am |
  4. George

    You have to bring God into any discussion about dying. For those who have been saved, it reassures them that they are going to meet Jesus. For those not saved, it gives them one last chance to repent.. It is ok to talk about family and loved ones as long as the discussion about God is not neglected. To do otherwise is irresponsible.

    January 30, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • Bin There

      You should be taken out and shot for being such a fascist, but your time will come. You cannot continue to violate people's privacy and personal wishes forever. At some point you will be stomped down and rightly so. May it be soon.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • George

      @Bin There

      So much hate and anger. There was nothing fascist about my comment. And you look bizarre for saying so.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • ElisabethinCA

      It is irresponsible to let a dying person talk about anything THEY want to talk about? Talk about arrogant. Someone who is dying, literally within hours and minutes, can talk about anything they want. They have the floor, they have the mic, they have the podium and can do anything they want with it. How dare you tell her she is irresponsible. Who are you to judge? It always amazes me that my fellow Christians proclaim they are so pious and godly yet they judge others. If I was laying there waiting to die and I summoned my chaplain, and I wasn't allowed to talk about the things I most wanted to get off my chest before dying, the things I needed to make sure were said before the last drop of life in me was gone, what is the point of calling anyone in to talk to? Most people that know they are dying have already made their peace with whatever icon they believe in. And to say that a person of the cloth needed to go in and tell a dying person they should listen instead of being able to talk is what’s really irresponsible. A real Christian huh? Not so much.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • tallulah13

      How arrogant and selfish of you, George, to even think that it is acceptable to steal the final moments of a dying person's life for your own desires. If a person asks, tell them what you believe. If they don't, leave them alone. Stop making their death all about you.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • George

      @tallulah13

      It's not about me. It's about God.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • George

      @ElisabethinCA

      Then why call in a minister? Why not a friend or a counselor or a psychologist? If it is a man of God, you know he's going to talk about God.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • tallulah13

      Wrong, George. You are the one who wishes to lecture the dying about what YOU believe, whether they want to hear it or not. If a dying person wishes to speak about god, they will. It's not about you. Unless you are the one who is dying, it's not about you. Stop blaming your god for your own selfishness.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:58 am |
  5. Shawn

    sounds like your former professor was a butt.

    January 30, 2012 at 12:50 am |
  6. Jake dog

    i was moved to tears...my mother has been going through chemo and recovery for lung cancer. Stage three or four depending on who you listen to...she is 78...I love her so much...she has a strong faith..mine has been growing for several years..and going through this with my brothers and sister has been an emotional process. It has all been about our lives and growing up, the love and the complicated interconnections. I love my mom, and my brothers and sister...tonight I looked at
    pictures spanning my 49 years, my mom, my dad, my brothers and sister. your words struck deep and true, thank you. god
    bless you.

    January 30, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • Bin There

      Haven't mastered the post button yet, I see. God must want you to look extra stupid.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • George

      God bless you, Jake, and God bless your mom. I will pray for you.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • tallulah13

      My mother died at 58 of lung cancer and I miss her still. Whatever you believe, whatever happens, I wish you and your family well.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:16 am |
  7. Jake dog

    i was moved to tears...my mother has been going through chemo and recovery for lung cancer. Stage three or four depending on who you listen to...she is 78...I love her so much...she has a strong faith..mine has been growing for several years..and going through this with my brothers and sister has been an emotional process. It has all been about our lives and growing up, the love and the complicated interconnections. I love my mom, and my brothers and sister...tonight I looked at
    pictures spanning my 49 years, my mom, my dad, my brothers and sister. your words struck deep and true, thank you. god bless you.

    January 30, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • Brontosaurus Poop

      bull crap, you are just a shill for the tea baggers.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Ali

      Brontosaurus poop: Really?! Her 78-year-old mother has stage 3/4 lung cancer. Never mind. Your name says it all. It's way past your bed time.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:58 am |
  8. Ali

    This was a very nice story! Thank you!

