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Rob Bell, whose book ignited controversy, leaves church he founded
Pastor Rob Bell is quitting the church he founded.
September 23rd, 2011
12:49 AM ET

Rob Bell, whose book ignited controversy, leaves church he founded

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Michigan Pastor Rob Bell, whose recent book created a theological firestorm, is leaving his congregation, Mars Hill Bible Church announced Thursday.

"Feeling the call from God to pursue a growing number of strategic opportunities, our founding pastor ... has decided to leave Mars Hill in order to devote his full energy to sharing the message of God's love with a broader audience," a message on the Grandville, Michigan, megachurch's website read.

"It is with deeply mixed emotions that we announce this transition to you. We have always understood, encouraged, and appreciated the variety of avenues in which Rob's voice and the message of God's tremendous love has traveled over the past 12 years."

Further details were not available late Thursday.

In March, Bell, 41, answered critics who said he was playing fast and loose with heaven and hell, salvation and damnation. The eternity of souls was on the line, they said.

The flap rose over Bell's publication, "Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived." Some went so far as to label Bell a heretic.

Critics said he was preaching universalism, a theology that suggests everyone goes to heaven and that hell is empty.

"I'm not a universalist. So that's just not true," Bell told CNN in response. He said he didn't believe God reaches down and sweeps everyone to heaven.

After a budding career as a rock star was derailed by a freak illness, Bell set his sights on the seminary. He became America's hipster pastor and one of the most influential preachers in the country.

He preached to 10,000 people at the church he founded. His first four books sold nearly a million copies combined, and his short film series, Nooma, has sold more than 2 million DVDs.

In his book, Bell challenged the traditional notions of heaven and hell.

"For many people the fundamental story was one of escape - Jesus is how you get out of here. I think for many people in the modern world, the way they heard it was fundamentally, 'This place is bad, and there is some other place, and Jesus - believe, accept, trust, confess, join, get baptized, whatever sort of language got put on it - Jesus is how you get to some other realm where things are good.'

"So essentially it's a theology of evacuation. And my understanding is the Bible is first and foremost a story of restoration. It's a story of renewal."

"The fundamental story arc of the Bible," he said "is God is passionate about rescuing this world, restoring it renewing it. So discussions about heaven and hell ... for many people are irrelevant and esoteric. ... But what happens is, what you believe about heaven and hell deeply shapes how you engage this world now."

Bell said if a believer has their eyes on heaven, they can miss the opportunities to bring people a taste of heaven here on Earth – and they can miss seeing the hell around them.

–CNN's Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church

soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. SilverTrail

    Atheists are not only evil, they are stupid. What if Christianity is right and they are wrong? One of their gods Einstein is about to be proven wrong again, as usual. They are only making their hell hotter by their blasphemies. Atheists should admit their guilt, acknowledge their Creator God as moral creatures should, and ask Jesus for forgiveness to be saved from hell and their own eternal stupidity.

    September 24, 2011 at 3:36 am |
  2. Warning to Atheists

    You won't be able to joke in hell. Admit you are evil because that's what you are. Admitting your own sin will be the first step of your salvation.

    September 23, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  3. stevie68a

    jesus is imaginary, jesus is imaginary. Shout it from the rooftops!

    September 23, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • herbert juarez

      And while you're up there shout there is no gravity, there is no gravity and step off the rooftop.God bless

      September 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Gee, herbie, I thought gravity was "just a theory", like evolution?

      September 23, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @guest
      Try the rooftop thing and get back to me on that .God bless

      September 23, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
  4. hippypoet

    oh what happened to SilverTrail, i was having so much fun stuffing all the religious BS down SilverTrail thoat... plus i know more about the religion then SilverTrail does anyway making it even more fun!

    September 23, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • herbert juarez

      Based on limited exposure to self ordained atheists, I would venture to guess that you know squat about religion.God bless

      September 23, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • AGuest9

      You must hang out with the wrong atheists, herbie. Some of us are better well-read in scripture of all forms than believers, including of their own books.

      September 23, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      Better read?I haven't seen it yet.You don't know God ,you don't really know Bible.God bless

      September 23, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • AGuest9

      So, without an imaginary friend, I don't understand one book from another? I was in parochial school for 11 years. I know my bible study, the ancient fraud that it is.

