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Proof of heaven popular, except with the church
They claim that they’ve glimpsed heaven but survivors of near-death experiences face a surprising skeptic: the church.
May 19th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Proof of heaven popular, except with the church

By John Blake, CNN

“God, help me!”

Eben Alexander shouted and flailed as hospital orderlies tried to hold him in place. But no one could stop his violent seizures, and the 54-year-old neurosurgeon went limp as his horrified wife looked on.

That moment could have been the end. But Alexander says it was just the beginning. He found himself soaring toward a brilliant white light tinged with gold into “the strangest, most beautiful world I’d ever seen.”

Alexander calls that world heaven, and he describes his journey in “Proof of Heaven,” which has been on The New York Times bestseller list for 27 weeks. Alexander says he used to be an indifferent churchgoer who ignored stories about the afterlife. But now he knows there’s truth to those stories, and there’s no reason to fear death.

“Not one bit,” he said. “It’s a transition; it’s not the end of anything. We will be with our loved ones again.”

Heaven used to be a mystery, a place glimpsed only by mystics and prophets. But popular culture is filled with firsthand accounts from all sorts of people who claim that they, too, have proofs of heaven after undergoing near-death experiences.

Yet the popularity of these stories raises another question: Why doesn’t the church talk about heaven anymore?

Preachers used to rhapsodize about celestial streets of gold while congregations sang joyful hymns like “I’ll Fly Away” and “When the Roll is Called up Yonder.” But the most passionate accounts of heaven now come from people outside the church or on its margins.

Most seminaries don’t teach courses on heaven; few big-name pastors devote much energy to preaching or writing about the subject; many ordinary pastors avoid the topic altogether out of embarrassment, indifference or fear, scholars and pastors say.

“People say that the only time they hear about heaven is when they go to a funeral,” said Gary Scott Smith, author of “Heaven in the American Imagination” and a history professor at Grove City College in Pennsylvania.

Talk of heaven shouldn’t wait, though, because it answers a universal question: what happens when we die, says the Rev. John Price, author of “Revealing Heaven,” which offers a Christian perspective of near-death experiences.

“Ever since people started dying, people have wondered, where did they go? Where are they now? Is this what happens to me?” said Price, a retired pastor and hospital chaplain.

A little girl’s revelation

Price didn’t always think heaven was so important. He scoffed at reports of near-death experiences because he thought they reduced religion to ghost stories. Besides, he was too busy helping grieving families to speculate about the afterlife.

His attitude changed, though, after a young woman visited his Episcopal church one Sunday with her 3-year-old daughter.

Price had last seen the mother three years earlier. She had brought her then-7-week-old daughter to the church for baptism. Price hadn't heard from her since. But when she reappeared, she told Price an amazing story.

She had been feeding her daughter a week after the baptism when milk dribbled out of the infant's mouth and her eyes rolled back into her head. The woman rushed her daughter to the emergency room, where she was resuscitated and treated for a severe upper respiratory infection.

Three years later, the mother was driving past the same hospital with her daughter when the girl said, “Look, Mom, that’s where Jesus brought me back to you.”

“The mother nearly wrecked her car,” Price said. “She never told her baby about God, Jesus, her near-death experience, nothing. All that happened when the girl was 8 weeks old. How could she remember that?”

When Price started hearing similar experiences from other parishioners, he felt like a fraud. He realized that he didn’t believe in heaven, even though it was part of traditional Christian doctrine.

He started sharing near-death stories he heard with grieving families and dejected hospital workers who had lost patients. He told them dying people had glimpsed a wonderful world beyond this life.

The stories helped people, Price said, and those who've had similar experiences of heaven should “shout them from the rooftops.”

“I’ve gone around to many churches to talk about this, and the venue they give me is just stuffed,” he said. “People are really hungry for it.”

Why pastors are afraid of heaven

Many pastors, though, don’t want to touch the subject because it’s too dangerous, says Lisa Miller, author of “Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife.”

Miller cites the experience of Rob Bell, one of the nation’s most popular evangelical pastors.

John Price ignored heaven until he met a woman with an amazing story.

Bell ignited a firestorm two years ago when he challenged the teaching that only Christians go to heaven in “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.”

The book angered many members of Bell’s church as well as many in the evangelical establishment. He subsequently resigned.

“Farewell, Rob Bell,” one prominent evangelical tweeted.

“It’s a tough topic for a pastor,” said Miller, a former religion columnist for the Washington Post. “If you get too literal, you can risk sounding too silly. If you don’t talk about it, you’re evading one of the most important questions about theology and why people come to church.”

If pastors do talk about stories of near-death experiences, they can also be seen as implying that conservative doctrine – only those who confess their faith in Jesus get to heaven, while others suffer eternal damnation – is wrong, scholars and pastors say.

Many of those who share near-death stories aren’t conservative Christians but claim that they, too, have been welcomed by God to heaven.

“Conservative Christians aren’t the only ones going to heaven," said Price, "and that makes them mad."

There was a time, though, when the church talked a lot more about the afterlife.

Puritan pastors in the 17th and 18th centuries often preached about heaven, depicting it as an austere, no fuss-place where people could commune with God.

African-American slaves sang spirituals about heaven like “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” They often depicted it as a place of ultimate payback: Slaves would escape their humiliation and, in some cases, rule over their former masters.

America’s fixation with heaven may have peaked around the Civil War. The third most popular book in 18th century America – behind the Bible and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” – was "Gates Ajar," written in the wake of the war, Miller says.

The 1868 novel was “The Da Vinci Code” of its day, Miller says. It revolved around a grieving woman who lost her brother in the Civil War. A sympathetic aunt assures her that her brother is waiting in heaven, a bucolic paradise where people eat sumptuous meals, dogs sun themselves on porches and people laugh with their loved ones.

“This was a vision of heaven that was so appealing to hundreds of thousands of people who had lost people in the Civil War,” Miller said.

Americans needed heaven because life was so hard: People didn’t live long, infant mortality was high, and daily life was filled with hard labor.

“People were having 12 kids, and they would outlive 11 of them,” said Smith, author of "Heaven in the American Imagination." “Death was ever-present.”

The church eventually stopped talking about heaven, though, for a variety of reasons: the rise of science; the emergence of the Social Gospel, a theology that encouraged churches to create heaven on Earth by fighting for social justice; and the growing affluence of Americans. (After all, who needs heaven when you have a flat-screen TV, a smartphone and endless diversions?)

