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My Faith: Returning to church, despite my doubts
Andrea Palpant Dilley as a child with her missionary family Kenya.
May 5th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Faith: Returning to church, despite my doubts

Editor's note: Andrea Palpant Dilley is the author of “Faith and Other Flat Tires.”

By Andrea Palpant Dilley, Special to CNN

During my junior year in college, I took a butter knife from my mother’s kitchen  and scraped the Christian fish decal off the back bumper of the Plymouth hatchback I’d inherited from my older brother. Stripping off that sticker foreshadowed the day, a few years later, that I would walk out of church.

The reasons for my discontent were complicated. By most standards, I had a healthy childhood.  I grew up the daughter of Quaker missionaries in a rural Kenyan community that laid the foundation for my faith. I spent the rest of my childhood in the Pacific Northwest, raised in a stable Presbyterian church that gave me hymns and mission trips and potluck dinners.

I was surrounded by smart, conscientious Christians, the kind of people who read 19th century Russian novels and took meatloaf to firefighters when much of eastern Washington state went up in flames in the fall of 1991.

When I started into my skeptic phase, my Christian community gave me space to struggle. They listened to my doubts about faith. They took my questions seriously.

And yet when I turned 23 I left the church.

Listening to a sermon at my older brother’s church one Sunday, I stood up, leaned over to my father and said, “This is bulls**t.” I made my way to the end of the pew and marched out of the sanctuary. The sermon didn’t sit right with me. The pastor was preaching about Psalm 91, saying in so many words that a person just needed to pray and have faith in order to be protected from suffering.

More than just that sermon, I was sick of church. I was sick, too, of all the spiritual questions plaguing me: Why does the church seem so culturally insulated and dysfunctional? Why does God seem distant and uninvolved? And most of all, why does God allow suffering?

These questions didn’t come out of nowhere. I’d spent time in high school volunteering in refugee camps in Kenya and in college working with families on welfare in central Washington. I saw hungry babies. I walked into homes that were piled with garbage and dirty laundry.

In an orphanage in the slums of Nairobi, I held AIDS babies and worked with disabled kids who’d been left at the front gates of the orphanage by parents who couldn’t afford to feed them. I saw things that I couldn’t make sense of as a Christian.

Walking out of church was a way of saying “To hell with it; I’m done.”

For two years, I skipped church. My Bible gathered dust on the shelf. The local bars became my temples. I indulged in the cliché rebellions of a Christian girl, smoking cigarettes and drinking hard alcohol. I got involved with men twice my age without thinking twice about it.  I wanted a break from being “good.”

And then, strangely, I woke up one morning at age 25, climbed into my car, and drove downtown to attend a 10 a.m. church service. I won’t relate here the whole story of how I came back to the church. But if I had to follow the standard testimonial narrative for Christians, the script for my life story would go something like this:

Step 1: Grow up in a Christian church.

Step 2: Go off to college away from said church.

Step 3: Be exposed to the enticements of secular life.

Step 4: Try drugs and cigarettes and Pearl Jam.

Step 5: Leave the church because of aforementioned enticements.

Step 6: Experience epiphany; realize vapidness of secular enticements.

Step 7: Return to church with penitent heart.

Step 8: Reestablish faith, discover good living.

In reality, I left the church more because of my own internal discontent than the lure of so-called secular life. When I came back, I still carried that same discontent. I was confused, and still bothered by questions and doubts. I stayed in the back row and didn’t sing or pray. I wasn’t really sure I wanted to be there.

And yet I sat there, Sunday after Sunday, listening to the pastor and the organ pipes and trying to figure out what was going on in my dark, conflicted heart.

Although I never experienced that dramatic reconversion moment, I did come to peace with two slow-growing realizations.

First: My doubt belonged in church.

People who know my story ask what I would have changed about my spiritual journey. Nothing. I had to leave the church to find the church. And when I came back, the return wasn’t clean or conclusive. Since then, I’ve come to believe that my doubts belong inside the space of the sanctuary. My questions belong on the altar as my only offering to God.

With all its faults, I still associate the church with the pursuit of truth and justice, with community and shared humanity. It’s a place to ask the unanswerable questions and a place to be on sojourn. No other institution has given me what the church has: a space to search for God.

