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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. Thurgood Jenkins

    This is a belief blog for grown adult human beings who believe in fairy tales.

    July 29, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Jamie

      I wholeheartedly second that my brotha. This guy should be with traveling carnivals, but instead, CNN feels the need to defy all logic.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • One one

      Jamie, it may be good business. The "where was god" story got over 10,000 comments. That's a lot of eyeballs seeing their advertising.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  2. Fellow

    God was too busy watching young children use the bathroom.

    July 29, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  3. Eltrick Primus

    Blessed is name of the Lord, creator of Heaven and Earth. Has it not been made know to you God is Love...Blessed is a God who sent His laws and commandments down from Heaven to guide the hearts of men that theirs ways maybe pleasing unto God. Exodus 20:13 Thou shall not kill

    July 29, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • PAUL

      GOD IS ALIVE AND SO ARE WE IN HIM!!

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

      July 29, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Jamie

      Complete verbal garbage

      July 29, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • One one

      God didn't send anything. All that mumbo jumbo was created and disseminated by people. Why should I believe them ?

      July 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Ting

      'Thou shall not kill'

      God doesn't practice what he preaches.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • was blind but now I see

      @Ting; 'Thou shall not kill' God doesn't practice what he preaches.

      Hebrew[edit] EtymologyFrom the root ר־צ־ח (r-TZ-ḥ).
      [edit] Pronunciation 1(Modern Israeli) IPA: /ʁaˈtsaχ/
      [edit] Verbרָצַח (ratzákh) (pa'ál construction)

      1.To murder (to deliberately kill).
      [edit] Pronunciation 2(Modern Israeli) IPA: /ˈʁe.tsaχ/
      [edit] Nounרֶצַח (rétzakh) m.

      1.Murder: the crime of deliberately killing.
      [edit] Anagramsצרח, ר־ח־צ

      July 29, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  4. Kathleen Frank

    This is a belief blog...those without any should go elsewhere. Faith is a gift not a burden. I am rejoicing in my gift.

    July 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      You are so hot when you are mad baby....

      July 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Confused face

      delusions don't require any work. You actually have to think and have courage to overcome your delusions.

      And just like a believer. "la la la la la, I don't wanna listen. Go elsewhere."

      July 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Kathleen's just afraid that one of her kind might start to question their belief and start to see the light. While her opinion is noted, it has nothing to do with the article at hand but tis the typical christard...staying on topic is difficult when all they know is what is preached from the pulpit each week.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Believer

      Why would you waste your precious time here? Go spew some where else. God has blessed me.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Kathleen, a get what you're saying, but there's a problem with your thinking. If theists kept their beliefs to their homes, churches, and forums like this, Atheists would likely not have a problem with it. But that's not the case. Cretins like the Westboro Baptist Church, Christian Conservatives, al Qaida, and other more extreme groups.

      "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." – Mark 16:15

      "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction." 2 Tim 4:2

      See your deity commands you to spread this garbage to everyone you can. Conversion has always been central to the major religions. Of course Christians will always say that they just spread the word and it's the Holy Spirit that does the conversion. My friends, this is absolutely splitting hairs. The goal is still conversion, and I don't care for that mentality one bit.

      So we do come to forums like this, to question, to probe, and...when necessary...to challenge. I don't think an Atheist would tell you to leave one of their forums, so please resist the temptation to overreact to our logical probing and ask us not to participate in yours.

      "Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. The grave will supply plenty of time for silence." – Christopher Hitchens

      July 29, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • One one

      God is exactly what every believer wants him to be. That is why there are 35,000 sects of Christianity.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Name*K

      Agreed!

      July 29, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • One one

      It's not OK to tell people who don't believe as you do to get lost. It's even worse to preach that non-believers deserve to burn in hell. Do you believe that non-believers deserve to burn in hell ?

      July 29, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Stick it up your fundament, Kathleen. You're not the owner of CNN.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Aden

      Tom etc. is a person of many parts – orifices at least.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • was blind but now I see

      @TruthPrevails :-)

      "Kathleen's just afraid that one of her kind might start to question their belief and start to see the light. While her opinion is noted, it has nothing to do with the article at hand but tis the typical christard...staying on topic is difficult when all they know is what is preached from the pulpit each week."

      Sounds like you speak from experience???

      July 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • was blind but now I see

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son; "Stick it up your fundament, Kathleen. You're not the owner of CNN."