But then a voice outside the church rekindled Americans' interest in the afterlife. A curious 23-year-old medical student would help make heaven cool again.

The father of near-death experiences

Raymond Moody had been interested in the afterlife long before it was fashionable.

He was raised in a small Georgia town during World War II where death always seemed just around the corner. He constantly heard stories about soldiers who never returned from war. His father was a surgeon who told him stories of bringing back patients from the brink of death. In college, he was enthralled when he read one of the oldest accounts of a near-death experience, a soldier’s story told by Socrates in Plato’s “Republic.”

His fascination with the afterlife was sealed one day when he heard a speaker who would change his life.

The speaker was George Ritchie, a psychiatrist. Moody would say later of Ritchie, “He had that look of someone who had just finished a long session of meditation and didn’t have a care in the world.”

Moody sat in the back of a fraternity room as Ritchie told his story.

It was December 1943, and Ritchie was in basic training with the U.S. Army at Camp Barkeley, Texas. He contracted pneumonia and was placed in the hospital infirmary, where his temperature spiked to 107. The medical staff piled blankets on top of Ritchie’s shivering body, but he was eventually pronounced dead.

“I could hear the doctor give the order to prep me for the morgue, which was puzzling, because I had the sensation of still being alive,” Ritchie said.

He even remembers rising from a hospital gurney to talk to the hospital staff. But the doctors and nurses walked right through him when he approached them.

He then saw his lifeless body in a room and began weeping when he realized he was dead. Suddenly, the room brightened “until it seemed as though a million welding torches were going off around me.”

He says he was commanded to stand because he was being ushered into the presence of the Son of God. There, he saw every minute detail of his life flash by, including his C-section birth. He then heard a voice that asked, “What have you done with your life?"

After hearing Ritchie’s story, Moody decided what he was going to do with his life: investigate the afterlife.

Raymond Moody revived interest in heaven by studying near-death experiences.

He started collecting stories of people who had been pronounced clinically dead but were later revived. He noticed that the stories all shared certain details: traveling through a tunnel, greeting family and friends who had died, and meeting a luminous being that gave them a detailed review of their life and asked them whether they had spent their life loving others.

Moody called his stories “near-death experiences,” and in 1977 he published a study of them in a book, “Life after Life.” His book has sold an estimated 13 million copies.

Today, he is a psychiatrist who calls himself “an astronaut of inner space.” He is considered the father of the near-death-experience phenomenon.

He says science, not religion, resurrected the afterlife. Advances in cardiopulmonary resuscitation meant that patients who would have died were revived, and many had stories to share.

“Now that we have these means for snatching people back from the edge, these stories are becoming more amazing,” said Moody, who has written a new book, “Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife.”

“A lot of medical doctors know about this from their patients, but they’re just afraid to talk about it in public.”

Ritchie’s story was told through a Christian perspective. But Moody says stories about heaven transcend religion. He's collected them from Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and atheists.

“A lot of people talk about encountering a being of light,” he said. “Christians call it Christ. Jewish people say it’s an angel. I’ve gone to different continents, and you can hear the same thing in China, India and Japan about meeting a being of complete love and compassion.”

It’s not just what people see in the afterlife that makes these stories so powerful, he says. It’s how they live their lives once they survive a near-death experience.

Many people are never the same, Moody says. They abandon careers that were focused on money or power for more altruistic pursuits.

“Whatever they had been chasing, whether it's power, money or fame, their experience teaches them that what this (life) is all about is teaching us to love,” Moody said.

Under 'the gaze of a God'

Alexander, the author of “Proof of Heaven,” seems to fit Moody's description. He’s a neurosurgeon, but he spends much of time now speaking about his experience instead of practicing medicine.

He'd heard strange stories over the years of revived heart attack patients traveling to wonderful landscapes, talking to dead relatives and even meeting God. But he never believed those stories. He was a man of science, an Episcopalian who attended church only on Easter and Christmas.

That changed one November morning in 2008 when he was awakened in his Lynchburg, Virginia, home by a bolt of pain shooting down his spine. He was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, a disease so rare, he says, it afflicts only one in 10 million adults.

After his violent seizures, he lapsed into a coma — and there was little hope for his survival. But he awakened a week later with restored health and a story to tell.

He says what he experienced was “too beautiful for words.” The heaven he describes is not some disembodied hereafter. It’s a physical place filled with achingly beautiful music, waterfalls, lush fields, laughing children and running dogs.

In his book, he describes encountering a transcendent being he alternately calls “the Creator” or “Om.” He says he never saw the being's face or heard its voice; its thoughts were somehow spoken to him.

“It understood humans, and it possessed the qualities we possess, only in infinitely greater measure. It knew me deeply and overflowed with qualities that all my life I’ve always associated with human beings and human beings alone: warmth, compassion, pathos … even irony and humor.”

Holly Alexander says her husband couldn’t forget the experience.

“He was driven to write 12 hours a day for three years,” she said. “It began as a diary. Then he thought he would write a medical paper; then he realized that medical science could not explain it all.”

“Proof of Heaven” debuted at the top of The New York Times bestseller list and has sold 1.6 million copies, according to its publisher.

Alexander says he didn’t know how to deal with his otherworldly journey at first.

“I was my own worst skeptic,” he said. “I spent an immense amount of time trying to come up with ways my brain might have done this.”

Conventional medical science says consciousness is rooted in the brain, Alexander says. His medical records indicated that his neocortex — the part of the brain that controls thought, emotion and language — had ceased functioning while he was in a coma.

Alexander says his neocortex was “offline” and his brain “wasn’t working at all” during his coma. Yet he says he reasoned, experienced emotions, embarked on a journey — and saw heaven.

“Those implications are tremendous beyond description,” Alexander wrote. “My experience showed me that the death of the body and the brain are not the end of consciousness; that human experience continues beyond the grave. More important, it continues under the gaze of a God who loves and cares about each one of us.”

Skeptics say Alexander’s experience can be explained by science, not the supernatural.

They cite experiments where neurologists in Switzerland induced out-of-body experiences in a woman suffering from epilepsy through electrical stimulation of the right side of her brain.

