Where was God in the Philippines?
A flood survivor is surrounded by debris on the Philippine island of Leyte.
November 11th, 2013
11:16 AM ET

Where was God in the Philippines?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

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(CNN) - The disasters are always different and often devastating. But the questions they raise are hauntingly familiar.

In the days since Super Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines on Thursday, survivors are frantically searching for lost family members and international aid groups are springing into action.

Officials say the death toll may rise to 10,000 in the heavily Catholic country. Meanwhile, many people are asking: How should we make sense of such senseless death and destruction? Was God in the whirlwind itself, as the Bible hints, or present only in the aftermath, as people mobilize to provide food, water and shelter?

These questions may not be new, but we keep asking them, perhaps because the answers remain so elusive.

For many Americans, a paradox sits at the heart of their thinking about natural disasters. According to a survey taken after 2011's earthquake and tsunami in Japan, most Americans (56%) believe that God is control of everything.

But more Americans blame hurricanes, earthquakes and other storms on global warming (58%) than on an angry and punishing deity (38%), according to a 2011 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute.

“These kind of questions about God being in control and there simultaneously being suffering are the kind of things that keep seminarians up at night," institute CEO Robert P. Jones said in 2011.

"They’re thorny theological issues."

READ: Typhoon Haiyan: Survivors in Philippines face grim struggle as death toll rises

The Bible's Psalm 107 says that “For (God) commands, and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves thereof. ... He turns rivers into a wilderness, and the water springs into dry ground."

But, as the poll shows, most Americans have moved past the idea that God causes natural disasters, wrote Stephen Prothero, a frequent CNN contributor, in a 2011 column.

"When it comes to earthquakes and hurricanes, our authorities are geologists and meteorologists," Prothero said as he rode out Hurricane Irene on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. "Most of us interpret these events not through the rumblings of the biblical prophet Jeremiah or the poetry of the Book of Revelation but through the scientific truths of air pressure and tectonic plates."

For atheists, storms like Haiyan are proof that God doesn't exist, author and activist Sam Harris said.

"Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil or imaginary," Harris said after Japan's tsunami. "Take your pick, and choose wisely."

God may or may not be in withering storms, but many religious leaders say they sense a divine presence in the aftermath, as people across the world mobilize to lend a hand.

Rabbi Harold Kushner is one of the most famous names in the realm of theodicy, a branch of theology that tries to explain the unexplainable: why a good God would allow bad things to happen.

After Japan's tsunami, Kushner called nature "an equal-opportunity destroyer," making no distinctions between sinners and saints.

But Kushner, author of the bestselling book "When Bad Things Happen to Good People," said he sees God's hand in the resilience of people whose lives have been destroyed and in the "goodness and generosity" of strangers who donate and pray for the survivors.

READ: How to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan 

That still leaves a tricky question, though: Why do humans suffer, sometimes terribly, in the first place?

There's no good answer, says the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and best-selling author.

"Each person has to come to grips with that," Martin said. "It’s not as if some magic answer can be found. But the idea of God suffering along with us can be very helpful."

Muslims, on the other hand, see stormy trials as tests from God, said Sayyid Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances.

"Muslims believe that God tests those he loves, and these tragedies also serve as a reminder to the rest of us to remain grateful to God for all our blessings and cognizant that we must support those in need," Syeed said.

Vietnamese Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh, whose native country remains in Haiyan's path, said such storms remind us that our lives are impermanent and the importance of treasuring each moment.

"This is the best that we can do for those who have died: We can live in such a way that they can feel they are continuing to live in us, more mindfully, more profoundly, more beautifully, tasting every minute of life available to us, for them," Hanh said.

Stephen Prothero, Jessica Ravitz and Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Asia • Atheism • Belief • Bible • Buddhism • Christianity • Death • Ethics • Faith • God • Islam • Judaism • natural disasters • Philippines • Prayer

soundoff (3,827 Responses)
  1. pazz


    November 12, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  2. Apple Bush

    10,000 body bags.

