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January 8th, 2014
08:39 AM ET

Pastor tries atheism, loses jobs, gains $19,000

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - In the past, at times like these, when his life foundered and frayed around the edges, Ryan Bell often prayed for help. But this year, at least, the pastor has resolved not to.

For the next 12 months, Bell says he will live as if there is no God.

He will not pray, go to church, read the Bible for inspiration, trust in divine providence or hope in things unseen. He’s taking the opposite of a leap of faith: a free fall into the depths of religious doubt.

Bell’s “intellectual experiment,” which began January 1, has already borne dramatic consequences.

In less than a week, he lost two jobs teaching at Christian schools near his home in Los Angeles. He’s 42 and has been a pastor or in seminary for most of his adult life. Now he faces the prospect of poverty and taking odd jobs to feed his two daughters, 10 and 13.

“There have been times, usually late at night and early in the morning, when I think: What have I done? It really undermines the whole structure of your life, your career, your family,” Bell said.

But just as the man of God began to despair, he found help from an unlikely source: atheists.

'Suspending belief '

The seeds of Bell’s journey were planted last March, when he was asked to resign as pastor of a Seventh-day Adventist congregation in Hollywood.

He had advocated for the church to allow gay and lesbian leaders, campaigned against California’s same-sex marriage ban and disputed deeply held church doctrines about the End Times.

Eventually, his theological and political liberalism became more than leaders in the denomination could bear, and he lost his career of 19 years. His faith was shaken, and for a while Bell became a “religious nomad.”

On the positive side, losing his church job gave him the freedom to question the foundations of his religious belief without fear of troubling his congregation.

“I could finally pursue those questions that had been bouncing around my head,” he said, while earning money from teaching, speaking and consulting jobs.

MORE ON CNN: Behold, the six types of atheists

Then, after lunch with a friend last year, he thought: What if he tried out atheism, and lived with no religion at all for a year?

“It’s like when you go to a movie and you suspend disbelief for three hours to get inside the story,” Bell said. “I’m suspending my belief in God to see what atheism is all about.”

Bell, who still holds ministerial credentials in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, thought it would be a neat little intellectual experiment.

He would interview atheists, attend gatherings of nonbelievers and read through the canon of skeptics: Friedrich Nietzsche, Baruch Spinoza, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, among others.

When friends got sick, instead of praying, as was once his immediate response, Bell said, he would “do something tangible and practical and supportive for them.”

He would start a blog, “Year Without God,” and write about his faithless journey. Bell thought maybe a few people would read his posts, follow along and offer advice or criticism.

“I didn’t realize, even four days ago, how difficult it would be for some people to embrace me while I was embracing this journey of open inquiry into the question of God’s existence,” Bell wrote on Saturday.

‘We need to talk’

The first signs of trouble came around the turn of the new year, just days after Bell announced his experiment online.

Texts and e-mails arrived from friends, family and colleagues with the ominous phrase, “We need to talk.”

Kurt Fredrickson, a friend of Bell’s and associate dean of ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, sent one of those messages.

Bell, a graduate of Fuller, had taught in the school’s doctorate development program for the past year. But Fredrickson told his friend that his sabbatical from faith meant a sabbatical from the seminary as well.

“From an academic standpoint, and even as a personal journey, I’m really excited about what Ryan is doing,” Fredrickson said.

"There is no honest person of faith who doesn’t have doubts, and Ryan is being courageous enough to take a step back and assess his life. This is bold stuff.”

But Bell’s job at Fuller was to help students through their doctoral dissertations, a particularly stressful time, Fredrickson said, when seminarians need to lean on a person with strong faith.

“They are flying solo for the first time, and we want to not only teach, but to nurture souls as well,” Fredrickson said. “Ryan saying he’s going to be an atheist for a year is a little contradictory to that.”

Fuller would be happy to talk to Bell when his experiment is over, the dean added.

MORE ON CNN: What Oprah gets wrong about atheism

Azusa Pacific University, where Bell had taught intercultural communication since 2011, also declined to renew his contract.

Rachel White, a spokeswoman for the school, wouldn’t comment, saying it was an internal personnel matter. But she said all school and faculty are expected to sign a statement of faith outlining their belief in Christianity.

