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Sandusky’s pastor addresses conviction from pulpit
Jerry Sandusky leaves court on Friday morning. His church wrestled on Sunday with how to respond.
June 25th, 2012
11:58 AM ET

Sandusky’s pastor addresses conviction from pulpit

By Dana Garrett, CNN

State College, Pennsylvania (CNN)– Jerry Sandusky sits in a county jail cell in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, but his presence and the weight of the 45 guilty verdicts rendered against the former Penn State football coach on Friday night hung in the air Sunday morning at the State College church where he and his wife are longtime members.

Ed Zeiders, the senior pastor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, did not shy away from addressing the conviction of his congregant and friend on child sex abuse charges, asking his congregation to “pray for all of those who are victims and for all of those who are predators.”

Zeiders began his sermon with a question.

“In light of the misery, sorrow and suffering we see, affecting every aspect of our life, within us, in the midst of us, and around us – what are we to do,” he asked. “The world needs an answer, our community deserves an answer, and we need to answer together what is the most efficacious way to move forward from here.”

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Saying that the eyes of the nation are fixed on the State College community and, to some degree, on the community of St Paul’s, Zeiders said that “in the midst of the raging storms around us” the church had an opportunity.

“If ever a local congregation has been given a moment to…..reveal what it means to be Christian,” Zeiders said, “this is that congregation in this moment in history.”

Zeiders spoke to what he said was the transformative power and saving grace of God, making a connection between faith and ethical behavior. “If we are to claim Jesus as savior,” he said, “we must, without fail, come face-to-face with our own morality.”

St. Paul's United Methodist Church in State College, Pennsylvania where Jerry Sandusky was a member.

That morality, Zeiders said, should not succumb to the idea that “my faith and my morality are solely my business.”

“We have seen the evidence of what that means, again and again, and we are feeling the pain of such a thing today,” he said.

Zeiders’ message of morality extended to institutions, including, by inference, Penn State. “This is a turning point when evidence is everywhere that our leaders have failed,” he said.

Speaking after the service, Zeiders said he has maintained his pastoral relationship with the Sanduskys throughout the trial, and that he was in the courtroom last Monday when the defense began its case. He hasn’t talked to Jerry Sandusky since the former assistant coach’s Friday incarceration, but he is making arrangements to do so. He continues to see Sandusky’s wife, Dottie, who he says is “holding up.”

Most congregants at St. Paul’s did not want to talk about the verdict.

“You have no idea how difficult this has been for our congregation,” said one female church member who did not want to be identified. “We are like a family, and the allegations were stunning. I didn’t want to believe them, but there was too much evidence not to.”

Another congregant, who said she chose not to read any news coverage of the trial, struggled with her own internal conflict, saying she trusted that the jury had made the right decision while holding out hope that Sandusky did not really abuse the boys who testified against him.

The late morning service on Sunday included a baptism. Afterward, Zeiders called on his flock to take an oath to “guard and protect” children, reminding them they were the stewards of their safety.

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The Gospel lesson on Sunday recounted the story of Jesus sleeping on a boat while a storm rages all around. His disciples awaken him, and Jesus rebukes the wind and the waves: “Peace! Be still!”

Zeiders drew from those words to help his congregants through what had been a difficult week.

“Sure, the darkness is deep and the waves are powerful, but this is the time to engage the world, not run from it,” he said from the pulpit. “This is the day of our saving. God always speaks the loudest when the waves are the highest. Peace! Be still!”

CNN's Kiran Khalid contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church • Courts

soundoff (481 Responses)
  1. Lyndia

    I am confused. I believe in God, there has got to be a Creator of the universe. However, I do not believe in that Christian religion. They say one thing but they have a tendency to do another. I am scared of them. The preachers get on stage and begin hollering, and goggling in their throats. They dance across the stage, raise their voice, swing their arms, and all that other stuff. Many times, what they are talking about do not make sense to me, then they begin passing the basket which is usually full of money, then he goes to the riverboat that night with his wife or girl friend. Another thing about the Christians, they are always looking for a blessing. If they do a favor for someone, or assist someone, they look for a blessing. They do not realize that the blessing is being able to help someone. I lived next door to and across the street from some Christians for over 30 years. I am not going to go into it, but I saw child abuse, INCEST, drug dealing, elderly abuse, stealing, adultry, one of the girls had 7 babies by 4 different men, (They were all a blessing from the lord.) They went to church EVERY SUNDAY and their children and husbands had their own churches. It was sickening. I would rather be known as a decent person, that helped those in need, and was very generous than to be known as a Christian.

