September 22nd, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Different Takes: Should we abandon idea of hell?

Editor’s note: The new documentary "Hellbound?" explores Americans' ideas about hell. We asked two prominent Christians who featured in the film to give us their very different takes on hell.

My Faith: The dangerous effects of believing in hell

Editor’s note: Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times bestselling author. His latest book is "Crazy For God."

By Frank Schaeffer, Special to CNN

Is it any coincidence that the latest war of religion that started on September 11, 2001, is being fought primarily between the United States and the Islamic world? It just so happens that no subgroups of humanity are more ingrained with the doctrine of hell than conservative Muslims and conservative Christians.

And nowhere on earth have conservative Christians been closer to controlling foreign policy than here in the United States. And nowhere on earth have conservative Muslims been more dominant than in the countries from which the 9/11 extremists originated – Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

What a pair George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden made! On the one hand, an American president who was a born-again evangelical with a special "heart" for the state of Israel and its importance to the so-called end times, and on the other hand a terrorist leader who believed that he was serving God by ridding the Arabian Peninsula of an American presence and cleansing the "defiled" land of Palestine of what he believed were “invader Jews.”

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So whether you're an atheist or not, the issue of who's going to hell or not matters because there are a lot of folks on this planet – many of them extraordinarily well-armed - from born-again American military personnel to Muslim fanatics, who seriously believe that God smiles upon them when they send their enemies to hell.

And so my view of "hell" encompasses two things: First, the theological question about whether a land of eternal suffering exists as God's "great plan" for most of humanity.

Second, the question of the political implications of having a huge chunk of humanity believe in damnation for those who disagree with their theology, politics and culture, as if somehow simply killing one's enemies is not enough.

What most people don't know is that there's another thread running through both Christianity and Islam that is far more merciful than the fundamentalists’ take on salvation, judgment and damnation.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Paradise, which Muslims believe is the final destination of the society of God’s choice, is referred to in the Quran as "the home of peace"

“Our God,” Muslims are asked to recite, “You are peace, and peace is from You.”

Since Christianity is my tradition, I can say more about it. One view of God - the more fundamentalist view - is of a retributive God just itching to punish those who "stray."

The other equally ancient view, going right back into the New Testament era, is of an all-forgiving God who in the person of Jesus Christ ended the era of scapegoat sacrifice, retribution and punishment forever.

As Jesus said on the cross: "Forgive them for they know not what they do."

That redemptive view holds that far from God being a retributive God seeking justice, God is a merciful father who loves all his children equally. This is the less-known view today because fundamentalists - through televangelists and others - have been so loud and dominant in North American culture.

But for all that, this redemptive view is no less real.

Why does our view of hell matter? Because believers in hell believe in revenge. And according to brain chemistry studies, taking revenge and nurturing resentment is a major source of life-destroying stress.

For a profound exploration of the madness caused by embracing the “justice” of “godly” revenge and retribution, watch the film “Hellbound?”

The film shows how the "hell" of revenge thinking, and the resulting unhinging of some people’s brains through their denial of human empathy, leads them to relish the violent future of suffering that they predict awaits the “lost” in hell.

Do we really want to go back to a time of literalistic religion. Wasn’t 9/11 enough of an argument against retributive religion?

We need “hell” like a hole in the head. It’s time for the alternative of empathetic merciful religion to be understood.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Frank Schaeffer.

My Faith: Hell is for real and Jesus is the only way out

Editor's Note: Mark Driscoll is founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle.

By Mark Driscoll, Special to CNN

As a pastor, my job is to tell the truth. Your job is to make a decision.

When controversies over biblical doctrines arise, it’s a humbling opportunity to answer questions about what the Bible teaches without getting into name-calling and mudslinging. Near the very top of the controversial doctrines is hell.

What happens when we die?

Human beings were created by God with both a physical body and a spiritual soul. When someone dies, their body goes into the grave and their spirit goes into an afterlife to face judgment.

But death is not normal or natural—it’s an enemy and the consequence of sin.

Think of it in this way: God is the source of life. When we choose to live independently of God and rebelliously against God it is akin to unplugging something from its power source. It begins to lose power until it eventually dies.