    The Devil is a scallywag.

    November 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  3. Will

    There are folks in this world who don't know Jesus and have never heard of Him.

    November 12, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Lou

      There is work to be done to reach out to those people who have never heard of Jesus, which probably is not very many in the 21st century.

      November 12, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
      • a reasonable atheist

        Why does an all-powerful deity rely upon error-prone and relatively powerless humans to get its message out?

        November 12, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • Roger that

          That's how a virus works.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
        • ?

          All the gods are quite stupid they have not learned about e-mail, tweets or social media. Mind you some of their minions on earth are trying hard to fill the gap.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
        • Krista

          That is how treatments for diseases occur.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
      • Well Duh

        2,000 years and still not everyone has heard of him.

        Doesn't seem too important to your God to let all people since the time of Jesus know of Jesus and their requirements to get into heaven.


        November 12, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
      • Charles


        November 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Charles


      November 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
  4. Apple Bush

    Wouldn’t it be a miracle if one day, perhaps in my lifetime, humans turned their back on the past and became the one incarnation of the species Homo sapiens to accept that there is no god and pour their intelligence and resources into the discovery of reality? If a miracle like that happened I would thank…...oh shit.

    November 12, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Dresden

      North Koreans accept "your" reality! So???

      November 12, 2013 at 11:59 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Incorrect response.

        November 12, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • Live4Him

          Would you care to elicidate your response? Or is it that you cannot address his/her point? on North Korea being the kind of society you are advocating?

          November 12, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          I can't elicidate my response. It is on point as is. Neither of you even understand my post.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          This brings to mind the lyrics on Lennon's "Imagine".

          NK is not an altruistic society, and they are supposed to worship their leader as god. Just because one condition might be met, does not mean the other conditions are met. In NK, you have a megalomaniac leader standing in the way.
          It is nothing to what the original post was hinting at.
          Imagine all the people, working together for advancement withoout beliefs initerfering with the work. Religions stop advancement, for example, animals have emotions...all of the same emotions we have, but no scientist would dare publish that years ago, because the religious zealots would lambast the person, citing that god gave US emotions and love etc... he did not give it to animals. Guess what, the animals absolutely do exhibit the same emotions we do. we are no different. Religious ridiculousness refusing to accept what we know to be true.
          Look how many times throughout history, religion stood steadfast in the way of reality....countless.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Apple Bush : I can't elicidate my response. It is on point as is.

          Why can't you elucidate your response? Don't you even understand yourself?

          November 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Akira

        You think that God would completely wipe oh NK, being they are forced to be atheists by their despot leader.

        November 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
      • My Dog is a jealous Dog

        NK is not atheistic – they worship their "dear leader".

        November 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  5. Khan

    Typhoon Haiyan has turned out to be of real biblical proportions. The Filipino people are nice, decent and God fearing but believe in God in a wrong way i.e. father son and holy ghost. Does a father god kill and destroy his children like this? And the second typhoon is following Haiyan may be it is already there now. Osama Bin Ladin's body was drowned in these seas. Is the real God now starting his revenge which will include America too? America is already suffering from such tornadoes – Katrina, Sandy, etc. Rome had suffered a terrible earthquake after they had killed Jesus. May the real God have mercy on all of us?

    November 12, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Krista

      While God did use Noah’s Flood to judge the wicked, not every natural disaster is tantamount to God’s judgment. In Luke 13, the disciples ask Jesus about the persecution of the Galileans. Jesus answers:

      "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no!…Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no!"

      November 12, 2013 at 11:48 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Exactly. Furthermore, Jesus tells us that unless we repent, we will all likewise perish – in other words, no one knows the day nor the hour that they will die, so they must always be prepared to do so – therefore repent and trust in Christ.

