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October 5th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

My Take: Young Christians optimistic despite Christian America’s demise

Editor's Note: Gabe Lyons is author of The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America (Doubleday) and founder of the Q learning community.

By Gabe Lyons, Special to CNN

Every data point I’ve seen indicates that Christianity in America is in sharp decline. According to recent surveys, one of the fastest growing religious categories in America is “non-religious.” While some megachurches are flourishing in suburban Christian enclaves, the number of self-identifying Christians has fallen 10 points over as many years. Each year, the Christian church experiences a net loss in attendees and the waning political influence of the movement is now more than apparent.

What has driven this shift? According to Michael Spencer of the Christian Science Monitor, the answer is two-fold. First, the church’s rabid pursuit of “relevance” and “pragmatism” has produced in many churches a shallow vacuity. Second, he says, we have become too closely identified with political partisanship and the American culture war. Such attitudes among young non-believers were confirmed by the national study commissioned for Unchristian, a book I co-authored a few years ago.

Some Christians are understandably frustrated by the demise of “Christian America,” and many of them have exerted considerable energy into slowing the decline. Among old guard evangelicals, for example, there are many who still preach of moral decline and proudly wear the battle armor of cultural war. But young Christians, it turns out, are far more optimistic about what the future might hold for the two-thousand-year-old faith.

Over the last several years, I’ve conducted hundreds of focus groups, interviews, and gatherings of young Christian leaders. I have tracked and compiled a list of their common characteristics—from the desire to create good cultural artifacts to a strong sense of calling—and these leaders’ optimistic outlook on the future has steamrolled me.

There is my friend, Scot, in New York City whose organization’s is leading the way in giving clean water to those who lack it. There is Phileena in Nebraska who believes the church can be reconciled with the poor when we roll up our sleeves and serve alongside them. And Gary in Washington D.C. whose vision for how the world ought to be put sex trafficking on the map for many Americans and policy-makers.

When Katrina ravaged the coast, there was much cause for discouragement. But Jon, a leader in the fashion industry, launched an initiative to mobilize volunteers to build homes and serve the aching gulf coast communities. I could share many more stories, but suffice to say these are not isolated examples.

Interestingly, these Christians have shaken off both reasons Spencer gives for Christian decline. Rather than strive for relevance or some amorphous “cool” factor, they simply set out to accomplish good for the sake of the Christian Gospel. The only thing pragmatic about them is the way they try to solve pressing problems.

Additionally, they are far less interested in partisan politics. We are seeing more diversity in the ways young Christians define themselves politically, if they choose to do so at all. For example, when given the choice between “traditionalist/conservative,” “centrist,” or “modernist/progressive,” almost all choose “centrist.”  In order to solve problems and make progress, young Christians are finding they often have to reach across party lines and work issue by issue.

As I’ve studied the next Christians, it’s apparent that they have a particular way of thinking, being, and doing that is radically different from previous generations. They are purposeful in choosing their careers, optimistic about changing social problems, and eager to infuse the world with beauty and grace.

“Christian America” as we’ve known it is no doubt coming to an abrupt close, and the jury is out on how the next generation of Christians will shape public perceptions or solve pressing global concerns. Only time will tell, but if you ask them, they’d tell you the future is bright.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Gabe Lyons.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Leaders • Opinion

soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Their allies deceived them), like the Evil One, when he says to man "Deny Allah"; but when (man) denies Allah (the Evil One) says "I am free of thee: I do fear Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!" (16)
    Sura 59:16

    Their allies deceived them) like Shaitân (Satan), when he says to man: "Disbelieve in Allâh." But when (man) disbelieves in Allâh, Shaitân (Satan) says: "I am free of you, I fear Allâh, the Lord of the 'Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists)!" (16)

    And the hypocrites are) on the likeness of the devil when he telleth man to disbelieve, then, when he disbelieveth saith: Lo! I am quit of thee. Lo! I fear Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. (16)

    They are like the Satan, when he saith Unto man: disbelieve, then, when he disbelieveth, saith: verily I am quit of thee, verily I fear Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. (16)

    All above are one verse in Arabic but in different translations and I bet you so sadly you would find more than those in the Quran Explorer giving different translations and I am not sure if all mean the same thing and that could be the reason of disputes within Muslim communities of non Arabic speakers and being misunderstood by the non Muslims?
    Any way the verse above tells you no one should be allowed to deceive mislead you because in the end they would say sorry I fear God anger.!  

