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June 14th, 2013
04:05 PM ET

Superman: Flying to a church near you

By Eric Marrapodi, Co-Editor CNN Belief Blog

Baltimore, Maryland (CNN) - As the new Superman movie takes flight this weekend, filmmakers are hoping the Man of Steel lands not only in theaters, but also in pulpits.

Warner Bros. Studios is aggressively marketing "Man of Steel" to Christian pastors, inviting them to early screenings, creating Father’s Day discussion guides and producing special film trailers that focus on the faith-friendly angles of the movie.

The movie studio even asked a theologian to provide sermon notes for pastors who want to preach about Superman on Sunday. Titled “Jesus: The Original Superhero,” the notes run nine pages.

“How might the story of Superman awaken our passion for the greatest hero who ever lived and died and rose again?” the sermon notes ask.

(Disclaimer: CNN, like Warner Bros., is owned by Time Warner.)

Similar campaigns to corral the country's large number of Christians into the movie theater have been used for "Les Miserables," "Soul Surfer" and "The Blind Side," all of which had at least some faith angle.

Baltimore pastor Quentin Scott is among dozens of ministers who received an e-mail invitation from Grace Hill Media, a Hollywood-based Christian marketing firm, to an early screening of “Man of Steel.”

“There was an actual push to say `We’re putting out something that speaks to your group,' ” said Scott, one of the pastors of Shiloh Christian Community Church in Baltimore.

At first, Scott said, he didn’t buy the religious pitch. Then he decided to attend a free midweek screening in Baltimore.

“When I sat and listened to the movie I actually saw it was the story of Christ, and the love of God was weaved into the story," said the pastor.

"It was something I was very excited about that with the consultation of our senior pastor, we could use in our congregation.”

CNN Entertainment: 'Man of Steel' director Zack Snyder on Superman's Christ-like parallels

Grace Hill’s sermon notes are specially designed for churches like Shiloh that integrate multimedia into their services.

“Let’s take a look at the trailer for `Man of Steel,’” the notes suggest after briefly introducing the movie’s history and themes.

The man behind the notes, Pepperdine University professor Craig Detweiler, has prepared similar material for films like 2009’s "The Blind Side" and "The Book of Eli" from 2010.

The spiritual themes in “Man of Steel” are abundant, Detweiler said, and his notes enable Christians to thoughtfully engage with pop culture instead of shunning it.

“All too often, religious communities have been defined by what they're against. With a movie like `Man of Steel,’ this is a chance to celebrate a movie that affirms faith, sacrifice and service,” Detweiler said.

It will be hard for even casual Christians to miss the messianic metaphors in "Man of Steel.”

The movie focuses on the origins of Superman, who was sent from the planet Krypton as an infant to save his species.

He is raised by surrogate parents who help him grapple with his special powers, even though they don’t fully understand the source of his extraordinary abilities.

When he turns 33, Superman must willingly sacrifice himself to save the human race.

Sound familiar?

If that’s not enough, as a boy Clark Kent is shown wrestling with his superpowers, and asks his earthly dad, Jonathan Kent, “Did God do this to me?”

“Somewhere out there you have another father and he sent you here for a reason,” says Jonathan Kent.

Even the visuals hammer home the messianic motifs.

During a fight with his archenemy, General Zod, Superman plunges down to Earth, his arms outstretched as if he were being crucified. Of course, he rises again.

Detweiler writes in the sermon notes, “What Jesus and Superman both give us, through their `hero’ actions but also their `human’ actions – is hope.”

“I think it’s a very good thing that Hollywood is paying attention to the Christian marketplace,” said Ted Baehr, who runs Movieguide, a website that reviews family friendly films from a Christian perspective.

“Where it gets sticky is when they try to manipulate the market and when Christians try to manipulate Hollywood. But here I think we have the right balance.”

But other Christians are heaving a supersized sigh at the movie marketing.