        Natural revelation now bears witness to man of God's wrath against sin. Not that every individual’s death is a direct penalty to that person for their specific sins, but that sin in general is responsible for death – death is but a temporal reminder of God's future wrath to come in dealing with sins once and for all. Therefore, when you see death, let it always be a reminder to repent.

        November 12, 2013 at 11:55 am |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

          LoA, And that's the same old story – keep people in line with fear, don't ask questions, don't think for yourself. Sorry, but as you can see by the growth of the nones, that's not working.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
        • Krista

          Can you think for yourself, "Youtube – Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins", you seem to rely on other people's works and beliefs way more than religious people do.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • ME II

          "He hates these cans. Stay away from the cans." – Navin R Johnson

          November 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
        • Brainwashed christians

          "he doesn't hate these cans, he hates YOU!"

          November 12, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • Brainwashed atheist

          "Can you prove these cans didn't have bullet holes in them before? I think they just occurred out of nowhere for no reason."

          November 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • james

          just saw comment as i was reading some and was glad to see you are still keeping on fighting the fine fight. will look for you later.

          November 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Okay just because you don't have the slightest comprehension as to why weather like this happens does not mean you get to invoke your god. An education is a wonderful thing, you should consider getting one!

      November 12, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Fan2C


      Do you even know where the Philippine Islands are? Bin Laden buried in their sea? Not to mention the other nonsense you wrote...

      I certainly hope that your misinformation and your lack of knowledge of REAL things do not cause you to become dangerous to society.

      November 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  6. Krista

    The “perfect” universe atheists insist on—one void of pain, disease, decay, or death—will be the reward for those who trust in Jesus as their Savior (Revelation 21:3-5). We look forward to better and higher prospects in heaven. Things "no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived" (1 Corinthians 2:9) in this creation will become reality in the next.

    November 12, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Neo Atheist

      Yeah, sure, quoting the bible is going to get me to change my mind, when it was that very same bible that pushed me to atheism.

      November 12, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Madtown

      for those who trust in Jesus as their Savior
      So, if God placed me by birth in an area of this world devoid of christianity, and I go my whole life never hearing the name Jeus, I'm just out of luck?

      November 12, 2013 at 11:51 am |
      • Responding to the Pride

        Madtown...I honestly don't know how God will deal with those who truly never heard about Jesus. I'd like to think He'll give those you lived a righteous life the opportunity to accept Jesus, but I don't know. I do know one thing though...you won't have that excuse.

        November 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          "who lived...." (not you lived...sorry)

          November 12, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
        • Well Duh

          Yes, things in the Bible are very unclear, and thus completely up to interpretations and speculations.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
        • Madtown

          You don't know anything. The entire thing can be easily turned around........take another culture who has different religious practices that you've never heard of. They may say that only those who follow the ways of their prophet will achieve salvation, but that wouldn't include you. Maybe you actually follow the wrong religious variation? Why couldn't this be the case? Why are they wrong, but you're right? Can't you see how utterly absurd this is? If God cared which religion his human creations followed, he'd provide a means for all to access it. Very simple.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I honestly don't find any of that Christian dogma credible Pride. If I use my intellect and conclude the Bible is non-sense, even if I am wrong why should that be considered a crime (sin)?

          November 12, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • Brainwashed christians

          Yup, the wonderful bible.... the great book of 'this means that". You can make it whatever you want!

          November 12, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
        • Rynomite

          Considering Jesus never specifically declared he was a divinity (in the Bible), I always thought it would be amusing if the Abrahamic god existed, and condemned all Christians to hell for worshipping Jesus as part of the trinity (since if he was just a man, Xtians would be violating the whole "no other god but me". OOPs! eternal damnation based off of a misintrpretation!

          November 12, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Madtown–I don't disagree that you can turn it around...I open to the possibility that some other religion has it right and I don't. But you didn't answer my question...I'm right (pascal aside), what will be your excuse?

