home
RSS
Survey: Minority of evangelical leaders say Bible requires tithing
April 7th, 2011
12:48 PM ET

Survey: Minority of evangelical leaders say Bible requires tithing

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Thou shalt not be required to financially support your church - but you should anyway.

That’s the upshot of a new informal survey of evangelical leaders finding that less than half believe that the Bible requires church members to tithe, the practice of giving at least 10 percent of one’s income to the church.

The survey, conducted by the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) among its 100-member board of directors, found that 42% of evangelical leaders believe the Bible requires tithing, while 58% do not.

“The Old Testament called for multiple tithes, sort of combining government taxes with religious stewardship,” NAE President Leith Anderson said, reacting to the survey.

“Since there is such a strong evangelical tradition of tithing, I was a little surprised that a majority of our evangelical leaders say the tithe system of the Old Testament does not carry over to the New Testament or to us,” Anderson said in a statement.

The National Association of Evangelicals, the nation’s biggest evangelical umbrella organization, would not say how many of its 100 board members responded to the survey, which was conducted in February.

The board includes such influential figures as the heads of the Salvation Army, the Assemblies of God - a major Pentecostal denomination - and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

The injunction to tithe comes from the Old Testament, or what Jews call the Hebrew Bible, which tells of Abraham and others giving ten percent of war spoils, a harvest or other goods as offerings to God or religious leaders.

Dan Olson, a Purdue University sociology professor who has studied tithing, says the new survey doesn’t mean Christian leaders think those in the pews shouldn’t give.

“Most of those leaders would probably say, ‘you really ought to tithe, but the term ‘requires’ gets at a theological point,” he said.

“Most Christians would say the laws of the Old Testament are not what save you – you’re supposed to be giving out of a spirit of freedom, not because you’re bound to laws,” he said.

The National Association of Evangelicals’ survey found that 95% of evangelical leaders say they give at least 10% of their salaries to church.

A recent study by group that tracks church giving, called Empty Tomb, Inc., found that evangelicals on a whole give an average of 4% of their income to their church, though Olson suspects the average is much lower, around 1% or 2%.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Money & Faith

soundoff (674 Responses)
  1. Toaster

    To irishpat.
    There is absolutely no evidence of any kind of God or other diety.
    Show me some and I will believe. I believe everyone has the right to believe what they want.
    I am not "bashing" anybody. But real evidence of God is non-existent.

    April 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • I don't know

      See Case for a Creator by Lee Stroebel, a version is available on video on Netflix if you have a membership. I think at the minimum, it presents some thought provoking questions.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • LeeCMH

      Stroebel, another Christian apologetic with another set of erudite explanations trying to make Christianity sound more reasonable than it is. While thought provoking, analysis shows his arguments are just fishing for rationalizations.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Toaster

      I will take a look at Stroebel.
      I at least try to have an open mind.....

      April 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • JPopNC

      Erudite comes from the Latin adjective rudtus, "well-instructed, learned," from the past participle of the verb rudre, "to educate, train."

      April 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  2. Dave

    Ah, how much simpler and freer it is to just not believe in god at all. When you do that, none of this is an issue any longer.

    April 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Observer

      "Ah, how much simpler and freer it is to just not believe in god at all."
      Nope. Not believing in God could be the opposite. It might result from thinking analytically and critcally. A recent test/poll showed that the average atheist and average agnostic know more about the Bible than the average Christian.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Sean

      @Observer

      This is also my experience as an Atheist. And I live in the bible belt.

      April 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Observer

      "Ah, how much simpler and freer it is to just not believe in god at all."
      Nope. Not believing in God could be the opposite. It might result from thinking analytically and critcally. A recent test/poll showed that the average atheist and average agnostic know more about the Bible than the average Christian
      ------
      I seriously doubt that! You may know some words but you have no spiritual understanding of those words If you did you would not remain an atheist!

