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Where was God in Aurora massacre?
Twelve crosses comprise a makeshift memorial near the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, scene of last week’s mass shooting
July 24th, 2012
02:13 PM ET

Where was God in Aurora massacre?

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Where was God in Aurora?

It’s a fresh take on an age-old question: Why does God allow suffering, natural disasters or - if you believe in it - evil?

We put the question to Twitter on Tuesday and got some starkly different responses.

“In short, God was in complete control, exercising His will,” wrote @PastorRileyF, who leads a church in Bethune, Colorado.

That riled @TheTrivia Jockey, who tweeted, “If that was God's will, God is definitely not deserving of my worship.”

Watch: Survivor of massacre says he forgives gunman

@trentpayne also took issue with the Colorado pastor: "I'm going to respectfully disagree with you Pastor. God gives free will to man, but it wasn't his will that they die."

The back-and-forth provoked other believers to chime in on the theological issue of God’s sovereignty vs. human free will, with many Christians seeking to explain how a sovereign God could preside over seemingly senseless bloodshed.

“It is not God's will or want that people died in Aurora,” wrote @GospelBluesman 20m. "God allowed man's inhumanity to man, rather than intervene.”

The conversation and debate continued in the comments section of this post, with some insinuating that the massacre might be a kind of divine punishment, or at lease divine neglect:

Lenny
We as a country have been telling God to go away. We told him to get off our currency, get out of our schools, get out of our Pledge of Allegiance, take your Ten Commandments out of our courthouses, get those Bibles out of hotels and no graduation ceremonies in our churches. How can we expect God to give us his blessing and his protection if we demand that he leave us alone?

Jesse R
Liberals have made it impossible for God to be anywhere during the upbringing of a child. Can't have any religious connotations in schools, libraries, government offices, etc., etc. Young men (and women) are growing up with no real sense of right and wrong. ... We no longer have the right of religion, but rather the right from religion. Parents no longer have the ability to discipline their children. We are always looking for the excuses ... violent video games and movies, bad teachers and schools ... when we should be looking in the mirror. We as a society are the reasons these massacres happen. We have allowed our children to become social misfits that lead to the kind of carnage we have seen on several occasions since religion and God disappeared from what the Founding Fathers once said was a necessity of a successful democracy ... faith.

Lots of readers used religious takes on the shooting to challenge the whole idea of God:

Who invited me?
How do you know the people that were killed didn't go to hell?, and how exactly does any of this show there is a reason? Reason is obviously something that you have replaced with belief, and you threw out logic with it.

Kyle
"God doesn't exist, so he wasn't anywhere. Get over it. A man was evil, and he was evil because he was crazy.

Plenty of others said the shooting was the devil's work:

Harleyxx
Evil things like this happen because Satan is the god of this world ... for the time being. God will undo all the damage caused by Satan's rebellion and man's disobedience when the time is right. In the meantime we all experience trials and tribulation due to living in an ungodly world. That is why Jesus taught his followers the Lord's Prayer ... 'to pray for God's kingdom to come.'

What’s your take? Where was God in the Aurora massacre? Or do you feel that such tragedies are evidence for a godless universe?

Let us know in comments, and we’ll highlight the best ones.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: God • Violence

soundoff (10,690 Responses)
  1. El Flaco

    There is no Old Man in the sky who watches our lives like we watch reality TV. Even if He existed, which He Doesn't, why would he want to watch US? Can you think of anything more boring than watching the moment to moment activities of 7 billion people, half of whom have a below average IQ?

    July 25, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  2. ArthurP

    @Hugo

    He must because he does it so often instead of using his supreme powers to correct the situation.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Hugo

      Arthur, you said it was in the Bible. I asked where. You didn't tell me where.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  3. Charles

    God is gone. America kicked him out a while ago.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  4. Norm

    Only man's arrogance leads him to believe God is involved in our meaningless, everyday, minute to minute activities.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • S.R.

      Couldn't agree more! Religions try to make sense out of the world and universe in simple make believe terms. We have no idea what the real situation is.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Dave

      Twelve people, including a 6-year old girl, is hardly "meaningless."

      July 25, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  5. Ross

    God is a concept created by man as a justification for existence.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Who invited me?