Michael Shermer, founder and publisher of Skeptic magazine, says the U.S. Navy also conducted studies with pilots that reproduced near-death experiences. Pilots would often black out temporarily when their brains were deprived of oxygen during training, he says.

These pilots didn’t go to heaven, but they often reported seeing a bright light at the end of a tunnel, a floating sensation and euphoria when they returned to consciousness, Shermer says.

“Whatever experiences these people have is actually in their brain. It’s not out there in heaven,” Shermer said.

Some people who claim to see heaven after dying didn’t really die, says Shermer, author of “Why People Believe Weird Things.”

“They’re called near-death experiences for a reason: They’re near death but not dead,” Shermer said. “In that fuzzy state, it’s not dissimilar to being asleep and awakened where people have all sorts of transitory experiences that seem very real.”

The boy who saw Jesus

Skeptics may scoff at a story like Alexander’s, but their popularity has made a believer out of another group: the evangelical publishing industry.

While the church may be reluctant to talk about heaven, publishers have become true believers. The sales figures for books on heaven are divine: Don Piper’s “90 Minutes in Heaven” has sold 5 million copies. And “Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back” is the latest publishing juggernaut.

Colton Burpo says he saw heaven and describes the color of Jesus' eyes.

“Heaven is for Real” has been on The New York Times bestseller list for 126 consecutive weeks and sold 8 million copies, according to its publisher.

The story is told from the perspective of Colton Burpo, who was just 4 when he slipped into unconsciousness while undergoing emergency surgery for a burst appendix.

Colton says he floated above his body during the operation and soared to heaven, where he met Jesus. Todd Burpo, Colton’s father, says he was skeptical about his son’s story until his son described meeting a great-grandfather and a miscarried baby sister — something no one had ever told him about.

Todd Burpo is a pastor, but he says he avoided preaching about heaven because he didn’t know enough about the subject.

“It’s pretty awkward,” he said. “Here I am the pastor, but I’m not the teacher on the subject. My son is teaching me.”

Colton is now 13 and says he still remembers meeting Jesus in heaven.

“He had brown hair, a brown beard to match and a smile brighter than any smile I’ve ever seen,’’ he said. “His eyes were sea-blue, and they were just, wow.”

Colton says he’s surprised by the success of his book, which has been translated into 35 languages. There’s talk of a movie, too.

“It’s totally a God thing,” he said.

Alexander, author of “Proof of Heaven,” seems to have the same attitude: His new life is a gift. He’s already writing another book on his experience.

“Once I realized what my journey was telling me," he said, "I knew I had to tell the story.”

He now attends church but says his faith is not dogmatic.

“I realized very strongly that God loves all of God’s children,” he said. “Any religion that claims to be the true one and the rest of them are wrong is wrong.”

Central to his story is something he says he heard in heaven.

During his journey, he says he was accompanied by an angelic being who gave him a three-part message to share on his return.

When he heard the message, he says it went through him “like a wind” because he instantly knew it was true.

It’s the message he takes today to those who wonder who, or what, they will encounter after death.

The angel told him:

“You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.”

“You have nothing to fear.”

“There is nothing you can do wrong."

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Art • Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity • Culture & Science • Faith • God • Heaven • History

soundoff (4,945 Responses)
  1. Michael Vidalis

    “There is nothing you can do wrong.".... The little 4-year old boy supposedly heard that from an "angel": Correct, the "angel" of darkness disguised. This is satanic, as it leads one to believe he can "live" his life, do anything, not go to confession and still be saved! Wake up world. The only true, real, Christian book to read on the subject is "The Soul After Death" by Seraphim Rose. Michael. PS I'm not advertising the book. I can recommend other books, but they may be very theological for most.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Brooklyn

      the pretend soul. Do you talk to your soul often? Does your friends souls talk to yours?

      You are silly.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Brooklyn

      do your..

      May 19, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Warren Moon

      Nice try at an ad Michael. You suck.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:44 am |
  2. Dani3l

    These experiences are not proof of anything. They are evidence of certain varieties of experience in the mind near death. That experience is necessarily mediated through the experience and cultural expectations of the person having it. What we have to study, then, is not the phenomenon itself but the subjective accounts of those who have had it.

    Of course people want to believe in an afterlife. That's a comforting thought. But it is not remotely comforting to me to read about people ignorant of critical thinking who do not understand the nature of evidence and proof. If one believes in a Creator, then amongst the gifts with which He (or She) endowed His creatures was a reasoning mind. Don't you think He would want us to use it?

    May 19, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Brooklyn

      no doubt.. If there were a god who gave these christians intelligence,, their very life would be an insult to that intelligence.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Sam A.

      Actually, NDE researchers have found that despite cultural and religious upbringing the NDE experience is similar across the entire swath of humanity. So either when your brain dies it has a default "death" experience that is the same for everyone (which is highly unlikely as experience shapes thoughts and memories and we all see the world differently) or there is something actually going on that science is incapable of explaining.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Warren Moon

      Sam A., correction: that should be "that science has not yet explained." in your post.

      Careful with your appeals to ignorance. You don't want to be trying to pass those off as "proof" of your sky fairy.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:48 am |
  3. Brooklyn

    I couldn't imagine what the USA would be like if our founding fathers hadn't put religion it its place.

    It's be like the middle east here, except with christians.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Danny

      Not necessarily. If we ended up being an extension of England where they have a state-sponsored religion, it is possible that people would have been turned off by the preferred denomination and would not have had the freedom to explore other denominations. Kind of like how it is now in the UK. But I do think the best way to go is freedom of religion. It needs to die on its own.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:44 am |
  4. mjbrin

    when a crime happens and the victim is interviewed they don't always get the "facts" straight. so how do we know that the people who had this "experience" are remembering them accurately? I mean as time goes on our memories change or evolve. plus when i and my brothers recall things from our childhoods we each recall our family stories differently. But then it makes me question something else.....if this supreme being really welcomed them why did they come back? why not stay? it makes me think that it is in fact man who has the power over life and death since these people are "brought back" by human means....not a god's. or perhaps they were rejected by "god" and this is their rationale to do better so "god" will let them die next time.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Warren Moon

      good point, mjbrin. And the Christians' concept of heaven is not a place I want to end up.

      You know you've got your present life, and it's a short one. Make the best and the most of it.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  5. Lord_Voldemort

    Colton Burpo's description of Jesus: “He had brown hair, a brown beard to match and a smile brighter than any smile I’ve ever seen,’’ he said. “His eyes were sea-blue, and they were just, wow.”

