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August 24th, 2013
08:40 AM ET

Should Christianity be so boring?

Opinion by Jon Acuff, Special to CNN

(CNN) - No one has ever accused us Christians of being fun.

No one has ever said we are a laugh-filled group.

No atheist has ever said, “I might not love Jesus, but his followers sure know how to party!”

And yet, in my favorite story in the Bible we actually see Jesus paint the opposite picture.

If you’re a Christian, you’ve heard the Parable of the Prodigal Son in the Gospel of Luke referenced in approximately 42 million sermons. If you’ve missed it though, allow me to summarize.

A young son said to his dad, who represents God, “I want my inheritance.” This was the cultural equivalent of saying, “I wish you were dead!” The father gives him the money. The son immediately runs off to the Jersey shore and fist pumps the night away with 4 Loko and Skrillex. [Not a direct translation.]

After squandering all the money and awakening in a pig pen, the son devises a plan. He will come home, apologize and throw himself at the mercy of the father. His greatest hope is that the father will let him be a servant. He can’t even imagine getting to keep the title “son.”

He comes home expecting punishment, but instead something weird happens.

The father sees him from a distance and sprints toward him. He runs toward him and embraces him. Before the son can even get his whole apology out, the father has already started planning the last thing he expected.

A party.

Instead of punishment he gets a party.

The idea that God fixes problems with parties is crazy.

Who does that?

Life doesn’t work that way. Imagine that you messed up at work. Your boss called you in and said, “Johnson you lost our biggest account! You just cost this company more than 3 million dollars. You know what that makes me want to do? Throw you a party!”

Or think about this in the context of a marriage. Have you ever had an argument with your spouse? Not a fake argument but one that lands you on the couch overnight.

You come into the kitchen and your wife is doing that “mad dishwashing” move we all do when we’re upset. Just power scrubbing pots and pans with a vengeance, mumbling the entire time.

You approach her slowly and say, “Heyyyy baby, how do you feel this morning?” Without looking at you, she takes a deep breath and says, “You really hurt my feelings. Last night, you really surprised me by what you did. My mom was right about you. I’m so angry and disappointed. This whole thing makes me want to get an inflatable bounce house and throw a huge celebration in your honor!”

That would be ludicrous.

Our worst mistakes don’t end in parties, but in this story in the Bible, it did.

When given the opportunity to talk to a group of people, the picture Jesus drew of his Father was of a party giver; someone who met sinners with welcome home banners.

What if Christians were like that?

What if churches became the place where failures found new beginnings?

What if we were known for our parties, not for our Pharisees?

It all feels a little crazy, but I don’t think it’s impossible.

Christians should offer hope in exchange for hurt, new in exchange for old, parties in exchange for pain.

Are we there yet?

Nope, we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve still got a lot of things to work through, a lot of progress we have to make.

But when you think about the prodigal son story, I hope you will remember something.

Two people moved.

One walked.

One ran.

And we prodigals are the walkers.

We still have a running God.

And he is ready to throw a party.

Jon Acuff is a keynote speaker and the author of four books including The New York Times best-seller, START. Acuff is also the author of the popular blog, Stuff Christians Like.net.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jon Acuff

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Opinion

soundoff (4,711 Responses)
  1. Where is your god now?

    Body found is missing Missouri girl

    August 24, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • Colin

      For every example of "answered"prayers, there are millions of "unanswered prayers." A stopped clock is right twice a day.

      August 25, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  2. Where is your god now?

    THE LATEST

    NEW Boy dies from brain-eating parasite

    August 24, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      The socie parasite must be a slow muncher.

      August 24, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
  3. HotAirAce

    Being boring is a minor problem compared with being completely unable to prove that christianity's (or any other cult's) most basic beliefs are actually true. Becoming less boring might prop up their membership in the short term but that will do nothing to retain or attract members over the longer term 'cause religion has lost its power and authority, at least in developed countries.

    August 24, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      How bogus are your assertions..? Very much so...

