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Soccer team 'not about winning'
August 16th, 2011
10:20 AM ET

Christian pro soccer team: ‘Scoring souls, not goals’

By Elizabeth Johnson, CNN

Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) - With 12 minutes left in the game, the Charlotte Eagles are losing 2-0. The North Carolina humidity hangs thick in the evening air. The home crowd becomes restless as the opposing team's goalie blocks kick after kick.

But the team gets a big break in the 78th minute and scores twice in two minutes against the Rochester Rhinos. This men’s soccer match ends in a tie.

Did God bless the Eagles with those goals?

“I don’t think God cares if we win or lose,” Eagles captain Josh Rife says, shrugging.

Coach Mark Steffens agrees: “Our No. 1 goal is not winning games. Our goal is to bring glory to God.”

It’s an unusual stance for a sports team, but the Eagles aren’t just any soccer squad. Members of the United Soccer Leagues’ 12-team professional division, they’re the only ones who say they care more about Christian values than about winning.

The team was established in 1993 after a “sports junkie fell in love with God,” Eagles co-founder Brian Davidson says. But if he was going to continue being involved in soccer - where he saw players cheating and sneaking fouls past referees - he needed to find a way to live out his faith on the field.

He had two goals for his ministry. First, teach men to live for God on the field by playing fair. The second: Send team members into the community - both locally and “to the ends of the earth” - to teach impoverished children and refugees about soccer and to use the sport to attract people who wouldn’t normally visit church.

Like any high-level competition team, the Eagles have regular practices. They sweat in the scorching heat. They win games. They miss goals. They hear lectures.

But the organization also focuses on character by investing in the players and the community.

Steffens, Eagles coach for 15 years, uses what he calls an “in-reach” plan, mentoring and building personal relationships with the 26 athletes on his squad and setting up accountability groups within the team.

“My ministry is to grow 26 guys into men,” Steffens says. “Men who do the right thing.”

That goes for both on and off the field.

On the field, the men are expected to be above reproach. They know better than to tug on an opponent’s jersey, run out the clock or take a dive to fake a foul. As Christians, they say they hold themselves to a high standard. They challenge each other to work harder and play better.

But is that enough?

Some observers say Christianity and sports are a questionable mix.

Shirl Hoffman, author of “Good Game: Christianity and the Culture of Sport,” says Christianity teaches “peace, humility, putting others before yourself,” while athletes are often more willing to cheat, hurt their opponents or take credit for their accomplishments.

“Sports don’t develop character,” Hoffman says. “They teach you to be selfish.”

Rife, 31, an Eagles captain and a midfielder for nine years, disagrees. He says there is a common misconception that Christians should be meek or passive. There were times when Jesus displayed meekness in his ministry, he says, but other times when he was confrontational.

Rife argues that sports are the “greatest teacher for wrestling with one’s faith.” Learning to strive together for excellence and unity in a competitive, challenging environment can help players grow and deepen their beliefs, he says.

As for whether God cares if a team wins or loses, he says that “isn’t a biblical view.” He cites the book of Job, in which God let a righteous man lose his family, livestock and health. God cares more about the bigger picture - the response of a man’s heart, as he did with Job - than he does about making sure they look good, Rife says.

Eagles co-founder Davidson says he realizes there may be few examples of godliness in professional sports. But like Rife, he says there are opportunities in a game when “we as Christians can live out our faith” - such as responding with grace to a ref’s bad call.

And when an Eagles player reacts to such a call with anger? Davidson knows it will be a learning moment and an opportunity for the player’s faith to grow. There’s a lot of grace and forgiveness in the Eagles’ locker room.

“We’re OK with failure,” Davidson says. “We just want to grow from it.”

Bob Schindler is a former pastor and current vice president of church mobilization for Church Sports Outreach, an organization that helps churches use sports as a tool for spreading the gospel. He believes the sports realm has strayed from God’s intended purpose, but that the problem is limited to selfishly motivated individuals. Competition itself is not the problem, he says.

