home
RSS
February 18th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Facing death, a top pastor rethinks what it means to be Christian

Editor's Note: The short film accompanying this story, called "My Garden," comes from EdsStory.com. CNN.com is premiering the latest installment in the "Ed's Story" series.

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Ed Dobson is not afraid of dying. It’s the getting there that really scares him.

A former pastor, onetime Christian Right operative and an icon among religious leaders, Dobson has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. When he was diagnosed, doctors gave him 3 to 5 years to live.

That was 11 years ago.

“I am a tad happy to be talking to you right now,” joked Dobson, whose voice has deteriorated since his preaching days, in a phone interview. Speaking with him feels like being exposed to a brief moment of clarity. He speaks slowly, but with an understated confidence and authority.

As pastor at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a position he held for 18 years, Dobson would regularly preach to 5,000 people or more on Sundays. Back then, Dobson said he looked at himself as a man filled with lessons, proverbs and, most of all, answers.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

After retirement six years ago, the massive crowds went away.

“I went from 100 miles an hour to zero miles an hour overnight,” Dobson said. “That was a shock to my system.”

Dobson says the answers vanished with the crowds.

“I know that sounds a bit lame,” he said. “I know that that I should have all the answers, but the truth is, the more I live, the fewer answers I have.”

And yet the people Dobson comes in contact with – those who call him dad, husband and friend, or those who have read one of his 12 books and watched his short films, don’t agree with that assessment. To them, the last six years of Dobson’s life have led to a remarkable ability to put life into context. To them, Dobson is a man filled with lessons.

From 5,000 to 1

In the 1980s, Dobson rose to prominence as an executive at the Moral Majority, Jerry Falwell's evangelical political organization, which had influence with the Ronald Reagan White House. Dobson’s rise continued when he accepted the pastorate at Calvary Church in 1987. He cut a national profile, with Moody Bible Institute naming him “Pastor of the Year” in 1993.

After being diagnosed with ALS, Dobson suddenly felt unsure of himself. At times, he said, he didn't want to get out of bed. After years of intense Bible study, Dobson said this is not how he thought he would react to news of his own mortality.

“I thought that if I knew I was going to die, I would really read the Bible and if I really was going to die, I would really pray,” Dobson said. “I found the opposite to be true. I could barely read the Bible and I had great difficulty praying. You get so overwhelmed with your circumstances, you lose perspective.”

Eventually, Dobson regained perspective. But feelings of listlessness led him to take his preaching to a more personal level. He now meets with congregants one-on-one. Sitting with them in their homes or offices, Dobson provides whatever help he can. “Most of the people I meet with have ALS and basically I listen," he said.

“When I meet with someone and look into their eyes, it is like I am looking into their soul,” Dobson said. “We are both broken, we are both on the journey and we are both fellow pilgrims.”

Going from 5,000 congregants to one at a time was a big change for Dobson, forcing him to reevaluate his job as a pastor. “I am trying to learn that one-on-one is just as important as speaking to thousands,” he said. “I reemphasize – I am trying to learn that.”

During his one-on-one meetings, Dobson says he remembers Adam and Eve being charged by God to work the Garden of Eden. For years Dobson’s garden was Calvary Church – the baptisms, weddings, the Sunday preaching.

“Whether it is preaching to 5000 or meeting one on one, I am trying to take care of the garden,” he said.

The wind knocked out

One way Dobson strove to tend the garden is by writing a book about dealing with serious illness. In 2007, he wrote “Prayers and Promises When Facing a Life-Threatening Illness.”

Dobson’s son Daniel read the book while deployed in Iraq. After returning home, Daniel made it his mission to turn the book’s stories into videos.

He pitched the idea to Steve Carr, the executive director of a faith-focused production company called Flannel. “When I met Ed, when he came to our office, something really spoke to me,” Carr said. “Not too long before that, I had been diagnosed with Leukemia.”

“I thought that this guy, he has been where I am right now and he has somehow mastered it,” Carr said.

So far, Flannel has released five Dobson films, available through the company's website. There are plans for two more. Though the films range in topic, from loss and forgiveness to healing and growth, all are centered on lessons Dobson learned through his battle with ALS. The videos toe the line between a dark look at a dying man's life and an uplifting glimpse at someone who exudes clarity.

