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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. lolsigh

    hahahaha christians are so dumb, yes losing will sprea the word of god that is it! lol

    August 16, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Asia Wall

      Have you never heard the old axiom, "It's not winning or losing, it's how you play the game?" Well, these guys are taking that idea to the next level.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • LouAz

      Asia Wall – "the next level " ! That is funny !!!

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

      What an insightful comment lolsigh. You sure are smart.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      the roman catholic church rose to power because they WON wars for rome by putting the cross on the roman's shields. Or at least that was the con.

      I suppose it wouldn't matter if god lost to satan, as long as god was playing a good game.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  2. ThinkAgain

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

    Well, at least he has the proper perspective. I really dislike it when sports figures say that God favored them in the game ...

    August 16, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  3. Dave

    After I posted I recognized how many negative posts there are to this article. So what if people want to use sports to glorify the God whom they believe in? Let them! we live in a tolerant society or at least, that's what I hear all the time from people who think Christians are intolerant of other peopl'e beliefs. Or is "tolerance" a one sided affair? For all you intellectuals out there think about it before you post.

    In any event, here is my biggest concern. This forum as I see, is called "belief blog" where articles of faith and belief are highlighted. However there iseem to be a disproportionate number of postings from people who do not believe. Now why is that?

    I would surmise, If you do not believe, you do not believe...end of discussion!!! But maybe, there are people on this blog who do not believe but are searching...I would much rather go with that theory. I pray (emphasis on prayer) that for all you searchers out there, you will find. After all, Jesus did say "seek and you will find."

    August 16, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Asia Wall

      Good, thoughtful comment. However, don't be quick to assume that the people on here dissing Christianity are "intellectuals."

      August 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • DerpDiggler

      >"I pray (emphasis on prayer) that for all you searchers out there, you will find. "

      Question: If the people who search never find what they are looking for.. does that mean your prayer was not answered? Well, he apparently answers every prayer, just with a yes or a no.. but does that mean he gave you a no answer? Wouldn't that mean god doesn't want everyone to find what they are looking for?

      After all, there are many people, young and old, who aren't finding what they are looking for in life. It can lead to violence, self-injury, and life-threatening to themselves and others. All because they're lost and have no answers. But reading that people 'pray that it's fixed' really stands out, as god is clearly not answers the prayers.

      Some say that the devil has control over the lost people, leading them to do what they do. (sins and such) But it's even 'more' tragic to realize that not only is god not answering these helpful prayers with a yes, and helping, but that he' actually not strong enough to drive the sinful satan's out of these people.

      Which makes me wonder why anyone follows god in the first place if satan is clearly stronger.

      We have lost confused people hurting, killing, being jailed up, ruining lives.. and yet christians instantly go back to celebrating when they here a soccer team still likes him.

      Good luck, soccer boys. Shame god couldn't have helped my dad survive a carcrash last year. Guess he was too busy helping this soccer team.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      the whole point of discussion is to learn and grow from it. To think that everyone can believe whatever they want is fine, to think that everyone can believe whatever they want without any consequences is naive and childish.

      if someone believed they should jump off a cliff to follow god, and the congregation decided to follow this person, wouldn't it be our duty to point out the flaw of their logic and try to stop them?

      It's all very fine when people talk about love and character when they talk about bringing glory to god. What upsets me is when they preach hate against gays, for example, and deny them the right to marry simply because they interpret it from a really old book. Or when they think the answer to our problems is through prayer, and not hard work and knowledge.

      I suppose in the 'real world' we could win wars by simply throwing down our guns and praying? since that's what a good christian would do? or maybe it doesn't matter if we win or lose?

      religion is all good and fun, when they teach fairly good values to people during a soccer game. It changes dramatically when it get applied to the real world.

      If the christian god is so loving, and cares about us so much, and is forgiving, then why did he kick us out of eden? and why did he create a hell? Why did god destroy the most of the world in a flood? Did he really need to divide our languages up so it was harder to communicate because he was afraid we'd build a tower high enough to get to heaven? if so, what does he think about us going to the moon?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Dave

      Hey DerpDiggler,

      Sorry to hear that you dad did not survive the carcrash. But we should not try to pin the blame for that on God. Many atheists ask the same question and I do not know if you are...but it seems strange to me that we refuse to believe, then ask why did he not step in when bad things happen.

