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My Take: How churches can respond to mental illness
April 7th, 2013
02:55 PM ET

My Take: How churches can respond to mental illness

Editor’s Note: Ed Stetzer is president of LifeWay Research, an evangelical research organization. He blogs at edstetzer.com and his most recent book is "Subversive Kingdom."

By Ed Stetzer, Special to CNN

(CNN) - The first time I dealt with mental illness in church was with a man named Jim. I was young and idealistic - a new pastor serving in upstate New York. Jim was a godsend to us. He wanted to help, and his energy was immeasurable. He'd visit with me, sing spontaneously, pray regularly and was always ready to help.

Until he was gone.

For days and sometimes weeks at a time, he would struggle with darkness and depression. During this time, he would withdraw from societal interaction and do practically nothing but read Psalms and pray for hours on end. I later learned that this behavior is symptomatic of what is often called bipolar disorder or, in years before, manic depression.

I prayed with Jim. We talked often about the need for him to take his medicine, but he kept asking God to fix him. Eventually, at his lowest point and filled with despair, he took his own life.

As a young pastor unacquainted with how to deal with these events, I found myself searching for answers. I realized two things:

First, people with mental illness are often attracted to religion and the church, either to receive help in a safe environment or to live out the worst impulses of their mental illness.

Second, most congregations, sadly, have few resources for help.

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This weekend, we learned of the death of Rick and Kay Warren's son Matthew. Those of us who know the Warrens know how they have anguished over their son's illness, seeking to keep a low profile even as Rick penned the best-selling devotional, "The Purpose Driven Life." This weekend, Matthew took his own life - putting the issue of mental illness front and center again.

Matthew had the best medical care available, a loving church that cared for him and his family, and parents who loved and prayed for him. Yet, that could not keep Matthew with us.

Mental illness is incredibly destructive, and the end result is not always ours to determine.

Matthew's life was not a waste and, yes, every day had a purpose. His pain is over now, but perhaps his life and death will remind us all of the reality of mental illness and inspire people of faith to greater awareness and action.

So, what can we do as people of faith to address issues of mental illness?

1. Churches need to stop hiding mental illness.

So often in a congregation, we like to pretend this is not a real issue because we have such a difficult time understanding it. We stick our heads in the sand, add the person to the prayer list and continue on ministering to the “normal” people. But it’s real, and it isn’t going away. In 2009, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index showed 17% of respondents as having been diagnosed with depression. There are people in the pews every week - ministers, too - struggling with mental illness or depression, and we need to recognize this.

2. The congregation should be a safe place for those who struggle.

We are often afraid of mental illness and the symptoms that come with it. As a result, we don’t know what to do with our own level of discomfort and our fears for safety, or we just don’t want to be inconvenienced.

A study from Baylor University indicates “that while help from the church with depression and mental illness was the second priority of families with mental illness, it ranked 42nd on the list of requests from families that did not have a family member with mental illness.” This is a real need among our congregations, one that we absolutely cannot ignore or expect to go away. People of faith know that God has freed them to love others, and that love extends to everyone, even (and sometimes especially) those we don’t understand.

3. We should not be afraid of medicine.

I realize this can be a heated debate. I also recognize that medication must be handled with care - as it should with any condition. But many mental health issues are physiological. Counseling will naturally be a part of treatment. But if we are not afraid to put a cast on a broken bone, then why are we ashamed of a balanced plan to treat mental illness that might include medication to stabilize possible chemical imbalances? Christians get cancer, and they deal with mental illness.

We’ve long seen the value in the medical treatment of cancer. It’s time for Christians to affirm the value of medical treatment for mental illness as well.

4. We need to end the shame.

I saw it in my own family. Suicide has struck our family more than once, making the news where we wished it did not. When my aunt was arrested for gun smuggling to Ireland, our family did not think of this as an issue of Irish revolution. She was brilliant, a lawyer and a doctor, but mentally ill. Her involvement in the Irish "revolution" was one in a long line of bad choices driven by her illness and eventually led to her suicide.

Yet, it was hard to talk of these things. They had to be “handled in the dark” because “no one could know.” I love my family. But shame was something that was difficult to avoid in every case.