Second: My doubt is actually part of my faith.

In Mark 9:24, a man says to Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief.” The Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor called this the foundation prayer of faith. I pray that prayer often and believe that God honors my honesty.

I also believe God honors my longing. The writer and theologian Frederick Buechner said “Faith is homesickness.” C.S. Lewis called it “Sehnsucht,” a longing for a far-off country. I feel that sense of unshakable yearning. It comes from the deepest part of my heart, a spiritual desire that’s strangely, mysteriously connected to my doubt.

Sitting in church every Sunday, my doubt is my desire – to touch the untouchable, to possess the presence of God.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Andrea Palpant Dilley.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • My Faith • Opinion

soundoff (3,753 Responses)
  1. PumpNDump

    Marcio Pelegrini, please regale us with your academic background in the hard sciences. What accreditted Universities do you have your degrees from and what are they in? Lol

    May 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Marcio Pelegrini

      I have some. But even anybody without any cleaning toilets would ever be a dumb, fool, retarded to say:"the Bible states the world is flat!" AHAHAHAH

      May 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • PumpNDump

      So, Marco, it's safe to say you have no education beyond your home schooling. Good to know. That puts it all in proper context. Lol

      May 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Huebert

      @marco

      Who said that the bible said that the earth is flat? Furthermore even if they did and the're wrong what does that have to do with anything?

      May 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Marcio Pelegrini

      ..yep...my degree is in packing with emphasis on cleaning...! LOL

      ....but still I would be superior to a delusional fly like you ohoh

      May 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Marcio Pelegrini

      ask your stinky fly family...cause that is one of your favorite vomits....

      May 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Marcio Pelegrini

      Don't you see that you are totally crazy? Seriously, nuts!

      May 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Marco

      Got it, no one did, you are just setting up a straw man. Have fun beating the crap out of an argument that is not germane nor being used.

      May 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • SAS6907

      Concerning the origins of the universe and life, what do Universities know as fact?
      Read their comments closely, they all say THEORY!
      Yet, when unbelievers are trying so hard to not be held accountable, by getting others to agree with them,
      they spew hatred and degenerate remarks.

      May 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • sortakinda

      OOOOH Marco. Turn in your Bible. The atheists say they have more formal education than you. Ergo, there must be no GOD. The atheists are claiming a TKO. The ref and all of the scorers are atheists, BTW.

      May 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Its not the formal education. Its the ability to reason above a kindergarten level and have a discussion somewhere outside of elementary school. Where or how you get your education is irrelevant. Just get one.

      May 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Oh now it is the "Its Just a Theory" argument.

      ***Rolling eyes dramatically**

      Learn what science is before trying to argue about it. At least I read the bible a couple of times and went to church for a decade or so.
      If you were not so determined to know "facts" you might learn to understand the real world.

      May 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  2. Marcio Pelegrini

    atheists are delusional and so stupid.

    You guys have no argument, no evidence and a failed logic that challenges any common sense. And worse, your brainwash religion kind of train you to say: "and the evidence is...."
    that is a tactic used by politicians, accuse the rival of things you do or you are.
    And you fail over and over again.
    Science in in our side flies! ahahahah
    I just LOVE it !

    May 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • PumpNDump

      Marco, what is your answer to the scientific fact that is evolution?

      May 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      I haven't seen one shred of anything that makes any sense whatsoever coming in the form of your posts. Can you explain that?

      May 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Marcio Pelegrini

      here you go....I have no time to waste with fairy tales for adults..

      "scientific"? LOL

      May 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Marcio Pelegrini

      that is because you have a brain full of vacuum...a blind cannot see...

      change your nick name for "voice of delusion"...of my "favorite excrement..."

      May 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Marcio, it is very difficult to have a successful dialogue with an excitable 5th grader. Please come back and post again when you graduate middle school.

      May 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • logan 5

      @Marcio
      Science is on your side? Please explain, if you you can.

      May 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, no, he said it was IN his side. Don't you see? That makes all the difference!

      May 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  3. PumpNDump

    It would have to be an older guy with no/low standards to want to get with the author. Lol

    May 7, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      It's the father figure thing.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • PumpNDump

      Voice of Reason, I like you already.