A key question from the Christian perspective, Schindler says, is whether there was competition in the Garden of Eden.

If the answer is no, then sports are a result of sin, and Christians should not partake in competitive activities.

But if the answer is yes - as he believes it to be - then Christians can take part in competition if they use it for the glory of God.

“The whole point of sports is to draw the best out of your teammates and opponents,” Schindler says. “I see that as very compassionate and grace-filled.”

The word “competition” is derived from the Latin “competere,” which means “strive together,” Schindler says. But he says athletes are indoctrinated with a self-glorifying mindset that has corrupted the word's original meaning.

Aware of the problem, Steffens, the Eagles' coach, regularly talks to his team about it.

“Guys, it’s not about you,” Steffens tells his players. “It’s about putting God first.”

During one pregame chapel service - a regular feature in the team's locker room - speaker Sam Blumenthal, a local businessman, reminds the team of this principle: It’s about “scoring souls, not scoring goals,” he tells them.

Through prayer - before and after each game - the team refocuses its attention on God.

“I think most high-level athletes pray to God for good individual performances and for their team to win,” Steffens says. “Our main prayer before games is for God to grant us strength and wisdom to play fair and Christ-like."

After the game, the team prays for its opponents and thanks God for the results, regardless of the outcome.

“We honor God whether we win, lose or draw,” Steffens says.

His players feel called by God to play for this team and want to “keep the main thing the main thing,” Steffens says. “And the main thing isn’t winning.”

“Priorities are well set and kept,” says goalie Eric Reed, 27. “It’s about living the gospel in a broken world - like in any job.”

The Eagles’ ministry can be seen in various ways around Charlotte, through weekly soccer camps, church involvement and inner-city ministry - as well as in their overseas tours.

This year, six players will travel to Trinidad to play soccer and do service work in the community. The team traveled to Jamaica last year, playing high-level opponents as well as spending time at an orphanage and a delinquent center.

Other recent destinations include Nigeria, Ethiopia, Colombia, Laos and Thailand. The team members who travel each raise a couple thousand dollars for the trips, believing they are preaching sermons through the way they play soccer overseas.

Locally, four players and two staffers have moved into four urban neighborhoods to lead the Urban Eagles, an outreach program directed at kids living in low-income housing.

“We’re a family,” Eagles forward and Urban Eagles volunteer Ben Page says. “The Lord has created this culture of love and acceptance, and the kids have responded.”

Page, 26, lives in Grier Heights in east Charlotte and has worked with the Urban Eagles since January 2010. Through this work, Page said he has realized that the unconditional love he is developing for the kids “is the love God has for me.”

In addition to soccer, the kids are taught basic manners and respect for one another. They learn how to struggle through difficult times and work hard.

“The world says they’re a statistic,” Page says, “that they’ll go to jail, or won’t graduate, or will cause trouble.” Urban Eagles teaches them that God has a plan and a purpose for their lives by pointing them to Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

“My goal isn’t to see their behavior change,” Page says, “but to see their heart change. And the fruit of a heart change is a behavior change.”

Page has played for the Eagles since 2008. He considers the team a training ground to learn how to care for others and find joy and purpose in investing in eternal things, such as sharing the gospel of Jesus with others.

“This environment where we’ve been coached by men who love the Lord - we’ve been cared about as people instead of just players,” Page says.

It’s an attitude that he hopes to pass along to the kids he works with off the field.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • North Carolina • Sports

soundoff (1,195 Responses)
  1. Hypatia

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!