    Yeah WHITE JESUS...what a joke!!! Jesus has already returned in his kingly character. He is his imperial majesty Haile Selassie I who dwells in the heart of all living flesh.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  6. Brooklyn

    religions and dictators,, all the same. They claim they are right and expect others to accept it without proof, use threats and fears and love to control others.

    Just look through history.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  7. the AnViL™

    when you cut off the oxygen to the brain, the neurons which comprise you, your memories...etc. decay and die.

    when the brain dies – the biochemical energy which powered those neurons obeys the laws of thermodynamics and "flows downhill", dissipating out into the surrounding system.

    there is no mechanism to cause all that energy to remain coherent. it spreads out into the surrounding system – like smoke from a blown-out candle, never to be reassembled again – for eternity.

    there is no spirit, there are no souls.

    the flat fact of the matter is – when we die – that's it. we silently and finally meet oblivion... forever.

    the good news is – when you die – you will have no knowledge of the fact – as the organ you once used to know things with will no longer exist.

    there simply is no afterlife. after life – there is only death.

    and that's the only thing that's forever.

    deal with it.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Brooklyn

      now why did you have to get scientific with them? You know how long it took to convince them the earth was round,, and there are still many who believe they didn't evolve (I'd agree with that based on their comments here)

      May 19, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Sam A.

      Wow... you're a genius. Please explain how cardiac arrest patients who are experiencing clinical brain death are capable of storing such vivid memories and experiences then?

      I once again challenge you as to where the origin of consciousness is within the brain, because science cannot even explain it.

      You also ignore recent discoveries in quantum physics that actually support the reality that our consciousness can survive our physical death.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Seyedibar

      @Sam A
      because at moments of high levels of stress signifying mortal danger, the pineal gland floods the brain with several potent painkilling chemicals, some of which can be hallucinogenic.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • the AnViL™

      this part was hilarious:

      "Please explain how cardiac arrest patients who are experiencing clinical brain death are capable of storing such vivid memories and experiences then?"

      dead brains don't store memories, idiot.

      you kids are beyond reason. i feel so sad for you – but not so sad i won't ridicule your lesser intellects, complete lack of education and critical thinking skills.

      there's no afterlife. after life – there is only the sweet eternal silence of oblivion.

      deal with it.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • the AnViL™

      and this gem, priceless: "You also ignore recent discoveries in quantum physics that actually support the reality that our consciousness can survive our physical death."

      yup.. i sure do. know why? because it's pure bullshit. that's why.

      you should be ashamed to be so ignorant on a national public forum.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Wendy

      Sam A., you're stupid.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:52 am |
  8. Buck Rogers

    "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." Jesus Christ

    Dead people don't go to Heaven, resurrected people will at His appearing. "For God is the God of the LIVING, not of the dead." The dead are asleep in the grave as Christ will resurrect both the just and unjust (Acts 24:15).

    May 19, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • the AnViL™

      verily verily, i say unto you, there is no life after death.

      thou hast been lied to.

      when thou passeth away, thine body doeth become nourishment for worms, and thou ceasest to existeth.

      forever and ever – amen

      May 19, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • N&W 1000

      NO, "SURELY I say to you, THIS DAY you will be with me in paradise," Jesus told the thief; the soul and spirit do not sleep in the grave.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • sybaris

      It's funny when religionists start quoting Bible verses as if collectively we're all going to smack each other in the forehead like on the V8 commercial and say, "Da.mn (insert religionist screen name here) just quoted the Bible. What was I thinking! I should have been a Christian all along!"

      May 19, 2013 at 10:40 am |
  9. saeco

    I almost starved to death from three weeks of nothing to eat but ice. This happened eighteen months ago and was just about dead when I had some kind of near death experience. I remember that something in my brain told me "go back, not my time to die". There is something is out there beyond my understanding and it has nothing to do with religion as I am not religious person before that event or now. Now, I am not afraid of death, I don't worry about it anymore.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Colin

      Was it a voice saying, "Go to the grocery store, go to the grocery store"?

      May 19, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  10. Sam A.

    To all of the haters who feel that consciousness is incapable of surviving beyond the physical body, please, explain for me the origin of consciousness? Exactly what part of the brain is responsible for decoding, analyzing, and providing instruction for dealing with reality? Science cannot even answer that simple question, so before you scoff at stories such as this, and declare that you absolutely know the truth, wait for science to figure it out. Until then, nobody honestly knows what happens after death, only what can be observed by the living.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • mjbrin

      good question, however i often wonder if my consciousness actually created this world. perhaps it is only a story i made up in my mind. perhaps you don't exist at all except when i want you to. if i want you to respond to this comment then you will. since i can't touch you do you really exist or do i to you? so many things to ponder......but i must stop because my realty says i have to get to work.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:42 am |
  11. N&W 1000

    Richard Brainpower, I did not see ANYWHERE where you tried to answer my question; frankly, none of you did, because you cannot refute my point.

    Evolution is a lie, and you are on quicksand.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Religion

      Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations.

      A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

      May 19, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • .

      You do not have a point you have a lie. Who are you to demand that anyone must answer your questions? Chad like jesus freak.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • N&W 1000

      Yes, I can clarify; read the text, go back 5000 years or whatever when it was applicable, and you have your answer.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • One one

      So, How do we go from not fully understanding the origin of life and the universe to
      the belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who is his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in all humanity because a rib-woman was convinced to eat from a magical tree by an infinitely sadistic being disguised as a talking snake with legs ?

      May 19, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Religion

      I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7.

      In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

      May 19, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Evolution is only a lie to those who don't understand it. Maybe this will help you: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101

      May 19, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • the AnViL™

      "Evolution is a lie, and you are on quicksand."

      unless you have a doctorate level degree in biology, physics or some other scientific discipline, there's absolutely no justification to lend you even so much as a nanogram of credence.

      you're a lepton.

      you and those like you are retarding the rest of humanity. if you haven't already managed to reproduce – you should remove yourself from the gene pool immediately.

      tolerance of religious idiocy has to end – the sooner the better.

      enough is enough

      May 19, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Danny

      No one can answer them because your questions are either based on misinformation, or we may not yet have ALL the answers (hence why we are still researching).

