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December 7, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards Dies

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of John Edwards, who coped publicly with breast cancer and marital infidelity, died today.

(This post was updated at 12 p.m. on 12/08):

"Today we remember Elizabeth Edwards who was an outspoken advocate for health-care reform and used her position of influence to speak out for those who could not get the care they needed," Sojourners posted on its politics blog. She wrote a cover story for Sojourners magazine on health care in 2008.

Adele M. Stan (who was there on behalf of the National Women's Editorial Forum) wrote on "The Original Theology of Elizabeth Edwards" at American Prospect in 2007 on her response to a question at a nonpartisan conference called BlogHer.

Asked by Beth Corbin of Americans United for Separation of Church and State to explain how her faith beliefs inform her politics, Elizabeth Edwards gave an extraordinarily radical answer: She doesn't believe in salvation, at least not in the standard Christian understanding of it, and she said as much:

"I have, I think, somewhat of an odd version of God. I do not have an intervening God. I don't think I can pray to him -- or her -- to cure me of cancer."
After the words "or her," Mrs. Edwards gave a little laugh, indicating she knew she had waded into water perhaps a bit deeper than the audience had anticipated. Then she continued:

"I appreciate other people's prayers for that [a cure for her cancer], but I believe that we are given a set of guidelines, and that we are obligated to live our lives with a view to those guidelines. And I don't that believe we should live our lives that way for some promise of eternal life, but because that's what's right. We should do those things because that's what's right."

She posted a farewell message on Facebook.

You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces—my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined.

Donald Douglas at American Power looks at her statement where she says she was sustained by "my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope" and suggests that she puts her faith in something other than God.

CNN has rounded up reactions from political leaders:

Barack Obama
"In her life, Elizabeth Edwards knew tragedy and pain. Many others would have turned inward; many others in the face of such adversity would have given up. But through all that she endured, Elizabeth revealed a kind of fortitude and grace that will long remain a source of inspiration. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends."

John Kerry
"America came to know her in a different and even more personal way, as she fought back with enormous grace and dignity. She became an inspiration to so many. "

Mike Huckabee
"I was very sorry about what she's been through. And I think she showed this country and the world, an extraordinary level of courage, and not just on the physical challenges but the others that she's faced with honor and dignity."

Sarah Palin, Twitter
"Very sorry for Elizabeth Edward's family. May God comfort her kids, especially, through this tough time. God bless her family & loved ones."

Here's a profile from the local television station and a New York Times obituary.

Comments

I always thought Elsabeth was in a class way ahead of John Edwards (sorta like Tipper and Al) but I'm sorry she didn't truly understand Grace.
However she said: "And I don't that believe we should live our lives that way for some promise of eternal life"
And I agree with her there. We should live a certain way because its right, not to earn any favors from God.
It's right AND it pleases God.

Wow! I am stunned at the lack of compassion shown by CT by running this article. What purpose does this serve? How is the grace of Christ made known by publishing such a piece? It's heartbreaking that this woman died without knowing the Lord. I just don't understand what purpose is served here.

This article is very upsetting to read as a Christian. We are told to love all. This article spews out HATE and disrespect. The body of this woman is not even cold yet and you are for lack of better words pissing on her grave. May God have mercy on your souls. You are going to need it when God deals with you when your light has been extinguished.

"I believe that we are given a set of guidelines..."
By whom?
"...and that we are obligated to live our lives with a view to those guidelines." Who says?
If there is no God, everything is permissable.
Nevertheless - prayers for her family. May God have mercy on them and comfort them in their time of sorrow.

I don't understand the point of this article, and I am disappointed by it. On the day of this woman's death, why does CT need to quote articles that attack her for her religious beliefs? Is her lack of faith in a personal God the only thing there is to say about this woman?

Elizabeth Edwards died today. She was a mother and a friend, an attorney and an author, a woman who struggled bravely and publicly with a terrible disease as well as her husband's infidelity. Even if her political leanings were "hard-left," and even if she didn't agree with us about who Jesus is, and even if you believe she is now in hell because of her lack of faith in Him, it is disrespectful to her and to her family that the only mention of her and on this site is this blog post that points out the fact that she was not a Christian and she died today.

