March 11th, 2012
01:20 AM ET

My Take: Jesus would be OK with card counting

Editor's Note: David Drury is featured in the documentary "Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians” and is writing a book about his card-counting adventures.

By David Drury, Special to CNN

(CNN)–“Shackled by a heavy burden/'neath a load of guilt and shame/ then the hand of Jesus touched me/ and now I am no longer the same.”

So begins the popular William Gaither hymn. By popular, I mean Elvis once recorded a version of it, which is what it takes for a hymn anymore.

When I stumbled into a church on the outskirts of Las Vegas one Sunday morning in 2007, I was shackled with my own heavy burden of sorts. I had $80,000 in cash hidden on my person. It was crammed into pockets, stuffed into socks and strapped beneath my clothes. The pastor was just getting his sermon fired up when I slipped into a back row with all the grace of a stiff-limbed Frankenstein.

So much for going unnoticed.

The pastor stopped midsentence and stared my way. Had he cleared his throat or even made an offhanded comment about punctuality, I would have understood. Instead, he called my first and last name into the microphone, and every head turned.

Believe it or not, I had never been to this church. While I traveled to Vegas often, my time was spent in casinos, not churches.

Blackjack is a beatable game. With card counting, perfect decision-making and plenty of capital, you can gain and cash in on an advantage against the house. East Coast college students, known as the MIT Team, used the method to plunder casinos in the 1980s and 1990s, inspiring books and movies and making card counting famous. But people have been employing this winning strategy in casinos for 50 years.

Mark Treas stands outside of a casino.

A card counter assigns a value to every card as it is dealt out of the shoe. This creates a running count that always changes and allows a player to determine when a statistical advantage falls to him or her, by virtue of more aces and face cards than usual being poised to appear. More faces mean the dealer will bust more often.

More aces mean more natural blackjacks, which pay the player at a higher rate. A card counter keeps bets low when the casino has the statistical advantage and raises them high when the advantage shifts to them.

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

When I lost my Seattle office job in 2006, this was the strange career path down which I found myself traveling. I was not alone.

It started when I met a guy at church named Ben. He had made a small fortune counting cards. Ben was putting a team together comprising people he’d found through mostly church connections — pastors, worship leaders and students of theology. This was the team I trained for and joined. As card counters, our common faith was incidental, but as team members it held us together.

A scene from the new documentary Holy Rollers about Chrstians who count cards at casinos.

We took our craft to casinos, from Vegas to Atlantic City to Biloxi, Mississippi, to Bremerton, Washington. We won millions of dollars. The money was not funneled into any ministry or religious consortium.

Instead, the winnings were split between those who invested in the operation, those who managed the team - which ran between 10 and 25 players – and the players, who didn’t risk any of their own money at the tables. As a player I made what amounted to a modest annual salary with no financial risk and maintained, on average, a 10-hour workweek.

We returned home with the gift of time to our ministries and families and, yes, to plenty of questions.

If the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, as the Bible suggests, what business did a bunch of Christians have throwing around big money on a game of chance? For us, chance had nothing to do with it.

To count cards is to remove the gamble. Anything can happen in one hand or on one night, but slowly, over time, the advantage you earn by executing perfect playing decisions and betting according to your advantage bears itself out. Playing the stock market is much more of a gamble.

Yes, money is attractive, and we dealt with a lot of it. Tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash. You can’t withdraw $50,000 from a casino ATM and it can take a half -day of red tape to get as much out of an account at a big bank. Our assets had to be liquid.

Until we had the better sense to put it in safety deposit boxes, we kept our cash in freezers and under mattresses. For our investors and for tax reasons, we were tasked with reporting our wins and losses accurately, but at any time any one of us could have pocketed thousands without a hint of suspicion.

While we were left to weigh our own motives, as a team we were forced to trust one another with money that could have collapsed the business if it ever went missing.

