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Church produced film 'Courageous' lights up box office on opening weekend
Produced by a Georgia church, “Courageous” opened in the number four slot last weekend.
October 4th, 2011
09:05 AM ET

Church produced film 'Courageous' lights up box office on opening weekend

By Gabe LaMonica, CNN

(CNN)– A Baptist church in Albany, Georgia, is getting Hollywood's attention - the church, Sherwood Baptist, has developed a movie-production operation, and its latest offering opened last weekend as the Number Four top money-grossing film in the country.

The Christian-themed film, "Courageous," was developed in connection with TriStar, Sony, and Provident Films. It is meant to inspire fathers to not leave their families, to love their children, to not fail.

"Courageous," which opened in just 1,161 theaters this past weekend, depicts four police officers who share a commonality both as fathers and in their effort to become better ones. The movie and its characters, played by amateur actors and members of Sherwood Baptist are enveloped in various ways in a devastating tragedy.

According to boxoffice.com, which tracks movie response nationwide, put "Courageous" at the fourth position for the weekend with gross revenues of just over $9 million. The fifth- and sixth-place movies ("50/50" and "Dreamhouse") both opened at far more theaters but did not come close to the weekend box-office income of "Courageous."

"Courageous" takes on a timely topic - fatherhood.

The National Fatherhood Initiative, an organization dedicated to "educating and engaging fathers across the country," lists wide-ranging adverse affects that correlate to children growing up in fatherless households. Fatherless households are common in the United States, and there is no causal evidence linking fatherless households to increased suicide rates, incarcerations, aggression, behavioral disorders, delinquency, criminal activity, confused identities, low achievement, and criminal activity.

But the correlating evidence is so strong that in a country where the most recent census lists 24 million children - one in three - living apart from their biological fathers, it is remiss to discount it.

"No matter what your scenario is - you're single or married or whatnot - we want to really inspire and encourage men to see the value of their role as a dad," says Alex Kendrick, the co-writer, director, and actor who plays the character Adam Mitchell in "Courageous."

Kendrick, who co-writes with his brother Steven, says, "The reason we put it in a law enforcement setting was that, as you know, a motto from law enforcement is to serve and protect, and then we drew a correlation to what a father is supposed to do."

"We drew that correlation and said, 'Wouldn't it be interesting if we put this in the context of police officers who are also dads, and they may be heroic on the streets but it also takes courage to be a great dad - not just a good enough dad.'"

Ken Bevel, who plays Nathan Hayes, a sheriffs' deputy in the film, says that everyone has a dad and can relate to a fatherhood story. "We just pray that this movie resonates in the hearts of men and women and families across the globe," he says.

"If you go to Sherwood (Baptist Church) on any given day you will see a bunch of people that are in the movie," says Bevel, who played Kirk Cameron's fellow firefighter in "Fireproof," the last film from Sherwood Pictures.

"Our desire is not to become the next movie-making sensation or to make millions and millions of dollars at the box office," he says, "our desire is to see hearts changed and families touched."

Kendrick's character, Adam Mitchell, makes a general statement over grilled steaks to his fellow officers in the movie: "Half of the fathers in this country are already failing," he says, "and I don't want to be one of them."

The Christians at Sherwood Baptist Church, says Kendrick, "want especially men to walk out of the movie theater saying, "This movie makes me want to be a better dad and really a better man as a model and mentor to my children.'"

"You will see a difference and it will make a difference in our culture," he says.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Georgia • Movies • United States

soundoff (1,517 Responses)
  1. The_Mick

    @Colin: you may have 7 objections to Christianity. I have problems with it as well but I still believe that Jesus of Nazareth's ideas of for a good society, on a purely secular level, are tops. SO: what's your objection with Christianity got to do with a movie that tells men to be better fathers?

    October 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Colin

      Indeed Mick, and I think I made that point didn't I? A rejection of the supernatural elements of christianity does not necessitate a rejection of its morality.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Al

      Mick,

      I am Christian, protestant sector, Southern Baptist, but, I have to poit out hat you are feeding the misconception of some of these posts by not knowing (by using this phrase: still believe that Jesus of Nazareth's ideas of for a good society) that Jesus was not his true name (that is an English "conversion" (not translation) and he was not from Nazareth (that was put into later teachings to give his words and standing weight due to Hebrew teachings).
      *********** There was no English till 1400 years after he lived and the letter "J" was 100 years after that. ****************

      You are correct, in that the teachings of love, understanding, brotherhood, and peace are what we should strive to achieve.

      And Colin, your point is valid for ALL.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      I feel that you have to add the Gnostic Gospels back into the writings and look at the many different sects with different takes on Jesus. There is Pauline and Petrine branches too. Constantine and his pet bishops selected writings that would help him control the populace. The rest were destroyed and most Christians still cling to a non-Christian Roman Emperor as their source. There is no real evidence that he was a Christian. He was an opportunist.

      The history of Christianity is fascinating but cannot be found in that piece of trash the KJV or any other better translation. My mother believed that Baptists were the first church and loathed Roman Catholics who messed it up. She did not believe that much of the Fundamentalist dogma was created in the Radical Reformation and in the 1800's in the US.

      Christian ethics, when practised are excellent and are in agreement with the ethics of every other religion and some political persuasions. It is not necessary to become a Christian to be an ethical person. Personally, I like Buddhism as it is the least bigoted path I have studied and its point is compassion for all living beings not a cushy spot near the throne of God after a life of misery and fear that you are not quite good enough.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  2. Bo

    There are several that have said something about this church out producing Hollywood and I think the reason may be that Hollywood is producing films they like, not what the public likes. Take a look at the Hollywood gang and what do you see. Did you ever stop to think, that while Disney was alive, every movie he ever made outsold everything else? Now ask the question: Why?

    October 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Because the anti-semite knew how to appeal to children and the film industry (especially the disney cartoon industry) was still in its infancy and so had more ideas to choose from and release without being labeled as a remake of X movie.

      Nice try though, give it another whirl, maybe you'll strike gold.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • leecherius

      Chuckles.. actually it had more to do with appealing to the vast majority by not throwing murder , mayhem , and debauchery into the face of John Q. Public endlessly.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Well aint that weird, lets look at the most popular movies of all time shall we?

      We have Ti.tantic – a couple having premartial se.x and then going down in a ship with chaos and death everywhere.
      Avatar – Evil humans are trying to mine a planet of its unobtanium and the only thing between the humans the precious metal is a mix of pagan/animist native american/african charcitures

      Lets look at the summer blockbusters that continue to make the most money and get the most ticket sales during the year
      Transformers – Robots killing other robots, destroying everything around them, also a human kid who's horney and somehow gets incredibly hot girls to follow him and do him at the end
      Pirates of the Carribean – Pirates saying how awesome being outside the law, drinking, whoring around and generally enjoying sin is awesome and they're the good guys.
      Harry Potter – Jesus is turned into a wizard and saves all wizards, christianity is completely expunged from the wizarding world and they live happily ever after.