If that is all you could think of to say about this woman and her death, why say anything at all? What is gained by pointing out that a woman died today who was a liberal and didn't believe the same things we do about God?

It is clear from the dialogue quoted above that the late Mrs. Edwards was a deist. Sad. She now knows the truth.

While I can appreciate those who wish for everyone to know God's love and mercy, I take issue with Donald Douglas' tone in essentially berating a dying woman for not believing that God intervenes in the lives of men--Donald actually claims she does not believe in God at all, but the quote from the 2007 American Prospect article says she does believe in God, but doesn't believe God would cure her cancer, even if asked (in part the result of God not intervening to save her son from dying, another sad chapter in her life).

Elizabeth Edwards was not anti-religious or a nihilist who rejected her faith, as Donald claims. Like many--especially those who've had tragedy in their lives, but also everyday people who haven't, members of the clergy, and unless I miss my guess, at least one person you know personally--she questioned her faith, and wondered why bad things happen to good people, and what God's role is in such events.

Rather than attacking her for not believing as he did, and then turning his guns on those he doesn't agree with politically, as though they are in some way responsible for Mrs. Edwards believing God gave us life, a path to follow, and free will, (yes, Dan, even Elizabeth Edwards believed it was God who gives us those guidelines, and obligates us to live by them, in order to receive enlightenment and salvation), but that He does not protect us from all harm, even if we ask Him to, Donald could have suggested we all pray that Elizabeth Edwards found the God he believed she'd lost, in her remaining days (or as it turned out, hours).

The way I see it, this was a time for prayer, good wishes, and Christian mercy, not recrimination of a dying woman and the gathering of political points. That is not the Word found in my Bible (but then, I am a Unitarian Universalist (born Roman Catholic), and Donald takes issue with my religious beliefs, as well. Nowhere in Donald's post linked above does he speak of praying for Elizabeth, and for her everlasting soul.

(What does God and the church say about dealing with those who don't share your faith... or even your denomination of Christianity? It has been awhile, I admit, but I don't believe I was ever taught to berate or shame others for not being a Christian (or as Christian the folks who attended my church, rather than that Episcopalian one on the next block.) Is recrimination and literally "holier-than-thou" attitudes really the name of the game, or is Donald himself perhaps in need of some intercessory prayer, to help him bring others to God and the Bible without beating them over the head with such a Good (and often heavy) Book? (I'll certainly be praying for him, regardless.)

To everything, there is a season...

It always bothers me that when someone dies, Christianity Today always initiates this conversation about their beliefs that inevitably ends in a discussion about whether this person believed in God, was a theist, is going to heaven, etc. I think that is outside of our realm on which to speculate. What we should turn our attention to is this - are WE right with God.

@repsasc3 at December 8, 2010"I have, I think, somewhat of an odd version of God. I do not have an intervening God. I don't think I can pray to him -- or her -- to cure me of cancer."
"Elizabeth Edwards gave an extraordinarily radical answer: She doesn't believe in salvation, at least not in the standard Christian understanding of it, and she said as much..." From this article it is not at all clear what Ms. Edwards believed theologically. We do know a few things she doesn't believe, tho. Historic Christian belief for one. How about you just let God sort it all out instead of judging others here or trying to pick a theological fight - which you would lose.

Actually I have a deep and abiding belief that it is God who finds us. I think that is the picture laid out in the bible. How, or even why, God saves us is a mystery especially when you consider the mess we've made and continue to make of things. It is not for us to judge who is and is not saved by God. Let's all remember that our own righteousness is like filthy rags no matter how "saved" we consider ourselves to be. People like Elizabeth Edwards have been through so much that I can't even begin to imagine how it felt to walk in her shoes, but I know God did and I'll leave it there.

Who cares what a right-wing blogger thinks about Elizabeth Edwards' spiritual state? Why in the world would your second paragraph be given to someone who wanted to immediately provide his analysis on Mrs. Edwards' eternal destiny?