    June 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      Jesus would rather you be the good person trying to always seek the good, and call yourself whatever you want.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      I mean, being a decent person and helping those in need, that's what he's all about.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • derp

      So if I do good things, but never accept jesus as my savior I'll go to heaven?

      June 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      I don't feel it's the actions either...it's what's in the heart. Like you, for example. Are you seeking to open people's eyes to the evils and excesses of religion, or just getting your rocks off? If you honestly think you are doing the good, who are we to damn you? Thats between you and God, your methods might not be mine, your conclusions might not be mine (whether right or wrong), thus what we fight for and seek to bring to others can be totally opposite, yet we can both still get to the same place. Now if one of us is doing it because our heart is hard and the other is doing it for reasons above, then we probably won't end the same. Just my belief, as well as many others.

      June 25, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Petrograd

      No Rick. Jesus demands you believe in him. You do not have to do good or be good to get into heaven. What you are saying is not Christian doctrine.

      I, like Lyndia, have seen some very ugly behavior out of Christians, and I have yet to meet one who displays superior morality in practice than any atheist or agnostic I ever met.

      June 25, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • derp

      I was raised religious. I have a very hard heart when it comes to faith. I don't feel the same way about other things in my life, like family and friends. I firmly believe that faith does more harm than good. I believe that in pointing out the absurdity of most faiths I can make a difference in peoples lives beyond just that individual.

      In my heart I believe that if I can implore more people to dispense with "faith" in the supernatural, that the world will be a better place.

      How would god possible be able to justify my working toward getting people to not believe in him, even if in my heart I felt it were a good thing?

      Would he be ok with me doing good deeds, while simultaneously working against his belief?

      There are very few christians who think I'm going to heaven.

      June 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • ericlee63

      Lyndia, I can see why you're confused, but I think you're working under some false assumptions. Is the truth of a religion, political ideology, scientific theory, etc. based on the behavior of it's followers? The answer seems to me to be "no." Despite how poorly its adherents act, a religion should be assessed on its own merits, so the reasons you give for rejecting Christianity appear insufficient. Would you disbelieve that the earth orbits the sun if you found out Copernicus was a terrible drinker and gambler? Indeed, if and when self-professed Christians act in the ways you describe, they are not acting according to the teachings of Jesus and Scripture. Christianity lauds love, peace, equality, self-sacrifice and serving others. If these bad Christians you describe are the only you've come into contact with, let me assure you that there are many, many Christians who live out their faith through good works. My pastor doesn't preach in the manner you described. Myriad Christian charities feed the poor, care for the homeless, drill wells in Africa, fight human trafficking, and work to improve the environment. Being a decent, generous person who helps those in need and being a Christian are not mutually exclusive. You can be both! Hope this helps 🙂

      June 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      Actually Petro, I've looked seriously into the linguistics, translations, and apologetics of the Christian faith. Sure I'm against most mainstream denominations, (side note: so was Christ), but truly the issue is faith in righteousness and desire for righteousness. NT reference following the law written in your heart (romans I believe).

      June 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      Derp, perhaps few Christians would feel you could be saved. But you yourself point out how they constantly violate their pwn tennets. This is probably just another one.

      June 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • QS

      "Myriad Christian charities feed the poor, care for the homeless, drill wells in Africa, fight human trafficking, and work to improve the environment."

      I will always be skeptical of religion in this context because the core of the belief structure is the belief in an afterlife. Based on this belief alone, religion and its followers can never be 100% altruistic since there will always be the underlying ulterior motive of getting to heaven to coax followers into doing good.