"My Garden," the most recent title in the series, centers on Ed’s struggle to deal with ending his preaching career.

Dobson talks about the films as if they are his swan song, his last words of encouragement to a group of supporters he has inspired for decades.

“My desire is that people who have had the air knocked out of them, whether divorce or losing a loved one or illness, that they will get a sense of hope by watching the films,” he said.

Surviving (with help)

The series’ first short film opens with Dobson explaining what it was like to be told he had ALS. After lying in bed, Dobson gets in the shower, brushes his teeth and starts the day. Even he would admit, however, it is not that easy.

Dobson has lost much of the function in his hands and is seen struggling to brush his teeth, his frail body using two hands on the small brush. Though he is able to do a lot, including drive, Dobson wouldn’t be able to make it on his own, a fact he is keenly aware of when about when describing his wife, Lorna.

“She is my right hand, my left hand, my left foot, my right foot, my heart and my brain,” Dobson said. “Without her, it would be impossible to go on.”

Standing in the kitchen in one video, Lorna helps puts Ed’s belt and gloves on. The two don’t speak on camera, but their love is obvious.

“Our love has grown each year of marriage,” Lorna said. “I didn’t want to just wither in the sorrow of how our life was changing. It took a while to get used to what our life was going to be like but I realized that I needed to be more available to him.”

Dobson says he is also more available to her.

“I am no longer a preacher,” said Dobson. “Today, I would say I am a Jesus follower. Period.”

Lorna said she continues to learn from her husband. Throughout their life together, she said she learned by being in church with him, by raising three kids together and by loving one another.

The last 11 years, however, their love has changed. Dobson's illness has taught her to focus on the important things, she said, primarily their kids and five grandkids.

After tending the garden for decades, Dobson is now being tended himself, largely by Lorna. “ALS forced me into a situation where I grew in understanding of what it means to obey Jesus,” Dobson said in the latest film.

“It took me quite a while to find an alternative purpose," he said. "But the good news is out there – there is a purpose for everyone.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Death • United States

soundoff (3,195 Responses)
  1. Fr33d0mhawk

    I hope Dobson is always able to afford medical care and that it does not bankrupt his family, because if Dobson ends up on a sidewalk needing medical attention, Christian right wingers will cheer and laugh like mad scientists. Let us hope Dobson will not end up reaping the hatred the Christian Right has sown.

    February 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  2. ella

    It's well known that severe cases of Lyme disease can be misdiagnosed as ALS:

    http://lymehandbook.com/index/400-misdiagnoses/450-lyme-als/

    http://www.lymenet.de/indexordner/ials.htm

    February 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  3. love

    jesus2020.com wanna get saved

    February 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  4. ReligionIs4Dolts

    I. If disease is the will of "god" then medicine must be (a) against the will of "god" and/or (b) the will of "satan."

    II. If disease is the will of "satan" then "god" is (a) not all-powerful after all since "he" couldn't even prevent "satan" from having such power over man, and/or (b) "god" is a sadist piece-of-$hi+ not worth worship.

    Either way, F.V.K "god"!

    February 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      It seems u forgot to add that if disease is the will of Man then God and Satan might not be all controlling. All dimensions DOLT! Not just the paths that favour u!

      February 19, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Nii is THE dumbest sh1t on the planet

      Yup. Disease IS the will of man. Men just love to get sick.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Oh yeah, Nii! Disease MUST be the will of man! I will AIDS into existence just by thinking about it. I will cholera into existence because I so despise people who are unfortunate enough to live in unsanitary environments. I am jealous of people who have enough money to take cruises so I psychically will norovirus onto their ships just to spite them. And I hate everyone that ever had cancer or ALS which is of course the CAUSE of their maladies. I could go on, but time does not permit. Good one, Nii!

      February 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • someone

      If you pry open His Word at some point, look for Zechariah 13:9. There are other places, for the Word defends itself, but it is quite clear that God seeks to refine His people and seeks to refine, in fact, everyone. Whether you look at this refinement as someone who cannot see why testing/refinement is necessary, or rather someone who accepts the test in stride, reveals whether or not you trust God, and many other things...