    October 14, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  2. Muneef

    Only Quran is not being flagged I see, so would let it speak for it self:
    Qaf
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Qaf. By the glorious Qur'an, (1) Nay, but they marvel that a warner of their own hath come unto them; and the disbelievers say: This is a strange thing: (2) When we are dead and have become dust (shall we be brought back again)? That would be a far return! (3) We know that which the earth taketh of them, and with Us is a recording Book. (4) Nay, but they have denied the truth when it came unto them, therefor they are now in troubled case. (5) Have they not then observed the sky above them, how We have constructed it and beautified it, and how there are no rifts therein? (6) And the earth have We spread out, and have flung firm hills therein, and have caused of every lovely kind to grow thereon, (7) A vision and a reminder for every penitent slave. (8) And We send down from the sky blessed water whereby We give growth unto gardens and the grain of crops, (9) And lofty date-palms with ranged clusters, (10) Provision (made) for men; and therewith We quicken a dead land. Even so will be the resurrection of the dead. (11) The folk of Noah denied (the truth) before them, and (so did) the dwellers at Ar-Rass and (the tribe of) Thamud, (12) And (the tribe of) A'ad, and Pharaoh, and the brethren of Lot, (13) And the dwellers in the wood, and the folk of Tubb'a: every one denied their messengers, therefor My threat took effect. (14) Were We then worn out by the first creation? Yet they are in doubt about a new creation. (15) We verily created man and We know what his soul whispereth to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. (16) When the two Receivers receive (him), seated on the right hand and on the left, (17) He uttereth no word but there is with him an observer ready. (18) And the agony of death cometh in truth. (And it is said unto him): This is that which thou wast wont to shun. (19) And the trumpet is blown. This is the threatened Day. (20) And every soul cometh, along with it a driver and a witness. (21) (And unto the evil-doer it is said): Thou wast in heedlessness of this. Now We have removed from thee thy covering, and piercing is thy sight this day. (22) And (unto the evil-doer) his comrade saith: This is that which I have ready (as testimony). (23) (And it is said): Do ye twain hurl to hell each rebel ingrate, (24) Hinderer of good, transgressor, doubter, (25) Who setteth up another god along with Allah. Do ye twain hurl him to the dreadful doom. (26) His comrade saith: Our Lord! I did not cause him to rebel, but he was (himself) far gone in error. (27) He saith: Contend not in My presence, when I had already proffered unto you the warning. (28) The sentence that cometh from Me cannot be changed, and I am in no wise a tyrant unto the slaves. (29) On the day when We say unto hell: Art thou filled? and it saith: Can there be more to come? (30) And the Garden is brought nigh for those who kept from evil, no longer distant. (31) (And it is said): This is that which ye were promised. (It is) for every penitent and heedful one, (32) Who feareth the Beneficent in secret and cometh with a contrite heart. (33) Enter it in peace. This is the day of immortality. (34) There they have all that they desire, and there is more with Us. (35) And how many a generation We destroyed before them, who were mightier than these in prowess so that they overran the lands! Had they any place of refuge (when the judgment came)? (36) Lo! therein verily is a reminder for him who hath a heart, or giveth ear with full intelligence. (37) And verily We created the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, in six Days, and naught of weariness touched Us. (38) Therefor (O Muhammad) bear with what they say, and hymn the praise of thy Lord before the rising and before the setting of the sun; (39) And in the night-time hymn His praise, and after the (prescribed) prostrations. (40) And listen on the day when the crier crieth from a near place, (41) The day when they will hear the (Awful) Cry in truth. That is the day of coming forth (from the graves). (42) Lo! We it is Who quicken and give death, and unto Us is the journeying. (43) On the day when the earth splitteth asunder from them, hastening forth (they come). That is a gathering easy for Us (to make). (44) We are best aware of what they say, and thou (O Muhammad) art in no wise a compeller over them. But warn by the Qur'an him who feareth My threat. (45)
    Sura 50:01 to 45

    October 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  3. Muneef

    Muslims kindly vote for Prophet Muhammed SAW.
    Go to this link for voting:
    http://www.bestofmen.org/

