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My Take: This is where God was in Aurora
Twelve crosses comprise a makeshift memorial across the street from the movie theater where last week’s mass shooting happened.
July 28th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: This is where God was in Aurora

Editor’s note: Rob Brendle is the founding pastor of Denver United Church, a former associate pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, and the author of "In the Meantime: The Practice of Proactive Waiting."

By Rob Brendle, Special to CNN

I held her hand as she died.

Her family had come to a church where I was pastoring that morning, a routine Sunday. A thousand things would never have crossed their minds as they drove through Colorado Springs toward New Life Church’s enormous concrete worship center - including the prospect of being assaulted in their minivan by a young man with a high-powered rifle.

Later that day, we were all at a local hospital. The girl whose hand I held, Rachel, had already lost a sister at the scene. Her father was down the hall in critical condition and her mother was coming undone in the waiting room, but she didn’t know any of it. Rachel lay unconscious for a couple of hours more in the ICU.

And then she died. Her family had come to church together that morning, and by nightfall they were shattered.

That was almost five years ago.

The movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado shook me and the rest of the nation. Reading about the young and unsuspecting victims took me back to the dying girl in the ICU who had come to my church that day in 2007, in a an incident that left the two girls dead and injured several others. Back to the Columbine massacre a decade earlier that horrified the world and traumatized Colorado. And back to the aching questions that accompanied those previous incidents: Why did this happen? Where was God in all of it? How could a loving God allow this?

Where was God in Aurora? 7 responses

We pastors face the unenviable task of being asked to answer for God. Most people ask the big questions in times of irresolution, times when satisfying answers are scarce.

Let’s be clear: there are no easy answers to the deepest questions of suffering. Libraries overflow with the volumes that have been written to address these questions. Centuries of philosophers, pundits and preachers have reflected on the existence of evil, the meaning of pain and the role of God in suffering.

I won’t begin to recount all of their ruminations here. But here’s what I think.

God is the author of life and the originator of good. He distinguished humankind from among his creation with faculties like reason, emotion, dexterity and choice. Scripture teaches that God made people in his image. Set apart from all the rest of his creatures, we were endowed with the capacity to know our Creator and ennobled with the ability to choose him. So singularly did God love humans that he gave us this ultimate gift.

Aurora survivor to alleged shooter: ‘I forgive you’

The capacity to choose God and goodness came with the commensurate ability to choose evil. Is it loving to force his creation to follow his order, or to teach it and leave the creature to choose? It would seem that God came to the same conclusion that America’s founders did many millennia later: compulsory virtue is no virtue at all.

But Scripture also teaches that God is totally in control. He is all-powerful and all-knowing and he is willing and able to intervene in human events. So there is a gap between human choice and divine foreknowledge, a gap that transcends understanding and that helps define God in my mind.

The debate over this theological tension has persisted for centuries, and I don’t aim to settle it here. Let me suggest simply that God, in his sovereignty, has chosen to make our decisions meaningful. Consequently, much of what happens on earth neither conforms to nor results from his preference. There are at least four influences on human events: God’s will, to be sure; but also the will of Satan, our adversary; peoples’ choices, for better or for worse; and natural law (gravity, collision, combustion, and the like).

It is difficult to know which force causes the circumstances that devastate us. But it is enough to know that God need not be responsible for them.

The man who made the Aurora crosses

Much of the internal gridlock around tragedy is because suffering is foreign to us. This foreignness is peculiarly Western and modern. Most of the world, for most of the world’s history, has known tragedy and trauma in abundance.

You don’t get nearly the same consternation in Burundi or Burma, because suffering is normal to them. God and hard times coexist intuitively there. For us, though, God has become Anesthetist-in-Chief. To believe in him is to be excused from bad things. He is our panacea for the woes of life.

The God of the Bible promises no exemption from suffering. In fact, he all but promises suffering. He does not suggest that his followers won’t go through fire, but rather that we won’t burn up. Mostly he promises to be there with us, to comfort and encourage us and renew our strength. God grieves with us, and he grows us into good people in the process.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Where was God in Aurora? He was on the lawn in front of the Civic Building as thousands gathered in solidarity, hope, and love at a packed prayer vigil last Sunday. He was in University Hospital as neurosurgeons groped for synonyms for miraculous.

He was in the outpouring of compassion at a victim’s funeral and in the passionate call for unity from a resolute councilwoman and at the bedside vigil of a wounded victim’s church community. Redemption has only begun in Aurora, and already God is everywhere. Their will be beauty once this story is written that overshadows and transcends the ashes.