      Yet ANOTHER loving and tolerant comment from TTPS. You must be up into the triple digits by now!

      July 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Believer

      Silly assumptions.....I might assume that those that can do and those that can't well...they blog.

      July 30, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  5. Dan Johnson

    I lost my father when I was young, and I lost two of my kids seven years ago August 29th. I've battled the God place in all this too many times.

    To suggest he is all powerful and steps in when he wants and backs out when he chooses suggests a very cruel 'father'. I don't have any time for a 'father' like that. I learned nothing from the death of my kids. I'm not a better person. My life hasn't been enriched. It solved no problem for anyone.

    Where I'm torn is the beauty of my family and my children tells me there is something bigger then me out there. I don't know how to define it and despite all the pain, I do believe I'll see my kids again someday. But don't tell me God is picking and choosing. That's the talk of someone who has never been through that kind of loss.

    What I can accept is that the best way to define God is 'all loving'. And as part of that God stepped out of the game and left us with the tools to choose and to make of life what we choose it to be. It also means bad things can happen because no one is pulling the strings.

    For those talking about Hell, get over yourselves. Any "Hell' that there is would be of our own creation. Again, having lost two kids, I've been to Hell. There is nothing worse that could happen to me. No threat of some eternal damnation is going to work. I've also been to Heaven, and it's been taken from me twice now, when my father died and our family was forever changed, and when my kids died as my rebuilt family was wrecked again.

    I'm sorry, no streets paved with gold or some greater understanding is going to matter to me. I'll never understand the loss of my kids.

    July 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • iSpew

      Truth, thank you.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Who me?

      I'm sorry to hear of your pain and loss.Seek solace and find it where you can.Peace and all the best from Canada.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • One one

      God is exactly what every person on the planet (who believes in god) wants him to be.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • iSpew

      Well, on that note I think I will sign off.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Me too. Amen.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Skwisgaar Skwigelf

      Mees too.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      Me too.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • HeavenSent blog

      And me too.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      It reminds me of missing the game winning kick in the Super Bowl. I am leaving too.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Murder Face

      FUK! Me too.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Blast from the Past

      Me too, just like last time.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Agnostic Man

      Me too I think, I am not sure.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • blackpeoplemeet.com

      I am out yo.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Name*K

      This reminds me of Job... Sorry to hear of your pain, it definitely puts a new perspective on things. I hope you will see your sons again one day. Stay strong <3

      July 29, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Stay Strong Dan. Loss of a child, let alone two is much to go through. Was it Katrina?

      July 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      I am flying away now.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Exactly as I posted earlier, my children have been raised in a deity-less home. If they choose to follow a religion at some point, I will have no problem with that. But I suspect it won't happen unless a tragedy befalls them or they meet someone who has already been indoctrinated...just as happened with Dan.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Ting

      I'm with Name*K. My first thought was Job. Who cares if Job had more children and was wealthier, that doesn't replace the children lost. You can sugar coat or spin the Job story all you want; God is pure evil in that story.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  6. iSpew

    God created the universe. Many billions of years ago, a life form evolved on a planet not so far distant and their scientists deduced the building blocks for life existed in the universe and from it, new life forms could be created. These ancient ones populated Mars with life and eventually, due to asteroid events over millions of years, life arrived here on Earth. We are a product of that primeval turbulence. Therefore, we must worship the Aliens, not God. The Aliens have to worship God. This is all true because I have faith that it happened just this way.

    July 29, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      I read that too.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Why not? All it requires is a little faith (and no proof to counter it)

      July 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • One one

      I worship the hydrogen atom.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Higgs boson myself. Its more magnificent.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  7. Bob McAdams

    God had nothing to do with the terror and deaths in Aurora. Race consciousnesses is the only thing that did this. A race that promotes negative energy, a race that spends more time sensationalizing fear, lack, poverty and illness. A race that over the last 30+ years has been more tuned into profits at any costs then humanity and the rights and quality of life for the people. Stop and look at the medias and what they promote from the tabloid gossip magazines to television, has anyone stopped and looked at what is being fed to the people for entertainment.......plant garbage get garbage, plant fear, hate, fighting, killing and get fear, hate, fighting and killing.
    God is in all of us we are all at different levels of Spiritual Evolution and Awareness, all of this media based hype is blaming God for all that man of his own mind and will does. And I might add why on earth should anyone need or be able to buy such weapons? What good can they do? Oh I guess we have all witnessed the goodness of such weapons....perhaps that is the reason to question where was God during this ......because we can't except the blame!
    God is everywhere, God was in this Theater, God is in you and God is in me.............so perhaps we need to use the media to change this instead of blindly, stupidly asking where was God during this!! Just more sensationalism and terrorism by the media..... and I'm sure mega profit as well. I will tell you one thing for sure God is not found in the media!