    October 11, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
  4. Muneef

    Those Muslims here kindly repeat those names often it is helpful resolving issues:
    YA ALLAH ,  YA KAREEM ,  YA AWWAL ,  YA AKHER ,  YA MUJEEB    

    October 10, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  5. Muneef

    @JohnQuest.
    The Reality You see we do not agree with Darwin theory that Mankind was an Ape and developed into Mankind...and think the chain whom he found,discovered are of people mentioned below whom God has:
    Metamorphose,Disfigured,deformed,distorted,corrupted,twisted (SlovoEd Ar-En) them into Apes as per Sura 02:65 and Sura 07:166.
    While in Sura 95:04 says God created us Mankind of the best stature? And that those Apes are cursed are reduced to the lowest of the low as in Sura 95:05. 
    So do you after that you prefer to be Zero created by chance looking like Ape developed until today's Mankind or rather be God creation created at the best of looks and abilities. Leave it to you to decide which are you?       

                         In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    And (remember, O Children of Israel) when We made a covenant with you and caused the mount to tower above you, (saying): Hold fast that which We have given you, and remember that which is therein, that ye may ward off (evil). (63) Then, even after that, ye turned away, and if it had not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy ye had been among the losers. (64) And ye know of those of you who broke the Sabbath, how We said unto them: Be ye apes, despised and hated! (65) And We made it an example to their own and to succeeding generations, and an admonition to the God-fearing. (66)
    Sura 02:63 to 66.

                     In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful   
    And when a community among them said: Why preach ye to a folk whom Allah is about to destroy or punish with an awful doom, they said: In order to be free from guilt before your Lord, and that haply they may ward off (evil). (164) And when they forgot that whereof they had been reminded, We rescued those who forbade wrong, and visited those who did wrong with dreadful punishment because they were evil-livers. (165) So when they took pride in that which they had been forbidden, We said unto them: Be ye apes despised and loathed! (166) And (remember) when thy Lord proclaimed that He would raise against them till the Day of Resurrection those who would lay on them a cruel torment. Lo! verily thy Lord is swift in prosecution and lo! verily He is Forgiving, Merciful. (167) And We have sundered them in the earth as (separate) nations. Some of them are righteous, and some far from that. And We have tried them with good things and evil things that haply they might return. (168)
    Sura 07:164 to 168.

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    By the fig and the olive, (1) By Mount Sinai, (2) And by this land made safe; (3) Surely We created man of the best stature (4) Then we reduced him to the lowest of the low, (5) Save those who believe and do good works, and theirs is a reward unfailing. (6) So who henceforth will give the lie to thee about the judgment? (7) Is not Allah the most conclusive of all judges? (8)
    Sura 95:01 to 08. 

    October 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
    • Muneef

      Find it in the following Quran verses:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful 
      Verily we have honoured the children of Adam. We carry them on the land and the sea, and have made provision of good things for them, and have preferred them above many of those whom We created with a marked preferment. (70) On the day when We shall summon all men with their record, whoso is given his book in his right hand – such will read their book and they will not be wronged a shred. (71) Whoso is blind here will be blind in the Hereafter, and yet further from the road. (72) And they indeed strove hard to beguile thee (Muhammad) away from that wherewith We have inspired thee, that thou shouldst invent other than it against Us; and then would they have accepted thee as a friend. (73) And if We had not made thee wholly firm thou mightest almost have inclined unto them a little. (74) Then had we made thee taste a double (punishment) of living and a double (punishment) of dying, then hadst thou found no helper against Us. (75) And they indeed wished to scare thee from the land that they might drive thee forth from thence, and then they would have stayed (there) but a little after thee. (76) (Such was Our) method in the case of those whom We sent before thee (to mankind), and thou wilt not find for Our method aught of power to change. (77)
      Sura 17:70 to 77

      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      And say: My Lord! Cause me to come in with a firm incoming and to go out with a firm outgoing. And give me from Thy presence a sustaining Power. (80) And say: Truth hath come and falsehood hath vanished away. Lo! falsehood is ever bound to vanish. (81) And We reveal of the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy for believers though it increase the evil-doers in naught save ruin. (82) 
      Sura 17:80 to 82 

      October 11, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
    • Muneef

      So bases these Quranic verses what would you rather be or what would you expect me to choose for my being?