      June 25, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Faith

      Don't look to people, look to Christ and you will never be disappointed. That is why the bible says: "The fear of man is a snare which leads to destruction." Faith in God leads to life. Christians are just people like everyone else. On the Christian walk people are in all different places. But, thankfully, we have a loving, compassionate and understanding God who doesn't give up on us. Yes, there are hypocrites at church, as there are in every place in society. But, there are also precious, kind, loving, giving people who are the best friends ever.

      June 26, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  2. Keith

    So, not only was this imposter Sandusky a h0m0 qu.eer, but a wolf in sheep's clothing, too. Hopefully, the Methodist Church will condemn, not condone his actions. Has Sandusky even once asked for forgiveness from his victims? The Episcopal's would give him a damn medal for molesting kids.

    June 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • QS

      From your tone I would assume that you yourself would give a medal to anybody as well as long as they could prove they had bashed a gay person recently.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • derp

      For future reference, you look a lot less like a complete retard, if you call a pe doph ile a pe doph ile, not a hom ose xual.

      Pe doph iles are attracted to children. The s ex of the children is usually irrelevant, Sandusky had easy access to boys. If he had access to girls, he would have molested them.

      And if you are a christian, your book demands that you forgive and love him.

      Ggod luck with that.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Keith

      You can assume whatever you want. You can also assume incorrectly, like you are right now.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • QS

      Well when you give only bigoted statements you force us all to assume, so I am anxiously waiting for you to correct me.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Keith

      .Adult male sticks penis into child male=QU.EER! And Sandusky is being sized up for a giant milstone around his neck right about now. The s.o.b. would have been put to death.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • derp

      I guess Keith isn't christian.

      June 25, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      No Keith DERP is not wrong. Sandusky's victims might have been male but that does not mean he would not have done the same to a female if given the chance. Peds do not care in most cases who they harm...some prefer boys over girls and vice versus. Personally I think he needs locked in a dark dungeon after a rusty tin lid has been applied to him in ways that will ensure he never has those desires again...he's a poor excuse for a man.

      June 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Keith

      TruthPrevails ,
      blah, blah, blah
      FACT: Sandusky is an adult male.
      FACT: His victims were young males.
      People don't give two hoots in hell what " most pedophiles" do or are. Try sticking to the FACTS.
      FACT: Sandusky is a pedophile QU.EER.
      Probably a card carrying member of NAMBLA.

      June 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Keith

      Oh how cute, you still think that most cases of ped.ophelia is about "love", or "relationships".

      June 25, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Keih Logic:

      Fact: Sandusky is a long time member of a christian cult.

      All christians, including Keith, must be pedophiles.

      June 25, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Edwardo

      listen up moreon... pedophiles are not gay or str8.. You are a total moreon!

      June 25, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  3. John W. Schwendler

    Mrs. Sandusky appears not to have the same connections as Mrs. Paterno, or she too would get $13m from "the followers."

    June 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  4. Fufu

    Atheist must believe in the innocence, or at least lack of guilt, of Jerry Sandusky. There is no way to prove scientifically that he is guilty, only witness testimony. The existence of God has millions more witnesses than the accusers of Jerry Sandusky. I assume all you atheist think Sandusky is not guilty!

    June 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Fufu

      I don't need to understand critical thinking when I have the bible to guide me..

      June 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Fufu

      This Fufu that commented is an imposter. CNN will not delete his/her profile even when I report abuse.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • QS

      LMFAO!

      June 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • derp

      So you saying that god stuck his dick up your butt?

      June 25, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  5. Mike M

    I can understand those that are angry at Sandusky.....who isn't? If you blame God for this, you are wrong, He gave each of us free will and it seems obvious to me Sandusky chose a path away from God. For all of you "Atheists" out there, you have the same benefit that we all do if you choose to take it. If you repent your sins and accept Christ as Lord, you too can be saved. I don't feel any anger for the comments I see, just very confusing for all of us. Always reemmber that going to a church or being a member of a church does NOT make you a Christian. Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits."

    June 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • QS

      And when I say that I have made my choice, your religious arrogance kicks into high gear and you feel obligated to "save" me, right?

      What about "I don't believe what you believe" do you not get?