      April 8, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • Sean

      @Steve(the real one)
      “I seriously doubt that! You may know some words but you have no spiritual understanding of those words If you did you would not remain an atheist!”
      It is expected that you would doubt that. ( and yet, you don’t doubt the invisible man in the sky) No ‘true believer’ wants to admit they don’t know as much as someone who doesn’t believe. However Observer is correct. You can easily search these polls by reputable sources that give this same outcome. Please show me an accredited collage that gives a degree in ‘spiritual understanding’. In contrast you can easily find many that give courses in religious studies. Your religion is only one of thousands

      April 8, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Sean

      @Steve(the real one)
      “I seriously doubt that! You may know some words but you have no spiritual understanding of those words If you did you would not remain an atheist!”
      It is expected that you would doubt that. ( and yet, you don’t doubt the invisible man in the sky) No ‘true believer’ wants to admit they don’t know as much as someone who doesn’t believe. However Observer is correct. You can easily search these polls by reputable sources that give this same outcome. Please show me an accredited collage that gives a degree in ‘spiritual understanding’. In contrast you can easily find many that give courses in religious studies. Your religion is only one of thousands
      -----
      Well sean,

      I stand by my comments. Spiritual understanding ONLY comes by the very same Holy Spirit you reject! You may know some words on a page yet have NO understanding. That is one reason you and those like you hardly ever quote anything from the New Testament. In addition, There is no invisible man in the sky! There is however God! If you REALLY knew the Bible, you would attempt to live it out! Once again, no spiritual understanding! I'm not too concerned with polls!

      April 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  3. I don't know

    All I know is that there is a God and I am not Him.

    April 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Sean

      Contradiction. The hallmark of the believer.

      April 7, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • paige

      @ SEAN : Believing in God and recognizing His ways are not contradictory, in fact that is very complimentary.

      April 7, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Sean

      @paige
      Since you missed it I’ll spell it out for you. I responded to a person using the name: I DON’T KNOW. Who then commented: ALL I KNOW. Well which is it? You don’t know or you do? It also had a double meaning that was a reference to the bible innumerable contradictions.

      Nowhere in my statement did I address ‘belief in God”. And you are correct. Believing in YOUR god and recognizing his way in of itself is not a contradiction. Nor was it ever stated as such. Your defensiveness of the subject has impaired your reading comprehension skills. Don’t feel bad though. This is a common trait of the true believer.

      April 8, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  4. C. Mueller

    Anne Chovey, who the HELL wants to sell you anything? If you are a stupid moron, that is your choice! Just f*** off and die!

    April 7, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Hayseuss

      I don't approve of this message.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  5. STLBroker

    The 10% comes from Abraham giving a tenth of his spoils to Melchizedek. Which was impressive because Abraham was the father of many nations, a big time religious leader in his own rite. Yet, he was acknowleding how great and holy Melchizidek was by giving him a tenth of his spoils.

    Some theologians think that Melchizidek was an Old Testament appearance of Jesus since Melchizidek had some of the same characteristics and Jesus. No earthly mother or father for example. He was called the "King of Peace", Jesus is called the "Prince of Peace". Jesus is a High Priest forever after the order of Melchizidek.

    That said, Jesus doesn't just ask for 10%. He ask that we give up everything and seek first the Kingdom of Heaven. All the other "things" we need will be added unto us. If we want to live, we must die first. Put away the old man and put on the new. We must be born again. Not physically of course, but spiritually.

    I pray that all on here and indeed everyone in the world accepts the generous gift that Jesus freely offers. Eternal life in paradise. God bless!

    http://www.jesuscompanion.com

    April 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • 8wheelsortwo

      STLBroker...Well said.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  6. kONTIOUS

    The Bible as well as God is the same before as he is now. So are his requirements. You who decide to change his policies, are errant in your ways. I pray that our society stops being liberal in their faith.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Sean

      Thank you WBC.

      The last thing we need are these nutters actually following bible word for word. It’s no better than the Qur’an.