    August 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  2. Stefanie

    It's freedom of speech people. I cracks me up when Christians are talking about something it's the end of the WORLD! This in no way is shoving religion down anyone's throat. They are simply telling their story of THEIR soccer team. For all of you who are upset about this article, why did you continue reading it. I didn't like the article about Zen parenting in a magazine I got about child reering...gues what??? I DIDN'T read it! What a concept. If you don't like an article stop reading it. Not hard. The article didn't say, "ALL SOCCER PLAYERS MUST BE CHRISTIANS OR THEY WON'T GET TO PLAY." Give me a break people. It's funny to me how anything 'Christian' raises so much emotion in people that they feel the need to attack. In my opinion, you might need to look into that. HOLD your emotions now, I'm NOT telling you to convert to Christianity. I'm just saying that if one gets SOOO upset about an article like this, maybe they have some issues of their own that needs working out. Reading your hateful comments about something as simplae as a Christian soccer team have truly made me laugh out loud...and then feel a little sad at how angry you all are about something so little :/

    August 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  3. CrO9710inKC

    I think this story is great. Why do people care so much and/or have a problem with this? They aren't cramming anything down anyone's throats. They are serving communities in need. All you who are criticizing, how oftern are you working with under privileged kids in the inner city? Allow me to also point out the hypocritical double standard. Why is is wrong for Christians to be open about our faith and have our views, but it's apparently ok for the critics to be mean spirited and degrade Christians? I am pretty sure that is hypocrisy defined, is it not? Don't get me wrong – there are some whackadoodle "christians" out there, but that is true for any belief set, including atheists. Please get over it, and stop being critical of those who are actually doing good.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  4. Free Thinker Seeking Reason

    For all those who are criticizing atheist replies, do you even realize that once again CNN has setup another theocraptacular cage match by putting this psychotic piece as a lead news story? A lot of us don't actually seek out this drivel, rather we are upset to stumble upon it when looking for actual news. Please, CNN, stop aspiring to be Fox News 2.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Mike

      CNN seems to be pretty smart to me. Every time they place an article like this on the front page it generates thousands of comments, meaning thousands more page views. More page views means more revenue through advertising. CNN plays into the fact that Atheists and Christians can't stay away from debating each other. Whether it agrees with your belief system or not, it's smart business as both you and I were drawn in.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  5. great

    this is gross. Kind of makes my skin crawl.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • ReadyourBibles

      is that right?

      August 16, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • CrO9710inKC

      Why? Godly men playing a sport with integrity and good sportsmanship, who also travel and help people in poorer areas of our country and the world make your skin crawl?

      August 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  6. NJBob

    If these guys insist on practicing their religion on the soccor field, I should be able to play soccer in their church.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • ThereIsNoGod

      Agree.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • CrO9710inKC

      That makes no sense. The soccer field is an open forum.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Stefanie

      DO IT! I know they'd let you!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • NJBob

      @CrO9710inKC - No, the soccer field is for soccer, not religion.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Elcor

      I'm excited for the Jewish and Muslim and Catholic teams now.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • ReadyourBibles

      @NJ.. and vice versa..

      August 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • J.W

      Its their soccer field. They can use it as a church too if they want.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • CrO9710inKC

      @NJBob, so you're saying that soccer players can't be Christians, or Jews, or Muslims, or Atheists (which is a form of religion, really)? Just because they say it openly, that doesn't make it any less a field of sport. I don't think they run around throwing Bibles at people on the soccer field. They simply play with a high level of character (which non Christians can also do, of course) because Christ has commanded such and they hope that through their efforts they will be able to share their faith. Nothing overly religious about this.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Stefanie

      hmmmm...you DO know that Catholics are Christian, right Elcor? Lack of education at it's best.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  7. howie

    I find this story both hilarious and disturbing

    August 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  8. ShakingHisHead

    Oh this takes the cake: "to play fair and Christ-like." Either you compare yourself to Christ, then you are prideful and arrogant. Or you refer to Christ's career as professional athlete. Can't remember just now who he played for. But the team colors were kind of white and flowing jerseys, footlong garb. Must have been outdoor sports in the northern regions, snow related maybe?

    August 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • dan

      "Christ like" That will mean "no selfish".