We were an uncommon fellowship, to be sure. But while we never claimed a full understanding on how God viewed our activities, I felt that he never left the room. He was ever present in our musings, discussions and deliberations. With the math on our side, we took confidence in the fact that that we lacked any of the traits of wild gamblers. But were we deceptive by hiding our intentions at the tables? Were we providing a service to the world by playing a card game? The answers varied.

Mark Treas baptized a woman before heading off to a casino to card count in the documentary 'Holy Rollers.'

Which is worse? To declare your path the righteous one and retire all questions of God’s will to the back of your mind, or to seek them out?

We chose the latter, engaging the hard questions as they arose rather than pretending to corner the market on righteousness. We wrestled with them in a way that we came to know intimately the stink of our own individual natures. But there was something pure born out of abandoning an easy, comfortable existence for a true fellowship with my teammates that came with plenty of hard questions.

Casinos have a dubious reputation as the gateway to vice and temptation. I think that’s unfair. I had Internet access and a bar around the corner from my home, so the casinos never represented any particular threat to my morality I didn’t already have at my fingertips.

Maybe that day I stumbled into that Las Vegas-area church I was looking for a familiar face in a strange town. For all the secrecy and questions, maybe I was looking for a little validation, too. I knew two of the pastors on staff because they had served at the church of my childhood.

One of those pastors was at the pulpit that day. He called my name out when he recognized me. After the service I had a brief conversation with the other in the church lobby.

“What brings you to Las Vegas?” he asked.

“I’m on a card-counting team.”

“Well, God can change anyone.”

What? I thought.

“I know a young man,” he said, “who came to Las Vegas for a dodgeball tournament. Now he’s on staff with us. Who knows what God has in store for YOU?”

This man of the cloth had essentially stuffed the cloth right in my mouth, as if to say that even I could be saved from whatever silly game I was playing. But he needn’t have tossed me a lifeline because I didn’t need saving.

Engage me. Ask the hard questions. Be confounded as I am confounded. But don’t write me off. We are all in the water together. Faith is a journey, and God calls us into relationship.

I remember a man at my table once who was furious with the aggressive way I was playing. “A fool and his money are soon parted,” he said in a huff. For six years I stood ready as ever to be the fool. But me and the money, by way of card-counting wins, never parted.

The team ended with the making of a documentary about our journey. My blackjack career ended with it. I have taken to writing my tales in the hopes of forging a new journey that doesn’t involve stacks of cash. I guess I am a gambling man after all.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David Drury.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (1,821 Responses)
  1. Psalm 103

    8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
    9 He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
    10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
    11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
    12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

    March 12, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Bob

      Uh, right. Your stinking "lord" is so "compassionate" that he demands that you sacrifice and burn an animal frequently because the smell makes your sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Please, stop referencing the Christian book of nasty fairy tales, AKA the bible.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Be free of religion in 2012.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Bob, long time no see. What happened to your goat, man?

      March 12, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Tell that to the babies she killed in the tsunami last year.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  2. dave

    Louis Wu is a character from the land of make believe, science fiction

    March 12, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Luis Wu

      Yes, and so is Christianity.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  3. I'm The Best!

    Didn't Jesus at least indirectly say gambling was bad. Therefore wouldn't any situation where you could count cards be gambling anyway and therefore be bad/wrong?
    Whatever, everyone justifies their actions using the bible if they're a believer. Hitler even got an entire nation to follow his interpretation. Bunch of hypocrites if you ask me.

    March 12, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Please cite the source. Where did Jesus say anything about gambling ? If Jesus were really god, then he set up the mathematics of gaming, and gave them the brains to deal with it. So his creatures are bad ?

      March 12, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      I might be wrong. I just heard that somewhere. And Jesus did a pretty good job of condemning anyone who was rich or had some kind of vice so I thought it sounded right. So no source other than growing up in the south around nothing but Christians and hearing about the lord all day. Almost all Christians I've met tend to be hypocrites.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      And if you say that claiming life experience is not a valid source then you are a hypocrite as well (if you're religious) because that's all I hear from people who "Know god is real" because of their life experience and how they feel.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  4. trekkie


    March 12, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  5. dave

    Lou Wu – who says that prayer is chanting Blah Blah nonsense – typical of an obnoxious atheist to set up a straw man and knock it down.