      Descendants of Adam's and Eve's as a creation of God the one and only, brought to life for a purpose? Or rather be a
      Descendants of Apes that came to life existence by coincidence out of nothing and existed for nothing as a zero purpose?
      To be of a holy spirit blown into us by God the creator or to be a filthy spirit that came from no where with an ape body shape?
      As for me would rather be of Adam and Eve,part of a holy spirit,at best of formation and structure,honored,preferred with a marked preferment above many of God creations, and hope to have my Book in My Right Hand.Amen.

      October 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  6. Muneef

    @JohnQuest.

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful   
    Allah hath promised those who believe and do good works: Theirs will be forgiveness and immense reward. (9) And they who disbelieve and deny Our revelations, such are rightful owners of hell. (10) O ye who believe! Remember Allah's favour unto you, how a people were minded to stretch out their hands against you but He withheld their hands from you; and keep your duty to Allah. In Allah let believers put their trust. (11) Allah made a covenant of old with the Children of Israel and We raised among them twelve Chieftains, and Allah said: Lo! I am with you. If ye establish worship and pay the poor-due, and believe in My messengers and support them, and lend unto Allah a kindly loan, surely I shall remit your sins, and surely I shall bring you into gardens underneath which rivers flow. Whoso among you disbelieveth after this will go astray from a plain road. (12) And because of their breaking their covenant, We have cursed them and made hard their hearts. They change words from their context and forget a part of that whereof they were admonished. Thou wilt not cease to discover treachery from all save a few of them. But bear with them and pardon them. Lo! Allah loveth the kindly. (13) And with those who say: "Lo! we are Christians," We made a covenant, but they forgot a part of that whereof they were admonished. Therefor We have stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will inform them of their handiwork. (14) O People of the Scripture! Now hath Our messenger come unto you, expounding unto you much of that which ye used to hide in the Scripture, and forgiving much. Now hath come unto you light from Allah and plain Scripture, (15) Whereby Allah guideth him who seeketh His good pleasure unto paths of peace. He bringeth them out of darkness unto light by His decree, and guideth them unto a straight path. (16) They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. Say: Who then can do aught against Allah, if He had willed to destroy the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth? Allah's is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He createth what He will. And Allah is Able to do all things. (17) The Jews and Christians say: We are sons of Allah and His loved ones. Say: Why then doth He chastise you for your sins? Nay, ye are but mortals of His creating. He forgiveth whom He will, and chastiseth whom He will. Allah's is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and unto Him is the journeying. (18) O People of the Scripture! Now hath Our messenger come unto you to make things plain unto you after an interval (of cessation) of the messengers, lest ye should say: There came not unto us a messenger of cheer nor any warner. Now hath a messenger of cheer and a warner come unto you. Allah is Able to do all things. (19)
    Sura 05:09 to 19

    October 9, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
    • Muneef

      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      O ye who believe! Strong drink and games of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan's handiwork. Leave it aside in order that ye may succeed. (90) Satan seeketh only to cast among you enmity and hatred by means of strong drink and games of chance, and to turn you from remembrance of Allah and from (His) worship. Will ye then have done? (91) Obey Allah and obey the messenger, and beware! But if ye turn away, then know that the duty of Our messenger is only plain conveyance (of the message). (92) There shall be no sin (imputed) unto those who believe and do good works for what they may have eaten (in the past). So be mindful for your duty (to Allah), and do good works; and again; be mindful your duty, and believe; and once again: be mindful your duty, and do right, Allah loveth the good. (93)
      Sura 05:90 to 93

      October 9, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  7. Muneef

    The beauty of the Quran.
                    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful   
    As for the Disbelievers, Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not. (6) Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom. (7) And of mankind are some who say: We believe in Allah and the Last Day, when they believe not. (8) They think to beguile Allah and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves; but they perceive not. (9)In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increaseth their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie. (10) And when it is said unto them: Make not mischief in the earth, they say: We are peacemakers only. (11) Beware ! They indeed are the mischief-makers. But they perceive not. (12) And when it is said unto them: believe as the people believe, they say: shall we believe as the foolish believe? are not hey indeed the foolish? But they know not. (13) And when they fall in with those who believe, they say: We believe; but when they go apart to their devils they declare: Lo! we are with you; verily we did but mock. (14) Allah (Himself) doth mock them, leaving them to wander blindly on in their contumacy. (15) These are they who purchase error at the price of guidance, so their commerce doth not prosper, neither are they guided. (16)
    Sura 02:06 to 16.