      May 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  4. Trevor

    Thank you Andrea – for such an honest and open account of your struggles with the church.

    Nothing like the topic of religion to spark a lively debate!

    I really appeciate your article as I am currently in a place of super skepticism of the church – and yet – trying to appreciate the things they are doing RIGHT...donating to the local foodbanks, providing services for those who need assistance in different areas of life, going to sister churches in Honduras or whathaveyou to set up running water.

    I may not entirely embrace the church, agreeing with everything, but I'm doing my best to not let the things that I have problems with cloud my perception and cause me to be so bitter I ignore it outright.

    I went to a pastor of mine and wanted him to tell me my doubts were justified or unjustified and he just smiled and said, "That's why life is a journey. We'll never completely figure it all out." He went on to encourage that "tension" and that if I get comfortable one way or another – that was when I needed to do some re-evaluation.

    So anyway, thank you for sharing.

    May 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Johnny Blammo

      You have a very shallow, glib pastor. A thoughtful, intelligent conversation would have been more appropriate.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You do not need a god or a religion to be a good person and to do good things. Why would you think that you do? Just curious!

      May 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Adam C

      @ Trevor – good luck on your journey. I humbly suggest you look up secular humanism.

      May 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • closet atheist

      Trevor.... as the others have said, you don't need church or religion to be a good person. Charity is universal. The church does, however, enjoy a wonderful tax-advantaged way of being charitable (our tax dollars at work... actually the exemption from tax dollars, so it's technically not ours). Funny thing about charity from the church is that it's a wonderful marketing ploy and provides free missionary work at same time.

      May 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  5. PumpNDump

    Marcio Pelegrini, please don't let facts get in the way of your lame straw man arguments. Lol

    May 7, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Marcio Pelegrini

      don't worry I am not a delusional atheist lol

      May 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  6. logan 5

    What a sad empty person this woman is that, to her, a secular life is exclusively predicated on vices. She seems to suggest that because she lacks critical thinking skills that all those who lead a secular existence must be as inept and as weak in spirit as her. The irony is, there are some who would call this woman courageous for going back to religion. But nothing could be further from the truth. Her actions indicate a gross lack of courage and common sense.

    May 7, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Spot on!

      May 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Her earliest indoctrination started with how non-believers lead wicked lives, so when she decided she was a no-believer she went on believing what she had been taught and acted out her non-believer fantasy. Problem is that she never left the original fantasy, she merely continued to play a role defined by her church. She states that clearly in her article. She never really questioned her faith, she only questioned whether she was content to live the life it requires of her when she really is a party girl at heart. Must be difficult.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Marcio Pelegrini

      "lack of critical thinking"?? ahahahahahahah
      who are you? one of those stinky flies who says the Scriptures states the world is flat ???????
      ahahahahahah
      man! how dumb someone like you can be? judgmental, bigot and delusional.
      Nothing you can do to stop people returning to church, returning to God and having faith. Nothing. is something you can't understand cause your lack of critical thinking, logic and common sense is just over the top.
      You should give up your full time job as stinky flies and try to be a normal person.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • logan 5

      @Marco
      Poor poor Marco....did I hurt your feelings?? Don't be so quick to hand yourself over to me on a silver platter. Don't you like yourself?? You know what's funny....you are obsessed with everyone being a "stinky fly" and yet you have the gall to call me delusional. You funny guy you....

      May 7, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  7. PumpNDump

    A young boy was on the edge of a cliff. A priest came up to him and asked him if anything was wrong. The boy said his parents went over the edge. The priest started unbuckling his pants and said, "this just isn't your day!" Lol

    May 7, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  8. Marcio Pelegrini

    is very funny when flies talk about "evidence"

    HEY FLIES! WHAT ARE THE EVIDENCE OF YOUR DELUSION?
    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    May 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      What evidence do you have of your god?

      May 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • PumpNDump

      The Greek and Roman gods are just as likely to have existed as the christian god. Can you prove they don't?