      September 24, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • herbert juarez

      Sorry but your Bible" study" does not translate into Bible knowledge.God bless

      September 24, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  5. derp

    "Feeling the call from God to pursue a growing number of strategic opportunities"

    So now god is a strategic planner?

    You can't make this garbage up.

    September 23, 2011 at 9:17 am |
  6. SilverTrail

    What we know as facts: All atheists will go to hell if they don't repent while still alive.

    September 23, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • hippypoet

      facts are something that can be prooven.... wheres your proof, and i want it before i die.
      also if your basing your statements on your BELIEF system, which is not based on facts but thoughts held above others, then how can you say anything abuot facts unless you truly have no concept of your own faith...

      i can't stand morons!

      September 23, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • SilverTrail

      @Hippy, your blasphemy is the proof of hell exactly described in the Bible. God is merciful, patient and lenient to let you atheists live like this to this day. Repent, villains.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • hippypoet

      so you have read a book, good for you, lets have some fun then... what happens to Lot's wife, and what did Lot's daughters do? Why did Abraham try to kill his son? which city was defended by david when under attack by the pilistians?... and yes i can't spell!

      September 23, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Nonimus

      Fact: As far as anyone can tell, no one has ever gone to heaven or hell after death.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • SilverTrail

      @Hippy-: Lot's wife died because of her own stupidity. Lot, conducting utter selfishness earlier, ended up fathering two sad tribes against God's will(He did not go where he was told to go) and never was blessed afterward. Result of raising kids according to a perv society. Sounds familiar? Abraham surrendered his son to God and the act was honored. Issac lived well. What's the issue with David? Study harder. @Nonimus, Jesus has been to both. Traditional Christianity teaches what He taught. Read John chapter 3.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • MarkinFL

      I love how the absence of god is explained away by his mercy toward us atheists. He'll let a bus full churchgoers die but he won't kill the atheists. As for hell, I'll take my chances..... I don't play the lottery either.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • hippypoet

      right, your completely wrong – Lot was living in sodom or gamorraha (again, can't spell) when abraham went to find him and his family. the reason Ham was looking for his brother was god told him that it was time to wipe clean the two cities... abraham pleeded with god to not destory them, but god said no, they must go, so Ham asked for time to search the cities for aleast 40 good men, thus prooving that the city should be spared.. he couldn't find even 10 good men, so he asked god again, can i get out my brother and his family, god said sure why not... ham goes to lot tells them of the terrible event coming then leaves. before even going to the city, before even knowing about the citys future, god trys to get Abraham to kill his oldest son as a sign of loyality... a show of faith if you will... but ohhh thank god, god stopped abrahams knife just before killing his son, then told him the news! Now as far lot, they were told leave the city and never look back, well lot's wife looked back and for her disobedience she was turned into a pillar of salt...lots daugthers thinking they were the last humans on earth and so took it upon themselves to "repopulate" the planet.. so they got their father trashed drunk and "went to bed him" this was done untill each daugther was "with child" ... but you read the book and should have known this... too bad! again, i can't stand morons...

      September 23, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • hippypoet

      Oh and noone really knows where david killed the giant, but most believed it was bethlaham or Hebron

      September 23, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > Lot, conducting utter selfishness earlier, ended up fathering two sad tribes against God's will(

      Nope, a God that is all powerful and all knowing knew this would happen and created the human mind and the personalities of everyone to ensure it happened. Everything is according to God's will including sin.

      It's silly to say the all knowing creator of everything didn't create something.

      Yay for logical thinking!

      September 23, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • srsly pls

      Cannot figure out why everyone keeps arguing with this troll.

      September 23, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  7. Reality

    Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with John's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European, white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher man (or pastor Bell) would do or say?

    September 23, 2011 at 7:40 am |
    • .........

      spam alert hit report abuse to all reality postings

      September 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  8. Reality

    What we do know:

    1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

    2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

    3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

    4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

    5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

    6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 billion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

    Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 billion years?

    September 23, 2011 at 7:36 am |
    • Ted

      Those are faith statements as much as faith in someone who claimed to be God. How do you know the sun will burn out in 5 billion years? Because you read it somewhere? Can you prove it? Did you know that certain fundamental beliefs about reality are being called into question? (neutrinos that travel faster than speed of light)

      September 23, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Reality

      “I believe the Bible is inspired.” “Why?” “Because it says so.”