The Bible is clear that one day there will be a bodily resurrection for everyone, to either eternal salvation in heaven or eternal condemnation in hell.

Christians believe a person’s eternal status depends on their relationship with Jesus and that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Our lives are shaped by the reality that “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

What does Jesus say about hell?

Jesus was emphatically clear on the subject of hell. He alone has risen from death and knows what awaits us on the other side of this life. A day of judgment is coming when all of us — even you — will rise from our graves and stand before him for eternal sentencing to either worshiping in his kingdom or suffering in his hell.

The Bible could not be clearer: “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

These are not just obscure Bible verses. In fact, Jesus talks about hell more than anyone else in Scripture. Amazingly, 13% of his sayings are about hell and judgment, and more than half of his parables relate to the eternal judgment of sinners.

Keep in mind that Jesus’ words come in the context of the rest of Scripture, which says that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Furthermore, he “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

God is far more loving, kind and patient with his enemies than we are with our enemies.

What does the rest of the Bible say about hell?

The Bible gives us many descriptions of hell including (1) fire; (2) darkness; (3) punishment; (4) exclusion from God’s presence; (5) restlessness; (6) second death; and (7) weeping and gnashing of teeth in agony.

A common misperception of Satan is that he’s in a red suit, holding a pitchfork at the gates of hell. But Satan will not[j1]  reign there. Hell is a place of punishment that God prepared for the devil and his angels, and it’s where those who live apart from God will, according to Revelation:

. . . drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb [Jesus Christ]. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night.

At the end of the age, the devil will be “thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

Hell will be ruled over by Jesus, and everyone present — humans and demons and Satan alike — will be tormented there continually in perfect justice.

Jesus says, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. ... And these will go away into eternal punishment.”

Is there a second chance after death?

The Bible is clear that we die once and are then judged without any second chance at salvation. As one clear example, Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.”

We live. We die. We face judgment. Period.

How long does the punishment last?

Some argue that the punishment of sinners is not eternal, a view called annihilationism. This means that after someone dies apart from Jesus, they suffer for a while and then simply cease to exist.

Annihilationism is simply not what the Bible teaches. Daniel 12:2 says, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Jesus speaks of those who “will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

Grammatically, there is no difference here between the length of time mentioned for “life” and that for “punishment”; rather, there is simply eternal life and eternal death.

Am I going to hell?

The good news is that the closing verses of the Bible say, “Come!” Everyone is invited to receive the free gift of God’s saving grace in Jesus. Jesus is God become a man to reconcile mankind to God.

He lived the sinless life we have not lived, died a substitutionary death on the cross for our sins. He endured our wrath, rose to conquer our enemies of sin and death, and ascended to heaven where he is ruling as Lord over all today. He did this all in love.

The stark reality is this: either Jesus suffered for your sins to rescue you from hell, or you will suffer for your sins in hell. These are the only two options and you have an eternal decision to make.

My hope and prayer is that you would become a Christian.

Have you confessed your sins to Jesus Christ, seeking forgiveness and salvation?

If not, you are hellbound, and there is no clever scholar who will be of any help when you stand before Jesus Christ for judgment. You’re not required to like hell as much as you need to believe in it, turn from your sin, trust in Jesus, and be saved from an eternal death into an eternal life.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Driscoll.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Devil • Opinion

soundoff (7,963 Responses)
  1. Cain

    "humans and demons and Satan alike — will be tormented there continually in perfect justice."

    "Perfect justice?" "Perfect??" You're saying that infinite punishment for finite crimes (the biggest of which is "not loving me enough") is "perfect?"

    September 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  2. brich22

    Can we please have a serious discussion about the existence of leprechauns, unicorns, and the tooth fairy!

    September 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  3. Byrd

    Where exactly did you think you were...? Perhaps you might inquire of the guy wearing red shoes...

    September 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  4. t3chn0ph0b3

    Hell makes a lot of sense from a cultural point of view. It comes from volcanoes. Firey rock? Volcanoes. Brimstone? Volcanoes. Horrifying suffering and death in fire? Volcanoes. Annihilation in fire? Volcanoes. Death from deep underground? Volcanoes. Unstoppable evil fiery death? Volcanoes. If you want to scare the crap out of people, tell them you're going to throw them into a live volcano. Volcanoes were for millenia attributed to the gods. Why not the anti-God, if God is supposed to be all good.