When William F. Buckley died, did anyone check to see if the "American Power" blog was dissecting Mr. Buckley's Catholicism and pointing out the errors therein? Or perhaps "American Power" only throws mud on the dead bodies of liberals? Good grief. Go to journalism school and learn how to do a proper, tasteful obit. Save the opinions for the, um, opinion page.

Even when many have time to prepare many still choose a hopeless path

Don't you think it's more than a little crass and uncaring to critique a person's theology as part of a death notice? Donald Douglas's hit piece is cruel and unnecessary. Shame on him.

And shame on you for dignifying his comments by treating them as anything other than the hurtful bile they are.

There's a much greater chance that God is love than theology. Believers do themselves no favors by attacking another's struggle to comprehend.

Here are Mrs Edwards own touching words about her faith, from an earlier interview, seen on Monday, Dec. 7, 2010 “World News” broadcast on ABC.
“I had to reconcile the God I thought I had with the facts that I knew. So, if I was to have a God, it couldn’t be an intervening God anymore. I couldn’t pray anymore for God to intervene, which means I can’t pray for Him to intervene in my cancer.
Instead, the God I came to accept is the God who promises salvation and enlightment, and that’s the God I live with now. It’s not entirely the God I want, but it is the God I believe I have.”

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/elizabeth-edwards-life-loss-dies-breast-cancer-john-12338279

This article is lacking grace in the worst possible way. What is the point of it? And Evangelicals wonder whey they are called "judgmental"? Elizabeth Edwards' memory deserves kindness. And if CT can't offer kindness, it should remain silent.

Second RM's comment.

How can it be that it is acceptable to question the faith of a dying woman at this blog, but not acceptable to discuss what the Bible and the church says about questioning the faith of others, or the propriety of hitting a dying/newly deceased woman--and indirectly, her family--within 24 hours of her death?

It is my belief, understanding--and as far as I can find, anyway, factually the case--that most Christians, in person and on the web, and including most Christians right here at this blog, would not and did not berate Mrs Edwards or suggest that she was "anti-religion" or a "nihilist" before or after her death, but instead prayed that Mrs Edwards sought and found redemption.

"How about you just let God sort it all out instead of judging others here or trying to pick a theological fight - which you would lose."

Dan, there is not a doubt in my mind I would lose a theological fight... I believe I conceded that point at the outset, (though perhaps it was in the part of my comment that was moderated away.)

But by that way of thinking, how about we just let God sort it all out instead of judging Mrs Edwards or her imperfect faith? (Essentially, that's my point. If it is acceptable for folks to judge Mrs Edwards, why is it not acceptable for folks to pass judgement on the timing and propriety of those who would judge her, including--and at this site, especially--by discussing what the Bible and the church teaches, in this regard?

I don't know that this woman's faith status should even matter that much to us. She did have that major of an impact on our culture, after all, and her faith statements are quite vague.

"How about you just let God sort it all out instead of judging others here or trying to pick a theological fight - which you would lose."

Dan, there is not a doubt in my mind I would lose a theological fight... I believe I conceded that point at the outset, somewhere.

But by that way of thinking, how about we just let God sort it all out instead of judging Mrs Edwards or her imperfect faith? (Essentially, that's my point. If it is acceptable for folks to judge Mrs Edwards, why is it not acceptable for folks to pass judgement on the timing and propriety of those who would judge her, including--and at this site, especially--by discussing what the Bible and the church teaches, as regards these topics?)

We obviously all hope that she did not endure terrific pain and we all hope that her children will prosper. However, her comments about salvation miss the mark tremendously.

And why is it important to discuss such matters in her passing. Because there are non-believers who are reading these comments.

For the non-believer, salvation is NOT about who you are or what you did (good or bad), Salvation is about who God is.

Myself, I am guilty as charged...speak to me mediator!

@repsac3 at December 8, 2010

Read the posts. No one has passed judgment on the poor woman for being unorthodox in her belief. Expressed sorrow, perhaps, but no one has said anything judgmental about her. And should someone speak ill of her, shame on them. w.shuster's post gives more info about what she believed, but the details of her beliefs are still unclear to me, nor does it really matter now anyway. What is important is that God is loving, merciful, compassionate, and just. He will do what's right.

salvation is NOT about who you are or what you did (good or bad), Salvation is about who God is.