      February 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nii must have just found "dolt" on his "Word-a-Day" calendar. He's using it in just about every third post.

      He seems a mite disturbed.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Wow another atheist blog name with my name in it. Look @ your post again DOLT. Now talk to me about the will of men not to get cholera or AIDS. Maybe in ur believer past and ur atheist present ur religious education had not shown u this possibility. Consider it though. In the Bible man is not weak.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Faith=Hopenotseen

      A sad statement from another lost soul, angry human, and sad small man...

      February 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Nii: So it is the fault of everyone that just happens to be born into a third world country that they have to put up with cholera? Regardless of whether or not they *now* have, or at any time in the past would have had, the ability to discern that such a thing as a micro-organi-sm existed which could cause this problem? Stupid!

      February 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nii appears to be about to blow a gasket. Everyone keep your heads down!

      February 19, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Too late. *scraping tissue off sleeve*

      February 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  5. guss

    God does not need me to defend His Word. He does that Himself, for the Bible is the living word it finds the cracks and flaws in my character and reviles truths were there are lies. As Gods word removes lies, it changes me, in the end you have the likeness of Jesus what better testimony to a life well lived. Thank you Mr Dodson God Speed

    February 19, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • John John

      God was invented by man, not the other way around. Ask any 6 year old the difference between fantasy and fiction and they will tell you the bible is fantasy. We only have one "god" because the Jews decided at one time we made the big guy angry and got rid of the other gods they were worshiping at the time. Basically, the old testament was all made up from old stories, NOT the word of God. The new testament was made up from newer but still old stories about OTHER messiahs that came before Jesus' time and attributed to him, including the resurrection, which, if you read the Bible, is obvious fabrication...the guy did not come back to life, but we can do that now in hospitals when people are pretty much dead so it is no big deal. Everything else has been done better on a Vegas stage so... get a life.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • kacz

      It's never been God's word that needs defending it's been his (in)action. If I treated my offspring like God treats his, I'd be in jail right now; and rightfully so. God can kiss my a**

      February 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • jasonks

      Don't forget though...humans wrote the Bible, not God. And often decades if not centuries after the events.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      guss
      You realize, of course that right after you said "God does not need me to defend His Word" you went right on defending the Bible anyway?

      February 20, 2012 at 1:04 am |
  6. Prayer changes things

    Prayer changes things
    Prayer the love of God in action

    February 19, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      prayer merely changes your perception of the outcome of events that were going to happen that way anyway. FVK OFF!

      February 19, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Prayer is talking with God
      Pray without ceasing

      February 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Jesus Loves You

      Pray and Jesus will love you.

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2bpc7LSRZc&w=640&h=390]

      February 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  7. Love

    God has plans not to harm you but give you a hope and a future. satan has plans to harm to lure Gods people away from him and to make them think something is of God when it isnt. dont keep trying to figure God out just surrender let of self and just receive him. jesus2020.com

    February 19, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Oh, so everything that we find inconvenient is "of satan"? That's an awful lot of power given to "satan". What? Couldn't all-powerful "god" have made it so that "satan" didn't have such power to make all sorts of nasty things? HUMBUG!

      February 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  8. skullvodka

    You see, he is still a christian, just not as much of one. Praise jebus!

    February 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  9. ASLex

    Such a poignant story. I would like to say that one-on-one is not really one-on-one. When Mr. Dobson touches the one in front of him, that person may go on to touch countless others. His work will continue long after he is no longer able to. And, because of that, he is a blessing to others he may never meet.

    February 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  10. John Pedant

    "Dobson said this is not how he thought he would react to news of his own immortality."

    I think you mean "mortality." Journalists are making the English language all too mortal.

    February 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  11. Aloe

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Aloe-Vera/105771016219277?sk=info

    February 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  12. Hope

    jesus was Love and He loved this man. This man has God in his heart. Jesus wants you to get Him in your heart as well. Jesus2020.com

    February 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • skullvodka

      He has god in his heart? Man, he really needs to go see a doctor.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  13. ryan

    Blessings to you and your family Mr Dobson. your life has so much meaning, purpose and has helped expand the kingdom of God. Your are a warrior for Christ. Ive never met you but I'm looking forward to shaking your hand one day. We both know when that will be.