      May 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Johnny Blammo

      I see prayer troll has a new handle

      May 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Huebert

      If I said i have a dragon in my garage you would ask me to prove it. It would be stupid, not to mention impossible, for you to try prove I don't have a dragon in my garage.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • SAS6907

      Try creation in nature, even the trees cry out as evidence of God.

      May 7, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • logan 5

      And what delusion would that be, professor?

      May 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  9. SAS6907

    Again, I'll try to remove your doubt or at least fulfill my promise: Rev 3:19-22
    19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

    May 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Basically, "I remain silent and invisible but if you convince yourself that I am real you will be rewarded after you croak."

      Signed,
      God

      May 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  10. Marcio Pelegrini

    The Bible in Isaiah shows clearly the world is a round, a globe.
    The word "sphere" in jewish word clearly refers to globe. Not circle, globe. Thousand of years before Galileo !

    ..and you know what stinky flies atheits do? they spew their hatred and foolishness saying the Scriptures says the World is flat!!!! ahahahahahahahahahahahahahah
    oh..so many times I heard these stinky flies (full of excrement) saying that....and worst, most of these retardeds ever read any Scriptures. Some of them I have to recognize, flips the Scriptures around slicing it, putting out of contexts or just distorting before throwing out there their stinky vomit.
    If your goal is to desencourage us you must grow up. Any Christian child know how dumb you are..LOL

    May 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Madtown

      Amazing failed troll. Try a little harder.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Your level of education please?

      May 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Huebert

      The fact that the world is round was discovered by the ancient Greeks Hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Marcio Pelegrini

      HEY HUEBERT!
      DO YOU TO READ? ARE YOU DEAF? OR JUST A STINKY DELUSIONAL FLY IN DENIAL ? lol

      May 7, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • SAS6907

      Huebert, did you listen to what he wrote: Isaih had written it....that was a long time before the time of Christ also,
      about 760 BC, but I'll take it even further back, read the book of JOB, which took place about 2200BC

      May 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • logan 5

      "He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth...."
      And so this one line is suppose to serve as adequate support for your claim that the illiterate desert nomads who served as the architects of your bible knew the Earth was flat? You just get funnier and funnier Marcio! Keep um coming dude!!

      May 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  11. judeamorris

    I am disturbed by the fact that this author equates a secular life with cigarettes, alcohol, promiscuity, and partying. Perhaps that's part of her problem. She can't depend on her own moral fiber without using church as a crutch. There are many of us who do not indulge in those activities and who do not need the creeds and strictures of a church to do so.

    May 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Alfie Romeo

      I don't buy her "out-of-control" shtick. Her daring rebellion probably consisted of two cigarettes, one half-sipped margarita, and a conversation with an older man who declined her advances. It's part of the expected narrative Christians have for their "I was lost but now I am saved" stereotype that she is plugging into to sell her book.

      I bet her actual consumption of alcohol was way below average – remember, she is from a very repressed background.

      I suspect she's just another Christian out to fleece the flock with her product.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  12. PRISM 1234

    We believers are constantly described as delusional, simple-minded, weak, mental cases who are living in imaginary world. We have been called even worse, and most of it is not worth to reply too, but one of you that I responded too said,

    "your god is irreducibly complex

    This is just another example of the "sin"->guilt->repent cycle. Secular living is not doing whatever you want. It is taking responsibility for your own actions, while realizing there is no invisible father figure watching over you, ready to forgive you for your "sinful" behavior.

    My reply:

    You're wrong! There is God, you and I ARE sinners.
    We have a conscience, which sets us apart form any other creature on Earth.
    We were given intellect by which we are able to reason, and we have souls which combined with our intellect enables us to perceive the reality beyond our eyesight, and "outward" senses.
    By this knowledge imprinted on us KNOW that we are not animals, that we are moral, spiritual beings and that we immortal.
    BUT when we, through the sin that dwells in us, numb our consciences, we lose the ability to see beyond those "outward" senses.
    The sin of PRIDE is the most damnable sin any man can hold on too in his heart. I say hold on too, becaue it is one that is not committed as an act, but it is condi'tion, likened to an infection or disease.... because it severs him from any help, since he declares he doesn't need it... it brings him to the point of TOTAL blindness, making him lame, and causing him to walk in darkness all his life, SEPERATING HIM FROM REALITY !
    And that is exactly what is being seen in posts of those who deny God, their maker who gave them life.
    Ironically, its those kind of people who love to call us ,who know our Maker, "delusional". But hey only reaffirm their own state of being. Oh, what a wretched creature man can allow himself to become, when he refuses to humble himself and face himself for WHO and WHAT he really is without his Maker!