As a Universalist, that's what I believe. Our salvation is not a matter of what one believes or does, but of who and what God is. One cannot fail to be saved, or lose everlasting life at God's right hand. This is not my understanding of most Christian denominations, however, and surely not that of some of the folks posting/commenting here, of Donald Douglas, who was mentioned in the original post, or finally, of Elizabeth Edwards, who in 2007 said "God will enlighten me when the time comes. And if I've done the right thing, I will be enlightened. And if I believe, I'll be saved. And that's all he promises me." [cite] As someone commented at another blog, Mrs. Edwards belief in faith, rather than good works, as the path to heaven struck her as pretty mainstream Protestantism.

I have a feeling though, that my interpretation of your words wasn't the meaning you intended to convey...

@Dan

"No one has passed judgment on the poor woman for being unorthodox in her belief. Expressed sorrow, perhaps, but no one has said anything judgmental about her."

I seem to recall saying somewhere that in fact, no one posting/commenting at this site HAD passed judgement on her, but that I believe in saying "Being anti-religion is cool, so Edwards' non-theological theology gets props from the neo-communists. Still, at her death bed and giving what most folks are calling a final goodbye, Elizabeth Edwards couldn't find it somewhere down deep to ask for His blessings as she prepares for the hereafter? I guess that nihilism I've been discussing reaches up higher into the hard-left precincts than I thought." [Cite] as well as "They hate the truth of Elizabeth Edwards' rejection of God, her nihilism in the face of the awesome unknown." [Cite] (and there's more, too), Donald Douglas, cited in the original post, WAS passing judgement on Mrs. Edwards (not to mention, misrepresenting her religious beliefs.) If you check my first comment, that's all I've been saying, all along... If anything, I expect that many reading and commenting here agree that perhaps praying for Mrs. Edwards and her soul, rather than coming down on her for having imperfect faith, would've been the way to go, both before and after her death.

"God will enlighten me when the time comes. And if I've done the right thing, I will be enlightened. And if I believe, I'll be saved. And that's all he promises me." Her enlightenment was as close to her as the nearest Bible.

How Firm a Foundation
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said—
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.

“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

“The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose,
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.”

That is historic, traditional, orthodox Christian hymnody at its best.


How sad (and telling!) that Christians take the occasion of a brave and gracious woman's death to descend, like buzzards, on her beliefs.

From her words, it sounds like Elizabeth was a skeptic until her dying day. BUT, we don't know what conversation she had with God before she died. She could have repented and said something to the effect of:

"God, I know you exist but I just don't know sometimes. I look back over my life and I've had so much pain and sorrow. But now I'm at death's door and I don't know what to believe. Please have mercy on my soul God because I want to see you in heaven. Lord forgive me for my uncertainties."

This is just a possibility of the conversation she could have had with God. Just because she didn't express it in her words to the world, does not mean she didn't say something totally different to God. I cannot begin to understand what she went through. What she has gone through can either strengthen your faith in God or totally kill it. The Lord never said walking with Him would be easy.

Let the lady rest in peace but I do hope she is with the Lord.

I am a Indonesian Christian and all i want to say is this article is heartless and shows no compassion at all. Ironically, it is posted in a Christian website. What a shame.

Mr. Douglas and those who consider Mrs. Edward's beliefs to be "radical," why are you so intolerant? It seem you are possessed with more fear than faith, needing to arrogantly display you disagreements with how God made the universe by tearing down others, even in death. How Christian is that? What did God do to you that was so bad that you would doubt and second guess his creations so viciously? Do you still have enough faith in God left to allow this comment to post or have you given up on Him?

I fully agree with the blog from RBH. We don't know what her last conversation with God was. And yes, I am a full believer (Pentecostal)in Jesus Christ and that no man shall see God except through Christ. My Dad shared a simple but profound statement with me many years ago with such passion that I don't believe I'll ever forget it...He told me that ONLY GOD knows a man's heart. What a blessed assurance knowing that man is not in charge of our salvation!! So let's just be mindful of the family and friends who need our prayers at this time of sorrow...especially during the Christmas season.