      Then again, maybe we should go back in time shall we? How far back? Are we going to the 50's with greats like A Streetcar named Desire? or Cat on a hot tin roof? Both of which have a fair amount of debauchery? Get real, the only reason why there is such a wide disparity between movies these days and in the 1950's is the special effects technology.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Funnily enough, I was just watching the first Mickey Mouse cartoons, circa 1928, with my daughter on the weekend.
      We saw Mickey drinking beer, smoking cigars, and ogling Minnie as she dances in a jazz club.
      Nice, wholesome entertainment.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  3. Linda

    Even atheists seem to pray when they are facing death or insurmountable obstacles .Exactly who or what would turn/cry out to if faced with death or if in a jam you were unable to get yourself out of?

    Children, please quit arguing. You look silly. You will know when the time REALLY comes whether you Believe.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Colin

      Standard Christian fa.ntasy number 101- "People who do not believe in my religion, the Christian god, will get their comeuppance, becuase, when they are in dnager, they will immediately adopt MY religion".

      October 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Cosmos42

      Speak for yourself. I'm an atheist and have never turned to prayer when faced with insurmountable obstacles. If you turn to prayer, then you aren't an atheist, now are you?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Sue

      And Linda, google on "Pascal's Wager". It is a well known fallacy that you essentially have within your last line, one that foolish Christians fall into often.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "You will know when the time REALLY comes whether you Believe."
      Fine. Then why do you (or those like you) have to keep saying it?

      October 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      I nearly died last year, and several days afterwards I suddenly realized that I was supposed to have had an existential crisis and wondered about my place in the universe. I guess I'm just not as doubt-riddled and full of fear as you guys imagine.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:24 am |
  4. Nick

    I am 76 yo and twenty five years ago I came to realize that I had failed my son and daughter as a father. I took each to dinner and shared this fact and asked them to forgive me. Where I failed them was with my time. I worked long hours and weekends because I loved my job. I am fortunate my children forgave me and we started over and the relationship has been restored. For a time, especially in the 1960s, NOW didn't think families needed the fathers.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Castiel

      Good for you, Nick. It's never too late to try and mend relationships.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  5. sarabethany

    What a great message. I don't know why people take offense with a film that tries to inspire men to be better fathers. But nobody complains about the tripe that Hollywood puts out every year showing gratuitous violence, especially gratuitous violence against women. That's just good entertainment right? Also, I bet that 90% of the people on here bashing the film have never seen it. If you see it you will realize it's not "church propaganda". Yes it was produced by a church, but it stands on its own in terms of the power of the screenplay, acting, drama etc.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  6. The Pope

    Latest CNN Headline: God quits over unauthorized use of her name. Main Story. God handed in her resignation this morning, according to informed sources. She was heard to say that she was "tired of people doing really cra**y things" and " using her name without her permission to justify those cra**y things". Attempts to contact her were unsuccessful. Rumors are that she will retire somewhere off the coast of Somalia.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  7. SV

    Who made the movie really isn't important. I am by no stretch of the imagination a "bible thumper". I went anyway because I was asked, in the end it had no affect either way on my personal religious beliefs. What it did do however is remind me that my kids are growing pretty quick and if I don't want miss out on that and I want to do my best to help them grow and have a great life I need to do more than I am. Put the religion aspect aside and if you're a father check out the movie.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  8. Paul K

    I saw the movie. We can't lose sight of it's MAIN agenda – make people (especially dads) aware of a father's impact on their kids. As a father of five I am humbled by how much they "imitate" me (with good and bad things). I need to step it up a bit. If a church can produce a good movie, communicate a message, and give their take on a solution, why not? We live in America, don't we?

    October 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  9. The Pope

    Guilt is the opiate of the masses

    October 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • The AntiPope

      I thought opium was the opiate of the masses...

      October 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Karl Marx

      Religion is the opiate of the masses.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Jesus is my selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  10. Bryan

    As a father and an agnostic, who is doing just fine on both aspects, this is not my cup of tea, but I wish them luck. I wish we had more success stories from small, independent film companies like this. Don't get me wrong, i love the big blockbusters too, but we need more successful independents, regaurdless of their method of message delivery.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  11. j.t.

    What's a church doing in the multi-million dollar movie business? If they have the kind of bucks to invest, how about orphanages in Haiti, support for disaster victims, or medical clinics for the poor. Money for entertainment, no matter how uplifting doesn't seem appropriate for Christian activities

    October 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • JiminNM

      Go after the Catholic church with its massive wealth before attacking a small church using volunteers to make a movie and possibly using the money to help others across the country and world.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • GCF

      I have seen other movies they make. Their budget is peanuts, think Blair Witch. The monies that are brought in from making the movie are able to do far more in the areas that you advocate than the few dollars spent on the production. You really should be less hostile toward religion and think through the issue.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • sarabethany

      @j.t. Sherwood Baptist is one of the "megachurches" that owns all kinds of property, including 4 schools, gyms, basketball courts, office buildings, a sports stadium, and a seminary. And of course the 2,250-seat worship center. They are not "give your money to the poor" type of Christians. Their "mission trips" are not building wells and schools in Haiti. They are focused on converting the "unsaved' to their brand of Christianity, which conveniently increases their member base.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • leecherius

      What's been your contribution..

      October 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • W247

      ".. money for entertainment..."

      I think there was supposed to be a lesson learned in this entertainment. I don't think they were trying to make a frivolous movie...

      October 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • sarabethany

      As a Catholic, I implore everyone please do not 'go after' the Catholic church. After all of the pedophile priest lawsuits and settlements, the Catholic church is broke. Though with less money per parishioner than the Baptist churches, we do a lot more REAL mission work, like food and help to the homeless & indigent, medical missions, disaster relief. The Baptist idea of "mission" work is going to a foreign country for a short time and "saving souls". Then they come back to their home church and brag about how many souls they saved. It's all numbers. And if the people starve to death after the missionary leaves, well their souls went to heaven so it's no problem!

