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. Kenrick Benjamin

    Science for a long time has known that God exist, that is why there is a scientific study of God existence (Theology).

    August 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • ghost14

      Problem is there are Darwinistic Nazi's out there who believe in the hierarchy of race within our species and demand this is taught to our children as something GOOD where teaching equality under our creator is looked at as bad. More backwards upside down ideas from the liberals.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Godwin's Law

      Nazis mentioned...thread closed. Both of you, Kenrick and ghost, off the board right now for one count of Nazi-mentioning and 2 counts of idiocy.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Kenrick Benjamin

      " (Science) for a long time has (known) that 'God' *exists*, that is why there is a (scientific study) of *Gods* existence (Theology).

      Science... which 'science' has known, or claims that 'God' exists...? "Theology" is not a 'science,' as we think of science. Theology(in general) is discourse and discussion about religion, usually referring to Christianity.

      Until you can 'prove' that their is a God and it exists, your argument is moot.



      August 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • MomOf3

      Theology is a derivative of a Greek word "theologia" – meaning 'an account of the gods'. It's not the 'scientific' study of anything. And, it is about

      August 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • MomOf3

      Sorry, hit the wrong key! 😉

      It's about the study of the divine, not just the christian god.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  2. Peace2All

    I can understand this soccer teams desire to use the medium of sports to work on and enhance their 'character.'

    What I really don't understand is this incessant need to 'give glory to God' for developing those 'character traits' like "fairness," "kindness," etc... that are traits that anyone can work on, ' without ' having to give credit to a God or Deity...? Also, realizing that these 'character traits' didn't just pop into existence when Jesus allegedly walked the earth. People of antiquity, long before Jesus in society, strove to be better people... without a Deity or the Christian God version in particular.

    Add to it, apparently, this seems to be yet another 'marketing' tool to try and spread the 'word of God,' when in reality... it's just a bunch of guys using the medium of a sport to develop and express certain society-based 'honorable' and worth-while character traits and behaviors.

    No... God or Jesus is needed for one to work on one's self or to demonstrated these societally acceptable character qualities and traits.

    I just don't understand this, I mean more power to them to work on themselves, but 'no need' for a God to be involved to act in honorable ways. (IMHO).


    August 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • ghost14

      Liberals have to ask themselves if they like teams of one player outshining the other players through selfishness and ball hogging, and hot dogging, or if they like their teams to be great teams, that work together and always pass the reasons for victory to someone else or something else besides or beyond their own ability... it creates humility and humbleness that is lacking in liberal players.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Peace2All


      " (Liberals) have to ask themselves if they like teams of one player outshining the other players through selfishness and ball hogging, and hot dogging, or if they like their teams to be great teams, that work together and always pass the reasons for victory to someone else or something else besides or beyond their own ability... it creates humility and humbleness that is lacking in liberal players. "

      "Liberals"...? Seems that you are confusing political ideologies, vs. theological ideologies. Aren't there "Liberals" who are also "religious"... or i'm guessing from your posting... "Christian"...? Of course there are.

      Now, as for the rest, i really don't understand the rest of your assertions...?

      Are you suggesting that the only way to develop "humility" is to believe in a Deity/God...? This would be fallacious, if that is what you are inferring.

      So, if you make it back here, I would love to hear more specifics on your assertions.



      August 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • sam

      ghost, all you're doing is proving that your definition of liberal is 'things I don't like'.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  3. Jehovah

    Most people are gonna die at armaggeddon, Jesus words not mine, most are on that wide and spacious road, most don't even know gods name much less honor it

    August 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • roumen tomanov

      I am not kissing anyone's ass, god or otherwise. This is reserved for losers without self-worth like you.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Castiel

      You should change your screen name before He smites you for blasphemy.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Les

      There are no -places in the Bible that forbid us mere mortals from taking the name of a deity. I'm surprised those with the given name of Cristos and Jesus haven't reacted to your uninformed opinion of using god's name. I for one am very comfortable with Jehovah. He is the only ancient mountain storm god in Mesopotamia still worshiped by a large group of people. The People of the Book> Jew, Christian and Muslim. That is quite an accomplishment considering the millions of people each of these groups have mur-dured in his name. It is a miracle that anyone survived their combined on onslaught through the centuries.