      April 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  7. Brathead

    I do believe in god and I do read the bible. I couldn't tell you the last time I stepped foot in a church other than a wedding or a funeral. I do not feel that in order to be a believer that you need to attend church. Look at how many cases are out there where people do give their hard earned money to their church and those administering the funds decide to use the funds to take trips, payoff their own personal debts or worse. To me the only reason people attend chuch is for the sense of community.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • GetSome

      Kirk Cameron thinks you're going to hell. Enjoy.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • JPopNC

      Brathead...definitely applaud you for your standing faith in God. Keep that up! However do want to make you aware there is plenty of evidence throughout the NT that outlines the requirements for church. If nothing else, it is a place where you can study the Bible with others and discuss your findings. If you are depending on yourself to gain insight, you may reach some false conclusions. "Where two or more are gathered in my Name there I will be also" comes immediately to mind.

      Also, Paul devoted a great majority of his life supporting churches. Corinthians and Thessalonians were both letters to churches. Christ likens his relationship to the church as a marriage with the church being the bride.

      My friendly advice would be to find a good, strong Bible teaching church and just see if it enriches you. For me, I see it a lot of times to be a learning experience. The pastors usually have a great educational background and normally point out to things I miss in my personal readings. I've read verses time and time again, then have our pastor read the same thing and get something new out of it. I believe you'd do the same.

      Best of luck brother!

      April 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  8. Eutycus

    Please forgive my preaching, but God does not require that we give money. After all, does the Creator of the Universe need money? I doubt it. It is for our benefit that we give back to Him a small portion of what He gives to us. Among other things, it is an issue of trust: "if I give back to God 10% of my salary (or whatever amount I have decided to give), do I trust Him to take care of my needs?" Matt 6:33 says put God first and allow Him to take care of our food, clothing and shelter. It also helps support those who spend their full time in ministry-pastors, teachers, staff, missionaries, et al. In our own lives, my wife and I have seen God supply our needs so many times. When we needed money, he would surprise us with how He provided it. A year ago, our daughter got married and took her share of the expenses with her. At about the same time, my wife lost her fostercare job. We lost 2/3's of our income., but He has provided for us. My wife got a part time job. Our car broke down, but the local transit servicetakes her to work and back. I can walk to Walmart and get groceries and get a ride back through the transit service-cost: $1. He wants us, not our things. We are the objects of God's love.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Lalalala

      Amen!

      April 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  9. jojo pumpernikel

    religon is like a penis its fine to proud of it but dont shove down everyones throut

    April 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Sean

      I just snorted my Pepsi , thank you.

      April 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  10. Reality

    And the leaders in the "ti-the" race to Heaven? The Mormons!!!

    To wit:

    From: lds-mormon.com/time.shtml

    "The first divergence between Mormon economics and that of other denominations is the t-ithe aka union dues. Most churches take in the greater part of their income through donations. Very few, however, impose a compulsory 10% income tax on their members. Ti-thes are collected locally, with much of the money pas-sed on informally to local lay leaders at Sunday services. "By Monday," says Elbert Peck, editor of Sunstone, an independent Mormon magazine, the church authorities in Salt Lake City "know every cent that's been collected and have made sure the money is deposited in banks." There is a lot to deposit. Last year $5.2 billion in t-ithes flowed into Salt Lake City, $4.9 billion of which came from American Mormons."

    "The Mormons are stewards of a different str-ipe. Their charitable spending and temple building are prodi-gious. But where other churches spend most of what they receive in a given year, the Latter-day Saints employ vast amounts of money in investments that TIME estimates to be at least $6 billion strong. Even more unusual, most of this money is not in bonds or stock in other peoples' companies but is invested directly in church-owned, for-profit concerns, the largest of which are in agribusiness, media, insurance, travel and real estate. Deseret Management Corp., the company through which the church holds almost all its commercial as-sets, is one of the largest owners of farm and ranchland in the country, including 49 for-profit parcels in addition to the Deseret Ranch. Besides the Bonneville International chain and Beneficial Life, the church owns a 52% holding in ZCMI, Utah's largest department-store chain.

