December 27th, 2011
02:09 PM ET

Charismatic movement growing quickly worldwide

By Stacey Samuel, CNN

Laurel, Maryland (CNN) - At the end of a row of neatly arranged banquet chairs, Sandra Ashford sat reverently, still in awe of what she says is her mother’s miraculous recovery from cervical spinal stenosis.

“If it wasn’t my mother,” Ashford said, “I wouldn’t believe it." She explained how after a “laying of hands,” her 74-year-old mother, Delsie McDougall, no longer experiences the symptoms from what was becoming a debilitating condition.

When she arrived in early December from her native Jamaica in search of treatment options, McDougall said, she couldn’t “walk straight.” When her neurologist prescribed surgery, she sought an alternative, one more in keeping with her faith.

On the recommendation of a friend, mother and daughter experienced their first charismatic healing service in the rented ballroom of a Holiday Inn in Laurel, Maryland.

On a Sunday evening a few weeks before Christmas, the two spent several hours in the temporary location of the Everlasting Life Christian Center.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

“To tell you the truth, I was very skeptical,” McDougall said as she stood and swayed to the live music from the gospel singers. She showed no signs of physical discomfort.

Sandra Ashford, right, and her mother, left, attend a healing service in Maryland.

They are among a fast-growing number within the diverse Christian landscape to join the charismatic movement.

According to a recent Pew Research Center report on Global Christianity, 305 million Christians worldwide follow the charismatic movement.

“One of the reasons the charismatic movement is expanding … apart from salvation, we experience healing, miracles. The blind see, the lame get up and walk, and the deaf can hear. That attracts a lot of people,” said Samuel Fatoki, who leads the roughly 200-member church with his wife, Marcia, who serves as his co-pastor.

Ashford recounted how on the third application of Fatoki’s hands on her mother, McDougall fell to the ground and began speaking in tongues. Ashford said her mother writhed on the floor, contorting in ways she couldn’t stretch before.

Both said she’s been walking upright since.

The Pew report categorizes charismatic Christians as a subset among non-Pentecostal denominations and includes Christians from each of the major branches: Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.  The movement shares similar beliefs to Pentecostal denominations and similar practices like “divine healing, prophecy and speaking in tongues,” according to the report.

Dale Stoffer, professor of historical theology and academic dean at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio, said the charismatic movement has been present in the United States since the 1960s. The religious experience in the movement is more experiential, rather than based in intellectual expression.

“There’s a high degree of emphasis on the Holy Spirit working in supernatural ways,” Stoffer added.

While the movement is growing here in the United States, there’s been an “explosion in Christianity,” Stoffer said, in Africa, Latin America and Asia: regions of the world that have seen increased numbers of charismatic Christians.

A Pew Forum survey from 2006 found that 34% of Brazil's population identified themselves as charismatics.

“These are cultures that have not been impacted by the Western Enlightenment,” explained Stoffer.

A basic tenet in this healing ministry is complete belief, invoking one’s blind faith.

“And the signs shall follow them that believe, they will heal the sick, lay hands, cast out demons in my name,” Marcia Fatoki recited from the Gospel of Mark. She said she also shares her husband’s ability to prophesy.

Pastor Samuel Fatoki listens to his wife speak at a recent service.

Both asserted that they are not the purveyors of the miracles. “We’re not the ones healing,” Samuel Fatoki said.  They are just the vehicles through which the Holy Spirit is working.

But it’s not a gift that can be called upon on command, like magic, as a skeptic may expect to see in order to be convinced.

“People’s faith level increases with more examples from others,” Marcia Fatoki said.

At a time when individual tribulations seem to have grown with increasingly difficult economic times, it’s no wonder that the ballroom was filled with at least 200 people from as far as New York, New Jersey and Virginia, many with testimonies of being cured of ailments from chronic sinus issues and financial woes, to smoking cessation and the disappearance of tumors.