"Any pastor who thinks using `Man of Steel Ministry Resources' is a good Sunday morning strategy must have no concept of how high the stakes are, or very little confidence in the power of God’s word and God’s spirit," writes P.J. Wenzel, a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Dublin Baptist Church in Ohio.

"As they entertain their congregants with material pumped out from Hollywood’s sewers, lives are kept in bondage, and people’s souls are neglected," according to Wenzel, who said he was e-mailed information about the movie.

Scott, the Baltimore pastor, said he knows that Warner Bros. Studios has a financial incentive in pushing the film to pastors.

But he said that’s fine with him. “They’re using us but in fact we’re using them,” he said.

His church won't show clips from the movie this weekend because it had already planned out its service. But he plans to use them later, during meetings with the church’s men’s group.

“If you give me another opportunity to talk to someone about Jesus Christ, and I can do that because of your movie, that’s a win for me, because it is about spreading the Gospel.”

CNN's Erin McPike contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Celebrity • Christianity • Church • Entertainment • Media • Movies

soundoff (6,545 Responses)
  1. Missy

    i agree its a line of horse crap.I took ethics class and its clear hes copied and pasted off another web page too me too. im done with this conversation. God will judge us all in the end.Meanwhile i have minds to mold. An breakfast to make. That is a reality and life beyond this box.May i suggest everyone else go do something more productive than sit here and argue with people that you'll never meet.

    Melissa Becker

    June 16, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • M

      The power of the internet allows people remotely to engage – that's wonderful.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Which of the thousands of gods do you mean?

      June 16, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • Science

      The end Missy = depleted carbon..............no hell or heaven to visit.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  2. a dose of reality

    It is very easy to show how the Judeo Christian god is an invention of man, though.
    1. Only in late Bronze Age Palestine had anybody heard of this god. The millions of people living elsewhere in the World had never heard of it. All of the people living in China, Eaurope, Africa, India, the Australian Aboriginals had never heard of it until humans from Palestine gradually moved out and "spread the word".
    Does it really make sense that a being would create the an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies 13,720,000,000 years ago (the age of the Universe) sat back and waited 10,000,000,000 years for the Earth to form, then waited another 3,720,000,000 years for human beings to gradually evolve, then, at some point gave them eternal life and sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle East.
    While here, this divine visitor exhibits no knowledge of ANYTHING outside of the Iron Age Middle East, including the other continents, 99% of the human race, and the aforementioned galaxies.
    Second, does it not appear to you a little silly that, of all the countless millions of people, this god would make the Jews its "chosen race" and obsess with giving them a host of rules, most relevant only to farmingcommunities. Hmmm, did god creat the Jewish farmers or did the Jewish farmers create God....
    Next, the stories of Christianity are not even original. They are borrowed directly from earlier mythology from the Middle East. Genesis and Exodus, for example, are clearly based on earlier Babylonian myths such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Jesus story itself is straight from the stories about Apollonius of Tyana, Ho.rus and Dionysus (including virgin birth, the three wise men, the star in the East, birth at the Winter solstice, a baptism by another prophet, turning water into wine, crucifixion and rising from the dead).
    Next, the Bible is also literally infested with contradictions, outdated morality, and open support for the most barbarous acts of cruelty – including, genocide, murder, slavery, r.ape and the complete subjugation of women. All of this is due to when and where it was written, the morality of the times and the motives of its authors and compilers. While this may be exculpatory from a literary point of view, it also screams out the fact that it is a pure product of man, bereft of any divine inspiration.
    By the way, we have no idea of who wrote the four Gospels, how credible or trustworthy they were, what ulterior motives they had (other than to promote their religion) or what they based their views on. We know that the traditional story of it being Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is almost certainly wrong. For example, the Gospel of Matthew includes a scene in which Jesus meets Matthew, recounted entirely in the third person!! Nevertheless, we are called upon to accept the most extraordinary claims by these unknown people, who wrote between 35 to 65 years after Christ died and do not even claim to have been witnesses. It is like taking the word of an unknown Branch Davidian about what happened to David Koresh at Waco – who wrote 35 years after the fact and wasn’t there.
    When backed into a corner, Judeo-Christianity admits it requires a “leap of faith” to believe it. However, once one accepts that pure faith is a legitimate reason to believe in something (which it most certainly is not, any more than “faith” that pixies exist is) one has to accept all other gods based on exactly the same reasoning. One cannot be a Christian based on the “leap of faith” – and then turn around and say those who believe in, for example, the Hindu gods, based on the same leap, got it wrong. In a dark room without features, any guess by a blind man at the direction of the door is as valid as the other 359 degrees.
    Geography and birthplace dictates what god(s) one believes in. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own gods and they all seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams, and prejudices. Do you think they all exist? If not, why only yours?
    No, Kalessein, faith is not even belief in a god. It is a mere hope for a god, a wish for a god, no more substantial than the hope for a good future and no more substantial that the "hope for a good future" and no more universal universal than the language you speak or the baseball team you support.
    We are a frightened little species and we need to avoid the inevitablility of death. We create our gods to do just that and to explain those parts of nature we cannot explain or control. Fortunately, the penetrating light of science and knowledge has flushed this "god of the gaps" out of his hiding place. He is now forced to inhabit those few remaining dark patches science has not yet fully exposed. The origins of life is one, the uncritical mind of the believer is another.
    Either that, or it all started 6,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake. Either way “oh come on” just doesn’t quite capture it.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • Missy