    July 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • NoTheism

      And yes, you don't even need to offer any evidence for any of your claims... perhaps because your god says that you don't need any?

      July 29, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • iSpew

      God's plan" is the way that Christians traditionally explain things like amputations, cancer, hurricanes and car accidents. For example, if a Christian dies a painful and tragic death because of cancer, she dies as part of God's plan. Her death has a purpose. God called her home for a reason. Even if something bad happens to a Christian, it is actually good because it is part of God's plan.

      You can see how pervasive "God's plan" is by looking in Christian inspirational literature. For example;
      Because God made you for a reason, he also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

      There is also this:

      Regardless of the circ.u.mstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you.

      Under this view of the universe, God plans everything.

      Take a moment and think about this, "He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death." Let's examine one simple implication of this statement. What this means is that God has pre-planned every abortion, murder, genocide, accident, tradgedy, war, etc. that has taken place on our planet.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      I think you mean SPECIES consciousness.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Who me?

      Yes god CAN be found in the denial of knowledge.Most religious believers will agree ,that too much information and thoughtful reflection on facts, are counter-productive to their narrow views.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • One one

      I read a comment here defending god killing unborn fetuses in the great flood.

      His reasoning was fetuses did not yet have sin so they get an express trip to heaven, no need to stand in the judgement line.

      Given that logic, believers should celebrate abortion.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  8. Jami

    I'm sorry, but this is neither the first or worst tragic event in our history. By now we should recognize that our lives are guaranteed a combination of pleasant and unpleasant experiences. God is where He alwas is- everywhere. He is with the victims as their time expires. He is with the loved ones as they grieve. He is with the criminal as he trespasses the boundaries of right conduct. This event serves as a stern reminder of the fragility of our life and the importance of valuing each other while it lasts.

    July 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Erik B.

      It proves that god is irrelevant. Useless, is probably a better word.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • iSpew

      If you would like to prove to yourself that God is imaginary, here is one easy way to do it: Look for places in the Bible where God is an absurd, unmitigated jerk instead of the "all-knowing", "all-loving", "fully-enlightened" being that he is supposed to be. The utter contradiction proves that God is imaginary.

      There are many parts of the Bible that display these tendencies. However, if you are a woman, the place where God's absurdity becomes completely clear is when you look at God's s.e.xism.

      The dictionary defines a misogynist as "One who hates women. It defines the word "s.e.xist" as:

      1. Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women.
      2. Att.i.t.udes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender

      Is God a s.e.xist? Let's look at the evidence. We find this in 1 Corinthians chapter 14:

      As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

      This seems like a straightforward passage. And God is the one who inspired the Bible. In Isaiah 40:8 God says that the word of the Lord will last forever, and he says the same thing again in 1 Peter 1:24-25. So here we have God, in his eternal and everlasting Word, saying that it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

      This quote from 1 Corinthians 11 is important:

      But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head–it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. (For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.) That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels.

      You may find it hard to believe that something that confusing is in the Bible, yet if you look it up you will find it is there.

      Then there is this section from 1 Timothy chapter 2:

      Also that women should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire but by good deeds, as befits women who profess religion. Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.

      It is hard to miss God's meaning when he says something as direct as, "I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent."

      If you think about it, you will realize that God started this type of s.e.xism at the very beginning of the Bible.

      In Genesis chapter 17 God says:

      This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circ.u.mcised. You shall be circ.u.mcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.

      God makes no mention of forming any sort of covenant with women.

      There are many other examples that we can find in the Bible:

      • In Matthew 25:1 Jesus says: "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom."
      • In John 20:17 Jesus says to Mary: "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father," as though the touch of a woman is somehow improper, but a few verses later, is happy to have Thomas touch him.
      • In Genesis chapter 3, God punishes Eve, and all women for thousands of years, with greatly increased pain during childbirth. No such pain is inflicted on Adam.
      • In Ephesians 5:22-24 we find this: "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."
      • In 1 Peter 3:7 we find: "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."
      • In 1 John 2:13, John says, "I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father." No mention is made of women.
      • And so on. There are many, many examples like these throughout the old and new testaments.
      There are other, broader examples of misogyny that are readily apparent in the Bible as well:
      • Are any of Jesus' disciples women? No.
      • Are any of the elders in the book of Revelation women? No.
      • Are any of the books of the Bible written by women? No.
      • Etc...

