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Why young Christians aren't waiting anymore
A young Christian at an purity rally spreads the word.
September 27th, 2011
08:39 AM ET

Why young Christians aren't waiting anymore

By John Blake,  CNN

(CNN) –True love doesn’t wait after all.

That’s the implication in the upcoming October issue of an evangelical magazine that claims that young, unmarried Christians are having premarital sex almost as much as their non-Christian peers.

The article in Relevant magazine, entitled “(Almost) Everyone’s Doing It,” cited several studies examining the sexual activity of single Christians. One of the biggest surprises was a December 2009 study, conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, which included information on sexual activity.

While the study’s primary report did not explore religion, some additional analysis focusing on sexual activity and religious identification yielded this result: 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) said that they have had sex - slightly less than 88 percent of unmarried adults, according to the teen pregnancy prevention organization.

The article highlights what challenges abstinence movements face. Movements such as “True Love Waits,” encourage teens to wear purity rings, sign virginity pledges and pledge chastity during public ceremonies.

Yet many of these Christian youths eventually abandon their purity pledges, Relevant’s Tyler Charles concludes in the article. Tyler talked to people like “Maria,” an evangelical woman who said she wanted to wait until marriage to have sex.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

But she said she started having sex with her college boyfriend when she turned 20 because nearly everyone, even most of  her Christian friends, were having sex.

Maria:

It seemed everyone in my life, older and younger, had “done it.” In fact, I waited longer than most people I knew and longer than both of my sisters, even though we were all Christians and came from a good home.

Relevant theorizes about why it’s so hard for so many young Christians to wait, including the saturation of sex in popular culture, the prevalence of pornography and a popular “do what feels good philosophy.”

Yet the article also asks a question that rarely comes up in discussions about abstinence movement. Relevant notes that in biblical times, people married earlier. The average age for marriage has been increasing in the U.S for the last 40 years.

Today, it’s not unusual to meet a Christian who is single at 30 - or 40 or 50, for that matter. So what do you tell them? Keep waiting?

Scot McKnight, author of “The Jesus Creed,” and "One.Faith: Jesus Calls, We Follow," acknowledges that young, single Christians face temptations that their counterparts in the biblical age didn’t face.

He  tells Relevant:

Sociologically speaking, the one big difference – and it’s monstrous – between the biblical teaching and our culture is the arranged marriages of very young people. If you get married when you’re 13, you don’t have 15 years of temptation.

So what should a Christian parent or youth pastor do? How do they convince more young Christians to wait until marriage, or should they stop even trying?

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Culture & Science • Culture wars

soundoff (5,768 Responses)
  1. Wendon

    Why are you calling these people Christians??? A true Christian follows the teachings of Christ. To commit fornication is not following the teachings of Christ DUH !!!!

    September 27, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Anon

      Mythological Jesus advocated eunuch-ism.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • jcm52

      "A true Christian follows the teachings of Christ."

      If we say we are without sin, then we deceive ourselves.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • Ruth

      Very well done Wendon. These folks that cannot wait is because they go out and get in
      a fiery kissing and touching mold. Of course, they cannot wait, if you are going to go half way,
      then go all the way. You already sinned before GOD. The best way to avoid this is to go
      out in groups. The people who wait til marriage, are the happiest folks in the world. Their
      wedding night is like the 4th of July, New Year's Eve and Christmas put together, and they
      will be on their honeymoon for a long time.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • getupandgoing

      Not very original, Anon.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:00 am |
  2. Sheila

    I've got to go to bed. But in case you missed it, go back and read the statements by PRISM 1234 on page 19. That sums up what the CNN article totally missed.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • ben

      I'll pray to zues that you finally find him. Good night, sweet cheeks

      September 28, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • getupandgoing

      Zeus. At least get the name right if you're going to pray to him.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:59 am |
  3. waterdemon

    the GAYS are to blame!!! the GAYS are to blame!!! hehehe

    September 27, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Peggy

      Don't get Sheila going lol

      September 27, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
  4. Sheila

    EricOnCNN,

    Do you not see DOOM on this earth already ? I would think you would want to be delivered from it. Maybe you would rather go volunteer to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Peggy

      Are you crazy? religous people are killed everyday by earthquakes, sickness etc. where is their god? what did they do? nothing, cause things just happen. again god does NOT exist that's why. You are no better than me Sheila, sorry to let you in on that.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Guidedtouch