So, what happens when neither of the Fatokis is able to heal someone? Samuel Fatoki said that that too is out of his hands, and it is the will of God.

But for Sandra Ashford and her mother, what they have seen is enough to inspire a deepening of their faith.

“To witness a family member go through this speaks volumes,” Ashford said, still giddy that more than three weeks later, her mother is still pain-free and walking with ease.

“It is the will of God that everyone be healed,” Samuel Fatoki said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Catholic Church • Christianity • Pentecostal • United States

soundoff (685 Responses)
  1. Aequitas

    So, what happens when neither of the Fatokis is able to heal someone? Samuel Fatoki said that that too is out of his hands, and it is the will of God.


    “It is the will of God that everyone be healed,” Samuel Fatoki said.

    Contradiction, anyone?

    December 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • 21k

      the world would be a lot more crowded if everyone was to be healed. if that's the case, then no one would die at all, even of old age. yikes.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Sue

      Contradiction, indeed. As usual.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • dprop

      There's no contradiction. God may well will that everyone be healed, without willing that everyone be healed through the prayers of the same two people. Whether or not you believe that such miracles are possible, there is no contradiction in what the pastor here is claiming.

      December 28, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • Don Camp

      @21k. Interesting that you have actually accurately described God's desire – and plan. The biblical picture of it is in Revelation 21 and 22. No death. No sickness. No growing old. And, I might add, no sin or destruction. And all who will may come. Why not meet me there?

      December 28, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  2. Ronald Hussein Reagan

    People love a good show; always have – always will.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  3. MyMyMy

    God will get the last say. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. The Bible does not need defending, nor do we as Christians need to argue over anything written therein.

    2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
    2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    The truth always prevails.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Sid

      And your evidence for those claims is what, exactly? No, circular references from the bible aren't valid.

      And for that matter, how come your loving, all-powerful god needs people to bow to him? Vain much? What a total farce, that you believe in.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • just sayin

      sid you appear to be confused on the concept of love. We bow because we know and we love God. It is a voluntary form of worship. You will bow because you have to, unless you join God's family.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Boy, this is a good one!

      "2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."

      So, God causes them to believe a lie, and then punishes them with eternal torment for doing so?

      Is it any wonder young people are abandoning the fundamentalist churches and their culture-war absurdities?

      December 27, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • just sayin

      For what cause? There was a cause why did you omit the cause? Could it be that in order to ridicule you had to edit to suit your purpose?

      December 27, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • Don Camp

      @Boy. God sends them a delusion BECAUSE they have already chosen to refuse God. (The context is important, you know. See verse 10.) They will therefore continue in their unbelief with the irrational confidence that they have it right. Everything they see will seem to confirm that position for them. And they will be ready dupes for Satan's tricks.

      December 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Don Camp

      @Sid. God does not need people to bow to him. He is sufficient in himself needing nothing. WE need it. We need it like we need the air we breath. We need it like we need the release and excitement of being at the best super bowl of all time with our team winning. We need it like we need the peace that comes after a long conflict. WE NEED IT. Not God. But he desires for us the freedom and peace and joy that can be experienced only as we bow before the One who is the God of all the universe and the one that loves us more deeply than any human love.

      December 28, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • Boy, this is a good one!

      Rather than sending the wicked man the truth, (or, just leaving him alone in his confusion, to work things out on his own and possibly arrive at the truth) God chooses to fatally compound the man's delusion by causing him to believe a lie?

      If God can cause a man to believe a lie, why can't he cause a man to believe the truth? Free will (or lack thereof) works both ways in this.

      I reiterate:

      Is it any wonder young people are abandoning the fundamentalist churches and their culture-war absurdities?

      December 29, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Don Camp

      @Boy. Though this will not address all your objections, this is I believe the explanation of the passage.

      God has given all men freedom to choose, either to serve God or to serve evil. There is no middle ground.

      God contends with every person, seeking that person, even when we are not seeking him. Jesus came, for example, to seek and to save those who are lost.