Also this year, Bell lost a consulting job with a Seventh-day Adventist Church in Glendale, California.

Bell said he bears no ill will toward the church or the schools that let him go, though he wishes they would tolerate, if not support, his atheism experiment. The loss of income has led to some family stress, he said.

“I have kids to support and utilities to pay and the rent is due,” Bell said. “At this point I’m willing to do almost anything.” Bell said he and his wife are divorcing, though not because of his atheist experiment.

Meanwhile, the phone calls, e-mails and texts from friends and family worried about the fate of his soul continue to pour in.

‘A beautiful gesture’

“He learned what it’s like to be an atheist real fast,” said Hemant Mehta, a prominent atheist blogger and schoolteacher in Illinois.

Mehta said he knows many atheists who fear that “coming out of the closet” will jeopardize their jobs and relationships, just as in Bell’s experience.

Mehta said he doesn’t exactly agree with the premise of Bell’s experiment. How does someone pretend to be an atheist? It’s not like a hat you wear to see if it fits. Faith taps into deeply held beliefs and emotions. Even during his experiment with atheism, won't there still be a nagging suspicion in the back of Bell’s mind that God exists?

(For the record, Bell describes his current theological views as agnostic - somewhere between belief and atheism. But he's trying to put that aside for the year to live and think like an atheist.)

Mehta said he admired Bell’s pluck and sympathized with his plight. Though he had never spoken with the pastor, Mehta set up an online fundraiser for Bell on Tuesday. In just one day, nearly 900 people donated more than $19,000 to help “the pastor giving atheism a try.”

“I think more than anything else, people appreciate that this guy is giving atheism a shot,” Mehta said. “I mean, he lost three jobs in the span of a week just for saying he was exploring it.”

Bell said he knows Christians and agnostics who have contributed to his fundraiser as well, so it’s not an all-atheist effort.

Still, he’s impressed that nonbelievers have flocked to help fund his experiment

“It really validates that the (atheist) community is really all about the search for truth,” Bell said. “They know that I might not even end up as an atheist at the end of my search, but it doesn’t matter to them. It’s such a beautiful gesture.”

Will the support tip Bell toward atheism? The pastor is agnostic about that, too – for now.

MORE ON CNN: Can atheist churches last?

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • evangelicals • Faith • Lost faith

soundoff (6,251 Responses)
  1. mandi427

    So he decides to live as though there is no God, publicizes it, starts a blog, then is surprised when a church and a seminary fire him? It never occurred to him that he would no longer be someone that they would want to hold up as someone their students/congregants could emulate? I hope actual atheists are more aware of how the world works.

    February 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
    • urnotathinkerareu

      We are...we seek and demonstrate the truth with evidenced based research and peer review. Our eyes are open and look at "reality" much better than those who have "faith" in an unproven fantasy. When you have been indoctrinated since whenever one tends to look at the world much much differently because it is not THEIR own thoughts or reality that they look out at the world with. They are looking through the eyes of someone else who manipulated the worldview with scriptures that have been proven to be manipulated and even non existent stories with no burden of proof required. To me..that is insanity.

      February 3, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
      • David

        Amen.

        February 3, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
      • Elaine

        What you dont realize is that God is REAL, and does speak to us. We know Him, He knows us,He does talk to us He does answer our prayers In His own time, and He knows who are His and who arent, Ryan is Agnostic, therefore really does not believe in God. so therefore never knew Him.

        February 5, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
        • urnotathinkerareu

          How does one REAL ize that god is real. I REAL LIZE the things that provide me evidence that they are REAL. No one has seen this god ....what does he say to you? In his own time? How does he answer you ? Is his response positive or negative? Tell me how this works please. Give me some examples. How can anyone understand a generalized statement with no content or no idea of what you are talking about? What do you mean he recognizes who are his and who aren't? Did he tell you these things or are you simply "parroting what others have said or what you have read somewhere and believe this without ANY shred of evidence? I really want to know how this works. You cannot simply have "faith" that god is talking to you....maybe it's your own inner voice telling you what you want to hear in a very reverent way. How would you know the difference?

