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December 24th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

CNN Poll: Pope's approval rating sky-high

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
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(CNN) - As Pope Francis prepares to celebrate his first Christmas at the Vatican, Americans' opinions of the pontiff appear to be as high as the dome on St. Peter's Basilica, according to a new survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday found that 88% of American Catholics approve of how Francis is handling his role as head of the 1.2 billion-member church.

The popular pontiff has also made a positive impression among Americans in general: Nearly three in four view Francis favorably.  The new survey suggests that the Pope is arguably the most well-regarded religious figure among the American public today, said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Nine months into his papacy, the Argentine-born Francis has captured attention with crowd-pleasing acts of compassion, from embracing a severely disfigured man, to washing the feet of juvenile delinquents, to hosting homeless men at his birthday Mass this month.

The Pope has also shown a common touch rare for such a lofty religious leader. He has eschewed the trappings of the papacy in favor of humbler digs, simpler vestments and a cheaper car. He worked as a bar bouncer and a janitor before he was a priest, and is not shy about telling people.

Pope: I was once a bar bouncer

According to one study, Pope Francis was the most talked about person on the Internet this year, and even atheists have professed appreciation for the 77-year-old pontiff.

The breadth of Francis' popularity was on display at American newsstands this month: he was named person of the year by both Time magazine and The Advocate, a gay and lesbian publication.

"While 2013 will be remembered for the work of hundreds in advancing marriage equality, it will also be remembered for the example of one man," The Advocate said. In remarks that rippled across the globe, Pope Francis said in July, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?

Pope Francis on gays: 'Who am I to judge?'

While the Pope has not changed church doctrine, he has urged Catholics to shift their focus from culture war issues to caring for people on society's margins, especially the poor.

"I see the church as a field hospital after battle," Francis said in September.

American Catholics appear to like the new course the Pope has set for their church. Nearly two-thirds agree with him about the amount of attention that should be paid to issues such as abortion and homosexuality, according to the CNN/ORC poll.

More than 85% of American Catholics say Francis is neither too liberal nor too conservative, and 86% say he's in touch with the modern world. By comparison, more than half of American Catholics said Pope John Paul II was out of step with the times in 2003, near the end of his 26-year-long papacy.

But Francis has been a fierce critic of the status quo, especially what calls the "idolatry of money" present in modern-day capitalism. In a papal statement last month, for example, the Pope blasted the theory of trickle-down economics, calling it "crude and naïve."

Conservative critics such as Rush Limbaugh pounced on the Pope's remarks, calling him a closet Marxist. But nearly two in three American Catholics agree with the Pope about capitalism and the free market's effects on the poor, according to the CNN/ORC poll.

Pope: Marxist ideology is 'wrong'

On other key issues for Catholics - the role of women in the church and the sexual abuse crises - Francis gets similarly high ratings from his American flock.

More than six in 10 American Catholics agree with Francis' comments about women in the church, according to the CNN/ORC poll. The Pope has said that women should have a larger role in church governance but cannot be ordained as priests.

Similarly, more than six in 10 American Catholics say Francis is doing a good job handling fallout from the church's sexual abuse scandal, even as most (64%) also say the church overall has done a poor job on the issue.

This month, the Vatican announced the creation of a new commission to care for victims of clergy sexual abuse and to prevent future crimes.

American Catholics had given especially low marks on the sexual abuse scandal to Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, with just 36% saying in 2010 that he had handled the issue well.

CNN's Holland said it's difficult to ascertain exactly how Francis' popularity stacks up against his predecessors, however. "It's a tough question since polling on Popes is pretty sparse," he said.

What's more, like political polling, approval ratings shift depending on the public mood and perception of a Pope's performance.

For example, three-quarters of American Catholics approved of how John Paul was leading the church in 1994; that number rose to 84% in 1999 and dipped to 64% in 2003, at the height of the church's sexual abuse crisis.

It remains to be seen how long the honeymoon will last for Francis, and how long he can continue to build goodwill among American Catholics.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International on December 16 through Thursday, with 1,035 adults nationwide, including 191 Catholics, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Pope Francis' greatest hits of 2013

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture wars • Leaders • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Pope John Paul II • Sex abuse • Vatican

soundoff (3,274 Responses)
  1. Jesus' Beloved

    Regarding the other part of your comment-

    Currently, the body of Christ is not united, but it will be, and it will be soon- because there is not much time left.
    Remember the body comprise of many different parts, but they all work together.
    Believers are at different levels- unfortunately there are many Christians whose minds are not renewed or even in the process of being renewed (mostly they weren't taught how to renew their minds).
    So while some are at basic salvation, there are others who can come and go like spirits because they have experienced translation.

    December 28, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  2. Reality # 2

    And bringing this discussion back to the reality of the 21st century:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    December 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Austin

      that is what you think, but I know better because God allowed me to find Him through His word, He knocked on the door of my heart, I opened it and He came in powerfully.