    What if I said that all science is evil b/c of what Dr. Mengele did. How about all atheists are evil b/c of what Stalin and Mao did. All science is stupid b/c some physicists believe in thousands of multiple universes existing in the same space

    March 12, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Luis Wu

      Science is based on facts. It's based on logic, reason and objectivity. Religion is based on ancient mythology. Talking to an imaginary, invisible supernatural being in the sky not evil, it's just ineffective.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by dave is an instance of a Faulty Comparison fallacy.


      March 12, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • dave

      no it is not - atheist posters typically argue their position by citing a particular religious belief (which they may or may not understand correctly) and argue that since this religious belief is wrong, that there is no God

      It is exactly the same as saying that - I have heard or a few teachers molesting students, so Knowledge does not exist

      March 12, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • dave

      string theory is not based on facts

      March 12, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There is more to support that theory than there is to support the belief there's an invisible puppeteer.

      March 12, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  6. asdf

    Well, whether Jesus would be on your side or not, this article does prove one thing...

    People will do whatever they want and bend religious interpretation to fit...But that's nothing new.

    March 12, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  7. Joe T.

    I don't see anything wrong with card-counting. If you have the mind to work that all out, I think you deserve to use it to your advantage. If casinos don't like people getting an edge on them, they can stop putting in blackjack tables.

    As regards gambling, I don't think the Bible condones that so why would it condone card-counting?

    March 12, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  8. SueEllen

    Wow looks like the atheist Christ bashers were up all night. I guess it's true what they say, they wicked don't need any sleep!

    Everyone (even you heathens) have a blessed day!

    March 12, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      No one can be magically "blessed", as there is no mechanism for that to happen. As for your assumption that those who have figured out there are no imaginary sky beings, (atheists), are *wicked*, maybe you should think that through, when you're done praying. No one can hate Jesus. Jesus died 2000 + years ago. They hate the nonsense that's perpetrated in his name.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • SueEllen

      Sigh I've heard all that rhetoric before that y'all learn in your atheist indoctrination centers (universities). You think you're too good to see all the tiny miracles around you!

      March 12, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Luis Wu

      Suppose you are wrong SueEllen, and the Hindus are right? Or the Muslims are right? Or the Buddhists? Chriistianity is not the only religion in the world and certainly not the oldest. You are a Christian, solely because you were indoctrinated to believe in it practically since birth. If you were born in India, you'd be arguing just as strongly that Hinduism is the true way. All religions are just ancient mythology. If you really THOUGHT about it, using logic and reason, you would see that.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Jeff

      @Luis Wu, I have been saying the same thing for years. When will the world wake up and take notice that religion is made up. Jesus was made in man's image not in "Gods". When we created the religion we decided on what he would look like, what race he would be, and what his name would be. Jesus is made up of old folk tails that Rome took to far. If it wasn't for Rome the bible would be here today.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • DB5

      @ Luis Wu

      Stop trying to Wu us with your retarded un-Godly thoughts. You must have been raised by Satanist.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • DB5

      @ Jeff

      It sounds like you and WU sleep in the same bed. Say, your last name wouldn't happen to be Saikali, would it?

      March 12, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Nonimus

      Atheists are just trying to be the best possible people they can, just like most other people. If God exists and condemns them for that, then He will have the chance to explain why when they die, therefore your condemnation is unnecessary.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Name one "tiny miracle".

      March 12, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      SueEllen lives in a doublewide, and hates "universities". She thinks if she "heard something before", ipso facto, it makes it untrue.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • ...

      "atheist indoctrination centers (universities)"

      So SueEllen is jealous because she doesn't have an education...poor christian who can't provide any evidence for her god...bet she was up all night talking to air...oops praying!