      i agree its a line of horse crap.I took ethics class and its clear hes copied and pasted off another web page too me too. im done with this conversation. God will judge us all in the end.Meanwhile i have minds to mold. An breakfast to make. That is a reality and life beyond this box.May i suggest everyone else go do something more productive than sit here and argue with people that you'll never meet.

      Melissa Becker

      June 16, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • JL Robb

      Well, I hope you feel better now that you got that rant off your chest, and happy father's day. Now try some real research rather than pseudo-research, and you will discover how much hogwash you just posted. And yes, we do know who wrote the Gospels, and we know that Isaiah wrote Isaiah. Atheists wouldn't believe a DNA sample because you have been blinded, not by the light but by darkness. Don't feel bad though, because there are many Godophobics out there right with ya.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:32 am |
  3. TheLocNar

    At least Superman is more realistic than Jesus.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • M

      No, there is some evidence that Jesus may have existed, but none for superman.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • TheLocNar

      I'm sure there's a dude they called Jesus back in the day, but he was no son of a pretend deity.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:22 am |
  4. eclectic8

    Any Christian who goes to see this movie for parallels if wasting their time. The studio is trying to get their hands on your wallet and shame on those pastors.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:19 am |
  5. debby

    What a crock. This is disgusting and any so called "church" that would use what is basically a Hollywood script, is a joke.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:18 am |
  6. a dose of reality

    There are many Atheists however who look down upon Christians as being inferior however because they have not made the leap of common sense and logic to understand that their God is a long perpetrated myth. In a sense it is akin to looking at a child who believes in Santa Clause. As adults we know full well he does not exist. The child hasn't grown up enough to shrug off the silly fantasy that has been fed to him/her to placate them. We see ourselves as the new grown-ups and you as the children placated by your Santa. We are urging you to grow out of that myth.

    The thing is, if you had met an Adult who still believed in Santa you would most likely treat them similarly. Think there's something fundamentally wrong with their sense of reality and wish to explain to them how ridiculous it is. The large difference here is in the fact that Christianity as a whole isn't so innocent as Santa. Christianity is guilty of so very many evil deeds in the name of God and the believers in Christianity are guilty of ignorance. Pretend for a second that the majority of people believed in Santa as a true fact and tried to force you to believe, coerce you to believe and judge you for not believing. This of course being the LEAST of what religions have done to people who don't believe them. You know Santa is a farce. You would be annoyed, angry, and feel like common sense had flown the coop.

    That is what Atheists are dealing with.