      October 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • W247

      sarabethany

      Wow, I am a devout christian and a missionary, but with reading what you just wrote made me want to go give everything up and become atheist. Way to throw stones in peoples path.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      sarabeth, Baptists go on and on about how Satan is in every word of the Catholic bible and how he has his hand in your hearts, etc etc, so no surprise that you hate them back. You look like Sunni vs Shia to me, and when the cathedrals start selling the tons of gold collected from poor peasants over centuries I might believe you are actually broke(Ha! Ha! Of course you aren't broke. Vatican is an independent country richer than Monaco). Maybe you should pray for guidance, like THAT would do anything.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  12. Michael Bay

    It's nice to see a kind hearted movie with a good message, for once. However, I propose that the sequel should have robots and explosions.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  13. Colin

    7 Fundamental Objections to Christianity.

    1. At its most fundamental level, it requires a belief that an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies 13,700,000,000 years ago, sat back and waited 10,000,000,000 years, waited for the Earth to form, then waited another 3,700,000,000 years for h.omo sapiens to gradually evolve, then, at some point gave them eternal life and sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle east. While here, this divine visitor exhibits no knowledge of ANYTHING outside of Iron Age Middle East, including the other continents, 99% of the human race, and the aforementioned galaxies.

    Either that, or it all started 6,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake. Either way “oh come on” just doesn’t quite capture it.

    2. This “all loving’ god spends his time running the Universe and spying on the approximately 6 billion human beings on planet Earth 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He even reads their minds (or “hears their prayers”, if you see any difference) using some kind of magic telepathic powers, so as to know if they think bad thoughts, so he knows whether to reward or punish them after they die.

    3. The above beliefs are based on nothing more than a collection of Bronze and Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology, much of it discredited, that was cobbled together into a book called the “Bible” by people we know virtually nothing about, before the Dark Ages. This is probably why there is not one passage in the Bible in support of intelligence and healthy skepticism, but literally hundreds in support of blind acceptance and blatant, sheep-like gullibility.

    4. A rejection of the supernatural elements of Christianity does not require a rejection of its morality. Most atheists and secular humanists share a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Christianity. To the extent we reject Christian morality, it is where it is outdated or mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, our basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Christian – we just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over our head in order to act in a manner that we consider moral.

    Falsely linking morality to a belief in the supernatural is a time-tested “three card trick” religion uses to stop its adherents from asking the hard questions about the transparently silly aspects of the faith(s).

    5. We have no idea of who wrote the four Gospels, how credible or trustworthy they were, what ulterior motives they had (other than to promote their religion) or what they based their views on. We know that the traditional story of it being Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is almost certainly wrong. Nevertheless, we are called upon to accept the most extraordinary claims by these unknown people, who wrote between 35 to 65 years after Christ died. It is like taking the word of an unknown Branch Davidian about what happened to David Korsesh at Waco – 35 years after the fact.

    6. When backed into a corner, Christianity admits it requires a “leap of faith” to believe it. However, once one accepts that pure faith is a legitimate reason to believe in something, which it most certainly is not, one has to accept all other gods based on exactly the same reasoning. One cannot be a Christian based on the “leap of faith” – and then turn around and say those who believe in, for example, the Hindu gods, based on the same leap, got it wrong. Geography and birthplace dictates what god(s) one believes in. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own gods and they all seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams, and prejudices? Do you think they all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Faith is not belief in a god. It is a mere hope for a god, a wish for a god, no more universal that the language you speak or the baseball team you support.

    7. The Bible is literally infested with contradictions, outdated morality, and open support for the most barbarous acts of cruelty – including, genocide, murder, slavery, ra.pe and the complete subjugation of women. All of this is due to when and where it was written, the morality of the times and the motives of its authors and compilers. While this may be exculpatory from a literary point of view, it also screams out the fact that it is a pure product of man, bereft of any divine inspiration.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • BubbasWorld

      Soooo .... what did you think of the movie?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Colin

      BubbasWorld – lol. That was a good one, I have to admit.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Steve

      Worst movie review EVER.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Are you that brainless to realize that mankind has bestowed their own destruction and in TODAY’S century, many are killing to gain POWER because of their GREED & SELFISHNESS and the majority don’t even believe in God. Get your head out of the sand and shake it off, it’s making you blind, hateful, and bitter.

      Oh, and the day you stand before God, the last thing you will have time to do is curse Him in His face. You will be shaking like a little puppy wishing you would have given Him the benefit of doubt when you were living, but it will be too late for you. So I suggest that you REPENT NOW!! Christ died for you and loves you very much, so don’t blame God for the evil things that mankind have done and are still doing today. Open up your heart to SPIRITUAL REALITY! STOP letting your brain guide your heart, it’s misleading you to the direction of the path of destruction. Allow your heart to guide your brain by letting Jesus Christ dwell in it. Your life will be in the right path of eternal salvation.

      Atheism is for angry, intolerant, disrespectful, undisciplined, insulting, SPIRITUALLY LAZY, bitter, heartless, miserable, and HATEFUL people. Who in the world would want to be part of that religion….AND yes, it is a RELIGION. It takes as much faith to preach ungodly lies to convert others into Atheism as it takes much faith to believe in Christ. The only ones who would even consider being part of Atheism would only be the weak in faith, which are the backsliders who became Atheists, who once loved, praised, honored, adored, embraced, glorified, and worshiped God, but unfortunately, they have allowed Satan to get the best of them.

      Side note:

      The reason America is the way it is, is because Americans has let her down. This country was founded on Christianity and our Fore-Fathers have opened the doors to allow spiritual demonic forces of darkness in our country. They should have NEVER allowed freedom of religion that has caused many Christians to fall away from God’s, our Heavenly Father, Truth. This country is now full of ungodly people who have become Atheists, Agnostics, and religious, who are twisting the Word of God to mislead others in the wrong path of direction that is leading millions upon millions to eternal hell. It has weakened so many Christian’s faith and many have fallen away from the Truth that can only set them free, Jesus Christ. They have allowed false doctrines to misguide them, such of those of religions that are not rooted up in the Truth, Will and Way of God as well as false prophets, such as Atheism, Agnosticism, and false religions. Until we return back to God, America is on its way to being doomed and destroyed by the ungodly people.

      Since Atheists say that we evolve by chimps because chimps are the ancestors of Apes, per evolution, then, who is the evolution? EVOLUTION is mankind “TRYING” to guide us with their understanding. So, being that the Bible was written by men and is just a myth, what makes you think that “evolution” wasn’t written by men and that it isn’t just a myth? Since you refuse to believe in the men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit and took the time to write down what was being revealed to them so that we can come to know God as they came to know Him by walking talking, had conversations, learned and traveled with Him,? Yet, these very men saw God with their own eyes!!! Who can disprove them? I never met any men mention in the History Books, such as Christopher Columbus, why should I trust and believe in the History Book if I never met or saw Christopher Columbus with my own eyes? Why should I trust or believe in the History Book that was also WRITTEN by men?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Mark B.