                    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Say (O Muhammad, to mankind): Who is an enemy to Gabriel! For he it is who hath revealed (this Scripture) to thy heart by Allah's leave, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, and a guidance and glad tidings to believers; (97) Who is an enemy to Allah, and His angels and His messengers, and Gabriel and Michael! Then, lo! Allah (Himself) is an enemy to the disbelievers. (98)Verily We have revealed unto thee clear tokens, and only miscreants will disbelieve in them. (99) Is it ever so that when they make a covenant a party of them set it aside? The truth is, most of them believe not. (100) And when there cometh unto them a messenger from Allah, confirming that which they possess, a party of those who have received the Scripture fling the Scripture of Allah behind their backs as if they knew not, (101)
    Sura 02:97 to 101   

    October 8, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  8. Muneef

    @Frank.
    Find some of what you were wondering:
    Sura 17:18 to 25

    October 7, 2010 at 8:08 pm |
  9. Marie

    Muneef

    The oath.the swear by that is taken by all country legals and financials afairs not forgeting that you told the world in your currancy;
    In God we trust? And now you tell us that your majorty are ;
    - agnostics.
    - atheists.
    - seculars.
    - infidels.
    - miscreants.
    - polytheists.
    - pagans.
    What ever else you have ?
    Do not realy understand how in God we trust when you say there is no God to trust or take or make an oath with ?

    Muneef...It was not always this way. The new generation, that is what they are made up of. Most Christians are peaceful,loving people. Its just some using the front of Christianity, use it to thier advantage, and to our dis advantage. The ones who don't believe try to use past history of wars, and Old testament to show that God is cruel, which is not true. They refuse to admit they are sinners, and Science becomes thier God.
    I too don't understand how we can sing
    "God Bless America" and say it is not a religous principle. It is sad!

    October 7, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Marie.
      Understand that but this is a bad sign sending a negative signs to attract negativity in which any nation in war with America will accuse it of being non religious or devil worshipers to raise hatred against it as if it is a Holy War to fight it.
      Beside as mentioned how the courts accept non religious to swear taking oath by the bible when they are not believers?
      As it looks any one would think that USA is a Wolf wearing in disguise a sheep skin as a cloth??
      Believe there are who are still researching, thinking of a choice to make or awaiting signs or a faint light to follow and those are no blame or fear from, it is those who are evil doing and hiding among the rest that should be feared most.
      In love of God,God's Angels,God's Holy Books and God's Prophets as Christians,Jews and Muslims which all of you to become more active in approaching those who are non religious to attract them rather than concentrating on each other as to gaining converts against each other or to fight in war with each other but are to become as one or wallies against it
      otherwise this country would become a Hell for believers inside and overseas under evil powers?!      

      October 7, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Marie.
      We all believe in science but at certain points we disagree with it when not clear or mystic and there were moments when it was proven wrong. Therefore should not be taken as God when it is still discovering following links that at certain points are not complete. Beside there were occasions where we found out that science findings were not declared or manipulated with under many excuses made up to mean protecting secrecy of explorations,discoveries or findings and only God knows protecting who or what from who or what?? Therefore you see how is it to worship a God hiding from you facts or making up for you facts that found convenient for a situation towards misleading you further from the real truth?
      It would have been better,easier and best to for them if to read the most recognized holy books of the Three dominant religions and choose out a faith out of them taking the positive for life and society and leave out the negative for life and society rather than having it shoveled down your throat to take it as it is a be extreme on some thing that is mystic unexplainable or meant for different ages and unsuitable or scientifically disapproven. This would have been good and most logical but you can not deny all those who brought us messages to direct us to the light and make a restart to Zero level in God the Creator denial ?! Feel sorry for those and my heart feels for them and wish them guidance to God and true peaceful belief brings love and mercy to humanity which is losing it meaning every day with what's happening all through the world because of disrespect,loss of morals,discrimination,unexplained hatred against nations and religions?!
      @Marie. Your people and their allies gave a chance to the devil to ride the cart leading your forces to kill the God in us as
      Muslims or non Muslims in our Islamic countries and not from the present or near past but from time Islam became to be known when had to defend it's existence by the sword and then was a policy that the best defense is to attack? Which America made example with in it's wars since 9/11to date?!
      Vilonce breeds violence we are told, and that over pressure causes explosion, and that for every action there is a reaction! So if they know all that why they still practice it..? Only God knows...