      God is used to plug the holes in mans knowledge...in other words God= the personified embodiment of ignorance.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Eric

      @Who invited me? I agree it looks that way. Most people who believe if they do not know the answer say because GOD did it. I am a believer, I do not like that anwer. I would only say that maybe twice Once being creation. I believe GOD did create the universe set all the laws of physics in place. With enough time we should be able to discover the nature f the universe. Creation on the other hand or better yet "before time we will not be able to observe which is where fsith comes in.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  6. Marc

    I don't know why God allowed this to happen. But I do know It's a fallen word where fallen people are sometimes permitted to do fallen things. I look forward to the consummation of human history when God will judge and restore

    July 25, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • max3333444555

      either god created man with this kind of potential for mental instability built in (interesting since that would be in the image of god – thus god has the potential for being crazy) or it evolved as a part of certain peoples personality....

      July 25, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Marc

      Let's not forget that this is James Holmes' fault, not God's. Holmes was the one who used his God given free will for evil. It is not God's plan to stop every dummy from doing dumb things.

      Also, I do not know how I will die, whether by natural causes or because some idiot brought a gun to the theater, but I need to live a life of readiness for eternity at all times.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Mbiker

      uh huh

      July 25, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  7. Yahya Shabazz

    God gave the human being a free mind, that came along with choices and
    knowledge of right and wrong. There is no compulsion in religion. We either believe or don't. We do have a choice in what influences to allow in our lives.The tragedy in Colorado was merely a symptom of the bigger problem of moral degeneration in the society. Has nothing to do with gun control. Guns don't pull triggers, people do. Bloomberg says Obama and Romny won't deal with gun control. I think he's really the one who's skirting the issue. The real issue is self control. Let's address the influences that come into the minds of the people and take them off the deep end. No my friends, we cannot, and should not blame God, for God has made perfectly clear the right direction, and has given us a mind to choose. Blame ourselves for the choices we make in the world. Blame ourselves for allowing shallow thinkers that pose as leaders take our minds off the root of the problem, and therefore, the problem continues. Blame ourselves for allowing ourselves to become so caught up in the fads, and trends of the society, that we forget logic, integrity, ethics, how to be responsible, etc, These are the attributes God has given to us all, but we allow negative influences to destroy them, and as a result, we become all empty inside. The source of real life leaves us, and when tragedy strikes, we blame God. No my friends, blame ourselves!!!

    July 25, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Who invited me?

      "No my friends, we cannot, and should not blame God,"

      Of course I don't blame god, nor frodo,nor batman, nor any other fictional character...that would just be stupid.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      At least wait for the next page before you copy and paste. It looks desperate. Unless you are desperate, which in that case it makes sense. Got to save us non-believers huh?

      July 25, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • really

      THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE FORGET GOD

      July 25, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      Forget? How do you forget something that isn't real? I bet you are one of those people that waves your bible when you scream at gay people. The all caps do convey a sense of panic.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Who invited me?

      really
      first ...WHT ARE YOU YELLING,
      and second ...forget who?

      July 25, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Eric

      Must be a troll screaming his fingers off like that.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  8. ArthurP

    He was there and he was guiding the hand of the shooter. Just read the Bible. God likes killing people.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      Hey man easy, christians revised it when they made the new testament. That angry, genocidal, psycho of a god is old testament stuff. Now god is a fluffy teddy bear with nothing but love in his heart.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Hugo

      Arthur, where in the Bible does it say that God enjoys killing people?

      July 25, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • ArthurP

      @The Asian Atheist

      Remember now the New Testament is a government publication, First Council of Nicaea, and we all know how truthful they are.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      In the old testament. Pretty clear actually.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Mbiker

      someone has been reading their bible ... oh oh ... go easy now and dont think about it too much now

      July 25, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • ArthurP

      @Hugo

      He must because he does it so often instead of using his ultimate powers to correct the situation.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      If reading the bible doesn't make you an atheist, I don't know what will. I would hate to be a part of the bigotry and hate that the varying books of faith are laced with.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • really

      YOU WILL MEET GOD ONE DAY!