      God, it would seem, wants nothing to do with women.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Fact

      @iSpew – the scripture states, "the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing." and that's the truth. When you read the bible without the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide you, or at least a truthful search to know God you, cannot understand it.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • NoTheism

      @Fact "and that's the truth." ... REALLY? Because your scripture says so? That's called circular reasoning.
      Try again.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • iSpew

      No I think I understand it just fine. I it is a load of nonsense. You are the one who does not understand it.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      "When you read the bible without the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide you, or at least a truthful search to know God you, cannot understand it."

      Seriously? This is the kind of crap that makes atheists view theists as idiots. So, unless I'm high on pot or something, I can't understand what the hell this tool is trying to say? How convenient.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  9. HeavenSent

    All you athiests on these articles believe in the lies of satan. It is time for you to take your walk with Jesus. I smell like urine. Your personal worm will feed on your fat drippins for all eternity.

    Amen.

    July 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Skwisgaar Skwigelf

      My friends Toki smells likes unrines too!

      July 29, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Satan

      Ah stop! Your making me laugh too hard!!!!

      July 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      He walks to slow. He needs a bike or something so he can catch up.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Scott, as I stated, only Jesus' truth can set a sociopath free of the lies of satan. He can also stop you from hijacking my handle to write your babble because you hate that I post Jesus' truth.

      Go whine now.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • NoTheism

      Heavensent, what makes you believe you're following the right god?
      Additionally, since this satan thing probably does not exist (at least not outside of people's imagination), how can you say that we atheists believe his lies? In the real world, we use evidence and logic to make considerations.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  10. was blind but now I see

    @Voice of Reason; "Read her first sentence you f*ucking idiot!"

    Well, well. What do you know. Yet another happy, well-adjusted, uber-tolerant, atheist chimes in LOL!

    "Uh...we're not angry. Really, we're not." "Neiiher are we hypocrites. Nope. Not us. We're rational and happy people now that we have discarded our sky fairy delusions. Yep....."

    July 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Skwisgaar Skwigelf

      You are stills blinds and Voices of the reason is rights to calling you fukings idiot.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • was blind but now I see

      @Skwisgaar Skwigelf; "You are stills blinds and Voices of the reason is rights to calling you fukings idiot."

      Please explain why. If you cannot explain your comment, you are all that you called me.

      July 29, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  11. joe kool

    when I was a child and I was afraid of the dark and thought I was about to die I would hug my teddy bear as hard as I could and wish with all my heart my teddy bear was a real friend

    July 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Satan

      God = teadybear

      July 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Teddy bless you

      July 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  12. Confused face

    As Dawkins states, we are ALL atheists to one degree or another. Some of us just go one god further.

    It is the arrogant Christians who think that,
    after more than 1000 religions and more than 10,000 gods, they finally have it right. All in the face of a mountain of contradictions and zero proof.

    July 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Every living thing is born an atheist.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Skwisgaar Skwigelf

      Yes the ignorants Christians and their borings stupids religions. I hates them. Where are the sk.anky s.l.u.t.s for making the s.e.x.y withs me. Don'ts tell Mur.derfaces, He always scare offs the goyles.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Skwisgaar Skwigelf

      What the f*uck is your problem dude? It's not funny anymore and frankly quite annoying.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Satan

      Made my day! Skwis!

      July 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Don't blame Christian for your laziness of not knowing Jesus' truth and instead, believe the lies of satan.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Fact

      You follow Dawkins (who can not prove God does not exist) and I will follow Christ who will eventually prove you both wrong. Christ has proven Himself to me and whether you believe it or not has no bearing on my faith. I have my proof and it is sufficient and magnificent.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Satan

      His problem is...he is hilarious! Ah having a sense of humor is a rare commodity.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Skwisgaar Skwigelf

      Voices of the reasons, Whats was so funnies? Does I makes you laughs? Ems I heres to amuses you? Whats is so fukings funnies abouts me?

      July 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Fact

      Hi -Fact...

      I certainly respect your right to believe as you choose.