Let’s be honest. These are typically delicate situations. And we want to protect the privacy and dignity of the people we love, particularly when they are behaving in ways that might draw negative attention. But compassion and care can go a long way in helping people know they don’t have to hide.

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Why should this be of concern to people of faith? Simply put, there is no place where Americans are more connected and no place where grace is more expected than the church.

Mental illness has nothing to do with you or your family’s beliefs, but the greater community that holds those beliefs can be key to the lifelong process of dealing with mental illness. Most research points to the fact that more religious people tend to be healthier, both physically and mentally, but religious activities do not remove people of faith from sickness of either kind.

Christians believe the church is the body of Christ—the hands and feet of Jesus—and that means going into the darkest places and the toughest situations to bring light. It means walking with those who are suffering, no matter what the suffering looks like.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ed Stetzer.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church

soundoff (873 Responses)
  1. Amie

    Churches can assist the mentally ill in many realistic ways outside of the worship and medical aspect. 1) The church provides a place of community where individuals can feel comfortable asking for help. 2) Some/most ministers/pastors have a great deal of formal education in Psychology. 3) Individuals can be assisted in the day-to-day needs of managing a plan in controlling their mental illness (ex: providing transportation to medical/counseling appointments, medication pick up at the pharmacy and home delivery, assistance with paperwork and navigation through the "system," meal preparation, etc) 4) Advocating for change in the community and political environment. 5) Keeping their members informed of the benefits available and linking them with organizations that specialize in treatment. 6) Providing support groups for families dealing with mental illness. 7) Provide financial assistance for medications/medical care/food and other necessities. 8) Provide assistance with general necessities of life (insuring an individual's rent/electric/utilities/phone bills are paid on time, providing transportation to the grocery store and assistance with purchases needed for maintaining a prescribed diet) 9) Daily or weekly Call-through/check-up services to insure someone is not in need that may not be willing to ask for help.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Saraswati

      A good list of just the type of things that can help in an organized community.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Websites:
      The National Catholic Partnership on Disability has online resources such as past webinars, upcoming events, and organization links.

      The Archdiocese of Chicago's Mental Illness Ministries has links to online resources and a downloadable "Mental Illness and Parish Outreach" booklet.

      Pathways to Promise is an interfaith organization that acts as a resource center for faith communities regarding mental illness.

      The National Alliance on Mental Illness's FaithNet lists consumer and family support groups across the country.

      Faith in Recovery is a nondenominational faith organization started by a Catholic nun to encourage small mental illness support communities. The site includes a downloadable toolkit.

      The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a Faith and Spirituality Mental Health Links page.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Bull Shlt Alert

      " 2) Some/most ministers/pastors have a great deal of formal education in Psychology."

      should read: "2) Some/most ministers/pastors have very little formal education in Psychology."

      April 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • The real Tom

      And this assertion is one you can back up with a cite?

      April 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  2. How churches DO respond to mental illness

    1. Foster dependency – Always reaffirm the mentally ill's need for you and your Church and tell them without you they will likely burn for eternity.

    2. Use them as examples to extort attendance from other members "Well I see Jimmy is here today, with so many of his health issues he is here today showing God just how much he loves him, unlike some others who seem to be missing on Superbowl sunday...Apparently the only ailment that is keeping them home today is that of the soul!..."

    3. No matter how crazy they sound just turn their conversation to God... "I had a dream about a dead cat and stuff and then like the cat was found dead outside so I know I had a vision..." Pastor "Thats great Austin, we may not always understand God's message for us but he's always sending us signs, we just have to keep watching for them. Maybe you should write these dreams down and share them with us..." "Thats a great idea, i'll go start writing them down now!"

    4. Use the bad things happening in the world to convince the less than sane that God is coming to destroy the wicked which is why they should give as much of their Federal and State financial support to the church as they can when they get their monthly government checks.

    5. Prey on the familys of the disabled and mentally ill. Tell them their loved one is possesed or is a sign of the times so as to convince the family they should give their money and lives to the Church to avoid a fiery afterlife for their mentally unstable children and loved ones.