      June 25, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      Did he, in fact, do that?

      June 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Madtown

      If I'm part of a primitive South American tribe that lives in the rain forest of Ecuador, and I've never heard of this Jesus Christ, can I also be saved? Isn't it enough for me to believe in God, but as I see him and how my culture sees him, which is different from how you see him?

      June 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      Don't know bout Mike, but I and the majority of Christians I know would definitely say that Christ can save above and across all religious bounds, as well as any other bounds.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Just a thought...

      I always cringe a little when I hear the "free will" argument...seems like a cop-out to me. I mean, you can say that god didn't stop sandusky because he gave him "free will"...but you seem to forget the other side of the situation, the innocent children who were allowed to be brutally victimized. I'm sure they weren't "freely willing" to be subjected to such torment....but, you know, apparently god cares more about the "free will" of a depraved child molester than he does about the welfare of a defenseless child.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      To. Just A Thought....CS Lewis attempts to and succeeds pretty well explaining this problem... Check out "The Problem With Pain" I's not really a subject that can be fully hashed out within the confines of a soundboard

      June 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • QS

      I agree JaT – the free will argument is a convenience, like most other justifications in religion.

      If they truly believed in free will, then by definition they would have to NOT abide by the teaching of their own faith that dictates to them they should "spread the gospel" as that would mean they are trying to overcome, for example, my own free will by encouraging me to join their cult.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Stacy

      Where was "God" when the children's free will was in question? Are you suggesting that those kids wanted to be abused? Why didn't your God save them? Not a God I want to have anything to do with.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Just a thought...

      To Rick: Like I said...a cop-out. It's funny how people want to say on one hand that god is mysterious and all-knowing and it is above our level to understand his methods...and then turn right around reference another fallible human's thoughts on the situation as some sort of explanation. I've not read the book you refer to...but find it highly implausible that anyone could make a logical argument that defends the type of situation I referred to above. if you've seriously reconciled yourself to the idea that there is an omnipotent, omniscient, loving deity who can allow these atrocities to happen and that this deity is still to be considered useful, let alone worthy of worship, there isn't a book in the world that can help you.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      OK, as long as we are both clear you have already made up your mind.

      June 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • OnlyOne

      I saw a starving child, and I grew angry with God. What kind of a God are you, I asked, that you permit children to starve?
      And God replied: Well, I made you, didn't I?

      Presumably the same can be said about abused and neglected children. Where was your righteous indignation when those children were being raised fatherless? For those of you that have paid for campaign slogans – from "Cut Taxes Now!" to "There is no God!" – put your money where your collective mouth is, and DO something about it before trying to find fault with everyone else.

      June 25, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      Give me the resources and I'll have all the molesters executed and tons of food going out to anyone who is hungry.
      Next?

      June 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      First off I don't blame your imaginary friend for what Sandusky did. I'd have to believe in your imaginary friend to blame it.
      Second, We Atheists do not sin because there is no such thing as sin except in your imaginary world of the buybull.

      June 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • BML

      Regarding the free will concept, and where was God...perhaps God was present, and was working as those children were being horribly abused. Perhaps God's actions were when people saw, or suspected indecency. I'm not blaming McQuery or any of the others,, but I think God does act in the midst of horrific tragedies – through other humans. Unfortunately humans often do not respond.

      June 25, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  6. gaucho420

    How can his wife, still be his wife? Doesn't she have an ounce of self respect? This man deserves to rot in jail the rest of his life, without the support of his family. If the Pastor wants to see him, that should be it. If my father did this to a bunch of other kids...sorry, I doubt I would EVER look at him again!

    June 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  7. QS

    There is one thing we know for sure that blind faith does for people....it makes them blind.

    June 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  8. Meaux

    Most religious people with power preach forgiveness so much that it makes me wonder what they have been up to....oh thats right, I see and hear about their perversions almost daily.

    Still chuckling about Jaques reply.

    June 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  9. 900rr

    Fact: Priests molesting kids ,they always didi and will continue as long church is strong enough to cover-up.

    Time for religion to go away.