      December 28, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
      • sam stone

        Look up "confirmation bias", you delusional twit

        December 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
        • Austin

          no ten consecutive prophetic dreams, that were all for me and the people around me, while i was in jail, is not confirmation bias, its the revelation of spiritual power. There is one Father of all things spiritual.

          December 28, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
        • sam stone

          ah....another one who found jeebus in jail

          why not subject your prophetic hallucinations to critical review?

          james randi will shell out a million dollars

          December 28, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
        • Austin

          i told you i would do it but not accept the money, i would sign it over to a charity.
          ill do it.

          December 28, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
        • sam stone

          so, what's holding you back?

          have you contacted them?

          come on, show the world what a non-prophet you are

          December 28, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
        • sam stone

          http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html

          here ya go, austin

          just in case your special spiritual gifts don't include looking up something on the net

          incidentally, what were you in the can for?

          boink a little girl?
          a little boy?

          December 28, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
        • sam stone

          Do it, Austin. Contact James Randi so we can all revel in your "spiritual gift"

          Jeebus would want you to do it

          Are you afraid to be revealed to be delusional?

          Can't be, you have a "gift"

          Time to put up, big mouth

          December 28, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        that is what you think

        December 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • Observer

        Austin,

        How are you doing on your predictions for 2014 to show you have this ability?

        How about figuring out the name of the hospital where they may have saved your friend's life?

        December 28, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
        • Austin

          St Elizabeths Medical Center, Lincoln NE

          December 28, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
        • Austin

          I don't have any ability. God has all ability, He is Risen.
          Jehovah Shammah The Lord is There

          December 28, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
        • Observer

          Austin,

          Good. It's about time you gave the hospital credit for all they have done.

          If you have no abilities, why do you constantly brag about them? Do you have the ability to see the future? Yes or no? Have you done it? Yes or no?

          December 28, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
        • Austin

          God has the ability. Yes I have seen the future, and most of the time, I did not know I had seen it until it came forth. Because the visions can remain only a vision for many years . until it happens, how can you say "i have seen the future"

          I have seen the future and then had the vision confirmed in reality around 20 times now going back to 2001.

          December 28, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
        • G to the T

          Austin – and you write down all these dreams to confirm they have been fulfilled years later? If not, are you aware of just how plastic your memories can be?

          December 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
  3. Jesus' Beloved

    Cpt: The problem that you and JB face is this: You have no method of verifying what miracles are "of the Holy Spirit" and which ones aren't.

    F

    December 28, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      Posted before I could respond.

      Actually it's quite simple. Speak to a condition... use any name other than Jesus and see what happens.
      Then speak to the same condition or make same command using the name of Jesus..."In Jesus' Name"... see what happens.

      As I said, do it. Spiritual Laws work, no matter who uses them. Did you see that, No MAtter Who Uses Them- something to always keep in mind.

      December 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        You are laughably incorrect. If the 'laws' worked all the time and could be independently verified, we'd not be debating it right now. It'd be a branch of science with measurability and verifiability and all that stuff.

        You, and every other believer of god, lack a method of measurement to demonstrate that your idea of god is more accurate than other, competing ideas of what god is. That's why it's all philosophy and apologetic and this theologian says this but this one over here says that. Unlike science, god belief can provide no method to measure the accuracy of the claims put forth.

        December 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
        • Austin

          capt obvious, the method of obtaining spiritual insight is a law, and an unchanging promise. Its the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

          Do you want spiritual because God is who He says He is? you don't deserve physical proof, because you are maligning the Holy Spirit and rejecting the glory of God. You are rejecting supernatural communion and telling everyone around you "prove it"

          Do you see what you are doing to yourself? it is so sad.

          December 28, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          You are trying to God within the limitations of your human understanding.... if you don't see the error here, there's nothing I can do to help you.
          God is limited by your imaginations/understanding/knowledge/wisdom etc.

          December 28, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Austin, using your own spiritual mumbo jumbo to criticize my choices and my observations has the opposite effect of what you likely intend. And besides, I'd rather wait for JB's answer.

          December 28, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          JB, don't lie, and don't assume that you know my intent. That's very self-righteous of you and it's a common trait of hypocritical Christians who post here.

          Why don't you reread my post to figure out where you fvcked up in your reasoning, and see if you can figure out a proper answer? YOU made the claim, and it's not my fault that you can't back it up.

          Try again. I'll be waiting.

          December 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          I have no idea what you're worked up over.
          There's no reason for this conversation to degenerate into curses...

          This AM I mentioned that John G Lake had over 100,000 medically confirmed cases of healings in Spokane, Washington and that a hospital there was closed because of all the healings. The people were healthy and during that time (1920s) Spokane became known as the healthiest city in America.

          I told whoever was having the dialogue with me they can check it out... 2 posters were back within 2 minutes to tell me no proof.
          Now you tell me,... how did they verify so fast that there was no proof...
          you can do the research for yourself. I don't know how else you guys expect someone to "prove" something to you over the internet.