          Rynomite...try again...Jesus made if very clear that He and the Father are one–no interpretation needed on this one, everyone knew what he meant-this is the straw that broke the pharisees' collective backs and started the process to have him crucified by Rome.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • Madtown

          ...I'm right (pascal aside), what will be your excuse?
          LOL! So, Pascal's aside, but you'll use Pascal's? Got it. 😉 My "excuse" will be the truth: that I've used the brain God gave me to think critically. I'd think God would be satisfied.

          November 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
      • Responding to the Pride

        ...if I'm right...

        November 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Well Duh

      'Things "no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived"'

      So in other words, you believe in something that you cannot provide any evidence for, detect, or even conceive of, but yet believe in it because you have a book that says it exists. Got it.

      November 12, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
      • Krista

        In other words, no, that is not what I said.

        November 12, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
        • Well Duh

          So you can provide evidence for heaven?

          November 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • Krista

          Are you spiritual at all?

          November 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • Well Duh

          Can you answer the question or not?

          November 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
        • Krista

          I find it difficult to provide evidence for things like God and heaven to people that are materialistic and closed-minded. So I'm asking you, do you believe there is more to this world than meets the eye?

          November 12, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
        • Well Duh


          "I find it difficult to provide evidence for things like God and heaven"

          I bet you do.

          "to people that are materialistic and closed-minded."

          I'm open to anything, but in order for me to believe something, there needs to be convincing evidence.

          "So I'm asking you, do you believe there is more to this world than meets the eye?"

          I believe there are things yet undiscovered, but will believe them when there is evidence for those things.

          So what is your evidence for heaven for those that are "open-minded"?

          November 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • Krista

          For open-minded, honest and willing individuals I share about the power of prayer. Find whatever is greater than you and surrender to that. If you have even the mustard seed worth of faith in something, God can do amazing things. Get on your knees, humbly admit your faults and shortcomings and ask God for help in understanding.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • Well Duh

          "For open-minded, honest and willing individuals I share about the power of prayer."

          Do prayers work 100% of the time?

          November 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • a reasonable atheist

          Praying has repeatedly been shown to work just as often as doing nothing or rubbing a rabbit's foot.

          November 12, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • mk

      "We look forward to better and higher prospects in heaven."

      Such as many available virgins?

      November 12, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  7. Anon

    Ah, Christ-insanity the ultimate global Stockholm Syndrome.

    November 12, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  8. Apple Bush

    I bet the dads and moms who had their children ripped from their arms and killed learned a valuable lesson from a god.

    November 12, 2013 at 11:29 am |
  9. Dyslexic doG

    these natural disasters prove that your god either does not exist, is not in control, or is an evil, sadistic, malicious freak of a creature. Either way, why the HECK do you worship him?!

    November 12, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Bontrager

      You haven't considered any other options? Are you really that simple minded?

      November 12, 2013 at 11:44 am |
      • Colin

        such as....let me guess.....he was moving in mysterious ways, giving us free will, had a grater goal in mind, wanted to bring people together in the rescue effort, blah, blah fvcking blah.

        November 12, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • Bontrager

          Why is Colin's opinion true? Because it is reasonable. Why is it reasonable? Because it isn’t faith. What happens if you reject faith? You think Colin's opinion is true. Blah blah blah blah blah...

          November 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  10. Apple Bush

    The natural world (the only world we know) is random. None of this has anything to do with a god.

    November 12, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Anon

      In the delusional minds of the religious it has to do everything with their mythological god.

      November 12, 2013 at 11:30 am |
  11. no name

    you know, nature and the universe has its own law and system....
    when ppl create wrong religions and faith... ppl will do things that go against the law of universe.
    thus creates instability to the system that we live in, and thus bring in calamities and misfortunes...

    clearly there is no GOD... ppl's mind is deluded, confused, when ppl's mind is clear and pure, so is the land...

    we are doing this to ourselves. period

    all you guys do is blame satan and all that crap...
    if GOD was so powerful... why couldn't he do anything about it? since he is so loving and caring... the fact is infront of you... he can't change and stop any of this... furthermore he doesn't exists... ppl in the old times made him up to install fear among common ppl so that could control them....

    ppl say GOD is powerful can do anything, well, he can't stop satan... and two... when he made us and the universe, why couldn't he just made us the same way he is... ??? so there will be peace... why came up with a story of a tree and that we stole apples from it and ate it... you mean! he didn't see that coming? give me a break...