      Did you ever stop to thin that when he created the world he created it the mature world that would have taken all those years to develop? After all – he created a mature Adam and Eve, not babies. It really is much less a stretch than everything came into being for nothing which certainly would disprove the laws of cause and effect. Science at it's best begins as a leap of faith, a hypothesis. So does salvation.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • leecherius

      1.Don't sweat the small stuff
      2.It's all small stuff.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Colin

      MarkB – science does not begin with a leap of faith, it rejects any such self-serving nonsense.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • RichP

      He probably never saw it, just wanted to comment on his negative religious views. I think this is always hilarious, atheists reading stuff like this and having to comment negatively.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • yeahalright

      Helsgod I feel so sorry for you. Wasting your one and only life on myth and supersti–tion. Balming your insecurity with the fantasy that everybody else who doesn't believe what you do will be trembling before a figment of your imagination.

      And I CAN do ALL CAPS too IT DOESN'T make your POINT anymore PURSUASIVE JUST more ANNOYING to READ.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      Don't you just love how atheists like to claim they are the Subject Matter Experts on Christianity? Would you go and see a mechanic about your medical condition... or would you go to a doctor?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Nancy

      Just another "New Atheist" screaming about his lack of faith.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Colin

      Fidei Coticula Crux – care to point out what I got wrong?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Colin

      Nancy – ditto. What did I get wrong?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • ummmm

      "Are you that brainless to realize that mankind has bestowed their own destruction and in TODAY’S century, many are killing to gain POWER because of their GREED & SELFISHNESS and the majority don’t even believe in God. Get your head out of the sand and shake it off, it’s making you blind, hateful, and bitter. "

      LMAO! LOL! LOL LOL! Wow talk about being blind hateful and bitter – that was a great example. LOL!

      October 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Richard

      All sciences and math are built from some axioms that are assummed to be true. They seem to be true in the "environment" that we live in but they aren't necessarily universal truths so the argument that science is based on complete fact is also a falsehood. People could come up with a completely different axiomatic system and define science in different terms.

      Atheists remind me of a stick figure who says that 3D objects couldn't possibly exist because they can't see them with their limited sight. Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Do some study on dimensionality if you want to contradict me. Wait, this might be too advanced for some people. Oh well.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Norrin

      Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

      Colin – Jesus loves you and died for you, and my hope is that you will know and believe this in your lifetime.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Traumatic Love

      As a former atheist and still best friends with many atheists i will go ahead and respond on behalf of christianity. The idealogy of a God is a faith based concept that human comprehension cannot nor WILL EVER be able tofully understand. Why is there evil? why is there corruption in the church itself? Why does'nt God seem to care? All these questions come from lack of human insight into the methadology of a "God." To a experienced, intelligent and reasonable human mind a God makes ZERO sense. Much like most things in science, such as the speed of neutrinos or why atoms cannot be destroyed we can infer as to why and how it makes sense that most things work like they do but when it comes to God no one gets it. Faith and faith alone can prove to someone there is a God. You cannot understand why God does what he does no one can or ever wiill understand why God does all these things till death. From the Bible "It is easier to count every grain of sand on this beach than to understand the holy trinity" (Christian God). You either believe in him because you believe there is much more to human life than an animals or you do not because you refuse to believe in something that you cannot nor will ever understand. As a man of science everything I was taught was based on a world not created by God. When I decided to stop listening to the very erroneous views of man and started searching for more it became very, very clear that this world makes no sense, ya know what else doesnt make sense? God.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • I. Mold

      Something most Christians, and about all non-Christians don't seem to realize is, the Old Testament is not Christianity, the New Testament is, and you will seldom hear this in any church, probably never in a Catholic church. The Old is fundamentally Jewish in origin, history, and rules. The New is primarily a collection of letters and possibly sermons from the disciples (Christ himself evidently didn't write much), compiled some time after Christ's crucifixion by the forerunner of the Catholic Church. The last book, Revelations, wasn't initially included because it was too unbelievable for the initial selectors. When the Mithran religion was ordered replaced by Christianity by the current emperor, the priests adapted a lot of Mithran pagan ritual into the new religion, eventually becoming the Catholic church. These events easily provide fuel for the anti-Christian side, but both sides of the argument tend to get a lot of their facts wrong. I'm sure some one will say I have my facts wrong, too, but I would suggest they do some easy research on Google first. Without a time machine, actual confirmation of much in the New Testament will be impossible. If the history of the Bible sounds complex, research the Koran's history.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Ed

      @Colin,

      Science does begin with a leap of faith. It takes a leap of faith to believe that through no external force the universe just began some how maybe with a bang. According to the law on inertia it would have required an outside force of some kind to start the universe in motion. Or an extraordinary means of some kind to create it from nothing. Prehaps science will one have an answer what started the whole thing but till then your taking a leap of faith in the one or moer of the theiries science has created.

      A similar point on evolution. Something would have had to start the process. Science has not as of yet given any solid theory of what started the process only that it began. Again science may one day have the answer till then you take it on faith that evolution just started.

      Fact what we faithful believes as God could be the external force or extraordinary means the started either the universe or evolution. Of course to beleive this does require a "leap of faith" as you put it. However to beleive that it all just happened and ignore the possiblity that a divne being could be involved is just as much a leap of faith.

      In addition the story is about a church doing something to help inspire men to be better fathers. This is something the world needs. Better xamples to the children of the world may help them behave better in life. Your original long winded cut and paste ignores the article for a chance to basically say faith is wrong so saith the almighty science. No faith in that comment

      October 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Ed

      @I mold, most of us a well aware that the old testament is not Christianty but Judaism, however Christianity as its roots in Judaism. Christ was after all a Jew. The new testament is the book of faith for the Chirstian faith but it can't niot simply be excluded formt he old testament. So we read both. As for your facts on when t was complied them seem rough correct as I understand it. The time beween the start of the Christian faith and the compliation of the bible is why the Catholics are traditionalist not literalist science the Catholic church predates the writtens on the new testament. As for accepting some of the pagan rituals. This is old news it is hard to simply tell people to end their culture and rituals some some of them live on. for instance the Christmas tree.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "Science at it's best begins as a leap of faith, a hypothesis" That's either a mistake or a lie. I'd bet it's a lie. You say "one of these jars is empty." I shake them and find one is lighter; it's the empty one. Where was the leap of faith? Paying attention to you? Science is a METHOD, not a thing.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  14. Brandy

    I saw the preview for this on a movie i rented, in my opinion, it looked like it would be a good movie. I'm not a super religous person, but i do believe in God. I guess i follow the old, "it's better to live your life as if there were a God, and die to find there's not, than to live as if there isn't one, and die to find their is." But, i'm no preacher, so i'm not preaching. I think the movie sends a good message, even if you're not a religious person. I mean, i dont believe in alien robots, but that doesn't stop me from appreciating the awesomeness that is "Transformers" 🙂

    October 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Josh

      Do you think God would be fooled by that line of thinking? Yeah God, I only believe in you because just in case I'm wrong, I don't want to go to hell.