          If I tell you, under certain lab conditions H2O can exist in all three states (solid-ice, liquid-water, gas-steam) you would have no problem believing it, even though I did not "prove" it to you..yet other things you expect what? A meeting to demonstrate...if this is what you wish I can direct you to several places.

          December 28, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Now you're sidestepping, JB.

          Your claim is that spiritual laws work for everyone and anyone. (Later, you seem to imply that they don't work for people who don't have the proper mixture and levels of imagination and creativity and all that, which is weird and stupid, but...)

          So, since you're the one claiming it. What "spiritual law" can ANYONE perform that will demonstrate the existence of your god? I'm sure that scientists wanting the Nobel can't wait to hear your answer since NO ONE has ever been able to show a single "spiritual law" or the existence of any god or "spiritual realm."

          December 28, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Spiritual Laws work... no matter who uses them... no exceptions.

          What I later said, was that we limit God by our knowledge etc. and that's not a dig at you or anyone. It's just the way it is.
          Ex. I used to limit God in the area of healing because I grew up believing God may or may not heal. Now I know different.
          So the limit I had before placed on God, I have since removed.
          I need to remove the limits I've placed on Him in other areas...
          That's all I meant... so there was nothing there for you to take personally... it wasn't a dig or insult...

          December 28, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
        • Austin

          Capt obvious, you have to trust and have faith . obey , become sanctified..........but I believe that if you really care, that the Holy Spirit will confirm His presence. But you need to invest yourself, going from a child at salvation to an adult, through meditation and prayer in the Word. Try reading the bible again after you pray, and ask God for His presence. Ask for the Holy Spirit. Confirm you faith and trust through water baptism as obedience.

          December 28, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          JB, why don't you see the glaring flaw in your own reasoning? The spiritual laws DON'T work for everyone if they don't work for people who don't have the right mixture of beliefs that "limit god." That's stupid.

          December 28, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
        • Austin

          persue God diligently through His word, and the laws are unfailing promises, all given in God's sovereign timing. wow, what a journey it has been!!!! I mean wow.

          December 28, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Austin, you're simply saying what the believers of other gods tell me. Just believe until you believe more and then act like your believing really hard and then pretend to believe a little more and then try believing and then!!! And then!!!!!! And THEN!!!!!!!!!

          December 28, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
        • Austin

          read 1 corinthians 11. not all are healers.

          December 28, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
        • Austin

          but to all, the gift of the Holy Spirit, who will manifest His presence within you. (my words)

          December 28, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
        • Observer

          Corinthians (I 11:6) also says “For if a woman does not cover her head (while praying), let her also have her hair cut off” but nobody seems to believe that either.

          December 28, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Austin

      i am not sure if i do either, they are all a testimony to the father of all spiritual life.

      December 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Observer

      Jesus' Beloved,

      And you can't PROVE that there has EVER been any miracles "of the Holy Spirit". It's the same for proof that there hasn't been any.

      December 28, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
      • Austin

        I have proof of that. I can not prove to myself that a medical miracle was the Holy Spirit when my friend is hooked up to 10 machines, but the personal miracles are not lacking within me. I have shared them with you, and now its time to push you out of the bird nest and watch you open your wings and fly with God through His word.

        December 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • Observer

          Austin,

          Why did your friend in the UNKNOWN hospital need 10 machines when God could have cured him INSTANTLY?

          December 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
        • Austin

          as I agreed earlier, with a machine, there is no way to prove a medical miracle. We can credit the hospital with saving a life. and as spiritual creatures, to kick God out of any picture, and to not pray, because we have technology,

          Is the sickest damned idea I have ever heard.

          December 28, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Austin, your god is invisible and undetectable by every single imaginable means of reliable verification. Why do you suggest we discredit the hundreds of thousands of separate moving parts and personnel and machines and technicians and services that go into the operation of a hospital and instead give credit to invisible and undetectable unicorns....I mean... your god?

          December 28, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
        • Observer

          Austin,

          Apparently, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Lincoln NE has done a great job. How PATHETIC that you refused to give them ANY credit until you were asked MANY times. So much for GRAT-ITUDE to all the hard-working people there. If you worked there and helped save your friend, would you like to be acknowledged even if that required using the GOLDEN RULE?

          December 28, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  4. Jesus' Beloved

    Hi Austin, I see you agree that Andrew Wommack has good teachings.

    December 28, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Austin

      oh ya. He has a strong personality. he has a great way of lining himself up with resurrection power, and thoroughly explains that. He has a sense of humor.

      December 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        love Andrew...
        His programs made a huge difference in my life... (I found them only this year on u-tube... I watch the ones that are over 1.5hrs long)

        December 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
        • Austin

          have you ever seen the oneplace.com cite.? this is a conglomeration.

          Hey do you know a lot about Jews. check out this link? its incredibly intense.
          http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/09/28/israeli-rabbis-greet-irans-president-ahmadinejahd-in-nyc-on-yom-kippur

          December 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Thanks I'll check it out...
          I don't know as much as I should, but I am aware of some things,
          I'm looking to see what will happen to Ariel Sharon (still in coma)... and the coming blood moons.