      No, sheila is not better then you peg, only wiser. Everyone has the potential for growth, and yet no one is "better" then anyone else, only further along the path. We should all be taking our neighbors hand and guiding him to path of true wisdom.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • Peggy

      No you are wrong again, it's neighbours. You see? believe what yuo want. You will never convince me that I am going to hell or heaven or anywhere other than back to the earth. I am not a sinner, never even had a speeding ticket, so there. Sheila ia not wiser just more needy perhaps or gullible. Who are you to judge me anyway? I believe your god wouldn't approve or have you all made new rule up. lol

      September 28, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • Guidedtouch

      Peg, thank you for correcting my spelling. My message may have missed its point otherwise. There are no new rules, spirituality is a requisite step in finding your path. all I might add at this point is seek within, the answers lay within each of us. your friends can only point you in the right direction, reaching the destination only you may accomplish.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:16 am |
  5. Brian

    Maybe these young people see all the scandals involving ministers and figure they might as well join the party.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  6. Lisa S

    I agree with everything from wikileaks. True Christians know there is no burning hell.
    And true Christians serve God because He deserves it. He created everything and provides everything for His creation. At Matthew 5:44, 45 it shows we should imitate God and love our enemies and "pray for those persecuting you as it is an imitation of God's love because he makes his sun rise upon the wicked people as well as the good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous."
    So for those of you who are atheists, to what do you attribute your next breath, or drink of water or that you can even think and write comments, or even have comments of your own? Blind chance?
    You know you could take all the parts of a watch and shake them in a bag for a thousand or a million years and they wont fit together and make a watch but you think that even the ant could come about by blind chance? Time to think again.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • Peggy

      You are quoting something that some guy wrote not something from some immortal being named god. Get over it there's no almighty god.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Matthew Kilburn

      "...and those who hear these words and do not act upon them are like the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. The winds came....and the house was destroyed"

      I don't claim to put my place in God's seat of judgement to rule over other people – but to reject that evil people are punnished for their sins is to reject that good people are rewarded for their godliness.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Lisa S

      Everlasting life is a gift, the wicked are never promised this. They are only promised destruction. Read Ps. 37:10, 11. Also Jesus even said "that whosoever believeth in him will not PERISH but have everlasting life. See the contrast? Everlasting life, or perish...nowhere did he say burning hell.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Guidedtouch

      Your funny peg, there is no god. we all evolved right?? some barren rock just sprouted life and wow, humans with "memory" and eyesight. now theres a trick, evolving eyesight. Wait, your right, my bottle of water just evolved a fish.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • Peggy

      It's 'YOU ARE' or you're. And no you're funny, to me anyway, that you actually believe in fairy tales. How come when people hear voices they are crazy but when it's the voice of god they are just religious? I think anyone hearing anyone invislble ie doesn't exist, needs to give their head a shake.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:01 am |
  7. Justin

    “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." – Stephen Henry Roberts (1901-71)

    September 27, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • Pedro

      I hadn't heard that quote before, but I like it.

      October 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  8. PRISM 1234

    ~When a person stops giving in to the co-nstant pounding of suggestions blared from every side in our a-moral culture that s'ex is a "NEED", and that is only normal for people to eng'age in it, even ca'sually...
    ~and when a person understands that we are HUMAN beings, who were given something FAR MORE then any other created beings were given....
    ~ and that what we do with those ve'ssels of clay which were given to us to hold our immortal souls...
    ~ when a person understands the high calling that we human beings have in our mortal lives, and that we are not just here to give in to every whim our fleshly, le'wd natures demand of us... then this person will NOT HAVE any problems keeping themselves pure, and not giving in to the pre'ssure of those who have become so acc'us-tomed to wallow in the mud of pig pen of this world, that they think they are the ones being normal, and the ones who don't join them are "fre'aks"...
    Se'x'ua'lity was never given to us to fulfill our physical cra'vings, but rather to be the way of expre'ss'ion of deepest co'nnec'tion of two people, whose hearts and souls have become one – in co'mmit'ted, selfless and sa'cri'fi'cial love, love that has no reservations, no secrets, no holding back, therefore it is pure and becomes holy and leaves those who are so bonded together in it, with no shadow or cloud of shame lin'gering over them... That is THE ONLY way, and it is the ORIGINAL INT'ENT of the way our se'x'u'ality is to be exp'ressed.