    February 19, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • ashrakay

      so you"ll have hands in heaven and will follow the primitive act of shaking which was to show another that you weren't bearing weapons?

      February 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  14. heila

    There won't be anything after death.

    February 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Thomas

      How do you know? Sure, it's very unlikely, but how would you know. You've never been dead.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Doug

      Perhaps for you heila...

      February 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • gbmonz

      It sure seems like a lot of effort for believing in nothing.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • tallulah13

      No one has ever come back, Thomas, that's the point. Since there has never been proof of ANY life after death, it seems a fairly logical conclusion that death is a permanent thing, and since there is no practical reason for life after death except for fear and personal vanity, a realistic person might conclude that the whole premise is nothing more than wishful thinking.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • disconnect.the.dots

      I don't think that heila "knows" that there won't be anything after death, but they've probably made an educated guess based on experience. You're right though. Heila's never been dead and we've never been able to definitively say what happens after death.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  15. SHOUT

    God Loves You!

    The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life"

    The problem is that . . .

    2 All of us have done, said or thought things that are wrong. This is called sin, and our sins have separated us from God.

    The Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is perfect and holy, and our sins separate us from God forever. The Bible says “The wages of sin is death.”

    The good news is that, about 2,000 years ago,

    3 God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.

    Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

    Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life - of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me."

    God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name." You can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come in to your life as your Lord and Savior.

    4 If you want to accept Christ as your Savior and turn from your sins, you can ask Him to be your Savior and Lord by praying a prayer like this:

    "Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always."

    Did you pray this prayer?
    YESNO :)

    February 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
  16. logicnothuff

    The Bible is true and absolute fact. People who ignore it are deluding themselves because they want to pursue their lusts. Come to Jesus while there is still time, because the prophecies of the Bible are racking up at a rapid pace. For instance, the Bible said 2500 years ago that Israel would be re-established in one day, and then on May 14, 1948, Israel was re-established. The Bible says in the end days there will be great deception, and the lies being marketed by the liberal media and academia and Hollywood are a deception like none that's ever happened in human history. Read your Bible and believe your Bible (Get the King James Version), because it is truth and facts.

    February 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Engineer in Raleigh

      Yes, Einstein. The only reason for not believing in talking snakes, virgin births, and a 6,000 year-old earth is because they want to "pursue their lusts". OK. Whatever helps you sleep at night, sparky.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      "Come to Jesus while there is still time"

      I especially like how Native Americans had to wait 15 centuries to even get to begin to hear the message of Jeezus! Quite an oversight by an all-knowing, all-powerful "god" wouldn't you say?

      February 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • ashrakay

      I hope that predicting the future and "prophesy" isn't your only basis for faith. Otherwise you'll be standing on shaky ground as many people including H G Wells have successfully predicting the future with far more accurate results. Wells predicted nuclear power and genetic engineering in the late 1800s. This seems far more impressive than predicting that a people will reclaim land that they once inhabited.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Dolt how do u come to display your utter ignorance like this? Go and read a Bible!

      February 19, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Nii! Please show me chapter and verse where it says the ancient Jews (1) knew that the earth was not flat, and (2) that "America" existed and that people lived there who needed so desperately to hear the gospel.

      I say to you, Nii! Nii! Nii!

      February 19, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Ashrakay u still don't know the difference between prophesy and prediction after being told several times? Are u a troll or a dolt.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Okay Dolt u show me where the Jews also taught that the world was flat and that America didn't exist. When u r finished explain Romans Chapter 1&2 to me.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Nii Croffie
      prophesy |ˈpräfəˌsī|
      verb ( prophesies, prophesying, prophesied ) [ with obj. ]
      say that (a specified thing) will happen in the future

      predict |priˈdikt|
      verb [ with obj. ]
      say or estimate that (a specified thing) will happen in the future or will be a consequence of something: it is too early to predict a result | [ with clause ] : he predicts that the trend will continue | (as adj. predicted) : the predicted growth is 47 percent.