Jesus started his ministry by declaring, “I am the light of the world,” and ended it with “you are the light of the world.”

What God our cities will see is what we show them. From the beginning, light has shone in the darkness - he ordered it that way. And the deeper the darkness, the brighter the light will appear. Where is God in Aurora? He is shining brightly from the hearts of his people.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Rob Brendle.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • God • Opinion

soundoff (4,566 Responses)
  1. † In God We Trust †

    33% of the world are Christians
    25% of the world are Muslims

    = ~60% who believe in Jesus Christ + growing very fast

    Christianity is the world's only truly and blessed religions while all others are based on mythology and peganism.
    Being Christian is a blessing, and the greatest thing on Earth. Christians are the most tolerant and peaceful people in the world, and the only religion spread throughout all seven continents.

    God Bless all Christians and those who believe in Jesus Christ as their lord and savior.
    Convert and be part of us!
    Jesus said: "Blessed are those who have not yet seen me".

    July 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • JWT

      That is only your opinion. I;d rather not be a christian.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      "Christianity is the world's only truly and blessed religions while all others are based on mythology and peganism."

      A huge spelling error AND a total lie.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Flanders Boned Mr. Burns

      Be a part of that??? Are you frikkin' kidding? Most tolerant???? Sure – if you define tolerance as, if you don't believe what I believe, then you are going to burn in Hell for all eternity, and I'm okay with that. I can't imagine anything more hateful.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Of course, a lot of that christianity was spread to other continents by force, upon populations decimated by European diseases. All of which begs the question: Why was god unable to cross the ocean to the New World (and Australia) until 1500 years after Christ? Why a being with the power to create the universe have to wait for humans with navigation skills and sea worthy vessels to take the knowledge of his existence across the oceans?

      And why is the hindu pantheon older than the judeo-christian god? Why have humans worshiped thousands of gods throughout history? And the biggest question of all: Why is there not a single shred of evidence to prove that your god (or any god) actually exists?

      July 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • What IF

      tallulah13,

      I agree with you wholeheartedly, but just for future reference, you might want to check out the real meaning and usage of "Begs the Question" - dang it... the link won't post. Just Google "beg the question info" and it should come up.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  2. Name*K

    Many of you want God out of you life, your country and your world... What's left is man, in all his glorious failure. No thank you.

    July 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Satan

      God and the bible is a huge fail. God is a number of contradictions and fallacies. God is the ultimate in failure.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Well I guess your god failed then, so sorry. Why don't you just cut your wrists and head on up?

      July 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Name*K

      Gig is hope. I would rather put my faith in Him, than in you and others like you. I had rather take my chances with God than the world leaders who are making decisions that effect us all. The godpel has out lasted every man ever born... I will be faithful to God until the end.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Name*K
      "Gig is hope."

      I thought that was for musicians only?

      July 29, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      "The godpel "

      Now I'm really confused.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The hindu pantheon is older than the judeo-christian god. Perhaps you should be worshiping them.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  3. Non-Christians are misguided

    Sometimes it makes me wish that Christians were intolerant towards non-Christians in the US just like Muslims

    July 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So what you are saying is that you hate the United States and wish for a theocracy like they have in Iran.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Non-Christians are misguided

      You said, "Sometimes it makes me wish that Christians were intolerant towards non-Christians in the US just like Muslims"
      How would that be any different from how it is now?

      July 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  4. KING

    Atheists needs to shut the F up otherwise I'll make sure every single place of worship across the nation bans them from everywhere!

    July 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • LinCA

      Fuck off asshole!

      July 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Non-Christians are misguided

      LinCA... You will suffer in hellfire your b!tch

      July 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wow, King, that was really funny. Really. I laughed out loud.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • JWT

      King of what – common sense is out/

      July 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Non-Christians are misguided

      You said, "LinCA... You will suffer in hellfire your b!tch"
      If given the choice between spending an eternity in hell, or a day in heaven with that monster you call your god and his followers, I'll choose hell any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      King, good try. No cigar. Christians know you are a wolf in sheep's clothing.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  5. TG

    Mr Rob Brendle, by saying that God "all but promises suffering", is expressing the thought that God really has no real interest in mankind. With this kind of reasoning, the expression that "God is dead" or that he has no interest in us, leaving all the woes and troubles to ourselves to deal with or solve, takes root and this from a man that is a religious leader of the churches of Christendom.