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

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

      vs. mathematical and astrophysical calculations and experiments dealing with the Universe.

      With respect to the fast moving neutrino:

      From CN-N: (where apparently you READ your information)

      "Ereditato said more research is needed.

      "The potential impact on science is too large to draw immediate conclusions or attempt physics interpretations," he said. "My first reaction is that the neutrino is still surprising us with its mysteries."

      Harnew said the new finding "cannot currently fit in the standard theories at all" and would have to be confirmed by another experiment - to ensure there is no subtle systemic error at play - before a discovery can be claimed.

      And he cautions that "neutrino measurements are extremely difficult experiments," making it hard to verify results independently.

      Neutrinos, which are emitted during the process of radioactive decay, have only a tiny m-ass and usually pass through matter without interacting with anything else, making them very hard to detect.

      CERN is one of only a handful of laboratories capable of running an experiment like the Opera project, Harnew said. Other possible sites could be J-Parc in Ja-pan, home of the multinational T2K project, and Fermilab in Illinois.

      It was only recently discovered that neutrinos, which come in three types, can switch from one type to another. If they can indeed travel faster than mass-less particles, like light, then these mysterious particles will have done even more to turn the world of physics on its head."

      September 23, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Answer

      Religious morons will use anything that science discovers immediately to refute and bolster their own views that science is in trouble or failing. That's a fact.

      The other little fact is simply that these same idiots just do not comprehend the scientific principles of refuting ourselves when we do come up with better answers. Fact it morons you lack brains. Plain and simple. Your little corner of reality is becoming so small – you might as well begin to kill yourselves off and not face with the real truths about our world.

      You are dirt. We humans are not high and mighty and are not special in any way except that we can adapt. So can the rest of the animals – we have evolved!

      September 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • .........

      spam garbage alert do not read hit report abuse to all reality posts

      September 23, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  9. TruthPrevails

    I am a firm believer in 'you get what you give' in this world and I only attack when I am attacked. If Silver Trails/HeavenSent/Herbert (to name a very few) don't want attacked, they should maybe stop and think about their own actions. I don't need divine intervention to tell me how to act in this world. I don't need devine intervention to tell me who it is okay to love or dislike. I don't need divine intervention to answer my questions.
    Silver Trails, etc: you can think I am wrong all you wish. First of all, you don't get an opinion b/c you have no clue as to who I am or where I've been. Second, it really does come down to how one perceives this life.
    As an Atheist, I live for the day because there are no guarantee's. I accept that I do not know 100% what happens at the end and honestly I don't wish to know....the thing is that you really have no way of proving your belief outside of people who have studied that book and came up with scenarios that science has trumped....that book was written 2000 years ago and has yet to change in any way....science is ever changing. I see the earth we reside on and am amazed at it. I see need for a god to be added here. I feel that you devalue the one life you are guaranteed of by believing in this god.
    I'm not going to change your mind but please don't try to change mine. If you're going to say something, back it with facts that have evidence to back them, otherwise expect to be stepped on...we strive to ensure mankind is educated in things as we understand them in this day and age-not 2000 years ago. You think you are doing the same thing in a very different way...we don't necessarily agree. It is a no win situation.

    September 23, 2011 at 7:01 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      omfsm...best correct this before it's attacked:

      "I see need for a god to be added here. I feel that you devalue the one life you are guaranteed of by believing in this god."

      should have read "I see no need for a god"

      September 23, 2011 at 7:03 am |
    • herbert juarez

      Are you the same truth prevails that stated there were no nations in Revelation then went on to post 20 or so references to the nations in Revelation?God bless

      September 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      I mean, God P!ss.

      September 23, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      Only a coward of the lowest order would steal another persons name.

      September 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  10. sum it up

    @OnLooker
    You do it because it is the right thing to do. You feel good and have a sense of inner peace when you help others for unselfish reasons.

    September 23, 2011 at 6:11 am |
    • No apologies

      Course it could be argued that your unselfish reasoning behind your actions, the whole feeling good "and have a sense of inner peace" thing it is a bit selfish too – would you still help others if your self-gratification wasn't a factor?

