June 18th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

My Take: How should Christians respond to the oil spill?

Editor's Note: Jonathan Merritt is the author of Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet. He blogs at www.jonathanmerritt.com.

By Jonathan Merritt, Special to CNN

What was your first response when you got news that a catastrophic explosion had caused a leak at a BP oil rig? Did you grab your wallet and bemoan the impending gas price spike? Or did you shrug your shoulders because you didn’t think it would affect you? The worst environmental crisis in our nation’s history has elicited a gamut of responses from Americans—especially Christian Americans.

Unfortunately, most of their responses have been wrong.

For nearly nine weeks, hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil have been gushing into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico every day. Eleven men and untold numbers of marine wildlife have died. The already suffering people in the Gulf region are looking at an even dimmer immediate future. And an entire summer tourism industry on which hundreds of communities depend has been nearly destroyed. BP is now in a full-on panic, and the Obama administration is increasingly frantic as it scrambles to keep the president’s approval rating from slumping into the oily abyss.

The Christian community, in which many remain skeptical of the environmental movement, appears to have come down with a case of PR schizophrenia, with reactions ranging from complacency to indignation. Most of their responses leave us asking: How should Christians respond?

An overview of those responses so far:

Ignoring it. Perhaps the most confounding reaction coming from some Christians is apathy. Many Christians seem unconcerned with what is going on in the Gulf, or at least preoccupied with “more important” political issues like Arizona’s new immigration law. Searching the web sites of major Christian groups for “oil spill” returns few or no results.

Capitalizing on it. Some Christians, particularly those who have taken a laissez-faire approach to environmental regulation in the past, have seen this tragedy as an opportunity to attack the President. Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council and the Traditional Values Coalition have both lobbed bombs, and Sarah “drill baby, drill” Palin has been clobbering the administration everywhere from Fox News to Facebook. They are hoping to tar this administration with the legacy that Hurricane Katrina left for the Bush administration.

Apart from being inflammatory, this tactic is distracting. In his book Ecological Intelligence, Daniel Goleman argues that responding with anger to the BP situation actually subverts the changes most of us long for:

By imagining some disembodied power that has victimized us – "those greedy corporations" say – we avoid having to examine our own impacts. It's a convenient arrangement, one that lets us deflect our discomfort at facing the ways in which we add to the onslaught against the natural world.

These folks smell blood, not oil, in the water. But in their desire to tear down the president they are actually harming us all. Rather than attacking others, perhaps we should look inward at ourselves.

Extolling it. According to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, about one third of America’s 60 million white evangelicals believe that the world will end in their lifetime. Some of them, it seems, believe the oil spill is a sign of the end times. As Lisa Miller wrote in a recent Newsweek article, “A growing conversation among Christian fundamentalists asks the question that may have been inevitable: is the oil spill in the gulf a sign of the coming apocalypse?”

One Louisiana Pastor named Theodore Turner told CBS he was sure of it. These Christians are so focused on future prophecies that they aren’t helping solve our present problems.

Prayerfully Mourning it. As the slick spreads and the situation worsens, a few Christians—most surprisingly, conservative evangelicals—are responding with prayer, contrition and a reconsideration of their environmental positions. These Christians realize that the world needs a thoughtful Christian community that helps the hurting, protects God’s creation, and cares more about people than politics.

An example of someone who got it right is Russell Moore, Dean of the School of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He visited the Gulf region and responded tearfully on his blog:

For too long, we evangelical Christians have maintained an uneasy ecological conscience. I include myself in this indictment . . . Because we believe in free markets, we’ve acted as though this means we should trust corporations to protect the natural resources and habitats. But a laissez-faire view of government regulation of corporations is akin to the youth minister who lets the teenage girl and boy sleep in the same sleeping bag at church camp because he “believes in young people.”

Rather than ignore the situation or channel his energy into a political attack, he paused to mourn the loss of life, pray for the hurting, and reconsider his own positions. Moore continues, “Will people believe us when we speak about the One who brings life and that abundantly, when they see that we don’t care about that which kills and destroys?”

With the precision only a pastor and theologian can achieve, Moore hits the Christian community in the heart. How can we expect people to believe our message of hope and life when people see us responding to devastation with apathy, self-interest, or fanaticism? Should not our callousness be replaced with compassion, our apathy with action?