    June 25, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • John W. Schwendler

      What does your comment have to do in any way with Mr. Sandusky's conviction? He was a football coach. Hello-o-o-o.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Mike M

      Religion should go away, but God and the Saviour, Jesus Christ will always stand ready to overcome what man has done. Remember Jesus challenging and publically demeening the Pharisees? Sandusky will get what he deserves and he will face God one day to answer for his life.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  10. 900rr

    Fact: Priests molesting kids ,they always didi and will continue as long church is strong enough to cover-up.

    Time for religion to goes away.

    June 25, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Really Jersey

      This molester was a football coach & the abuse happened at a college...Is it time for all athletic programs to go away? Is it time for all colleges to go away?

      June 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  11. paradaise

    I just wonder if the predator would have been an african american, would they have been praying for forgiveness???

    June 25, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  12. Don

    Morality and hipocricy travel together holding hands.

    June 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • QS

      Religion and hypocrisy travel together holding hands....while skipping and stomping all over morality.

      There, fixed! 🙂

      June 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • GAW

      Seems you want a perfect world?

      June 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  13. derp

    Need I remind all of you christians that you actually LOVE Jerry Sandusky.

    June 25, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Mike M

      Your meek understanding of love is evident, Christians are suppose to love everyone but you certainly don't have to condone their sin, like them, hang out with them........we have ALL sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      Are we supposed to feel guilty for not wishing evil? We still seek to see him punished.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • derp

      Admit that you love him.

      Your book demands that you forgive sinners, and that you love them. Your jesus commands it.

      Love the sinner, hate the sin.

      Is your faith so weak, that you cannot stand up for it and say that you unequivocally love Jerry Sandusky?

      His sins are your sins.

      You are the same in the eyes of god.

      At least once one, show that you are willing to stand by your faith when confronted by the conflicting emotions of being forced to love such a monster.

      Do you love Jerry Sandusky or not.

      Answer the question!

      June 25, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      I'll say that as reprehensible as his actions were (assuming the correct verdict), then yes, as a fallible human being I'll say I love him and pray for the betterment of him and his salvation. Should I hate him, and hope his heart hardens into being completely irredeemable, if he hasn't already made that choice? I've done reprehensible things myself (certainly not his crimes, but reprehensible to me all the same). Should I not love myself?

      June 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • derp

      Kudos to you Rick. You are the first Christian on this message board willing to stand by their faith.

      June 25, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Really Jersey

      We can love someone without approving or condoning their sins. It is also true that we can love, pity, & aid the victims by seeking justice for them at the same time. We can also want healing for both.

      June 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  14. dave836

    That's a pretty church in the picture...

    June 25, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  15. Nick

    Funny how we never hear of atheists killing, raping, molesting, etc. It's ALWAYS some person of "faith"

    JUST A THOUGHT!!!

    June 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • dave836

      Columbine...

      June 25, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • 900rr

      Columbine ?! Are you serious ...

      June 25, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • JakeAZ

      As an atheist, i must say that this is a stupid comment. of course atheists commit crimes. they're human, just like people of faith. crime is human nature, going back millenia, and it will continue. it doesn't matter if you believe in god or not. moraliity does not come from religion. either you're moral or not. its genetics and and our environment that determines morality, not mythology.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Doug

      Are you kidding? Much of the killing of millions in the 20th century were at the hands of secular leaders. Think Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot, to name 3. And don't confuse those who are really spiritual with those who say they are religious...2 different things.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • amazingcomments

      that's a pretty ignorant statement. Goes to show ...

      June 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • derp

      "Think Hitler"

      Hitler was christian.

      He gassed jews, gays and atheists.

      He did so because he believed he was doing the lord's work in jesus name.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Really Jersey

      People are people. We all have the same human fallibility, & our religion or lack of one does not matter. You have a problem seeing reality.

      June 26, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  16. Steve, New York City

    Sandusky is nothing but a disgusting, filthy animal.
    To hell with ANYBODY who could have helped/saved the victims, but rather turned a blind eye to his sickening crimes.

    I hope that Sandusky has a very rough time in prison.

    June 25, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Last action hero

      You mean like how his wife turned a blind eye?