      August 24, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Go ahead, show everyone why you think what I wrote is bogus.

        August 24, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Show us the empirical evidence for your "bogus assertions" and I will be swayed... Until then your claims are as bogus innuendoes not worth its space....

          August 24, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          I made two assertions: there is no evidence for any of religion's supernatural claims and cult membership in developed countries is declining. Obviously I cannot prove a negative, so it's up to believers to provide evidence for their unsupported claims. Cult membership numbers can easily be found on the web and there have been numerous articles here about how the numbers are changing. Around the world, the only significant increases in cult membership are in third-world countries with high birth rates.

          August 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Like I said "BOGUS" and "HOT AIR"

          August 24, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          the lamb uses smoke and mirrors but never actually answers a question.

          August 24, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • chuckie

      Worrying about whether the religion is too boring to attract new members only goes to show that religions are social clubs and most people attend for that reason. With the exciting new entertainment media of today, the churches can hardly compete. If they were the houses of god, would this be true? In the past church was the only break the masses had from their dreary life of unmitigated drudgery. The article basically admits that religions are the creation of men.

      August 24, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
  4. Where is your god now?

    National trucking company owner killed on his farm

    A man shot four people, two of them fatally, in northern Florida on Saturday before shooting and killing himself, police say.

    August 24, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
  5. dfgddfdfgsdfg

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    August 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    WORLD HEALTH PROBLEM.

    WE HAVE TO MAKE AN INVESTIGATION IN ALL DRUGS.

    WILL YOU DO WHEN YOU DO THIS TO YOUR CHILDREN.

    INFORMANT INTERVIEWS – MENTAL Torturers – STUDIES OF THE HUMAN RACE WITH ALL AGENCIES OF COUNTRIES THAT

    ARE NOT DEMOCRATIC STATE – WHY, JUST FOR BUSINESS – PUSHING THE VENEZUELAN irradiating DEMENTIA A WHILE

    AND TELEVISION PROGRAMS DO TO PEOPLE THAT HANDLED CREATE THAT ARE HANDLING IS ONLY A MATTER OF

    SCIENCE FICTION CUNADO MILLION CASES HAVE CEREBRAL DESTRUCTION.

    NEW PAGE FOR SERIAL CRIMINALS THAT WE HAVE COMPLAINED OF COUNTRIES PAGE SUSPENDED.

    THE REASON THE CONTENT IS REALITY.

    WHY WOULD AN AGENCY IS TO REMOVE TAKE A PAGE MOLETIA SRs. FROM CNN.

    LES HAVE A QUESTION.

    GIVES NO FEAR THAT HANDLED WITH NANO TECHNOLOGY.

    BY LES STRIKE WHEN THE VICTIMS hypothalamus, GENETIC DAMAGE OCCURS MANY.

    http://proyectog.blog.com
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    WE CARE MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE PROFESSIONALS FOR NORTH AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES THAT ARE Ecxelentes
    .
    BUT THESE COMPANIES THAT PRODUCE SUCH DRUGS INCLUDE NANO NANO PARTICLES AS COMPUTERS.

    August 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    WORLD HEALTH PROBLEM.

    WE HAVE TO MAKE AN INVESTIGATION IN ALL DRUGS.

    WILL YOU DO WHEN YOU DO THIS TO YOUR CHILDREN.

    INFORMANT INTERVIEWS – MENTAL Torturers – STUDIES OF THE HUMAN RACE WITH ALL AGENCIES OF COUNTRIES THAT

    ARE NOT DEMOCRATIC STATE – WHY, JUST FOR BUSINESS – PUSHING THE VENEZUELAN irradiating DEMENTIA A WHILE

    AND TELEVISION PROGRAMS DO TO PEOPLE THAT HANDLED CREATE THAT ARE HANDLING IS ONLY A MATTER OF

    SCIENCE FICTION CUNADO MILLION CASES HAVE CEREBRAL DESTRUCTION.