    All told, TIME estimates that the Latter-day Saints farmland and financial investments total some $11 billion, and that the church's non-t-ithe income from its investments exceeds $600 million. "

    April 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Jesse

      TIME estimates that LDS farmland and financial investments toal some 11 billion. Does TIME also estimate how much money the leaders of the church pocket themselves, or how much money the Church uses to help the poor, the needy and victims of disaster? In fact if you do look further you see that the Church has a lay membership and that none of the leaders receive a salary for what they do. The General Authorities of the Church (ie Apostles etc) receive a monthly stipend for living expenses but most of them live off of the moneys they have earned through their own jobs and employments prior to their callings.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Stan Carroll

      You mean the morons?

      April 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  11. Anne Chovey

    the bible was written by man
    edited by man
    proclaimed to be the word of god by man
    thats all you need to know
    you want to believe in the "make believe"
    go ahead. just don't sell it to me....I'm not buying "make believe"

    April 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Greg Williams

      Anne Chovey, so you falsely believe you have the inside story to what the bible is? I say up yours!

      April 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Godless

      "Anne Chovey, so you falsely believe you have the inside story to what the bible is? I say up yours!"

      How very Christian of you!

      April 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Harvey Wallbanger

      I believe you have a point. It is said the Bible is the word of God. The only evidence I can see to support this is that it claims to be. This means I could write a book in which it claims to the the word of God and be equally valid. In other words the Bible is referencing itself to support its claims.

      Bottom line, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Where is the evidence ... and don't tell me it is all around me. Everything I can see can be explained by physical laws ... no deity needed.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  12. COMMON SENSE

    Religious or not, wasn't it Jesus who vowed a life of poverty and spurned material gifts like money. Did he not chase away the taxpayers? Religion is man-made as is the Bible. Live you life, be good to others and the rest will take care of itself. You don't have to listen to no moron who says you have to buy him a new mercedes. And for all you bible thumpers whose being judgemental. Take a good look in the mirror.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  13. Harvey Wallbanger

    Years ago I worked as a volunteer at a drug rehab. One of the things I did every Sunday was lead the crew to a local church in the ratty old vehicles we had. After a couple of weeks, the church elders asked us to park in the rear. I had always assumed it was because they were afraid we would scare off the paying customers.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  14. KB

    All the negative comments about not wanting to give money to the Church and such. I've yet to see a comment with a rational thought for such. If you don't want to give that's one thing. But don't use anecdotes about what money was spent on as an excuse. It's your responsibility to find out exactly what the money is being used for if you want to know. Not sure how other Churches operate, but as a Catholic in the Archdiocese of Washington, our pastor is required to provide a financial report to parishioners annually. Other churches may not but that doesn't mean you can't get involved with the church board or whatever body it is that oversees the budget. I became chairperson of my parish's pastoral council for a few years, so I knew where the money was going in great detail and was very comfortable with our pastor's stewardship.

    Also, ask yourself, do you get anything out of the Church and its various ministries? Do you think those ministries are worthwhile? If the answer is yes to either of those questions you probably should be giving something. Again I can't speak for others but the Catholic Church isn't in the habit of telling people how much they should give and when. They just ask that we give of our time, talent, and treasure as we can. We run a soup kitchen, food pantry, k-8 school, and numerous other ministries.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  15. Pete

    how old is that stock photo with the old currency?

    April 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  16. LeeCMH

    Many Christians give money to their churches because they know their churches will lobby government to pass laws against people they hate. Ask Tony Perkins of the hate group Family Research Council. Wait 'till he finishes his Chick-fil-A.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • grwohio

      Do you really believe that? I feel sorry for you.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • LeeCMH

      Interesting that one would "feel sorry" for me over stating that many Christians are sending money to so-called Christian outfits for the expressed purpose of lobbying Washington to manifest their hate in law. Have you read the Family Research "send us money" communications?