      March 12, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      " You think you're too good to see all the tiny miracles around you!"
      I disagree. Many of us are absolutely awed by the majestic complexity of the world around us.
      It is that wonder that drives us to try and understand the natural mechanisms that drive the universe as opposed to simply saying "Wow! The whole universe exists just to have me in it. It must be the work of an anthropomorphic, anthropocentric omnipotent being. Better stop asking questions and start paying homage lest that being punishes me!".
      For mayn atheists, the quest for knowledge is noble and never-ending. We take umbrage at any inst'itution that demands dogmatic acceptance of rote replies and actively resists applying new information.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  9. Tutuvabene

    Why is card counting considered cheating? It's part of the skill of playing the game and making the odds more fair.

    March 12, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • lokii

      Card counting is not cheating or against the law unless you are using some form of device or another person to aid you in it. The casinos want you to play brain dead to get your money. The casinos just very liberally use the "right to refuse service" clause to kick out people who can win. In the casinos eyes its okay if you lose regularly, but not to win regularly.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Nonimus

      I think @lokki has the gist of it.
      I would add however that the team method used by the author, and the MIT Team, is most likely cheating and may be illegal. It uses external sources of information, e.g. other people, to gain an unfair(?) advantage.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  10. Luis Wu

    Why does CNN insist on pandering to all the religious nut cases? Nobody cares about this issue, least of all a long dead imaginary being from ancient mythology. Can't CNN find better articles to post? Like something that's actually news worthy?

    March 12, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • Angry American

      So if were religious we're nutcases? Go back to china Luis Wu!

      March 12, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Luis Wu

      Not only are you a religious nut case, you can't spell either. Go back to school.

      March 12, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Angry American

      I'd go back to school if minorities an women didn't get free passes while the rest of us had to slave!

      March 12, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • SueEllen

      Ignore our Chinese friend angry american he is a hateful troll

      March 12, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Cap'n Sayin' Atheism Isn't a Pervert American
      New name, same drivel.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Jeebus was a pre-vert. 12 guys, no wife. Un huh.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Luis Wu

      @SueEllen – Me a hateful troll? You're the one who disowned your son because he's gay. That's about as hateful as it gets.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • dave

      This section is called the Belief Blog dumbo

      March 12, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • ...

      "You're the one who disowned your son because he's gay"

      that just makes her a bigot and uneducated in reality. Too bad she is too dumb to realize her child didn't make the decision to be gay..he was born that way!!! He's better off without a bigoted biatch like her for a mother

      March 12, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • SueEllen

      I do pray that my son repents for his sick ways and comes back to our family.

      March 12, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I pray you'll actually never have any kids, SueEllen. You're a teenager.

      March 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      "I do pray that my son repents for his sick ways and comes back to our family."

      And we can only hope he never forgives you. Get with the 21st century. He is doing nothing wrong and he deserves better than you. Who the hell lets people like you parent? In case you are not aware, science has stated that your son being gay is something he was born to be, not a choice he has made. He didn't just wake up one day and decide this is how it would be, it happened from conception-the genetic make up was already there. You're a pathetic excuse for a parent! He's your child and you're supposed to love him, not judge him. So if he never comes back to you, perfect...it's your loss for being a bigot and in your words..for sinning or did you forget judge not lest ye be judged?? Bigotry run deep in the christard nation.

      March 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Granny Gump

      "You're the one who disowned your son because he's gay"

      Yeah, I would've done that too if I'd had a redheaded kid. One of mine is a left-hander, and he's on thin ice. 🙂

      March 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • SueEllen

      TruthPrevails I refuse to believe something like that is natural and he is depriving himself of the blessings of children and a good wife. I can only hope he comes back from that lifestyle before he gets AIDS or dies without repenting.

      March 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Granny Gump


      Less than 100 years ago being left-handed was still considered to be unnatural and "of the devil". My dad and his sister had their left hands tied behind their backs when they were learning to write and were sp'anked if they used them.