      To answer your questions about God answering my prayer...No, is also an answer to prayer but that is not the point!

      The point is those who really seek will find. Because there is something to be found. However, there are many "lost" people who are searching in all the wrong places and the truth is they will never find. It will not stop me praying because I know there are those who will find.

      Remember God gives free will so that means no matter how hard I pray, you still have the choice to not believe.

      When I talk about "searchers" I am talking about the people who are on the site for answers and are not allowing their own ideas, presuppositions and philosophies to blind them. and who are not here simply to make fun of people who believe.

      As long as man is on this planet, wars, will go on, carcrashes will happen, people will die but it does not change who God is and that He loves you and He promises eternal life to those who believe. My mother died years ago but she was a believer so I will see her again.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Semper Fidelis

      DerDiggler – I could pray for you all year, but it wouldn't do a bit of good if you were'nt 'open' to God. You don't have to do much.
      Mother Teresa of Calcutta said: "We can do no great things. We can do small things with great love" We can give glory to God by smiling at a screaming child in the supermarket instead of glaring – better still smile the mom a bit of encouragement! We can say something positive instead of wanting to win every argument
      It makes them feel better; it makes us feel better and it costs nothing

      August 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  4. Matt

    I love when you hear boxers speak out to God for giving them the strength to beat the crap out of their opponent. I think, or at least hope that God has better things to tend to than who wins a soccer game.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Asia Wall

      He does. That's why the article emphasizes that they don't pray to win, that they praise God for the outcome of their games, "win, lose or draw." That they only pray for the strength to play with integrity and fairness.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  5. Cruzader

    The Creator of the Universe must be biting His nails with the results of the games.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • MomOf3

      You would think he would already know the outcome...being a supreme being and all! **wink**

      August 16, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Boney Lee

      well said!

      August 16, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  6. SemperFidelis

    Belief Blog needs to be re-named ANTI- Belief Blog. Every single article is anti-belief; anti-God and anti-personal responsibilty.

    The articles are a disgrace and promote negative views of religion. And this to the delight of the unbeliever.
    Why does it bother you SO much that a group of men offer their lives to God? They play clean, wish their opponents no harm; and are happy whoever wins the match.

    If it's because you Americans HAVE to be first and beat and nobody else matters to you? Or is it because you begrudge these men their peace of mind and gift of faith?
    Either way, it does you no credit.

    They were asked a question – they answered it. Where is this freedom of speech you propose to allow in the USA? Where is the Land of the free?

    August 16, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Arvin Huac

      Actually, it's the crazy behavior of religious people that promotes a negative view of religion.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Dale

      It bothers us that a group of men dedicate their lives to "god" because the bible is a book of myths and no human knows if there is a god or if is does exist that he wants us constantly 'praising' and feeling guilty. Also religion is a great excuse for letting yourself off the hook for harming others. And the fact that religion teaches people to be ashamed of who they are and is responsible for a majority of the wars and violence in the world. That is why it bothers some of us. Any more questions Mr. Delusion?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • suzique

      Well stated. I agree, there is a huge amount of Christian bashing going on here.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  7. Joelle

    This is truly amazing!! Glory to GOD!! This is a true inspiration, I want to share this story with all believers to show them that glory can be brought to God in the most unlikely of situation! "Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Cor 10:31

    August 16, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • clizzy

      Amen! Glory 2 tha King! Clizzy 4 ever

      August 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  8. Jon

    Thanks for sharing this article. It's nice to read about athletes trying to play with fairness and character, which benefits fans and other teams alike.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
  9. Spiffy

    I am an Atheist and I play soccer. Why don't they do a story on me?

    August 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • fheryst

      Because you are an idiot. No one cares about you. Go bak to your cave

      August 16, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Spiffy

      Yeah umm...How did you derive that I am an idiot from my single post on a CNN belief blog? Troll much?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Spiffy

      Oh and back is not spelt "bak" but b-a-c-k. But of course I'm the idiot so what do I know?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • human

      Because you just play like a regular player and there is nothing to write about specifically you.
      Whereas these players have determined to show good values in action like fair play.I liked it.
      You too can try to form a team with a common cause like this which would inspire others, and Im sure there will be an article about you !