    Hell is a tired stereotype based on plate tectonics – yet another religious myth debunked by science.

    Religious people are very silly.

    September 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Now THAT makes a hell of a lot of sense! Thank you.

      September 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  5. Chutzpah

    Religion is madness.

    September 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  6. truth be trolled

    Check this out . . . . . .

    List of atheists in science and technology (natural scientists):

    (The number of Nobel laureates is astounding.)

    List (social sciences):

    September 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  7. Reality

    Almost every Sunday morning, the on-line version of CNN Headline News will highlight a religion story apparently to increase the number of hits (and ad money) on their Belief blog. This morning, the "highlight" is hell. The hits have increased from about 50 to about 1500 in less than 12 hours.

    It is now Sunday afternoon and the on-line Headline News featured story on hell has been replaced. Should be interesting to see how fast the blog traffic on this item decreases.

    And for those new readers:

    Only for new members of this blog:

    In the video, the speaker notes that there is no mention of hell in the Old Testament. Now turning to a new version of the Old Testament/Torah, Abraham and Moses also were not really there either since both were apparently invented by the Jewish scribes.

    To wit:

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel – not one shard of pottery."

    September 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  8. WachetAuf

    The idiot who claims to speak for God says: "Hell will be ruled over by Jesus, and everyone present — humans and demons and Satan alike — will be tormented there continually in perfect justice."

    So, this is "PERFECT JUSTICE"? Eternal torment? How is it possible to torment someone eternally for committing a crime which was temporal? Does anyone believe that to be "PERFECT JUSTICE"? How about God's plan? Has he described his plan "PERFECTLY"? Are we to be punished for failing to meet a standard which God himself has failed to "ARTICULATE" with any "PERFECT" clarilty? Is this a God who gets his rocks off by punishing "IMPERFECT" human beings? Most of whom have no ability to see the "PERFECT" truth of God's plan; who have no ability to think for themselves; and who are brainwashed by "IMPERFECT" group of narcissistic leaders who prefer them to fix their minds on Christmas, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, monetary wealth; power and oppression of those who they fear, like Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, communists, socialists. I am not buying this crap. God gave me a mind to think. I am using the mind and powers of reason which God gave to me. God, if I am wrong, it is because of this mind which you gave to me. God, can you take a joke? Hope so. Otherwise....

    September 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Chutzpah

      The human race will ultimately destroy itself if it continues to infect its being with false and aberrant concepts like the ones taught by the three major Middle Eastern faiths. Keep focusing on death and sin, evil and worthlessness and that's the way you will end up. Better to realize that we're all different manifestations of one spirit, consciousness, enjoy the beauty in the world and die at peace.

      September 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  9. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    A true story. A thermodynamics professor had written a take home exam for his graduate students. It had one question:
    "Is hell exothermic or endothermic? Support your answer with a proof."

    Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

    First, we postulate that if souls exist, then they must have some mass. If they do, then a mole of souls can also have a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls leaving? I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

    As for souls entering hell, lets look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to hell.

    With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in hell to increase exponentially.

    Now, we look at the rate of change in volume in hell. Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the ratio of the mass of souls and volume needs to stay constant.

    So, if hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter hell, then the temperature and pressure in hell will increase until all hell breaks loose.

    Of course, if hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in hell, than the temperature and pressure will drop until hell freezes over.

    Therefore, hell must be exothermic because a girl he'd been chasing had sworn it'd be a cold day in hell before she'd sleep with him, and he'd so far been unable to get to first base with her.