          December 28, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Topher

      Please be careful listening to Andrew Wommack, guys.

      December 28, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Why not, Topher? Anybody, and I mean ANYBODY can understand it!! And when I say "anybody" what I really mean is those people who meet my approval in the area of not limiting god with their own understanding/wisdom/insight/etc. So....I mean.....really....not "anybody," but just me and a few of my friends whose understanding/wisdom/insight/etc is up to my level.

        December 28, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Why do you take offence Cpt.?

          God is limited by every person. If I didn't have limits on God, I would see much more in my life and those around me. We all limit God by what we believe.

          December 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I take no offense.

          December 28, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        Topher:
        I'm told to use the reply button...
        Why did you caution against listening to Andrew?

        December 28, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
        • Topher

          He is word-faith ... a heresy.

          December 28, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
      • sam stone

        yeah. much better you listen to gopher

        December 28, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
  5. Austin

    4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

    7 But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled.

    December 28, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Austin

      ..the people thought that the animals were demon posessed and so if they ate the meat, they were eating demon possessed meat. and so there was a call for sensitivity to this. Furthermore, that eating was a spiritually neutral activity.

      I do not think , personally that prayer is to be considered spiritually neutral. Do you? Can you pray to an idol and see it as spiritually neutral. And idol, An idol is an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed or any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion.

      December 28, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
  6. Jesus' Beloved

    L4H:
    No offence taken... I understand.

    Blessings

    December 28, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
  7. Jesus' Beloved

    L4H:
    I've never heard of Larry Burkett before, and I guess I've never really thought of Dave Ramsey as spiritual... perhaps he is, I don't know. I know of him and have seen him twice or so on tv, but that's it.

    Though you didn't ask, I would recommend listening to:
    Joseph Prince – great teachings on the Love of Jesus... Jesus hidden in the OT and Jesus revealed in the NT
    Curry Blake – excellent teachings on divine healing, and teaches the NT the way it's written, living the kingdom
    Andrew Wommack – similar to Curry Blake
    David Hogan – as Bill Johnson would say, David is a wild man... went to live in the mountains of Mexico, to teach the gospel to the indigenous people there, lots of healing testimonies
    Todd White –
    John Paul Jackson –
    James Maloney
    Pete Cabrera Jr.
    on and on...
    I no longer watch tv... I do read news online... but know that the majority of things happening around the world is not reported..

    I try to stay away from debate, because it accomplishes nothing... everything is circular...
    that's why I keep pounding the same, demonstrate by power. Jesus Himself said, if you don't believe me for what I say, at least believe me for the works that I do.

    December 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      While you are much more polite than most believers who post here, there is no tangible "power" in your religion or any other god belief. Many religions claim to have healing stories. Even the New Testament says that Satan can deceive people through signs and wonders. But it's really all a moot point since there is no actual power higher than the placebo effect.

      December 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        I am a son of God, Christ dwells in me, and I in Him. I don't belong to a religion.

        Understandably you can say there is no power because you have never seen or experienced it; when you do, you will speak differently.

        People have to believe they are taking something/believing in something in order for the placebo effect to work. And I believe the placebo effect is about 30% effective.

        December 28, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          You are correct in your description of the placebo affect. You are not correct in your assumptions of what I have witnessed and been a part of in my life. You and a believer of another god who both believe 100% in your deity and the miracles you have witnessed have no way to determine which of you is believing the correct god.

          But more importantly, miracles do not prove your viewpoint is the correct one. Your very own bible teaches that lesson, yet your posts here do not seem to honor that teaching. I wonder why.

          December 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • Austin

          the spiritual revelations do though, but they are not proof to other people. however, my testimony is true, because He is true and He is the Creator of all things spiritual.

          Are you implying that there is possibly another creator of spiritual life?.

          December 28, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          If you were talking to me, then no, I was not implying anything like that.

          December 28, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          The power you have seen and experienced, whom do you attribute it?

          December 28, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I do not know, JB, though I have a few silly theories. However, I am firmly convinced that it is very unlikely that it was the god of the bible because of how he is described in its pages.

          December 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
        • Observer

          Jesus' Beloved,

          Since "Christ dwells in" you, why wouldn't you want to follow his praise of the Golden Rule and tell others about life-saving hospitals?

          Since "Christ dwells in" you, are you silent about gays like Christ was or do you put them down and try to deny them equal rights?

          December 28, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
        • Austin

          @ observer, do you know of someone who needs this hospital ? I am calling your bluff. the hospital is irrelevant you are just pushing the next button.

          December 28, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
        • Observer

          Austin,

          No one would have time to contact you in an emergency to ask for the name of the mystery hospital.

          Do you follow the GOLDEN RULE at all? Why don't you want people to know about the great work done at this hospital? Wouldn't you want to know about a good hospital?

          Why are you AFRAID to give this important detail for your STORY?