      May 19, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  12. jimbob

    So if you're a christian the best thing I can do for you is to kill you. Better still if I kill your whole family & you can all go to that wonderful place together..

    May 19, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • N&W 1000

      Well, sort of; for us, to live is Christ, to die is gain; but for you, you either:

      1. Go to prison for life; or are executed yourself, with no hope for eternity.

      So I would counsel against doing it.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:38 am |
  13. asygifvasi

    Amazing that the "Creator of the Universe" doesn't know that people aren't really dead yet, and thus let's them into Heaven a tad bit premature. You'd think He might be smarter.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • jimbob

      That's a big hole in the nonsense that hadn't occurred to me, God seems to be such a screw-up in every way.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Sam A.

      Actually if you've ever actually spent more then 30 seconds reading anything about NDE's you would know that these individuals never enter "heaven" proper, people often describe a thresh hold or gate that once crossed prevents the individual experiencing the NDE from returning to their former life.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • N&W 1000

      OR, perhaps they are making it up, or deluded, or WRONG?

      See, that is what you NEVER bothered to consider; you automatically made God wrong.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • N&W 1000

      Jimbob, you better NOT let Grandma hear you say that, nor Olivia.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:46 am |
  14. Colin

    Oh N&W1000, proof of evolution is all around you.Oh my creationist friends, proof of evolution is all around you.

    The classic definition of a species is that two members of the same species can breed and produce fertile offspring, but cannot mate with members of a different species. A human of any race can mate with a human of any other race, but none of us can mate with a chimpanzee, for example. So, all humans are in the same species, but we are all a different species to chimpanzees. Easy stuff.

    Indeed, it is often easy to tell that two organisms are of different species just by looking at them. Compare, for example, a dog to a horse. Where it gets a little complex, however, is where you have two organisms that look very similar, but are of different species, or two different species that look very similar. Dogs are a great example of both. Compare a lighter-coated German Shepherd to the wolf. They look very similar, but are of a different species (or sub-species, depending on the definition one uses). Likewise, a Great Dane looks very different to a Corgi, but they are of the same species Canis lupis familiaris, the domestic dog.

    Why are Great Danes and Corgis considered to be the same species (along with German Shepherds) but wolves and German Shepherds not? For the same reason as humans. Great Danes, German Shepherds and Corgis can and will mate and produce fertile offspring, but none of them will mate with a wolf, absent human intervention. However, and this is where evolution kicks in, all breeds of dog alive today descended from wolves. In fact, it is likely that they all descended, ultimately, from a small pack of wolves that were domesticated in the Middle East some 10,000 years ago. Some research suggests Manchuria as the location, but I digress.

    What happened was that humans noticed that certain, less aggressive wolves were handy to have around. They ate pests and garbage and alerted the camp when predators lurked nearby. So, humans began to intentionally feed and try to tame them. The tamer, less aggressive wolves were less afraid of human interaction and less likely to harm their human hosts. They, therefore received more attention, food and protection, which gave them a breeding advantage, and they passed on this favorable trait, call it “tameness,” to their offspring.

    These tamer offspring were constantly chosen (probably unknowingly) for care and support and the wilder, more aggressive members of the litter discarded, perhaps for biting or avoiding humans. After hundreds or thousands of years of inadvertent selection for “tameness” the camp wolves started to become dependent on their human hosts and to even look different to their still wild ancestors. They lost the extreme aggressiveness that helped them in the wild, became less streamlined and tooled for the kill and had less adrenaline that causes aggression. In other words, they slowly became, in a sense, fat, dumb and happy. Doggie dough-boys. Girlie-men compared to their wild cousins, still red of fang and claw.

    These first domestic dogs were so popular with humans that their “use” spread and humans all over the globe – from Australian Aboriginals, New Zealand Maoris and other Polynesians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all began to use dogs. Then something else happened. Humans actually noticed that, if there was a specific trait you liked about your, say male dog, you could breed it with a female with the same trait and the offspring would inherit that trait. If, for example, a hunter-gatherer only ever allows the fastest male dogs to breed with the fastest female dogs, after many years of such selective breeding the resultant dogs would differ so much in body shape, leg length and, perhaps, lung capacity from their ancestor as to be considered a separate breed.

    No one set of offspring would differ greatly from its parents, but it will differ a little more from its grandparents, and even a little more from its great-grandparents etc., until we go all the way back to the original dog, which will be quite different in appearance.

    Bang – dog breeding was born. Humans selected for speed, resulting in the Greyhound, smelling and tracking ability (Bloodhounds) ability to herd sheep (Collies and Australian Shepherds) appearance (Dalmatians and Pomeranians) size (Chihuahuas and Great Danes) and a host of other traits.

    As with most human activities, as our knowledge increased, dog breeding improved and exploded in the 1900s. There are now 600 or so breeds of dog, all of which descendent from the original wolf. Many breeds of dog alive today evolved over the past few decades and did not even exist as late as 1900. But, every last domestic dog, from the Teacup Chihuahua in Paris Hilton’s purse to the Great Danes of European car advertisements, are the end result of selective breeding down different paths from the original wolf.

    Most breeds of dog do not (and likely cannot) breed with wolves for a variety of reasons, including allopatric and/or human induced separation and mating rituals. Not only that, but put almost any domestic dog in the wild and it would not survive a month. A wolf is much more likely to eat a Shih Tzu than bonk it. They are separate species. In the struggle for life, the domestic dog species originated through means of selection as a favored race from the original wolf.

    If this last sentence sounds familiar, that is because it is. It is essentially the full ti.tle of Charles Darwin’s seminal work: “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”.

    So there you have it, my Bible-cuddling friends. Evolution in motion. Undeniable; living in every suburb, licking our faces, fetching our sticks and messing on our sidewalks. Macro-evolution. A well recorded, understood, DNA mapped and uncontroversial case of evolution of one sub-species – Canis lupus lupus, the Eurasian wolf, into another, Canis lupus familiaris, the domestic dog.

    There are many, many others examples of evolution all around us by the way. Even the most cursory of research into any branch of horticulture or animal husbandry quickly reveals that the size, variety, health, longevity and resistance to disease of most of our domesticated plants and animals were the thing of dreams as recently as 100 years ago. Indeed, biotech companies like Monsanto would quickly fall behind the market if they did not spend millions each year on Darwinian selective breeding programs. Why do you think horse breeders spend thousands of dollars to have a fast male racehorse mate with their mare?

