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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. Hope

    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."
    follow christ to follow christ is not easy

    February 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Thank you, kind stranger.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Hope

      for christians to not quench Holy Spirit have to obey Holy Spirit all the time, constantly and consistently, preaching whether be aloud or one on one. Many fall into atheism cuz they disobey Lord and walka way from Him. not Lord fault. Have to constantly obedient to Lord. God loves all but must make decision to obey or not to obey HIm.,

      February 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • John Smith

      Shut up.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      Hope is hopeless.

      Believe in God? Great! Knock yourself out. But the bible? Jesus? Really? You are a dum a.s.s.

      Ed gets what he deserves.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Gimme a break, idiot doppelganger. It's so obvious when the wrong "religionis4dolts" is posting. Grow up!

      February 19, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
  2. nestor

    I was diagnosed in 2006 with a rare autoimmune disorder. My skin was falling off. And my mouth with literally melting. I would spit pieces of my tongue and chicks in the morning. So As a Pastor for over 20 Years I was thinking. GOD? whats going on?
    The pain and uncomfortable followed for couple of Years. I was ready to give up everything. I was praying for everybody. but I wasn't getting nothing for myself. There were black weeks where medication made me stay still in my office. With no physical or mental strength to grab the phone. Maybe this illness wasn't so grave, But to me made a great difference. I feel more compassionate for people who is suffering. No matter what religion they process. I keep Pastoring the Church, some left. I reinvented myself. We go to the Jail every week. And feed the homeless. I didn do that before. My message also changed. Not that I'm not preaching the truth. But I feel more love to what I do. I love the people. Sometimes I help them beyond my capacity as a Pastor. I have one parishioner that still considers himself Agnostic. But I have learned to accept him and don't push him to believe the same as I do. I don't intend to change him. But he is finding meaning to Life and he is learning to Rediscover the God that he still called Higher Power. This article Blessed me a lot. After a trip to Chile in 2008 to have a large family reunion. My health started to come back, very slowly. I feel so grateful to God and I understand and feel empathy for the suffering and I'm planning with His help to aliviate in whatever form I could the people's pain.

    February 19, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I hope you are praying daily that you stop posting drivel and learn to write at a 3rd grade level.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • i'm not a doctor but i play one on tv

      It is a shame that no one ever told Tom,Tom's parents about the dangers of fetal alcohol syndrome. Now look at what the world must deal with.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      nester you are a troll fuk off

      February 19, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • I Remember

      @nestor,

      A while back there was a woman who used to come on these forums quite a bit, who had recovered from a very similar affliction as yours..... really bad sick, with her skin peeling off in sheets. She even went to the Mayo Clinic, but I don't think that they ever gave her a real definite diagnosis. @Catholic Mom... anyone else here remember her? I wonder what happened to her?

      Good that you are doing better, nestor.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  3. ReligionIs4Dolts

    I confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. AMEN and AMEN!!!!!

    February 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      What a contradiction from this imbecilic doppelganger!

      February 19, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Sorry people...this is what happens when I forget to take my meds...I become a rabid, uncivil dog spending much time online talking to myself.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  4. Hope

    leave this man alone. preach Christ. jesus2020.com get saved

    February 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      No way, I want to tickle him till he pees his pants!

      February 19, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  5. Hope

    jesus2020.com wanna get saved

    February 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      Why? Is there another flood coming?

      February 19, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  6. Joy of Sin

    Whitney was a class act!

    1. A large hunk of e.xcrement so thick and hard that it cannot be passed through the a n u s during de.fecation. It usually takes on the size of a small baseball or a child's fist.

    2. A severe case of f.ecal impaction usually found in illegal dr.ug users who do crack c.ocaine and crystal me.th.
    During second episode of "Being Bobby Brown", Whitney and Bobby are talking about co.lon cleansing, when Bobby says to her, "I've seen worse," he says. "I've had to dig a do.okie bubble out of your bu.tt."

    Bobby even admits that once when "her t u r d was too big" for her to ex.crete, he had to pull it out with his fingers.

    Now who in hell is going to help her dig the poo out? Ed Dobson, come on down!

    PRAISE THE LORD!!

    February 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  7. NY Jew

    I wish all atheists died and were wiped away from this Earth!!