    He has failed to grasp (and therefore properly instruct) why our Creator, Jehovah God, has permitted suffering to continue for over 6000 years of human history since Adam violated God's command.

    He has failed to understand that in the Garden of Eden, God's universal sovereignty or right to rule, was called into question by the wicked spirit now called Satan, by asking Eve: "Is it really so that God said you must not eat from every tree of the garden?” regarding eating from the "tree of knowledge of good and bad" and then lyingly telling her that "you positively will not die. For God knows that in the very day of your eating from it your eyes are bound to be opened and you are bound to be like God, knowing good and bad.”.(Gen 3:2, 3)

    For the limited time of 6000 years of mankind's history, God has allowed rebellion against his sovereignty. Why ? To show that Satan's way of ruling through human governmental agencies is a dismal failure. After this amount of time, the evidence is clear that "man has dominated man to his injury" (Ec 8:9) and that human rulers have failed to eliminate war, crime, injustice or disease. In contrast to human rulership, God's rule benefits those who accept it.(Isa 48:17, 18)

    Hence, in the near future, at God's "appointed time", he will remove all wickedness (Prov 2:21, 22; Rev 16:14, 16), including the originator of it, Satan.(Rev 20:7-10) Then, Jehovah God will transform this earth into a global paradise (Luke 23:43) for "meek" ones to live on it forever.(Matt 5:5; Ps 37:11, 29)

    July 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Oj

      That's quite a delusion.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Given two possibilities...
      1) God created this world...sent Abraham, Moses, Jesus...caused great feats like the Red Sea parting, the great Flood, talking snakes, 600 year old people, etc. And then decided to just disappear...completely...for the past 2,000 years.
      2) There is no God.

      Occam's razor suggests that the simplest explanation is the one most likely to be correct. Make sense?

      July 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      ex,

      But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

      2 Peter 3:8

      Amen.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  6. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    Few 100% true Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you angry, stupid, brainwashed, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists are misguided and causes problem in our religious & public 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 Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler (denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders who killed religious people because of their religious cult!
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted 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)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
    **Only 2-3% of the U.S. are atheists/agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**

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

    PS! the USA is a † nation and will always be. You know it's true and stop being ignorant and arrogant!
    (Take a look at our federal/state holidays, 99% of our presidents, blue laws in parts of the nation, the majority of people, some laws, calendar, culture, etc.)

    http://rightremedy.org/tracts/7/

    July 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Aldewacs

      Didn't we see you on the late night stand-op comedy show?
      You need new material, bud.

      February 5, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
  7. Jack

    Hello folks. Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    July 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  8. Aurora

    Where is God when you choose to produce violent movies/ games?
    Where was God when you decided to make Guns freely available as if it were a toy ?
    Where is God when you decided to take the 10 commandments out of public places?
    Don't pretend like you have no part to play in this horrific violence every person that propagates violence through the media and sells ammunition that leads to violence is equally responsible.

    July 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Easy. Nowhere.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • WOOF

      Aurora,

      We have *every* part to play in this. We are the *only* ones who do. No magical being out/up/under there does anything.

      We're on Our Own Folks. Let's do whatever we can to make life the best that it can be.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • God still shines through the hearts of his people...

      the good samaritans that were out there helping the victims of this violence:)

      July 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • WOOF

      @God still shines through the hearts of his people...

      How about if you give the "good Samaritans" props of their own... and the bad guys blame of their own. No god necessary.

      We're on Our Own, Folks.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  9. HeavenSent

    I am carnal and can not help myself from sinning sometimes. I had enough money to spare to put in the plate this morning. I just wanted the Pastor in my mouth as a embodyment of jesus. It is not a mortal sin if you do it with the love of jesus in your heart and satan will never know.

    Amen.

    July 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Homer J

      Mmmmmm – mouth pasta!!!!!! What? Mouth Pastor? D'oh!

      July 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Come on, even I don't condone swiping other people's user names. And your comment didn't add to the discussion. Please pause for a bit and then give it another try.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Hang on a tic – I do condone stealing someone's name. Silly me!

      July 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      As I stated fake heavensent (no drink for you) only Jesus can cure the sociopath.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  10. A grieving grandmother

    A thoughtful, well written, encouraging contribution by this young pastor. For those of you who are so bitter at life for a myriad of unknown reasons, please seek guidance in whatever method you choose to free yourself from the lonely prison in which you are locked...from the inside. Your hate is no less than the shooter's. You just use words instead of bullets to wound, to mar, and to kill all that makes you angry. For the rest of society's sake, get some help before you get to be next one in a mask, spilling someone else's lifeblood just to make yourself feel something, anything again.