    Wheat is another great example, as are gra.pes. The species of wheat that we in the West use for bread only developed in the last few thousand years as a result of two episodes of sympatric speciation (different to selective breeding, but an agent of evolution none the less). Likewise, the various Shiraz, Char.donnay and Pinot Noir gra.pes we enjoy today, in the form of wine, were all developed and perfected in the last 100 years or so.

    So, N&W1000, the next time you kneel down in your church and take your weekly dose of the body and blood of your dead pan-handling Greco-Roman Jewish hippie, you might like to reflect on the fact that you are actually eating proof of evolution and washing it down with proof of evolution.

    “Body of Darwin?”

    Amen!

    May 19, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • N&W 1000

      Colin, your PREJUDICES, and STEREOTYPES are showing; wow, you sure are a hater. (HAHAHA just kidding)

      I am not a Roman Catholic, but a bible believing Christian, I do not need the pope of Rome nor his church.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Colin

      And your answer to the points I made about evolution?

      May 19, 2013 at 10:46 am |
  15. Saeed H H Alyousuf

    I did get very convincing responses for prayers to Allah a number of times:

    http://messages.yahoo.com/Religion_%26_Beliefs/Atheism/threadview?m=me&bn=17916956%23achallengetoatheism&tid=22248&mid=22248&tof=1&frt=1#22248

    Creator Direct. 13 second(s) ago
    Any normal sincere human can know the creator of the universe directly without the need for intermediaries, organizations and places of worship. It is the corruption of the human mind that blocks him/her from his/her creator. Any human being is capable of knowing the creator of the universe by cleaning his/her mind and praying seriously and sincerely to the creator of the universe.

    [[saeed:.........Do you know the God so you can verify if he does exist or not?.........

    vfilipch:

    I am curious what would be your answer to this question.]

    S:
    From my personal experience I am quite confident that any normal mature person can know the creator of the universe. The very important factor is to be reasonably sincere to self and others and avoid self deception by any possible means, including drugs, intoxicants, money and music. The way I came to know the creator:

    I did get a number of very convincing responses like:
    The first time that I got response it was in my teens when I did find myself in a quite complicated situation. Born in a Muslim family I was supposed to pray a number of times a day, fast, obey my parents etc., etc., without knowing all that I had to do was for the real, or phony, god. It happened at that time I found myself in a desperate situation where I did really need the help of God, but on one hand, I did not know if there was any god or not; and on the other hand, I did need him for a purpose that I didn’t think was normally tolerable with him. Therefore, I decided to pray sincerely for another transitional requirement, that I thought will enable me to get to my intended purpose. Besides, as a token of solemnity and confirmation of the inquisitive nature of the prayer, I did include the pledge of commitment to the daily prayers. In the mean time, I did not stay idle, but did work hard towards achieving my objective. The response to my prayer, that I got, was a surprisingly generous than I did pray for the “transitional requirement” with a direct hit at my originally intended objective of the prayer. This did convince me, beyond any reasonable doubt, that there is God who knows exactly what is in my mind and is quite capable of accomplishing where others have no chance of any success. Though it did make me very happy for the success in communication with the creator of the universe, it also did make me feel tremendously ashamed of myself because of my attempt to deceive the absolutely greatest authority ever.
    For many years I did not dare to pray, for any of my personal concerns, of the fear that I may not be sincere enough in my prayer. However, once during a flight, I was in a very desperate need for the flight to change course, against the schedule, and go back to the port of departure. While I was exerting immense pressure on my mind, to refrain from resorting to any prayer, my mind did give up and an unintentional prayer, like “Oh Allah, can you please return this plane back?” did escape from my mind. Almost immediately, there was an announcement, that the plane has developed a technical fault which cannot be dealt with at the port of destination therefore it has to return back to the port of departure. This did significantly boost my belief and made me feel the guilt of neglect towards those who have certain uncertainities or doubts about the creator. Since I didn’t get any formal religious studies or training, besides my substantial preoccupation with other unavoidable family and occupational activities; I did find internet as the eligible option for helping those who are sincerely and seriously searching for the truth]

    http://messages.yahoo.com/Religion_%26_B...

    Saeed H H Alyousuf

    Therefore, I do sincerely believe in the creator of the universe and the afterlife.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Brooklyn

      it's your fantasy.. But if you think for one moment your posts makes Islam look compelling, you are wrong. In the US we are finally reducing christians and we sure aren't going to pick up another voodoo fantasy.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Saeed H H Alyousuf

      Brooklyn,
      If you are so confident of disbelief in the creator of the universe, then, you need to answer the following question:
      For how long are you, or anyone else that you know, qualified to vouch for the future existence of yourself, and of the universe?
      http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120112113529AAZrVeN

      Saeed H H Alyousuf

      May 21, 2013 at 12:33 am |
  16. robert gillespie

    this is "mostly the case" in the Western traditiions...

    churches and their hierarchy "have a VESTED INTEREST" in "churches on earth" BECAUSE THEY CONTROL THAT...their adherents, and the collection plate...

    they "put on a good face" live "most advertisers..."

    think typical BUSINESS ...and their media ads...

    do YOU REALLY THINK FOR ONE MOMENT THEY ARE "REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT YOU personally... as long as you add to their profit... YOUR IN THEIR "GOOD GRACES" (not necessarily God's, etc.) like A BIZ ...keep your "payments" up and they LOVE YOU... start missing payments "and YOU BECOME "PERSONNAL NON-GRATA" real quick like...TRY MISSING A CREDIT CARD PAYMENT AND "SEE WHAT HAPPENS"

    hell is myth: distortions and manipulations by mostly Western Religions including Islam...BUT THEIR ARE SOME PLACES LIKE PURGATORY...you'll think IN HELL YOU FIND YOURSELF THERE...instead of "going into the LIGHT" ...I know...

    Jesus dont' approve of "being bad" ...but since he PUT'S UP WITH ME...and all the bad crap I do...