Paul writing to Timothy:
" To this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God,
who is the Savior of all people,
especially of those who believe." 1 Timothy 4:10

I was surprised to see that Christianity Today had an article about Elizabeth Edwards so shortly after her death. She never claimed to be an "orthodox" and/or Evangelical Christian, so why write an article pointing this out just after her death? It's not news, and it certainly does not come off well. She's not a topic for you; let her family have some peace.

Yes, we can only pray that God touched her heart in these last days and that she repented and believed that Jesus is her lord and saviour. Sadly, her life was not one of Godly inspiration but, instead, wss one of evil wrapped in the deception of worldly good. The questions raised in the article are valid and should have been raised many years ago given her public comments. Regardless of where she is now, she undoubtedly regrets that this blog is not focused on Jesus and her life in the faith, but is instead focused on questions about her faith and praising her struggle.

I took it that Ms. Edwards made her belief statement in a large public forum and the last posting she made tended to reaffirm that belief. I found no judgmental words about it (Elizabeth Edwards) in the article. Had her words been in private, that would have been another matter. Many of the respondents seemed to react peevishly and I am reminded of James 1:20: "for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God"NASB. "There is a way which seems right... " God will have the last word on these matters.It is not left to any of us to make ANY judgments about others, but perhaps review our own beliefs in the light of the Scripture.

Es gibt ein Gott There is a God. My God loves me and I go to him for love and patience and comfort. Elizabeth knew God.

martha in richmond


Shame on you. Your comments regarding the death of Mrs. Edwards remind me of the actions of the Parisees and Saducees in the New Testament. We know the reaction of Jesus toward these hypocrites. And the words of Jesus then would still apply today, "you are snakes and vipers". "Judge not, for we are not God". Wilmer VerMeer

Are you yourself not judging this article's author very harshly? And many of us, who consider ourselves Christians, consider this article fair and well-written. The Bible does NOT say to never judge. In 1Cor chapter 5, Paul scolds the church for NOT judging a man for immorality. John 7:24 - "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

"Judge not, for we are not God" is not a Bible verse, and is not implied anywhere.

I believe I've made it pretty clear what I think about the timing, tone, and purpose of the Donald Douglas post that was cited here. But the folks here--original author and commenters alike--have been pretty fair, both to those with whom they agreed, and those with whom they have not. Had the author not included that controversial cite from Mr Douglas, it would've been a different piece, with a different set of reactions. (In saying that, I'm in no way suggesting that the author shouldn't've included Douglas cite; Once Donald Douglas put his comments out there for people to read and consider, they became a topic worthy of discussion, no matter what one thought of what he said, or when, or why.)

While I was concerned with the fairness of the CT blog during the period when comments expressing a particular set of viewpoints disappeared from the thread--I am no fan of moderation for ideological content (Those who've visited my blog quickly get a sense of how opposed to that kinda moderation I actually am.)--those concerns proved unfounded when the comments were reinstated and allowed to take their place in this marketplace of ideas about the Christian faith today.

I hope the conversation continues, both about the specifics of Elizabeth Edwards' final public statement and the controversy of the Douglas reaction, and about the nature of faith in times of sickness and grief, in general.

I have an answer for people who are constantly saying that God is not a Republican or a Democrat, etc, and that is of course true. But I have to think that most Christians who vote for Democrats most of the time, are either under a delusion or do not know their Bibles well. Christians usually want to please God out of love and follow what the Bible teaches. I also want to say that I disagree with both parties in their movements towards a one-world government, but I know that God is in control of all things, including those who get elected. And Revelation talks about there someday being a one world government and the antichrist being in charge, so this will be happening, as it is in God's plan, just as His wrath will then follow against this one world government and the unbelievers on the earth. This is just an attempt to explain why I think that the majority of Christians are Republicans. I am definitely not saying that the Republicans are always right or sinless or any such thing.

These of course are generalities, and there are always exceptions, but if you look at what the parties stand for, it is clear that voting for most Democrats in most cases cannot be pleasing to God. But look at what the parties stand for, and I think it's clear that most Christians overall vote for Republicans, and I think you know that, and angers those who are under the delusion or don't believe the Bible. If you don't believe the Bible, that's fine, but I'm speaking to Bible believers.