    July 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Oj

      How patronizing. Thanks.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Flanders Boned Mr. Burns

      Grandmother, I assume you are referring to the believers? Yes, i agree – they should get help with their delusions, before they start to believe such things as, Hey, if we hijack these planes and fly them into the WTC then our god will be happy with us and reward us with an eternity in heaven with hot and cold running virgins

      July 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Hey Grandma!

      I have some disturbing news for you. Your stupid god and your stupid bible is the killer, have you ever read the bible? I didn't think so.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Hey granny, what makes you think atheists are unhappy? Strange, but most of the ones I know are quite happy....good parents, with good kids, living happy, fun, meaningful lives without religion. Why is that so hard for you to comprehend?

      July 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Voice, come out come out and be who you truly are Scott.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • I wonder

      HeavenSent,

      ScottCA was here (page 26) and you did not say a word to him about these alleged nefarious activities of his...

      July 29, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Sure I have. I've answered most of his dummy handles. He takes everything of Jesus' truth as an insult. Hence, why he does what he does with my handle.

      July 30, 2012 at 4:13 am |
  11. James

    But why wasn't he there to knock what was propping the exit door open away so he couldn't get back in?

    July 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Because he (she, it, all of them) doesn't exist.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Flanders Boned Mr. Burns

      Becasue He was at the concession stand, saying "$12.50 for a bag of popcorn and a bottle of water????????"

      July 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  12. really

    It is bizarre how atheists seem to have a need to proselytize that is far stronger than in the religious. Based on statistics, atheists make up 1.6% of the population, yet at least 50% of the people who feel a need to post their belief system on news sites.
    They are therefore far more zealous than their religious counterparts. So the atheists are the ones best described as zealots.
    Interesting.

    July 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Flanders Boned Mr. Burns

      So you can safely conclude your 1.6% figure is wrong. And that word -proselytize? Clearly you don't know what it means, especially in the context of atheism. some may seem zealous because they recognize the grave danger of religion, and the atrocities big and small carried out in the name of a mult-itude fo gods.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • really

      First, the percentage I used was from the census. If you have some secret source of knowledge, please enlighten us.

      Second, I used the correct term, but thanks for the attempted English lesson.
      pros·e·lyt·ize/ˈpräsələˌtīz/
      Verb:
      Convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another.
      Advocate or promote (a belief or course of action): "Davis wanted to proselytize his ideas".

      Before attacking my correct use of a common word, you could have looked the meaning up.

      Finally, the way you react, with such venom. It is like I insulted your faith. You did a lot to prove my point.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • really

      sorry – my mistake – the figure of 1.6 per cent was from a 1970's census

      July 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • really

      So much loving kindness displayed by the atheist folks here. Truly, many of you show what a beautiful world we could create if only we eliminated religion. Your thoughtful and considerate comments, never smack of arrogance, insult or bitterness and help guide those not blessed with you superior intellect to your view of the world.

      For the denser of you, that was sarcasm.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • really

      So you went to enough effort to hijack my name to post incorrect data? Pathetic.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • really

      So much loving kindness displayed by the atheist folks here. Truly, many of you show what a beautiful world we could create if only we eliminated religion. Your thoughtful and considerate comments, never smack of arrogance, insult or bitterness and help guide those not blessed with you superior intellect to your view of the world.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Why do the religious feel the need to spread their lies in schools, attempting to force science education out, and our country's standing even lower among the industrialized nations of the world?

      July 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      I have absolutely NO desire to convert or attempt to convert you to anything. Feel free to beleieve whatever you'd like...IF you can keep it out of my work, public schools, and government. Think you can do that??? Then tell your fundie friends to do the same.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • really

      excuse me, but I now have to start getting supper ready – Santa's coming over with the Easter Bunny and Sasquatch. really, the are – I read about it. In a book. so it's true. really. really. really. please believe me when I say it's true. it hurts when people don't believe me about my friends.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • oh my dog

      @really
      You are going to eat the Easter Bunny for dinner, Oh my god, the inhumanity.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Patrick

      Awesome post Really- 100% with you. unfortunate you have deal with Flanders smothering

      July 29, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  13. Jan Starnes

    Thank you for clarifying your original article and question. When you first asked the question "Where was God", I was devasted by some of the replies–those descriptions are not the God I know. Your explanation in this article IS the God I know. We are not puppets at the hands of a puppeter. We are God's children who will experience pain and hearbreak. But God is there to lean on for the strength to survive. We have been given freedom of choice, and some people may choose to do evil. Those of us who are not evil must fight against it with the freedom we've been given to move forward and do good, even amidst the pain. I pray the victims and survivors of Aurora will find the strength from God to bear the pain and survive it.