    February 19, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      Dum ass, who is going to buy all your s.h.i.t???

      February 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Go ahead! Pray to your impotent "god" for such an outcome. It shall not pass!

      February 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Let's hope this guy doesn't have access to a genie.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • windrider2

      I doubt there's much spiritual reward in praying for the deaths of others. I feel sorry for you that your faith brings you such meanness of spirit.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  8. Hope

    preach salvation jesus2020.com

    February 19, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      No, and I am not going to your web site because I don't want to get a virus.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  9. muhammad

    2. The word spirit, Greek. `pneu'ma', is of neutral gender and takes pronoun "it". Whereas, in almost all the verses referring to Paraclete quoted above and below, the pronoun used is "he".

    3. In 1 John 4:6, the terms "the spirit of truth" and "the spirit of error" are used for the human beings.

    4. History records that prophet Muhammad was known for his Truth and Honesty, long before he received the Revelations.

    Jesus Christ did indicate what the Paraclete to come will do in his time. Did prophet Muhammad do those things? Let's examine;

    1. "But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own initiative, but whatever he hears, he will speak..." Jn.16:13

    Note: The Quran is a compilation of the "Divine Revelations" that were received by prophet Muhammad, over a period of 23 years, through the arch angel Gabriel. The prophet used to recite whatever he used to hear. Prophet's companions used to write down whatever was recited. The Quran does not contain the writings or teachings of or by Muhammad, as often mentioned by some misinformed authors.

    2. "He shall glorify me." John 16:14

    Note: The Quran glorifies the birth of Jesus through Virgin Mary. The Quran also confirms, Jesus was a Messiah; a Messenger of God; the Spirit from God; the Word of God and the Righteous Prophet.

    3. "He shall take mine and shall disclose it to you." Jn.16:14

    Note: Muhammad did declare himself a Messenger of God like Abraham, Moses and Jesus.

    4. "He will teach you all things." John 14:26

    Note: The Quran teaches a way of life. It guides mankind, how to live a pious life socially, politically and spiritually.

    5. "He will bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." Jn.14:26

    Note: The Quran speaks about the teaching of the righteous Jesus and even quotes him.

    6. "He will bear witness of me" John 15:26

    Note: The Quran attests the miracles performed by Jesus the Messiah. It also mentions one astonishing miracle performed by Jesus that the Gospel writers have not recorded. The Quran acknowledges that these miracles and signs were performed with the leave of Allah, by His righteous Servant and Messiah Jesus. The same is also attested in the Book of Acts 2:22; 3:13 (NASB).

    Prophet Isaiah is considered to be one of the major prophets of the Old Testament. In the Book of Isaiah there are several prophecies about the coming of the Messiah. In chapter 42, Isaiah begins with a prophecy for the coming of prophet Jesus. After verse number nine, God declares through Isaiah, the "new things" that are to "spring forth" in the Land of Kedar.

    In the Bible there is only one personality called Kedar. He was the grandson of prophet Abraham, through his son Ishmael (see Gen.25:13). Kedar's descendants had settled in Paran (Syno-Arabian dessert). In the Rabbinic literature Arabia is called the "Land of Kedar". Prophet Muhammad was a descendant of Kedar.

    God declares through Isaiah;

    "Behold, the former things are come to pass, and the new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. `Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth'. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voices, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare His praise in the inlands." Chapter 42, Verses 9-12.

    God did reveal in the Land of Kedar, through prophet Muhammad – a direct descendant of Kedar, a "New Song" – The Qur'an (Koran). This happens to be the only Scripture to be revealed in the language of the Kedarites. The verses of the Qur'an are recited like a poem. Nearly 1.2 billion Muslims, residing all over the world, recite this "new song" and Glorify Allah, in their daily prayers, five times in a day. The initial Revelation came to prophet Muhammad in a cave of Mount Hira near the city of Mecca. There are several mountains near Mecca. During the annual Islamic Pilgrimage called "Hajj", Muslims from all over the world, assemble in Mecca and shout Glory to the Lord from the top of Mount Arafat. The pilgrims continuously give Glory to Allah on their ways, to and from Mecca.

    "The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies." Verse 13.

