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'Mr. Spock goes to church': How one Christian copes with Asperger's syndrome
Brant Hansen, a host on Christian radio, says his Asperger's syndrome once made him feel like an alien at church.
October 19th, 2013
10:28 AM ET

'Mr. Spock goes to church': How one Christian copes with Asperger's syndrome

Opinion by Brant Hansen, special to CNN

(CNN) - In the book “Jim and Caspar Go to Church,” an atheist turns to a Christian minister as they're watching a Sunday morning church service and earnestly asks, "Is this what Jesus told you guys to do?"

I've grown up in churches and I'm a Christian, and I'm right there with the atheist.

I honestly don't get the connection. (To be fair, I've grown up on Earth, too, and there are times that I don't understand any part of this place.)

You see, years ago, I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome - and like a lot of "Aspies," sometimes I'm convinced that I've landed on the wrong planet.

For those of you who don't know the medical lingo, Asperger's syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, but not as severe as what most people think of as autism.

It basically comes down to this: those "normal human" rules for things like eye contact, when to smile, personal distance - we just don't get them.

What's more, Aspies like me don't like those rules. They make no sense to us. So usually, we just say stuff - bluntly - and stare uncomfortably at the ground. That's how we roll.

But it gets even trickier for people of faith like me.

Feeling out of place at work is one thing. Feeling like an alien at church is a whole other matter.

Imagine Mr. Spock at an evangelical Christian tent revival, and you’ll get the idea.

And my father is a pastor, so I was in church a lot.

Multiple times, each week, every week, I found myself wishing I'd be moved by the worship music, or that I could shut off my skeptical mind during the sermons.

I'd see people in church services, Christian concerts and Bible camps overcome by emotion and enraptured with charismatic speakers, and I wondered why I didn't feel that way.

Why did I always feel like a cold observer?

After going to college, I was convinced my lack of feeling meant I was missing something, spiritually, so I joined charismatic Christian groups in which emotional manifestations of the Holy Spirit are common.

I desperately wanted to have what they had - an emotional experience of God's presence - and asked them to pray over me.

It didn't work.

When I didn’t move with the Holy Spirit or speak in tongues, they told me it was because I had rejected God.

I worried that it was the other way around: God had rejected me.

Maybe I felt like an alien because I deserved it. I deserved to be alienated, irretrievably and forever far from God.

I tried to pray, read the Bible, and do all the "right stuff." But I still felt out-of-touch.

I wondered if I was so broken, such a misfit that God simply took a look at me and decided to move on.

I wish I’d known then that I was an Aspie. And that God loves Aspies.

I still feel alienated from many parts of Christian culture, but Jesus himself finally reached me.

And man, did I feel that.

To people who are beaten down or befuddled by religious rules, Jesus offers something that no one else does: rest. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest," he says.

And he sums up the entirety of complex and confusing religious laws with this: “Love God, and love your neighbor.”

Beautiful. Even children can understand that.

The Bible tells a story about a man who approaches Jesus and admits that he has faith, but also strong doubts.

"Help me in my unbelief," he asks Jesus.

Jesus doesn't blast him. He loves him. To me, Jesus is the only one who really makes any sense.

Oddly enough, considering my medical condition, I'm now a radio personality on a network that plays Christian music.

It’s a beautiful fit, in many ways, because I get to talk to many people who also don’t fit in, and wonder if God loves them.

It’s true, though, others won’t understand me. I know that. I’m still an alien in the American Christian subculture.

Each evening I retreat from it, and I go straight to the Gospels.

It's not out of duty that I read about Jesus; it's a respite.

I long for it, because I'm awash in two strange and baffling cultures, both the irreligious and religious.

And I long for someone I can finally understand, and someone who might finally understand me.

Brant Hansen is a radio host on the Air1 network, where his show airs from 3-7 p.m. CT. He also writes a popular blog at air1.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Hansen. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Faith • Health • Jesus • Opinion • Spirituality

soundoff (3,030 Responses)
  1. Dicazi

    Several posters have said that Christianity/religion cannot "have" Spock. Can I remind them of the episode "Bread and Circuses"// The Vulcan hand sign itself was taken from a Jewish rabbinical blessing. there was a piece of fianfic in one of the first fanzines "Spockanalia" that crossed over with C.S. Lewis' space trilogy complete with angels.

    October 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Steel On Target

      That would be the episode where Spock says religion is illogical. Exactly how is this supporting your case for religion?

      October 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
      • Dicazi

        Spock says that a religion worshiping the SUN is not usually a pacifist religion. That is not logical. It's not until they get back to the ship that Uhura tells them it is the SON of God that Flavius and the others are following. Spock makes no comment about that at lass.

        October 20, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Steel On Target

          Again, how is this supporting your case? Spock finds religion illogical irregardless of it being the sun or son.

          October 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • Surfer238489

          I am shocked you would even entertain the notion of using a Jewish character in a screenplay as a guide to understanding anything in the real world. Your schizophrenia is plain to see right there.
          You will ascribe anything at all to your fantasy-delusion of what you think this fictional character would say or not on any subject and then turn around and point to that as some sort of proof of something real.
          The irony is really over the top here, and your schizophrenia is very visible. I do not hate you for being sick, okay?

          October 20, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
      • Dicazi

        I am not saying Spock or any other Classic character is a Christian. I'm saying that Trekkies can be Christians. And vice versa. But Spock never comments that the Followers of the SON are illogical. If only because that would have never gotten past the censors in the late 60s.

        October 20, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Oh my word

      Fighting over marriage equality is a worthy goal. Fighting over a star trek alien is where this really should come to a halt.