      Remember, though... 'subjective beliefs' do not necessarily = (Reality or... Objective Fact).

      Regards,

      Peace...

      July 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Satan

      Fact...your proof is, well not proof it all. Religion and faith are equal to sh•t. You can spray paint a turd gold but it is still a piece of sh•t. And that's a fact.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • was blind but now I see

      There is more than abundant proof. A nice place to start might be "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" or perhaps try google-ing "necessary existence" for a starter.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Chad

      @Confused face "As Dawkins states, we are ALL atheists to one degree or another. Some of us just go one god further."
      @Chad "he goes on to say "if you understand why you reject other gods, you'll understand why I reject yours" or something to that effect..
      fairly nonsense statement for a couple of reasons
      1. In general belief in any religion by definition excludes all others. Not believing in a religion that is mutually exclusive with your own, is obviously vastly different than having no belief in any religion.
      2.Specifically, the difference between not believing in the God of Abraham and belief in the God of Abraham is obviously as huge a gulf as can exist. No parallel

      =========
      @Confused face "It is the arrogant Christians who think that, after more than 1000 religions and more than 10,000 gods, they finally have it right.
      @Chad "the God of Abraham is either true, or not. It isnt a question of "getting something right". Jews/Christians arent arrogant, their blessed.

      ==========
      @Confused face "All in the face of a mountain of contradictions and zero proof."
      @Chad "what contradictions???

      Evidence for:
      1. The origin of the universe
      2. The fine tuning of the universe for the building blocks of life
      3. The origin of life on earth
      4. Punctuated Equilibrium: the fossil record showing species experiencing millions, 100's of millions of years of stasis (no change, random genetic mutations are weeded out of the gene pool resulting in a pool 'wobbling about the genetic mean'), followed by extremely rapid change resulting in new species appearing fully formed in the fossil record.
      5. The empty tomb, and the unshakable conviction among followers and enemies alike that they had witnesses a resurrected Jesus. A conviction they held so strongly that they went to their deaths proclaiming its truth.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Fact

      God has proven Himself true to me. You can deny that all you want and insult with derogatory comments, but the fact still remains. He has proven Himself true to me and He is sufficient and magnificent.

      @Satan – I see I have upset you. Too bad for you. God rules and all who follow you will share in your demise. God's people know that Satan came to steal, kill and destroy and is working to that end THAT is precisely why Christians try to reach people with the Truth.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Scott, aka satan, aka Tommie Tom, soap is good to wash your mouth out.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Rachel

      @Chad-Excellent points!
      :)

      The atheists are never tired of posting the same drivel from the infidel.org. If only they could spend their valuable time in other gainful pursuits this world could be a much better place.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      Rachel, what you think are excellent points by Chad are in fact drivel that he has posted numerous times and that have been completely shredded just as many times. Chad, you nor any other believer has a single bit of objective, factual, verifiable or independent evidence for any god or the alleged truth of The Babble – none, zip, nada, zero. Believers have absolutely nothing to support their wacko cult beliefs. There is no more reason to believe in any god that there is to believe in astrology.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Chad

      you folks say that all the time, yet you dont specifically address the claims.

      "that's all nonsense" just isnt a refutation...
      "we dont know, and you dont either" isnt a refutation
      "lots of gods have been invented, your's was too" isnt a refutation
      "Jesus never existed" isnt a refutation...

      what you think is "shredded" is just whistling past the graveyard...

      July 29, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  13. TX

    I cannot wait for Nonbeliever War to start in the USA where Atheists, Agnostics, Seculars, Thinkers, etc. start killing each other off because of their cults.

    July 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Satan

      won't happen. Has never happened. We have no stupid fairy tales to fight over. Good try troll.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Chuckles

      My science is better than your science! I will kill you unless you accept the punctuated equilibrium theory!

      July 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Confused face

      name on instance where someone was killed in the name of atheism or agnosticism. Just one.

      I won't bother with asking the obvious return question. The armies of gods have killed millions.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Rick James

      Please......When did we ram planes into buildings?

      July 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • TX

      Rick.... Don't confuse Muslims with Christians your gay

      July 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Who me?

      Man I hate those darn Thinkers!!