Now is the time for the Christian community to open up our deep coffers and provide assistance to those in need. We should spend some of our political capital to call politicians to the table to implement safeguards to prevent another catastrophic oil spill. Individuals should pray, churches should send cleanup teams and all of us should reflect on those habits in our lives that have contributed to this mess.

If Christians fail to rise to this occasion, Americans won’t only lose faith in big corporations and the ability of the federal government to manage environmental crises. They’ll lose faith in us.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jonathan Merritt.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Environment

soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Shawn

    Harper: Even 3rd century Christians knew the difference between actual dialogue and puerile ad hominems. Do you?

    June 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  2. riverrunner

    how about if solid rock church take the quarter million dollars slated to rebuild the touchdown Jesus and use it as you suggest?

    June 18, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  3. jonathan

    I admit it. as far as the oil spill is concerned I have been completely complacent..Unmoved, but somewhat disappointed that the the attempts to stop it has taken so long...However I will give you a little bit of What God has given me; I usually don't cast my pearls before swine ; but since this is a religious blog....I can't do it...sorry...This I'll share instead, it is my own opinion on Christians. Our business is to seek God's face ...We each have a particular job to do, purpose to perform. nothing is more important.........

    June 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  4. jim

    Well I think man is an amazing thinker and will dissassemble his planet for his own purposes, to extract the fine minerals and oil and exotic gems and radioactive elements so that he can put them to use to better his life or to enrich himself or to make life easier. But he will damage the planet and contaminate his environment as a result becaues of the greed of some, perhaps many. Christians know that the planet is heading for destruction, according to the Bible. How this will happen is not perfectly clear, but there surely will environmental catastophies that are either man-made, natural, or from God. While Christians are not happy with BP they know that these are only the beginning of birth pains.

    June 18, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  5. Eric Nelson

    Bravo! Thank you for sharing! I'm a Christian Scientist and have been impressed with the response of many of my fellow church members. For a sample of how the teachings of Christian Science apply to this type of situation, you can check out http://bit.ly/7SvvyH

    June 18, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  6. jim

    I'm sure most Christian have a clear understanding of the Bible and its origins and clearly understand that the Old Testament is the Hebrew Tora. How many versions of the bible there are doesn't really matter so long as one keeps going back to the original or close to manuscripts. New archeological finds, e.g., the dead sea scrolls, continue to validate the truth in the Bible as a historical books of unprecedented accuracy.

    June 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  7. jim

    WOW that's messed up man. I hope you don't really believe that.

    June 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  8. Geoffrey James

    An oil spill the sign of a coming apocalypse? What next? The chestnut blight as a sign of the coming apocalypse? How about the extinction of the snail darter? Unbelievable that anybody could be so stupid as to think that something as minor as an oil spill (with 11 deaths) is some kind of sign of the world's end. Look, you idiots, in the 14th century, the black plague killed a third of all the people in the world. Many people were sure it was the end of the world. It wasn't. Until something bigger than that comes along, how about you give it rest, OK?

    June 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
    • Joel3

      Who said it was the end of the world? I don't recall any comments implying such.

      June 18, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
    • Valkyrie88A

      It is getting quite annoying. I especially like it when "it's the Apocalypse" is coming from Christians (I don't know too many people of other faiths, but I would guess they are doing the same thing. Don't they know they are basing this off of a long dead pagan culture (It's the Mayan culture where the calendar ends in 1012).

      June 18, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
    • Paul Ronco

      I am not an end-time scholar or armchair philosopher by any means, but the correlation between the oil spill and Revelation 8:8 is, quite frankly, alarming.

      June 20, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
  9. Umme Omar

    It is a very thoughtful article. Kuddos to jonathan. He is not bashing Christians. He is talking about Christians becasue he is Christian. I am a Muslim and when I was reading it, I was reading it 'Muslim', I am an American and my parents are from India. I was reading it 'Amercan' and I was reading it 'Indian'. We are all in this situation together and we should solve it together. I also believe in God and He did this for a purpose. It is time for us to humble down and check what we have been doing to cause this. First of all, we should stop making BP, Obama or anybody else a fall guy or an escape goat. We are all very addicted to oil. We should be nicer to earth than this. Try to explore green(er) energies. Connect with God, ask for His forgiveness and spend more money on His needy people and less on luxuries including heavy cars.

    June 18, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
    • Valkyrie88A

      I agree. I'm amazed by how many self proclaimed "good Christians" do so little to actually try and make the world a better place. I always thought that is what Jesus was trying to do; show us that there is a better way to view humanity and the world than an us vs them mentality. Unfortunately it hasn't taken hold with nearly anyone simply pointing the fingers at everyone else and no one really trying to reach a common ground where everyone can prosper.
      How can people who claim to believe in God be so callous toward the degradation of his creation (man and planet)?