    July 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Jan, there is no proof there is a god.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Flanders Boned Mr. Burns

      Choice??? What friggin' choice did those people have in that theatre?????? Choice my big hairy a-rse! The didn't choose to die! They didn't choose to be injured! They went to see a God Dam-n movie and some mindless, delusional freak killed them. If God was there in the theatre he's more of an idiot than you!

      July 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Voice, there's no proof there isn't.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Flanders Boned Mr. Burns

      Heavensent, you continue to be as thick as a brick. Compared to you, kevin Kline's character in A Fish Called Wanda is a flippin' genius. One last time – you cannot prove, nor is it necessary to prove, that something does NOT exist. Prove to me that the Loch Ness Monster does not exist. Prove to me that space aliens do not exist. If someone says that something DOES exist, it's up to them to supply the proof.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Oj

      Heaven, there is no proof there isn't a Santa Claus or flying, talking unicorns. However, most reasonable, sane adults should be able to come to the correct conclusion about all these things.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      HeavenSent, you are the one making the extraordinary claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

      There IS proof the Christian God doesn't exist. Carbon dating, evolutionary evidence, the fossil record, and pretty much all of science is proving that nearly all the major claims of the bible are untrue.

      Besides, Atheists welcome the notion that there are things we can't prove. We couldn't prove Higgs boson two years ago. We couldn't prove the origin of polio a century before that. But now we can cure and prevent disease, we can multiply the speed we can travel around the globe and around the universe, and we can predict and even control the natural world around us. Those things we can't prove are just the next challenge in human evolution. Are you up for it?

      July 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Flanders Boned Mr. Burns, what you atheists don't get is you don't have to believe in God, just learn His wisdom so we are all on the same page. Too much for lazies though.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      exlonghorn, you posted "HeavenSent, you are the one making the extraordinary claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

      Answer: Evidence of God's existence is everywhere. He created ALL. Just look in the mirror if you doubt what I'm saying. If you say your mom and dad created you, then who created the 6th day generation that brought forth your lineage?

      "There IS proof the Christian God doesn't exist. Carbon dating, evolutionary evidence, the fossil record, and pretty much all of science is proving that nearly all the major claims of the bible are untrue."

      Answer: All that you wrote is a lie. True science and Jesus' truth are in perfect harmony. Always were, always will be. The only problem is, you have no eyes to see nor ears to hear this fact. For example, read 2 Peter 3 describing the destruction of the foundation of the world, how we are in this 2nd earth age, and we will be in the 3rd earth age when Jesus returns. So far, Jesus' truth has yet to be uncovered in scriptures exactly the age of the world. I'm sure it's there and none of our eyes can decipher His truth as of this writing.

      Besides, Atheists welcome the notion that there are things we can't prove. We couldn't prove Higgs boson two years ago. We couldn't prove the origin of polio a century before that. But now we can cure and prevent disease, we can multiply the speed we can travel around the globe and around the universe, and we can predict and even control the natural world
      around us.

      Answer: All those viruses are mutating. Better watch out for what once was cured and now it gathers speed attaching itself to other diseases ...e.g. TB and AIDS.

      Those things we can't prove are just the next challenge in human evolution. Are you up for it?

      Answer: Evolution is a lie. I wouldn't waste my time on lies.

      July 30, 2012 at 4:28 am |
  14. WorkInProgress

    A person's words says a great deal about the condition of a persons heart and it is readily apparent that there are many depraved souls that have nothing better to do than mock someone's faith. We will all know one day in the end.

    July 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      This one's coming straight from my heart: YOU'RE AN IDIOT!

      July 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Nelson Munz

      You have faith??? PUNCH!!!!!! Ha, ha!

      July 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • really

      Most of the atheist posters on this site give great testimony to the positive effects of faith on a person.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Oj

      Yep, great things like pedophilia, lying, stealing, mass murders, etc. Great stuff from 'faith'.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • skysgirl

      So true!