    In the Old Testament the God often speaks "I" will do this, or "I" have done this; whereas, He has chosen human beings like us, to do these jobs. (see 2 Samuel 12:7-12). Muhammad did go forth as a mighty prophet of Allah, did stir up jealousy among the most influential and dominating tribe of the pagan Arabs in Arabia. Finally with a war cry and roar, Muhammad did prevail upon the enemies of Lord – the idolaters, fulfilling the above prophecy.

    "I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself, now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once." Verse 14.

    The prophets that came before Muhammad had all tried with peaceful missions. But, the concept of sharing God's Glory continued to surface again and again, in one way or other. It was with the war cry, through the descendants of Kedar (Arabs), these sinful practices were destroyed and devoured, inside and outside of Arabia. The spread of Islam was swift, wide spread and at once.

    "And I will bring the blind by a way they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things I will do unto them, and not forsake them." Verse 16.

    It is an undeniable fact that before the advent of Islam, the pagan Arabs were like the blinds. Their religious and social concepts were crooked. The revelation of this "new song" brought them out of that darkness. Earlier, God had not sent any prophet to these people. By sending Muhammad, God fulfilled His above promise and also the following promise to Abraham;

    "And also of the son of the bondwoman I will make a nation, because he is thy seed." Genesis 21:13.

    Please note the word "also" in above promise. The nations of Judaism and Christianity came out from the descendants of Abraham and Sarah. The nation of Islam came out from the descendants of Abraham and Hagar. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are three children of Abraham by God's Covenants with Abraham.

    This also fulfils the following prophecy by Jesus;

    "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but what soever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you thing to come." John 16:13

    For further details about "the Paraclete" and "the Spirit of Truth" please see Section 1 of this article.

    "They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images; they say to the molten images, `Ye are our gods.'" Isaiah 42 Verse 17.

    History records that Prophet Muhammad did put the pagan idolaters to great shame when he demolished before them, their 365 idols that were installed in Ka'bah (Mecca), the most respected place of pilgrimage in the whole of Arabia. Today, Ka'bah is the Grand Mosque of Islam. Muslims from all over the world face towards Ka'bah while reciting their daily ritual prayers.

    February 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • NY Jew

      Muhammed was a pedophile :( He married 9-year old girl and 20 other women

      February 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      Yeah but she was mature for her age and she could really cook.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • LiveWhileOnEarth

      Actually she was 6 when they were married. It was the consummation that happened at age 9. Let's get our facts straight.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • VISITOR

      History records that prophet Muhammad was known for his Truth and Honesty, long before he received the Revelations.
      Ah, you poor man...Even if he was known for "his truth and honesty", do you dare to stake your soul on what this man said. Jesus Christ did not toot his own horn. He proved that He was WHO HE SAID HE WAS! Yet you believe the man whose life was anything but holy! See where it'll lead you, and what is the end of the road you're on... Many of you who are willing to die for your "true faith" will find out in horror that you've served the "wrong god"

      February 19, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  10. Hope

    GODLOVESTHEWORLD.COM PREACH CHRIST. BE FILLED WITH HOLY SPIRIT. 1 PETER JUDGMENT WILL BEGIN IN HOUSE OF GOD FIRST. LORD WILL DEAL WITH HIS PEOPLE FIRST. SIN CANNOT CONTINUE IN BELEIVER. ALSO LORD WILL DEAL WITH NONBELIEVERS. BUT GOD IS LOVE. GOD WISHES NO ONE TO PERISH BUT HE IS VERY HOLY. HIS HOLY NATURE DOES NOT MAKE HIM A GRANDFATHER SITTING ON HIS THRONE AND SAYING OKAY YOU CAN SIN. NO HE IS LONGSUFFERING AND VERY PATIENT BUT HE IS VERY VERY HOLY. LOVE AND HOLINESS GO TOGETHER WITH LORD. HE IS VERY COMPASSIONATE BUT VERY HOLY. WEMUST REPENT OF OUR SINS AND TURN FROM THEM. mormonism and any other is not ture christian. true christianity lives by power of HOly Spirit. wanna get saved go to jesus2020.com and live out power of HOly Spirit and preach salvation to people

    February 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Hope

      im sorry but for all people in article hating on this man please seriously......think about what you say. this poor is in suffering. if you judge him do you not think you will go with Lord holdingyou accountable to your words. May Yeshua forgive us all. Preach Christ and holiness of Lord. He is returning soon.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Hope

      my message is not in reference to this man it is about christianity and peopel on here to get saved and those who are to get right with God and preach true salvation and stop horseplaying.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Don