      October 20, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
  2. eddie hurley

    i know there is a God that created everything he has healed me delivered me for bad habits and i want to go and be with him when i leave this world it is pointless to not believe in God the atheist will not have anything more than me if i am wrong (witch i know i'm not ) but if he is wrong then he is in a world of hurt so the worst thing that can happen to me is to end up like him (not a option for me )

    October 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • What IF

      eddie,

      This is another tired repeti.tion of Pascal's Wager - thoroughly refuted since the 17th century.

      - What if the real "God" is Allah, or Vishnu, or Zeus, or Quetzalcoatl, or any of the other of thousands which have been dreamed up over the centuries? Some of them are very jealous and vengeful and will relegate you to nasty places for not worshiping them. You'd better cover your butt by believing in ALL of them and fulfill their wishes and demands.

      - What if the real "God" prefers those who use logic and reason and punishes you as a silly sycophant?

      - What if the real "God" detests those who believe something just to cover their butts in eternity?

      October 20, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      eddie
      God certainly didn't heal you of the habit of not using punctuation.
      See that little thing at the end of the sentence.
      It is called a "period".
      It let's the reader know when you have ended a sentence.

      October 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Well Duh

      I'd put my money on that eddie is a troll.

      October 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
      • JJ

        It's really hard to tell these days whether some of these comments are from trolls are from frothing at the mouth rabid Christians.

        October 20, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      eddie: is that the best argument you have? dragging up pascal's wager?

      go home, boy, get your shinebox

      October 20, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Opposing View

      Eddie Hurley... Keep believing and keep up the good fight. Don't let the atheists discourage you. Your reward is in heaven...

      October 20, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
      • Observer

        Opposing View,

        So do you believe and support EVERYTHING in the Bible or do you just HYPOCRITICALLY pick and choose?

        October 20, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
  3. To the belief blog editors

    Not sure if you are aware of an on going problem with this blog, but many comments are being deleted.

    Not sure if this is a
    a) bug within Word press that allows commenters to misuse the "report abuse" link or,
    b) someone(he/she) to whom you have granted the "Moderator" access to moderate posts is misusing this privilege.

    We can understand that "spam" must be deleted, but what we observe is otherwise–
    in most cases scripture verses posted on faith articles that are relevant to the topic under discussion are getting deleted.
    Also, few Christian posters who have responded to comments see their posts vanish. On the other hand You tube videos such as
    "12 tribes of Israel", "Neil De grasse", "Hamster wheel", "Benny Hinn" videos, barrage of Scripture verses from "Bob", lengthy posts from "Colin"
    that are totally irrelevent to the opinion piece/articles is allowed to stand and is not touched.

    Based on this observation, it appears that most Christian posts are getting deleted.

    Most of us enjoy reading articles posted on the belief blog and like to share our thoughts and views, but in the absence of tighter controls over comment deletion,
    this message board is becoming unpleasant to deal with.

    Can you please look into this?

    Thank you!

    October 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Steel On Target

      Ahhh, the christian martyr routine again. Remind me of exactly how Dr. Tyson's lecture on The Perimeter of Ignorance is not relevant and should be deleted?

      October 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Opposing View

      The problem you speak of is two fold…

      First, there are a whole lot of atheists and gays and unbelievers who visit this forum (on this forum they outnumber Christians 20 to 1) and if they read any post they don't like – for example, if they read any post that says gays are in sin or is going to hell, etc – then they'll hit the "Report Abuse" button, for the simple reason they don't like that post and don't want to hear it. It has nothing to do with whether the statement is true or not (most statements like that are supported by scripture, so obviously they are true) nor has it anything to do with whether you are targeting or attacking a specific person (you can make the very same statement speaking in general about gays and it will still get deleted). It's all about whether you say something a person don't like and don't want to hear. Out of spite and hate, they'll hit the "Report abuse" button and hope it gets deleted. That's the first problem….

      The second part of the problem is the kind of people CNN has working for them and the moderators they have. If a CNN moderator is an atheist or a gay person themselves, then you can bet your bottom dollar they will actively delete any post that comes along that is critical of gays or atheists, especially if someone has hit the Report abuse button to bring it to their attention. That s all the excuse they need. Call it human nature. Call it an act of the devil. No matter how you define it, it will still get deleted. The only way any post made by Christians will get to remain undeleted is if the CNN moderator is a Christian (I don't know of any) or if you say nothing at all in your post that offends anyone (not even the devil) – which, by the way, is impossible for us because we're in a war with the devil all the time, and we must speak the truth. And because the devil can freely use and manipulate anyone who is not saved (atheists, gays, unbelievers, etc), the devil will use any moderators who are not saved and get them to delete all relevant Christian posts (irrelevant posts he might not touch, but relevant posts, he'll delete). And those people he's using will do it, completely unaware they are being manipulated. For example, because I'm speaking the gospel truth right now, any moderator who is reading this, I guarantee you, the devil is telling them to delete it. That feeling of hate you have against this post?… That's the devil prompting you.

      In conclusion, we're in a world that is controlled by Lucifer, whether we like it or not. He controls the media, he controls this forum, and he controls the people who moderate this forum. So he has the upper hand. You cannot make a post which favors God, on a forum that is controlled by Lucifer, and not expect it to be deleted. It will be. Lucifer will make sure of that, fast. Lucifer can freely manipulate anyone who is not saved like pawns on a chess board. And he gets them to do his bidding. So Christians will never have the upper hand. For this world is not our world. Nor do we want it to be. For our upper hand is with God. He is the one who rewards us. Thus, we look not for our reward on earth (as though we expect CNN and other forums to be nice to us or fair, they won't be), but our reward in heaven.

      October 20, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
      • Hey! You!

        And yet, despite all your ranting, here is your post. Either your a tool of Satan, or you're wrong.

        October 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        • Opposing View

          That's not saying anything. Even Satan knows not to do certain things to call attention to himself...