    January 30, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • Brontosaurus Poop

      It was a clearly slanted piece written by a cross-eyed woman going through menopause.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:50 am |
  9. querida

    May I suggest, may i suggest to you, this is the best part of your life........

    January 30, 2012 at 12:43 am |
  10. Iqbal Khan

    http://www.realzionistnews.com/?p=60

    January 30, 2012 at 12:43 am |
  11. Mike

    Kerry you are right on the mark. Christ said 'By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one for another.' A professor (or anyone for that matter) who ridicules you for sincere acts of kindness should take note of what Christ said about the Pharisees and their hypocrisy. Keep up the great work!

    January 30, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Mirosal

      having love for your fellow human beings does NOT mean you are a disciple of anyone. There are 5 billion on this planet who do NOT follow your little book. Are they heathens? "domed forever"? just because?

      January 30, 2012 at 1:08 am |
  12. Nostalgie

    yes,yes the bible has errors in it BECAUSE IT WAS WRITTEN BY HUMANS NOT GOD

    January 30, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Jessie

      So, it isn't worth trusting then, is it?

      January 30, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Bin There

      So you agree the Bible is a worthless pile of crap. Good. Now try and tell that to Christians and Jews. They will call you a bigot.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:56 am |
  13. Nostalgie

    Because Atheists have a invisible corn cob up their button that they don't believe is there and is making them so mad and ignorant

    January 30, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • me smart

      me no know how use reply correctly

      January 30, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Norte Americano

      LOL an invisible corn cob! LOL Yet it is the religious who clearly have a giant stick up their asses!

      January 30, 2012 at 12:39 am |
  14. why are atheists so hateful?

    Wow! I read the article and felt enlightened, peaceful, and full of love for my family. I was surprised to see so many vile, hateful comments. Atheists, please remember that there are plenty of loving Christians who live their lives quietly and peacefully; we are not "freaks," and we have no intention of "pushing anything down your throat." Don't you see that by talking that way you are being just the kind of person you so vehemently hate? Live and let live.

    January 30, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Norte Americano

      Live and let die, live and let live, religious people do neither as we can see with our own eyes every day.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • why are atheists so hateful?

      Norte: We shouldn't lump everyone together. I will take my own advice and leave well enough alone. Peace.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Norte Americano

      LOL you are lumping all atheists together! WHAT A HYPOCRITE! What a typical religious response! LOL

      January 30, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Bin There

      You sound like a Muslim saying you follow the religion of peace yet anyone reading your Bible would call you a liar, liar.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • William Green

      It is atheists who ram their beliefs down our throats, not vice versa.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • tallulah13

      Mr. Green: Get real. I have had people knocking on my door and have been accosted at public events by people who want to share the "good news" of Jesus with me. I walk by street preachers in my city, yelling at the top of their lungs about Jesus, then cursing those who dare question them. There are politicians running for President of the United States on a platform of religion.

      I have never encountered an atheist doing any of these things. Either you are ignorant or a liar. I suspect the latter.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Kamal

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      April 1, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  15. J Lorenz

    Your essay really spoke to me very strongly. You so clearly and poetically spoke to the heart of our human existance: that of love and family. Thank you for your words.

    January 30, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  16. tallulah13

    How did everything in the bible come to pass when so much of it contradicts itself?

    January 30, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • Mr. Hat

      Would you mind telling me where the bible contradicts itself? Thanks!

      January 30, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Big One

      1001biblecontradictions(dot)com

      January 30, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Mr. Hat

      @Big one
      Thanks!

      January 30, 2012 at 12:27 am |
  17. Disgusted

    "If I was ever sick in the hospital, if I was ever dying, that the last person I would ever want to see" is some smug, self-superior religious freak coming to jam Jesus down my throat. Notice how atheists never would do something like that?