    ...just FOLLOW THE "GOLDEN RULE" for the most part... and that will get you there...

    don't think YOU HAVE TO BE SAVED... Jesus never mentioned that to me... but then I'm not sure it was him or my angel a few times... their was trouble (that I caused and kind of had to be straightened out...)

    now DON'T PUSH YOUR LUCK... I don't know whether they "tolerate you" as much as they do me...I get the "stuffin's knocked out of me occasionally" if I make the wrong one's REAL MAD...

    tread lightly.... and do good (you don't have a saint... and you don't need to be saved... I think that whole thing is a myth of the church... stuff about losing your soul in New Testament... WELL YOU CAN LOSE IT FOR A LONG PAINFUL "many lifetimes" here on earth, and worse places...

    BUT IN THE END GOD "NEVER LOSES..." your choice BELIEVE THE "SOMEWHAT CORRUPTED ORGANIZED WESTERN RELIGIONS.... and their "worldly churches" or go more "direct Jesus"...

    ok to go Buddhist, Hindu, Zen...

    Jewish...too much still "letter of law" ...got to be SPIRIT OF THE LAW...I do some Kabbalah Tree of LIfe too...know about that...most Jewish don't even know what that's all about...

    Islam... Sufi Super...other high level mystical ...BEEN INTO THAT...VERY BEAUTIFUL...

    but not JERKS who "caught in MUNDANE ISLAM ...doing terror etc...you guys IN DEEP SH_T with that stuff...

    dump political mullahs, move away from "worldly concerns" for you...

    ok to be rich, just don't focus too much on worldly stuff...

    lots of stuff...

    see my NEW AGE PAGE my website: is a "dimestop" and also a "dot-com" after it ...I don't know if I can post the link...comes up in google near top though about 5th down on google search on dimestop...

    now THEY DO ...DO SOME GOOD... so they WEAVE IN "ENOUGH TRUTH" modify it... and SELL IT TO YOU ...like the typical biz using advertising...

    but "their focus" is not on "truly spiritual things"...their FOCUS IS TO "MAINTAIN THEIR POWER AND INFLUENCE OVER YOU...and get your donations to fund the CHURCH ON EARTH...which is largely an EDIFICE of their own making and mostly for their INSIDER BENEFIT...

    yes, they do SOME GOOD WORK... when a BIZ sells and mkts a product...IT KNOWS IT CAN'T BE GIVING YOU "A COMPLETE PIECE OF JUNK"... so you will get A PARTIALLY GOOD PRODUCT...

    their are many reasons for organized religions on Earth... and they are not all bad...

    THEY ARE USEFUL:

    a. in keeping some peoples lower natures in check somewhat... either by admonishing them, or threatening them with hellfire, etc. ...in this they are doing some good...

    b. but threatening them with hellfire....and eternal damnation.... THAT'S ALL BULL... and I'M ONE OF THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEYOND DEATH... although I'm not exactly the "best example" as I'm "kinda on the sh_tlist." ...with higher mgmt...
    but I have occasional contact (very infrequent in light being visited, etc.) ...but I get sort of a "whack" occasionally if I cross the line too much... after-all, since I"m already somewhat of an "insider"...I'm supposed to know better than most of you...

    so, that it goes...

    Islam is even worse than Christianity...(although BOTH traditions ARE TRUE and highly spiritual at MYSTICAL LEVELS...it's their DOWN ON EARTH AUTHORITIES AND ADHERENTS who have GREATLY DISTORTED AND CORRUPTED BOTH...

    the SUFI tradition is very beautiful AND AMONG MY FAVORITES

    in the East ...BUDDHISM, tibettan, HINDUISM, ZEN... I been their done that... AND HAD OCCASIONAL supernatural experiences and interventions by "probably what amounts to their lower levels of mgmt..."

    basically ALL RELIGIONS except "real negative zombie type stuff" are connected...YOU SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS, etc.

    also I know something about wicca too... THERE ARE GOOD WITCHES AND BAD... know some of the good stuff...

    my ANGEL don't care if I mess with all this stuff... they just "that's me... that "pain in the but* " is making a "nuisance of himself, again" ...get tired of "bailing him out"...

    so, it's all "friendly like" but DO BAD TOO MUCH... and they WILL FORGIVE YOU...but let YOU SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR MISBEHAVIN down here on earth... kind of like that..

    all kinds of stuff out there...UFO's two (that's actually lower level than the spiritual stuff...you might them meet them too...if you peak your interest (like I did)...

    oh, well YEAH CHURCH IS OK...I WAS "EVEN AN ALTAR BOY"...love the "stained glass" specially in EUROPEAN CATHEDRALS...but I don't have TO GO TO CHURCH TO MEET an emissary of God...

    Jesus bailed me out A FEW TIMES...really impressed me...so He's my "number one" friend...

    like Krishna, Buddha, Muhammad, Moses, too (they like know and work with each other is the drift I get)

    May 19, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • N&W 1000

      Ahhhh...I see you attend the Doobie Brothers' church.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  17. Brooklyn

    religion is all about fear, without fear it couldn't exist.

    Consider if someone told you since you were a child that airplanes crash often, and continually went on to describe the horrible burning and suffering. You'd be afraid to fly. Hence, the religious are afraid to live with an open mind.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Danny

      Not all religions are about fear.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Brooklyn

      muslim and christian are.. other religions don't share a god, what you refer to.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • N&W 1000

      Wrong; perfect love (God) casts OUT fear; I do not fear, I love.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Religion

      N&W

      You fear using your "God given" powers of logic and reason to examine your belief system. Otherwise you wouldn't be mired in it.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Your god, according to the bible, if he is perfect love, he is also perfect hate. He created your satan character and unleashed him on the world....he knew what would happen when he created satan, so don't just put all of the "nice"characteristics on your god...if he is all things , he hates as much as loves, takes life as much as gives it (there has never been anything that lived that did not eventually die.

      I find it unfathomable that people still believe this propaganda.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • One one

      This is a threat intended to create fear.

      John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

      May 19, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • N&W 1000

      I am not mired in anything; I merely took God up on his offer, to come and reason together with Him, and he won.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • N&W 1000

      No, Mankind is responsible for the evil in this world, because of our choice.

      God is Light, therefore we would not know dark if we did not have light; God is good, therefore, without his Good we would not know evil.