      September 23, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • OnLooker

      From an Atheist perspective that second sentence is a contradiction. But from a theist perspective, it can be argued that the joy you refer to was instilled by God or some form of a higher power.

      September 23, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  11. SilverTrail

    Mr. Bell, please note the latter parts of Revelation chapter 20 verses 12 and 13. It's a fair judgment.

    September 23, 2011 at 4:15 am |
    • Reality

      "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

      Martin Luther "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

      September 23, 2011 at 7:38 am |
    • SilverTrail

      Reality, we don't believe those individuals are canonical as you so blindly believe in your favorite blasphemous sci-fi novel writers.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • Chuckles

      Oh Honey

      I thought you said you knew American history, it's a pity when you are so clearly proven wrong

      Also Martin Luther and John Calvin are two of the most influential people on christianity ever, not some blasphemous sci-fi writer

      September 23, 2011 at 9:29 am |
  12. Bible Verses to Consider

    "11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation chapter 20)

    September 23, 2011 at 4:13 am |
    • Get Real

      Very creative sci-fi/fantasy/horror fiction.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:20 am |
    • SilverTrail

      @Get-Real: It's reality. The people in Noah's time never believed in floods either.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:26 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      @SilverTrail
      There were multiple flood myths floating around in the Ancient Near East, among them the Gilgamesh Epic. Yes THEY DID believe in floor STORIES, (and that's exactly what they are)...Stories. That's why the editors of Genesis decided to included the Noah STORY in their book. 😈

      September 23, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • SilverTrail

      Bucky, my point is that because the people in Noah's time did not believe Noah's saying flood was coming, they were wiped out by judgment as being foretold. Asia has the stories of universal flood as well.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • derp

      "The people in Noah's time never believed in floods either"

      And they were right. The biblical Noah-flood is fantasy.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • hippypoet

      "and death and HADES gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation chapter 20)

      really, hades... so your holy book enlists the help of those pagan gods its loaths so much... very sad, very sad indeed!

      September 23, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • hippypoet

      dude, ok first off – the was a GREAT many floods, from the end of the last ice age, about 11-14 thousand years ago... which means ice is melting, which means water levels rise, which means most if not all costal dwelling villages and the like were wiped out or moved. there is evidence to show that nearly over night the earth's water level rose over 60 feet, the total amount was if i can remember, 600 feet of water world wide... NOTHNIG TO DO WITH GOD, BUT IRONICLY ENOUGH – ITS GLOBAL WARMING! LOL and its true!

      September 23, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  13. Yet another Steve

    So, ah, John? Are you just out to impress us with the profundity of your knowledge or was there a point in there somewhere?

    September 23, 2011 at 3:45 am |
  14. when

    Well if he'd been preaching hell as well as heaven, he probably would have had a much smaller church. People want to hear what their i tching ears want to hear these days and most churches no longer teach sound doctrine. Very sad but a sign of the times.

    September 23, 2011 at 3:00 am |
    • Clew4u

      No one can preach a sound doctrine because no doctrine is sound. That's why so many atheists think it's like shooting fish in a barrel. We can't miss. Contradictory cult stories are no match for advanced logic. They cannot be used in an argument at all if you want to win.

      September 23, 2011 at 3:08 am |
    • Clewless

      You say there is no sound doctrine because you have not opened up your heart and asked to see the truth! Our savior was both god and man. He was crucified, died, and was resurrected! All Hail Dionysus! Repent now, evil ignorant sinner, or face the all-powerful wrath of Zeus!

      September 23, 2011 at 3:12 am |
    • Jackson Baer

      So you know what sound doctrine is?

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjRcO1Sm0HU&w=640&h=360]

      September 23, 2011 at 3:30 am |
  15. Farnum Abnockah

    If there was a god that was passionate about "saving" people there would be no question about it and no need to go around spreading the mystical bullcrap in the first place. The whole world would know it already.
    Logic fail.

    He just wants to sell more books and is willing to give CNN a few bucks out of his millions. All aboard the gravy train!

    September 23, 2011 at 2:58 am |
  16. SilverTrail

    When you trust your own common sense or prefer your own inclinations rather than what the plainly revealed Word of God tells you, you always get trapped into some kind of errors, one way or another. And such peoples' teachings are no longer worth following. But it causes sensations for sure and we win if it drives us into more authentic study of God's Word.