          December 28, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
      • Austin

        that is alarming about Satan having the power to do miracles. Thank goodness we have the Holy Spirit and the Word of God as a filter.

        3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

        December 28, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Amen.
          And that is why when anti-Christ comes he'll be able to fool so many. The ones who don't believe in the power of God now, they're some of the ones who will be mesmerized by antichrist's power.

          Remember in Egypt, Pharaoh's magicians were able to replicate some of Moses acts – but only up to a point.
          So those who know their Bible will not be caught off guard, because they know the Holy Spirit that dwells in them is greater than any spirit of the enemy.

          December 28, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          The problem that you and JB face is this: You have no method of verifying what miracles are "of the Holy Spirit" and which ones aren't. Yes, you have your feelings, which you then justify with various other feelings and scripture verses, but you have nothing that's independently verifiable. Feelings, feelings, and more feelings....and we all know what happens when two Christians disagree over something they consider to be "of the holy spirit:" Pop!! Another denomination!

          December 28, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
        • sam stone

          It's fun watching you two talk about your imagnary friends and enemies.

          Reminds me that religious fanaticism and mental illness have a lot in common

          December 28, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
        • Yeager

          How do you know you aren't the ones being deceived and Gods plan for mankind is for us to use our ability to reason to make the world a better place. It seems to make more sense to me given the current state of religion in the world today.

          December 29, 2013 at 12:27 am |
        • lol??

          FUN........................................................FUN................................................................FUN
          "sam stone
          It's fun watching you two talk about your imagnary friends and enemies.............."

          And she'll have fun, fun, fun
          'Til her daddy takes the T-Bird away
          (Fun, fun, fun 'til her daddy takes the T-Bird away)

          Well you knew all along
          That your dad was gettin' wise to you now
          (You shouldn't have lied now, you shouldn't have lied)
          And since he took your set of keys
          You've been thinking that your fun is all through now
          (You shouldn't have lied now, you shouldn't have lied)

          But you can come along with me
          'Cause we gotta a lot of things to do now
          (You shouldn't have lied now, you shouldn't have lied)

          And we'll have fun, fun, fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away
          (Fun, fun, fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away)
          And we'll have fun fun fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away
          (Fun, fun, fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away)
          (Fun, fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away)

          December 29, 2013 at 8:02 am |
        • lol??

          Poor widdle CPt. Obviuous, he hatum God and prefers socie coagulatin'.
          "...............Pop!! Another denomination!"

          Luk 12:53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

          December 29, 2013 at 8:23 am |
  8. Jesus' Beloved

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1HqqMRPdPw

    This man is a journalist, if any one is skeptical, he is... watch the 2nd part...
    as someone who uses words everyday for his livelihood, he now understands the real power of "just words"

    That's what the Bible has been telling us all along, life and death are in the power of the tongue (words)

    December 28, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  9. Jesus' Beloved

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUcuYAr5B7g

    In the natural, nerve damage is one of the most difficult to heal, as nerves take a very long time, if ever to heal.

    December 28, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Observer

      Jesus' Beloved,

      Please supply films of lost limbs being regenerated by God.

      December 28, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
  10. Live4Him

    @Observer : If you believe in the help offered by hospitals, SKIP the HYPOCRISY and start actually practicing the Golden Rule.

    What evidence do you have that God cannot work through the physicians and other staff at the hospitals?

    <><

    December 28, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Sorry, wrong place.

      December 28, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        why wrong place?

        Tell me some of the teachers/preachers you listen to online? Recommendation so to speak.
        Thanks

        December 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Jesus' Beloved : why wrong place?

          I meant to continue the thread below, but forgot to hit reply.

          @Jesus' Beloved : Tell me some of the teachers/preachers you listen to online? Recommendation so to speak.

          Actually – I don't. I use to listen to Larry Burkett and then Dave Ramsey, but their information is too basic so it is meaningless to listen for learning's sake. What I do is read/listen through the Bible every year. And then I pray and aks God to teach me something new from the current section. The way I look at it is that the lowest quality of information comes from crowd-sourced sources (i.e. Wikipedia, etc.). The next lowest quality is dedicated sites run for a given purpose (TalkOrigins, TrueOrigins, TV, movies, etc.). While these can contain useful information, you always need to be cautious about was was left out. The next rung up the ladder is general sources (CNN, Fox, ABC, etc.). The drawback with these sources are that you need to do a lot of reading. Some of the best sources are books. Again, you need to do a lot of reading to form a well-rounded conclusion. You need to read both sides of the issue, not just the side you lean toward. And when you read, don't read to confirm your belief, but to disprove the author's position. The ones that you cannot disprove are the ones that gave you some solid information to build your conclusion upon.

          Now regarding books, here are my top five recommendations:

          Dawkins, Richard – The Blind Watchmaker, W.W. Norton & Company, 1985
          Interesting read: Exposes the flaws of evolution without meaning to do so.

          Hawking, Stephen W. – A Brief History of Time, Bantam Books, 1988
          Deep and may be difficult to read. Exposes the flaws of Big Bang.