      July 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Let's be more specific...I mock the perverted attempts at logic underlying the faith....or the complete rejection of logic altogether. THAT is what bothers me, along with fundies nonstop pushing of their beliefs on everyone else.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • WorkInProgress

      You can mock, ridicule, and insult me. You can claim to be the "voice of reason", and explain why you feel justified in attacking those that are religious, but it merely proves my point. I truly feel sorry for those of you that have nothing better to do with your life than to get on here and spew your hate.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • LinCA

      @WorkInProgress

      You said, "You can mock, ridicule, and insult me."
      But let me point out tat you started this thread with, "... there are many depraved souls ...".

      Pot, meet kettle.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @WorkInProgress

      This is an open forum blog and I can say anything I like just like you dummy. You're the one that made a statement and I didn't agree with it, I thought it was idiotic, so what? I still think you're an idiot.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It's funny how christians call names, make baseless judgements, spew hate and tell flat out lies, then act like victims when others don't agree with them.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Chad

      @exlonghorn "Let's be more specific...I mock the perverted attempts at logic underlying the faith....or the complete rejection of logic altogether."

      =>hmm..
      so, how do you logically explain any of the following without some super-natural influence?
      1. Origin of the universe
      2. Origin of life on earth
      3. Fine tuning of the universe for the building blocks of life
      4. Stassis and sudden appearance of new species fully formed
      5. The empty tomb
      6. The fact that many people, followers and enemies alike, reported meeting a resurrected Jesus. A belief they held so strongly that they were willing to die for the truth of it.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Chad, your questions have already been directly addressed. Your lack of intellectual curiosity is not proof of god. It's simply proof that you are being obtuse.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      "Spew" Tommie Tom. I wonder where you learned that word? Jesus perhaps? LOL.

      July 30, 2012 at 4:33 am |
  15. Follow the White Rabbit

    It seems that religion is liek The Matrix. People are born into it, and they don't know any other way of life. All day – every day, especailly when they are little kids – they are taught the religious fairy tales. Why would they believe anything else. And when someone comes along to tell them they have been living a lie – like the Matrix – they are not believed. You religious folks really need to free your minds from the brainwashign you received as kids.

    July 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • sybaris

      It's similar to Nationalism or even Patriotism. They're so engrained with religion that it would be treasonous/blasphemous to consider anything else.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Follow the White Rabbit

      Excellent comparison – so ingrained that people are blind to it.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Instead of being blind to His truth, why not shelf your ego and learn His truth. Oh, I forgot, it's too much for the lazies on this site.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Follow the White Rabbit

      to heavensent: it appears that you are too lazy and immersed in your own religious delusion to do some work, and use your brain

      July 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • I wonder

      HeavenSent,

      You also forgot that it's "shelve", not "shelf".

      As Winnie the Pooh said, "“Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?”

      July 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • True Christian Tolerance

      A Mississippi couple says the church where they planned to get married turned them away because they are black.
      Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson say they had set the date and mailed invitations, but the day before their wedding they got bad news from the pastor of predominantly white First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs: Some members of the church complained about the black couple having a wedding there.
      The Wilsons, who live in nearby Jackson, said they attend the church regularly although they are not members.
      Pastor Stan Weatherford told WLBT TV in Jackson he was surprised when a small number of church members opposed holding the wedding at the church.
      "This had never been done before here, so it was setting a new precedent, and there are those who reacted to that because of that," Weatherford said.
      Weatherford performed the July 21 ceremony at another church.
      "I didn't want to have a controversy within the church, and I didn't want a controversy to affect the wedding of Charles and Te'Andrea. I wanted to make sure their wedding day was a special day," Weatherford said.
      WLBT reported that church officials now say they welcome any race. They plan to hold internal meetings on how to move forward.
      Church member Casey Kitchens said she and other members of the congregation are outraged by the church's refusal to marry a black couple, a decision she says most of the congregation knew nothing about.
      "This is a small, small group of people who made a terrible decision," Kitchens told the Jackson newspaper, The Clarion-Ledger. "I'm just ashamed right now that my church would do that. I can't fathom why. How unfair. How unjust. It's just wrong."
      "I blame the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, I blame those members who knew and call themselves Christians and didn't stand up," member Charles Wilson said.
      Wilson told the newspaper that he understands Weatherford was caught in a difficult position and he still likes the pastor, but he also thinks the pastor should have stood up to the members who didn't want the couple to marry in the church.
      "It's not reflective of the spirit of the Lord and Mississippi Baptists," the Mississippi Baptist Convention executive director, Rev. Jim Futral, said. "It's just a step backward.... It's a sad thing."