    All the logic, science, education and clear and obvious data about the world is purposefully ignored by theists and you swallow lies your whole lives, closed off to the possibility that you are wrong. We are not closed off to the possibility that we are wrong.. In fact, that's how most of us got to this stage of sanity. I was a believer who dared to question the "truth" of the gospels. When the answer to my questions were "pray about it" and "have faith" I needed to keep looking.

    We would be less angry if religions kept to themselves and stopped trying to dictate how others lived. If it stayed out of politics, we wouldn't be angry. If it stopped trying to tell people who aren't followers how to live their lives, we wouldn't care what you believed. If religions didn't cause untold millions of deaths, we would just simply giggle at your silly faith. That is not the case at all.

    You don't see us making cases against people who believe in Pagan faiths, we don't typically touch on Buddhism either. Because they don't try to control others. They do their thing and enjoy their beliefs without causing harm. You will never hear any of us speak out against Jainism for example. Never. They have a simple rule "above all, do no harm" and they follow it very closely. If your religion had that as the tenet and nothing else, we would be happy for you.

    Now please, if you don't mind, this is an Atheist page. However you arrived at this page I welcome you to leave it to go to your Theist pages that there are plenty of. OR you can stick around and learn, but keep your judgement to yourself, because we are here to have fun, learn, and laugh.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • eclectic8

      You sound so ignorant trying to push your reality on others the same way you criticize Christians for doing.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • JustMeReading

      After reading the about and other articles in the religion blogs, I don't think that this is an atheist page only.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:38 am |
  7. rhemi553

    As Jesus said, "... It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God." These hucksters in hollyweird are all about money and being a "rich person" and could care less about helping pastors to teach about Jesus. All they want is for naive pastors to promote their movies so their congregations will come see their movie. It is so simple to understand that you have to try and not see through their ruse.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • M

      So, I'm guessing there is a long line to get in the pearly gates because of all the televangelists who have made money off religion....

      June 16, 2013 at 8:19 am |
  8. Skeptimist

    Profiling the American mainstream with inadvertent accuracy, the Belief Blog features a story about marketing among the temples of popular passion. As any experienced peddler knows, marketing ignores the steak and sells the sizzle. By comparison, Truth needs no tricks – it is what remains when nonsense fades away.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:15 am |
  9. Austin

    Look to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will prove this individually, in a special way for you. Seek the person of the Holy Spirit to supernaturally give you faith. Seek and abide in the Word, and you will have the Word confirmed with you and around you.

    2 Corinthians 4:6
    6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:13 am |
  10. Bubba

    I don't remember the Bible story of Jesus destroying half a city during a violent fist fight with Satan.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • M

      As an atheist, he gives himself freely to save people...that's one similarity. You're right about the fighting.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Tatarize

      All hail the Holy Trinity: Superman, Kal-el, Clark Kent, who died defending us all from Doomsday only to be resurrected.

      Superman! As real as Jesus.

      Trying to prove God is real with the Bible is like trying to prove Superman is real with a Comic Book.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:24 am |
  11. Missy

    What scares me more than anything is how alot of people ramble on like their unstable here. I hope that people will focus more on their mental health rather than whats going on in the media. Seems to me insanity is a growing problem among Americans. Dooms day peppers are really off kilter. Along with the addicts and bible beaters who claim to know God. If you knew God then why would you cut anyone down? I think its time people pull themselves together and focus on reality.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:10 am |
  12. nc1965

    We already have to put of with an 6' foot, longhaired, italian Jesus that looks like a hippie strung out on acid. Now white people want to create another Jesus in their image. This time it's superman.

    Pure blasphemy by CNN.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:10 am |
  13. Name*penguin

    It's just a movie. Why do we always over analyze everything?

    June 16, 2013 at 8:09 am |
  14. Robin Bray

    And Jesus was clearly gay.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • .

      may you be accursed forever for your opinion

      June 16, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Hulksmash

      @ the person with no bravery to even create a name: Nice frackin Christian value of love and forgiveness there, hypocrite. Or did you not read the part where those who curse others are doomed to damnation? Oh, that much not be in your Bible because you cherry pick what you want.