      Some respond to God's seeking by receiving his love and forgiveness – in Christ Jesus. They become what the Bible describes as the children of God.

      Many refuse God's every overture of love. Yet God persists. Some of these people do respond, some late in life, some after coming to a point of desperation and need, some even after years of active resistance. But others become more and more resistant to God.

      These who persist in resistance are those spoken of in II Thess. 2:10-12. For them there is a point of no return, a point at which no overture by God will be received. They have hardened their hearts like Pharaoh in the Exodus story and have consequently had their hearts hardened by God. (Examples abound in both the Old and New Testaments.)

      In the days to come spoken of in Thessalonians the great grace of God extended to these resistant ones has become obvious. The path ahead to destruction has also become plain. The consequences of their choice is clear. Yet they persist. At that point they reach the point of no return. God allows them the freedom of their choice. He does not override it. But he does harden their determination in the choice they have made. He sends a strong delusion so that they will believe the lies of the man of lawlessness, which is the very thing they are inclined to by their choices.

      Why? Because there is more going on in those days than these verses describe. You have to go to Revelation for the larger picture.

      What is going on is a polarization unlike any in history, a polarization between God and good and Satan and evil. In order for the rest of mankind, these who are not deluded, to see the awfulness of evil, God removes all restraints. He allows evil to be as evil as it can be. He allows those who have already resisted his grace and love beyond the point of their return to be deeply confirmed in their resistance and the evil that is the consequence; he even causes it. So that others may see the evilness of evil and repent.

      If you read the verses carefully, the delusion is both a choice of those deceived – they choose – and the consequence of that choice decreed by God. They get what they have chosen. It is not forced upon them, just made firm.

      December 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Boy, this is a good one!

      "They have hardened their hearts like Pharaoh in the Exodus story and have consequently HAD THEIR HEARTS HARDENED BY GOD (caps mine)." To what conceivable end?

      "Yet God persists..." Persists by causing the resisitant to believe a lie? What sense does this make? Why not just leave them alone, as they are apparently damned to eternal torment anyway?

      "God allows them the freedom of their choice. He does not override it. But he does harden their determination in the choice they have made." Why not just allow them their free choice? Why strengthen error? If we have free choice, why not allow for the possibility, however remote, of eventual remediation.

      After all, "Some of these people do respond, some late in life, some after coming to a point of desperation and need, some even after years of active resistance."

      All this sounds like post-priori rationalization of scripture that has a-priori been decided is inerrant, no matter how logically convoluted.

      Thrice again:

      Is it any wonder young people are abandoning the fundamentalist churches and their culture-war absurdities?

      December 29, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Boy, this is a good one!

      See the evilness of evil? The proverbial visitor from Mars could hardly miss the salient of the human condition; the appalling suffering in the world. I hardly think, after the twentieth century, evil needs any reinforcing in this dispensation to be recognized.

      We are not talking of those (if any) who have volitionally turned their backs on God, or Jesus as an act of comprehending will (rather than as an act of mental confusion); but simply those who wrestle with honest doubt.

      Jesus did not say, “Father, forgive them, for they did not invite me into their hearts as their personal savior.”, rather, “Father, forgive them, for they KNOW NOT what they do.”

      December 29, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  4. AZ-Independent - No God; no accountability.

    The extremes are sickening. Nonetheless, if we can believe in Leonardo da Vinci, I can believe in a God and the bible. If you think about it, there are lots of things that we choose to believe in without the hard core evidence of actually seeing with our own eyes.

    I love science, and I believe in a high power too, and no, I don't have the answer as to why God continues to allow suffering at the current levels, but the fact of the matter is that human beings are the ones solely responsible for harming one another. A Stevie Wonder song (Heaven is Ten Zillion Light Years Away) asks, "where is your God?" And the retort is that 'we haven't come far enough.' So maybe that's the answer...God is waiting for us to implode; to see if all these people who question the existence of a God will eat their own...if you ask me we are pretty close.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  5. Squeezebox

    It's not the water at Lourdes, or the Shroud of Turin, or any of the other things that make miracles. It's the faith you put in God and the trouble you're willing to go through in order to prove your sincerity of heart. Faith is not a destination, but a journey. God is the destination.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • 21k

      yes, it's the fiction that you make yourself believe. isn't there some passage in the bible that states "to thine own self be true"?