    6. Deny, deny, deny any and all possible psychological or physiological causes in favor of claiming spirits, angels or demons as the root cause of mental illness or else their snake oil will not sell as well...

    April 8, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      See the above for faith based links in support.

      Sorry I couldn't find anything from atheists organizations to help.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Red Dwarf

      Any group, of which there are many, that help the mentally ill and are unaffiliated with any religious group, would be considered the "atheist organizations" that help. They do not have to promote atheism, infact doing so would be defeating the purpose of helping the mentally unstable, which is to deal with their illness, not import foreign ideology over whos right or wrong on a universal creator or the big bang debate.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • mikepavek

      Sounds like you've had a bad experience. I'm sorry. The problem with the church is that its made up of a bunch of sinners. If we could just clear them out I think we'd have a perfect church. That being said, I guess that's kind of the point of the church in the first place, to help heal the sick. We sometimes forget that role in our zeal to do other things. So on behalf of all the believers that have injured you and your loved ones, I apologize.

      April 8, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
  3. blahblahblah

    As a young pastor unacquainted with how to deal with these events, I found myself searching for answers. I realized two things:

    First, people with mental illness are often attracted to religion and the church, either to receive help in a safe environment or to live out the worst impulses of their mental illness.

    Second, most congregations, sadly, have few resources for help.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA....mentally ill turn to religion...NO KIDDING...praying to the "god" that gave you the illness to begin with, if you even believe in fairy tales...

    April 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  4. allenwoll

    .
    Such is simply the blind leading the blind. . NOT very safe !
    .

    April 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  5. Blake

    As soon as (some) churches stop driving young gays to suicide, I might start to consider their role in helping the mentally ill.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Young gays aren't responsible for their own choices?

      April 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Those churches, and others that don't accept modern sciences including psychology, are the danger. I knew a guy who went to his parents for help because even at 12 he knew he was gay and had been told this was wrong. They sent him to some hokey Christian couselor who, like most of these guys, had such poor science even a 12 year old could see theough it. Fortunately this kid found the support to survive this treatment by his family and church, but many, many do not and the despair they feel has driven thousands to suicide.

      I've written a lot here about how I think churches can help. But they can only do so if they really understand that real psychologists understand the human brain better than they do and are willing to hand off care to people who know the field.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Red Dwarf

      1. Being gay is NOT a mental illness.

      2. The Church does regularly shame gay people whiich has lead to some less stable gay persons taking their own lives.

      3. The Church IS as directly at fault for those deaths as are bully's at school and online who push the young and/or mentally unstable persons to have so little self worth they decide to hurt themselves in a cry for help.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • sam stone

      of course people are responsible for their own choices. the churches should be held responsible for theirs, too

      April 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  6. pbernasc

    No they can't all the church can do it is mess even more up the life of people who need medical expertise, not BS from God

    April 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • retwqaas

      You didnt read any of the actual article did you?

      April 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  7. saganhill

    The church and religion IS a mental illness.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • TruthHurts

      They can start by flushing out child molesters first, then may be they have a chance at treating their own mental illnesses. Who in the right mind thinks they are capable of curing someone else. Only too stupid are capable of this. Wearing crosses and hats seems to give super natural powers to the least qualified.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  8. blaqb0x

    Where were Benny Hin or Peter Popoff? They can cure cancer, arthritis, etc. with a waive of their hands.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  9. mags

    Knew of at least one priest who had a breakdown while serving in my home parish. He was immediately vacated to the county asylum. Could not figure that out since there were private sanitariums for clerics available that really had a better percentage of doctors and staff to patients and better success rates. I guess this told me something. Never knew how he turned out or if he ever got out of the county asylum. If he did, it is possible that he was permitted to return to his family if they would have him. That's their choice, too.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Red Dwarf

      It was likely because the Priest started telling everyone that the whole "God" thing was made up to separate the fools and their money. The Church has no place for party poopers and will send your ass to the asylum if you start messing with their operations.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  10. Jay

    hmmmm.... the religious helping the mentally ill... something seems amiss there...