          October 20, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
        • Hey! You!

          This forum is controlled by by Satan. You are posting on this forum. Therefore, you are a tool of Satan.

          October 20, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
        • Hey! You!

          You come across as a raving lunatic. Satan is using you good!

          October 20, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
        • Opposing View

          Hey! You!.. You stated, "This forum is controlled by Satan. You are posting on this forum. Therefore, you are a tool of Satan."...

          And you just posted to this forum to even say that. So (according to your logic) that makes you a "tool of Satan" as well. That's funny. LOL…

          October 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
        • Hey! You!

          Not if you believe in Satan.

          October 20, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
      • Crom

        I haven't bothered to hit the report abuse button for years...because I can't. It doesn't work without java.
        Turn java off. Don't bother trying to "report abuse" as there is nothing worth deleting. All of it is grist for the mill.
        Freedom of speech and press are not total, no, but anything that bad will be taken care of without any button involved.
        Don't bother using the button. Shake your head and move on if you don't like what you see. This is the internet.

        October 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
      • JWT

        The statement that gays are sinners is obviously false.

        October 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • Opposing View

          The bible says otherwise. Would you like for me to provide you with the scriptures?...

          Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, 1 Corinthian 6:9, Jude 1:7, Revelation 2:18, 2 Peter 2:4

          October 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
        • And one for the atheists

          Telling an atheist that something is a sin is like telling you that it offends Gandalf and here is proof from LOTR.

          October 20, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
        • JWT

          Your interpretation of your scrriptures applies only to you. People who do not believe in that stuff as you do are not sinners.

          October 20, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • Observer

          Opposing View,

          Skip the HYPOCRISY. There's virtually ZERO chance you believe and support everything in the Bible.

          October 20, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
        • Opposing View

          JWT… Your interpretation matters not. And my interpretation matters not. The only interpretation that matters is God's interpretation. And what is said is God's interpretation because I got it from a Man of God…

          Note, if you seriously believe that gays are not sinners, then you are seriously deluded. I advise you to get the nearest church fast and learn some truth...

          October 20, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
        • Observer

          Opposing View,

          Which command did Jesus say was more important? One putting gays down or the Golden Rule? Take a guess if you have to.

          October 20, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
        • JWT

          I have no problems with knowing the truth – gays are sinners only to you – your personal opinion of what your god "thinks: is worthless. I stand in the right.

          October 20, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
        • Opposing View

          JWT... You don't stand in the right, you stand in the devil... Nothing I've said is my own personal opinion. Everything I've said came from God, because I got my info from a Man of God. Where did you get yours from? Answer: the devil...

          Please go to church and learn some truth and stop wasting my time...

          October 20, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
        • Observer

          Opposing View,

          Completely STUMPED? Have you read any of the Bible? If so, you'd know the answer.

          October 20, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
        • JWT

          Wasting your time ??? What you do with your time is your business. If you choose to spend it defending anti gay bigotry that's your business. I avoid churches that preach anti gay hatred and anti human rights. You obviously attend them with relish.

          Your religious position applies only to you. May you wallow in the wrongness of it joyfully.

          October 20, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
      • tallulah13

        What is your proof about the behaviors of "atheists and gays and unbelievers"? You are making accusations, but you offer no proof. It sounds to me like you are lying about people you don't like. Is this what they taught you in church?

        October 20, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
        • As You Wish

          Church just reinforced it, he probably learned it from his parents.

          October 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
  4. Opposing View

    The Irrational Thinking of Atheists…

    I find it both strange and funny that atheists refuse to believe in God, an invisible force you cannot see, but yet they believe in Evolution and Mother Nature, which are also invisible forces you cannot see – assuming, of course, that such forces even exist (hint: they don't). Even worse, atheists love to poke fun at the eternal God by saying he's some sort of "invisible sky fairy", yet that which they call Nature and Evolution are equally as invisible. Yet that hasn't stopped the atheists from believing in them. So it only illustrates that the reasoning of atheists is not very rational or logical, and that when put to the test, nor does it hold water.

    For an example of how ludicrous the atheist belief is, I'm reminded of a quote made in the movie Jurassic Park where Eon stated, "Dinosaurs had their shot, but Nature selected them for extinction." Using that as an example, in order for any so-called force of Nature or force of Evolution to exist and to have the ability to "select" anything or determine its fate, at the very least, such a force would have to be: 1) invisible and of great size, large enough to span the universe. 2) intelligent and with great power, the power to affect the universe. And lastly, 3) alive and consciously aware, and have a conscious stake in the universe. Which are all characteristics of the eternal God, mind you. Without such a force having those abilities, it would be completely impossible for it to select anything, nor would it be able to determine the fate of anything else or what was best. And without it being intelligently conscious and aware of itself, and with a motive to protect the universe, it could care less what happened to it.

    So no matter how you look at it, and even if you believe in the notion of Evolution or Mother Nature, if you characteristically define such a force, then it would be the same characteristics as the eternal God. The only difference being, at least the eternal God has taken steps to provide proof to us that he exists. How? By sending his own begotten son to earth, Jesus Christ, to declare his existence and to state that he exists. So then where are the sons of Evolution, or the sons of Mother Nature, to declare their existence? They've provided no proof whatsoever of their existence. Yet the atheists still believe in such utter nonsense.