      December 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • reality check

      Religion is what happens when you are academically so deficient as to not understand the world. Thunder is the god of storms, nor are earthquakes the act of a vengeful god. Seizure disorder isn't demonic possession and leprosy is only a disease that is treated with meds.

      I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours, – Stephen Roberts

      December 27, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  6. Juan Engarcia


    Can you give me any book you've ready on Christian evidences?

    December 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • chris

      yes the "purpose driven life" by rick warren........

      December 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Sue

      Warren's book is quite the steaming load of the usual.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Don Camp

      There are many. Try "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist."

      December 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  7. Tony

    No question that if god appeared in the East and admitted his non existence, people would still go to church.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Curious

      I heard a theologian explain that God does not exist, which was distinct from saying that God is not. How does one admit to non-existence?

      December 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  8. I am Sloppy Seconds

    More febble minded to fleece. The world and universe is a miracle but not necessarily created by God. Use your capabilities wisely to help others and care for our world. No thanks needed.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • LarryDavidSandwich

      You are one sanctimonious dbag....and this is coming from a fellow atheist. Stop making the rest of us look bad, doosh.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • roger

      the universe is an on-going manifestation of an all mighty power and I call it God for lack of a better term. Everything is miraculous. Some think that walking on water or turning water into wine are real miracles but such are cheap magician tricks compared to performing the metabolism in every living creature.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  9. steelerguin

    Nothing like a story on faith to bring out all the God haters! It really is sad.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • 21k

      not necessarily god-haters. just folks who don't want your beliefs stuffed down our throats by crazy xtian politicians. if you believe so strongly in god, why don't you let him help you pay taxes on your religious businesses (ie, churches)?

      December 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • claybigsby

      you cant hate something where there is no proof of its existence. That is like saying I hate the easter bunny, or santa claus, or leprechauns

      December 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I don't hate God

      Just Christians (and Muslims and Jews and all the other subsects of the desert cult)

      December 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Brian

      Nothing heals better than some of God's hot salvation all over your face!

      December 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Sue

      What William D. said, but more just "despise" than "hate", in my case.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • LEE


      How you do know that God does not exist? How do you know that you exist? How do you know anything at all? How did anything begin? How do you know that time will continue?

      God created all of these things, that is how. He is the basis for logic, all knowledge and wisdom. It all begins with Him. You cannot know anything with out God

      The Bible says that all are God haters unless our hearts are changed. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is His sovereign right to do so. You must repent of your sin and believe on the Lord Jesus. We are all sinners and are born that way, we inherited it from our parent and are incapable of living a righteous life according to God's Law. But by God's Grace, He may have mercy on whom ever He chooses to have mercy, showing us our sin and giving us the righteousness of Jesus Christ so that we may be justified before a Holy God. I pray that God will open your heart and eyes to see your sin, so that you may repent and believe on the Lord Jesus.

      December 27, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • reality check

      Not God haters, but logic lovers. Can your god build a rock so heavy that He/she/they couldn't pick it up?

      I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours, – Stephen Roberts

      December 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  10. john

    BOb marley

    December 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  11. Purpz

    2nd Peter 3:3-17...Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

    8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

    10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.[a]

    11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.[b] That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

    14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

    17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • JC


      December 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Sue

      Perpz, that is a load of bull droppings. That stuff you posted is so general that it could have been said about pretty much any point in history. You get no marks for prophesy in that rather smelly load.

      Now present some predictions with specific dates, or just stop bothering us.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • reality check

      Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.
      —1 John 2:18

      The above was 2000 years ago.