      I suggest you invest in a dictionary before you criticize others for their understanding of the English language.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Religious prejudice is not the way to go for anyone. I am a minister but I still learn about other religions including Atheism, Agnosticism and Ignosticism. It isn't just making noise but articulating ideas. I know X'tian Atheists who can deconstruct church doctrine in 10mins. Ur efforts r infantile

      February 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Nii, if the Jews knew the world wasn't flat and that "America" existed, then everyone in the path of Christo-Fascist expansion (the Roman Empire) would have already known it and it wouldn't have required the work of Copernicus and Galileo, nor the intrepid voyages of Erik the Red or Christopher Columbus!

      Nevertheless, even if they knew these things and they somehow didn't get pa-ssed along to the West, they would have known they would have had to build mighty ships capable of circ-umnavigating the globe (which they didn't because we know they didn't have the technology to do so) in order to spread the magic word of Jeezus in a timely fashion (which they clearly had not done because when Columbus arrived the Natives had clearly not heard of Jeebus).

      February 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hilarious. NOW, Nii admits to being a minister.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      ASHRAKAY U have done it again. Look up the word sickness and disease in an ordinary dictionary and then in a Medical Dictionary or force in an ordinary dictionary and an Engineering dictionary. You use a theological term and then use an ordinary dictionary definition which is wrong.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Dolt scholarship is not prejudice. See how u r butchering history to promote your religion. Intellectual dishonesty or that "Christians are stupid like we are" fallacy. After the Bible and Theology, History is my next hobby. It is best u sow ur prejudice in more fertile soil. TOM TOM for instance.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      NII what the h&ll are you talking about? Do you deny that Erik the Red was the first to land in the "New World" or that Christopher Columbus was the first to spread Christo-Fascism to the Natives? Do you deny that Jews had no technology capable of building ships that could withstand a voyage around the globe (assuming they even knew the world wasn't flat, which they clearly didn't because it would have made Copernicus' and Galileo's work unnecessary)? Sounds like you need to read some more about history, chief!

      February 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      The data for Copernicus was gathered in ancient observatories. The Great Ships Theory is nonsense b'cos the Knorr used by Erik the Red is just a glorified canoe. Also he is the first recorded. Polynesians settled the Pacific in catamarans and Phoenicians circu.mnavigated Afr.ica under the Phar.oahs.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Nii Croffie, So you're saying I need a special theological dictionary to understand the word "prophesy"? As I have mentioned to your before my father was a minister and I grew up 18 years in a baptist environment, 13 years of which were spent in a christian school. I dare say I could spa.nk you on theological discussion and have earned my religious secret decoder ring.

      The problem most religious people have is that they think they're privy to some bit of esoteric knowledge that anyone outside of their secret circle couldn't possibly understand. What they fail to realize is that most atheists and realists have evolved past religion—they have essentially learned themselves free of the fallible logic of the god concept.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Nii: HA HA HA HA HA!

      "Also he is the first recorded."
      Then what are your sources for all this other crap?

      "Polynesians settled the Pacific in catamarans and Phoenicians circu.mnavigated Afr.ica under the Phar.oahs"
      Even if this is true, that does not account for the severe neglect of ancient Jews not immediately delivering the seemingly all-important message of Jeebus to all presumably-known "corners" of the globe! Circ-umnavigating Africa is not the same as reaching "America"! Polynesians definitely had no knowledge of Jeebus!

      February 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      ashrakay: "The problem most religious people have is that they think they're privy to some bit of esoteric knowledge that anyone outside of their secret circle couldn't possibly understand. What they fail to realize is that most atheists and realists have evolved past religion—they have essentially learned themselves free of the fallible logic of the god concept."

      Yes, Nii keeps saying "read the bible" as if he's telling us to read it for the first time. HA HA HA!

      February 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      While hitting ur father's chest ASHRAKAY stop betraying your prejudice n ignorance. Christian schools n memory verses can't sp.ank me like u say. I had an agnostic father. I grew my teeth with this. I think u r better off asking ur Dad 4 de technical meaning of prophesy than using a dictionary.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      so DOLT u didnt know about Hanno did you? Well go n read more ok. I am sorry u guys spent so much time learning X'nity then learning Atheism that all you can fall on is religious bigotry. However I did not learn only religion but theology n spirituality as well. Its better u explore further ok.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      We are the knights who say, "Nii! Nii! Nii!"