      Get over it.

      March 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      SueEllen: Suck it up!! Your son has not committed any sin or crime and whether you believe it to be natural or not does not change the fact that he can't change. He was born the way he is and science trumps your belief. How about doing the decent thing and accepting him for who he is? AIDS is not the case with every gay person and who the hell says he can't have children? Ever heard of adoption? He can't repent to a non-existent enti.ty...even if could he has not reason to repent...he has done nothing wrong!! You're a horrible person and should not be allowed near any children. Your son is better off without you!

      March 12, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      SueEllen: Suck it up!! Your son has not committed any sin or crime and whether you believe it to be natural or not does not change the fact that he can't change. He was born the way he is (he's still the same person you gave life to...he just happens to find happiness and solace in the arms of another man...not your choice who he loves) and science trumps your belief. How about doing the decent thing and try accepting him for who he is? Do you really want to be on your death bed wishing he was there with you but yet he isn't because you refused to set aside your foolish belief and accept the reality of this?? Why the hell would you push your own child away? AIDS is not the case with every gay person and who the hell says he can't have children? Ever heard of adoption? He can't repent to a non-existent enti.ty...even if could he has not reason to repent...he has done nothing wrong!! You're a horrible person and should not be allowed near any children. Your son is better off without you!

      March 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  11. Morgan Marshall

    Church is for sinners to. Kept simple.

    March 12, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  12. dave

    I don't think there is anything wrong with card counting. Playing in teams might be cheating; I am not sure.

    March 12, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Hasher Iva

      It's only cheating if you alter the odds or alter the equipment. If you are intelligent enough to understand the odds and keep track of the cards played and take advantage of the odds then you are an exceptional mathmetican and card player. The only thing the casino can do is ban you from playing. The other 99.99% will make up for the winnings. You'll have to decide the morality issues yoursefl.

      March 12, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • pam

      I agree, if you are smart enough to do it, I don't see what is wrong with it. I couldn't do it like them, but I would just naturally watch how many Aces have been thrown out.

      March 12, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  13. Reality

    Do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man or a card-counting follower would do or say?

    March 12, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • dave

      Is there a law that requires atheists to be obnoxious? Jesus was a Rabbi, a scholar of the Torah and thus literate.

      March 12, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • John

      Dave, the problem is that the types of atheists that post these comments don't even realize they're evangelical.

      March 12, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Luis Wu

      No. We don't.

      March 12, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Joe T.

      Most Jews back then were literate.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Reality

      There is only one place in the NT that suggests Jesus could read i.e. Luke 4:16. This passage is not attested to in any other NT passage or in any other related docu-ment making it a later addition or poor translation as per many NT scholars' analyses.

      See also Professor Crossan and Professor Reed's book, Excavating Jesus, p. 30.

      See also Professor Bruce Chilton's commentary in his book, Rabbi Jesus, An Intimate Biography, pp 99-101- An excerpt:

      "What Luke misses is that Jesus stood in the synagogue as an illiterate ma-mzer in his claim to be the Lord's anointed".

      It is very unfortunate that Jesus was illiterate for it resulted in many gospels and epistles being written years after his death by non-witnesses. This resulted in significant differences in said gospels and epistles and with many embellishments to raise Jesus to the level of a deity to compete with the Roman gods and emperors. See Raymond Brown's 878 page book, An Introduction to the New Testament, (Luke 4:16 note on p. 237) for an exhaustive review of the true writers of the gospels and epistles.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  14. ...

    Jesus wouldn't care about counting cards...he would care about taking out people like Nii Nii the stupid guy-the people polluting his earth with false knowledge.

    March 12, 2012 at 7:28 am |
  15. Scott

    I bet the pastor didn't use these verse in his sermon.

    1Jn 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

    1Pe 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
    1Pe 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

    Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
    Rom 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
    Rom 2:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

    March 12, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • ILoveJesus

      AMEN Scott!!! Right on Point!