          February 5, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
        • sam stone

          typing "real" is caps does not make god any more real

          February 6, 2014 at 3:22 am |
      • Burned Marshmallow

        I agree with you. As an atheist who is in a school full of religious people, i find it stupid that they will blindly believe what someone told them. God probably started as an old wives tale, and it got out of hand.

        February 6, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
    • Karen

      Atheists already painfully know how the world of believers work. We're generally utterly rejected by faith communities and our bible believing families. Most of us cannot have relationships with people we enjoy or love because believers reject us out of hand. We've all been down this road of "believe the way we do or get out." Gently implied of course, not ever really said. And oh yes, they will tell us, "but we'll be praying for you and really, we love you." but recognize that they are telling us, 'if you're needing our real support, sorry, you're on your own.' Trust that we really know how the world of a bible believer works.

      February 6, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
      • hazelita28

        Let me tell you that just because a lot of people call themselves "Christians" doesn't mean they truly follow what God says and it is a shame that because of people like the ones you describe, a lot of other people choose not to believe in God and the thing is that the Bible teaches to do the opposite of what you say "believers" usually do... I have friends who believe in so many different things, or nothing at all, and just because they don't believe what I believe, doesn't mean I won't pray for them or be there when they need me.

        February 11, 2014 at 10:05 pm |
      • hazelita28

        @urnotathinkerareu
        Some of us just have faith that there is a God, and as hard as it may seem for you to understand that, that's what it is, it doesn't matter if we can't see Him, but we know He is there, how? In my case, I've had tons of things that have happened to me and He has always been there to help me, but one time I was going through a problem, a big one, and no one knew about it, I don't like to talk about really personal things, but this girl whom I had just met once told me that God told her something and it was related to my problem, I knew for sure no one knew about it, I was in a foreign country alone with my husband, so I knew that it was Him talking to me through her. He has spoken to me through other people, through the Bible, through worship, directly to me, and how do I know it wasn't just a feeling?? or my inner voice? because it has happened just as He said it would and because He makes sure that you know it is Him... He has said No to me many times and Yes many other times, you just have to be patient, choosing to follow Him is not easy, your problems wont go away, but it doesn't matter because He is holding you. How He recognizes who are His and who aren't?? because He sees those who truly believe in Him and follow Him. I don't need anyone to tell me what to say, I don't need physical evidence to believe in God, when He talks, He makes sure you know it is Him talking to you, there's no way to explain the experience of listening to Him, you would have to go through it to understand how that works.

        February 11, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
  2. Mimi

    How about donate to babies and kids who are sick and poor. They are all over.

    This man is white and now a single man, he has opportunities bursting everywhere. Not to mention he will qualify for benefits from the state. Don't worry, he won't be poor. When you bargain with Satan he will give you what you want. Then when he is done with you, he leaves you cold naked and desperate.

    I hope he remembers the prodigal son story! God loves you and will take you back, He is waiting with open arms.

    January 30, 2014 at 11:18 am |
    • David

      I know, huh? Like I asked baby Jesus for a new iPhone but I didn't get nothing. So I prayed to Satan and guess what? Somebody leff there Samsung S4 on the bus and now I got it. Satan delivers like what I never seen before! Thank you, Lucifer, or Lou, if I can call you that.

      February 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
      • Dreaming

        It would be interesting to me if you really did pray to Lucifer. I dream about him but he's always off in the distance, one of those dream figures you chase but I never catch up to him.

        February 6, 2014 at 7:27 am |
    • No

      The blindly religious is a group that is dying off. And it's for the best.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
    • Verimius

      When I was a little boy, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised, the Lord, in his wisdom, doesn't work that way. So I just stole one and asked Him to forgive me.

      –Emo Philips

      February 7, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
  3. Angel

    It's very brave to do something like this, especially when your life is so intertwined with you faith. Regardless of what his beliefs are after this "experiment" he will be better person after it is done.