      Hebrew Jesus doesn't much care for your type.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Missy

      Robin your clearly a very unstable person. Your kind are destroying this planet. Gays cant raise family's and are not Gods in anyway. Every gay couple ive ever known has down nothing but mess up their children.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • a reasonable atheist

      That's nothing compared to the atrocities you commit upon the English language every time you post, Missy.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:31 am |
  15. Robin Bray

    They are both made up so that is the same. Now they have made me not want to see the movie. What a blunder PR idiots.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • .

      if all your kind boycott the movie it will make an insignificant difference to the overall profits so do everyone a favor stay away

      June 16, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • Hulksmash

      @ "." again" You're an idiot. Please go get a vasectomy so you don't breed.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:14 am |
  16. jonat

    Paranoid liberals see religion even when it isn't there...get some help

    June 16, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • M

      The nature of people is to look for patterns, and I guess some people see a pattern here. I did not pick this up when I watched the movie, though.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:09 am |
  17. Samme

    See, why did you react the way you did....you are fearful person...you are forgiven...

    June 16, 2013 at 8:06 am |
  18. a dose of reality

    No matter how you dress it up, there are some fundamental difficulties with Christianity that are pretty hard to overcome.
    1. At its most fundamental level, Christianity requires a belief that an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies 13,720,000,000 years ago (the age of the Universe) sat back and waited 10,000,000,000 years for the Earth to form, then waited another 3,720,000,000 years for human beings to gradually evolve, then, at some point gave them eternal life and sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle East.
    While here, this divine visitor exhibits no knowledge of ANYTHING outside of the Iron Age Middle East, including the other continents, 99% of the human race, and the aforementioned galaxies.
    Either that, or it all started 6,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake. Either way “oh come on” just doesn’t quite capture it.
    2. This ‘all loving’ god spends his time running the Universe and spying on the approximately 7 billion human beings on planet Earth 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He even reads their minds (or “hears their prayers”, if you see any difference) using some kind of magic telepathic powers. He also keeps his telepathic eye on them when they are not praying, so as to know if they think bad thoughts (such as coveting their neighbor) so he knows whether to reward or punish them after they die.
    3. Having withheld any evidence of his existence, this god will then punish those who doubt him with an eternity burning in hell. I don’t have to kill, I don’t have to steal, I don’t even have to litter. All I have to do is harbor an honest, reasonable and rational disbelieve in the Christian god and he will inflict a grotesque penalty on me a billion times worse than the death penalty – and he loves me.
    4. The above beliefs are based on nothing more than a collection of Bronze and Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology, much of it discredited, that was cobbled together into a book called the “Bible” by people we know virtually nothing about, before the Dark Ages.
    5. The stories of Christianity are not even original. They are borrowed directly from earlier mythology from the Middle East. Genesis and Exodus, for example, are clearly based on earlier Babylonian myths such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Jesus story itself is straight from the stories about Apollonius of Tyana, Ho.rus and Dionysus (including virgin birth, the three wise men, the star in the East, birth at the Winter solstice, a baptism by another prophet, turning water into wine, crucifixion and rising from the dead).
    6. The Bible is also literally infested with contradictions, outdated morality, and open support for the most barbarous acts of cruelty – including, genocide, murder, slavery, r.ape and the complete subjugation of women. All of this is due to when and where it was written, the morality of the times and the motives of its authors and compilers. While this may be exculpatory from a literary point of view, it also screams out the fact that it is a pure product of man, bereft of any divine inspiration.
    7. A rejection of the supernatural elements of Christianity does not require a rejection of its morality. Most atheists and secular humanists share a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Christianity. To the extent we reject Christian morality, it is where it is outdated or mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, our basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Christian – we just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over our head in order to act in a manner that we consider moral.
    Falsely linking morality to a belief in the supernatural is a time-tested “three card trick” religion uses to stop its adherents from asking the hard questions. So is telling them it is “wrong to doubt.” This is probably why there is not one passage in the Bible in support of intelligence and healthy skepticism, but literally hundreds in support of blind acceptance and blatant gullibility.
    8. We have no idea of who wrote the four Gospels, how credible or trustworthy they were, what ulterior motives they had (other than to promote their religion) or what they based their views on. We know that the traditional story of it being Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is almost certainly wrong. For example, the Gospel of Matthew includes a scene in which Jesus meets Matthew, recounted entirely in the third person!! Nevertheless, we are called upon to accept the most extraordinary claims by these unknown people, who wrote between 35 to 65 years after Christ died and do not even claim to have been witnesses. It is like taking the word of an unknown Branch Davidian about what happened to David Koresh at Waco – who wrote 35 years after the fact and wasn’t there.
    9. When backed into a corner, Christianity admits it requires a “leap of faith” to believe it. However, once one accepts that pure faith is a legitimate reason to believe in something (which it most certainly is not, any more than “faith” that pixies exist is) one has to accept all other gods based on exactly the same reasoning. One cannot be a Christian based on the “leap of faith” – and then turn around and say those who believe in, for example, the Hindu gods, based on the same leap, got it wrong. In a dark room without features, any guess by a blind man at the direction of the door is as valid as the other 359 degrees.
    Geography and birthplace dictates what god(s) one believes in. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own gods and they all seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams, and prejudices. Do you think they all exist? If not, why only yours?
    Faith is not belief in a god. It is a mere hope for a god, a wish for a god, no more substantial than the hope for a good future and no more universal than the language you speak or the baseball team you support.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • .

      total and utter bull sh it

      June 16, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • M

      Agree, religion is a human creation to explain things that were unexplainable, and to control/educate the people with some time of morality/fear.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • opee

      huge 9 point reply??? LOL..... as if anyone will read it.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • mjbrin

      going to your point #8
      it makes me think of how "conservatives" of today write about how Jefferson and other founding fathers "thought" and "believed" while attempting to keep quiet how many of their beliefs changed over time.
      it is more probable that the writers of the gospels may have had more reliable sources of what the apostles told them since it was only 35 to 65 years yet at the same time how each writer interpreted those accounts differently.
      But those of today telling others what someone 200 years ago or 2000 years ago thought at a certain moment in time is the only truth is fascinating. this superman comparison just makes me think that jesus was an alien not a son of a god and that even today people want to be sold a bill of goods

      June 16, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • 1 of 7B

      Nice.

      June 16, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • HeavenSent

      It was an utter r.uin, and i.rreparable. That f.ruitful valley remains to this day a great lake, or d.ead sea; it is called the S.alt S.ea.

      T.ravelers say that it is about t.hirty m.iles long and .ten m.iles b.road; it has no li.ving c.reature in it; it is not moved by the wind; the smell of it is o.ffensive; things do not easily sink in it. The G.reeks call it A.sphalt.ites, from a sort of p.itch which it casts up. J.ordan falls into it, and is lost there.

      N.umbers 34:12 And the border shall go down to J.ordan, and the goings out of it shall be at the s.alt s.ea: this shall be your land with the c.oasts thereof round about.

      D.euteronomy 29:23 [And that] the whole land thereof [is] b.rimstone, and s.alt, [and] b.urning, [that] it is not s.own, nor b.eareth, nor any grass g.roweth therein, like the o.verthrow of S.odom, and G.omorrah, A.dmah, and Z.eboim, which the LORD o.verthrew in his a.nger, and in his w.rath:

      Amen.

      June 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  19. Dave

    I'm offended when people use Jesus to pad their pockets.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • huggylove

      Me Too, and I believe in Jesus. He taught us to be generious, not greedy.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • M

      They've been doing it for thousands of years.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      People have been using fictional characters to line their pockets since stories started being told. Why does this one offend you? Are you offended when they use the stories about Zeus, Odin, Ra, Thor?