      August 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • CrO9710inKC

      All that means is that they will play honestly and with integrity. Simple as that. Don't interject something that isn't there.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  9. gpl2032

    What is with CNN and Christianity? It seems you guys find every little issue with anything that is Christian related. Yet when there is any hint of terrorism or killing you guys are so Quick to defend the religion of peace Islam. I just read a story the other day from the NYT's regarding a football team and muslims in Dear Born PA practicing at night because of Ramadan. Do you see the parrellel? On one hand you question Christianity and on the other you ignore the muslims in Dearborn Pa.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • beelzebubba

      ummmm, what's your point? First muslims infiltrate soccer teams, then it's only one step to world domination? Do you vote?

      August 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  10. jdcarnevale

    As an Atheist I actually have no issue with this. It is a private organization, those on the team have a choice to be members if they wish, I would guess they get no federal funding. All this fits right in with freedom of religion. We in the Atheism community have to stop attempting to destroy religion, all we can do is educate and if it takes so be it, if not, nothing we can do… you cannot force people to believe as you do.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • CrO9710inKC

      Great thoughts. I am a Christian and you are an Atheist. See people? It's possible to agree and get along!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • dan

      That was pretty nice of you to say that... "WE cannot force the people to BELIEVE as we do"

      August 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • jdcarnevale

      It that sarcasm Dan? Cause if it is you lost me.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Free Thinker Seeking Reason

      Sorry, but having major news organizations irresponsibly proselytize for mass delusion doesn't exactly help the sorry state of affairs, either. Being quiet about our opinion on this idiotic bronze age mythology psychosis is not the answer.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • jdcarnevale

      Never said to be quiet... I am not. I comment on these things all the time and I am a member of the Center for Inquiry, so I have skin in the game. Problem is that when people get on these forums and call people idiots and such because they believe in what they believe it turns us into "the bad guys" and our message gets ignored as hate speech. There are other ways of changing the dynamic of this, my point is pick your fights.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • dan

      No really. It did draw my attention – it was nice put.
      Although it seem to be a parallel since Christians "Believe" also Atheists "Believe" –

      August 16, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • jdcarnevale

      Got it Dan... then thanks and the play on words was purposeful.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • MomOf3

      You're very wise! I wish more on both sides would listen and learn.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • jdcarnevale

      Thanks Mom. 🙂

      August 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Free Thinker Seeking Reason

      @jd
      Your point is well taken, but don't dismiss other, less accommodationist, approaches as unhelpful. I, too, belong to several major secular groups, including CfI, and yet I still greatly admire the methods of both Dawkins and Tyson, Harris and Shermer, etc., the point being that the former in those pairs are more "strident" and the latter are more "accommodationist". Rather than get mired in the whole DBAD internal squabble, figure out how all peaceful approaches can complement each other to reach common goals, because the angry and frustrated among us who feel intellectually debased by this dangerous irrationality are never going to be content to watch such foolishness further lower our collective societal IQ. There is a longterm benefit to the literalists feeling cultural pressure to conform to more rational, less delusional beliefs over time. It admittedly won't help the true die-hards, but it might persuade a lot of the softer believers to think more critically and eventually see the rationality of our arguments. Again, rather than take sides on DBAD, appreciate all complementary approaches.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Miguel

      "... yet I still greatly admire the methods of both Dawkins and Tyson..."

      Dawkins makes MILLION$ spreading what he believes is truth. If preachers make a little money they are 'preying on the poor.' Tell me again why it's okay for Dawkins and not Rick Warren? It's only wrong if you don't agree with it.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  11. Frogist