    P.S. No, our God is NOT "irreducibly complex"
    Its the fallen, rebellious, stiff necked man that perceives Him to be so, because he rather believes the lies of satan, the enemy of his soul, then face himself and calls out on God who made him to KNOW HIM, LOVE HIM AND FELLOWSHP WITH HIM!
    You see, It's really very simple!

    "there is no invisible father figure watching over you, ready to forgive you for your "sinful" behavior.

    You're wrong! There is God, you and I ARE sinners.
    We have a conscience, which sets us apart form any other creature on Earth.
    We were given intellect by which we are able to reason, and we have souls which combined with our intellect enables us to perceive the reality beyond our eyesight, and "outward" senses.
    By this knowledge imprinted on us KNOW that we are not animals, that we are moral, spiritual beings and that we immortal.
    BUT when we, through the sin that dwells in us, numb our consciences, we lose the ability to see beyond those "outward" senses.
    The sin of PRIDE is the most damnable sin any man can hold on too in his heart. I say hold on too, becaue it is one that is not committed as an act, but it is condi'tion, likened to an infection or disease.... because it severs him from any help, since he declares he doesn't need it... it brings him to the point of TOTAL blindness, making him lame, and causing him to walk in darkness all his life, SEPERATING HIM FROM REALITY !
    And that is exactly what is being seen in posts of those who deny God, their maker who gave them life.
    Ironically, its those kind of people who love to call us ,who know our Maker, "delusional". But hey only reaffirm their own state of being. Oh, what a wretched creature man can allow himself to become, when he refuses to humble himself and face himself for WHO and WHAT he really is without his Maker! "
    So, in conclusion there is only one Conclusion. We both live in this physical world, but he only knows what he sees with his physical eyes. He has rejected the part of him that completes one's being. So it is fair to say, that those who have done so, are only half way here, and since not fully alive, they can not know what does it mean to have fullness of life. It is a sad way of existence, no matter how much one deceives himself to think he is complete.

    May 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • PumpNDump

      TL/DR. Lol

      May 7, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Madtown

      We have a conscience, which sets us apart form any other creature on Earth
      -----–
      More "knowing"? You so sure that dogs don't have a conscience? Fish? How do you know?

      May 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Prism1234

      "Their is a God,you and I ARE sinners."

      And your evidence for this God is...?

      May 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Marcio Pelegrini

      ..what is strikes me is the DELUSION of atheists.
      Their faith on ther failed logic, corrupted caracter, no morals and this willingness of been like stinky flies around our lives, amazes me.
      Obviously the demons influence is clear in some. By the way the demons's boss is called also the king of flies!
      I just think is a pathetic waste of a person.
      How shallow, stinky and disgusting a human been can be.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Oh, Huebert, you are hopeless case!

      You've got to come out of it!

      May 7, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      @Marcio
      "Obviously the demons influence is clear in some. By the way the demons's boss is called also the king of flies!
      I just think is a pathetic waste of a person.
      How shallow, stinky and disgusting a human been can be."
      That's precisely why man runs from reality of facing himself... Because the only way to do so is to humble one's self before God , but that requires letting go of Self and sin that's' in one's heart.
      Do you remember the incident when Christ cast out legion of demons from a man who lived among the tombs? demons came out begging to be cast out into the heard of swine. Swine couldn't hold them , so they ran out violently into the sea. But ONE MAN could hold the whole legion of them. This is an astounding fact, and we see it evident especially in times we live in. I believe the legions of demons are let out for such time we're living in, becaue the time is near and satan knows his season is at hand. And blind crowds are fall(ow)ing like flies!

      May 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • logan 5

      Amazing!....you left the longest most drawn out post on this blog consisting of hundreds of words yet said absolutely nothing.

      May 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Its AMAZING that you could see the words, but to you they were only meaningless shapes on white background.