      April 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  17. bones1918

    (the athiest trolls that hang around here to pick fights can ignore this)

    It's pretty obvious when a church/campain/appeal is within God's plan. The money comes rolling in with zero effort. If a capital project is struggling for funds, or even sadder, an entire Church can't make ends meet, it's clearly outside of the will of God and should really do a careful-self examination of where they stand, what their priorities are, and how they are serving the Kingdon and the community.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • freetime1

      Being an Atheist does not make some one a troll. Posting a different opinion does not make some one a troll, but starting a post the way you did just might.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Hamish

      Yet somehow the Westboro Baptist Church doesn't seem to lack for money – they travel all over the United States and have earned millions because of various lawsuits. Are you suggesting that this hateful and vile "christian" group is part of god's will, and they are funded accordingly? I think your theory is flawed. Publicity brings in money, not common sense. Nobody gives money to the churches they have never heard of.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Sean

      @bones1918

      If you only want to hear from people who share your beliefs, perhaps a public blog is not the right forum for you sir. You may want to try a church instead. But heck even there not everyone is going to agree on every aspect of your view.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • bones1918

      its not that i don't want to hear from athiests. All you people do is comment on the belief blog about how you dont believe in god but you hate him. If you think god is like santa claus, go hang out on a satna claus blog.

      Good point about Westboro Baptist Church. They aren't anywhere COSE to being in God's will. Jesus said that the entire bible can be boiled down to two things.. Loving your neighbor and Loving God. Its not a big book of hate and rules. The Westboro baptist people are wayyyyyy off. To your point Hamish, there are a million ways to raise money, you're right. Publicity, public appeal, etc. Not all rich are righteous.

      April 8, 2011 at 6:29 am |
    • Sean

      @Bones1918
      O bones… read what you typed bud! Your first statement makes absolutely no sense.

      “All you people do is comment on the belief blog about how you dont believe in god but you hate him”
      How can I not believe in something and hate this being at the same time. What you are referring to as ‘hate’ isn’t directed at the invisible man in the sky but his followers. And as pointed out earlier, this is not your churches home webpage but a public news site. You can get to these articles from the main page. No need to even go to the belief section.

      “If you think god is like santa claus, go hang out on a satna claus blog”.
      When YOUR god is referred to in such way it is in a dismissive manner. One based on the same principle your side uses as ‘proof’ of existence. You cannot prove Santa isn’t real. He is after all……. I read it in a book. Now… if we ‘hate’ and dismiss god as being like Santa… why would we want to hang out with Santa…. . You have to think this stuff through or else you only damage your side of the debate.

      To the second point.
      I’m sorry to inform you. Based on your religions own teachings. YOU do not get to decide if WBC are real Christians or in ‘god’s will’ as you put it. YOUR god does. You sound just like the Muslims who state the fundamentalist/extremist Muslims are not ‘real’ Muslims, not in allahs will. When they, like WBC can point to scripture just as well as you can to support their views.

      April 8, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  18. freetime1

    If a company here in the USA make a claim and takes money for it they have to back the claim up with proof, facts and real evidence. Church leaders make claim about god and take money for it, but they can not provide evidence for any of the clams they make. If a vitamin maker did this they would face charges or fines, but churches get away with it. Them we don't tax these churches too. What a scam. Good to see more and more people are refusing to give to money to these carpet baggers.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • irishpat

      Wow, there is lots of evidence for God, and Jesus was here to tell us about Him and His teachings. They are not a scam, and don't force anyone to give them money. My church does a lot of good for the community, unlike the government they are there for those who are actually needy, regardless of their religion. My church has a food pantry to help the poor with getting fed and provides a central location for other activities/fund raisers for different causes. They do mission work and help those around the world while spreading the teachings of Jesus. It sadens me that you have no relationship with a good church and that your view seems to be a little off, but I hope for your sake that one day you take the time to find a church and join a group there that helps your community rather than just blast at something that you have a false perception of.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Godless

      Pat, please give one bit of tangible evidence that cannot be debunked or questioned. And no, the bible doesn't count and neither does "look around you."

      April 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • tired

      It appears we have a tie... please provide one piece of tangible evidence that God does not exists? It takes faith to believe both world views people, figure out a way to discuss without attacking the other.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Know What

      tired

      "... please provide one piece of tangible evidence that God does not exists..."

      No, the burden of proof is on the one making the claim.