    What we are seeing in the world today, and sadly even among today's professing Christians, is a inex'pres'sible tragedy. It is no wonder that so many people are su'cc'-mbing to depression, and many have made wre'cks of their lives, resorting to com'mit'ting sui'cide.There is a clear con'nection of one's felling of worthlessness and depression , and self inf'li'cting harm... People who che'apen their persons by en'ga'ging in se'x'ual activities that lack com'mit'ment and depth of love that is su'ppo'sed to accompany it, are robbing themselves of their human worth. Their spirit knows it, and they are suffering da'mage that sc'ars them so deeply that that may never, and most likely WILL never heal.
    No sh'rink will tell them that nowdays...LOL! ...not by any chance! But nevertheless it's so!

    As for the Christians having se'x'ual relati'ons without the co'venant of marriage... it is not surprising to see it in this country.... American Christianity is mostly apostate Christianity. They still hang on to the name of Jesus, but refuse the Spirit of Truth , which is the Holy Spirit of God. And without Him no man can know God.
    Why are people doing things that they KNOW is wrong, and God hates?
    BECAUSE THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD IN THEIR HEARTS.
    That is something a Christian should understand, but since they don't really know Him, they don't underrstand.... If they did, they would do differently!
    But it is only being fulfilled what Jesus spoke in Revelations Ch 3 to the Church of Laodicea....
    If any of you care, go read it, refresh your memory. It fi'ts most of American Christianity to the T !

    September 27, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • ben

      you typed a whole lot, and said absolutely nothing of substance. Huge waste of your time.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      I have a feeling you wouldn't recognize what "substance" is if you tripped and fell over it!
      But take heart.....You've got lots of company!

      September 28, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • Prismatic1234567

      God doesn't hate.
      And judge not lest you be judged.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • Ruth

      You are a very wise person, keep up the good work Prism......

      September 28, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      @Prismatic
      Someone has sold you bag of lies, and you fell for it!
      Discerning between good and evil,between right and wrong right and wrong is NOT judging.... That too is the lie satan has sold you, and you fell for it.
      God's Word warns you to take heed how you handle His Word. It's not worth loosing your soul over your own opinion... So be careful who you listen too!

      --------
      Ruth, I know God has His beloved people who hear His voice and will not follow the impostors. And we do recognize each other by the Spirit He gives us ....

      His Blessings and His Peace be with you :)

      September 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  9. dude

    Hey, maybe the divorce rate will go down.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  10. ned

    A christian cannot claim to be living in God while he or she continues to sin. A christian needs to live a life of victory over the sinful nature through Jesus Christ. The lust of flesh and lust of the things of the world is not from The Father but from the world. Christians plz do not deceive urselves and honour God by being obedient to His Commands.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • dude

      heh

      September 27, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • ben

      nice talking points. It's great to see someone regurgitate a bunch of foolishness some dirty old man taught them, without using a shred of critical thinking.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  11. Sheila

    Ah, but Nah, God knew the corruption of mankind and the deception of human beings, so he had a backup plan from the beginning. He sent Jesus Christ as a living demonstration, living proof of the word of God. When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord, we also receive the "Holy Spirit" who guides and teaches us in all things. That is something mankind cannot control.

    The "Holy Spirit" is God's promise to those who are his. The Holy Spirit is a "seal", a promise. He is the "comforter" and when we pray for something and we don't know how to pray for it or the right words, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, communicates for us. Book or not, God's knows those who are his "sheep", and not one will be lost no matter how hard anyone tries to dissuade them from the truth. God's people know their God, and he knows those who are his.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • Nah

      sheila: "He sent Jesus Christ as a living demonstration, living proof of the word of God. When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord, we also receive the "Holy Spirit" who guides and teaches us in all things. That is something mankind cannot control."

      You're a great troll.

      But your argument is still circular. You're looking for proof of Christianity by looking to the mere "fact" that Christianity says it, itself, is true. If that were proof, without any external verification, then any religion, philosophy, etc. could prove its truth merely by declaring that it's true.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • Guidedtouch

      Let me add my two cents. God (for those who believe) is perfect. God makes no mistakes. He planned his creation from the start. Now....What sort of creation would he concieve of? And what would be the end result of his perfect creation? I will not give my opinion as to not be ridiculed :)

      September 27, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • Get Real

      Sheila,

      A shepherd takes care of his sheep for profit (and for dinner). Some are cute and cuddly, but they are all headed for the butcher's block or the shearing shed. The "good shepherd" is a lousy analogy.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  12. C

    This story is so hot.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Ruth

      Yes, C, not quite as hot as is going to be in hell when you get there. There's still time for you
      to reconsider...