      This precisely proves the validity of what the words you seen but didn't comprehend said!

      You are a wretched soul, Logan 5!

      May 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "This precisely proves the validity of what the words you seen but didn't comprehend said!

      You are a wretched soul, Logan 5!"

      I just love the stupid posts from this person since it's a great example of what is so wrong with this cult and these posts will make others not want to join. Keep up the great work of stupidity so more people will finally get why they shouldn't belong to your cult.

      May 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      YR
      Its ok , you go ahead and say how stupid, crazy are the things I write.... But your numbed conscience and your soul that you denied KNOWS! Your pride is what's damning you! .
      But that's how God sifts out who's who! You keep on harping how crazy, stupid , delusional ,and brainwashed we "cult"-ists are!
      Yet, when your soul exists your earthly frame and you find yourself in Christ- less eternity, you'll remember teh words of us whom you belit'tled and ridiculed.
      There is a place where damned souls weep and cry out endlessly, with voices that no early humans ever could conceive. You DELUTE yourself into believeing that this is only a fable.... But God in His mercy let some of us hear them while here in this life, to warn us andf save us from straying from Him, and to give our warnings to others. He hasn't designed it for any human soul to end up in this place, but if you do, how can you blame God whose hand of mercy you rejected?
      You are being made a fool, YR, led by the enemy of your soul , right into that place of the damned where there is no way out of it! Is this a hate speech, or a plea from someone who knows something you refuse to face?!
      But call it what you will, it won't change the truth , only the outcome of your life!

      May 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • YeahRight

      “But your numbed conscience and your soul that you denied KNOWS!” -LIE

      Your pride is what's damning you! . -LIE

      “But that's how God sifts out who's who! You keep on harping how crazy, stupid , delusional ,and brainwashed we "cult"-ists are!
      Yet, when your soul exists your earthly frame and you find yourself in Christ- less eternity, you'll remember teh words of us whom you belit'tled and ridiculed.
      There is a place where damned souls weep and cry out endlessly, with voices that no early humans ever could conceive. You DELUTE yourself into believeing that this is only a fable.... But God in His mercy let some of us hear them while here in this life, to warn us andf save us from straying from Him, and to give our warnings to others. He hasn't designed it for any human soul to end up in this place, but if you do, how can you blame God whose hand of mercy you rejected?”

      More stupidity showing why your cult is so wrong, but you have to love the judgments in their too. LOL! Can’t even follow your own rulebook. LOL!

      “You are being made a fool, YR, led by the enemy of your soul , right into that place of the damned where there is no way out of it! Is this a hate speech, or a plea from someone who knows something you refuse to face?!” -LIE

      “But call it what you will, it won't change the truth , only the outcome of your life!” -LIE

      You can’t even follow one of the basic commandments either liar. LOL! That’s cause your reek of pride and ego. LOL!

      May 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  13. PumpNDump

    Once again, for the relgious nutters who didn't get it the 1st time:

    The whole "god" & "jesus" thing! A total myth.
    1. The earth is approximately 4.5 BILLION years old
    2. Dinosaurs existed, just NOT with man. Lol
    3. There is NOT academically accepted, peer reviewed proof that "jesus" ever existed.
    4. MOST of christianity is LIBERALLY lifted from prior faiths, such as Mithrasian faiths, druidism, Greek/Roman gods, etc.
    5. Believing in Greek/Roman gods is just as VALID and ACCURATE as christianity.
    6. Evolution is a scientific FACT, get over it.

    May 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  14. PumpNDump

    I love how delusional, wide eyed & batsh !t crazy these religious nutters are.

    May 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  15. n8263

    You do not believe in religion because you honestly think it is true, you believe in it because you fear mortality or are seeking meaning in your life. It does not take a genius to figure out all religion is man made, so for humanity's sake, please stop lying to yourself.

    Deluding yourself in religion does not change reality. Lying to yourself is probably the worst possible way to try to find meaning.

    May 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  16. martin jones

    What a delightfuloly honest article from someone who seeks truth. What sad and cynical comments from those who think they know it all. In the late 1800s wrote these delightful words:
    1 I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
    he moved my soul to seek him, seeking me;
    it was not I that found, O Savior true;
    no, I was found, was found of thee.
    It was not I that found, O Savior true;
    No, I was found, was found, of thee.