      If I say that I have an invisible purple unicorn sitting on my head, I must prove it. You cannot prove that it is *not* there.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • No tie here.

      The responsibility goes to the person making the claim, allegation or charge. In this case that would be the Christian. As human existence was going on long before Christianity or Judaism. This principal is firmly established in our legal system.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • what?

      If you say you are correct, you are also making a positive truth claim and so bear the burden of proof for your own views just like everyone else... this goes along with what "tired" says. We can run our heads into walls all day like this, "I'm right!", "No, I'm right!" Both must defend their positon, if you are defending your non-belief, than you believe in something - where is the proof. It takes faith both ways. The "burden of proof" argument is old – great men and top philosophers on both sides of the fence don't argue it anymore.

      April 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Sean

      @what?
      “if you are defending your non-belief, than you believe in something”
      (Typical religious mistake)

      Atheism and religion are not equivalents but in fact opposites. Atheism is the rejection in the belief of god or gods. What you suggest is a double negative. **A belief in the none belief of god or gods.** Doesn’t make a lot of sense now does it?

      It’s a good thing our legal system doesn’t believe the way you do. Just ask OJ.

      April 7, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • what?

      Thank you, you proved my point!
      "A belief in the non belief of god or gods..." You are right, It doesn't make sense, then what sense does your defense of your non-belief make?
      Merriam Webster's definition of atheism: a : a disbelief in the existence of deity b : the doctrine that there is no deity
      Just saying that atheism is a rejection does not get around the fact that it is a belief. There is no way to get around the fact that you believe there is no God, if you knew there was no God then you would be all knowing and God yourself... therefore violating the law of non-contradiction.
      I am claiming there is a God, just as much as you are claiming there is no God or gods – both unverifiable claims...both take a step of faith. Therefore you must defend your belief of your non-belief... which you correctly stated, does not make sense.

      April 7, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Mark

      @Godless,

      Your response is so typical. Must be nice to be able to formulate a belief system whereby you can make your own set of rules. You get to pick and choose what and what not to believe simply at random. You get to ignore any and all facts that point to the contrary simply because they don't support your case. You get to decide what const-itutes evidence and what doesn't. Not based on the merit of the evidence....no....simply based on whether or not it supports your view. Yep, must be nice.

      Your kind of response always makes me think of the Jim Carey movie "Liar Liar". Hilarious movie. If you haven't seen it, I'd recommend it. There's one point in the movie when Jim Carey's character is in the courtroom during the trial. He's the defense lawyer. While the prosecution is testifying, Jim Carey's character jumps up and yells..."I object". When the judge asks him, "on what grounds", the response is, "because it's damaging to my case".

      That's the way you athiests always play this little game. If it's damaging to my case it's automatically dismissed and can't be used as evidence. If fact, "look around you" is a very valid argument. So much so, that "look around you" is acutally the very evidence that the Bible refers to when it points out the fact that people who "don't believe" in God are without excuse.

      Romans 1:20
      For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities (his eternal power and divine nature) have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

      Sounds like God values the "look around you" line of reasoning to me.

      April 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Sean

      @what?
      You are just babbling now. Belief is not the same thing as faith iggit.

      World English Dictionary

      Belief: a degree of conviction of the truth of something esp. based on a consideration or examination of the evidence —compare

      Faith: a strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof of evidence.

      @Mark
      “Your response is so typical. Must be nice to be able to formulate a belief system whereby you can make your own set of rules. You get to pick and choose what and what not to believe simply at random. You get to ignore any and all facts that point to the contrary simply because they don't support your case. You get to decide what const-itutes evidence and what doesn't. Not based on the merit of the evidence....no....simply based on whether or not it supports your view. Yep, must be nice”

      You sound just like an atheist addressing a religious person. The fact you are posting a quote from the bible. A book well known for being written by men and edited by the church. THAT sir is no opinion but a proven historical fact. Your statement goes on like many others with your point of view…with no proof what so ever.
      I say there is a purple unicorn in the sky, you can’t see him unless you are holy enough. The book I wrote says so. Now…prove me wrong.