      It's more important to live a good life and be a good example than it is to fake belief in order to hedge your bets.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Aminotothat!

      @Brandy – Ironically, if we all agreed there is nothing after we die, perhaps we would all appreciate that which we have here now on Earth even more. Likewise, we would naturally treat each other with much more respect knowing we all have a basic commonality and path as human beings. Aminotothat!

      October 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  15. HeIsGod

    Here is the thing about Atheists, they are PART OF A RELIGION. They are known "The Godless Religion" people preaching the contrary to what saith the Lord and the author of this religion is no one but SATAN himself.

    Praise Jesus Christ for being the Author and the Finisher of our Faith! Amen!!

    October 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Well then

      You aren't a christian then. You might want to start getting that straight. You are part of the Amuslim, Ajew, Ahindu,Abuddhist, etc... church.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Sara Wrap

      Nope. Calling atheism a religion is like calling not collecting stamps a hobby, or like calling bald a hair color.
      (kudos to Dawkins or whoever came up with those comparables)

      Nice try, though. And why would a being that is claimed to have everything demand praise? Wacky stuff, your beliefs.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • yeahalright

      We believe in one less god than you, is all. "Godless religion" is an oxymoron, moron.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Freethinksman

      Satan is every bit as imaginary as your abusive megalomaniacal god is. Atheism is not a religion the "A" implies "no" and the "theism" means "belief in god or gods". Atheists don't believe in gods. Why can't you understand that?

      Be a good father because it's the right thing to do. Not because some nomad in a dress wrote it down four thousand years ago.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • @HelsGod

      You are just seriously beating that dead horse today. I'm calling PETA.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • leecherius

      Do you have a father? Do you show him disrespect?Do you call him names. Why blindly discredit that which you cannot disprove. Maybe some of the writings are simply written for even the most simple minded to understand , analogies , as it were. The point being it is a guide for life to make things as easy as it can possibly be , given our vulnerabilities. The Bible is the oldest , greatest book on human psychology ever written. The coke soaked Sigmund can't hold a candle to it. Believe or disbelieve , but don't shoot the messenger.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Mmmm

      Freethinksman... Out of curiosity, why is it the right thing to do to be a good father? Is there some sort of moral foundation on which you rely? Where did that foundation come from? How firm is it? Does it change with culture or does it stand the test of time? Just wondering . . .

      October 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Aminotothat!

      I like this one. Atheism is a religion, like Off is a TV Channel. Aminotothat!

      October 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Fred1

      Atheism is not a religion because it is based on Science.
      Science is guided by natural laws. Religion is guided by an old book
      Science has to be explanatory by reference to natural law. Religion isn’t explained by anything except an old book.
      Science is testable against the empirical world. Religion is testable against an old book.
      Science is falsifiable, if a theory is wrong it will be discovered and corrected. Religion claims to be perfect, immutable and unchangeable

      October 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Castiel

      Did you really just use the word 'saith'? In a CNN forum?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Fred1

      @Matt: Is this the same loving and forgiving god that had 2 bears slaughter 42 children for calling his prophet balled?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Traumatic Love

      Atheism is a way of life, religion also is a way of life. All yalls examples of "hey if atheism is a religion thats like saying..." is just comparing apples to oranges.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • leecherius

      Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • duderino

      Atheism is a religion because it is as faith based as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc.

      The existence of a divine being cannot be proven or disproven, due to how we define such a being. As a result it takes faith to believe that such a being does not exist just as it takes faith to believe that it does. Atheists simply choose to put their faith in believing that "god" does not exist based on whatever their reasons, while theists choose to put their faith in believing that "god" does exist based on whatever their reasons.

      It is because of this that atheism is be considered a "godless religion", because religion is simply a faith based belief system.

      Note that this religion label has nothing to do with the content of either belief system.

      In closing, I don't really see why atheists would argue on whether atheism is a religion or not, it is, but for all practical purposes that label is simply that, a label.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      See, the thing that bothers me is that what you say is a lie, and it's alie that you are proud to tell. You glorify your God and demonstrate your obedience to his teachings by LYING?. Not believing is NOT a religion, and thinking God is a hoax is an opinion, not something I ritualize or have meetings about. You don't think Donald Duck is God, do you? Do you get together in groups and insist that duck is NOT God? Do you go around confronting people and telling them Donald Duck is not a deity? Me neither; I don't think Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, or Jehovah are actual beings which exist in this world.

      October 6, 2011 at 9:27 am |
  16. Nonimus

    Isn't God just about the worst example of a father figure there is?
    "Eat this one piece of fruit and I'll kick you out of my house."

    October 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • W247

      They had their run of the Garden, they could do ANYTHING they wanted with the one exception of eating that fruit.
      But they did. Deliberately disobeying what their Father told them to do.

      And your kids? If they deliberately disobeyed you and did the one thing you told them not to do? Would you allow them to get away with it?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Josh

      W247 – and that's why God was a terrible father. What is the first thing any kid does when their parent tells them NOT to do something? He should have known...

      October 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Here is a garden that you can do anything you want in it, but I'm going to put this one tree right in the middle and tell you you can't eat from it. (Even though it does happen to be the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, you are expected to know that disobeying Me is Evil anyway.)

      First, why put it there in the first place. In my house dangerous stuff, like knives, cleaners, pesticides, are locked up or out of their reach.
      Second, how many children do you know that have *never* done something to disobey their parents? I'm guessing, none.
      Third, even if they do disobey me, my first reaction is *not* to kick them out and say, "okay I know you just got here but, you are on your own now, good luck with that whole giving birth thing and growing food thing. See ya, wouldn't wanta be ya."

      October 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Gregg

      I appreciate your opinion but don't quite see it that way. God is a father, that like many other fathers, have rules that are not to be broken. When the rules are broken, there are consequences. At least, through out repentance and HIs grace, He gives us the opportunity to be welcomed back into His house. Would we, as fathers, not expect and provide the same if our rules were broken?