    January 29, 2014 at 8:44 am |
  4. AnthonyP

    I pray that God will grant Pastor Bell grace and extended life to see his 'experiement' through to a positive outcome. I understand his having questions about his faith and spiritual journey. I have had many and continue to have some. If we had all our questions answered there would be no need for God or for faith. But I think God gives us enough answers (through Huis Word, His Son, science , history , nature, etc) on which to anchor our faith. The big and salvivic questions for me have been answered. We are not saved by intellectualism and reason but by faith in what God has revealed trhough His Word and in the person of Christ His Son. I would just suggest that Pastor Bell remember his pastoral and personal discipleship and the basis on which they developed. That foundation should have been Jesus Christ. Not a denomination. All the answers to his questions are in the same place where he used to direct others to as a pastor-the Bible. For his and his childrens sake he needs to reflect on the amazing grace of God that allows him the time and space. to carry out this experiment. Please dont take God's grace for granted.There is a devil who is going all out to destroy lives especially in these end times. His doesnt discriminate between pastors and regular members. Hope this move by Pastor Bell does not lead to people losing their souls or him losing his over an 'experiment'. Time is running out as it was in the days of Noah...I continue to pray for him. God is love....

    January 28, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
    • Mimi

      Anthony, I agree. You hit the bull's eye! Praise God for your understanding. It is encouraging.

      January 30, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
  5. atlvandweller

    I have recently accepted some facts about myself. I am gay and I am an atheist. I was a christian for the longest time and my parents are both seriously devout. I had to come out of the closet twice in my life and I have to say, they embraced me being gay with no problems. But when I told my mom I was an atheist she literally called me "a god hating devil worshiper." When it comes to christianity being an atheist really is worse than being gay.

    January 28, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
    • YouMakeMeLaugh

      LOL! You ol god hating butt pirate you.

      January 29, 2014 at 5:08 am |
    • Larry Bee

      Congratulations on your honesty, both to your self and your intolerant mom. You're in fantastic company, even beyond me...(c;]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_atheists
      Funny, I don't remember any of us just being "struck down" by some lightning in our chair....Atheists are some of the most healthy people I know! Maybe it's from the lack of guilt and stress, worrying over every little thing we do....

      February 8, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
  6. They are seperate...

    The devil is a lie..he comes in all shapes and sizes events..I once was told..its better to believe than not to believe in GOD..if you believe will you be punished? BUT just in case....if you dont is there a possibility that atheism belongs to the devil? He will show you the light in other ways–the trickery of the devil..JOB was tested too! Continue to treat this as an EXPERIMENT.I think this journey would be a great book!...with Chirstian Love-GOOD LUCK–I have nothing against people who do not believe in GOD, they can be very generous community of people. I know some and this is their choice–but when you know the truth its hard to go in reverse.

    January 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • Anthony Crispino

      Of course the devil is separate from anyone else – what are you crazy? My wife's groin doctor knows a fella that saw him walking around over in Elizabeth in broad daylight. Even that judge Scalia says he's walking all over the place for crying out loud. You're right, he is tricky. He can make himself into anything else just like that.

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JuSfRgh0Vo&w=640&h=390]

      January 27, 2014 at 8:49 am |
  7. jrs1972

    Mehta said he knows many atheists who fear that “coming out of the closet” will jeopardize their jobs and relationships, just as in Bell’s experience.
    ---–
    Uhm, I'm not too shy about it at all and have never even once had anything resembling a problem in my entire life.

    January 24, 2014 at 1:25 am |
    • forever young

      you austin,

      pharisees spend a lot of time trying to disprove something.

      especially when you consider they believe it is all a sham, brainwashing, fairy tales, sky daddy, myth, silly, stupid, no evidence of it, only deluded believe, etc.

      January 24, 2014 at 1:39 am |
  8. Like Christ

    I can remember placing other things in fromt of God and trying to exist, it just doesn't work.

    January 21, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
    • YouMakeMeLaugh

      You mean you just needed to talk to yourself...? Ya loon.

      January 29, 2014 at 5:11 am |
    • bushgirlsgonewild

      I know, huh? I tried to put a car in front of god and it didn't work what ever. So I tried a iron chariot like what the old testament describes god couldn't handle, and it worked...He couldn't do nothing. Hhahahahaha, suck on that god!

      February 5, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
      • iron chariot

        The chariot is a symbol it means a journey through life.
        Five horses in front represent five senses.
        It's in a lot of things not just the OT.