    2 Thou didst reach forth thy hand and mine enfold;
    I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea;
    'Twas not so much that I on thee took hold,
    as thou, dear Lord, took hold on me.
    'Twas not so much that I on thee took hold,
    as thou, dear Lord, took hold on me.

    3 I find, I walk, I love; but, oh, the whole
    of love is but my answer, Lord, to thee!
    For thou wert long beforehand with my soul;
    always, always thou lovedst me.
    For thou wert long beforehand with my soul;
    always, always thou lovedst me.

    May 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Jeanine

      What a sad and delusional rant by someone obviously in the throes of madness. Singing songs will not make you sound intelligent in a debate. If you can't make a good argument, then why use the song of a crazy person to bolster your insults?

      May 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Jeanine,
      May God who loves you and has His hand of mercy stretched out toward you, help you to see your own delusion!

      May 7, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  17. Marcio Pelegrini

    Atheists are delusional.
    The delusion of the inexistence of God.
    Atheists are sour, rude, full of so stupid, dumb criticism of the Bible that the only thing you can make out of it is laugh!
    Science has proven the Bible accurate, right and amazingly True. Over and over and over again (even bothering some scientists. Actually making them either mad, or ignoring it {too much embarrassment for those thugs).

    Like the Word of God says...the man who says there is no God is FOOL.
    Atheists are fools. And their pathetic lives is to look for the destruction of faith, God and everybody who love God and experience his presence.
    Atheits are like flies around your soup. And the funny thing is they are absorbed by hatred against us for something "that doesn't exist!!!!!" LOL isn't that funny? amazing
    Those pathetic fools waste theirs disgusting lives only due one thing: their moral issue. They can't stand the fact they are not in control over their lives. There are values and rules and commandments from our creator. No matter how much Science prove them wrong, their brainwashed personalitiies are only broken by God. No people's argument can change such waste of life.
    Only a retarded would believe in the "big bang"!. So, there was a "bang" in somewhere, in some vacuum or whatever and, by accident, came to form ...let me see...my watch (a nice onw) that I m wearing now.
    By accident my watch came to "life". OOHHHH..
    man, you fools have way more faith than us Christians. I am not worthy of such faith (see what pride, sinful flesh do with people?). You atheists rather be a retarded, fool than to accept your fallen, corrupt nature. Your moral issue is just too much for you..! :)
    Get a grip and go get a job. Go read your atheist retarded articles instead of flying around religious articles spewing your stinky nature.

    May 7, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • QS

      LMAO! We don't need to make fun of the bible....we have far too many people like you!

      May 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Mega

      "Only a retarded" would believe anything you just wrote.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Aezel

      "Like the Word of God says...the man who says there is no God is FOOL."

      Translation: "The bible says it is true so it must be true."

      Logic fail.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • closet atheist

      Are you serious? I honestly feel bad for your narrow world view.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Readdeeply

      Really christian of you idiot.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Kris

      Marcio, You're just jealous!

      May 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • n8263

      This explains your post Marcio.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Marcio Pelegrini

      hey FLIES!

      here some sugar (poisoned) ahahahaha come and get it!
      man..flies are disgusting..they love excrements...and then come over us ARGH

      May 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • closet atheist

      Threats of violence. Very christian of you.

      May 7, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  18. QS

    Sounds like the author suffers from the typical Christian guilt-trip.

    May 7, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  19. Dl

    Nice...I don't believe this kr ap, but I'll attend the service & pretend I do...

    May 7, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  20. really?

    I gave $$$, time, love, grace, for decades to my "church" what was it good for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and I will say it again! "CHURCH" is a business using creative minds and hearts for free ! If you like that kind of stuff more power to you.......me, I like to be truly appreciated using the "gift" god gave me and that is NO WHERE near a church! Ohhhh and yeah I do have the "root" of bitterness......LOL....not really....guilt and shame doesn't work anymore I AM HAPPY AND JESUS STILL LOVES ME, in fact, HE LOVES ME THE MOST !!!!

    May 7, 2012 at 12:28 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.