    April 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  11. James Barry

    "The bottom line is that religious people are fond of giving religion the credit for their health advantages. By similar logic, religion would also assume the blame for terrible health in places such as sub-Saharan Africa where religion is at its strongest."

    April 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      New shoots are rarely the strongest. Give them a 100 years

      At the beginning of the 20th century Muslims and Christians were only small minorities, accounting for a combined total of less than 25% of the population. The great majority practiced traditional African religions.

      Over the last century the tables have turned and the number of Muslims has increased more than 20-fold, to about 234 million in 2010. Christians have seen an even bigger transformation, exploding almost 70-fold from about 7 million to 470 million.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Red Dwarf

      "New shoots are rarely the strongest. Give them a 100 years"

      I would rather not give religion any more of our time or effort. Why don't we give agnosticism a try for 100 years? It's never been tried since the begining of recorded history which has always been inundated with invented deities to explain all those things we didn't understand. Seriously, atheism and agnosticism could not possibly do any worse than religion has for the last 5000 years of recorded history.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
  12. meki60

    but, can they help Obama

    April 8, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  13. Tee totally bonkers

    I helped someone stay near the gray areas of sanity for years.
    I took years to find the best medication.
    Most important was keeping her away from the chemical contaminants that triggered episodes.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  14. barowner

    All of these suggestions are excellent but it isn't just churches that need to take heed of them. Society as a whole should do so.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  15. Kurt F

    "His pain is over now, but perhaps his life and death will remind us all of the reality of mental illness..." His pain is over? Isn't suicide a sin damning him to Hell for eternity? So, does this pastor not remember the basic teachings of his own religion, or is he blowing smoke because religion could not actually help this mentally ill pastor's kid?

    April 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • reply

      The Bible never says that suicide lands you in hell. You are thinking of Dante's Inferno.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      No, you are ignorant. By which I mean uneducated, not stupid. Though you may be both.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Francois

      that was my understanding, too – something about destroying the temple of god. Maybe we shouldn't comment upon something we don't understand, but suicide is the very stupidest thing a person can do, apart from murder and believing a word out of Obama's mouth.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Red Dwarf

      " but suicide is the very stupidest thing a person can do, apart from murder and believing a word out of Obama's mouth."

      Boy, they don't grow you conservatives very smart do they. I guess it's not one of the required qualities to being a bigot.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Andie

      @ Francois– what the hell has Obama to do with this? Francois, are YOU my mother posting in disguise?? And suicide may be a "stupid act" to those who have never experienced severe mental illness, but to those onthe brink of despair and suffering, they feel it is the only way out. It is often done impulsively without considering how others may think they are being "stupid".

      April 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  16. Whats

    Considering the terrible access to mental health services in the country it is misguided to say churches are taking people away from medical help. What mentally ill people always need is a sense of connection. What happens too often in our society now is the isolation of the mentally troubled. Look at the people involved in the mass killing this past year. All were socially isolated and their disease festered. Christ teachings in the New Testament are often about coping skills-forgiveness, letting go of the past, letting go of worry, freedom from guilt. Churches aren’t the cause of these problems, but a supportive church can be the solution.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  17. Jesus freaker

    Get real people. Mental illness is a choice. People choose to be bi-polar.

    April 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      bi polar is not a choice but refusing to take your medication is.

      April 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • wrong

      hey deacon.. your comment failed miserably.. Many Bi-polar in the wrong episode,, will forget their medication.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Akira

      I see what you did there, JF.
      Well played.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I've known several BP's. Was married to one, as a matter of fact. Most don't "forget" They simply get bored of the evenness of life on medication and choose to go off for the thrill of the manic cycle. the consequence is always the depressive counter cycle at which point the become treatment compliant again, if they survive.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Andie

      What an ignorant comment!! (BTW, You don't happen to be my mother, are you?) Does someone suffering from epilepsy "choose" to have it?

      April 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Sarcasm alert, folks. The OP is channeling the religious nuts who say things like this about gays.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  18. Fiona

    My experience with "churches" - which includes the Catholic Church and several non-denominational, Christian congregations - is that they want the clean and easy, not the dirty, complicated and disturbed. Some of them may open a muti-use room as a soup kitchen for an hour a day (rare), or occasionally take in a single transient as a sort of property caretaker. Small dips into a vast pool. What I do not see from any "Christian" church is the limitless compassion their Savior taught.