          Lubenow, Marvin L. – Bones of Contention – A Creationist Assessment of Human Fossils, Baker Books, 1992
          Good read: Appendix at the end has an excellent exposure to radiometric dating.

          McDowell, Josh compiled by Wilson, Bill – The Best of Josh McDowell, A Ready Defense, Here's Life Publishers, 1990
          Excellent summary: Pulls many different apologetic sources into one book. I'd recommend this one first.

          Morris, Tom, Ph.D. – Philosophy for Dummies, IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 1999
          Excellent introduction to philosophy: Should help prep you for debates.

          <><

          December 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        • Live4Him

          Oh, one other recommendation : Dragons or Dinosaurs (some subtitle). Delves into the dinosaur issue. It is in both book and DVD form. The DVD covers most of the material, but the book has some good details.

          December 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Thanks for the recommendations. I'll give a few sources you can listen to online if so choose to...
          in a moment when I can type properly

          December 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Jesus' Beloved : I'll give a few sources you can listen to online if so choose to...

          No offense, but don't bother. I know I wouldn't spend my time doing so. Its like I said, when I could be reading a book or listening to a program where I couldn't check out the source evidence, it hinders my ability to trust what I'm learning. As such, I'm just wasting my time on it.

          <><

          December 28, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
        • Austin

          i believe in spiritual gifts. people with gifts are also human, they sin. So when listening to a preacher with an ordained gift, it is important to know that we all have character flaws, and sometimes we can say the wrong thing.

          this guy has good sermons
          awmi.net

          December 28, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • Austin

          @live4 him
          i cant help but see the thread here and i do appreciate your debates.. You have given countless hours to the reasoning of truth. You have a powerful mind and much more knowledge and wisdom to share than the vast majority of people.

          December 28, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Observer

      Live4Him,

      What would God need a hospital for?

      December 28, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Observer : What would God need a hospital for?

        What makes you think that God needs anything that he has created?

        <><

        December 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
        • Observer

          There's no need for God to work through all the physicians in a hospital. All he has to do is to go "poof" and patients are cured. No need to go to a hospital.

          December 28, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Observer – that's what I've been trying to tell you...
          using your terminology He will go "poof" through YOU.

          The Kingdom of Heaven is voice activated. You have to open your mouth and SPEAK to the condition, and "poof" it will be gone, in Jesus' name.

          Please tell me you understand a bit what I'm saying. (I know it sounds like foolishness to the natural mind, but that's how it is, and it's not going to change because you refuse to accept it the way it is)... understand?

          December 28, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Observer : There's no need for God to work through all the physicians in a hospital. All he has to do is to go "poof" and patients are cured. No need to go to a hospital.

          You didn't answer the question. This shows that you aren't really thinking the issue through. God doesn't need anything that he created. Yet, he uses his creation to fulfill his purpose : providing food to others, administration (i.e. government), and even medical care. If we assume that God would go 'poof' for one, why not all of them simultaneously? So, lets do away with farmers, bankers, doctors, policemen, firemen, etc. This is illogical. God provided a mechanism and people fill in niche's as they can.

          <><

          December 28, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
        • Observer

          Live4Him

          "@Observer : What would God need a hospital for? What makes you think that God needs anything that he has created?"

          I did answer the question. God shouldn't NEED hospitals to do his work for him. He shouldn't NEED anything, but that doesn't stop churches from COLLECTING money for God's work.

          December 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
  11. Live4Him

    @ARDS doesn't work that way, Austin : Then he likely didn't have ARDS. He was likely misdiagnosed. A yeast infection where? He was on a venhilator, right?

    Personally, I don't know the situation. However, I can follow the factual trail. First, the person was sick for 10 days. Then, it turned into a yeast infection. Last, it became ARDS. This is in agreement with an ARDS site.

    http://www.ards.org/learnaboutards/whatisards/faq/faq7.html
    When a patient has been treated with many antibiotics for a long period of time they are at risk of developing a fungal or yeast infection, which may cause further problems.

    December 28, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  12. Lionly Lamb

    What mostly all people fail to fathom/comprehend is that our terrestrial kingdom is not the 'true kingdoms of God'...Such Godly kingdoms are internal as the Bibles so declare... One atom is but a miniscule universe and our bodies being full of atomic sized universes are but buildings wherein the family members of God do live out their lives keeping their buildings, (our bodies) functioning for as long as they are aptly able to... Our celestial universe is but a gigantic atomic universe living among an unknowable quantity of celestial universes...

    December 28, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  13. tony

    Looks like posting has been discontinued.

    December 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  14. Jesus' Beloved

    Austin,
    I'm smiling because they ask for proof, and you have a testimony of the power of God in your friends life and it's met with the same unbelief and mockery.

    You mentioned your friend, no one asked how he was, what was going on... now you mention here and there what's been happening and it becomes fodder for debate.