      I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. Stephen Roberts

      December 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  12. Oran

    Let's think about this logically for a second. Right now, scientists and doctors work every day to discover new remedies for illnesses. Humans put a huge amount of effort into finding cures for disease. Now, if there was ANY possibility at all that these healings actually work, don't you think people would be using it? Surely it would be standard for ambulance crews to speak in tongues so that God would heal the injured people that they encounter. Surely if god can really heal people this way, even non-Christians would allow themselves to be healed by these ceremonies.
    But we don't use prayer or faith to heal people, we use medicine. That is because faith healing doesn't work. If it did, it would be a huge part of our society already and would be accepted by medical professionals. The only thing that can truly heal the sick is medicine and their own immune systems.
    Furthermore, God doesn't exist, Jesus is dead, there is no heaven, and the Bible was written by men.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm |

      You're about to find out how wrong you are.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • jim

      You are casting pearls before swine. They're too far gone even to hear you.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Why do Christians not capitalize their own names?

      Some form of mental subservience?

      December 27, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • claybigsby

      "You're about to find out how wrong you are."


      December 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • kyle

      "Let's think about this logically for a second..." Your Western mind is holding you back. While there will never be any hard proof as to the existence of God, that is irrelevant to any true believer. Imagine, if you will, the far reaches of the universe or the largest number you can think of. Logic tells us that no such thing is possible to coneive of for both stretch on to infinity. Such it is with the Ultimate Reality.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • yaa

      @Branticus: HOW exactly can we find out? Enlighten us.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Squeezebox

      Oran, where do you go when your wonderful science fails? What do you do when the doctors can't do a thing to help you? Do you suffer for your Aetheistic purity or do you try religion? If religion is the opiate of the masses, as Karl Marx suggested, then give me my drug! Life is too painful to live without it!

      December 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Sid

      Squeezebox = coward.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Sean


      You assume that if faith healing should be deemed as something that works, then it should work for everybody accessing it. This assumption is where your logic falls apart. Faith healing works for some people and does not for others. Although not a good analogy, but faith healing is similar to how certain medications work for some people and does not for others. Moreover, doctors agree that medicine is not an exact science, and accept the immense self-healing abilities of the human body, but still people choose to put their faith in medicine. Would such a faith in medicine be blind of its failures?

      Moreover, when Jesus walked on this earth, he did not heal everyone who was sick. He healed only select individuals, and each case had its own significance. Moreover the bible says that God is more concerned about man's soul and not his body, for our bodies are mortal, but our souls are not. For these reasons, faith healing NEED NOT work for everyone, and can still be viewed as a legitimate form of healing.


      December 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Pablo Proborini

      Bible was written by men <– Yes, it was (it doesn't take a genius to say this sentence). Under the direct illumination of God
      Jesus is dead. <– He was. And He rose again from death.

      There is no heaven <- Yes there is, but with the way how you think, you definitely can't see it or feel it.
      God doesn't exist <– God does exist. But again, you definitely won't understand with the way how you think.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  13. Eric

    Faith comes by believing, and believing comes by the living Word of God.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Acutally....

      Faith comes by believing, and believing comes by the living Tinker Bell!

      Faith comes by believing, and believing comes by the living Peter Pan

      Faith comes by believing, and believing comes by the living Santa Claus

      Faith comes by believing, and believing comes by the living Harry Potter

      Faith comes by believing, and believing comes by the living Pandora!

      Faith comes by believing, and believing comes by the living Witch

      Faith comes by believing, and believing comes by the living Buddha

      Faith comes by believing, and believing comes by the living Robin Hood!

      December 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • jim

      Eric, if you had even a quarter of an operating brain, you would realize what utter nonsense your statement is. Wake up, you're dreaming your life away!

      December 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm |








    http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009 !!! These are hard facts about lunatic Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against whites per ZIONIST Washington DC and in complete agreement with communist Moscow !!!