      June 25, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  17. derp

    This just goes to show you what a completely retarded concept the christian faith is.

    Jerry Sandusky stuffs his dick into 10 different little boys.

    He goes to jail, repents, accepts jeebus and goes to heaven.

    I really don't believe in all of the religious stuff, so I go to hell.

    Multiple child molester = heaven

    Never molested anyone, but just doesn't believe in a religion that forgives child molesters = hell.

    Nice christians, way to show your moral high ground.

    June 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      Aren't you oversimplifying things a bit? And if you don't think so, perhaps you could check out a few different perspectives on the Christian faith.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • derp

      "Aren't you oversimplifying things a bit"

      Ok Dick, explain what I've got wrong.

      I don't believe in your fairy tale.

      There is no doubt within ANY of the christian faiths that atheists are gong to hell.

      Jerry Sandusky is a christian, methodist to be precise.

      All he has to do is repent and ask for forgiveness and he's good.

      His sins are forgiven.

      He goes to heaven, I go to hell.

      Please enlighten me as to what part of this I have wrong.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Rick

      It's a very simplistic concept, that's the thing. He's no oversimplifying it, he is merely stating the doctrine without the pomp of preaching.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • 900rr

      Right on. Religion is so ridiculous that i feel insulted if someone ask "what is my religion" ... So many child abuses in religious societies coming out lately , hasidic jews, christians, mormons, amish etc...

      June 25, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • derp

      "It's a very simplistic concept, that's the thing. He's no oversimplifying it, he is merely stating the doctrine without the pomp of preaching"

      That is my point.

      Saying remarkably stupid things like, "Love the sinner, hate the sin" isn't so easy when they have to admit now that they LOVE Jerry Sandusky and will accept him with open arms into gold lined streetesville.

      Don't you dooshebag christians remember, we are all sinners.

      Jerry Sandusky is JUST LIKE YOU. And you love sinners, just like him.

      Not only is he a sinner just like you, he is a christian just like you.

      His sins are no different than your sins.

      He is the same as you.

      Do you still love the sinner?

      June 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • The Real World

      No, that's what Paul says clearly in the Bible – accept Jesus and you are in. Sandusky is heaven-bound according to the Bible. Gandhi and Aristotle and Ann Frank are not.

      We have been trying to tell you about how immoral the Bible's morality is, but you guys don't listen. Then when it looks you in the face, like right here, you stammer and say things about "oversimplifying."

      Sandusky is Heaven-bound. Buddha is not. Which on rightfully belongs there?

      June 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      You are, in my humble opinion, way off. I'm sorry you feel that, and so many denominations believe that. If you really get into Christian apologetics and linguistics you will (hopefully) see good reason to believe that Christ saves across all faiths.

      I know plenty of Christians who would dismiss the idea that stock acceptance of whatever this century's version of Christianity is could be the sole determining factor in salvation.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Sam

      I think Christians struggle with that same concept as well. I know I do. It doesn't make much sense. But I definitely understand the frustration.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      No one's stammering. Jesus Himself warns against those who falsely proclaim his name ( the famous "I never knew you" line.). To pretend you know he's saved or damned has no basis in New Testament...it's between the individual and God.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Sam

      I will add though that the "possibility" of him being saved is there, but according to Christians, it's all what's in his heart. It's not just saying "I accept Jesus, forgive me". There is more to it. So, if the faith is indeed true, we don't technically know whether or not he is 'heaven-bound'.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      Besides missing the point that it is highly doubtful anyone in a state of grace and fellowship with God could willfully hurt others as such...Just because I say I love Jesus while shooting you in the face doesn't mean I'm saved. It is a gross misunderstanding at best, or willfull mischaracterization of the Christian faith.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • me

      The Bible says you have to confess your sins and be TRULY sorry about them for that confession to mean anything, which means never doing it again and feeling truly bad for what you've done. So, a couple of thoughts:

      1. I figure if there IS a God, he'll let you confess your sins after you're dead as well, when you get to the gates. So if you're an atheist, drop dead and show up at the gates, you have your chance to say "I was wrong and I am sorry". And as long as you truly mean it, you get to skate right in.