    September 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  10. Bill P

    An interesting contrast, but clearly no contest on who is right in this debate. Frank Schaeffer discusses this subject as if his knowledge and experience is based upon "drive by" church attendance – "once, I drove by a Christian church, therefore, I know all about the subject”. He uses no scriptural references specifically on the subject of punishment, but instead makes some out of context reference to what Jesus said about forgiveness. Though Schaeffer points to Jesus and only the New Testament as defining the love of God (he obviously never read the Old Testament where the love of God is equally expressed), he also did not read John, chapter 3, where Jesus made perfectly clear what are the consequences of unbelief regarding redemption only through the Son of God. Then, for Schaeffer to somehow equate the President’s duties to defend the country as somehow a form of glee on the part of Christians to send non-believers to hell is an incredible work of ignorance. I suggest that Schaeffer wake himself up from his stupor of bitterness and get real busy reading the Bible in earnest, for eternity is at stake.

    September 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Debate? A debate would require facts, and religion is sorely lacking in fact. No, it is an argument among delusional people, over whose delusion is more real.

      September 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Bill P

      Jimmy Joe – Religion cannot be effectively debated when there is no desire to believe. If you have convinced yourself, indeed, you have exhausted the search for truth, and reached the zenith of your desire for understanding, no amount of discussion or argument will make any difference. You say, “delusional” and “sorely lacking in fact” in relation to religion. Now, I know that that is not true from my study and experience, though I would not qualify my relationship to the Lord as “religion” but something that is real and personal to me. How do you know for sure that your denial of God, I presume that that is where this takes you, is not itself delusional? Just to quote, the Bible says, be patient, and try to think what this is telling you, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Please, do yourself a favor and do not pass from this life without reaching a certainty of why God created you and placed you on this earth. There will be no shame, but only in this life, if you come to the realization that you have been in error, thus far.

      September 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • WachetAuf

      No reasoned objective debate is possible. The one and only reason for making something "sacred' is to prevent people from asking questions about it. If you ask questions, you will quickly be told that it is "blasphemous". Two thousand years ago, just as it is now in Islam, you would be put to death for "blasphemy". Today you will become an outcast. The herd will not accept you. It is the only way they have for binding anyone to their religion. It is Darwin at work in its best and most efficient way. You will not survive if you dare ask questions.

      September 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Bill P

      WachetAuf – Years ago I came to know Jesus as my Savior and I have attended churches in which the pastors would teach thoughtfully and with love from the Bible. In some few cases there are “interpretations” that not all are in agreement. On really minor points. The Apostle Paul admonished the early Christians to not “debate the debatable”. But on all points that matter, like Jesus’ Deity, His crucifixion and resurrection, and eternal punishment for disbelief, the Bible is clear and unambiguous. I am sorry that your own experience was that of a spiritual desert. But it is not too late. This reminds me of a hymn that I always liked, the words, “The Savior is waiting to enter your heart. Why don’t you let Him come in?”

      September 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  11. save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

    Who needs Jeezbub when you can have a King??????

    September 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Here is your grave mistake:
      You think that portrays Christianity.
      You use it to throw mud on Christianity
      You do not recognise the real from false
      You think that's all a funny joke
      You don't realize that you will answer to God for using this mockery to throw mud on His name, and therewith damning your own soul.

      September 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, Prissy, long time no see. Is Samuel Barber in hell because he was gay? If you believe gays go to hell, how is it many of them wrote some of the most incredibly beautiful works in the history of music?

      September 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • sam stone

      prissy...your empty proxy threats are laughable. get off your knees, b1tch

      September 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      You'll wish those were only threats... How old are you, sammyboy? How long do you have till y o u r appointment. You'll wish it was me who judge you, but I don't and it is not in my hands. But there is Someone who will, whose eyes of fire you won't escape. BTW, if my words make me equivalent to a b1tch, what does the trash full of vulgarities you spew make you, hm, sammyboy? Human maggot would fit you well , but I'm to sorry for you to even call you that. I know your path and your end, and that's enough reason to pity anyone!

      September 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • j

      gays go to hell because God says they will by no means inherit the Kigndom of God, gays live in sin !!

      September 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  12. tony


    All believers right now kneel down and pray that no more atheists post to this blog!

    September 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Gregg

      but I am just anti religious, I don't have a fake god, I know the real one.

      September 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  13. Erasmus

    Gen 3:22 ¶ And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, an and live for ever:
    en 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
    Seems strange that God prevented sinners from living forever, yet most Evangelicals teach God changed his mind and let wicked have eternal life, sure they will be uncomfortable, but hey God enjoys watching them burn!?. Be not deceived dear saints, God will destroy the wicked, pray you avoid it.
    "The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy." Psalms 145:20.