      August 16, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  4. Nic

    This is not news

    August 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  5. Trent

    Why do these religious people make it their duty to convert others? Keep thine religion to thyself.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • chris

      because, if what we Christians believe is true- and I believe with every cell in my body that it is- we have a moral obligation to warn every human being we can about the wrath of God that will fall on those who reject Him. We also must tell of the mercy that this same God will show to those who surrender to Him. As a Christian, to leave non-Christians to their own beliefs and not share with them the love of Jesus is akin to discovering the cure for cancer and not telling anyone. Our listeners often reject our message, but their blood is off our hands if we tell them the Good News.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • david roux

      Because otherwise we would be inauthentic to our faith which calls us to invite people to know Jesus. I thought, in today's world, authenticity and being true to who we are (christ followers) was valued. If we weren't true to ourselves and our belief system, wouldn't that be more of an issue?

      August 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • david roux

      Oh, I will say this....I think we as Christ followers have done a poor job in our ability to communicate what we believe. I think that's what's truly been offensive to people. We don't try to truly get know other people and have healthy discussions about spirituality. Of course, we can do everything to be as respectful as possible, people will still be offended. In that case, there may be something else going on like some sort of pain or simply not liking the message.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Toby

      . Your favorite sfitjuication appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people think about worries that they just don't know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

      April 3, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
  6. Mark

    Religion is EVIL. Those who believe in it are morons who can't think for themselves and are a scourge to the rest of the human race. The world would be a much better place if it we all just stopped encouraging this asinine belief.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • chris

      so, you are an atheist and/or an evolutionist? (an assumption. forgive me if i'm wrong) Did you come up with that idea by yourself, or did you hear it from another person? If it was taught to you, does that mean you are not thinking for yourself? Come on, everyone believes in something they learned from another person. Atheism is a belief system, just like Christianity. the difference is, atheists don't care what happens to peoples' souls after they die; Christians do. Hence evangelism.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Semper Fidelis

      Mark, Mark, why are you SO angry? Good grief, why would it matter so much to you that people believe in God? There must be a deep underlying reason otherwise your anger is irrational.
      Whatever it is I'll say a special prayer for you today.
      If that makes you angry, tough luck. I just said 5 for you before I posted. Peace,

      August 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  7. kcpaulski

    So, can a Jewish player join the team?

    August 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • ghost14

      Why would you think he wouldn't??

      August 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • holyfrak

      A better question is, can any non-Christian join the team? And the answer is maybe. If if the organization will tolerate your presence and you can deal with always hearing how your religious practices are not going to get you into heaven.

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

      Trade 'jew' for 'liberal' and ghost will tell you why not. LOL

      August 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Evan

      They make sure people are Christians before they hire them, because the goal of the team is to share Christianity to others hiring some one isn't a christian or is not strong in their faith would defeat the purpose

      August 16, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  8. ralphinator

    i feel sorry for atheists. the ones i know in my life are quite miserable and love to bring others down so they can feel better about themselves. no thanks, ill pass.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Bored with religious nutters

      Another Christian liar. You don't know any real atheists, ralph.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Lance

      Not all of us. I lead a great life, have a good job, a wonderful spouse, a circle of great friends, am financially stable and am otherwise physically, mentally and spiritually satisified with an optimistic and adventurous outlook on life. I lead a blessed life, and if it does turn out that there's a God or gods out there, then he / she / it / they are certainly smiling down on me even in my unbelief. 🙂

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

      And the proof you have is where? Maybe they seem unhappy because you keep knocking at their door.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • JoeProfet

      Ralph, you shouldn't feel sorry for or pity the atheist. That is a waste of effort. Just knock the dust off of your feet and move on.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Semper Fidelis

      I don't find them miserable, more Arrogant, in-your-face, knowalls who are going to get one shock when they die and meet God face to face. Eternity is unending. Talk about "sell your birthright for a mess of potage"!

      August 16, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  9. JoeProfet

    He he he, out comes the atheists...

    August 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  10. Friedman

    Great article. Working as a missionary with Athletes in Action I really enjoy reading stories like this. To everyone who doesn't understand why we believe what we believe. It's all about hope, not in man but in Jesus, God, Holy Spirit.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Chris

      Great to hear from an AIA staff member! I served as a basketball coach for a men's basketball team to Colombia in 2009. How God uses athletics to share the freedom of the Gospel is quite awesome. Best to you in your ministry, wherever you are!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Semper Fidelis

      May the Lord Bless you and keep you, May He turn His countenance to you and give you Peace.