What party usually is pro-abortion, and even funds it around the world? The Democrats, not the Republicans.
The Bible says in Psalm 139 that God knitted us in the womb, and the Bible in Luke 1:41 says that Elizabeth's baby (John the Baptist) leaped for joy in the womb, when Elizabeth saw Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus. God clearly would not be pro-abortion, to argue otherwise is just placing your views above God's views. If you're going to argue about the environment or some other such thing as a reason to allow abortions, you are not trusting God above all things in your life. Obama, while in the Illinois Senate voted twice to kill any infants that survived an abortion. Really biblical, right? No, in total opposition to God.

Which of the parties tries to get felony criminals to vote? The Democrats, not the Republicans.
Which of the parties tries to get active duty soldiers votes to NOT count if slightly late due to WAR? The Democrats, not the Republicans. This is truly sad and reprehensible.
Which of the parties voted to stop cost of living adjustments for the years 2010 and 2011 for social security recipients? The Democrats, not the Republicans. This was a terrible tragedy to me. They hurt the poorest of the poor, but of course, gave themselves COLA.
(remember this when you want to blame the "horrible" Republicans for treating the poor badly. It was the democrats who stopped their COLA for 2 years, NOT the Republicans.

As a side note, for those who are for the "social gospel", which is nowhere in the Bible, the Bible says in 2Thess 3:10 "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” And if unhappy about the "rich" getting tax cuts, they are just being allowed to keep more of THEIR OWN MONEY. It is NOT the government's money, you keep forgetting that. When you work and receive a wage, it is YOUR money. Also remember that the poor are not out hiring people for jobs, it is the "rich". Without the rich, there are no jobs. 2Thess 3:8 says "nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you."
Proverbs 6:6 says "Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!" The Bible is praising the hard-working ant.

Speaking of which, where are the feminists and democrats when it comes to the horrible, despicable treatment of little girls and women by the moslims? No matter how hard I listen, I get a deafening silence. Why aren't you going after a REAL problem, the coming of Sharia law to the US, like it has come to many countries in Europe? Are you weeping for their daughters and sisters? Or do you just weep about petty things like little girls giving up on the idea of becoming superheroes? There is such hypocrisy!!

Which party has succeeded in removing all the Nativity scenes we used to see in city squares, which party has REMOVED God from everything possible? The Democrats, not the Republicans. If you really read what the Founding Fathers said and did, you would know this is not what they intended. Thomas Jefferson, while President, was also the superintendent of public schools in Washington DC, and he insisted that there would be a Bible in every classroom. The liberal, democratic courts have completely changed what the Constitution and our Bill of Rights were intended to mean.

Which party is constantly pushing the homosexual/transgender agenda? The Democrats, not the Republicans. Homosexuality is an abomination to God.
Which party wants to teach sex education, including the homosexual agenda, to little kids in kindergarten? The Democrats, not the Republicans.

Which party thinks the government has the right to place death taxes, which is double taxation? In these days, if someone is fortunate enough to be able to save some money, what possible right does the government have to that money? It is the wage earners money, it has already been taxed, and it belongs to the children.

As a sidenote to his unbelievable printing of almost worthless money, if you paid one dollar per second, it would take you 32,000 years to spend one trillion dollars. How many trillions has obama handed out without any accountability? Lots of it was sent to foreign countries also, including companies in China. We really need to put our descendants in tremendous debt to pay companies in China, unbelievable.

I could go on and on. It seems crystal clear to me. One party tries to take God out of everything and tries to defy His will for us. The other party is far from perfect, but they are very different from the Democrats. It's almost impossible to separate religion from politics anymore, they are very intertwined.