      July 25, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      Writing in all caps is not going to help you get your point across.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  9. Yahya Shabazz

    God gave the human being a free mind, that came along with choices and
    knowledge of right and wrong. There is no compulsion in religion. We either believe or don't. We do have a choice in what influences to allow in our lives.The tragedy in Colorado was merely a symptom of the bigger problem of moral degeneration in the society. Has nothing to do with gun control. Guns don't pull triggers, people do. Bloomberg says Obama and Romeny won't deal with gun control. I think he's really the one who's skirting the issue. The real issue is self control. Let's address the influences that come into the minds of the people and take them off the deep end. No my friends, we cannot, and should not blame God, for God has made perfectly clear the right direction, and has given us a mind to choose. Blame ourselves for the choices we make in the world. Blame ourselves for allowing shallow thinkers that pose as leaders take our minds off the root of the problem, and therefore, the problem continues. Blame ourselves for allowing ourselves to become so caught up in the fads, and trends of the society, that we forget logic, integrity, ethics, how to be responsible, etc, These are the attributes God has given to us all, but we allow negative influences to destroy them, and as a result, we become all empty inside. The source of real life leaves us, and when tragedy strikes, we blame God. No my friends, blame ourselves!!!

    July 25, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • karl

      Copy and Paste is very annoying...especially when you spout a bunch of garbage.... Food for thought if you religious want to get a message across I suggest you start using logic and a basic thought process instead of quoting bible verses and telling the rest of us what an imaginary person believes....it sounds a little psycho

      July 25, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • ArthurP

      Here you go son is a brand new bicycle. Mind you if your ever try to ride it I will cut you out of the Will and then maybe even kill you.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  10. independentlyowned

    Either God cannot stop the evil in the world, in which case he is not omnipotent, or he does not wish to stop it, therefore he is not a good God. Therefore, there can be no God.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Eric

      Death is part of life here we all die. To an omnipotent being who is everywhere at once existing outside spacetime, Which in it self is amazing the concept could have been thought up thousands of years ago... But i digress We all a sweet old lady asleep in her bed an axe murder on death row. You are only looking at it from the small narrow point of view of a person.. I cant look at it with GODs eyes But I can begin to understand him through the scriptures and relationship.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Hugo

      I suggest you go work on your math skills. I suggest discrete mathematics at the college level. (Your proof is so full of holes I don't even know where to start other than suggesting education.)

      July 25, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • HeavenSent

      God doesn't intervene because he is long suffering, meaning, He wishes none of His children perish to the eternal flames. He gives us time to get ourselves together to seek Him so we can love and follow His truth to live with Him for eternity.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • ArthurP

      If he did not want anyone to perish in eternal flames then he would not have created it.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • independentlyowned

      Funny, Hugo, because I did actually take Discrete Math in college, as I was a math major. However, that is not "my' proof, but one thought of by Constantine. So let's pretend you believe in an afterlife or a Heaven, why would he want his people to suffer and be tortured here on Earth before they get there? Either he's a sadistic freak, or he's powerless to stop it. Try telling the victim's families that their child being taken away from them at an early age in a brutal massacre was just "part of God's plan."

      July 25, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Hugo

      OK, the proof came from Constantine. Two problems.
      1) No citation.
      2) It doesn't follow that if Constantine said or wrote something that it's necessarily sound. Right?

      The proof has several serious problems and I'm just going to focus on the really easy one. Even if you have proven that there is no good god you have not proven that there is no god. Specifically, you haven't proven that there is no god that is not good. Right?

      I'm baffled why you don't see this.

      July 25, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Hugo

      " Either he's a sadistic freak, or he's powerless to stop it"

      Why do you think it's a binary condition? I don't have a clue how to explain this to you in a few minutes in a written forum. I have an idea though. Maybe it'll work maybe not.

      Did you ever take matrix theory where you had to think in 5 or more dimensions? Try to apply that "state of mind" to the problem and let it run around your brain for several weeks. I don't know if this will work but I'm trying.

      July 25, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  11. Genia

    How can you not see the love through the tragedy? He is comforting those who want him and need him there. Many stories of heroes that sacrificed their lives for loved ones is there. Understanding why evil exists in the world and what people can do is with their faith, and that knowledge is found at their churches, with family and counselors of faith.Prayers for the families that lost their loved ones and those who are still fighting for their lives helps.Remember if you read your Bible, you will find out who put evil in our world. It exists, as God does also-God Bless.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Who invited me?