      August 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  11. Argh

    Actually, Hitler was raised Catholic, and Stalin Orthodox Christian. The God Crowd always loves to assign blame to Muslims when there is a bombing, yet Christians sure killed a lot over the years, too.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Hypochristianity

      On every german soldiers' belt buckle in World War II: "Gott Mit Uns" God is with us.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • arthurrrr

      hey Argh–Hitler an Stalin were NOT Christians. My God ,how can people be so dumb!!!!!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Semper Fidelis

      Hitler was a nominal Catholic who used his religion to further his career – only till he gained power. Then he allegedly dabbled in the Occult to get demonic power.

      Stalin WAS a Catholic. He was an altar server in Russia. Red his history.

      August 16, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Evan

      Just because Hitler and Stalin were raised catholic/orthodox christian doesn't mean that they continued to follow Catholicism or Christianity and it doesn't mean that their child hood religion caused them to commit the atrocities that they committed. And since when have Christians blamed Hitler or Stalin's actions on Islam.

      Also many people in history have twisted religion to get people to do terrible things. IE: Muslim extremists. Most Muslims aren't like that, but a small amount have been brain washed into thinking that they are following their religion

      August 17, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  12. JiminTX

    Baby Jesus cries every time they miss a goal.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Then he gets p! ss ed

      August 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • derp

      Yes, but tuxedo shirt jesus cheers because he is drunk on the sideline and forgot which team to root for.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  13. Jehovah

    Hellfire is a pagan teaching, so is Christmas and explain Halloween to me, I'm Christian but I'm gonna celebrate demons and ghosts and Satan and zombies and all things spiritistic!?!?

    August 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      ...but Jesus was a zombie and you seem to think pretty highly of him...

      August 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • sam

      Lionly Lamb, is that you??

      August 16, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • MomOf3

      Christianity is just magick of a different source. The definition of hocus pocus: unnecessarily mysterious or elaborate activity or talk to cover up a deception, magnify a simple purpose, etc.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Semper Fidelis

      Christianity celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ [Christ means 'the anointed one] hence CHRISTmas. Nothing to do with pagans. Please ,you Pagans, stop highjacking our feast to make yourselves look important.

      Yes we pinched holly and ivy, but that was to weaken paganism by adopting some of their fripperies for our spesial time of the year.

      August 16, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  14. ron

    which god?

    August 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  15. Robert

    CNN opinion writers seem to all be anit-Christian moronic liberal freaks.

    Sports and Christianity are not incompatible and the Bible uses sports related metaphors.

    1Co 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
    1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
    1Co 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
    1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Pastafarian

      absolute gibberish. I interpret that to mean I should really eat more coconuts. That sucks since I don't really like coconuts. Btw, anti-christian and moronic is an oxymoron.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • JiminTX

      The Bible is a collection of fables to scare children and weak minded adults into behaving. Which are you?

      August 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • John _Atlanta GA

      Jesus was a liberal.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • MomOf3

      Only two of your verses are sport related...so only marathoners are mentioned in the bible.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Semper Fidelis

      @Pastafarian – I supppose what you and the others below mean is you don't UNDERSTAND it. Come on man up, admit you lot can't manage more than 4 lines without help from an adult.

      August 16, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  16. Ituri

    Whatever they want to do is fine, so long as they don't pull the typical Christian stuff of asking for money or trying to convert people. Its a game, so they better be prepared to respect the other teams they play with.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Guest

      typical christian stuff? more ignorance.

      I've never attened a church or ognization that asked for money or tried to convert people. If people want to give they will, if people want to convert they will. No one forces them to.

      Stop lumbing up everyone under one umbrella

      August 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Ituri

      And stop pretending your happy-go-lucky experience is the only one. I spent 24 years doing exactly that, as a Christian, before I finally realized how annoyed and frustrating it was for other people what my church promoted. And that was most of the churches doing the same thing as well.