      October 7, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Marie.
      Why I am writing here today is to give example as in the Quran:
      -Sura 14:24 to 27.
      While at your end bases previous comments are mentioned as:
      -Sura 14:28 to 30.
      We as Arabs and Muslims are of Prophet Abraham from his son ishmael and the meaning of the Holy House of God in Mecca  
      -Sura 02:124 to 141.
      And would wish you read these as well:
      -Sura 03:01 to 14 would wish you to read it to end it tells so much about Virgin Mary and Prophet of God Jesus stories.
      But the most important now is p03:07 which tells us that in the Holy Books there are locked verses and other that look a like, it says sick hearts had followed to dispute the look a like... Well some thing like that but may understand more reading from translated copy of Quran.
      Now why not youngsters that attracted to science research and study the locked verses in all known holy books in to one:
      -One Master Christian holy book 
      -One Master Judos holy book
      Then both studied and revised with the Holy Quran finding real differences and work out to solve it finding the truth for the sake of truth only through the use of science that they speak of rather than worshiping it?!
      Hope having not offended any one with my comments.Regards            
          

      October 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  10. Muneef

    The oath.the swear by that is taken by all country legals and financials afairs not  forgeting that you told the world in your currancy;
    In God we trust? And now you tell us that your majorty are ;
    - agnostics.
    - atheists.
    - seculars.
    - infidels.
    - miscreants.
    - polytheists.
    - pagans.
    What ever else you have ?
    Do not realy understand how in God we trust when you say there is no God to trust or take or make an oath with ?

    October 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  11. Brett Favre's fan (a.k.a. ybs)

    Religions is a cloak of hypocrisy!

    'http://bit.ly/twitterybs

    October 7, 2010 at 6:15 am |
    • Brett Favre's fan (a.k.a. ybs)

      In fact, religions serve no other purpose than as a cloak of hypocrisy.

      October 7, 2010 at 6:18 am |
  12. tinyelvis

    chill out people. turn off your computers, go outside and do something with your lives.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:11 am |
  13. Venus

    peace2all

    @Venus

    Wow.... Sure glad to hear the voice of reason and logic... and... especially 'open-mindedness.'!!!!

    1)You claim-–The bible is the absolute literal word of god...every word is true.

    Really..... everything is absolutely true... Please google 'bible contradictions'.... and please take up some science courses, then get back to me.

    2)You claim-–There is nothing to fear about god.....He is perfect love, peace, etc...

    So, how come this god, that loves beyond anything we could imagine, would send us to eternal damnation...? Are you a parent..? Would you even consider setting up a system that would even allow this kind of absolute ridiculous thinking..?

    3) Like a lot of believers you trotted out a version of Blaise Pascal's wager from Philosophy 101. i.e...... You said..."If I am wrong, I have only lived a good life, as there is nothing beyond the grave, however, if I am right(which I know I am) then you unbelievers have a lot to worry about"

    The Wager or 'game' is easy to break as far as debate. For instance. You could be wrong...and still be alive(after death). There could be reincarnation, the god of the muslim's could be the god.... Heck, god could send you to 'hell' with all of the other christians for so 'distorting' the meaning of his word... and he is p-i-s-s-e-d off at you guys..! I bet your closed mind has never allowed you to consider that ... and the almost infinite possibilities that might come with a life in the here-after.

    You are not being intellectually honest if you don't consider these things, but to especially claim that you absolutely *know the truth*...

    Peace...

    Peace to All...

    1. My God created your Science. I am also aware of you as an atheist and your beliefs. May I ask what caused the Big Bang, you elude to? Can you prove what did it?
    But exactly what is it your are confused about? There are no contradictions in the bible, just might be you do not understand? What do you need help with? What Contrdictions do you site?

    2. Well, actually you will send yourself there. He told you that you are a sinner, and provided you a way to have your sins forgiven. If you refuse, that is your bad. I did not write the rules, so don't get mad at me for it,lol. I just follow the rules.