    If you dont believe Gods word, then ask a child what destroy means?

    September 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • tony

      Ask a child who has not been indoctrinated since birth, what "god" means

      September 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • WachetAuf

      The Prophet Isaiah said there would come a time when children would become our leaders and at that time neighbor will fight neighbor. Isaiah 3:4. It is happening. Can't rely on children to think for us.

      September 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Chutzpah

      Erasmus, try to have a nice day today.

      September 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Erasmus

      (For those who do believe in the Bible) I am glad that we agree, from the verses above, that God is not a torturer, and the wicked will be destroyed, an d not burn forever.

      September 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  14. Bill the Deist2

    test comment.

    September 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      If you are having trouble getting your posts to appear, it might be the automatic word filter.

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      September 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  15. j

    Gotta go Tom Tom, I pray that God may open your eyes and believe in Him and in Jesus Christ that came to earth more than 2,000 years ago, and died for my and your sins.

    September 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If there were any omnipotent being, he'd have given you a brain and the sense to use it.

      September 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  16. logan5

    Ironic how the 2 dominant religions (Christianity and Islam) supposedly preach love, tolerance, and understanding, yet also preach and influence grossly immoral concepts. It is so good to be an atheist and free of these man made contradictory, and intellectually dishonest belief systems.

    September 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Raed

      you are created to be loved and cared for,
      God is love, and God is calling you to invite Him to your heart

      September 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  17. Gregg

    Doctor House
    " If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people"
    " Rational arguments don't usually work on religious people. Otherwise there would be no religious people"

    September 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  18. orion

    Grown-ups and their imaginary places and friends 🙂

    September 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • GAW

      If all most of the atheists here can do is offer bumper sticker slogans this doesn't leave me very impressed. Same thing goes for the Christians .

      September 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Chutzpah

      What are you hoping to see? Most of the "bumper sticker" comments are probably because most of us realize there is no use trying to reason with the other.

      September 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  19. tony


    The first priest invents the first collection plate.
    Then the first blasphemer borrows two, puts them on each end of a stick, an invents the first wheels.

    September 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  20. You Have A Choice Think Clearly

    With the Holy Bible we have the greatest explanation for mankind to become saved. Indeed it is an opportunity to either walk in righteousness or "walk on the wild side", as a song says, "...away from the Promised Land". One is indeed given a choice by God with our gift of free will to become saved or to reject salvation. But bear in mind that the price of rejecting salvation is for eternity as there are no second chances. Therefore, think carefully on whether you wish to save your soul or desecrate it into eternal damnation by not accepting Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son as is so Biblically clear. The choice is yours but be ready for the consequences.

    September 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • tony

      May almighty god raise you to heaven ASAP.

      September 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Amen! Why don't we have more entries like this one by people of faith on the "faith blog" instead of all the pathetic entries of the damned who deny God and have no hope?

      September 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Lilith

      Thank goodness that book came along to tell us "how" to be saved, when we didn't even know we "needed" to be saved. Kinda like that commercial that showed me how badly I needed a 42" plasma TV when I didn't even know I needed it!

      September 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Nato

      like the post he'll is what you make it when your soul travels there are many worlds some darker than others some are amazing and wonderous. Depending on what your heart holds and your mind bears this will tell where you will be drawned to. Unfortunately after going through these worlds many ar sent back why because the lack of knowledge which is the key to living a natureful life Earth is a place of trials and errors in the physical. Knowing how to live a life of light takes one mind it's a choice you make on your own groups only keep you trapped to return here until you learn the truth it's unfortunate that the shepherds only seek to serve their own purposes they really have nothing to do with god in reality there are many cults set up to keep you fighting and learning about all cultures and teachings worldwide.

      September 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Chutzpah

      Are you ready for the consequences? To die and become a bunch of sweet peas after leading a totally deluded and thus wasted and lost life?

      September 23, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • sam stone

      free people do not need to be "saved", only slaves do

      September 23, 2012 at 1:39 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.