      August 16, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • suzique

      Perhaps because there is nothing unusual in that? It would be run-of-the-mill. This team is out of the ordinary and are united in mind and purpose.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Joshua

      As a Christian, I would love to hear about a team of Atheists playing for character, not victory. It would be awesome to know that a team of Atheists was starting Urban Youth Leagues and encouraging the less fortunate to become more than a 'statistic.' It would be delightful to hear about a team of Atheists traveling to remote parts of the world to build houses, dig wells, and give freely of their time to the needy.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • MomOf3

      Joshua, you assume much! As an atheist, I'm assuming you don't read much more than you bible, or look much further than you own church's missionary groups...

      August 16, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Joshua

      MomOf3

      "Joshua, you assume much! As an atheist, I'm assuming you don't read much more than you bible, or look much further than you own church's missionary groups..."

      I made no as.sumptions in my comment. I simply stated it would be nice to hear of those. If you have some docu.mented stories of such, please share with the rest of us. No need to be defensive when I was not offensive.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  10. Jeff

    Thanks for notifying us of where the stupid people live. Good to know in case I want to sell fake investments or some over the counter cancer treatments. Dummies R Us.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Kanageloa

      It seems as though Jeff is somehow threatened by Christians. He attacks them with slanderous statements but offers nothing else. I wonder how is life is really going?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • human

      I'm not from USA but that doesn't allow me to infer that all in USA are stupid people because yours is a pretty stupid comment !
      Try to appreciate the good moral values that this team is trying to focus on.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Dave

      Hey Jeff,

      Are you trying to palm off on someone else, the stuff you bought...tsk...tsk...shsme on you!!!

      August 16, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Semper Fidelis

      I'm just wondering why you're on Belief Blog at all, Jeff? Do you really trawl the news items for ANY post closely resembling Christianity so you can trash it?
      Take a stroll in the park, get some fresh air, and think positive thoughts. And if you've got nothing good to say – don't say anything at all. My Mom taught me that............Bless her. And bless you too.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  11. Tom Leykis

    I love being an atheist and not having to listen to this foolishness, stupidity and oppression.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Asia Wall

      Then why are you here?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Kanageloa

      So you're saying that Christians are not news worthy. If not then what is your opinion? Should we listen to you or just let the First Amendment be our guide?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Dave

      Hey Tom,

      Seems to me if you do not like the direction the bus is headed, you get off the bus right???

      But you can stay on. I am sure that one day on "belief blog" you will find what you are searching for.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • J Epting

      While it can certainly argued that many aspects of any organized religion/faith are oppressive, I fail to see how anything mentioned in this article can be considered as such. Can you help me understand, using only information from this article about Christian athletes?

      I am a man of faith, yet I fully acknowledge the logical and moral merits of many faiths, including atheism and agnosticism. Atheists can be just as "good" or moral or upstanding as a Christian. As a man of faith, I inherently believe I am right, just like anyone else does. However, I do not consider atheists, Muslims, Hindus, etc as "stupid" or "ridiculous" or any of the sort. Not even Jesus, the founder of our faith, was this rudely aggressive to others. As Christians, we should follow His example. However, as decent human beings, we should ALL respect other people, even if you don't hold much stock in their beliefs. To me, that is just basic common decency.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • MomOf3

      J Epting – it's very noble of you to allow that atheists can be as good as a christian.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  12. Mystikral

    I just hurled again when I saw that they also do charitable work for low income children through soccer. There is no place for this kind of crap. Sickened....

    August 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Kanageloa

      You must be sick a lot then. You might want to see your health care provider for it. Seems to be clouding your judgement.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  13. cgold

    What an embarrassment. The US is becoming the laughing stock of the world

    August 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • MrHanson

      Well you could always leave. Sounds like China and North Korea would be good choices for you. You want a godless country? Wll there you have it.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Mark

      I agree with MrHanson. You'll notice the US doesn't have walls keeping people in like other countries. You are lucky to have the opportunity to leave, unlike many others who wish to but can't.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  14. demetri

    I do not understand the point of their group. Are we to assume that other teams, (group or individuals) professional or non-professianal are not christian , religious, honest, respectful, etc... of other teams. Are they special because they wear there ideaology on their sleeves when they play. I don't think so. More power too them, but please drop the hubris by pretending tp be humble but at the same time promoting how christian and righteous there are.