    Am I a parent...If I was a parent, and I told my children to stay away from a hot stove, or they will get burned, and they don't listen to my warning, what happens? Yes, they would get burned. But, because I love them, I am going to try to keep them from danger and hurt. I am going to look after them as children and do everything in my power so they don't get near that hot stove. But as they grow older and have reasoning about what will and will not hurt them, and they insist on touching the stove, they will hurt themselves. Kind of simple understanding , don't you think?

    Under3 the Wager game...I was not aware of that. How ironic, I guess someone else felt that way too?
    No,, Reincarnation is not true. Man cannot pay Karma and work himself to perfection.

    The Muslim God, is not my God, and in fact, my God tells me not ot have false Gods or any Gods before him. No God ever did what JesusNone of the so-called savior-gods died for someone else, in their place (subst-i-t-ution). The notion of the Son of God fully dying in place of His creatures is unique to Christianity.
    Only Jesus died purposefully for sin. As Gunter Wagner observes, to none of the pagan gods "has the intention of helping men been attributed. The sort of death that they died is quite different (hunting accident, self-em-a-s-culation, etc.)." [cited in Nash]
    Unlike the mystery gods, Jesus died voluntarily. Nothing like this appears even implicitly in the mysteries. [The closest is the self-c-a-s-tr-ation of At-tis, but this is generally attributed to his insanity, not to a free-and-clear choice.]

    Here is the link:

    http://christianthinktank.com/copycatwho1.html

    did.
    You said:
    Heck, god could send you to 'hell' with all of the other christians for so 'distorting' the meaning of his word... and he is p-i-s-s-e-d off at you guys
    First of all, if you are saved, living the life Jesus commands, are baptised...there is no way you will go to hell. How do I know? Because he said
    There is no man, no power, no devil, no violent temptation
    —which shall ever be able to overturn those whom God has
    chosen. "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and
    they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall
    never perish; no one can s-n-a-t-c-h them out of My hand.
    My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all;
    no one can s-n-a-t-ch them out of My Father's hand."

    I cannot judge others, Some call themselves Christians, and are not. I guess this is who you refer to as distorting his word.

    You said:
    I bet your closed mind has never allowed you to consider that ... and the almost infinite possibilities that might come with a life in the here-after.
    I don't live in fear, I have the promises God made to me. If thats what you call "closed minded", then can I disagree, if you have already formed an opinion about me? Probably not. But thats ok. I am confident in my God. I haven't considered the things you mentioned, till now, and they still don't bother me. I did not need to consider them. My heart is right with the Lord. I have done my best to follow him. If I am wrong, then at least I did what I did with an earnest heart in life.

    You said:
    You are not being intellectually honest if you don't consider these things, but to especially claim that you absolutely *know the truth

    My truth comes from my God, not man. Let him judge my intellect, for I bring all of me into submission to him.

    Peace to you!

    October 6, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
    • Muneef

      @peace2all.
      Hi,long time no talk.
      -Can you tell me if had found any contradiction in the Holy Quran as said to be with bibles?
      -God is the most merciful has given us the power of choice and supplied the rule of the game of life and said this is good road and if taken you will be scoring this and that and getting this and that.
      On the other hand the other road is bad and if taken will not pleases me and will send you to he'll for it.
      Now man you have the power of choice either to be rational or irrational what is fairer than that from God? Who as bonus said for each good choice I will give you 10 ten times alike as score and for every bad choice you will make it is 1 one time alike as punishment (Alhassanaht wa Alsaiaht). How fairer than that you can get?
      -God in one and only and there is no other whom we worship but had different names for? There is no God for each party ! Have you ever seen a country ruled by more than one and how long does it last? What a war it would have been God Allah has no father or mother nor wife or son or partner this is our God Allah whom we all on earth should worship and directly not through any of his creations. Allah Wa Akbar. Now have you felt any thing in your heart and mind sense of deep feeling and logic that this is how you want your God to be? Peace to All .

      October 8, 2010 at 6:59 am |
    • Muneef

      Don't believe what I read..! Over this post seen few mentioning that they are Christians but that there are others who claim to be Christians but are doing to Christianity no good,negative effect?

      Isn't that what been written? So why when we Muslims say about Islam the same we are told being liars and direct the blame to all Muslims?

      October 9, 2010 at 7:26 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.