      So god let this happen so he could feel needed?

      July 25, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  12. Yahya Shabazz

    why everybody trying to blame God for this tragedy?God gave the human being a free mind, that came along with choices and
    knowledge of right and wrong.God does not force us to worship or believe in Him. We do have a choice in what influences to allow in our lives.The tragedy in Colorado was merely a symptom of the bigger problem of moral degeneration in the society. Has nothing to do with gun control. Guns don't pull triggers, people do. Bloomberg says Obama and Romeny won't deal with gun control. I think he's really the one who's skirting the issue. The real issue is self control. Let's address the influences that come into the minds of the people and take them off the deep end. No my friends, we cannot, and should not blame God, for God has made perfectly clear the right direction, and has given us a mind to choose. Blame ourselves for the choices we make in the world. Blame ourselves for allowing shallow thinkers that pose as leaders take our minds off the root of the problem, and therefore, the problem continues. Blame ourselves for allowing ourselves to become so caught up in the fads, and trends of the society, that we forget logic, integrity, ethics, how to be responsible, etc, These are the attributes God has given to us all, but we allow negative influences to destroy them, and as a result, we become all empty inside. The source of real life leaves us, and when tragedy strikes, we blame God. No my friends, blame ourselves!!!

    July 25, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • snowboarder

      the followers of your god continually threaten the unbelievers with eternal damnation. that is forcing.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • MikeB

      snowboarder – That is forcing only if the 'non-believers' believe that it's possible.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  13. howart Dao

    He WAS there as said in the new testement: Sow the Wind(absolute adherent to 2nd admendment, privacy no matter what) and Reap the Whirlwind (Colorado tragedies and more .... )

    July 25, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  14. max3333444555

    he was hiding behind the 4th row of seats...

    July 25, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  15. Yahya Shabazz

    why everybody trying to blame God for this tragedy?God gave the human being a free mind, that came along with choices and
    knowledge of right and wrong.God does not force us to worship or believe in Him. We do have a choice in what influences to allow in our lives.The tragedy in Colorado was merely a symptom of the bigger problem of moral degeneration in the society. Has nothing to do with gun control. Guns don't pull triggers, people do. Bloomberg says Obama and Romeny won't deal with gun control. I think he's really the one who's skirting the issue. The real issue is self control. Let's address the influences that come into the minds of the people and take them off the deep end. No my friends, we cannot, and should not blame God, for God has made perfectly clear the right direction, and has given us a mind to choose. Blame ourselves for the choices we make in the world. Blame ourselves for allowing shallow thinkers that pose as leaders take our minds off the root of the problem, and therefore, the problem continues. Blame Self

    July 25, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • snowboarder

      "God does not force us to worship or believe in Him. "

      really? then why do his followers threaten unbelievers with eternal torture? that is definitely forcing.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • BU2B

      You cannot blame someone who doesn't exist.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Hugo

      snowboarder, just because someone says he is a follower of God doesn't make him a follower of God. Even if the person is a follower of God, that doesn't make the person God.

      Let's try this. Let's say I claim to be a follower of snowboarder. Next I go into a 7-11 and commit a robbery, claiming to do so in the name of snowboarder. Are you even remotely responsible for my action? Of course not.

      I'm sorry but your attempt at logic doesn't work. If you want to get better at logic, many fine colleges have classes in it. Normally these classes are taught by the Philosophy Dept.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  16. Colin

    Ya gotta love the evangelicals'comments on thes incidents. The slightest good news is immediately heralded as proof their prayers are working. I saw a couple on TV ranting about how it was a miracle that the gunman did not go into their theatre. Of course, what they ignored was the fact that, by definition, he therefore shot up the theatre next door.

    God also seems to have a habit of popping up in wildfires and tornadoes, spinning his magic to select those who perish and those who don’t. It is odd though, that his miracles are always;

    (i) perfectly explicable by natural events such as wind gusts or mental problems;

    (ii) selective to the person proclaiming the “miracle” (i.e. MY house was saved); and

    (iii) only “miracles” when the totality of the tragedy is ignored – the 500 homes destroyed, and many lives lost. A CEO might as well ignore the liability side of his balance sheet and declare it a miracle that his company just doubled in value.