    NEW PAGE FOR SERIAL CRIMINALS THAT WE HAVE COMPLAINED OF COUNTRIES PAGE SUSPENDED.

    THE REASON THE CONTENT IS REALITY.

    WHY WOULD AN AGENCY IS TO REMOVE TAKE A PAGE MOLETIA SRs. FROM CNN.

    LES HAVE A QUESTION.

    GIVES NO FEAR THAT HANDLED WITH NANO TECHNOLOGY.

    BY LES STRIKE WHEN THE VICTIMS hypothalamus, GENETIC DAMAGE OCCURS MANY.

    http://proyectog.blog.com
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    WE CARE MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE PROFESSIONALS FOR NORTH AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES THAT ARE Ecxelentes
    .
    BUT THESE COMPANIES THAT PRODUCE SUCH DRUGS INCLUDE NANO NANO PARTICLES AS COMPUTERS.

    August 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    WORLD HEALTH PROBLEM.

    WE HAVE TO MAKE AN INVESTIGATION IN ALL DRUGS.

    WILL YOU DO WHEN YOU DO THIS TO YOUR CHILDREN.

    INFORMANT INTERVIEWS – MENTAL Torturers – STUDIES OF THE HUMAN RACE WITH ALL AGENCIES OF COUNTRIES THAT

    ARE NOT DEMOCRATIC STATE – WHY, JUST FOR BUSINESS – PUSHING THE VENEZUELAN irradiating DEMENTIA A WHILE

    AND TELEVISION PROGRAMS DO TO PEOPLE THAT HANDLED CREATE THAT ARE HANDLING IS ONLY A MATTER OF

    SCIENCE FICTION CUNADO MILLION CASES HAVE CEREBRAL DESTRUCTION.

    NEW PAGE FOR SERIAL CRIMINALS THAT WE HAVE COMPLAINED OF COUNTRIES PAGE SUSPENDED.

    THE REASON THE CONTENT IS REALITY.

    WHY WOULD AN AGENCY IS TO REMOVE TAKE A PAGE MOLETIA SRs. FROM CNN.

    LES HAVE A QUESTION.

    GIVES NO FEAR THAT HANDLED WITH NANO TECHNOLOGY.

    BY LES STRIKE WHEN THE VICTIMS hypothalamus, GENETIC DAMAGE OCCURS MANY.

    http://proyectog.blog.com
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    WE CARE MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE PROFESSIONALS FOR NORTH AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES THAT ARE Ecxelentes
    .
    BUT THESE COMPANIES THAT PRODUCE SUCH DRUGS INCLUDE NANO NANO PARTICLES AS COMPUTERS.

    August 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    WORLD HEALTH PROBLEM.

    WE HAVE TO MAKE AN INVESTIGATION IN ALL DRUGS.

    WILL YOU DO WHEN YOU DO THIS TO YOUR CHILDREN.

    INFORMANT INTERVIEWS – MENTAL Torturers – STUDIES OF THE HUMAN RACE WITH ALL AGENCIES OF COUNTRIES THAT

    ARE NOT DEMOCRATIC STATE – WHY, JUST FOR BUSINESS – PUSHING THE VENEZUELAN irradiating DEMENTIA A WHILE

    AND TELEVISION PROGRAMS DO TO PEOPLE THAT HANDLED CREATE THAT ARE HANDLING IS ONLY A MATTER OF

    SCIENCE FICTION CUNADO MILLION CASES HAVE CEREBRAL DESTRUCTION.

    NEW PAGE FOR SERIAL CRIMINALS THAT WE HAVE COMPLAINED OF COUNTRIES PAGE SUSPENDED.

    THE REASON THE CONTENT IS REALITY.

    WHY WOULD AN AGENCY IS TO REMOVE TAKE A PAGE MOLETIA SRs. FROM CNN.

    LES HAVE A QUESTION.

    GIVES NO FEAR THAT HANDLED WITH NANO TECHNOLOGY.