      2. I doubt Sandusky found Jesus in jail, he just figured it couldn't hurt his case in court. If he shows up at the gates and still believes he did nothing wrong, then his false confession and prior acts get him an express ticket to hell.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      Also, if he truly repents through Christ (or without Christ), fully accepts and seeks the proper punishment for his wrongs, and perhaps tries to do good, even in prison, what more could you ask for? Not saying he would, just projecting a quote unquote true salvation.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • derp

      "Also, if he truly repents through Christ (or without Christ), fully accepts and seeks the proper punishment for his wrongs, and perhaps tries to do good, even in prison, what more could you ask for? Not saying he would, just projecting a quote unquote true salvation"

      Ok Rick. You need to stop blabbering and answer two very simple "yes or no" questions.

      1. If Sandusky does as you say above, will he get into heaven according to your beliefs, yes or no?

      2. I am atheist. I do not believe in god or any practicing religions. I don't believe jesus was the savior. In fact, I have strong reservations that historical jesus ever actually existed. I not only disbelieve in your faith, I admonish it at every chance I get. Will I get into heaven, yes or no?

      June 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Jimmy G.

      Uh, oh, derp! You're gonna go straight to hell now! I mean, after we've built it using styrofoam and laser-eyed cats.
      I'll give you free tickets just as soon as we build the damn thing. Anyone know where I can get some cheap red spraypaint?

      June 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Rick Shellhammer

      Inividuals cannot answer for anyone's salvation. But yeah, true repentance leads to salvation. That much is clear. What defines true repentance for him, I can't answer. As for yourself, see my response to a comment above. Don't feel like typing it again.

      June 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • QS

      This goes back to the "hate the sin, love the sinner" thing I think – the very reason it comes first in that phrase is because they believe it's more important to hate. But I digress....they don't really, truly care what "sin" you've supposedly committed, they only care that you are really, truly sorry for it....even though they admit they can't possibly know if you'll be "saved" anyway!

      Which brings us to Pascal's Wager – admit it or not, I personally think this is the philosophy most religious people fall back on in the end....better to believe, just in case.

      June 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Really Jersey

      You are very wrong. His forgiveness hinges on him being absolutely totally repentant about his sins. Sandusky would have to be so tormented by his actions that he was repelled & appalled by them. Salvation for Jerry would have to include a complete conversion of heart to make him a different person entirely. Sadly; although it is possible for him, I feel it is highly unlikely.

      June 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  18. junior

    Too many angry people enslaved by their own hatred. Forgiveness is divine. We do need God.

    June 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • 900rr

      Well there is some people who don't need god. We use common sense

      June 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • junior

      Common Sense is not common anymore. I like common sense too, it remedies a bit except for trying to find out the meaning of life.

      June 25, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  19. Last action hero

    Now more than ever, we need to seek the almighty Zeus, the new Greece who has come down out of heaven from Zeus, as prophesied in Iliad, and by Homer. Zeus is the God, revealed by Second-Coming Hercules before He ascended back to heaven. We will not rest until we have made Greece the praise of the earth.

    Who sounds crazier?

    June 25, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • junior

      Your rendition. Hercules did not teach morality, he tricked Atlas into holding the globe. Hercules did not offer his life for humanity, too full of himself.

      June 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Nicole

      I'll take full of himself over the God of (most) of the bible, who was basically a genocidal maniac with an, erm, God complex.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • junior

      Unless Hercules was into children.

      June 25, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  20. Virginia Phillips

    Now more than ever, we need to seek Heavenly Mother, the new Jerusalem who has come down out of heaven from God, as prophesied in Revelation 21:2, 9-10, and Revelation 22:17. She is the bride, revealed by Second-Coming Christ before He ascended back to heaven. We will not rest until we have made Jerusalem the praise of the earth.

    June 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Virginia, how many times have I told you, don't forget to take your Thorazine every day.

      June 25, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Meaux

      Actually my reply is to Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler and his
      excellent reply which gave me a good laugh.

      June 25, 2012 at 5:15 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.