      June 18, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  10. Hal Barbera

    More Christian bashing from the left! Your take that Christians are especially ignoring the issue is truly absurd! Where are you getting your facts?

    June 18, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
  11. Shawn

    Jonathan, this was a thoughtful article. Although an old-school Christian, I believe that what people see in the Evangelical movement (some of responses you listed and especially the over-politicization of everything) is not what it would have responded historically (cp. early America).

    On the other hand, this event has correlation to the tower of Siloam (Lk. 13): all disasters are God-given times of reflection. And for those outside of Christ it is always the same message: if Americans do not repent, we shall likewise perish.

    June 18, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  12. xinlaw

    I really hate to burst your bubble, you obviously spent alot of time researching all this stuff, and alot of it is true, you still missed some things, no more like reasons for the unresponiveness. First, tell me, other than prayer, what exactly are Christians suppose to do. They have 25k of people working on the spill, so are they suppose to drive there to watch them work, because they have more than enough people to work on this, the primary reason why it continues to get worse is because the leak has NOT been fixed. Let alone the fact that handling the oil, even with all precautionary measures taken will still end up making you SICK AS HELL, so are they suppose to go commit suicide, or put themselves in a position where BP, fed govt. nor their health insurance is going to pay even one dollar in the medical care they will need after handling the Oil?

    Oh, I know, donate money would work right? Yeah our govt. and BP has done such a marvelous job spending money given to them, that we are simply foolish not to trust them. (SEVERE SARCASM WITH THAT) Need I remind you BP decided to hell with spending a little over 500k to fix a problem that could have prevented this leak, they didnt want to throw away that much money. Let alone the fact that there have been so many catastophes and disasters within the US and other countries from some of the MOST EXTREME displays of Mothernatures wrath all witnessed within an unprecendentedly short time line, along with a sick economy, are somehow suppose to be capable of donating money every single time?

    Not to mention the fact that from the get go BP and Obama said BP will pay for EVERY DOLLAR lost from this, so if BP pays 100% of the bill, then were does ALL the donated money go? Is the extra money going to be given to BP? Going to be taken by the fed. govt. to pay for stupid crap like a bunch of freaking rope bridges in Arizona? Or do politicians simply pocket the difference?

    Perhaps, you want them to drive down there to spend their money to keep their economy going. SERIOUSLY, spend their annual vacation time, ALL the money they saved to take their family on this vacation. All the way to a beach, that they will have to stay at least 1/4 of a mile AWAY from to not get poisoned.

    Oh yeah, you mentioned 'prophecies' and how because of them evangleistic christians do not see the point in helping. Seriously, get real you need to go ahead and take the time to go to youtube and watch the videos there. 30% is BS, but the rest is disturbingly plausible. Before you say its just another Y2K, you are so wrong, its not even funny. Never before, and I mean NEVER BEFORE, has so much coincidental information from all facets of life come together, even I can not dismiss it. Talking about religous prophecies from several religions, 'supposid prophecies from ancient prophets', prophecies from virtually all ancient civilizations talkiing basically about the same event and time, ancient tablets, Sumarian, containing FACTUAL historic knowledge, which points to the same event and time. But what puts it over the top is the fact that SCIENTISTS, with NOT opinion, but with FACTS along with the evidence to back it up, are warning us of some extremely difficult times that can potentially fullfill these doomsday prophecies. In particular is the predicted, monumental increase in solar winds from our sun, combined with the fact that our Magnetose sphere is fluctuating in a manner showing all the symptoms of pole shift, along with the fact that if it has holes in it, like NASA has observed, the solar winds will cause a disaster, that will make this oil spill look like a papercut. Now, I am not saying the world is going to end, that is a stupid way to look at it, because if the world is going to end, then what the hell is the point in even worrying about it? What I anticipate is a huge increase in nature disasters, primarily earthquakes, floods, and volcanic activity, all of which will force us to put our petty differences aside and work together to make it through. If you still think I am crazy, please explain why they built the seed bank, where they did, and in that manner? Why are billions of money being spent making small underground cities from ALL of the 'big boy' countries? Seriously, where do you think all that stimulus money that was suppose to be used for construction and infrastructure fixing went?