    I am genuinely confused about this. I understand wanting to bring some modicu-m of sanity and fairness to sports. It's all steroid use and cheating lately. Not to mention the ridiculous greed! I think a wee bit of fairness, hard work, friendliness on the field, rink, turf, whatever wouldn't hurt. But there is soo much that I disagree with in this article. The team using the game for the purpose of proselytizing to "impoverished children and refugees" is a huge problem for me. That is their stated goal. Not to help build homes, or feed the hungry, or clothe the poor... but to "attract people who wouldn't normally visit church." Really? And yes, I did read the bit on their website where they say they also help provide transport, food for the kids, but that is NOT their stated goal and it seems dependent on whether or not the kids are part of the organization or not.
    And then Hoffman's quote that sports make you selfish. I'm sure many things make you selfish but that's kind of a blanket statement there, isn't it? But the rebuttal by Rife that it's ok to be confrontational as a Christian because he says Jesus was at times, is also baffling to me. I'm not sure what he means by "confrontational." In my experience, confrontational Christians are the worst kinds of people and oftentimes very hypocritical.
    I guess the entire premise that everything must be for "God's intended purpose" so it must be weighed exactly by what's in the Bible is so far-fetched, that I just don't get it. How in high holy hell do you get compet!tion out of the Garden of Eden story? And yes, I read the link. And no, it explained nothing about how playing football fairly where the goal is to win can relate to anything in the Garden of Eden story. There is an awesom parody of Jeff Goldblum's every scientist character in South park where he runs thru this word association of seemingly random list of ideas from something completely unrelated to get to a perfect solution to the problem at hand. That's what that link was.
    Oh and just so we're clear, the islands of the West Indies, including Trinidad and Jamaica have very well developed football traditions. I don't think they need any American team whose only priority is to gain followers to come in and teach them the ropes.
    Despite their goals being very questionable, I hope that the recipients of their efforts get something good out of it, be it coping skills, a sense of fairness, shelter, hope, whatever. I just really question this organizations acrobatic justifications and proselytizing goals.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Dan

      "that's kind of a blanket statement there, isn't it?"

      No more than your rambling diatribe...

      August 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • MomOf3

      I like your 'rambling diatribe'! It shows you are actually thinking, rather than spouting off one-liners designed to belittle.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Mike

      "Oh and just so we're clear, the islands of the West Indies, including Trinidad and Jamaica have very well developed football traditions. I don't think they need any American team whose only priority is to gain followers to come in and teach them the ropes."

      I don't think their goal is to teach them about soccer. It's to use soccer as a platform to teach them about God. Just as baseball players do in the Dominican Republic. Dominicans already know how to play baseball, as evidence by the many in the major leagues, so Christians find a common ground to gain credibility.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  12. Wait

    They go 0-25 every year. Hah.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Will Linville

      they are quite successful, actually. google it.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  13. Tim

    Just curious, are non-christians allowed to play on this team??

    August 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • dan

      I am sure. That always is welcome. Religious people would not like to hang out with "sinners". Jesus was blamed for doing just that.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  14. Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

    I heard somewhere that jesus and his rejects played sports inbetween times of creating their cult

    August 16, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • ReadyourBibles

      Then you obviously heard wrong my sarcastic comrade!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  15. RA

    Question: Does anyone know the difference between Christians, Muslim or Judaism?
    Answer: The spelling!

    August 16, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • David

      I like that comment – If you have no objections – I will use it.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • ReadyourBibles

      I'd like to see your resources!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • dan

      Google it out and make a parralel. It is a difference. Christians have a Saviour and the others try to save them selves (wich is imposible)

      August 16, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  16. bcofchrist

    If I'm not mistaken, God Word states "blessed are those who are persecuted for my names sake"! So yes are there going to be people dissin this team for taking the stance that they did? Yes, but while people hate on them they are getting a cha ching in haven! God Word also states "that if we are ashamed of Him then He's ashamed of us"! Therefore for me and my house we shall praise the Lord @ all times regardless who likes it or not! It's about time that people in the lime light stand up for whats right! Go God!!! 🙂 and for those who want to hate keep gnashing your teeth but know God loves you & so do we! 😉

    August 16, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  17. Charles Ryan

    Center forward: Santa Claus
    Right wing: Pinocchio
    Left Wing: Shrek
    Midfield: Tooth Fairy
    Midfield: Easter Bunny
    Midfield: Pooh
    Left Back: Batman
    Right Back: Spider-man
    Full Back:Ugly Sister
    Full Back:Ugly Sister
    Keeper: Jiminy Cricket

    August 16, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Dave

      Are you serious? Spider-man would obviously be the best goalkeeper!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • o.k.