    Most atheists do reason, however, their must be some sort of force controlling the universe, due to the fact that they see order in the universe among other things. The only problem is, they refuse to give God the credit for it, and they don't want God to be the controlling force. Why? The answer is quite simple. It's because, if God is that controlling force, then that same God has promised eternal death and damnation to all who do not believe in him and follow his ways, and that if you commit sin and evil, you will go to hell. And atheists are terrified of that notion. Thus, they've created this fantasy reality in their minds where God does not exist, but such things as Evolution and Mother Nature does. Because with the notion of Evolution and Mother Nature, there is no threat of punishment at all. The atheists can do whatever they want and not be afraid, and not have to live their life in fear. And that is exactly why they believe in such nonsense and cling to it. Worse, they'll spend their entire lives fighting against the truth and trying to find evidence to support such crazy notions, all because they don't want to believe that an eternal God exists. All because they're running from fear, and is afraid of what the existence of such a God would entail. All because they know if such a God truly exists (hint: he does) then it would mean almost certain death and damnation for them personally. And that is something the atheists are sorely afraid of. They're so afraid of it, in fact, they're hiding inside their own skin. There is a way a person can be so much in denial, that you're "hiding" inside your own mind, hiding inside your own skin, too afraid to come out and to accept the reality of the world that is around you.

    So in conclusion, most atheists do feel there is some sort of intelligent force in the universe capable of determining the fate of the things, but yet they feel there is no God. That don't even make rational sense. Apparently the atheists are too dumb and too stupid to even realize that maybe, just maybe, those forces they speak of are the very same thing. That such a force IS God. Either that or they're just too afraid to accept the reality that an eternal God exists all because of what it would mean for them personally if he does…

    October 20, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • ScottCA

      There is ample evidence to support the theory of evolution.

      There is absolutely no evidence to support the existence of any deity or personal god.

      "Mother Nature?" What foolishness are you talking about in your attempt to build straw-man arguments. Are you fresh out of elementary school? Talking about Mother Nature is like talking about the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairies, and God. All of these are fictional characters.

      Air pressure systems in the atmosphere that create weather, have evidence to support them. Mother nature is a fictional character that no scientist or logical atheist believes in. Please try to converse as an adult.

      October 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
      • Opposing View

        ScottCA… Wrong. There is ZERO evidence to support the existence of Evolution. Yes, the "theory" of evolution may exist. Any fool can have a theory. But that doesn't make the "theory" true. But Evolution itself does not exist…

        October 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
        • Steel On Target

          The fact of evolution does exist and is well proven. You have no idea what a scientific theory is. Stop playing at science and get back into your sunday school class before god labels you.

          October 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        • Heads Up

          OV,
          " Any fool can have a theory."

          You don't know what "theory" means in science do you? It's not just a hunch or a guess:

          "A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. If enough evidence acc.umulates to support a hypothesis, it moves to the next step—known as a theory—in the scientific method and becomes accepted as a valid explanation of a phenomenon."

          –http://www.livescience.com/21491-what-is-a-scientific-theory-definition-of-theory.html

          October 20, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          It has been proven and can be demonstrated that things change over time. The things that can be seen are changes in various traits. What has not been proven and has yet to be demonstrated is enough small changes that result in a significantly different organism. For example, the major branches in the evolutionary tree of life are speculation. It hasn't been proven or demonstrated.

          October 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • Opposing View

          Head Up… I am perfectly aware of what a "theory" is. A theory is NOT a living thing. It is nothing more than a "concept in your mind". It has no substance beyond just being a theory. And because it has no substance, that means it CANNOT affect the universe, in any shape form or fashion. It could not cause the universe to come into being. For anything to affect the universe, it must be REAL. The theory of Evolution is NOT REAL. It is only a fantasy and does not exist. In contrast, God is REAL. And he send his only begotten Son to earth – Jesus Christ – to prove that fact…

          October 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        • Opposing View

          Robert Brown... I'm not disputing you statement that things change over time. I'm disputing your assumption about what caused those changes. Many scientists say that "Evolution" is the cause of it. I'm saying that Evolution does not exist. And that only God is the cause of it...

          October 20, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • Opposing View

          Steel on Target… I repeat, "You have zero proof that evolution exists". For evolution to exist, it would have to be a living thing. And no such living thing exists. And without it being alive, it could not affect the universe (meaning, nothing could have "evolved" as a consequence of it). So your claims about evolution are bogus…

          October 20, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
        • Crom

          @Robert Brown
          Evolution has been so strongly corroborated using all branches of science independently by all sorts of people, your argument is totally worthless. You are just trolling, I guess, or are too stupid or brain-damaged to understand simple facts.

          @Opposing View
          If you are arguing that there is no intrinsic physical value labeled "Evolution", I agree. There is only physics underlying all of science, all of our universe. Your "god" is nowhere to be seen and never does or says anything to anyone.
          Gandalf also does not exist and never does or says anything to anyone, and thus has the exact same level of possible existence as your "god". They both have zero evidence to indicate any existence at all.
          No one is trying so desperately as you to somehow label Evolution as not being real. But you can die from evolutionary changes in the biosphere around you and within you. How real does it have to get for you to admit what is plain to see?

          October 20, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
        • Opposing View

          Crom… You stated, "Your "god" is nowhere to be seen and never does or says anything to anyone."

          I beg to differ. And I cannot believe you are that ignorant. Ever heard of Jesus Christ?…

          Yes, changes do happen in the world. But those changes happen because that is what God wanted and is what God programmed. What you call evolution does not exist...

          October 20, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
        • Observer

          Opposing View,

          As long as you are calling people ignorant, please educate all of us about your support of the book saying that unicorns, talking non-humans and dragons are real and that people can suddenly turn into salt.

          October 20, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
        • breathe deep

          Sure hope you don't get flu shots.

          October 20, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
        • Crom

          LOL@Opposing View
          Jesus may never have existed, but if he did, he is thoroughly dead and thoroughly non-existent, as all the dead are.