      I would hate to imagine a world where we were all left to our own desires and not held accountable to at least some set of basic rules for living...regardless of what anyone's faith may be.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Matt

      The God that is slow to anger? The God that is abounding in love and forgiving of sin? The God that died for me, took my sin upon himself so that I would not have to pay the penalty of eternal death? I'll take that father figure any day. And about Adam and Eve, God did what any earthly parent does. Set rules and boundaries. If a child breaks his boundaries he gets punished. It is no different, so I don't understand why you would criticize God for that.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • lolcat

      "Ok, you guys, I know you haven't eaten of the Tree of Knowledge, so you're both kind of simple. I made you simple. But: I'm going to put this tree right out here in plain sight with delicious fruit on it. No reason at all for it to be here, just thought I'd mess with your heads and test you to see how you hold up. Even though I made you myself, and I never mess up. You can do anything in the garden you want, just DON'T touch the fruit on this tree. Got it? Ok, good. I'll be watching."

      It is kind of funny.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • @Matt

      Matt – please, please tell me you're not one of those guys who puts a cupcake right on the edge of the coffee table, then punishes his dog for taking it.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Fred1

      @Matt: Is this the same loving and forgiving god that had 2 bears slaughter 42 children for calling his prophet balled?.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • sam

      I am just very glad my dad didn't purposely plant a really cool tree in the yard and then forbid me to go near it. Actually, my dad would have been completely ok with the idea of eating fruit that made people smarter. My dad was a pretty good dad!

      October 4, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Traumatic Love

      Hey you obviously know more than the idiological idea of an all-knowing creature. If there is God i think he knows why he put a tree there a lot better than you will ever know. I think I should add the fact that Bible experts will tell you, the story of creation and genesis is A STORY. THATS IT. Way too many people take that stuff to literally or are to ignorant (like yourself) to even go out and figure that yes genesis is a story. I hope you dont base your faith off this stuff.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Orly

      Adam and eve are fairy tales along with the garden too. The garden is a lie. A foolish religion believing the Earth was created six thousand years ago.....

      October 4, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Nonimus

      You realize that many believe that we *cannot* achieve God's supposed standard by ourselves. If I understand correctly, we cannot save ourselves. It's all up to God. We can either live a sinless life, which is apparently impossible, or we depend on God's "grace" as one of you put it.
      So basically it is like a father saying live up to my standard, which you can't do, or the only way you'll get back in the house is if I am nice enough to let you in.

      Father: "You don't deserve to live in my house, because you are as I created you, flawed. But I'm such a nice guy you can stay, if you do exactly as I say."
      Child: "Ummm... gee, thanks."

      October 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @TraumaticLove,
      Excellent point, Genesis is A STORY, just like the rest of it. There are some good parts, I admit, but living your life or basing you parenting on it is fairly ridiculous.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Ed

      @Nominus, "Here is a garden that you can do anything you want in it, but I'm going to put this one tree right in the middle and tell you you can't eat from it. (Even though it does happen to be the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, you are expected to know that disobeying Me is Evil anyway.)

      First, why put it there in the first place. In my house dangerous stuff, like knives, cleaners, pesticides, are locked up or out of their reach.
      Second, how many children do you know that have *never* done something to disobey their parents? I'm guessing, none.
      Third, even if they do disobey me, my first reaction is *not* to kick them out and say, "okay I know you just got here but, you are on your own now, good luck with that whole giving birth thing and growing food thing. See ya, wouldn't wanta be ya."

      You make a fair point. The reason your kids disobey you is the same reason we disobey God, Your right why give them a chance. But for your kids to grow and become their own person that have to test the waters some times that means disobeying you. When they do you correct them and eventually they will grow up to be be a good productive member of soviety like their parents. It takes time and a lot of hard work form them and you.

      Now image your trying to get a race of people to become what the race is capable of. You could just create them their but that would be like having your kids born as full and productive adults. We as a race need to to go through the process to truly be what we can be. God knows this. He knew we would eat the fruit but he had to give us the chance so we asa race could learn and grow. With out this we would be no better then rotos doing only what we are programed to do. It harsh but necessary not for God but for us. Look how far we've come so far imagine were we will be in another 10,000 or 100,000 years.

      By the way I beleive the fruit in the story of eden is a reference to out tendence as humans to do what we are told not to do not a actual fruit. It is a symbol or original sin, which is out inate tendence to not listen to our parents, bosses, and yes God. Similar to the fact thatyour kids would be better off if they just listened to you we would be better off if we just did what God told us to do. But like your kids we need to do it our way. The forgivenss thing is a way for us to know that God does love us and will welcomes us home even though we are his stubborn willful children.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Gregg

      Nonimus: How about looking at your last post from a slightly different viewpoint:

      Father: ALL are welcome in My house for I am a kind and loving Father. Know that I have rules for dwelling in My house. Yes, I recognize that you are not Me (sinless), and so I have sent my Son to repay the sins of all. All I ask is, do not sin but when or if you do, repent, learn from the error of your way, and sin no more. In return for your repentance and through my grace, I forgive your sin and welcome you with open arms for I am your loving Father.

      Child: Wow…pretty generous and cool Father if you ask me! You will forgive me for my sin if I repent. You know that I will sin, for which you sent Your Son. You sacrificed Him in payment for all our sins that were and are yet to come. Thank you – I will do the best that I can and appreciate Your grace when I am wrong for I see that You love and want the best for me!

      October 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Ed,
      Sorry for the slow response.
      "It takes time and a lot of hard work [from] them and you."
      "You could just create them their but that would be like having your kids born as full and productive adults. We as a race need to to go through the process to truly be what we can be."

      Why exactly do we need to struggle to grow? You say we "need to," but that is only because God decided to make us that way, at least according to some common theologies. What is wrong with having "your kids born as full and productive adults"? I can see natural reasons for this, but why would a god make his creations so weak, defenseless, and unable to support themselves, especially when He did it that way with so many animals.

      I know, we can't understand the mind of God, right? Why is that anyway? He could have made us with sufficient abilities to comprehend what He is doing, right? So, what's He hiding?

      October 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Gregg,
      Sorry for the slow response.
      Your point might make a lot of sense if it wasn't for hell. It's not "welcome in My house" just follow my rules. It's actually, "welcome in My house" just follow my rules, if you don't you will burn in hell for eternity. That doesn't sound very loving to me.

      Now some might say, "you live under my roof, you live by my rules, and if there's a blizzard outside then you should've thought of that before you rejected my offer." Which would also be a decent argument if God hadn't created the situation wherein not being in His house means an eternity burning in hell.

      If He really wanted true believers, He would have reversed the situation. Choosing hell over a comfy heaven in order to be with your Lord. Now, that's faith!

      October 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Ed

      @Nonimus,
      "What is wrong with having "your kids born as full and productive adults"?" Because for your kids to grow to ther full potential they have to grow and learn. Even animals startyoung and haave to learn and grow. Think about how differnt your kids would be if the just started as fully prepared adults. think about how your relationship with them would change. While you teach them you learn and grow too.