      June 16, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • Mark

      Zeus and the like didn't walk on this planet, nor were they observed by eyewitnesses, Jesus was, Nice try though crack in the cranium.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Mark.
      You meqan according to the stories. There may have been a man named Jesus...whether he existed ot not is no indication that he was anything more than just a man like any other. There is nothing to back up the god claim, just like all of the other god claims.
      Nice try at sweeping reality under the rug.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Mark

      If you actually looked into Jesus and the evidence you would change your mind. Third gradeish to just say Liar Liar. Easy though.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • huggylove

      Jesus was seen by His deciples 3 times and by over 500 people AFTER His death. That would be a pretty good eye witness account the He was more that just a man.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      The alleged eyewitness account were written by other than those who supposedly saw him, decades after the events allegedly took place. There is no REAL evidence any of the stories are true. Those are the facts. And Marl, It appears you are the one yelling liar liar. I have studied your bible and its history in great detail, and its entire history. It is nothing but the corrupted works of men...it is propaganda, created by men to control, and be propagated to the people. Just like all other religious texts.

      And how do you know there were not witnesses to Zeus, Ra , Odin?

      June 16, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • Mark

      I guess the same way you don't know there were eyewitness accounts to the miracles of Jesus. The tradition back then was to pass down events through oral history. And therefore if they got 50% of what Jesus did wrong that leaves 50% true. That makes His life and sacrifice for you plausible.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Mark
      Plausible?...some of the stories are plausible, but not the ones including magic etc. Yes the stories were passed down orally...and we know with each telling that stories get more accurate, right?

      Add in the FACT that many of the stories in the bible have been edited, recrerated, re-written, deleted, and re-edited again.
      Add in the FACT that science has disproven enough of the bible to make the entire work suspect...it is obvious it is NOT the un-erring word of any god.
      Which version of the un-erring word of your god do you follow? Why are there so many to choose from. Much of what I have read comes from a german bible from early 1900's...some of what is in it is directly opposite to what is written in many english bibles I have read, which one is correct....The obvious answer is none of them. If there were any gods involved in it, would they not have seen that it is too muddled, too easily corrupted by men....Rather it STARTED as the corrupted works of men, and continues to be.

      June 16, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • a reasonable atheist

      There were a myriad of witnesses to Zeus and his offspring walking the earth. How else would we have the accounts of Heracles, Perseus, Amphion, Zethus, Arcas, Aeacus, Dardanus, Harmonia, Iasius, Minos, Rhadamanthys, Sarpedon, Epaphus, Pollux, Helen, Argos, Pelasgus, Tantalus, Dionysus, and Lacadaemon – all divine children of mighty Zeus?

      Helen in particular has been mentioned in numerous accounts and historical works. The ruins of Troy and Mycenae have been found. Is this sufficient evidence to prove she was real? If she was real, does that mean every piece of fantasy & legend surrounding her was also real?

      June 16, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Mark

      Richard...a 1000 years from now when they read about the 120 pound girl who lifted the sedan off her dad who was trapped under it in 2012, will that be "magic trick" story?

      June 16, 2013 at 9:21 am |
  20. Missy

    TO DUBLIN BAPTIST CHURCH OHIO I came across your comment and found it very rude.I also found it very ungodly to cut another person down. How can you claim to be saved? How can you lead God's children when you dont even act like one of his own? I dont know the pastor you speak of. But i do know that what hes doing has helped bring many people to the lord. I think you should think before you speak sir , or deacon Wenzel. I think you should not cast judgement on others. Who are you to say how much confidence one man has in God? I think it is you who lacks the confidence. I will pray for you to stop bullying others.

    "Any pastor who thinks using `Man of Steel Ministry Resources' is a good Sunday morning strategy must have no concept of how high the stakes are, or very little confidence in the power of God’s word and God’s spirit," writes P.J. Wenzel, a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Dublin Baptist Church in Ohio

    June 16, 2013 at 8:02 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.