Yes we are to live right for the right reasons & 1st & foremost is b/c Jesus is our LORD & Savior. Outside of faith in Him (not in power of reliance, etc) can save. All Christians know this. It's important when & if we hear a profession that is not of salvation [faith in Jesus alone I share in clarity for I'm confident unfourtnatly that some whom read this do not know that salvation is gained by calling on the Lord Jesus & trusting & belieivng in Him & recieving Him as Lord & Savior. See: John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-58; 1 Peter 2:24, See Luke 23:39-43; John 14:6, 20:24-31; Romans 3:23, 6:23, 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 6:1-2; Revelation 3:20, 20:15] that we share the truth. Even more so ...that we do as God directs us anyway [called Evangelism & sharing Gospe & Discipleship See Matthew 28:19]. This is true love...as God truly loved us & gave us Truth, Himself [Jesus, Son of God: the Way, Truth Life-See John 14:6] Whom gave Himself up for us to be saved if we Believe & Recieve Him. My heartfelt desire is that she repented & did so before it was too late.

What is it with all you people objecting to this article by CT?

The 'last words' of Elizabeth Edwards were her own.

That her faith was some personal mix of Eastern and Western Deist thought is the truth.

What are you guys getting on about? Show some grace and maturity yourselves.

Nathan

What interests me is Edward's comments concerning good works and eternasl rewards. Yes, we should love God for who He is, not just for the rewards of His mercy. Yet Edward's comments seem to place the doing of good works to please God on the same level as doing good works to to be seen by men and women. The Father gave His Son so that our sins could be forgiven and so we could have fellowship with God here on earth and eternity in heaven. Not to be mindful of such rewards is to neglect the Father's will for all individuals and the cost He paid to see that his purposes for us are fulfilled. Doing good works to please God is an inseperable part of pleasing God. Jesus told His disciples that if their righteousness did not exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisess, they would in no case enter the kingdom of heaven. (Mt. 5:20) Jesus told the rich young ruler, "...If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and though shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." (Mt. 19:21) In the parable of the sheep and the goats, the sheep are those who perform righteous deeds, they are the ones who receive eternal life with God. In the parable, the sheep did not know they were ministering to Christ in doing good deeds, but Jesus gave the parable for our benefit so that we may be encouraged to do good deeds and receive eternal life. Paul commands us to walk worth of God who calls us into His kingdom and glory. (1Thess 2:12) If we are truly abiding in Christ, the indwelling Holy Spirit will guide us in the works God wants us to engage in. It is only by the guidence and power of the Holy Spirit that we can do right.

All I can say is that people like Donald Douglas are the reason I do not associate with this type of Christianity. The unbelievable vile, digusting attacks on Mrs. Edwards for DARING to have an opinion about God that even most sects of Christianity cannot agree upon is sickening! And then to have the arrogance to presume to know what her fate will be because she didn't accept the popular notions about Jesus and salvation.

Millions of people struggle with the concept of God and Jesus' role in it. You know why? Because we're given a brain to rationalize and reason, and when we're told to believe things without evidence, sometimes our brains start to work in overdrive.

I know many Christians who are truly kind, generous people. Unfortunately, there aren't enough of them; instead we're given the likes of filth like Douglas as headlines in the Christian Charity division.

Christian Charity: almost sounds like an oxymoron.

If the apostle Paul would have reacted to Elizabeth Edwards' words, what do you think he would have said? We can only speculate, but remember Paul's reaction when he saw the idols of Athens? He had to confront! To confront does not necessarily mean to hate. In fact, many times confrontation is a sign of sincere, albeit tough, love. It amazes me how much some Christians have lost the Biblical vision on life, and have become so controlled by the sensibilities of Western culture. In doing so, many Christians have become soldiers of a lost cause, for how are the comments above (criticizing the CT) help Elizabeth Edwards now, or those who think as she did?

The kind of tough love that makes it alright to confront a woman on her deathbed for not being as holy as thou is going to lose more followers than it will ever help.

Saying you're sorry that a dying woman believes as she does and offering to minister to her if she'll let you, and pray for her and for her eternal soul if she won't, is one thing; suggesting that the beliefs of this dying woman amount to "non-theological theology" and that she is a nihilist and an unbeliever--all of which is demonstrably untrue--is quite another.

Elizabeth Edwards didn't owe God or His followers a shout-out in her final public statement. Personally, I believe that her "three saving graces"—her family, her friends, and her faith in the power of resilience and hope--ALL came from God, and that she knew it. Your milage may vary... ...but even if it does, that isn't a reason to attack a dying woman in her final days, and beyond.