      .....people will never take you seriously, if you are shouting at them.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I am responding to this post, but I must admit I didn't read it. If you want your post read, cut the caps.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Joy of Sin

      My reference is about the man. Ed and everything he stands for is negative. What comes around goes around a-h.o.l.e

      February 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  11. muhammad

    Surah Al-Anaam
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Those who believe and obscure not their belief by wrongdoing, theirs is safety; and they are rightly guided. (82) That is Our argument. We gave it unto Abraham against his folk. We raise unto degrees of wisdom whom We will. Lo! thy Lord is Wise, Aware. (83) And We bestowed upon him Isaac and Jacob; each of them We guided; and Noah did We guide aforetime; and of his seed (We guided) David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the good. (84) And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias. Each one (of them) was of the righteous. (85) And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot. Each one of them did We prefer above (Our) creatures, (86) With some of their forefathers and their offspring and their brethren; and We chose them and guided them unto a straight path. (87) Such is the guidance of Allah wherewith He guideth whom He will of His bondmen. But if they had set up (for worship) aught beside Him, (all) that they did would have been vain. (88) Those are they unto whom We gave the Scripture and command and prophethood. But if these disbelieve therein, then indeed We shall entrust it to a people who will not be disbelievers therein. (89) Those are they whom Allah guideth, so follow their guidance. Say (O Muhammad, unto mankind): I ask of you no fee for it. Lo! it is naught but a Reminder to (His) creatures. (90) And they measure not the power of Allah its true measure when they say: Allah hath naught revealed unto a human being. Say (unto the Jews who speak thus): Who revealed the Book which Moses brought, a light and guidance for mankind, which ye have put on parchments which ye show, but ye hide much (thereof), and by which ye were taught that which ye knew not yourselves nor (did) your fathers (know it)? Say: Allah. Then leave them to their play of cavilling. (91) And this is a blessed Scripture which We have revealed, confirming that which (was revealed) before it, that thou mayst warn the Mother of Villages and those around her

    February 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      kill the infidels where ever you may find them....lie in ambush for them....

      February 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • LiveWhileOnEarth

      All sacred texts are the same. Quoting them as though they provide an answer to anything whatsoever, whether Islamic, Judaic, or Christian in origin, has a neutral effect. They are written by man, distributed by man, promoted by man, believed by man, and can only provide the value that man's word can provide.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  12. Steve the Goat

    Jesus follower = Blind leading the blind. There was no son of a space ghost. Use your head and you can see how illogical the bible and other religious books truly are.

    February 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • rk

      THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART, THERE IS NO GOD ~ PSALM 14:1

      February 19, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • cigarlover

      really rk, the circular logic??
      Yeah right, when one doesn't have logical capacity, they fall prey on circular logic. never mind.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    February 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • JC in Western U.S.

      Life changes things. We all get a little less certain about everything as we grow older and have hard experiences. In the end, what counts is compassion, humility, and a moderate amount of moderation.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • just sayin

      What counts is to be in right relationship with God.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • JC in Western U.S.

      Just Sayin – So are you Just Sayin that being "right with God" does not involve compassion, humility, and moderation?

      February 19, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • just sayin

      Now these three remain faith, hope, love and the greatest of these is love.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What in the world would a hateful being like you know about "love", just lying? Do tell us all what 'love' you've known other than love of your own words posted here.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Hi Prayer! Good to see you today.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • just sayin

      Agape.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Prayer is proven
      Prayer is powerful
      Prayer is productive
      Prayer is talking with God
      Pray without ceasing
      Pray every day

      February 19, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nope. Won't do. Try again, hypocrite. You don't know the first thing about agape or any other brand of love. You're a bitter little snot.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  14. Worried