          Evolutionary Theory is a very sold description for the biochemical processes that occur with DNA, among other things.
          You would like to say it is your "god" doing the changes, but you are forgetting that these changes prove your bible is full of lies. There are hundreds of contradictions in the bible you use, yet you refuse to take this fact into consideration and prefer instead to cling to any fantasy that you can come up with – despite all evidence to the contrary.

          You are in full denial, and your schizophrenia is plain to see. When you imagine what is not true, nothing will convince you of the truth. That's denial of reality. That's what you are doing. Playing with words does not fool anyone but you and idiots like you. Thanks for stopping by.

          October 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
      • Opposing View

        ScottCA... The scientific community uses the term "Nature" and "Mother Nature" all the time. Where have you been?... If you think the term is fictional, then perhaps you should tell them that...

        October 20, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
      • Opposing View

        ScottCA... If you think there is no evidence to support the existence of any God then you are really dumb. Too dumb in fact for me to even be wasting my time with you. You're just another atheist with their head buried in the sand while Judgment Day approaches...

        October 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • Well Duh

          Please provide your evidence.

          October 20, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • Steel On Target

          "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman"

          October 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • Wholly Goats

          @Opposing View:

          " Too dumb in fact for me to even be wasting my time with you."

          Wow, **that** sure sounds like something that was truly inspired by the "Holy Spirit", eh? Would that real smart being send a goofball like you as a spokesperson?!

          October 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • Crom

          And we know Judgment Day is approaching how? Because a guy with dark skin became President? yeah, right.

          October 20, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
        • Opposing View

          Crom… If people like you would pay more attention to the issue at hand rather than going off on crazy tangents about things which are irrelevant, then even someone like you might could be saved…

          October 20, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
      • Michele

        ScottCA, you are proof that God exists.

        October 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Hey! You!

      Well there's one thing for sure, you don't know crap about what an Atheist thinks.

      October 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
      • Opposing View

        God certainly does...

        October 20, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
        • Hey! You!

          But you don't.

          October 20, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
        • Crom

          So you claim to know what your "god" knows and thinks and sees? Is that like cable-tv? Can you show us anything?
          No. You don't know anything but only pretend to know. False-witness is supposed to be a sin, right?
          Oh, wait, some other false-witness promised to erase all your fake sins and he'll be right back – 2000 years ago.
          Don't hold your breath. Your judgment day is right here right now and I name you delusional and sentence you to quarantine.
          How's that grab ya?

          October 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
        • denstre

          To be fair, claiming to speak what God thinks is a form of blasphemy. I am unworthy to judge such a person, but the scriptures say that's one of the activities that will keep a soul out of heaven.

          October 20, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
        • Opposing View

          Whenever an atheists says "I don't know what they're thinking." it only lets me know I'm right on target. People don't respond to things that has nothing to do with them...

          October 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
        • Hey! You!

          OK Kreskin, what am I thinking now?

          October 20, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • ScottCA

      You are in dire need of reading "The Blind Watch Maker". This will cure your abundant misconceptions in regards to evolution, and what is meant when people say, selected for by evolution. When a scientist uses this term it does not refer to conscious selection by any being, it merely denotes a short form for the random process of less fit replicators, failing to successfully replicate themselves, and thus their DNA fading from existence.

      Your post has only shown that you possess a great deal of ignorance in regards to evolutionary science.
      Without which there would be no modern biology and none of modern medical science would be possible.

      It is sad that the American education system failed you so utterly. It is an appalling state of ignorance to be left in.

      October 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • ScottCA

      "Most atheists do reason, however, their must be some sort of force controlling the universe, due to the fact that they see order in the universe among other things."

      No Atheists do not see order in the universe. The universe is a random occurrence and shows the features one would expect from such an occurrence, The universe shows no signs of being designed.

      The human brain suffers an evolved fallacy in which the brain tends to see order and design where there is none, a tendency called Apophenia.

      The faith based religious are like Douglas Adeams puddle:

      “This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting-ho -le-I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise."

      October 20, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Well Duh

      "Most atheists do reason, however, their must be some sort of force controlling the universe, due to the fact that they see order in the universe among other things. The only problem is, they refuse to give God the credit for it, and they don't want God to be the controlling force. Why? The answer is quite simple. It's because, if God is that controlling force, then that same God has promised eternal death and damnation to all who do not believe in him and follow his ways, and that if you commit sin and evil, you will go to hell. And atheists are terrified of that notion. "

      I am terrified of your God and his hell like I'm terrified of going to the prison of Azkaban.

      October 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
      • ScottCA

        Kind of like fearing Voldemort. Oh no I said his name.

        October 20, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • Crom

          I have been a potter and I am hairy and have seen a moldy fort and have used my wand many times. I guess I'm Jesus.

          October 20, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Steel On Target

      You flunked science didn't you? You highlight perfectly why Americans are laughed at by most of the other western countries who score much better in math and science.

      October 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  5. ScottCA

    Faith based religion is an illogical insane delusion, with absolutely no evidence to support its claims.

    It is a fallacy based in the evolved brains tendency to see order and design where there is none, a tendency called Apophenia.

    The faith based religious are like Douglas Adeams puddle:

    “This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting-ho -le-I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise."

    October 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • eddie hurley

      you are wrong God healed my back i don't see him do it i just know how good it feel when he did with a simple little prayer

      October 20, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Christian7

      There is a lot of evidence. But it is very difficult to find something if you are going out of your way to avoid it.

      How come some of the most logical people in history were not atheists?
      Most of the greatest scientists through history were not atheists. In fact, I don't know of a single great atheistic scientist. The only ones that come close are Alan Turning, Linus Pauling, and Freud. They were good, not great like Newton. There are many noble prize winning scientists, but when they give Al Gore and Obama the Nobel Peace prize it kind of lowers that value of that organization. And winning an award they give out every year no matter what also does not mean that year was great just the best for that year.