    Damn it, sorry for ranting I should NEVER do posts when I have been drinking.

    June 18, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    Organized religion will eventually destroy this planet and everything on it. If you think the oil spill is a scourge, it pales by comparison, to the damage religion is doing to the world.

    June 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • jim

      You just might have something there. Not the part about religion but about organized. Organized crime, organized governments, organized financial systems, organized police. It's the organization that is the culprit, because much power can be wielded by those in control.

      June 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  14. righteous-in-Christ

    Praise God, Glory to God!!!

    @ JOEL3 – You are blessing me so much! Keep preaching and teaching in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Bless you!!!

    June 18, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  15. haha oh wow

    in before "stop using wikipedia you are wrong, here's a quote of scripture from my book, haha checkmate".

    June 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  16. Bonk

    It's a shame prayer hasn't done any good for the oil spill. Guess god doesn't want it fixed. Or maybe his prayer hotline is all backed up.

    June 18, 2010 at 11:50 am |
    • Joel3

      Hey Bonk- How's it going. From my experience with God this is how I feel about the spill and this country. And don't worry I'm not going to get all radical on you like how I was messing with those people yesterday...Honestly, America has been blessed for a long time and we have become very "comfortable" with our lifestyle and having everything we want at our disposal at all times. However, during our journey (the ups and downs) we have forgotten about the people who have nothing, and have been on a selfish route toward world domination, and let's face it, we have killed many people over the control of natural resources (like oil). Now it says clearly in the bible that God doesn't change. He is the same God now as He was then. It also says that God hates sin, and it's pretty obvious sin has run rampant in this country especially with the invention of the internet and our children are lacking guidance even more in 2010. Now, if we reap what we sow (as a country) and we take an honest look at the type of seeds we've planted (or sown) especially in the last decade, then what else should we expect but the very things that are currently happening before us? The entire world is looking at MILLIONS of gallons of oil leaking out of our waters even after we invaded another country so we could have more. We have certainly reaped what we've sown. Not only that, but while America is taking it's hands away from God, He is in turn taking His protective hand away from our country. This country has done some things we are not proud of, but we can't expect to walk away without any kind of repruccusions. That would be foolish. But again, I'm not trying to push any viewpoint on you, I'm just giving you the perspective of someone who seeks God, and has studied His ways.

      June 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
    • Idealsnotblindfollowing

      BP is not an American company. Thus I do not correlate how this is getting what we deserve. Did the British have it out for us or did God send them on a holy mission to destroy our environment? A crusade mind you. Plus this oil will/is caught in the loop current and circulate at least into the Atlantic- also don;t forget about Cuba and the Caribbean; I know this may be new information since it is science related and that is an evil concept because it makes sense of our world. So by this synopsis America gets what it "deserves" and the world ecosystem pays for it?

      June 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
    • Joel3

      Ideals – You're getting way too analytical. We have yet to see where the oil goes and how or if it affects other countries. However, the British were on board with both wars and our quest to control oil dispursion. And if this leak affects other countries, that would create more tension between us, wouldnt it? Thus further isolating America making us more vulnerable. Let me put it plainly, what goes around comes around. We are feeling the effects of our own bad decisions like any country, or individual person would.

      June 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
    • Lola

      The sad truth is, we in America are fin fact reaping what we have sown. The rig accident was a direct consequence of our nation's dependence on oil, and of our elected government (current and past) catering to the oil lobbyists. Furthermore, the elected government allowed dangerously deep offshore drilling, with lax enforcement of regulations. That british company was allowed by the US to make some poor decisions that adversely affected our country. We in America keep buying stuff, buying gasoline-powered cars, buying, buying, buying. The reaction to BP rig aftermath is a mirror to what's in our hearts. Is it self-centered greed? Apathy? If so, why not make a change?

      Has anyone where checked out StoryOfStuff.com ?

      June 20, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  17. harold

    Johnathan, thank you for your thoughtful commentary. Our world desperately needs folks like you and Russel Moore to inspire thoughtfulness and good will in a religious enviornment fouled by fanaticisn, opportunism and apathy.

    June 18, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  18. Lori

    Christians, or people of any faith, should be saddened by the spill because it is hurting God's world. We should all be doing whatever we can, whether it is donating money or helping with the clean-up on the beaches. And of course we should pray. Pray that the cause of the explosion is found out and that those who are guilty are adequately punished. Pray for the families of those who were killed. Pray for the families in the fishing industry make it through. Pray for the creatures of the air, earth and sea are not as bad off as we had originally thought or that if they do suffer for long. Pray that the Gulf can recover from this. Most of all we should pray it never happens again.