    December 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • 21k

      ha, good one. i bet you are allowed to buy guns in your state without a waiting period.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • O Canada

      Did you mention Canada, land of "True North strong and free?"

      December 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • yaa

      Are you joking or high? If not both....nice trolling bu8gger.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Norman

      I was told that if you wear an aluminum foil hat it completely disables those brain chips. I don't know, but the lady who told me had a really fine one. She said it stops spy rays too.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Officer Daniel is Correct.

      You can stay in your apartment as long as the rent is paid.

      So, see, problem solved, and the world is a brighter place already!

      No need to leave the country with extrene prejudice after all.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Officer Daniel is Correct.


      December 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Officer Daniel is Correct.

      But, stay on Officer Daniel's good side, in case the evil Rachel and her conniving boyfriend decide to start messing with your head again.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Officer Daniel is Correct.

      So, let me ask you this: Did Alex Jones, by any chance, create 9/11 in order to wake me up?

      Just wondering.

      December 27, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  15. jim

    When you are promoting as unlikely a story as the bible, you have to load it up with horrible penalties for not believing it and fantastic rewards for believing it. That way you win over the hopeful and the frightened.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • well

      When you are pushing the idea that DNA formed through a process never described or replicated by science, then became encapsulated in a semi-permeable lipid membrane that formed through a process never described or replicated by science to become self replicating through a process never described or replicated by science you really need to check your ego at the door.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  16. QS

    OUCH! Stories like this make my brain hurt from trying to set aside rationality and reason and make it work like the brains of these people who actually believe this nonsense.

    On a side note – even if I believed as wholeheartedly as these people do, I would still have to put more faith in the doctors at the hospital rather than in a couple of charlatans at a Holiday Inn!

    December 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  17. John Tulin

    So, god hates amputees? How many examples of people praying for limbs to return, and not one limb has returned? Clearly, if God can cure these other diseases and help Tebow score TDs, he hates amputees.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Miracle Madness

      "God" just likes the blessed starfish and holy axolotls better. They regenerate lost appendages spontaneously... and they don't even pray or ti.the or anything (that I know of...).

      December 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • reality check

      He/she/it/they also hate Down's Syndrome as God hasn't cured any of those children either.

      December 27, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  18. 21k

    so god helps some sick folks, not all. and he didn't bother trying to save all those people that hitler murdered, even though he was powerful enough to have created the entire universe from nothing. i guess god works in strange ways. real strange. perverted maybe.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • jackie

      God works in strange ways, yes. We can't imagine why he would allow sickness to exist, but the purpose is beyond our scope of reason. He might do it to instill faith, we can speculate.

      unless you have a theory that can begin to explain the existance of the universe, the Earth, all life...

      December 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • 21k

      so since people could not explain why they thought the world was round back in the day, it had to be flat. so in your mind, at one time the world WAS flat, because no one could explain why it was round. just like the big bang HAS to be some god, because we have not yet figured out how the universe started. great logic.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  19. Pat Riot

    The fact that, in 2012, we live in a world where human adults still believe in and base their lives around fairy tales and ridiculous myths is literally sometimes too hard for me to comprehend.

    December 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • nooneknows

      It is truly sad, not to mention scary.

      And every day more and more children get brainwashed with the same idiocy that was drummed into their parents.
      It's a really difficult cycle to break.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Adam

      You would have thought America would have had its fill with religion after 9/11

      December 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • kyle

      Thankfully, we live in a world where everyone believes in the power of money, commercialism, and complete relativism. Such things bring great joy and fulfillment. I couldn't be more thankful for these things.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  20. Anakaraya

    No matter how many times I ask no one ever answers my question: What makes Christians believe the bible is true?

    December 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • nooneknows

      You may as well ask what makes children believe in Santa Claus.

      People believe what they are taught to believe.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • just sayin

      It is because it is. Proven in history. Proven in archaeology. Proven in prophecy. Proven in art. Proven in science. Proven in life. What is not to like?

      December 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • jim

      @just sayin Right!!! It has everything to like...... except truth!