    April 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Maybe they were hoping you could provide some.

      April 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Francois

      I went to the largest church in one town, where the pastor blamed the visiting stranger if they failed to find friends among the congregation. I thought that was very disingenous, to expect a newcomer to make all the right moves. The church should have an eye out for newcomers, even invite them to gather with church staff each week to help them get involved.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  19. Tee totally bonkers

    "We should not be afraid of medicine."

    We damn well should. Drugs are dangerous. They should be used with extreme caution.

    April 8, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • wrong

      religions and drugs are the most common escape from reality. Sadly, suicide is another.

      April 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • evonnejansen

      Of course your point is valid, but what the author meant was, use medication available rather than "pray the evil spirits away."

      April 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  20. Bonnie

    All of you who are against the "churches" and FALSE worship of a "god" that doesn't exist, are absolutely correct. This is why the people who embrace fantasy instead of truthful reality get sick and die, either of a deadly disease such as cancer or by their own hands. They have not been acquainted with the true God, the Almighty, the super-intelligent creator of all things. Our true God takes care of His own people as a loving Father and therefore, His people do not get teminally or mentally ill, when they are old, they die peacefully. Please see Psalm 91. In Exodus chapter 20, He warns us not to worship any other "god" as He is the only one who deserves appreciation for all that He has done, and yet, people have been misled to worship His own Son, Jesus Christ as Almighty God. Now we can understand God's warning: "...brininging punishment for the error of the fathers upon the sons, upon the third generation and upon the fourth generation, in the case of those who hate me."(Verse 5)

    April 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      There are thousands of gods, many of them are the one true god, and you don't believe in them, why do you think your one true god is real and why do you discount all of the others?

      April 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • wrong

      god who? Please answer and demonstrate some existence. Or your statement has no value.

      April 8, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Tired of Christian Lies

      Praying to an imaginary friend will not get rid of cancer. Praying to an imaginary will not grant sanity and clarity of mind to the insane. If you really wish to get rid of these problems put down the fairy tale and start supporting Science and Medicine. It is with Science and Medicine that we will finally cure diseases like Cancer and AIDS.

      April 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Bonnie

      Richard, the word "god" means any powerful person or being; or despot. It also can mean a tyrant or oppressor. Being that the only true God, the God of gods is full of justice and mercy, even though He has the power to destroy without question, makes Him above all others. He is the only God in truth, of truth, and the genuine, healing and life-giving love. No other "god" can claim or prove to be this true God. Deuteronomy 10:17, For your Almighty God, your God, is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the God great, mighty and fear-inspiring (respected) who treats none with partiality nor accepts a bribe." Almighty God has proven Himself repeatedly.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      So Bonnie knows a true believer because they die peacefully of old age. What about those who don't believe and yet die peacefully of old age, is that just luck?

      April 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Akira

      If you are implying that the truly devout do not get cancer or AIDS, you'd be wrong.
      I feel sorry for your children, if you have any.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The Catholic Church is the largest private provider of care to HIV AIDS patients in the world.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      bonnie
      You do not know that, you only can believe it....but you didn't answer the question....thousands of gods that men created, many long before your god was created, and many the one true god...yet you dismiss them with a wave of your bible, even though the bible is man made, and the stories in it come from other previous stories from other cultures.

      Your bible says that yours is the one true god, but many of the others make the same claim.
      How can you so easliy dismiss all of the other thousands of gods, but feel so sure that your view is correct, when there is nothing to indicate you are correct..

      April 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "The Catholic Church is the largest private provider of care to HIV AIDS patients in the world."

      They'd better be after fighting condom distribution and birth control for so many years, increasing the spread both between adults and from mother to child more than the acts of any other organization.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • punchmaster

      Exactly. Spiderman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Batman are all clearly fictional characters. Superman, however, is the real deal!