      February 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      O ASHRAKAY b4 I see u again learn de meaning of evolved n learned from a Biology n Psychology dictionaries respectively. Are u saying CS Lewis evolved from a Christian into an atheist and then evolved again into a Christian. You guys need more time. The Pharisees did better than this against Jesus.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wow. I believe Nii is becoming unhinged.

      Did you think this blog really mattered, Nii? Do you really think anyone cares what you say here?

      February 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bwah! Religionis4, I love it. Betcha Nii won't get the reference at all.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      No.1 fan for Atheists United. TOM TOM or TOMBOY or whatever.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I win that bet. Nii has no clue what you were referencing.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Nii Croffie, Sadly my dad lacks the intelligence to explain much of anything to me. I still love him, but, it explains how he could never break free of the fantasy that you two seem to swim in.

      I am undoubtedly a big.ot against religion as you put it. I don't deny it. Religion is destro.ying the brains of millions of people and affecting people in nega/tive ways all around the world. Those who believe in right, equality, fairness and the betterment of mankind should all fi/ght

      February 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  17. SHOUT

    God Loves You!

    The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life"

    The problem is that . . .

    2 All of us have done, said or thought things that are wrong. This is called sin, and our sins have separated us from God.

    The Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is perfect and holy, and our sins separate us from God forever. The Bible says “The wages of sin is death.”

    The good news is that, about 2,000 years ago,

    3 God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.

    Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

    Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life - of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me."

    God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name." You can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come in to your life as your Lord and Savior.

    4 If you want to accept Christ as your Savior and turn from your sins, you can ask Him to be your Savior and Lord by praying a prayer like this:

    "Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always."

    Did you pray this prayer?
    YESNO.............

    February 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      "The problem is that . . .

      2 All of us have done, said or thought things that are wrong. This is called sin, and our sins have separated us from God."

      BS! I didn't sin before I was born. FVK "god"!

      February 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • ashrakay

      God loves you... unless you one of the women and children he's ordered to be mur.dered.

      God loves you... he proves it by giving you ALS and cancer and allowing children to die at young ages.

      God loves you... he gives you a choice. Love him back or else burn forever in da.mn.ation and torture. Would that we were ALL so lucky to have a spouse like that!

      February 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Atheism is for dolts is the only conclusion I came to after reading ASHRAKAY'S last post. Not the death song.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Nii Croffie, Welcome back. It's only been a few days and how I've missed your insubstantial ad hominem attacks.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Translation: Nii has nothing to say that refutes the post, so he huffs and puffs and looks like an idiot.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • skullvodka

      All you can do is copy and paste the same drivel over and over. That is why christianity=fail. When you are the ones arguing for christianity. People do not like nonsense shouted at them.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      "ad hominem" instead of personal? Is this how u guys convince urself u r intelligen? Look Ashrakay I will not criticise an intellectually stimulating post even from an atheist becaues to me all religions are the same. Check what u say instead of thinking I am out to get you.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Latin is confusing for you, Nii? Poor baby.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  18. ReligionIs4Dolts

    If "god" is so all-powerful, how come "he" didn't even get something so simple as "preventing women from having mustaches" right? Let alone things like ALS, cancer, ebola, HIV, countless congenital defects, etc., etc., etc.!!! What a retard!

    February 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • skullvodka

      You see, god works in mysterious ways and you are just a dumb human who could not possibly understand god's plan. That, and god does not exist. Duh!!!!

      February 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Yeah I'm just a dumb human who *should* think that facial hair on a woman looks awesome! Heh heh! Maybe I need the holy ghost to interpret this correctly?

      February 19, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Believer

      When God created the world it was perfect, then we messed things up. After that happened things have gradually gotten worse and worse, just like the law of Entropy says will happen. Life today is not the same as it was in the beginning, it has gotten worse.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Believer: "things have gradually gotten worse and wors"

      But feminine facial hair (and indeed feminine body hair) would be more of a joke than a punishment, don't you think?

      See that's the problem with you brainwashed! You have to accommodate for everything as if it has a purpose. So your "god" MUST HAVE made it so that women grew mustaches after mankind p|$$ed "him" off because ALS and cancer and birth defects and a whole slew of other $h|+ weren't enough sadism to satisfy this torture-fiend of a childish, tantrum-throwing "god"....because why? because it's OUR fault! HA HA HA HA HA!