    November 12, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Live4Him

      There are too many problems to address in your post. First and foremost, why do you think God cannot prevent these from happening? Assuming that He cannot prevent them because He allows them presupposes that people learn leasons from 'the good times'. In fact, people learn the best lessons when they fail (i.e. bad things happen).

      November 12, 2013 at 11:24 am |
      • Apple Bush

        A person failing is hardly the same thing as a natural disaster.

        November 12, 2013 at 11:25 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Apple Bush : A person failing is hardly the same thing as a natural disaster.

          Why? If a person builds his house upon the sand and a 'natural disaster' (also called a storm) washes his house away, shouldn't he learn that he trusted in the wrong foundation?

          November 12, 2013 at 11:42 am |
        • Apple Bush


          You are on empty.

          November 12, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Lie4Him. And god is the foundation?

          November 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        "why do you think God cannot prevent these from happening?"

        because god doesn't exist.

        simple. 🙂

        November 12, 2013 at 11:26 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        @L4H: yours is always such an infantile, fairy tale explanation of the world. it would be laughable if it wasn't so pitiful.

        November 12, 2013 at 11:29 am |
      • ?

        So bad sh!t only happens when Lucifer is in god's throne room, is that right or did I screw it up?

        November 12, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • ME II

        "In fact, people learn the best lessons when they fail (i.e. bad things happen)."

        Why do you suppose God made us that way?

        November 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • fred

          In the image of God we were made. Adam and Eve were one with God and the creation. When man rejected unity and chose the reality of good and evil it was a very different existence. That existence includes death, disease and sin. Just as your DNA has the information necessary to adapt all of life has the information necessary to adapt. This new environment reveals just how weak we are in the absence of the Gods presence in our live. Some find that narrow road Jesus made clear and on that road is the way, the truth and the life. When we get torn up by the world we chose all is a waste without purpose for the godless. Within the presence of God all things work to the good. Although torn up by world in the same external way as the godless the result is God wiping away every tear and making all things new.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • ME II


          I was just wondering why we need to learn from tragedy and not learn from the good times, as he put it. Is that how God learns?

          November 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • fred

          The Bible presents a loop as if eternity loops into itself. God is eternal so there would be no learning because God simply is. We are the ones locked into a time line consisting of past, present and future so we cannot comprehend anything outside of this line. In order for God to learn he would need to present into our time line.
          Ah, Jesus..............God enters into our time line through a presence in Jesus. Jesus a man with typical physical characteristics goes through a learning curve as human. On the knowledge of God He expressed thoughts that amazed the priests at the temple at an early age. Then the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus who fulfilled all the law of the prophets.
          If God "learned" anything in that presence He would have already known it because that eternal time line is not subject to our constraints.
          What we learn is that from the beginning God created a way and there is a way a truth and a life. Few people find it yet the way is simply to follow Jesus. Hello, it is not rocket science to follow this simple example we just don't want to do it. Just like in the beginning we just did not want to follow God. So, jump into the world take your licks like everyone else. But, take note and see how a chosen few find joy in the suffering, not because it feels good at the time but because they see God who is present in their lives.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Doris

      Well, theists have had a long time to design clever answers to such logic. Answers that (and some say via trangles) seal in the freshness and validity of their belief. Some say it's all part of a plan where the afterlife is of ultimate importance and that we shouldn't worry about this finite existence so much. But then they had to come up with this concept of free will, and so on and so on. Obviously, by making up things to answer the unknown, each theistic assumption just keeps breeding stranger and stranger explanations.