    June 18, 2010 at 10:07 am |
    • Lou

      I never understood how people mumbling to themselves(prayer) in a totally different part of the country/world is going to help anyone. prayer is something for the people who want to act like they helped, but in reality did nothing except talk to their imaginary friend and held their hands reallly hard. Every religious person has a different opinion how "god" works, and they all think they are right. millions of people say god causes and has control over everything in the world. So why would anyone pray to the god who caused the earthquake, hurricane, or tornado. it just makes no sense. if you want to help get off your ass and DO something. theres 40,000 religions in the world what makes yours right.

      June 18, 2010 at 10:38 am |
    • Joel3

      Lou – Prayer is very effective and powerful. Especially when a group of people pray together. Please read the following piece of scripture:

      Matthew 18
      19"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."


      June 18, 2010 at 10:46 am |
    • Reality

      Matt 18:20

      "For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."

      A single attestation in the NT and therefore historically unreliable. Most contemporary historic Jesus exegetes have concluded said passage was simply more embellishment of Jesus' biography.

      Ditto for Matt 18:19.

      June 18, 2010 at 11:22 am |
    • Joel3

      Reality – With all due respect these verses are very true. You can find your proof by inquiring with others in the faith who will tell you that when they pray together amazing things occur. This is the PROOF you are looking for. You wont find it in Wikipedia, but rather by putting your prayer in action, especially with others.

      June 18, 2010 at 11:43 am |
    • hurp

      >prayer in action

      but prayer is the lack of action. One pair of hands holding tools gets more done than a thousand pairs of hands clasped together in prayer.

      June 18, 2010 at 11:55 am |
    • Reality

      If prayer of anykind were effective, there would be no disease, no suffering and no poverty. Since there are diseases, suffering and poverty, prayer is simply wishful words with no meaning.

      June 18, 2010 at 11:58 am |
    • Bonk

      So what happens when two people pray for opposite things? Whoever loves him more wins? Whoever god loves more wins? It has no reason or logic whatsoever.

      Honestly, you should pray for us to see god and jesus' wisdom and understand his word.
      If we convert to christianity, it'd seem like your prayers worked.
      If we don't convert, it'd seem like your prayers didn't work, or even more, god didn't want us to understand it. Even though I figured he did.
      If, like you said earlier, "The enemy loves confusion, it keeps things under his control.", with his assumably meaning satan, then wouldn't god be able to clear up the confusion? Can he not do it? If he can't clear up his own word for me because satan is too powerful and keeping it locked in confusion, then why would I ever follow the clearly weaker 'supreme being'? If god can't beat satan, then why would I even follow god in the first place? Guess he did make a mountain so high he couldn't even climb it.

      June 18, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
    • Joel3

      I understand you guys have alot of questions. Believe me, I was in your shoes and was a HUGE skeptic just like you all. I wanted proof right now, not later. I wanted to know why God allowed certain things to happen which in my mind, didn't seem right or fair, but within the big picture of His plan, which we don't always understand, all work toward the greater good of His people. I am a fairly young believer (32), and when He opened my eyes I was filled with an urge to teach as many as possible who are just like I used to be. When it comes to prayer, it is simply a conversation between you and God. Just like we are conversating right now (minus the internet) you speak to Him and let Him know what's on your heart. Just keep it real and be honest, don't hide anything because He already knows you better than you know yourself. Prayer is not meant to be used to run down your wish list, He will take care of those things on His own because he already knows your desires. Just put Him first. However, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. We all struggle, and He is there to sustain us. One thing you will begin to see is that He is always right on time. but here's the thing guys, you have to take the first step toward Him in building a relationship. If you sincerely seek Him He will start to reveal Himself to you based on your own personal situation. Just don't be demanding like your the master and He's the dummy. Humble yourself, and let Him in your life. As a new believer, I can honestly tell you your life will change for the better, and He will give you a peace inside of you like no other.

      June 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
    • Idealsnotblindfollowing

      Joel my guess is that something traumatic happened to you or you and that event was probably a factor of your own inability to control yourself- drugs, alcohol or just lack of determination in general. What you found is a group of people that "accept" you because they have to, they taught you about god and now you can go on living your life not really having to think about how to act or what to do because "it's all taken care of". I bet you don't have a productive job that contributes anything tangible to the economy or humanity- and no your missionary "work" doesn't count since that is just pressing the concepts of your blindly followed and ill gotten "faith" on others. Instead of answering the tough questions in life by facing them with perseverance, determination, intelligence and actually having to work at it- we can just submit to control (religion). Religion was one of the most effective control mechanisms in history- nations were built on the "loyal" followers.