    BY LES STRIKE WHEN THE VICTIMS hypothalamus, GENETIC DAMAGE OCCURS MANY.

    http://proyectog.blog.com
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    WE CARE MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE PROFESSIONALS FOR NORTH AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES THAT ARE Ecxelentes
    .
    BUT THESE COMPANIES THAT PRODUCE SUCH DRUGS INCLUDE NANO NANO PARTICLES AS COMPUTERS.

    August 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    August 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
  6. dfgddf

    WORLD HEALTH PROBLEM.

    WE HAVE TO MAKE AN INVESTIGATION IN ALL DRUGS.

    WILL YOU DO WHEN YOU DO THIS TO YOUR CHILDREN.

    INFORMANT INTERVIEWS – MENTAL Torturers – STUDIES OF THE HUMAN RACE WITH ALL AGENCIES OF COUNTRIES THAT

    ARE NOT DEMOCRATIC STATE – WHY, JUST FOR BUSINESS – PUSHING THE VENEZUELAN irradiating DEMENTIA A WHILE

    AND TELEVISION PROGRAMS DO TO PEOPLE THAT HANDLED CREATE THAT ARE HANDLING IS ONLY A MATTER OF

    SCIENCE FICTION CUNADO MILLION CASES HAVE CEREBRAL DESTRUCTION.

    NEW PAGE FOR SERIAL CRIMINALS THAT WE HAVE COMPLAINED OF COUNTRIES PAGE SUSPENDED.

    THE REASON THE CONTENT IS REALITY.

    WHY WOULD AN AGENCY IS TO REMOVE TAKE A PAGE MOLETIA SRs. FROM CNN.

    LES HAVE A QUESTION.

    GIVES NO FEAR THAT HANDLED WITH NANO TECHNOLOGY.

    BY LES STRIKE WHEN THE VICTIMS hypothalamus, GENETIC DAMAGE OCCURS MANY.

    http://proyectog.blog.com
    http://proyectog.blog.com
    http://proyectog.blog.com
    http://proyectog.blog.com
    http://proyectog.blog.com
    http://proyectog.blog.com
    http://proyectog.blog.com
    http://proyectog.blog.com
    http://proyectog.blog.com

    WE CARE MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE PROFESSIONALS FOR NORTH AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES THAT ARE Ecxelentes
    .
    BUT THESE COMPANIES THAT PRODUCE SUCH DRUGS INCLUDE NANO NANO PARTICLES AS COMPUTERS.

    August 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    August 24, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
  7. dfgd

    WORLD HEALTH PROBLEM.
    WE HAVE TO MAKE AN INVESTIGATION IN ALL DRUGS.
    WILL YOU DO WHEN YOU DO THIS TO YOUR CHILDREN.
    INFORMANT INTERVIEWS – MENTAL Torturers – STUDIES OF THE HUMAN RACE WITH ALL AGENCIES OF COUNTRIES THAT ARE NOT DEMOCRATIC STATE – WHY, JUST FOR BUSINESS – PUSHING THE VENEZUELAN irradiating DEMENTIA A WHILE AND TELEVISION PROGRAMS DO TO PEOPLE THAT HANDLED CREATE THAT ARE HANDLING IS ONLY A MATTER OF SCIENCE FICTION CUNADO MILLION CASES HAVE CEREBRAL DESTRUCTION.
    NEW PAGE FOR SERIAL CRIMINALS THAT WE HAVE COMPLAINED OF COUNTRIES PAGE SUSPENDED.
    THE REASON THE CONTENT IS REALITY.
    WHY WOULD AN AGENCY IS TO REMOVE TAKE A PAGE MOLETIA SRs. FROM CNN.
    LES HAVE A QUESTION.
    GIVES NO FEAR THAT HANDLED WITH NANO TECHNOLOGY.
    BY LES STRIKE WHEN THE VICTIMS hypothalamus, GENETIC DAMAGE OCCURS MANY.
    http://proyectog.blog.com
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    http://proyectog.blog.com
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    http://proyectog.blog.com
    http://proyectog.blog.com
    WE CARE MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE PROFESSIONALS FOR NORTH AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES THAT ARE Ecxelentes.
    BUT THESE COMPANIES THAT PRODUCE SUCH DRUGS INCLUDE NANO NANO PARTICLES AS COMPUTERS.
    August 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    August 24, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
  8. lamelionheart

    Reblogged this on battlestargalacticablog.