      Religions convert and take. This is what they do, all of them, and pretending otherwise is an exercise in futility. If these guys want to believe a god cares about their preferred sport, more power to them. But keep it in the ring, and no harassing the other teams or spectators.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  17. Jehovah

    Trinity does not appear in the bible. It's a pagan teaching, look it up

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

      but it is all over concept. neither rapture

      August 16, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Friedman

      True. But God, Son and Holy Spirit. 3-in-1 it's not in the bible but does that help?

      August 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Semper Fidelis

      They are mentioned in the New Testament. That's part of the Bible. Jesus isn't mentioned in the OLD Testament because He wasn't born till the New Testament, was He? The Holy Spirit is specifically mentioned at Pentecost.
      So yes, the Trinity IS mentioned in the Bible.

      August 16, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  18. JAM

    I have never felt led to post before, but wanted to thank you for this story! Beautiful message! I pray that you will continue to be bold in sharing the love and grace of Jesus Christ!

    August 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      Please provide a citing from a primary source that Jesus actually existed. The bible is not a primary source as nobody writing in that book actually met Jesus. It's okay, nobody else can either since such evidence does not exist.

      Lack of evidence that something exists in evidence that something does not exist.

      Still waiting for your evidence xtian...

      August 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Pastafarian

      Maybe god should take time off in rewarding goals and clean play and head on over to Somalia where innocent children are dying slow horrible deaths through thirst and starvation.

      Please, some all-knowing jesus person, explain this to me.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • derp

      "Please, some all-knowing jesus person, explain this to me"

      Jeezus hates Somalians?

      August 16, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • Semper Fidelis

      @ Pastafarian –
      [1] St John – the author of the Book of Revelation, was at the foot of the cross when Jesus died! That close enough for you?
      [2] Matthew, Mark and Luke were with Jesus every day right up to the Last Supper. True they hid when Jesus was arrested, [normal human response in dangerous times] but they wrote about what they saw and heard AT THE TIME.
      [3] Peter and Paul [and the others] travelled preaching the Gospel. They also contributed to the FIRST hand messages of Jesus;
      Please don't make statements when you are ignorant of the facts.

      August 16, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Semper Fidelis

      Sorry Pats – my reply was for JAM.

      August 16, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Semper Fidelis

      @ TheyNotHim – I've answered your question below under @ Pastafarian.

      August 16, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  19. Jason

    Facing the Giants It's a movie. Nuf Said

    August 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  20. Marc Boudreau

    I would like all the wonderful christians on this message board to tell me if all the children in eastern africa are thanking god for his influence on their lives...im sure they'd love to thank god for being born in an area that is seeing the worst drought and famine that our generation has ever seen

    August 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Michael

      They're are too busy praying for trivial things like, soccer goals and winning the lotto. Fundies are quite the contradiction.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Hypochristianity

      This soccer team has made it all better, Marc. And God can't be bothered with doughts and cancer and starvation and war and misery when he is too busy watching his soccer team and answering prayers for a new bicycle.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Guest

      .Where in the bible does it say god will give you everything you want during your life on earth? Your life on earth is a test.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Religion is fraud

      @Guest – Jesus says it here: "Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:22-24

      Jesus directly says that your prayers will be answered exactly as you ask them. Does that sound like what you have experienced?

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

      I think it is great that these folks are free of political correctness and still do honorable, respectful things like pray to God. We should pray as a nation for healing as well!! God bless them and all that read this article! In the name of Jesus Christ! Amen

      August 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • JoeProfet

      Marc, droughts are caused by adverse weather conditions that do not promote an environment conducive to growing. As for the famine, that is a result of lazy human beings not feeding those that are hungry. It is only a matter of two things, compassion and logistics. There is plenty of food in the world but there seems to be a lack of human compassion, to enough of a degree where it is ineffective. Also, the logistics haven't been completely worked out because humans are keeping food from the people. I'm not sure where God plays into this since it is the results of human inaction... But, you have to blame someone, I suppose. Can't blame the people responsible...we have to blame God, right? Who doesn't exist, according to atheist. So, what the hell are they/we all waiting for? Feed them, for God's sake!!!

      August 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Semper Fidelis

      @JoeProfet – VERY nicely said. I agree with every single word. I just wish more people could understand the peace that comes from doing God's will.
      They want freedom from God's expectation that we will act responsibly and instead choose a prison of greed and selfishness AND they really believe they've got the best of the bargain!

      August 16, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
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About this blog

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