    Oh, my Bible-cuddling friends, it’s high time you grew up. There is no sky-fairy protecting you from the big bad world, no afterlife you can kick the can down the road to or use to wish away the problems of this one. Life is short and death is certain. Put down your Bibles enjoy the years this Universe gave you.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      Pretty insulting to those that died when people say god saved them, not the others. Or you could just say "wow it really sucks that he shot those people, but I am sure as hell happy and lucky that he did not pick mine".

      July 25, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • sugarmomma1

      Colin, you're great! I've copied and pasted a lot of your comments into a file. They are just that good. 🙂 You are a breath of fresh air among all this mumbo jumbo talk.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • ArthurP

      @The Asian Atheist

      Actually it is par for the course for God. Save only those he feels deserve it. Let the others die and go to Hell.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  17. Melissa

    Where was God? This nation kicked him out of courts, schools and basic moral principles, Where is America?

    July 25, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Colin

      Americans live longer, healthier happier lives than 99% of the planet and 99.99999% of people who have ever existed. That's where kicking the sky-fairy out of school has gotten us.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Who invited me?

      Melissa.
      Your ignorance is astonishing.
      I am an atheist and I have a very good set of morals. Religions on the other hand are immoral in their very foundations.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • snowboarder

      where is america? why, just north of mexico and south of canada. surprisingly the location of america does not rely on any particular religious belief.

      i am endlessly thankful for this secular nation.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      Yeah my morals have no basis in religious thinking. I have no interest in assaulting an alter boy. Or killing someone of another faith. Or commiting genocide because people are not like me. Or oppressing those who find the same gender attractive. I think I will stick to my secular ways thanks.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • pntkl

      Don't feel too bad. Colin suffers from apophenia. 'Who invited me?' eats the fruit of the poisonous tree. Snowboarder [albeit sarcastic] didn't say anything incredulous, although did make an appeal to the people. Finally, 'The Asian Atheist' prejudices guilt by association. Although they may be ignorant of themselves, as much as any opposed–they have apparently found it necessary to spend inordinate amounts of time preaching their incomplete ideas, to usurp others' hypostatized abstract beliefs. In other words, they are ephemerally present, so find it necessary to maximize impact by providing as much insult to injury, using their words as whips to figuratively break bones.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Who invited me?

      pntkl
      Do you have something to contribute or are you just here attempting to insult people?
      I do not eat mythical poison fruit by the way...that's just silly

      July 25, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • ArthurP

      Were is he?

      He is right here in the United States bringing down vengeance against Americans for corrupting his message with Fundamentalist dogma.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  18. Elaine

    I do not attend church on Sundays because I feel you do not need to join under one roof with other people once a week to show that you are a good Christian. Most of the "good christians" I have known are the most judgemental and mean-spirited people around. I try to figure out why bad things happen to good people,etc. A theory that no one has ever thought about is how do you know that God was not there fighting for those people and that more people could have been killed? The devil was there that night and I believe God was there also, but he is losing the battle against the devil. Everything you see on these posts against God and the bad things going on in the world are exactly what the devil is wanting. He wants us to turn on God and not believe that he exists. Think about it. The devil is winning the battle and making us turn on God with all the horrific events going on in the world. That is exactly what the devil wants. He wants us to lose faith in God and turn on him. God needs more of us to stand up and do something when we can instead of sitting on the sidelines. When you see a bully picking on someone, do something. When you see someone being taken advantage of, do something about it. For all you people that don't want to get involved, shame on you! We need more empathy and humility in this world. This guy did a horrific thing. My daughter was at the midnight movie in Dallas and so all I could think about was that being her. I feel for the person that ever harms my daughter. He/she will have to deal with me. Something happened to this guy caused him to snap. I think it could have been the devil taking advantage of a broken spirit and causing him to do this. It is a cruel world. I am not some religious freak as I can't actually recall the last time I went to church, but this is a theory that no one has thought about. Now I am going to go get some coffee and watch all of you have fun with this theory...LOL!!