      July 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Koali

      So you think people of faith are robots who never variate from what they were told? Hardly. You may be surprised at the back grounds of and the journeys people with faith have been on. If anything, Faith in God His Son Jesus and their subsequent practice through worship and following Him is a result of profoundly personal experience walk or encounter with the very same God . Faith is not for sissys.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I wonder, cough Tommie Tom, cough Scott. Concerning yourself with spelling allows you to not having to pay attention to the context. How convenient.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      True Christian Tolerance, as I wrote in an earlier post, there are many rituals this couple had to go through prior to walking down the matrimony isle.

      1. Most churches have premarital counseling that both couples need to meet together and by themselves.
      2. Most churches required sealed birth certificates from the location of birth.
      3. Most churches want both sets of parent(s)/guardians involved with the premarital counseling.
      4. Was the church available on the date the couple want marry after they passed the above requirements?

      July 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  16. Name*JAMES IKE

    NO Matter how painful or disturbing this is,the scriptures shows its never God's purpose for human to suffer,be it sickness or tragedy,the truth is that humans has exposed him self to alot of things that turn him to monster,so much so that he can take life at will without considering the consequence of his action.from all fairness if we humans subject ourselves to God's will most of the tragedies we face shouldn't happen at all.we are encouraged to listen to God when he speak

    July 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Flanders Boned Mr. Burns

      scriptures??/ God speaking????? It's a book! get over it, numskull! Written by people. Why don;t you worship Harry Potter??? he does magic stuff. There's a bunch of books about him. Maybe he's the real saviour – not this jesus dude. But hey – if its in a book it has to be true, especially if th ebook says that everythign in the book is true. Can't you think for yourself??? idiot

      July 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Koali

      Call on Him in a time of trouble and you will see. He and His angels were there in Aurora that night and He who made His children love them more than we can imagine.
      The ones who are still suffering should be our focus to help relieve them, comfort them and encourage them.
      Fight the good fight. Those who want to just be good citizens- fine with me. God will reward you and judge you according to your works. But those who believe and follow after Him will be led.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  17. Patrick

    Trey Parker Quote-
    "Basically ... out of all the ridiculous religion stories which are greatly, wonderfully ridiculous—the silliest one I've ever heard is, 'Yeah ... there's this big giant universe and it's expanding, it's all gonna collapse on itself and we're all just here just 'cause ... just 'cause'. That, to me, is the most ridiculous explanation ever."

    That quote brilliantly sums up my view. I don't have the time or energy to debate anyone here, but the Atheist presence is mind blowing to me. Science has virtually no explanation pertaining to the origin of consciousness, ethics or even the human experience; and whatever explanations they have certainly don't suffice.
    My favorite clip from any South Park episode is a scene where someone says "Turns out the Mormons were right" as the screen shows a small group of Mormons that actually made it to heaven. I'm with most others on here that I think its nearly unfathomable to imagine a single religion being right, but, like Trey Parker has also said, 'atheism and southern baptists are essentially the same people.' Listen to the Atheists on here talk, they are rude and every bit as narrow as the gay bashing Christian (and MANY Christians are NOT gay bashers).

    The comments have turned into a massive debate between us readers, and then a few jabs at the author. Would just like to say that he did make some good points.

    July 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Flanders Boned Mr. Burns

      You, sir, are a dumb- a-ss! Atheism is not a system of beliefs formulated to explain the nature of the universe! It's just a reaction to people saying , I believe in a god.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • sybaris

      Regardless, the default answer is not "godidit"

      July 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Jay

      agreed

      July 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Patrick

      It's quite obvious you don't have the time or interest to educate yourself. Your statements are empty and ignorant. Go read a book and not the stupid bible for once.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So because because you don't understand and are unwilling to wait for answers or accept the answers that don't agree with what you want to believe, the conclusion you come to is "god did it"?

      Frankly Patrick, what you are doing is putting ignorance on a pedestal and calling it god.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Voice, LOL, my original posts is being blocked. How is being an atheist mean you're educated?

      July 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Oj

      'Frankly Patrick, what you are doing is putting ignorance on a pedestal and calling it god.'

      Great quote. Thx.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @HeavenSent

      I have made a pact with satan and I can now block your posts.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I know Scott. You did it on the other site that failed.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      That's probably why your Christian wife left you Scott ... as you believed it's your way or the highway. So, she hit the road and left your stubborn butt.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Patrick

      @ Flanders
      You're right, atheism doesn't claim to know anything about the nature of the universe. The point is that there is a lot of open space for thought about the nature of God or a higher power – atheists run around like they know everything that isn't, which certainly comes off sounding like they have some insight into the nature of the universe that non-atheists dont.