      March 12, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Me

      Didn't see anything in there about gambling. If you are going to take the bible literally, then it should probably be specific.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Delusons 1:1 We know that whosoever uses words such as anything that endeth in "eth" instead od "s" and old nonsense sucheth as begotten, yeah also even keepeth, and speaketh about toucheth him, himself (!) forasmuch then hath suffered a mental illness in the sameth min, and speaketh sucheth in yeah Olde ENGLISH, and not babble-speaketh likewise, and that fact, in and of itself meaneth that it NUST beeth the truth because it is spoken in Olde English, for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin NOT. and that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of the Flyingeth Spaghetti Monster forsooth. Yeah unto thee, for he that proveth the babble using babble verses has yeteth to taketh a Logic course, for yeah she speaks in nonsense, and in circular arguments, forsooth. Ameneth.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  16. Hyprocisy, gotta love it

    There are only a few real Christians around in the world, like any other faith.

    The rest are content to half-ass their faith, being lazy and self-centered...i.e. "sin 6 3/4 days a week, saint for a 1/4 day", deluding themselves into thinking they can have their cake and eat it too.

    Do you really think God would settle for that? Not on your life!

    March 12, 2012 at 6:23 am |
    • TC

      Who said Christians aren't hypocrites? People of every religion around the world are hypocrites. Jesus Christ calls Jews, lawyers, scribes, and others hypocrites. We all are hypocrites. You're confusing hypocrisy and man's implementation of religion with FAITH, and whether or not there is a true God. They're not linked together. So many people refer to the hypocrisy of Christians and write off the core faith, when perhaps the real issue is that the people who profess to follow Jesus do not in actuality do it. The said part is, some Christians (and Muslims and people of other faiths), are making the same stupid remarks and mistakes at 50 that they made at 18, and there's no growth in their faith, just their proclamation of it. Man wrecks everything – so don't give up on faith in a God just because man, who is inherently flawed, does a very poor job of living out that faith.

      March 12, 2012 at 7:54 am |
  17. Nii

    Most people feel they know the meaning of Agape love. In this test u will come to know the difference between Agape(charitable) n Eros(Romantic) love.
    Replace your I LOVE YOU with I LOVE U AS MYSELF. think about people n say I LOVE MY NEIGHBOR(or NAME) AS MYSELF.

    March 12, 2012 at 5:55 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      This has what to do with card counting?

      March 12, 2012 at 6:41 am |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Nii Nii
      Please get back to the Atlanta Housewives set.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  18. J

    Not only is what you did wrong and thus sin (you violated the rules of the casino, all unrighteousness is sin), but now you're further profitting off of your sinful ways and ruining Christs reputation at the same time. Somehow you think your fatalism is supposed to be acceptable (putting Gods will last), but this simply indicates that you don't really love God. I have a hard time believing you are born again, and if you are, I would read Matthew 7:21 a few times and take it to heart

    March 12, 2012 at 5:53 am |
    • GodPot

      "(you violated the rules of the casino, all unrighteousness is sin)" So I guess Rosa Parks was sinner by your estimation? She was breaking bus company rules...

      March 12, 2012 at 6:05 am |
    • speb

      Card counting is not illegal in a casino. A casino may ban you if they think you are card counting but it's not illegal. The reason a casino will ban you is changes the casino's advantage in black jack. I had pit bosses tell me that they are not concerned with card counters if they bet less than $75 per hand.

      March 12, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Judge not, lest ye be judged.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 12, 2012 at 4:41 am |
    • LuisWu

      It obviously turned you into a vile troll.

      March 12, 2012 at 5:46 am |
    • cykill

      praye changes nothing

      March 12, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • dave

      I know dozens of people who have turned their lives around through prayer. Try to pray for "Thy will be done" rather than "Grant me my wishes" it makes a difference

      March 12, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Luis Wu

      A study that followed several thousand heart attack victims over several years found that the mortality rate for those that prayed was exactly the same as for those that didn't. Proof that prayer accomplishes nothing but to make the prayer look silly.