    July 25, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • David

      I totally agreee with you. I am just like you in having not gone to church in awhile but still pray every night and believe God is real and that everything happens for a reason. Thanks again for what you wrote. God bless you and have a great day.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  19. Rainer Braendlein

    Safety is to favour, but freedom too. That is a dilemma, even for God.

    "Where was God in Aurora massacre?"

    Where was the police, when half a dozen or so people got murdered in New York yesterday (I don't know how many people really get killed in New York every day)?

    Nobody of us would wish that around every corner is a policeman which would prevent crimes. We would get the feeling to live in a state of surveillance, extremly unpleasant.

    Now let us imagine "God would be around every corner" and prevent us from doing evil. Would we be happy about that? Would we still be free people?

    God is somewhat in a dilemma. At the one hand he wants freedom, on the other hand he wants to prevent injustice. Seemingly, God tolerates the evildoesrs for a while up to Judgement Day. During our time on earth it becomes manifest, if we are good people or evildoers. Beginning with Judgement Day the evildoers will get punished (of course, yet before Judgement Day the authority can punish the extreme sinners, called criminals).

    Concerning the victims:

    In a way death belongs to life. Maybe, if they had not died by the massacre, they had died by a disease or an accident or something else. There is no guarantee that we survive the current day. This should make us hurry to search for the real faith which leads us to eternal life. If we have got eternal life, we can die peacefully or in fact we only pass away.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • BU2B

      God was in the same place "he" has always been: in your head.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  20. steve0michigan

    There is no such thing as real relationship, without real choice. No love can ever be exchanged without free will. If God is truly interested in a relationship – He has to take the risk of allowing us to walk away, by our own free will. Free will in the world is awesome, and sucks all at the same time.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      3700 plus comments and steve sums them all up in a few sentences

      July 25, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think that states it quite well bravo sir.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      No, not really. The idea of free will being given is counter intuitive. So he has not really summed up anything.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Mbiker

      If you try and put God in an athiest sized box then yep you are right ... but thats not possible

      July 25, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Who invited me?

      Free will is often used to explain the total absence of god, especially when bad things happen.
      What of the people who by their free will did not want to get shot?
      The concept of free will was part of the plan of the MEN who created your bible, and defined a god for you.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • The Asian Atheist

      You are right, there is no room for god in my atheist sized box. A lot of that space is taken up by rational thinking, the rest of the space is reserved for whatever else I learn in life.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • momtotwo

      @TheAsianAthiest: Do you have children? Do you let them make their own decisions, or do you violently force them to obey your every command? You give them sound advice to make good decisions, yet when they make bad ones, is that YOUR fault? God created man, he did give them their own brains with the ability to reason and make decisions on their own. When people decide to be wicked and destroy the planet and other humans, God does not take that lightly.
      He does say in the scriptures "Vengeance is MINE, I will repay". Just because he's not doing it to the timetable of humans doesn't mean he won't do it at all.
      Man decided LONG ago they wanted to live free of God and his guidance. Well, so be it, God allowed that to happen, and here we have the world today, violent, no morals, disease, the planet ruined, people oppressed. No thanks, I'd rather serve a God I know to be loving and who promotes peace and harmony.
      God's Word the Bible says "Time and unforseen occurence befall us all". Sometimes things happen that just SUCK. The bible also says that God cannot try anyone with evil, but evil is the result of people being enticed by their own desires. When they act on those desires, death results.
      There are simple explanations for everything that is happening : Man wanted to live free from God, now they live with the bad consequences but blame God for them.
      The good thing is, the bible says that God will REVERSE all the damage that these wicked people have done to not only humans (he will rid the earth of disease, oppression, even death, and bring back our loved ones, as Jesus said, the dead are "only sleeping".)
      By the way, the bible also says that "1000 yrs is as to God ONE day..." In God's view, humans have only been around for about 6 DAYS. An 80 yr old man is only 2 hrs old in God's eyes. Humans have such limited insight, yet they blame God for all the bad.
      Also, God does not support war, or killings, in the bible when he killed people it was because after giving them so many chances to stop being evil he stepped in and got rid of them.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:44 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.