      October 20, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
      • Well Duh

        Newton believed in alchemy.

        October 20, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
      • ScottCA

        Thomas Edison,:Niels Bohr, Steven Hawking. Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins.

        And Einstien

        "Einstein expressed his skepticism regarding an anthropomorphic deity, often describing it as "naïve" and "childlike". He stated, "It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I feel also not able to imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere. My views are near those of Spinoza: admiration for the beauty of and belief in the logical simplicity of the order which we can grasp humbly and only imperfectly. I believe that we have to content ourselves with our imperfect knowledge and understanding and treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem—the most important of all human problems.""

        These are just a few that come to mind immediately.
        I could type hundreds of others.

        October 20, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
      • Joey

        Of course, for the vast majority of history saying you didn't believe in god would get you killed. So, maybe they didn't actually believe in god, and just said they did to keep from getting executed.

        October 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • a reasonable atheist

          Hypatia, Giovanni Bruno, Galileo Galilei, ...

          October 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
        • a reasonable atheist

          Giordano* Bruno, oops

          October 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Opposing View

      What nonsense. Any religion that is not "faith-based" is not a religion at all. For that which is seen is not faith...

      October 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
      • ScottCA

        Yes A non-faith based religion would be better termed a philosophy. Such as Spinoza's Philosophy of the rules that govern the evolution of the universe.

        But this deep meaningful philosophy and search for meaning in our finite existence, can be very meaningful and could be considered poetically spiritual, although of course understanding that there is no such thing as a spirit, but using that term to express the emotional impact one feels from understanding.

        October 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
        • Opposing View

          ScottCA... You stated, "although of course understanding that there is no such thing as a spirit,"..

          Why do atheists always say things they cannot prove and have no knowledge of? And then have the nerve to speak about it as fact. You have never seen a spirit. Nor do you even know whether spirits exist or not. So just say "you don't know" and leave it at that. And stop trying to pretend you're more intelligent than you are by speaking of things you know nothing of.

          For your information yes, I have seen an actual spirit – multiple times – and I know they exist. I've also seen demons from the pit of hell (I even had a conversation with one) so I know they exist...

          October 20, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
        • ScottCA

          We say spirits do not exist for the same reason that we say 6ft tall blue closet monsters do not exist, because there is no evidence of their existence. Cognitive Science has thoroughly debunked the ghost in the machine theory; their simply is no evidence to support it, and worse yet there is no need to evoke the existence of a spirit or soul to explain anything.

          To believe in either the 6ft tall blue monster in the closet without evidence, or the spirit or soul without evidence, is an act of insanity.

          If you believe you are seeing ghosts or spirits, or worse believe your actually talking with them, you need to seek a qualified psychologist to help you with you schizophrenia, as you are having acute symptoms of a mental severing between your mind and reality.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
  6. Doris

    Christian7: "And indeed it was not by accident that the greatest thinkers of all ages were deeply religious souls.” Max Planck

    Of course this is a grossly exaggerated generalization and assumption. What's more interesting is how the great scientific minds wrote about God or not with regard to mysteries they solved versus mysteries they could not solve.

    As astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains, throughout history most of the great minds give virtually no mention to any god for their discoveries and explanations. (Ptolemy, Isaac Newton, Laplace, Huygens, Galileo.) That is, until they reach the problem they feel they cannot and will never fully tackle. Dr. Tyson demonstrates this with writings from the great minds in his talk "The Perimeter of Ignorance".

    Perhaps that is all God has ever been – a placeholder for discomfort or frustration over the unknown; an excuse of last resort when, for one reason or another, one gives up investigation. It is at that point of discomfort over the unknown when one should remember what humanity has already witnessed: that today's scientific explanations were often yesterday's gods.

    October 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • ScottCA

      The god of the gaps. Of course that's all it is, just the voicing of human ignorance.
      There is absolutely no evidence to support the existence of any deity.

      October 20, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
      • Christian7

        The end result is that atheist and agnostics have a higher suicide rate than religious people. I command you to go into denial.

        October 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
        • Well Duh

          Please provide data that supports this claim.

          October 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          C7 will not be able to support the calim. Try as you might, you may find that it is true that on the surface, there is a higher level of suicide...but it that the only factor....no, of course not. There are so many factor s involved that it is impossible to say why it is, but that won't stop the christians for trying to use it as a reason to "believe"

          October 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • Steel On Target

          Oh? Do people who commit suicide often fill out your questionnaire? Ever wonder if they were committing suicide to get away from the rantings of the religious?

          October 20, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
        • ScottCA

          "Suicide risk is strongly associated with mental illness, unemployment, low income, marital status, and family history of suicide."

          Note that atheism is not within this list. Atheists tend to populate the higher percentile of the IQ scale, and fair quite well in the socioeconomic scale. Not belonging to the high risk percentiles.

          Supportive social interaction can be a mitigating factor for suicide, but in no way shape or form does this need to be from a religious group. Social interaction can be from any social group to have the same impact of mitigating risk of suicide.

          The lie that Atheists are more prone to suicide is one the religious have perpetuated for centuries.

          Psychology does not agree with that assessment.

          October 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Bill

      What you are referring to is a God of the gaps. If you are like me, every scientific discovery will just lead to a deeper understanding of how God designed the universe. All physical phenomena can be explained through science given enough time.

      October 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        Bill
        "If you are like me, every scientific discovery will just lead to a deeper understanding of how God designed the universe"

        Or...
        How there are no gods, and we get a better understanding that the universe was not designed.

        October 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Christian7

      Who contributed more: Neil deGrasse Tyson or Isaac Newton to science and human understanding?
      Newton.