    August 24, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
  9. lamelionheart

    Hello out there in lala land...

    August 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
  10. Lionly Lamb

    Sire Horse God...

    Science refuses to consider the potentiality of unknowable amounts of big bang universes being forever manifested within the great expanses of Spatially Infinite Nothingness... Religions are tempered in dumb founded emotionalisms and they ever do close their eyes whenever science forces them to open up to eyeing understandings regarding the potentials of intellectually sided perspectives which very well could align Godliness to be the creator and the maker of infinitely vast numbers of big bang born universes within what I call God's Spirit which is the vastness of Spatially Infinite Nothingness...

    Science wants nothing to do with this sermonizing perspective I have been clinging upon and the religious seem dumbfounded and unable to intellectually cope with any inkling of science orientated relativism upon such sermonizing I stand fast upon...

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    August 24, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
  11. tony

    Prayer is religion's way of letting the customer service phone ring unanswered for ever- and still get no complaints.

    August 24, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Do you really think someone would continue to pray if they never had an answer.

      August 24, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      ?

      August 24, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Yes, someone can believe that they are getting an answer, but they really aren't, and that belief overrides the fact that they are not being answered. Those who believe, believe by faith, and faith can be very effective. It's why those believers of other gods pray just like Christians pray; the believers all believe that they are being answered.

        August 24, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Man, you've got some really special knowledge there Captain, "they really aren't."

          August 24, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I'd love to be proven wrong.

          August 24, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Seems I answered your question, though, RB. Just like you to ignore that, isn't it?

          August 24, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
        • JimK57

          And that is okay.

          August 24, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Capt,

          Yes, you gave an answer & I'm confident it makes sense to you. I suppose some things can be easily dismissed as coincidence, some things can't.

          August 24, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          That's the way the believers put it to me, anyway, Brown. (Even those of a different god then you)

          August 24, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
        • evolved DNA

          Robert brown can you give an example of a non coincidence event?

          August 24, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Probably not, but here is an interesting fact that I don't think is a coincidence, the book of psalms is in the center of the word of God. Psalm 119 is in the very center of the bible. It is the longest chapter of the bible & for its subject ...drumroll, it praises the word of God. Imagine that.

          August 24, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          By what measure is psalm 119 in the center of The Babble? By number of characters, words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters? In what language? In Greek, Hebrew, Latin, French, English English, American English? In which version of The Babble? The anglican cult's, the rcc cult's, Thomas Jefferson's?

          August 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
        • chuckie

          Would a book purported to be the word of God do anything other than praise the word of God? Not doing so would be like a Ford commercial showing Fords to be crappy cars. Of course those trying to sell a product are self-congratulatory; that is why we look for unbiased, third party endorsements.

          August 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
        • a reasonable atheist

          @HAA I believe it is the center in George Jefferson's bible.

          August 24, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Only if Archie agrees.

          August 25, 2013 at 6:16 am |
        • sam stone

          no more special knowledge than you claim to have, robert

          August 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • chuckie

      Why do they keep praying? Because their prayers are usually not answered and they feel they are unworthy and not pious enough so they increase their efforts. If prayers are answered why do people keep dying of cancer and other terminal illnesses? For that matter, why do people keep dying? How about world peace? How come only 1% are filthy rich? Why do so many small businesses fail? Only one set of NFL fans can pray their team into the Super Bowl. Why are so many killed in car accidents? Why, oh why, oh whyo ad nauseam..