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

      Oh, I thought they were just trying to promote the porking of children.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • MomOf3

      I totally agree!

      Matthew 6:5-6 ESV
      “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  15. Beth

    If all organisation members have that goal, what's the problem? I could only see an issue if a non-Christian joined the team.
    If you don't agree with them, how will it affect you?

    August 16, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • cgold

      It affects us all because it reflects the hard to explain growth of religious nuballism that makes American look more like fools everyday.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:14 am |
  16. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    the following is a reading from the bible, according to John:

    'whatever you do, do not assume playing a game is doing god's work. There are the poor and wretched, suffering through life that need your help, for the love of god, do not think playing a game is the same thing as helping these people.'

    Amen.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Asia Wall

      How do you just make stuff up like that, and claim it's Scripture? Seriously???

      August 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      ...because it's a joke? tongue and cheek? notice how I don't use a chapter and verse?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  17. admat97

    There is already a very successful football team called the Eagles. They are from Philadelphia and their players are likely made up of a large variety of religious and non-religious beliefs. I love America but I hate the fact that Christian-Americans think that all non-Christians are lacking salvation and just waiting for someone to come cram their philosophy down our throat and save us. It could be that the Christians are the ones in need of saving. Please, travel, read, observe, keep an open mind, follow your instincts and, after all if you decide to follow a specific religious path, that's great. It doesn't mean that everyone else wants to follow with you. I know, I know-your book says "Go and make disciples" and your church leaders are reaping the financial benefits of your new found glory (do a little research if you doubt this). I once heard a wise man say "Preach the gospel in everything you do and only use words when absolutely necessary". To paraphrase, live a good life, be kind and helpful to the people around you and let people be who they choose to be. I'm OK, your OK. Now, find a new name for your silly football team.......

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

      Hey admat97...

      You do the research...the actual quote is "Preach the gospel, use words if necessary." Putting in "absolutely" is a misquotation and skews the intent of the quote. In any event, it is atributed to St Francis of Assisi who did not say it but the thought is his. Also your paraphrase s wrong too. That is not what the quote means. It means preach the gospel (the gospel is the good news of salvation) by using it in your lifestlye which is what the team is doing, I believe. And if you have the chance, tell them the good news of Jesus Christ (which is what the team is doing also).

      Just because you think it means something, does not mean that it does.

      So no lecturing others about doing research when you should be doing it yourself.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  18. Sparky91

    Seriously people, doesn't anyone find it odd and too convenient that religion is the answer to everything? Why did the father of a 7 year old MS patient cut off his sons head with a hack saw? God wanted the kid back? It was his time? That was gods plan? Wake up folks, religion is a mechanism to control large groups of people, it always has been and will continue to be.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Asia Wall

      No, someone doing that would be deluded by Satan. That's the other guy. He has influence too. Judging by the responses on this board, a LOT.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • LouAz

      Sparky91 – Don't forget about getting an endless supply of little boys to bugger.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  19. Atheist

    I am a fan of CNN but maybe not anymore. Lately I noticed CNN posted the religion news as the headliner. It needs to be STOP. We have other news that has nothing relates to the religions than reading this article about the Christians who play the soccer. Yes, we, the Atheists, playing the soccer. We have respect for the soccer, please don't ruin the soccer by bringing the religions into it. "On the first day, man created God." – Anonymous

    August 16, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • RD

      You would want to remain anonymous

      August 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • David

      "On the first day, man created God." – Anonymous

      Prove it.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  20. toxictown

    The bible is a foolish book (among many) that no-one can interpret because it is nonsense: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/08/15/exp.ac.tuchman.punishment.cnn?hpt=hp_c2

    August 16, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Asia Wall

      You're absolutely right. Without the Holy Spirit, no one can interpret/understand the Scripture. It's like it's written in code.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • lolsigh

      lol the holy spirit asia? you want it inside of you huh? Doesn;t sound like god sounds like you need something else.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • cgold

      it's a cult, just a larger than average one. The followers claim only they can understand it. Sort of like when you're looking at some piece of modern art that looks more like a pile of garbage. It's just a pile of garbage,

      August 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
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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.