      In fact, Newton contributed more to science than all teachers you have ever had + all that Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson contributed to science and all atheists you have ever met. That Isaac Newton wrote this:

      "Atheism is so senseless & odious to mankind that it never had many professors." - Isaac Newton

      October 20, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • Well Duh

        Newton believed in alchemy.

        October 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
      • Steel On Target

        I don't think you even know what your arguing about anymore.

        October 20, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        People who professed to atheism were often killed, or banished by the loving christian religions.
        I fail to see what bringing up OTHER peoples thoughts are, as if their OPINION somehow makes god more real.

        October 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  7. eddie hurley

    God's bible is a love story you will never know what it means until you fall in love with him

    October 20, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Well Duh

      Deuteronomy 21:18-21

      “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.”

      Can you feel the love?

      October 20, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      What if I don't find him lovable?

      October 20, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
      • Krishna

        Hi 🙂

        October 20, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Steel On Target

      Two chicks at the same time.

      October 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
      • a reasonable atheist

        You don't need a million bucks for that.

        October 21, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Well Duh

      Leviticus 21:9

      "A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death."

      October 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Well Duh

      Numbers 31:15-18

      15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people. 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      October 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  8. Wachet Auf

    This guy's problem is the same faced by all thinking people who have been born into a "herd". The herd ruthlessly enforces strict complicance to its rigid ideology (whatever it may be) by imprisoning its sheep with the heavy use of shaming techiniques. Shaming is effective due to the powerful roles played by the unreasoning parts of the brain, the primitive lizard and emotional elements of the brain, and its common and effective useage by our parents, our teachers, our politicians and religious leaders. The herd is the most powerful force in our world. Religion is especially powerful because of the role it has played from the time that man began to inquire about the mysteries of the universe. Religious men, beginning with the primtive tribal shaman, sacralized their primtive unreasoned concepts to prevent any one from questioning their powerful positions. Thay have called it blasphemy, always punishable by death or at least ostracism from the herd. That is what this guy fears. He should. Threats of death and ostracism are powerful incentives.

    October 20, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • JJ

      Love bombing is another method to ensnare the vulnerable and once ensnared, you're expected to participate in the ensnaring of further victims, and so on.

      October 20, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • WA

      This guys real problem is people like you who don't have a clue what this guys problem is, and yet he has to find a way to interact with you.
      Aspergers is a real condition. His brain and mind do not work the same as the average person. Not worse, not better, just different.

      October 20, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
      • JJ

        Right. And when you introduce religion and attempt to indoctrinate such a person it's abuse and like throwing gasoline onto a fire.

        October 20, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  9. Em

    Thank you so much for putting my feelings into words. I don't have Asperger's, but I do have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and chronic depression & anxiety. I also grew up in an evangelical church. I always felt like an outsider and I still do. When I was younger, I suffered so much anguish over the state of my soul and whether or not God loved me – and I worried that I didn't love him enough. The same words from Jesus that comfort you also give me great comfort. You may feel different from others, but you're definitely not alone.

    October 20, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Well Duh

      So you find a comforting passage in a book, and thus you decide that it's entire contents are true?

      October 20, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Steel On Target

      " but I do have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and chronic depression & anxiety."

      Ever thought it might have something to do with all that evangelicalism?

      October 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • JJ

      Then the last thing you need is a bunch of insecure delusional Christian fanatics telling you anything. Run away as fast as you can and save yourself.

      October 20, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
  10. Brent

    Inspirational & uplifting, even for those who may have a struggle in faith.

    God meets people at their greatest point of need.

    Your point about your relationship with Christ is well made and on the whole, a riveting read. Thank you, Brant Hansen!

    🙂

    October 20, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  11. debbie338

    I guess I must have Asperger's, because I would feel like an alien at a revival, too. Come to think of it, any logical person would.

    October 20, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  12. Bootyfunk

    spock would only go to church to tell the people there that they are in a cult, believe in magic and should rely more on cognitive thinking.

    October 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Christian7

      "And indeed it was not by accident that the greatest thinkers of all ages were deeply religious souls.” Max Planck (Founder of Quantum Physics)

      "I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily."– Isaac Newton

      October 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        shows how very difficult it is to escape cult brainwashing. especially in the past, as persecution was what you got if you pushed your naughty scientific ideas - Bruno, Galileo, etc. today, scientists are among the least religious people in the world.

        October 20, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • denstre

          Well said, BootyFunk, intelligence or IQ is not in and of itself an indicator of "right" religious thinking. Thinking logically as well as from the heart, who believes in a God where fear and persecution are (or were) required? But there is a scriptural character whose methods better resembled that style.

          October 20, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Christian7

          "The book of nature which we have to read is written by the finger of God." - Michael
          Faraday

          "God our Lord is God indeed." - James Clerk Maxwell (Maxwell equations)

          October 20, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
        • Well Duh

          Christian7

          These quotes you are posting bear no weight, they provide zero evidence for your God.

          October 20, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
        • Christian7

          Well Duh, I promise you will not be given proof of God until you are judged and it is too late. You will not enter heaven because someone has given you any proof.

          October 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • Quick, beam me up Scotty

        It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (Albert Einstein, 1954, The Human Side, Princeton University Press)

        October 20, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • Christian7

          “You may call me an agnostic" "I am not an Atheist" - Albert Einstein.

          October 20, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
      • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

        As the primary source of funding, it's no wonder great scientists pandered to the religious.

        October 20, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
        • Christian7

          So you are saying they pandered to themselves?