    The problem is that religion has disappointed a lot of people. Religious leaders don't even believe what they teach because it contradicts what they say and what the Bible says. But the Bible is very clear and it does not contrradict itself. The problem is, most people know very little about it because churches don't teach it. They just have egocentric preachers who tell stories, which storis they have to tell because if they tell the truth (if they know it at all) they would step on too many toes and those toes would be absent from church next wekk and there goes the money.
    On the Bible's defence, It answer all these questions we ask. In this case, God does not make people sick. He does not even cause death (see hebrews 2:14). but preachers have been telling things the Bible doesn't teach. I almost threw my tv out the window when after 9/11 a preacher said those who died did because God wanted them in heaven. REALLY? If that was true, pursuing the terrorists would have been acting against God. See, the clergyman there should have read the Bible. What to do?
    Approach the bBible with an intention to learn from it, not to justify beliefs that cannot be supported.
    Read ore, think even more, and meditate on it a lot.
    But God and Jesus are not to blame for our misunderstanding, or for our trusting preachers–who are illiterate of the Bible and driven by self worship and financial gain than anythig.
    Ask everyone you meet to prove what they are saying by showing it to you in the Bible.
    Read the bible yourself

    February 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • TR6

      WISDOM – Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Proverbs 4:7 (NIV)

      WISDOM –
      For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. Ecclesiastes 1:18 (KJV)

      JESUS ON FOOLS – Matthew 5:22
      "But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell."
      JESUS ON FOOLS – Matthew 23:17,19
      "Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?"

      WE ARE SAVED BY WORDS –
      "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13 (KJV)

      WE ARE SAVED BY FAITH WITHOUT DEEDS" Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." – Romans 3:28 (KJV)

      WE ARE SAVED BY FAITH AND WORKS – For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26 (KJV)

      "I and my Father are one." John 10:30 (KJV)

      The father is greater then I
      "You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I." John 14:28 (NIV)

      February 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Bob

      How about just leaving the bible alone and just think (or meditate, if you like)?? The problem is that the bible can be used to justify whatever you want it to – it provides no answers that you cannot get to on your own.....

      February 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  15. Hope

    preach christ, preach christ, preach christ. check out crytogod.com.....true christianity will shout christ. jesus2020.com to get saved

    February 19, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  16. Ex. Atheist

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKJMmvN9lK8&w=640&h=390]

    February 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Albert

      You might want to check your facts;according to the WHO, Sweeden is thirtieth and not in first place for suicides! Check the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

      February 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  17. Nii Croffie

    DOLT! your proposition is that God's will if for disease then Medicine is from Satan or vice versa. Now the Bible says it is the will of Man so what then? That only means that medicine can come from Man 2o. Why fight it? Does God have 2 phase out de internal combustion engine for us? Take charge!

    February 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Scientists know clearly that there are many diseases including AIDS where the human dimension is promoting the disease. Until 2010 my country was 3rd world n even in cholera outbreaks some ghettoes were not affected because of education alone. Please sit down with a doctor and assess this well.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      So you claim that disease and medicine are both the will of man? YEAH!

      February 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I think Nii is in dire need of some psychotropic drugs.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      O Dolt! Why you actually did not read Gensis 2 or you did not understand it. Are you sure I shouldn't tell you to read the Bible again?

      February 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yup. I'm sure you shouldn't. And equally sure you'll do just that, you delusional nut-bag.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      What does Gen 2 have to do with the cause of disease or the establishment of the practice of medicine to combat disease? The 7th day "god" rested. There is a description of Mesopotamia, the land of Cush (where one of my favorite herbal strains originates, I suppose). The story about how "god" stacked the deck against his "beloved creation" and then acted all surprised when the apple was eaten. I don't see anything about disease or medicine (other than possibly "Cush").

      February 19, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  18. Hope

    jesus2020.com wanna get saved

    February 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  19. Ex. Atheist

    Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things!

    † Atheism makes you stupid, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things.
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists causes problem in our religious society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders.
    † No traditional family lifestyle, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, alcoholics and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Atheism have no holidays, no culture, no nothing. Waste of living in this planet...

    †† Our Prayers goes to Atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator ††

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

      HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!! I don't have time to answer all this crap!

      But here's a start:
      "† Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists."

      Religion cannot explain the necessity of a SUPER-GOD which MUST HAVE been there BEFORE "god" in order to create "god"! FVK OFF!

      February 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ya know, you're just stupid. That is all.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Ex. Atheist

      * Countries with high rate of Atheists also have high suicide rate.... (Look at Scandinavia)

      February 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Hope

      atheist is a demonic spirit in people.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Andrew

      Happy successful Athiest here, by the looks of your list I would wager that you have never met one.