    September 23, 2011 at 2:30 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      blah blah blah blah...once again showing the world exactly why christians are falling...you never cease to amaze anyone, your blatant ignorance of the world as it is today is astounding...if you really wish to live according to that book, then please do the world a favor and go back to the day of no electricity; no computers; no cars; no telephones...you are an old lady suffering a severe case dementia...you need serious help...your children (our sympathies go out to them for having you as a mother) need to have to admitted for psych help!

      September 23, 2011 at 6:13 am |
    • SilverTrail

      Christian America invented them all because God blessed her.

      September 23, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  17. SilverTrail

    Under the threat of hell-fire, mankind never repents of killing the voiceless fellow humans or the destructive perv immorality which God said clearly no to. Non-believers' mind is a hell itself. They desire godless autonomy for themselves, so they will get it permanently. Honest humans accept the reality of sin and the Good News of the Savior Jesus.

    September 23, 2011 at 2:10 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      blah blah blah blah...who does the killing and in the name of who again?? Atheists are not the ones killing due to beliefs!! You need to get back on your meds or read a book based on real facts!

      September 23, 2011 at 6:15 am |
    • SilverTrail

      Atheists killed 1 billion humans without any belief or logic or reasoning. Atheists = illogical blood-thirsty animals

      September 23, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • hippypoet

      humans = illogical, emotional, blood-thirsty animals, yes we are animals! we are not above anything, we only think we are!

      Atheists = slightly smarter then religious people as they atleast try for rational thought and reasoning – we don't kill for our beliefs, we just kill because its our human nature.

      religious people = believe that if they are good they get rewarded, yet hate on everyone who doesn't think like they do! – kill anyone who "god" says is ok to kill (subjected to interpretations)

      September 23, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • OnLooker

      The atheists Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all did massive amounts of killing in the name of who? Certainly not the Abrahamic God. The TRUTH is interesting. This is not to say that religious people aren't capable of hurting fellow human beings, because they certainly are, but when making such indictments one must remember that believers and non-believers have both killed and on grand scales.

      September 23, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  18. SilverTrail

    I think he is not seeing the reality of human sin as it is. I used to struggle a bit, too, but not after seeing the modern Westerners' blasphemies and other forms of human depravity and cruelty. It also made me understood why the ancient Israel was punished the way it was seeing the present America. Hell must be real; otherwise, there is no justice in this world. From reading the Bible, especially Old Testament, I see God's determination on fairness and mercy so I ceased to worry about hell. These liberal people deny to look into the reality. Sin, judgment and hell are real as the traditional Christianity has taught.

    September 23, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      DELUSIONAL; STUPID; IGNORANT; UNREASONABLE-JUST A FEW DEFINITIONS OF YOU!

      September 23, 2011 at 6:16 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      SILVER TRAILS DEFINED-DELUSIONAL; STUPID; IGNORANT; UNREASONABLE; BIGOT;

      September 23, 2011 at 6:17 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      unfortunately there are two posts b/c the first did not appear to post initially...wow, imagine that an atheist admitting to making a mistake and taking responsibility...bet you can't say the same without using a god to back you!

      September 23, 2011 at 6:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bwahhhh! "I used to struggle a bit too". Struggle to do what, Addled? Read two syllable words? Did moving your lips help?

      You bozo.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  19. sum it up

    Religion is not necessary to have good ethics or lead an altruistic lifestlye. Quite possibly just the opposite is preferable.

    September 23, 2011 at 1:03 am |
    • Sevv

      well said!

      September 23, 2011 at 1:47 am |
    • OnLooker

      No, it is not necessary. But, in can do a pretty good job of influencing such a decision. Why else should we help someone in a totally random, meaningless world?

      September 23, 2011 at 5:42 am |
  20. John Mack

    St. Maximus taught that no human is saved until all humans are saved. His view was endorsed by the Pope of that time. The Byzantine Emperor, enraged, had the Pope beheaded and St. Maximus brought to Constantinople to be tried as a heretic,. Maximus was eventually justified, and his teaching found acceptable.

    September 23, 2011 at 12:56 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.