      God only "creates" evil in the sense that His nature reveals to us what it is, because he is the opposite.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • N&W 1000

      One one, no, it is a warning, given in love, meant to provoke COMMON SENSE.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Reason & Logic

      Religions may be based upon fear but Faith is what really matters. You can have Faith without religion.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Saraswati

      Many people who did not grow up with religion choose one later in life, and as already pointed out not all religions have the extreme threat based systems you describe. Humans have had religions for thousands of years and they have served a variety of social needs, some still relevant, others less so. But religions and our relationship to them and the other simplifications we use to understand the world are very complex and the simplifications, in one form or another, will always be with humans as long as we remain essentially the same species.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Warren Moon

      Saraswati, that's interesting. There's some research that I'm aware of that spans a few sub-disciplines in biology, that looks at how jumping to conclusions (even wrong ones, such as the beliefs of mainstream religions) before there is time to thoroughly examine the case, has evolutionary advantages. Hence, religion hangs on. If we keep our fingers crossed :-), maybe it will continue to decline though.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • VidiSensiVici

      Religion at best is a general word. There are many Gods out there, and we are supposed to find that true God. How do we know where to find? Well, the answer lies in our heart. There are many lessons to learn on earth, and if we don't pay attention to details, then we might never get to discover God. We have a saying, one never misses anything if one doesn't know. Should we go through life convincing ourselves that there is no true God, and find us wandering out there somewhere in the vast space of the universe until eternity? Or, do we humble ourselves and ask God to show the way so so we could discover Him to see about true love? I could assure you one thing that if the true God ever appears to you, not a face per se, a thought, a feeling perhaps, but you would know and there is no mistakes about it. At the same token, if a dark or negative force ever appears to you, things that you do not see, but you would know, and there is no mistakes about it. How could we be so sure? Well, it is because we ourselves have lots of energy, things that we don't see, but exist. We could generate energy that others might not see, but feel, and we ourselves know that we could generate such energy in our own ways. To some, who could foresee things before they happen, a vison perhaps, and it is a gift indeed. Haven't you ever sensed someone calling you without looking at the phone to see the call ID? Or have you ever thought about someone and they either call you within a short time out of the blue? Have you ever in the midst of doing something or were in hurry to make the appoinment, and out of the blue, the most peculiar thought come upon you when you least expected? Could it be that someone is sending thought or perhaps, it was one of the case of Divine intervention? Let me assure you one thing that if the Lord, or the Almighty God, ever comes, He would come at the most unexpected time, just like the thief in the night. We just have to be ready to receive Him, and the effect is truly profound, and it would bring tears to your eyes and your heart would melt of emotion, and you would find yourself so humble. Life is not about seeing to believe, but feeling the things that could not be seen. Let's talk about healing, energy radiating from hand to penetrate what is beneath the dermis and perhaps to some other parts of the body. The healer never knows how deep their energy would penetrate, but one thing they do know that they could help in activation others energy to flow to facilitate healing. Do you know that at some elevated point in the mountain at certain time that we cannot duplicate ourselves, our energy would glow from our hands as some phosphoresence lights to prove to us that we do have an energy shield, an aura as some called it? It is only to prove that each of us is unique, and we do hold our own stance. Now, that knowledge is powerful indeed in itself, a beauty of life that we fail to acknowledge at times.

      May 19, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Saeed H H Alyousuf

      Brooklyn, I am still waiting for your answer to my question:
      For how long are you, or anyone else that you know, qualified to vouch for the future existence of yourself, and of the universe?

      May 21, 2013 at 3:32 am |
  18. N&W 1000

    Colin, just because SOME Christians do not believe the earth is millions of years old, does NOT mean the bible does not teach that it is, it only indicates that there is, GASP, DIVERSITY of thought among biblical scholars.

    BTW, there is ABSOLUTELY ZERO tolerance among atheists for diversity of thought.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Stop jumping threads...you wanted answers to your question but do not look at that thread, and then claim no one answers your question.

      Do you see the reply button.....try using it. Otherwise it appears that you are just running away.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Brooklyn

      just one of MANY errors in the bible.. Written by primitive man and accepted by primitive thinkers. Try evolving.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      By the way...I am an atheist and share ideas with clerics of many religions. You are bearing false witness, and making your baby jesus cry. knock it off.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • N&W 1000

      Try evolving into what? A gorilla? No, that would be de-evolving.

      And BTW, I do read the answers, but, they are not answers to my question, so I have to keep asking it.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Brooklyn

      your reply made no sense. Understand evolution and then come back.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Brooklyn

      you mean they aren't the answers that will help keep your fantasy alive..

      May 19, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Danny

      If we evolved into gorillas, it would still be evolution. Once again, you don't understand evolution. I suggest reading a book on the topic instead of watching yootoob videos from known Christian liars like Hovind and Comfort.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Religion

      The Bible was written by a bunch of bronze age goat herders and reflects their primitive understanding of reality. If you want to live your life by this book of fairytales, feel free. But you're clearly not converting anyone here with your weak arguments.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • One one

      Jesus has zero tolerance. If you don't believe in him, he takes vengeance on you and punishes you with everlasting fire.

      2 Thessalonians, 8-9:"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power."

      May 19, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • .

      You are nothing but a troll, you do not except the answers because that is not what YOU want to hear, delusional and stupid in one package. Pompous, arrogant god that you think you are.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • .

      sorry accept, bad proofreading.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Dave

      All religion is about fear. Fear of death, fear of the unknown. And, N&W 1000, you are an idiot. Diversity of thought? Your religious text is supposed to be the perfect word of your god. There can be no diversity of thought. There can be only the one true word and a bunch of heretics and blasphemers who will burn in hell forever. Don't you listen to your own preachers?

      May 19, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • jimbob

      It's kinda hard to tolerate beliefs that are akin to the tooth fairy & santa claus.Santa can't be real cause there's just too many chimneys in the world. Some don't even have chimneys.What does he do then,break & enter? NO ONE has tolerance for grownups that believe in Santa.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  19. todaypost

    Has anyone considered that peopke who told they went to heaven are the people rejected by heaven or not good enough to gain admission. ....

    May 19, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Colorado777

      Maybe you should read some of the stories and accounts provided by people who had NDE's before judging them as unworthy.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  20. frank nosella

    Santa Claus is for children, God is for adults. Nuf said.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • N&W 1000

      Really?

      What kind of package did God leave under your tree?

      May 19, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Brooklyn

      they won't get it,, the religious are engulfed in fear. There is a psychiatrist that helps de-program christians.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • are122

      Your scientific basis is irrefutable and obviously well thought out.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:32 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.