      A friend of mine from college was in a accident near the end of high school. He lost full use of his legs. While going through rehab he keep falling being religious he prayed and blamed God. Then once when he started to fall he caught him self. He had learned how and could now walk better then before. He credits God I know you will not your choice. But the point is he had to fall so he could learn not too. Watch animal planets they go through the same thing.

      "I know, we can't understand the mind of God, right? Why is that anyway? He could have made us with sufficient abilities to comprehend what He is doing, right? So, what's He hiding?"

      He's not hiding anything. tyr to explain yourself to a dog or cat, they'll listen but not understand. Try to explain yourself to a very young child the mind is not yet developed. Humasn a a species are still infant compared to God. He tried to explain him self. We made up terms like omnipotent, we just aren't ready to understand the same as a young child is not ready to understand what you are yet.

      Humans are destine for greatness as a race if we can avoid killing our selves first. But to reach that greatness we have to learn and grow just like kids and animals but a a racial level not a personal level. In genesis God did create the first humans full and done, then he gaves free will and we did the one thing he said don't do. It our nature just like kids pushing their boundaries with parents, and just like with the kids we had to face to consequence of our actions. If kids don't face consequences the often turn badly behaved and poor members of soviety now imagine that a a racial level.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      Josh, either God's not really a god, or He knew exactly what they would do and say. If He didn't know the future, then He didn't create and order the world; he is only a demigod and is trapped in time along with us. If He did, then why make them go through the whole routine? "I was going to tell you not to eat the fruit, but you were going to eat it anyway, so just pack your fig leaves and go. Write when you find work."

      October 6, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Chuckles

      What I'm amazed at that no believer finds incredibly ridiculous is god is still supposedly holding this original sin against us. I mean I've seen the example a couple of times, "hey, I'm going to put this tree here, it'll make you idiots smarter and then I'm going to walk away (even though I'm still somehow everywhere at once) and I'm expecting you not to eat it" The reply is "duh, of course they would, but that's how man is, just like a child with out parents, the cool thing is he loves us" but this example goes a step further. Do you know of anyone, any mother or father or any good parent at all (however you define it) that still holds one small grievance against a kid when he was 1 years old? Do you know a parent that has literally shaped a kids life around a single event that at least a bit of blame could be put on the parent to begin with because it could have been avoided, but instead this parent, for X amount of years has reared this child with the message "I love you, however your single action at 1 years old proves you are fundamentally flawed, everything you do with be quantified by that singular action and if you do something good its because you ignored that and it was because of me, if you do something bad it's because you did that thing at 1 years old."

      October 6, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Ed,
      Perhaps I'm not being clear, I'm not asking how we grow and develop as people I'm asking why is it necessary? God supposedly created the universe the way it is; why did He create it in such a way as to make growth and development a slow and generally painful process.

      I see why you feel that development is necessary, but I would say that you and I have no experience with any other process and therefore have no comparison.

      Let me ask you this though, where did God grow up, develop, and learn His full potential?

      October 6, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Chuckles,
      Agreed. And that is even without going into the whole ethical implications of 'corruption of blood' or punishing people for the "sins" of their ancestors.

      October 6, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • J.W

      I do not believe that he still holds original sin against us. He only holds our own sin against us. The Bible never even uses the term Original Sin.

      October 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Normon

      @J.W.,
      Why is there death and disease again?

      October 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Ed

      @Chuckles, God is not hold 'the original sin' against us. Original sin is our tendence to do what we know we should not. We keep sinning so we keep being held accountable for sin. If we stop then there will be no need for accoutability. The eatig of the fruit was 'the original sin' but is not original sin.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      Yes, he holds our own sins against us, except for say, the children killed by abortions, or die before being baptised and what not. The term original sin was coined in the 12th century I think, however christian doctirne basically states we're all born immediately as sinners. No one starts off with a clean slate, but with a tick mark already in the sin column, is that even remotely fair in any sense of the word?

      @Ed
      Are you saying that god created us to automatically revert to sin? Why even give us a tendenacy to sin to begin with? If sin is what leads us to the path of hel.l then why would he ever want to send people there? ever? If I might nip an arguement in the bud: yes, god gave us free will in order to seemingly "choose" to sin or not, however it's pretty clear in the garden of eden that adam and eve would never have sinned if god had just thought to keep the tree out of eden, or better yet, just not plant it to begin with.

      You also dilenate between "the original sin" and original sin, care to clarify?

      October 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Ed

      @Nonimus,
      You asked why I thought the process of growth and learning was necessary. Because we do have some examples of what happens when it is not necessary. For instance Paris Hilton, given evrything did not need to work or succeed to have all that she could want. Look how she behaves. Would you want a race of Paris Hiltons? Granted she had to learn to read and write and some level of manners but as spoiled as she was and given everything under the sun as caused her to expect the world to answer to her wims, or at least it seems that way. I don't know her personally and rarely read article much past the head line so I may have a very unfair opinon.

      Another example would be angels and demons. I understand atheist don't beleive in them but beleivers do. If we beleivers are correct they were basically created at full potential and look how it turned out a war and an attempt by one side to take over heaven. Now granted the human race behaves just as badly but hopefully by the time we get to their level of power we will have learned.

      The 'Q' from Star Trek would be another example they have all the power and everything they could possible want and either behave very badly of sit around do nothing. Ok I admit thats weak example since they eare purely fictional but I image that is how we would be with out the slow and often painful process of growth and development we are going through.

      Of course as you pointed we have never known any other way and it may have turned out fine, but considering how things turned out this way I doubt it. Still a great question thanks.

      You also asked were did God grow up. Ok I have to concede he is an exception to my opinon since we christians beleive him to have always existed and always been God. He did not need to grow up and develope he just is. Good example of the leap of faith thing no beleivers hate us to use. its also a good example of us trying to explain God in our terms, when he is beyond our terms and understanding at least for now. But would you really want billions of Gods. May people have a problem with a few or even one imagine billions espeacially if we behaved as badly as we do know.

      October 6, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Ed

      @Chuckles, 'The original sin" was Adam and eve eating the apple. If the story of genesis is real. If not I don't know what the first sin really was. Tell you the truth I think its a story. Evolution is more likely correct. But that's a different discussion. Original refers to humans innate tendency to do what we have been told not too. Like touch something that reads wet paint or go through a dorr labeled authorized personel only. Granted this are not sins but should be easy enough to avoid. Yet for some reason we a a race can not.