          October 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • Steel On Target

        Neil deGrasse Tyson: The Perimeter of Ignorance

        [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1te01rfEF0g&w=640&h=390]

        October 20, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
        • Christian7

          "I just want to do God's will." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

          October 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  13. Grampa

    Well, Brant, did it ever occur to you that if church seems illogical to you, you just might be right? I don't have Asperger's, but my reaction to church is pretty close to what I imagine Mr. Spock's would be, hence close to yours. If you're unmoved by anything beautiful, that really is sad and I feel sorry for you. But if it's just church music and sermons, you haven't missed much. Move on and find other beautiful things to appreciate. There are plenty out there, if you have the capacity.

    October 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  14. Rhonda

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Lots to think about.

    October 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  15. J

    I get tired of society labeling anything that is not exactly the norm a disorder or disease.

    October 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      We are all different to infinitely varying degrees .. I'd like to see a definition of "normal".

      October 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  16. Linda

    Mr. Spock would find the Christian belief system interesting but not logical.

    October 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • JJ

      He would find it something only barbarians would partake in.

      October 20, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  17. jamesbradfordpate

    Reblogged this on James' Ramblings.

    October 20, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  18. Mike

    Considering Lenoard Neimoy is Jewish I don't think he would be going to church any time soon. As a Jew I find this story offensive

    October 20, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Jesus Christ Son of God

      As a human, I find religion a security blanket for the insecure.

      October 20, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Check

      Mike,

      The reference in the article is to Mr. Spock, the fictional character - NOT the person who acted the role, Leonard Nimoy.

      October 20, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • Jesus Christ Son of God

        Spock isn't real? I know god isn't real, but didn't know Spock wasn't. Bummer.

        October 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • Check

          Mike's preposterous inability to distinguish fantasy from reality has been voiced over and over and over again (30 times? 50?) on these comments. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, though, considering these folks' thinking that fantasy ideas about the universe are real!

          October 20, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Em

      The author isn't talking about Leonard Nimoy – the actor is talking about Spock. Spock is Vulcan, not Jewish.

      October 20, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
  19. Steve

    He's a good looking guy.

    October 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • I know right?

      Spock has always been hot.

      October 20, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
  20. Denstre

    The author should go to belief.net, take the short questionnaire, and discover which faith would be better aligned with the style that God has fashioned him for. I am already certain he would fit in with Unitarian Universalism, where skepticism is welcome in everyone personal search for truth and meaning.

    October 20, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Brycat

      Biblical faith isn't something that we pick to fit us. It isn't an outfit we try on to see how it looks and feels. Biblical faith, Christianity, is based on the foundation of Truth. We don't get to decide what Truth is. God does that, and He expressed His truth in His Word. The church often screws up God's Truth. This article points that out in glaring details. Clearly some evangelical churches fail. But that doesn't mean that we can jump ship and decide our own truth, like the unitarian universal denomination which believes that someone doesn't have to believe in Christ to be saved. This denomination believes in many religions, in many paths to salvation. Christ's own Word's will not allow His followers to believe this. "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Light. No one comes to the Father [to salvation] except through Me." (John 14:6)

      The idea that we determine our religious faith based on our personality traits, our strengths and weaknesses, our personal defects, is diametrically opposed to what Scripture teaches. Rather, we bring our weaknesses and defects to God, who accepts us on the basis of our faith and cleanses us with His Truth. Man's truth may comfort the skeptic, but it will do nothing to heal the soul. This young man found His comfort by immersing himself in the Gospels, not by denying them.

      October 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
      • denstre

        I'm not saying we pick a faith to fit us. I'm saying God has provided a great variety on the faith menu. That found in the Bible is but one sliver of all the God has offered to us, and it's a denial to God's will to limit ourselves to less than his plan for us. God didn't make everyone the same to be able to make sculptures or compose music, etc., and s/he doesn't make us all to fit in the same faith mold, not even the heritage of our families. By your logic (Spock, where are you?), the Bible would engender one brand of Christianity only. Thus, logic suggests the Bible is supremely flawed, or that the truth is closer to my menu analogy.

        October 20, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          A question and a comment,"Denstre":(1)When you speak of"God",exactly who are you referring to?(2)There is no such thing as a"brand"of Christianity;that is a man-made construct engendered by the rise of denominationalism.True Christianity IS simply Jesus Christ as He lives in His people,no more,no less.Peace & Love IN HIM!

          October 20, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
        • G to the T

          "True" christianity would be following the religion as taught by Jesus (i.e. apocolyptical judaism), NOT the religion Paul made ABOUT Jesus.

          October 21, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
      • Greg

        The old testament is best looked at as a collections of parables intended to teach religious principles. There are some truly ghastly stories in there that are clearly immoral by modern standards. For example read 2 Chronicles 25:12 at what the army of Judah did with its prisoners and try to defend it. God sanctioned this? This is holy scripture? Do people actually read this book or are they just regurgitating what they are told during services? The new testament is more valuable as a portrait of the life of a great religious mind who was far ahead of his time. However the 4 gospels don't always agree. For example read all of the versions of the Sermon on the Mount and tell me whether: those who are not with you are your friends or your enemies. The majority says that they are your friends, but John would have you believe that they are your enemies. Which one is it? As they are fundamentally different, which version do you believe Jesus spoke? I have heard both being preached in my lifetime. Socrates had one the best religious statements of the ages: There is only one good knowledge and one evil, ignorance. Ignorance causes needless harm which is why the sciences do a great deal of good. Otherwise there would be no earthquake proofing construction in California. Religions that revile science are spreading ignorance and doing the devil's work by causing needless harm. A progressive religion should embrace science and learning as a means of getting closer to understanding God's true nature. Not all scientists are atheists, and in fact most are not. Atheists are true materialists as far as I can tell. If you hope to be saved after your life is over, it would greatly help to have faith in what cannot be seen, has not yet been measured, yet can be sensed by many. Otherwise life is just about collecting and consuming as much material for oneself as one can before death, which is final.

        October 20, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
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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.