    I thank God for the power of the Holy Spirit who is present at all healings and knows exactly what to do.
    That's one reason I keep mentioning healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons, because it is only through the demonstration of the power of God that some will believe.

    Be bold, and lay hands on all you come in contact with, who is oppressed of the devil.

    All praise, honor and glory to our great redeemer, healer, our Abba, Father.

    December 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Observer

      Jesus' Beloved

      "I'm smiling because they ask for proof, and you have a testimony of the power of God in your friends life and it's met with the same unbelief and mockery."

      Yes. Austin has never been able to supply any verifiable proof.

      Why not ask him what hospital has apparently saved his friend's life? Go ahead..

      December 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        I didn't care to ask about the hospital yesterday, because it was immaterial.
        I don't care to ask about it now, because it's still immaterial.

        Why didn't you enquire more yesterday, if his friend and his friends condition were important to you....

        not trying to be mean and hope it doesn't come off that way, but not sure how else to write it...

        December 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • Observer

          Jesus' Beloved,

          I didn't read Austin's story yesterday.

          Why don't you want to know what hospital did such a great job?

          Why do you think Austin AVOIDS supplying this CRITICAL fact?

          December 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          When Austin mentioned his friend, the thought never entered my mind to ask about the hospital. Why would it.

          As far as I know, his friend needed people who believed God had already healed him through Jesus' death and resurrection (by His stripes we were healed) and to appropriate that healing by commanding life and health to his body. I prayed that the staff taking care of him were Godly people who were positive and spoke only life over him.
          However, as I said above, the rest were not immaterial and they still are.

          December 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
        • Observer

          Jesus' Beloved,

          lol. So you don't care about knowing of a hospital that apparently is doing a really good job? So you wouldn't want this information to pass it on to others? Same way for others. You wouldn't want them to tell you about a good hospital if you needed one, right? Ever hear of the Golden Rule? No surprise.

          Austin was asked repeatedly for the name of this good hospital. His PATHETIC response was to list brochures found in most hospitals and you are supporting him for not giving others this information that could help them. PITIFUL

          December 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Observer, the information that will help you is to command life and health in Jesus' name.
          Command sickness and disease to leave your body or someone else's body in Jesus' name.
          Command health to every cell of your body every day, and keep your mind stayed on God and you will have no need to seek out what a hospital is doing because you'll have no need for it.

          Do it... it will work.

          December 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
        • Observer

          Jesus' Beloved,

          Do you or your family ever go to a hospital or just count on God to cure diseases and broken bones? If you believe in the help offered by hospitals, SKIP the HYPOCRISY and start actually practicing the Golden Rule.

          December 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          That's not what this is about.
          If your friend or family member was in the hospital, could you post all that information on a public message board just to satisfy the ego/pride.

          December 28, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Observer : If you believe in the help offered by hospitals, SKIP the HYPOCRISY and start actually practicing the Golden Rule.

          What evidence do you have that God cannot work through the physicians and other staff at the hospitals?

          <><

          December 28, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • Observer

          Jesus' Beloved

          "That's not what this is about. If your friend or family member was in the hospital, could you post all that information on a public message board just to satisfy the ego/pride."

          lol. So telling people about what a good job a certain hospital has done and how it could help other people is for "ego"? Do you have ANY interest at all in the concept of THE GOLDEN RULE? I firmly try to follow it, but then again, I'm NOT a Christian like you.

          December 28, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
      • Austin

        Im at the hospital on the 3rd floor of critical care. here are some flyers in the room i am in.

        when illness or accident challenges your faith in a loving god
        end of life concerns, a guide for families
        coping with the stresses of dialysis
        hope for wounds that wont heal
        caring sharing and inspiring
        above and beyond
        discounted hotels
        palliative care the relief you need when yours experiencing the symptoms of serious illness
        where is God in my suffering
        When a death comes unexpectedly
        Saying Good-bye to a loved one who is dying
        Private duty
        Is a heart attack in your future?
        An introduction to Gastric Bypass And Adjustable Gastric Banding Surgery
        Are your lungs at risk?
        Provider Directoryj-THe pysician Network
        Cancer Nurse Navigator

        December 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
        • doobzz

          They have pamphlets about discount hotels? Well, if that isn't proof of a miracle, I don't know what is!

          December 28, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
  15. Observer

    Austin,

    What hospital is your friend in?

    You FAILED to answer that question.

    December 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  16. Reality # 2

    Let us end all the sweet talk about religion by mzh, Austin et. al. by coming to grips with the reality of the 21st century:

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    December 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  17. bostontola

    Why would an all powerful, all knowing being create us with a faculty that we must abandon to embrace it? Then if we choose to retain that faculty, get condemned to an eternity of horror.

    That is one mysterious God.

    December 28, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yeah, it's almost like he isn't real at all....

      December 28, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
      • bostontola

        hmmmmmm...