      You asked why God gave it to us. Well he didn't exactly it is part of free will. Let but it this way. Lets say you tell a kid that you have authority over not to throw a ball in th house. How can you be sure the child won't throw the ball. take it away right, but the child could go get another or make a ball like projectile out of something else. So the only way to absolutely prevent the child from disobeying you would be to lockthem in a room with nothing. But not only is that wrong and illegal it doesn't change the child it merely makes it impossible for them to disobey the ball rule.

      Now imagine coming up with away to make never do anything wrong at all. Can you think of any I can't. even if you could and did you could not claim you had a well behaved child because you don't. To well behaved you have to have the opurtunity to misbehave and chose to behave. To be good or noble you have to have the chance not to be and chose to be. so for us to be what we are able to be or to grow to what we can grow to there must be the chance to fail. Without the chance to fail there can not be a chance to succeed.

      Christ was made man he could have failed he was even temoted to fail to run. But he chose to succeed even though part f him did not want to. This is why he is an example of how we should be. christ proved we could because he did while being man.

      October 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  17. Ann Marie

    Very nice. The entire Hollywood powerbase is from Mt. Slnai Temple in Brentwood, they would NEVER make this film. Bravo Baptists!

    October 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Fascinatig,

      So would you be in favor or against a bunch of jews making this movie but making sure you knew the only way to be a good father is to have a solid jewish background? I mean, it's advocating being a good father, so whats the big deal right?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • UrAverageJoe

      That's a bit of a bigoted comment, don'y ya think?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Phil

      Typical Christian.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  18. Jennifer

    To all of the people on here criticizing this movie because it is "Christian" or at the very least produced by a church – don't go see it, don't support it, just quit griping about it. The truth of the matter is that the subject matter is one that all people no matter what their spiritual beliefs are should be able to support – the act of being a "real" father, not an absent, deadbeat one. Can anyone honestly argue that we don't need to do better in this department???

    The beauty of America is that we all are free to worship or not worship anyway we choose. Why is that so hard for Christians and Non-Christians to understand. To all the Christians bashing the athiests for their lack of belief – live your life in such a way that you are pleasing to God and quit condemning people who don't believe the same way you do. A Christian's job is to be a "fisher of men" but it isn't to spew hatred because someone doesn't bite your hook. To all the atheists spewing your own hatred – don't believe in God, don't worship but quit talking about how dumb Christians are and how they should get a clue. If worshipping an all-powerful God (that you do or do not believe in) causes people to do good and helps them to get through things that they would have not otherwise gotten through then what is their belief hurting??? Both sides need to get their heads out of their rears and learn a little tolerance. Diversity (in ALL things) is what makes the world a better place.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • yeahalright

      That'd be great. I just want your god off our shared money and out of our shared politics, schools and courtrooms. When that happens, you won't hear a peep from me.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • CuriousChange

      @yeahalright
      only one problem with your request. You live in a country that was founded on a belief in God. My suggestion is if you don't agree with that, feel free to buy yourself an island and start your own country. Maybe you can call it Cuba.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Jennifer

      So just so I am aware...does "God" being on your money make it spend any different? Or do you just want it off your money because you like your opinion to be the one chosen? Honestly, I couldn't care less what our money says. As for taking God out of the courtrooms, politics and schools. Hasn't that all but been done? I mean really, teachers can't talk about God in the classroom, curriculum can't include God and prayer can't be enforced but you act like "my God" is still getting in the way of your godlessness. Or is it that you prefer that the children also are no longer allowed to talk about God or pray in schools? God will always be in "your schools" because there will always be Christians there that bring Him along. If you don't want Him there then start a new school where only atheists are allowed. Isn't that what many Christians did by starting Christian schools? Allowed Christianity to be taught to those who wanted it? God in politics...really? Politics is probably the most ungodly "occupation," if you can even call it that, there is. Yes, there are politicians who claim to have personal relationships with Christ but they don't get to exercise that in their position. Also, in the courtroom, God has all but been removed! Granted we still follow the ten commandments (barely) but religion has nothing to do with the rulings or punishment. What exactly do you want done? Maybe we should allow murder and stealing – after all didn't "my God" thou shalt not do those things? Sounds to me like you are all for people worshipping as they please as long as they worship the same as you.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Steve

      CuriousChange:

      The money in my pocket says, IN GOD WE TRUST. However, it doesn't specify which god. I'm inclined to believe it is trust in all gods — whichever god motivates each one of us to respect and defend this great country. After all, it would otherwise be hypocritical to declare freedom of religion a fundamental right of every citizen, only to turn right around and declare national allegiance to one specific god.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Fred1

      I had a good Christian father and every father’s day to show how much I appreciated that Christian upbringing I visit his grave and pee on it.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "You live in a country that was founded on a belief in God." Are you nuts? Our founding fathers were refugees fleeing the power of the Church. They fought to keep us from getting away from the C of E, and came back in 1812 to try to take us over again for Mother Church. COE and Rome have fought over and over. We set this country up out of fear of the power of religion so that we would never have a State Church, and our example broke the backs of the European state religions, neither of which now has its own army. Vatican has a small military but not enough to be dangerous. In this country we don't mind churches, but we don't want Churches.

      October 6, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  19. Adrian

    I just heard about this film.....hate that it slipped past me. Will definitely see it and recommend churches to take their entire congregations to support Christian based and themed films. I disagree with the random insertion of the "stat" on fatherless homes. Call me crazy, but where I grew up, you can directly tie the outcome of some of my imprisoned, parolee and deceased friends from not having their father in the home. A positive male role model is good, but I'm living proof that you are damaged by not being able to grow up in the direct covering of a strong male.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • @Adrian

      How about encouraging people to see it simply because it's a good movie with a good message, instead of 'hurry, support Christians'? Make it about the message, and only if you think it's a good one.

      Also...not too late for you to find a strong male to cover you. Just saying.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "I'm living proof that you are damaged by not being able to grow up in the direct covering of a strong male." Ewww! Did you really mean that, hoss?

      October 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  20. BubbasWorld

    A question: How many guys out there have X's who have "Poisoned the well"? You know, made sure your kids hate you?

    October 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • CuriousChange

      No doubt this happens. My advice is take the high road and in the end smart children grow up to be smart young adults and will sooner or later see the truth.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Ed

      Have to agree with curious. Every parent I know who does this ends up regreting it. And going t-it for tat only makes it worse

      October 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      My uncle ran off with his secretary, and his kids just rolled their eyes and said "Oh well, that's Dad." My friend found the ex had used the kids' names to get credit cards and wrecked their credit when they were small, and they just sniffle and say "Poor mom, so screwed up." It's hard to get kids to hate a parent.

      October 6, 2011 at 12:04 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.