      April 8, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  19. JustSomeone

    It's 2011. Could we please stop living after some old guidelines (they are nothing but that) that are created for those living over 2000 years ago?

    April 7, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Alex

      They are guidelines that have shaped most of the West. Assuming you live in America, you are directly benefiting from these values. If you want a society based on godlessness, I hear North Korea calling your name.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • no way

      Could you please stop trying to force your beliefs on others? Isn't that what people accuse christians of doing? You seem to have a problem with people who choose to live their life by biblical principals, but you expect people to accept you for who you are. You don't believe what is in the bible, and I'm fine with that, knock yourself out. As for me, I do and will continue to believe, so leave me the hell alone.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • irishpat

      Yet they are still around and those that truely follow are better for it, maybe you should read up on what was said 2000+ years ago, as most of it is still relevant.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Daniel

      I don't care what Christians do in the privacy of their own churches, as I'm not a believer. It's only when theology becomes the guiding principles for legislation that I'm irked.

      As far as "directly benefiting from these values," Alex, remember that Christianity, and religion itself, holds no monopoly on goodness, honesty, charity or peace. In fact, it's frequently been Bible-justified "values" that have led to the world's worst injustices and most horrific violence. The good values Christianity teaches were around long before Christianity existed. Just because someone is an atheist doesn't mean their a bad person, just as believing in God and attending religious services doesn't make you a good one.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • ChrstanBeliever

      I hope we can agree that humanity needs direction. That's why we needed a Savior in the first place. That 10 percent is a guidepost that is supposed to lead us to "cheerfull giving." That giving is to aid the sick and distressed, the widow and the orphan, the poor. We DO have responsiblity for each other and if each gave from the heart, the repository of love, we could meet the needs of our fellow human beings (and care for the animals, all of creation, as well.)

      April 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Mark

      Man, that line is so WORN OUT!!! My gosh, can't you guys think of anything better to say????

      By the way, you left out the part about how religion was invented to "control the masses". That's a well worn phrase that you all like to toss out there too.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Gene

      No Way:
      Could we (on all sides of this debate) drop that tired cliche of "forcing your beliefs on others". It is probably impossible to actually do this, even at gunpoint. As opposed to forcing behavior. O'Brien wanted Winston to actually believe that twice two was five, not merely accede to the assertion. But that was the horror of fiction.

      I have every right to tell you how to live your life, as do you mine. I have no right to force you follow my prescriptions.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Sean

      @Daniel
      Well said, however I would add one point.

      @Alex
      America was not founded on Christianity. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell yourself it was. It in fact was founded on freedom of religion. And that included FROM religion. A few of the founding father were indeed Christians. But most were ether Deists , Unitarians or Freemasons.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  20. devkelgd

    Church should be about your relationship with your Savior. He doesn't care how much money you give but how much of yourself you give. Time, talents and teachings. Yes, churches have payments to make and if possible donate money toward those, but it is not the basis of the religious experience.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Seaburger

      If everyone gives only of their time talent & teachings where will they hold sevices when the building is in forclosure? Point is, a church building is NOT needed, neither is a pastor or priest and all the "things" needed to be paid for. People want the building becasue they won't do it on their own & need a place to be seen by others to get credit for going to church.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Liqmaticus

      Seaburger: I politely disagree with you. Going to church gives me a sense of community with other fellow believers in a place I know holds the same values of Jesus Christ and His teachings. It is also a place, not just on Sunday, you can go to events that you know will be centered around Christ and the Christian lifestyle. Christ even talks about this in Matthew 18:20. Matthew 18:20 from the New Living Translation Bible, "For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Christ is the church and the church is not the building, but to gather as a group to worship the Lord is an honor when you accept Him in your life. It has taken me a while to find a church that I am comfortable at. Every church has a slightly different way of worship and that is ok as long as they are teaching and following Christ's Word. I am just not a fan of a church that jumps up and down during service with hands flying in the air. Not that it is wrong, just not my style at all.

      April 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Advertisement
About this blog

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