        February 6, 2014 at 2:49 am |
        • bushgirlsgonewild

          I know , Huh? 'Suck on this!' is a hyperbole, but I really want you to too. The OT says god couldn't defeat some guys cause they had "a journey through life"? Naaaaa. It's cause they had actual iron chariots and god wasn't buff enough to take them out. pretty simple.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:43 pm |
        • Green goddess

          Iron you are thinking of the Gita not the OT.

          February 8, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
  9. tiki2

    prove jesus isn't. chicken? u should b. no one has. no 1 can.

    y?
    i am the light of the world
    the good shepherd
    bread of life
    the alpha and the omega
    the way
    truth
    life
    the lamb of god
    GOD ALMIGHTY

    I never met him so no, I never had a chance to get that close. Besides, he was Jewish so it would have been hard to be a Christian when no such thing existed. You do know it is 2014 right?

    i understand denying truth, but u r afraid of hell. not i

    January 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
  10. l33ter

    Can you really 'try on' atheism for a year?

    I don't know. But you can make $19K off atheist supporting you.

    January 20, 2014 at 11:43 pm |
  11. Willow

    Some atheists do actually go to church. Not everyone who is an unbeliever is in the position of being able to come out to one's family.

    January 20, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
  12. Salero21

    HAHAHA!!!

    CNN must be a government bureaucracy it takes weeks for them to "moderate" my comments. 😀 😀 😀 However the comments of "atheists" in a "Belief Blog" go UN-moderated.

    Really, really people!! 😉

    January 19, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
  13. PPLRWRD

    So people are shocked that a man in leadership position in a Christian organization advocates being Gay and is fired? That would be like being shocked if the president of GLAD started advocating straight marriages only and was fired. Are people really that ignorant?

    January 16, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
    • Observer

      PPLRWRD,

      No shock that Christians would be upset with him for actually FOLLOWING the Golden Rule.

      January 16, 2014 at 11:35 pm |
      • m1

        Obviously you have no idea what the Golden Rule is.

        January 17, 2014 at 10:16 am |
        • doobzz

          Do explain how giving all consenting adults, even those who believe other things than you, the same rights is not following the golden rule.

          January 20, 2014 at 12:56 am |
  14. Jane

    I applaud the Pastor for not being " blind" in following his faith. In Buddhism, the Buddha teaches that followers of the Dhamma, that is the teachings of the Buddha,should not merely accept his words blindly, without first investigating them , the following quotes by the Buddha,translated ,

    " As the wise test gold by burning, cutting, and rubbing it on a piece of touchstone, so are you to accept my words after examining them and not merely out of regard for me"

    "Do not simply believe what you hear just because you have heard it for a long time.
    Believe nothing on the faith of traditions, even though they have been held in Honours for many generations and in diverse places.
    Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it.
    Do not confirm anything just because it agrees with your scriptures.
    Do not be fooled by outward appearances.
    Do not believe what you yourself have imagined, persuading yourself that a God inspires you.
    Do not accept as fact anything that you yourself find to be logical.
    Believe nothing on the sole authority of your masters and priests.
    But whatever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of ALL BEINGS – that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide."

    With regards to Buddhist view of the God concept, we believe in God as in the heavenly realm of gods, which is one of the 31 realms of existence where one can reborn in, depending on one's karma cultivated. This is opposed to the concept of one creator God where God is the sole, all loving and forgiving creator god. That is how we accept the Newton killing of 20 innocent children as we believe this is due to collective karma of their past lives , not current one where they are just innocent babes. The same goes to explain why there are so many babies born deformed, disabled or live in poverty, suffering from malnourishment in many third world nations. Even if God wants to take all the 20 Newton babes to Heaven,with God's great love , all forgiving and compassion, why put them through so many bullet holes and pain and suffering for that purpose, not to mention their families? Why would God not create every being equal , and not let those innocent malnourished or deformed kids suffer? Even Mother Theresa, in one of her Memoirs questioned that(I cannot recall where I read it or saw it, could be BBC ,National G, or one of the international news magazines). Maybe there is an answer to this which, I, being ignorant of others' faith , is not aware of and not knowledgeable on it. Please enlighten me on this as we are always encouraged to learn more about others ' faith and respect others'.
    I apologize to anyone whose faith I may have offended by writing this mail. Just wanted to express my opinion.
    Thank you for taking the time to read .