        December 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
  18. Jesus' Beloved

    The Greatest Gift is Love
    All of us recognize that we are involved in a warfare against hatred, intolerance, greed, and spiritual pride. And yes, it seems like, at times, the ark of God is about to fall to the ground and we must use whatever means we can to keep that from happening- even if it means using every means necessary to put the fear of God into people to make them toe the line. But, is this God's way? In the long run, does it bear fruit? Is this what He really wants?

    December 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the greatest thing in the world is love, agreed. but you don't need a deity to love, just other humans. look to your brothers and sisters of this world for love, not to an invisible sky fairy.

      December 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        God is Love.

        How does one give love if they don't have it. One must have something in order to give it away.
        Thanks for your input.

        December 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • doobzz

          God loves us so much that he drowned every man, woman, elderly person, child, infant, fetus, embryo, plant and animal on earth by torturously drowning them.

          December 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • doobzz

          Oops, sorry for the redundancy.

          December 28, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          god is not love. the christian god kills children. only a monster incapable of love can kill children. how can you worship a baby-killer?

          in the bible, god drowned everyone except a single family - that means he drowned children, elderly, mentally challenged, physically disabled, etc. only a monster can fill a baby's lungs with water and call it divine justice.

          in the bible, god destroys whole cities, Sodom and Gomorrah for instance. cities have children in them. god murdered children when he destroyed those cities.

          in the bible, god sends bears to maul and kill 42 children for making fun of one of his prophet's for being bald. your god sent bears to kill children.

          the christian god is fond of infanticide. how can you worship such a monster?

          December 28, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • Austin

          bootiefunk,

          You do not have the proper appreciation for the truth about demonic evil. I hope you can learn in a way that benefits you. My prayer for all of you, is that you can humble yourselves and ask, beg , God for understanding and wisdom. If you read Jubilees, or Macabees, these people were severely mistreated, and the reaction was a war that made a big difference , instead of making a tiny difference like the war in Iraq. They took the whole place out.

          Doesnt suprise me. I am not offended by the flood, because Satan was mingling in the bloodline and the level of evil was something you have never fathomed or you would be scared to think about it.

          December 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • Anonymous Guest

          Lam 2:14 (NIV) "The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading."

          I believe Austin to be one. Lucifer rising.

          December 28, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Austin

          what i received were manifestations of spiritual reality. they were not prophecies. they were not intended for leading. they are intended to shed light on spiritual life as factual and true. The Holy Spirit is a sanctifying spirit that bears the truth of God's word on a persons heart. The Holy Sprit is a supernatural seal of salvation. Not an intellectual one.

          Faith is given by God. We should not pray to mary.

          December 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
        • Observer

          Austin,

          Which HOSPITAL is your friend at?

          Still STUMPED?

          December 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • G to the T

          "God is Love" is like saying "God is Happiness" or "God is Petulance". "Love" is a description and has no objective existence outside of our brains (that I've seen anyways). Why can we have any other emotion on our own by "require" (your) god in order to love? The whole thing strikes me as absurd to be honest.

          December 30, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  19. ARDS doesn't work that way, Austin

    What was Dan's original infection?

    December 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Austin

      it did last night! I was there when the doctor told his parents "his lungs have cleard up %75 percent over night"

      It was just yesterday that they gave us the news that he had it, it started as a yeast infection two days ago, and blew up two nights ago to ARDS. He has had no liver or kidney function for about 10 days.

      December 28, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        yes, and then he rode a unicorn into never-never land!

        you're lying, Austin, or you are deceived. faith healing is a sham.

        December 28, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
      • doobzz

        Is he in the hospital or going to the doctor for this? Are medical personnel treating him? Did he take medication of any kind? If so, how do you know it wasn't the medical treatment?

        December 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
      • sam stone

        Do you have some independent corroboration of this, Austin, or is it like your cat squishing dreams?

        December 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        That's the power of the Holy Ghost!

        Keep speaking life and commanding new liver and kidneys in Jesus' Name.
        Next time you visit, find someone else to do the same to... just ask their condition and command it to leave in Jesus' name.

        Most people confuse healing with miracle... miracle is instantaneous... healing will happen within the minute, hour, or days... But It WILL happen.

        That's what we're commanded to do... heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead... that is advancing the Kingdom of Heaven... and when the Kingdom of Heaven is advancing, the devil's kingdom of darkness is receding.

        December 28, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • doobzz

          "healing will happen within the minute, hour, or days... But It WILL happen."

          When I was a Christian, I would pray whenever I got a cold, and sure enough, I'd be healed in about seven days. Now that I'm a nonbeliever, my colds last a whole week!

          December 28, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
        • G to the T

          I'm with Doobz on this – isn't it amazing that when you view any of these modern "miracles' they so appear as to be indistiguishable from events that could happen without miraculous intervention.

          Really... all it would take is one bit of evidence and I would be willing to re-evaluate my beliefs. How many others are really so open to changing their views?

          December 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • ARDS doesn't work that way, Austin

      Then he likely didn't have ARDS. He was likely misdiagnosed.
      A yeast infection where?
      He was on a venhilator, right?

      Please do not try and sell us on the notion that you healed him.

      December 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.