      December 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Juan Engarcia

      There is the evidence of fulfilled prophecy and science in the Bible before it was discovered by human scientists. Before you pass this off as fantasy I would challenge all who read this to investigate whether what I'm saying is true. If it is not I will renounce my Christian faith. I can give you resources to study if you're really interested.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • William Demuth


      I have studied your cult for half a century. Like a doctor studying a disease I have read all the usual, and most of the diverse points of view and I have come to the conclusion It is a sham designed to steal from the foolish and to exploit the weak.

      I suggest you focus more on reality, and less on your indoctrination.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • jackie

      For a more straight forward answer: He distinctly has answered prayers of mine in which I had no hope (in distressing situations), I have spoken in tongues, divine revelation in dreams, he has healed my family from sickness...

      All of these are proof enough. You believe in the atomic particle as a building block of all things, yet you haven't seen it.

      I assume you will ask "how do you know these things I mentioned are from God"... faith. Just like you have faith that the government is spending your money wisely and doing what it claims to do (I assume you pay taxes), we as Christians have belief stemming from the word of God. Fulfilled prophecy is evident in the bible.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • claybigsby

      just sayin, please post one citation PROOVING the existence of god. Quoting bible verses does not count when they were written by men.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • claybigsby

      "we as Christians have belief stemming from the word of God."

      Yet that is not the word of god, but the word of mere mortals, who according to them, were under the influence of god. The stories of Jesus are told by people who never even knew the guy, yet commented on him at least 40 years after his death. If you would like to blindly follow something just because some men scare you into thinking its truth, then so be it. But stop acting like you know everything and your religion is the end all be all. It's not.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • just sayin

      I have a personal relationship with God.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Steve

      For the born again Christian, the God's Spirit reveals to us that the Bible is true. This is probably not the deepest answer you are looking for but for the Christian, it becomes deeper as we ponder what we read. For more answers, go to http://www.christiananswers.net.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • claybigsby

      lol then i guess you have no PROOF.

      God's spirit is nothign more than words of men. Stop brainwashing yourself. If men did not write those words, there would be no christian god.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • fred

      Personal experience proves the Bible true.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • R-Squared Comicz

      In addition to what @just sayin said, believing in the validity of the entire bible first and foremost stems from faith in and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As Christians, we believe that the Bible is the story of humanity and God's love for us, and that everything in the bible culminates in God's plan reconcile us back to Him through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus was with God when He created the world, and that Jesus was the messiah that the prophets of the Old Testament spoke about. We also believe that Jesus came to fulfill The Law and Commandments of the Old Testament (which Jesus also says in the New Testament). Furthermore, we believe that Jesus is the "new Adam," in that just as Adam's sin resulted in sin entering all of our lives, Jesus' death paid the price for humanity's sins, and his resurrection solidified his defeat of sin and death and the new life we can have if we trust in Him. I know it may sound weird, but once someone believes that (1) there's nothing he or she can do on their own to get right with God (2) that Jesus is 100% man and 100% God and died for our sins, and (3) Only through faith in his life, death, and resurrection can we be reconciled back to God, it literally changes everything. The bible is viewed, read, and understood in a whole new way. The bible becomes a continuous book with each book being connected to the other and pointing to a larger truth.

      I admit it's very hard to explain without taking into account the faith component, because the basis of Christianity is first and foremost faith. That's not to say that there's no evidence involved, because I believe there's plenty of evidence to support my faith (in my life, those of others, the physical world and nature, etc.). I just think that sometimes, that evidence may look at little "different."

      I'm not sure if this has helped at all in terms of some kind of explanation. If not, then blame the mind and not the heart. But given the loaded nature of the question and the difficulty in adequately addressing the question in a comment, feel free to e-mail me (rsquaredcomicz@gmail.com) with any follow up questions you may have, and I will do my best to address those as well.

      Take care, and I wish you and yours the best during this holiday season.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:16 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.