    As my mother died recently of cancer, the religious amongst her friends were the most appalling, coming to "save" her with their weird rituals, and refusing to stop when she politely asked them to. Nevermind that she was not religious and they knew it. Nevermind respecting her wishes or her choices. The seculars were invariable the more empathetic and human and grounded. It was really a terrible spin to a horrible situation.

    If there is a God, why did he make his followers so insensitive and pushy and inhuman.

    January 30, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • gremlinus

      Not everyone who is religious is like that. I'm an atheist, so I can't help you with "God's plan," but I suspect your mother also had some religious friends that didn't try to push their beliefs off on her. Maybe things like this differentiate not between the religious and the non-religious, but rather those that put your mother's feelings before their own and those that only wanted to do what made them feel better.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • Reagan80

      He didn't make them that way. They're just people that have come to believe that He is there just as you believe that He isn't. They're no more skilled and no brighter than before they believed. But, in your certainty that they're all wrong, consider that many of them are brighter and can do almost any mental task better than you or me. Of course, that's true among atheists as well but, it should give you pause to know that there are millions of people in that first group. And, yet, you are certain.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • gremlinus

      Reagan80-I'm not sure what being able to perform "mental tasks" have to do with religion. Just because something is popular doesn't make it right. Just look at hot pants. Or shoulder pads.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Reagan80

      Gremlinus – Nor does it make it wrong. Millions of people smarter than you have believed it. And, yet, you are certain.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • gremlinus

      Reagan80-Still don't see your point. Some people believe there is a god and their belief is strong. Some people believe there is no god and their belief is strong. I never said anything about "certain." And I don't think the original poster did either.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • gremlinus

      And as for your "smarter" comment, I would take exception. As far as intellectual capacity goes, there isn't much difference in most people's intelligence. If you are claiming some "yardstick" of "smarter," I'll go toe to toe with that statement. You don't know anything about me or how "smart" I am.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Reagan80

      Actually, Gremlinus, your responses tell me a great deal about how smart you are. They also tell me something about your ego if you're unwilling to admit that in a world that has something like 7 billion people currently alive (not counting all the dead ones) there aren't millions of people smarter than you. So, you think that in a group of 3,500 people the odds are that there's no one smarter than you? Maybe you do have all the answers! And, you did tell us that you're certain there's no God when you chose to identify yourself as an atheist rather than an agnostic.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Reagan,

      One can easily be an agnostic (I don't know) atheist (I have no belief). Atheist does not necessitate certainty.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • gremlinus

      Reagan80-You're the one that brought up "smarter," I'm simply saying that most people have about the same ability to comprehend. If you are using amount of education as a yardstick for "smarter" then yes, I am "smarter" than most people by simple statistics. The problem is you haven't defined what you mean by "smarter." There were plenty of "smart people" that believe that the world was flat and that gods lived on a mountain called Olympus. And whatever you mean by "smarter," it certainly doesn't mean better. I don't think anyone is better than anyone else. And no, an atheist believes there is no god. Agnostic believe that it isn't possible to determine whether god exists or not. It's not the same thing. Again you are the one using the word "certain." No matter how "certain" you are, it's still a belief as there is no way to prove it. That's the nature of faith, belief without proof. But you are shadowboxing with attacks on my character rather than an actual discussion. So I am done with this conversation.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • tallulah13

      Reagan80, the greatest minds of the world once thought that the world was flat.

      It doesn't matter who believes what, if there is no evidence to support the claim. There has never been a single shred of evidence to prove the existence of any of the literally thousands of gods worshiped by humans throughout their existence. Your god is no different.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Reagan80

      Gremlinus – I have not made the first attack on your character. After reading your posts, I am starting to think you're not focusing on what you're writing, though. You're wandering off the subject of intelligence and into education, whether or not someone is "better" than another, and now, "character". Education has nothing to do with whether or not you're smart. I have two advanced degrees but, I would never claim those made me intelligent. You're either smart when you get to the university or, you won't be when you leave. Better definitions of atheist and agnostic are that an atheist denies the existence of God and an agnostic says he does not know whether or not there is a God. The agnostic is humble. The atheist is certain there is no God unless, you're saying that he denies that of which he is uncertain. That's a tough judgement of the guy.