    January 15, 2014 at 10:50 pm |
    • nev

      Jane, Buddhism is one of the great religions of the world ,in panthrotheism it is one of all religions that God had willed to serve humans who believes on its doctrine.But since we are all humans ,we have to experience all the trials of life so that in the future when His Will shall be implemented by us ,the wisdom of experience of all religions will be the basis of our decisions.Thats why genocides,wars, ,pestilence,natural calamities,and all what we percieve as injustices,such as tyranny,persecutions and all the negative events in history is part of His will,because in panthrotheism ,there is no devil or satan.everything has a reason.and we have to accept it,Remember that He is not faith selective but performance appreciative,it is the good things you do that He wills.

      January 18, 2014 at 3:13 am |
  15. ven

    no doubt strict science is not compatible with religion,but true reality is not also strictly science.The true reality is both of them,The proven known part is science ,the unproven part is faith.The combinition of the two is reality.That is now the center of the controversy between religion and atheism,and that is very normal and natural process in history,

    January 15, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
    • toquide

      you mean to say that the atheist cause or struggle to deny God ,is just part of the evolutionary process for change and not the end itself?

      January 15, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
      • dev

        in panthrotheism,its all Gods will,delegated to humans,we are all human.so the resolution is in our hands.

        January 15, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
        • Doris

          How does this differ from Deism?

          January 15, 2014 at 10:56 pm |
        • Doris

          Actually – I see no such thing as panthrotheism. Please supply a definition.

          January 15, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
        • dev

          what is necessary and a very important change for us today and the future is our conscience,and this requires global consciousness necessary for our long term needs and survival,we need a faith that will compel us to unite to address the problems of survival,in the future,a few thousand years from now the glacial period cycle is due,earth will no longer be hospitable and we either have to immigrate to other planets or ,develope a system that will protect us,the natural calamities like floods ,typhoons,sub zero temperatures,will become our big problem in the future,so we need a religion that will guide our conscience from simplistic self survival towards a more holistic view of reality.Our oneness with ourselves and Him is the primary tenets or doctrines of this religion.

          January 15, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
        • Doris

          OK, but please define the "Him" for this panthrotheism. How does this "Him" differ from say the Abrahamic God or from say the Deist God?

          January 15, 2014 at 11:29 pm |
        • igaftr

          "so we need a religion"

          Nore false words were never spoken.
          No one needs religion ever. ALL religions are just speculation, and ALL are a source on friction and conflict. Only be ridding ourselves of superst!tions will will free ourselves.
          No one has ever "needed" any religion ever.

          January 16, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • dev

          igaftr,the higher purpose is not religion,but for the good of and survival of humanity,Thats what the God of panthrotheism expects from us,there should be paradigm shift in our teleology or purposefullness of our existence from individualism to holism.One direction in achieving this goal is with philosophy,Marxism did wonders to China and Russian economy ,but not to Cuba and Korea,,because they stick to hard core philosophy,China and Russia restored capitalism,but the process of Marxism was violent revolution, I believe that through religion we can more than achieved our goals of unifying the world and inculcate us the tenets of putting humanity to the pedestal of Gods Will .Though it could be the other way around,Gods will implemented by us humans.The misconception that this is man made buisiness for financial gain might be in the agenda of some enterprising humans, .but i am confident,God is in control,and if He tolerates that ,its beyond our immediate comprehension for the moment.

          January 16, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
    • dev

      to Doris,deism was concieved in the 17th century when the Big Bang was not yet known,it teaches the non interference of the creator or god on our lives,in panthrotheism ,we are really part of Him materially and spiritually,only we have to undergo evolutionary process through nature and also our conscience through His will,this process is not outright simplistic .History had shown this to be very circuitous and because we are His conscious part ,we will be the future implementor of His will ,and this is reflected in history,This is just one of the basic doctrines of it.I am asian ,so the time difference between sometimes affect our lively interactions,sorry for that.until tommorrow,bye.

      January 15, 2014 at 11:34 pm |
  16. red lines

    Interest

    January 15, 2014 at 7:32 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.