      June 18, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • Joel3

      Ideals – Your answer is none of the above. Nothing tragic and no addictions. I simply chose to take the leap of faith on my own and found something we are all missing. My experiences when I was younger are probably no different than the average person. That's another myth. Most people who seek God are no different than you until they allow God to do His thing in their life. It's so simple, yet so hard to accept with all the noise around us.

      June 18, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • Packysama

      Joel, prayer may or may not have it's value. I think the reason you come off as not making a valid point is that this scripture paired with the fact that the Gulf oil spill is still not resolved makes you look blind. There have most certainly been MORE than two or three individuals praying for a quick resolution at any given moment and in who knows how many churches. Yet it still continues. I don't believe that God has anything to do with the spill and the the spill has more, in fact, to do with human greed and an inability to prepare for any eventuality when big profits are at stake. Your faith is commendable but I'm not sure that you don't take things a bit too literally.

      June 20, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  19. Reality

    God (if there is one) was not involved in the oil spill/leak. Therefore, why would Christianity be involved except maybe in cleanup assistance.

    As per the famous contemporary Christian theologian, Edward Schillebeeckx:

    Christians (humans) must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history" .

    "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human
    activity there is possibility of free choices.

    Therefore the historical future is not known even to God; otherwise we and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings. For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women."

    June 18, 2010 at 9:49 am |
    • Joel3

      Reality – God is fully in control of what is going on right now, what has already happened in the past, and what is to come. He is the end from beginning. The Alpha and Omega. God was able to raise up prophets and instruct them to let the people know of future events because they had already happened. He had already pre-determined it and we are simply carrying out His will whether we realise it or not. Yes, God has His hand in everything, and everything happens for a reason. Please give Wikipedia a rest and pick up your Bible. I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but you are leading so many people even MORE astray with these lies you keep posting. The enemy loves confusion, it keeps things under his control.

      June 18, 2010 at 10:26 am |
    • Reality

      Joel3, Somethings to think about:

      “I believe the Bible is inspired.” “Why?” “Because it says so.” Would your
      anyone let that logic pass if it came from the followers of any other book
      or person? “I believe x is inspired because x says so.” Fill in the blanks:
      x=Pat Robertson
      x=the ayatolloah Sistani
      x=David Koresh
      x=the Koran”

      more “logic”?
      “I believe there is One God Jehovah because He is revealed in the infallible
      Bible. I believe the Bible is infallible because it is the Word of the One God Jehovah.”

      June 18, 2010 at 10:43 am |
    • Frank

      Joel is cuckoo.

      June 18, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
    • Charlotte

      Any God that could create heaven and earth could give humans the brains to realize they are destroying something precious and ought to get off their fat, lazy, complacent and self-righteous backsides and fix the problem that THEY have caused. These dimwits who claim that God will take care of the spill or that God WANTS us to destroy helpless animals (on whom our entire world depends – guess what, morons, it's all tied together ) is actually the Devil Incarnate rather than a good Christian. People who are determined to keep us addicted to fossil fuels are evil and should be killed. Preferably by a slow poisoning just like these poor animals are suffering. That would be God's justice.

      June 18, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  20. Scott

    The organizers and speakers at the rally repeatedly refuted the court’s claim of racism in the segregated Emmanuel school and among the Charedi populace at large.

    Who can claim we discriminate against Sepharadim, when we study their great commentaries? demanded Rabbi Yosef Efrati.

    The leaders of the rally also led the protesters in songs from the Sephardic liturgy tradition, though the vast majority of the attendants were Ashkenazi men, both Hassidic and Lithuanian. Sephardic supporters were sparse, but one of three Sephardi fathers in route to prison addressed the audience on behalf of the parents.

    “I’m going to prison with my head held high,” “We will all do as our rabbis tell us, and only they will take care of the education of our children that we are leaving behind.”

    “I’m here to protest the High Court of Justice’s disrespect toward the generation’s greatest rabbinical sages and leaders,”

    What a great Kiddush Hashem that will pave the way towards Moshiach.

    June 18, 2010 at 6:23 am |
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About this blog

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