      March 12, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      I changed my mind. Prayer is stupid.

      March 12, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • TheSchmaltz

      "Thy will be done"? So you're praying that God will do what he was going to do anyway? So no matter what happens, you can claim prayer worked. Glory be!

      March 12, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • rightwingwac

      I just prayed that each one of you would say these exact things....wow cool.

      March 12, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • LA Mom

      Does prayer change dirty diapers ?

      March 12, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Ykcyc

      Tell that to the Native (north and south) American’s who were praying for their lives, just before being slaughtered by the “kind and loving” Christians. Ask the Native People about “Christian love”.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Jesus

      ~The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!~~...

      March 12, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer change things

    March 12, 2012 at 4:40 am |
    • _aleph_

      Do you mean that when I pray for a Blackjack and don't get one, I would have actually have had a Blackjack if I hadn't prayed? LOL. Seriously, I think it's time to consider what Jesus was really talking about, rather than relying on a handful of so-called experts. The idea of a father-figure god who doles out punishments and rewards just doesn't hold water. It's time to see Siprit for what It is and incorporate It into a modern lifesyle.

      March 12, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • dave

      I know dozens of people, myself included, who have turned their lives around through prayer. Try to pray for "Thy will be done" rather than "Grant me my wishes" it makes a difference

      March 12, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Luis Wu

      How utterly stupid. Chanting blah blah blah nonsense to an imaginary supernatural being accomplishes nothing. Grow a brain.

      March 12, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • rightwingwac

      Luis you are a typical hate-filled atheist who shows up on these threads to just insult anyone that has faith in something bigger and more powerful than us. You say prayer doesn't help anything? There are billions of people who disagree with you. But your super intelligence trumps all of those people huh? See, it's just that type of massive arrogance that atheists demonstrate whenever they get a chance. It's funny because I don't hear faith based people out in the media on a daily basis slamming atheists or calling them names, but that's nearly all I hear from the brilliantly minded and superior people like you. You can mention your scientific study about heart attack victims and I can mention that children and adults and blind-from-birth people from all different cultures around the world have experienced the same exact near-death experiences that involve forces that are unexplained. But I'm sure you can explain that. I can't and I won't try because it's beyond my pay scale but you obviously have all of the answers of the universe wrapped up. If one pays any attention to the news over the past 10 years it's pretty obvious that atheists are some of the thinnest skinned, most threatened and intimidated people walking the planet. I've never heard more crying from a group of people in my life. If you are so much smarter than all of the "believers" what are you so afraid of? Having "belief" wear off on you? Come on man, you're obviously way too smart for something like that. You gain absolutely nothing from your tactics so why waste your time? Never mind I know...it helps you reinforce your self-supported intellectual superiority. Well, I'm glad I'm not as smart as you are.

      By the way these clowns that are counting cards are a little self-righteous and standing behind Christianity for their own self worth. I've got no problem with them doing it but using Christianity the way they are is a farce and just a way to get media attention. Pretty stupid because if they've got a good thing going why do they want the attention. Oh well, hey all of you atheists, be sure not to rub up against a Christian because it might wear off and give you some kind of enlightenment and positive relationship with something unknown...we wouldn't want that now would we?

      March 12, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • dave

      Lou Wu - who says that prayer is chanting Blah Blah nonsense - typical of an abnoxious atheist to set up a straw man and knock it down.

      What if I said that all science is evil b/c of what Dr. mengele did. How about all atheists are evil b/c of what Stalin and Mao did. All science is stupid b/c some physicists believe in thousands of multiple universes existing in the same space

      March 12, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      ad populum fallacy

      March 12, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Ykcyc

      @Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things
      Tell that to the Native (north and south) American’s who were praying for their lives, just before being slaughtered by the “kind and loving” Christians. Ask the Native People about “Christian love”.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:21 am |
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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.