      February 19, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Believer

      Did I talk about purpose, did I say that God caused all this? No i said that things have gotten worse, Adam had all of the genes for human kind, he had to have in order to pass them on. Over time more and more DNA has been lost therefore things like disease become more prevalent, because our genes have lost the ability to fight them on their own.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Believer:
      "Did I talk about purpose, did I say that God caused all this?"
      You claim "god" created everything.

      "No i said that things have gotten worse, Adam had all of the genes for human kind, he had to have in order to pass them on. Over time more and more DNA has been lost therefore things like disease become more prevalent, because our genes have lost the ability to fight them on their own."
      RIGHT! You know this because.....? the bible explicitly defines the building blocks for life, including a description of the now-well-known double-helix pattern of DNA, the fact that individual chromosomes control various aspects of a life form's phenotype, etc....? And don't start in with that $hi+ about how knowledge MUST HAVE been lost during the "great flood".

      February 19, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Believer, that's one of the stupidest things I've read anywhere all weekend. People die now of diseases they never got before because THEY LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO GET THEM, ya moron! They die of cancer now instead of influenza or diphtheria or pertussis or polio!

      Why don't you pray to God to give you a brain and the intelligence to use it?

      February 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And w t f is this: "DNA has been lost"? According to whom? What utter nonsense are you vomiting up?

      February 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Tom, Tom: Be careful with Believer. Don't ask too many questions. She is a tiresome troll who pulls utterly unfounded "truths" out of her anu$ just because the authors of the bible MUST HAVE MEANT such and such. Believer will make up fantasies that will astound you!

      February 19, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thanks for the warning. It takes quite a lot to "astound" me on this blog, however. Believe would have to be truly exceptional to rate "astounding" in my book.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Believer

      Its not just the old who get cancer, young kids get it. How do you explain the increase in AIDS recently? And by lost I meant divided, it is common sense if an organism has a bunch of DNA it does not pass it all on to its offspring. That is why there is change. Also quick question where have we seen DNA being added succesfully? That is what evolution requires, and yet we have not seen it succesfully done.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  19. SHOUT

    God Loves You! YEY

    The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life"

    The problem is that . . .

    2 All of us have done, said or thought things that are wrong. This is called sin, and our sins have separated us from God.

    The Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is perfect and holy, and our sins separate us from God forever. The Bible says “The wages of sin is death.”

    The good news is that, about 2,000 years ago,

    3 God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.

    Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

    Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life - of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me."

    God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name." You can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come in to your life as your Lord and Savior.

    4 If you want to accept Christ as your Savior and turn from your sins, you can ask Him to be your Savior and Lord by praying a prayer like this:

    "Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always."

    Did you pray this prayer?
    YESNO

    February 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      It's not very commending to post the same post with the same scriptures 3 times on one page.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  20. John

    What many people don't realize, including the author of this article, is that ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, actually causes a significant change in personality and cognition which results in this sort of reflection and demonstrable passivity toward others.

    It occurs in nearly all patients, is well-docuemented by family members and clinicians alike and is influenced by neurodegenerative changes rather than faith or religion.

    February 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

      February 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I disagree, Joy. I think this post is interesting. Is ALS the only disease in which these changes are observed, or do they occur in patients suffering from other progressive, incurable conditions, such as Parkinson's?

      February 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Doug

      Ed Dobson was my pastor for many years. He's the real deal. Don't question his talk or walk.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • disconnect.the.dots

      Agreed, John. That's exactly what deems these types of neurodegenerative diseases as so crippling. In the majority of cases, the patient still maintains full cognition. It'd almost be more humane if the mind went with the body in this case.

      February 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      Tom Tom, I did not fall asleep because I did not find it interesting, I fell asleep because I am drunk. Oh, no that's not it. I fell asleep because I don't care what the disease is in this case. ED is the disease. Find me a cure for that and I will wake up.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm sure there's a cure for your problems, Joy, but I do not have it. I wish you luck in finding one and hope you enjoy the rest of the long weekend.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      Until there is a cure for fuk heads like Ed Dobson, I will not sleep well. CS

      February 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46
Advertisement
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.