      July 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Satan

      Christians kill over religion just the same as mulims TX, don't be ignorant...oh wait your post proves your stupidity. Wha whaaaa

      July 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Cults?? You need to purchase a dictionary the next time you go to a book store and not another copy of the buybull.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Rick James

      1. You both are believers. I'm not confusing you two.
      2. How did you make the illogical jump to judging my orientation? I'm as straight as an arrow, but I don't mind gay people. Seeing as you are from Texas, I wouldn't expect you to think straight.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      I wonder what the odds of that happening are? My guess 0%.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Satan, the liars you believe, son's of Cain, son of satan kills you faithful followers when satan comes back. You were only good soldiers to them that helps them usher in satan himself, for his 15 minutes of fame until Jesus comes back and rids evil from the world.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Satan

      2000 years later....still no jesus, oh wait...he mows my lawn...

      July 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Fact

      Dear Confused Face- you are certainly living up to your name.
      Whether Athiests, Mus lims, fascists, communists, or other non-Christians if you would kindly do some serious research you will find that Christians are, by far, have been responsible for less deaths. The Crusades were in response to the crackdown on Christians AND Christians have made public apologies for those who participated in the Crusades.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Satan blah blah scary stuff. Satan blah blah more scary stuff .

      July 29, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      @ fact. Oh they apologized that's cool then.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Satan, cough Tommie Tom, cough Scott. Open your peepers and read.

      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 6:43 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      That's the beauty of Atheism. Get a bunch of us together who don't share the same views, and by the end of the evening we will all be getting along fine, because we will be debating facts, not opinions and beliefs. Eventually the facts will bring us to a shared understanding and a common point of view. Show me a religion that can accomplish that? If I put a bunch of Jews and Muslims in the same room and ask them to find common ground on religion, I hardly expect that to happen most of the time.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      exlonghorn

      That's the beauty of Atheism. Get a bunch of us together who don't share the same views, and by the end of the evening we will all be getting along fine, because we will be debating facts, not opinions and beliefs. Eventually the facts will bring us to a shared understanding and a common point of view. Show me a religion that can accomplish that? If I put a bunch of Jews and Muslims in the same room and ask them to find common ground on religion, I hardly expect that to happen most of the time.

      So you guys don't discuss politics? Or are you all Ted Turner liberals, so no disagreement?

      July 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Arvoasitis

      @Chuckles
      Have you heard of Hypatia of Alexandria? Was she killed because she was pagan and her killers were Christian, or because her astronomical observations suggested that Earth moved in an egg-shaped orbit around the sun while her contemporaries were so sure that the Earth was motionless that they fudged their observations to fit their theory, or was she murdered because she was a woman and all her contemporaries were men?

      July 29, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  14. iSpew

    Christians ignore Jesus

    Christians are Liars

    Jesus made a number of very clear statements about money and wealth in the Bible. For example:

    Matthew 6:19
    Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

    Luke 14:33
    Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

    Matthew 6:24
    No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Money.

    Matthew 19:21-24
    Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

    Matthew 19:28-29
    Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.

    Luke 9:23-25
    Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?

    Matt 13: 22
    The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.

    Hebrews 13:5
    Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

    Phil 2:3
    Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

    Acts 2:44-45
    All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.

    The message is clear. If you want to follow Jesus, you need to "sell your possessions and give to the poor." It is a very simple message, and easy to do. Have you done it? The fact that you are reading this page would indicate that you have not. Chances are you own a computer, pay for an Internet connection every month, live in a home or apartment, have a car, etc. In other words, you live a life at a level of wealth unimaginable in Jesus' time. Meanwhile, billions of people on the planet live in startling, abject poverty.

    Why don't you sell everything and follow Jesus, as he requests in the Bible? The reason is simple: Jesus and God are imaginary, and you know it. If Jesus were real, you would do what he says.

    July 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • TX

      Jesus said that if we complained about our life. Rich people complain a lot and want more!

      Why quote the bible if you don't believe in it? :)

      July 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Confused face

      wow, TX person is a mental midget.

      I can quote from Alice in Wonderland but that doesn't mean I believe it.

      The awful effects of the literal religious mind. Poison to the advancement of our civilization.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      TX: Without using your buybull please provide another source for your claim that jesus said anything.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Skwisgaar Skwigelf

      The bibles is brutals like deths metal.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Ispew, you have no eyes to see or ears to hear His truth. Those scriptures are telling Christians not to believe the lies of satan aka not love and follow satan, not to let earthly possessions blind us to Jesus' truth.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      @ispew: Since you, as a self-professed unbeliever desire to attempt to teach us believers Bible doctrine, I will give you some scriptures in reply:

      2Cor 2:
      12 What we [believers – NOT you unbelievers] have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

      Here's the verse that applies to you and your fellow unbelievers ispew:
      14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and CANNOT UNDERSTAND THEM [emphasis mine] because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

      Now back to the believers:
      15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments [including ispew et al],
      16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord
      so as to instruct him?”