      August 24, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
  12. lamelionheart

    The long accepted perspective of the big bang universe is securely a common understanding of most folks nowadays John... My assertion of sermonizing that there is a potentiality of immeasurable big bang universes ever to have been created and are likely still being created within the immeasurable vastness of Spatially Infinite Nothingness which such Nothingness may well be the Spirit of God... The miracle of there being immeasurable big bang universes would suggest there to be a conformity of sorts in that big bang universes are spaced out in such a way that their would be no potential collisions happening with their lifetimes of ongoing expansionism...

    I could be "off my rocker" and yet I could be spot on... I will not be around when science takes such a perspective of mine into being a consideration of profound worthiness... All I can do is make mention of it in places like this Belief Blog and hope that those who read my quips will keep an open mind and begin to spread my sermonizing perspective onto others until science catches up and overtakes my views and perspectives...

    August 24, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      The big bang is a widely believed notion proven false in 1919 by general relativity. The Nobel Committee was so upset with Einstein for cancelling the big bang they required the mathematical contrivance of the photon for Einstein to collect his prize. Einstein intended the photon to make fools of relativity deniers and it still does so today.

      August 24, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Please provide a reference to a scientific paper backing up your claims.

        August 24, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
        • bostontola

          He's a troll, please ignore.

          August 24, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        theory of general relativity

        Web definitions

        General relativity or the general theory of relativity is the geometric theory of gravitation published by Albert Einstein in 1915. It is the current description of gravitation in modern physics. ...

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_General_Relativity

        August 24, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  13. Jakemeister3836

    Good article.

    Does CNN have articles where Internet trolls don't destroy comments after 2.769 seconds?

    August 24, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
  14. Dyslexic doG

    When did I realize I was God?

    Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized that I was talking to myself ...

    August 24, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      & everyone does what is right in their own eyes.

      August 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Well, the god believers claim that what's right in their eyes should be automatically obeyed by everyone else, so....

        August 24, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
  15. IslandAtheist

    The exciting stuff happens when Christians die. LOL

    August 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Celestial death is celestial Life's one gate of inescapability... Live long and sermonize...

      August 24, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
      • JimK57

        Good one!

        August 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
        • Doobs

          Really? How so? LL is barely coherent. Or do you just assume anything that doesn't make sense must be really, really intelligent, like the bible?

          August 25, 2013 at 1:16 am |
  16. Apple Bush

    Should I be so boring?

    August 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things !

    August 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      When did I realize I was God?

      Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized that I was talking to myself ...

      August 24, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Colin

      So brer dog, when did you realize you were an idiot? For thinking people everywhere it is apparent you're an idiot but sadly i don't think you yourself are aware of much of anything.

      August 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        LOLOLOLOL
        Colin, you are just angry because your peepee is so small. don't take it out on me!
        LOLOLOLOL

        August 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Prayer IS harmful

      Prayer is harmful .. proven

      Templeton Foundation Prayer Study .. Short version:
      Conclusion:
      Prayer had no effect on recovery when patients did NOT know they were being prayed for..
      But those KNOWING they were receiving prayer had a HIGHER incidence of complications (59%).

      August 24, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
      • chuckie

        Penicillin is more powerful in treating bacterial diseases than any prayer. Shamans and witchdoctors couldn't compete with missionaries with sulfa drugs in their medical bag. Small pox was resistant to prayer but fell before the smallpox vaccination. The same is true of many other diseases that were the scourge of mankind (e.g., TB, VD, diphtheria, etc.) before being eradicated or brought under control by drugs. Only the most fanatical fundamental Christians would choose prayer over medicine to save their children. What prayer does produce are sanctimonious, trite expressions such as, "God works in mysterious ways," God never gives us anything we can't handle," "God has another plan," etc., never an admission that prayer failed.