      A 4-3-3 alignment? Nobody uses that any more. Do you know anything about soccer?

      August 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • MomOf3

      Man...Jimeny Cricket would be slaughtered in goal!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  18. Neil

    "You will be hated by all because of My name" (Matthew 10:22) Every time I read about people expressing their hatred towards Christians, I recall that verse. Interesting that a book written 2000 years ago can be so accurate in it's description of what we see every day.

    "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power. " (2 Tim 2:1-5) Talk about perfectly describing our world today!

    August 16, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • js

      And doesn't the following quote denounce all priests, ministers, and biblical scholars?:

      "Then the LORD said, "These prophets are telling lies in my name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts." ~Jeremiah 14:14

      Technically churches shouldn't even be lead by anybody; only your god can speak to you, not on behalf of anybody else.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • David

      Hey I am waiting for Numbers 31:17-18 to hapen!!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Glorifundel

      Hi Neil,

      I predict that wars will occur in the future. That a large number of people will be killed with weapons. That people will be mean spirited to each other as well. It will happen both when I'm older, and long after I am dead. If only they listen to my own personal good word, everything would be awesome.

      So in 50 years when all of the bad things are still happening, its clearly because you and everyone else didn't listen to my own personal good word. It is the fact that you have not followed my teaching with dedication that everything is not awesome. I mean I said it in the past and it is true (in the future) right? So that totally makes me god.

      You may proceed to worship me now.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Really today, how about 2000 years ago. Keep feeding your ego and self delusion about the "end times". It has been the end times for 2000 years...get a grip

      August 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • David

      A persecution complex from a religion who's main claim to fame was a crucified leader? Shocking!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Lindsey

      Neil; You are correct!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Tony Montana

      Since you want to bring up how accurate the Bible is, let me elaborate on the Bible's accuracy. I am so glad that the Earth is flat. I am so glad that the Earth is the center of the universe. I am so glad that Bible states that their version of a higher being is correct, but every other religion is wrong. Especially Islam, which may possibly have more believers than Christianity. And of course Christianity never makes any threats, especially when they talk about that place known as hell.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Dan

      "Talk about perfectly describing our world today!"

      Not to mention perfectly describing the majority of posters here.

      Too bad they are so focused on riding the hatred bandwagon they lose sight of the fact that the most popular opinion is often not the right one.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Joshua

      @Tony Montana

      "I am so glad that the Earth is flat."

      Isaiah 40:22: It is He who sits above the CIRCLE OF THE EARTH, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

      The bible never says the Earth was flat, that was Christopher Columbus. Please have a valid, researched argument if you are going to justify your points.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Neil

      Thanks for all the comments. For the first 30 years of my life, I was just like you believing that christians were just stupid. Got in many arguments just like you are here. That's okay, when I finally accepted what I read in the Bible, my whole life changed and yours can too. I just pray it will be while you still have a breath. Once you take the last breath, it will be too late and you might be reminded of the day you read this post. At that time, God will ask, "Why should I let you into my heaven?" Do you think your arguments here will carry any weight then?

      The point is that you must "know" him, not just "know of" him. We all know of President Obama but I would be willing to bet that none of us would be invited to sit down to dinner with him in the White House unless he knows you.

      I would rather live my life as if there is a God and be wrong than live my life as if there is not one and be wrong. You all have a great day!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Neil

      Glorifundel

      Valid point. However, have you predicted anything in the past as accurately as the Bible has? Take some time to check out some of these prophecies and in addition to how the bible came into existence. It is most amazing which makes it the most unique book in the world. (Over 40 authors over 1500 years) There is no other book like it.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  19. fvddsf

    Why is this on the front page?? Fvcking Yawn..................

    August 16, 2011 at 11:57 am |
  20. J.W

    If all of you are so mad about this you should go to their game and protest.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • real_personn

      are you kidding! I heard they have the Westboro Baptist church as their cheerleaders!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:08 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.