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

      Wow, this poster is the most angry, sad, hateful man I've ever seen post in these discussions. I'm an atheist, but I'm a happy man. If this person is a Christian, then he's not a very good advertisement for Christianity.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • nothing new here

      Obviously having "faith" leads to posting stupid nonsense as well.
      Pot calling the kettle black – yawn, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      All right. I'll bite. This is too stupid not to respond to! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

      † Atheism makes you stupid, ignorant & blind.
      Believing in completely unfounded supersti-tion that has absolutely no scientific basis makes you stupid, ignorant and blind.

      † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
      Religions is a disease that needs to be eradicated from this planet!

      † Atheism makes you post stupid things
      Religion makes you post stupid things.
      .
      † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
      There is no "god", no "satan", no witchcraft, no sorcery, no Harry Potter. And what the h&ll does goth have to do with anything?!

      † Atheists causes problem in our religious society.
      Religious freaks cause problems in rational society.

      † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
      Religious freaks have their heads up their @$$es, are delusional, are schizophrenic!

      † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
      There is no "heaven". No reason to believe in fairy tales.

      † Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders.
      Christianity make you believe in George W. Dolt, Hitler.

      † No traditional family lifestyle, boring and feeling 'outsider'
      Just wrong! Family units are not defined by the bible.

      † Atheists are angry, alcoholics and committ the most crime.
      Religious freaks never drink of course. Especially not Catholics or Episcopalians. Please post some factual stats on the crime correlation, dolt!

      † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet
      Religious freaks try to convert people every chance they get, whether at a family's private funeral, on a college campus, on the internet, on the street.....etc...
      .
      † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
      Right, I don't exist. I am a figment of your imagination.

      † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
      I was raised a Christo-Fascist, turd! And my family was very loving. It was not until college that I finally abandoned the fairy tale I was raised on (unfortunately).

      † Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency.
      Provide statistics on the uneducated claim, dolt! Richard Dawkins, Charles Darwin, etc. Atheists CANNOT run for presidency until candidates have the guts to run on something other than apostasy, thereby guaranteeing a block of votes!

      † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
      BS!

      † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
      Please explain how evolution has anything to do with morality (or the lack thereof)! DOLT!

      † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
      FVK the bible and its ludicrous fairy tales! Meaningless drivel!

      † Atheism have no holidays, no culture, no nothing. Waste of living in this planet.
      Every day which is not a religious holiday can be considered an atheist's day. Who gives a $hi+ if the government allots a holiday for it!

      IDIOT!

      February 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • sandan

      Sorry Bubba, You can spout all your Athiest nonsense, but after being a three-time a week church-goer, I finally got tired of my church and decided to continue volunteering and helping my community without the sign of the cross and sitting next to the Christmas/Easter crowd. Having spent eleven years in other foreign countries, I can san that the U.S. religion is a sham!

      And by the way, My creators were my mother and father!

      February 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Kris

      I've never everseen or heard an atheist try and "covert" anyone. So it makes no sense reading any further.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • NJ

      ReligionIs4Dolts @ Get more educated and to more research.

      Atheism excisted only for few centuries ago. How do you know God does not excist? Have you died and know that?

      February 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • NJ

      Atheists DO try to convert others into their lack of belief and lack of faith to turn them away from God and take them to h.ell with them! Just see the cr*p comments from those nasty atheists

      February 19, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      NJ: You know not whether atheism only just started to exist a few centuries ago. For all you know, the only reason it wasn't "known" is because it wasn't recorded. One thing IS for sure, many other beliefs existed before and simultaneously with Christo-Fascism over the past 2000 years, some beliefs of which did not involve a "god" per se. Paganism worshiped nature, for example. And you also know not how to spell EXISTED.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Current Atheist

      Yes, yes, as a Current Atheist, I will most definitely confirm we eat children for breakfast.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  20. JD Hunter

    Is this a sort of a deathbed unconversion?

    February 19, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • ejav

      He's not unconverted, he's just not a preacher with answers, he's just a Jesus Follower, (read the article!); maybe he means he doesn't have the answers, which a sign of maturity and life experience, no matter what your spiritual beliefs. Don't hijack this article to a deathbed un-conversion, it isn't.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.