      April 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Bonnie

      Akira, please see what Jesus said to the man he cured that had a debilitating illness for 38 years, who was suddenly able to stand up and walk. Jesus said to him, "See, you have become sound in health. Do not sin anymore, in order that something worse does not happen to you." John 5:14. Grave illness, not the common cold, is a natural result of disobedience to Almigty God. Our wonderful God is in no way obligated to heal or answer the prayers of those who don't care to know Him in truth. If they reject His word and His word as spoken by Jesus, His Son, they reject HIM, and therefore, He, in turn, rejects them.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Tee totally bonkers

      This super intelligent creator you speak of was disappointed with every one of his creations.
      He blamed his creations for his failures.
      Typical engineer.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • saganhill

      Bonnie, if you really believe that your god is real then you need mental help just as any other mentally delusional person.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Bonnie

      Richard, your are correct. Most people make up "gods" to make themselves "feel" better, and yet their prayers, requests, and pleas for help go unanswered, because the one they are praying to is not real, does not exist at all accept in their minds. Almighty God, the only true God, is a LIVING God who does indeed have great power and does exercise it. However, only those who approach Him with respect for who He actually is will receive responses. To answer the personal question you asked, Richard, I do know our Almighty God in truth and I have direct communication with Him via mental telepathy. When in communication with Him, He answers in a most powerful way that leaves no doubt of His answer. And, true to His word, there is ALWAYS a reward for those who honor Him by obedience to Him. You can communicate with Him, too. Just approach Him as Almighty God and respectfully ask Him to reveal Himself to you and He will.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • The One True Scottsman

      So, what your saying is "These people are suffering/dying because they don't believe in the real God"

      Judging by the mortality rates and widespread illness which seems not to favor any one religion over another, I'm guessing the worshippers (past and present) of your God are either all from the healthy members of this generation, or are just a few decades from being proven equally misled.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Bonnie
      You do not know any gods personally, you do not have powers of telepathy. You believe it, not because it's true( if it cannot be proven, it is not a fact, you can BELIEVE it's true, but by definition it is not), but because you want to believe. There is not one single shred of evidence that any gods exist, and the one described in the bible is impossible ( too many contradictions and stories from other older cultures).

      You anger Zeus, Odin, Ra, Quetzlcoatl by denying their existance, and they have some nasty punishments for you in the afterlife.

      You could instead join us in reality.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Gregg

      Bonnie, you are also one of the many that are making up their God......quoting scripture and text written by man to control man or explain things that 2000 years ago could not be explained is no different and parks you right in the middle of their camp.

      Stop the fairy tails and the mythology.
      God does not exist, he/she/it was invented by man... mostly to control other men.
      And by reading your posts, look how well it is working!

      April 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Gregg

      Fairly Tales, sorry for the typo

      April 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Bonnie

      I am not here to argue with anyone and I certainly have no need to defend myself. I just tell the truth; those who automatically reject the truth are not deserving of it.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • sam stone

      bonnie: you are a special breed of crszy, aren't you?

      April 8, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Tired of Christian Lies

      Bonnie there are 20 Active Religions in the world all claiming that their religion is the one true religion. The only difference between the Major 3(Christianity, Judaism, and Muslim) and the other 17 is that the others do not claim that if you dont follow their God(or God's) you will go to Hell. The others do not interfere with the daily lives of others and prevent Science and Medicine from doing their job and try to help humanity. The only thing Christianity, Judaism and Muslim have done for humanity has make it impossible for Science and Medicine to do anything that contradicts the the teachings of God, Jehovah, and Allah.

      April 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • ticktockman

      So in your view, people get sick because they don't kiss the butt of the correct deity. The "super-intelligent creator" of everything has such a weak ego as to demand that creatures refrain from using the intelligence that "he" supposedly designed into them, so that they can spend their lives on their knees in obesience? Instead of using its almighty powers in order to show kindness to all of the creatures it caused to be born, it prefers some to others? Sounds more like a petulent child than a wise and loving deity.

      April 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • mikepavek

      " Our true God takes care of His own people as a loving Father and therefore, His people do not get teminally or mentally ill, when they are old, they die peacefully. "

      Are you saying that true Christians don't get sick?

      April 8, 2013 at 10:30 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.