      I like your atheism, but I don't like your atheists.
      Take a quick look around your atheist community on this board (including yourself) , its embarrassingly respectful of you guys and certainly doesn't help the atheist cause.

      @Voice of Reason
      Love bio, applying to med school within the next year. I read books. I don't read the bible. And i'll never be close minded enough to shun a believer because I don't agree. Let me add that I am not a Christian.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
  18. Best Explanation

    Best explanation yet.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtX_R-V5Cws&w=640&h=390]

    July 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  19. Rainer Braendlein

    Jesus once said: "Let the dead burry their dead!"

    Wasn't Jesus concerned about the death of people?

    Not at all! Jesus just wanted to express that we should more ponder how we could live Christian than pondering about the death. Death is somewhat beyond reason like 9/11; we will never be able to grasp it, and what it means for us personally.

    Let us love our neighbour as long he lives and as long we live, maybe, this evening the "game" will be over for one of us.

    Are we actually unbiased people? How do we regard people of other color, social status, nationality, belief, etc..

    We always find reasons to neglect or even to hate our neighbour. The problem is not the distinction of the neighbour, but a germ of hate within us which becomes visible in different ways.

    I myself am an strict opponent of Islam, but nevertheless I will love my Muslim neighbour.

    One of the greatest Christians of all times was St. Paul. Before he converted, he was a Jewish "Taliban". Certainly, when Paul saw how the Christian Stephen became a martyr saying forgive them (including Saul or Paul) what they do, he was deeply touched. And maybe Stephen's prayer for Saul/Paul was answered when the heavenly Christ revealed himself to Saul/Paul, and Saul became a Christian.

    Hence, today we may experience attacks by Mormons, Muslims, Catholics and the like, but let us avoid any hatred and revenge, but treat them kindly like sisters and brothers. Only the truth let us never deny that Jesus Christ is God's only bigotten Son and a person of the Holy Trinity. Jesus was born by the Virgin Mary and conceived by the Holy Spirit. This Jesus has borne our sins on the cross, and has resurrected, in order to be the righteousness of every believer. Invite him, and your body will become a temple of the Holy Spirit which helps you to overcome selfishness, greed for honor, power and riches, se-xual greed, and many other things. Jesus will give you an unbiased love for your neighbour, and love for God.

    Criminals, no matter which religion they belong to, are a case for the authority.

    July 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Flanders Boned Mr. Burns

      and how do you justify and explain why your fairy tale is "true" and all of the other fairy tales aren't? You realize there were thousands of religions before Christianity, right? What makes them all wrong and you right? Who are you to say authoritatively what jesus wanted?? Arrogance. Supreme arrogance. makes me wish there actually was a god so that he could squash you like the arrogant bug you are!

      July 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      Jesus never said anything. The bible is a lie to control weak-willed sheep. Why think for yourself when believing is so easy.
      Mock cannibalism and blood drinking rituals. How stupid can idiots get.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Flanders, Cain is the son of satan. Fled to Nod after murdering his brother Abel. Married, had children which are called Kenites. Both children of God's and children of satan live in this world. It's the offsprings of Cain that made up the false religions, having the same theme, same characters, events, different names. Why? They are liars just like the one that started their lineage (Lucifer aka satan aka the devil, and other multiple names ... reminds me of this site) to cause confusion and doubt. Worked, didn't it?

      Ye are of your father the devil , and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

      John 8:44

      Amen.

      July 30, 2012 at 4:44 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Yeah right HS. God favored Abel's animal sacrifice over Cains offer of produce. Why the lust for blood on your God's part? Basically s/he's just a violent sicko.

      July 30, 2012 at 4:50 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Scott, make like a tree.

      July 30, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things,

    July 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Religion is not healthy for children and all living things

      Prayer is for idiots.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Oj

      Yep, it changes the amount of time you have to spend on things that are actually useful and accomplish something. Get off your behind and go help the needy instead of praying for it. Or whatever your praying cause is.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • just sayin

      Prayer is talking with God, it is God who tells the supplicant where to go and what to do. Without a plan the "man" of action oft times plays the fool. God bless

      July 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • skysgirl

      Agreed!

      July 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Oj

      So, if the shooter 'prayed', and heard back that he should commit the acts he did, that would be ok? Cool then. Great how religion can justify anything you want to do.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      No statistically valid, double-blind study has ever shown prayer to affect anything but heart rate, which is a meditative effect. If I am wrong, please list citation to the contrary.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
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About this blog

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