        August 24, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Prayer is harmful .. proven

      Templeton Foundation Prayer Study:

      Results: In the two groups uncertain about receiving intercessory prayer, complications occurred
      in 52% (315/604) of patients who received intercessory prayer versus 51% (304/597) of those
      who did not (relative risk 1.02, 95% confidence interval 0.92-1.15). Complications occurred in
      59% (352/601) of patients certain of receiving intercessory prayer compared with the 52%
      (315/604) of those uncertain of receiving intercessory prayer (relative risk 1.14, 95% confidence
      interval 1.02-1.28). Major events and 30-day mortality were similar across the 3 groups.

      Conclusions: Intercessory prayer itself had no effect on complication-free recovery from
      CABG, but certainty of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with a higher incidence of
      complications.

      **Three groups of people were asked to pray for patients they did not know personally. The congregations came from:
      - St. Paul's Monastery, St. Paul
      - The Community of Teresian Carmelites, Worcester, Massachussetts
      - Silent Unity, which is a Missouri prayer ministry near Kansas City

      Patients were divided into three groups:
      1. Patients who were told people would pray for them
      2. Patients who were not told people would pray for them, but people did pray for them
      3. Patients who were not told anything, and nobody prayed for them.

      Among two groups of patients, one having people praying for them but not knowing, and the other receiving no prayers, there was no difference in their health and recoveries.
      However, the group that was being prayed for and knew about it had more complications after surgery than the other two groups.

      Percentage of Patients Having Complications After Surgery
      52% – Patients who were receiving prayers and did not know this.
      52% – Patients receiving no prayers and not being told anything about prayers taking place anywhere for anyone.
      59% – Patients knowing they were receiving prayers

      According to this study, we may conclude the following:
      - Praying does not help the patient at all.
      - Telling patients that people are going to pray for them does have an effect, but not a good one.

      August 24, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Athy

      I read someplace (I think it was a letter to the editor of Scientific American magazine) that he (the writer) explained the results of this study by saying god knew about the study and deliberately withheld help from the patients. His attempts to explain why were a bit confusing, but that was his theory. This shows to what extent some people will go to justify their beliefs and avoid the truth.

      August 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
      • Artemis

        Yeah, that's the old "god works in mysterious ways" bit. Also known as "we don't see the big picture."

        August 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Colin

      Prayer provided strength and courage to the woman who reasoned with the latest attempted school shooter.

      August 24, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
      • Athy

        How can you be sure she didn't have it without prayer?

        August 24, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
        • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

          She had it in her, obviously ... but some people need this belief in order to tap into their courage. Prayer is nothing more than a psychological tool .. one I'm glad she had! There are many people out there who claim without their belief they would do bad things, for those people I say Keep on Believin'!

          August 24, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
        • Athy

          Agreed. Some people can show extraordinary courage when they believe there's a god and that he will protect you. Unfortunately, it can work negatively as well, as 9-11 has shown us. Those suicide pilots undoubtedly believed in their god and that he was on their side.

          August 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        It might have provided her with both those things but it was her own actions that saved him from causing great harm and in turn he will get the help he obviously needs. She is the one who deserves the complete credit here, nothing else.

        August 24, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
      • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

        Thank goodness she was able to talk herself into strength and courage, a peaceful outcome is always best.

        August 24, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
      • One one

        Prayer had no more to do with it than what she had for breakfast.

        August 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
      • Doobs

        I guess the teachers and children at Sandy Hook weren't praying right, eh, Colon? Or was god too busy helping Tim Tebow that day?

        August 25, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • Colin

      Her own words

      August 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        Yes she did say that. However it does not mean that prayer works...she found comfort and solace in prayer and in this case, I don't care what god or lack there-of it might have been, she is the TRUE HERO...no-one else gets credit for this. We all seek solace in times of trial, some of us find it without the need of prayer. It was her actions and her actions alone that saved the situation from getting out of hand. Stop giving your imaginary friend credit where it isn't due...give this lady the credit she has earned!

        August 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    Should the Easter Bunny be so boring?

    August 24, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  19. Dyslexic doG

    Should Santa Claus be so boring?

    August 24, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  20. Dyslexic doG

    Should the Tooth Fairy be so boring?

    August 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
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About this blog

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