      But we [believers] have the mind of Christ.

      Go and submit yourself under the mighty hand of God ispew. After you're converted, you'll have a place at the doctrinal table. Until then, you're merely embarrassing yourself manifesting the sillyness that shows forth from your lack of understanding of these spiritual things.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      But to the believers out there who may be wondering about how God feels about riches, I will say this: did you know that God prefers most of his people to be middle class? Here's the Scripture, as written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

      Proverbs 30:
      “Two things I ask of you, Lord;
      do not refuse me before I die:
      8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
      give me neither poverty nor riches,
      but give me only my daily bread.
      9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
      and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
      Or I may become poor and steal,
      and so dishonor the name of my God.

      July 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  15. angry man

    I am so angry at batman, I have doubts hes even a real person

    July 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Skwisgaar Skwigelf

      I knows the co-leeguns from playings the deth metals. Brutals!

      July 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Satan

      Murder face!!!!!!

      July 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • MurderFace

      SchlsssCome on Skwisgaar, Schleest's me have just one of the s.kankslstttt.!

      July 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  16. Worried

    OMG I cannot believe that parents today do not raise their children with faith, morality and religion. They torture their kids and will lead them to evil stuff!

    July 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Rick James

      Religion has had a very interesting history with torture....

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSe38dzJYkY&w=640&h=390]

      July 29, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • iSpew

      I raise my kids with morality and critical thinking skills. That automatically rules out religion and faith. They are intelligent, happy, talented and well-adjusted and rejoice in the true wonder of the universe, not silly fairy tales.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • angry man

      then move your kids to africa or the middle east... just stay far away from norway or sweden or the netherlands, they raise their kids atheists and have been polled as the " happiest countries on earth" with the highest quality-of-life statistics

      July 29, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Confused face

      Faith, morality and religion do not flow one from the other. You can have morality without either of those other two.

      Try it. Stop living like a slave to an ancient text full of inaccuracies and hysterical fairy tales. You will be so relieved.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Oh my science. Its far better to make them believe in fairytales.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Rick "Superfreak " James

      Excellent ! :D

      Peace...

      July 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Rick James

      Thanks Peace.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  17. joe kool

    I want to learn more about the Natural Law of Collision that the pastor mentioned

    July 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  18. ATHEIST

    I cannot wait for the Holy War to start in the USA. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, etc., just killing each other off in the name of their Cults

    July 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Rick James

      I just hope that I'm not in the middle of it. It would be better if they would learn to throw off the shackles, but they won't. So I guess it is inevitable.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Worried

      Oo an atheist wishing for evil stuff.... thanks for showing us how bad, evil and intolerant nonbelievers are.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Who me?

      @worried(AKA:scared s hi tless by god)...I think this is a sarcastic reply to an earlier post by one of your religious friends.It was certainly not very christian-like...chuckle..

      July 29, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  19. Reality

    Dear Pastor Brendle, (a response would really be appreciated but only from the pastor)---------

    We welcome you to the 21st century with a prayer:

    The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    July 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  20. Shan

    How do atheists comfort themselves? What do you do if you were about to die?

    July 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • indogwetrust

      Are you admitting you need god because you are scared of death?

      July 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Rick James

      Look back on my life, both the good and bad, and hope that what I have done leaves a better world for others. Then I return to the earth.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Confused face

      if you are so excited for the after-life, then off yourself. Many cult followers do the same thing.

      You should also congratulate all the families of the innocents killed in Aurora because their loved-ones have "gone to a better place.".

      Isn't that the logical conclusion?

      July 29, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • The_Pope_is_just_another_man

      That's pretty weak minded.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      I have to agree with Rick here...it's exactly how I see those times.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • joe kool

      when I was a child and I was afraid of the dark and thought I was about to die I would hug my teddy bear as hard as I could and wish with all my heart my teddy bear was a real friend

      July 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Who me?

      I will not spend my time worrying whether I'm going up or down,that's for sure.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Who, just pray Jesus blots you out for eternity and doesn't condemn you to suffer for all time with your own personal worm that is never quenched, feeding off of what is left of you.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:30 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.