      January 30, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • *facepalm*

      @Reagan,

      Again, you can easily be both agnostic and atheistic. They are not mutually exclusive. If you can't see that, maybe it's time to head back to school for another degree.

      January 30, 2012 at 2:20 am |
  18. Nostalgie

    Apparently LOL picks random people to insult and then shuts up cause he's a baby sucking on his pacifier

    January 30, 2012 at 12:11 am |
  19. RANDALL WILLIFORD

    Allah? Ballsacks? You seem to be hung up on child molesting. Were you molested? are you a molester? Do you need help or are you just in need of attention?

    January 30, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Ewww

      You've molested so many kids you think everyone else has been molested. That's disgusting.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Bin There

      Who are you talking to Randall? Yourself? And you have some thing about ballsacks. Wow. Thanks for sharing.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  20. Aircarz

    Tom Tom said : “Last I checked, no one knows what happens when we die.”
    We DO know! Check in the Bible...you will find out what happens when you die in those pages. Everything and i mean EVERYTHING* else the Bible has said has come to pass...i have no reason therefore to doubt what it says about Heaven and hell.
    *Israel arose from the ashes- was resurrected if you will, after being literally extinct for more than 1900 hundred years. On May 14 1948 Israel arose OVERNIGHT in its original location with its original Hebrew language and the BIBLE predicted that. That was the LAST prophecy that needed to take place before the rapture would occur. That means there is nothing else that needs to happen before the return of Jesus...all remaining prophecy is during and post tribulation. Check those things out while you're finding out what happens to you when you die.

    January 30, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • *frank*

      The fact that you thought typing that was a worthwhile thing to do is perplexing.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • VanHagar

      But, Frank, what do you think of the prophesy? Aircarz is correct. Try this one on for size, before Jesus returns, the Bible says that two witnesses will preach, they will be hated and then murdered: Their bodies will lie in the street for the world to see (Rev. 11). Pretty neat...the Bible predicted television 2000 years ago.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • LK

      My mind is officially... blown.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Bimmerman03

      You're crazy!
      The Bible you quote is a Jewish Fairy Tale.
      Please see a Psychiatrist immediately.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Bill

      The Bible is a work of fiction by a bunch of old farts who were bored! And bad fiction at that! Seven days? Virgin birth? Loves & Fishes? Sounds like today's "reality" TV shows! What a simplistic outllook on life! The only hopeful out come is that natural selection will weed out these feeble minded citizens from our gene pool!

      January 30, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • Jessie

      The Bible is a book, written by people. Lots of books have very imaginative ideas about what happens to people after they die. Why is this one any more accurate than any of the others.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • gremlinus

      I think you should pause on reading the Bible and pick up a history book.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • Jessie

      VanHagar
      "Pretty neat...the Bible predicted television 2000 years ago."
      How the hell do you get that from what you said the Bible says? Connect the dots: A to B, B to C, C to ... ah, let's see_J! See how it's all so closely connected, Folks!

      January 30, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • Bzlbb

      They will be hated and murdered by CHRISTIANS and will be two HONEST people.
      Christians have a poisonous hate for the truth and will fulfill their own prophecy and then wonder why there is no Jesus come to save them and wail and gnash their teeth because they are already in HELL where there is no god!
      Only honest atheists can be the two lamps at the feet of the Truth! And the Truth is that there is NO GOD HERE!
      Welcome to HELL! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      January 30, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • Bin There

      Blueprints for television are supposed to be in the Book of Mormon, dummy!

      January 30, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • JahOOzaphat

      The Harry Potter book says that after I die I will be animated in a portrait behind Dumbledore's desk. Which book should I believe? Both were written by humans.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:59 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.