      I say look at the root issues for such beliefs – that an all-powerful God exists and has given us absolute "truths". It appears that man has concocted these notions. But I'm willing to give the theist the benefit of the doubt. Just show me a divine "truth", moral or otherwise without resorting to subjective means / consensus by human beings. Then I might believe that such notions are directly from some god.

      November 12, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • kevin

      There is something called free will which God gives to everyone. You are failing to understand that

      November 12, 2013 at 11:29 am |
      • Doris

        So do you see God as the watchmaker as say John Adams might have thought – not interfering at all in people's lives? Or do you see God as one who gives this alleged "free will" while intervening with people's lives at his choosing? If the latter, why should we not consider God sadistic?

        November 12, 2013 at 11:37 am |
        • Charm Quark

          mama Doris
          I wonder if you ever came across the movie "The Rapture", there is a good synopsis of the plot on wiki. It should be mandatory viewing for all born agains. Particularly love the ending when the woman figuratively flips the bird at heaven. Check it out.

          November 12, 2013 at 11:48 am |
        • Doris

          No I haven't seen that Charm. I'll check it out – thanks!

          November 12, 2013 at 11:51 am |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Presumably the weather does not also have free will?

        November 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Khan

      Dear Noname,
      You are trying to see God only from the christian perspective and reasoning. The christian explanation can be wrong because if you study bible the difference between Old & Testament is fundamental. In Old Testament God is one (read the first commandment) and in the New Testament God the Father God the Son and God the Holy Ghost are 3 persons but all are one – what a change ! That is X + X + X = X and not 3X
      There are other explanations to God – better ones – like Judaism and Islam – read and understand those

      November 12, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  12. kay

    “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19)

    “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom,+ and there will be food shortages+ and earthquakes in one place after another.+ 8 All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress. (Matt 24: 6-8)

    November 12, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Billy

      Who wrote John? Who wrote Matthew? Oh that's right – no one knows.

      November 12, 2013 at 10:59 am |
      • Topher

        Who wrote John and Matthew? John and Matthew. How do we know? Because the early church — people who would have actually known these men — said so in their own writings.

        November 12, 2013 at 11:02 am |
        • Charm Quark

          My beliefs/religion (Baptist) are exactly what I want them to be, the absolute truth, and therefore I can never be wrong. See I proved it again just by saying so, no proof required, ain't I swell.

          November 12, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • Roger that


          November 12, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • Billy

          LOL – you are too funny sometimes Topher.

          November 12, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • Mike

          "Because the Catholic Church says so."

          November 12, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • Madtown

          The world according to Topher. All who disagree are just wrong. Why? Because.

          November 12, 2013 at 11:30 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          It is the near-universal position of Biblical scholarship that the Gospel of Matthew is dependent upon the Gospel of Mark.
          Why would an eye witness have to rely so heavily on the account that came before his?
          It is usually thought that Mark's Gospel was written about A.D. 65 and that the author of it was neither one of the apostles nor an eyewitness of the majority of the events recorded in his Gospel.

          November 12, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • Joey

          Topher, that is just silly.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
      • Joey

        Also Topher, none of the gospels were written by eyewitnesses. Just becasue the early church claims they were does not mean that they were.

        November 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • doobzz

      Natural disasters are proof that the world is ending?

      I can do that too.

      During the next week, a great battle will take place. Horses and giants will fight on the battlefield for the glory of their nations.

      November 12, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Every religion has its prophecies of doom.

      'The warlike fall upon the peaceful, brothers kill brothers, and even children soil one another's blood.'
      The age of evil has come to the world . Everyone steals and hoards great wealth, and sensual sin rules the day. The end of the world is at hand – yet men are hard and cruel, and listen not to the doom that is coming . No one heeds the cries of his neighbour, or lifts a hand to save. ' – The Ragnarok ( Ancient Norse prophecy, C 1000 CE )

      November 12, 2013 at 11:10 am |
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About this blog

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