      September 28, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  13. Hammer0

    Funny how religion & the religious always adapt to society. If there were an omniscient deity meddling in human affairs, society would still be like it was when a bunch of desert-dwelling fundamentalists created this nonsense.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Sheila

      If Ungodly society and an anything goes philosophy is the best and right way to live, then answer as to why there is so much hurt, pain and tragedy. Answer this ? Do you agree with lies, deception, murder, abuse, human neglect, starvation, homelessness, the lack of medical and dental care, the lack of food and shelter, the lack of meaningful work and fair wages ?

      This is just a start, but an example of an ungodly society. There you wanted it. You've got it.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • Peggy

      OK Sheila where's god while children are starving? Oh right he's answering other prayers.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Get Real

      Sheila,

      Who says "ungodly" equates to "anything goes"? Really, you sound dimmer and dimmer with each post.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Observer

      Sheila,
      "lies, deception, murder, abuse, human neglect, starvation, homelessness, the lack of medical and dental care, the lack of food and shelter, the lack of meaningful work and fair wages". The Bible shows that God was guilty of all of them, so what was your point?

      September 28, 2011 at 12:24 am |
  14. Stick

    Darwin consumed the Jesus fish. Evolution and atheism won, much like the world is round theory defeated the world is flat ignorance. I feel utterly content and happy in a godless world.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • EricOnCNN

      Yes, but the leaders of the Religion still conspire to bring us back to the dark ages, where they alone were the rulers of the realm.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • shawbrooke

      Glad you're content, buddy. But I point out that the Christian movement has a lot of life left in it, including churches of thousands and many small groups. And in addition, don't over 80% of the population pray?

      September 27, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Veritas

      How do you figure? And how do you define "won"? You certianly have not "won" in the court of public opinion nor in the number of people who follow your philosophy. I suppose you must belong to "We are all winners" camp. Whatever. Lame.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • RLR

      II feel for you Stick.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  15. ned

    Jesus came to provide Salvation from sins and to change us to be a new creation with sin no more having control over our lives. Sadly if we are still living the lives as the world lives then we have not allowed Jesus to change us.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • EricOnCNN

      Don't forget to mention that he also, in all likelihood, never existed in the first place. That is, if Secular History has anything to say about it.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • ned

      Eric for those who dont beleive Jesus, surely He doesnt exist for them. But thats not the position Bible or worls history supports. Good bye

      September 27, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  16. Sheila

    Observer. God does indeed destroy the wicked of the earth. He did in the past which should be a warning to you that he will do it again. He just won't do it with a complete earth flood like he did the last time..he promised...see the rainbow when it rains.

    Do you want to know what happens the next time ? First, you are going to suffer the destruction from the wicked one, known also as the "beast" , the "man of perdition", "the lawless one", some call the "antichrist".

    Then after you go through all his living hell, if you haven't called out to God by then (and refused the "Mark of the Beast"), you have no hope. For God can destroy the body, AND he can also destroy the soul.

    Do innocent Christians who are walking right before God die ? We die in the flesh, but the flesh only. Then we are resurrected back to life and given a new celestial type body and power. But the power is for good, not for evil.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • EricOnCNN

      Take your doom-crying psychobabble elsewhere.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • stejo

      Sheila, first of all, a rainbow occurs when water droplets refract (bend) sunlight, causing it to break into its component colors – this is a FACT, not a promise, or have you never washed a car on a sunny day? Second...you sound like you can hardly wait for all the "sinners" to suffer. You could barely contain your glee while rambling that nonsense. I know this will make no difference to you, as denial of facts and hypocrisy seem to go hand in hand.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Karen

      What kind of god or people who serve "him" would sit back in heavenly realms while other human beings are in another place suffering brutally and in searing pain? Not on earth do we put up with that gladly, how in heaven could we? It's just silly to think this way. I would never serve a god who would allow scores of people to "burn," how could I? How could you? You would sit in pleasure for eternity while your unsaved loved one sat in fire? What a ridiculous idea. No, you would revolt from your gilded cage and figure out a way to get to them to save them because that's what human beings do.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  17. Pete

    I was hoping John Blake would have interviewed young married Christian couples and asked them about their choices before they got married, and now that they are married, how do they feel about those choices. Now that would have been more compelling.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • Sheila

      Great comment Pete. I do too.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  18. Nah

    colin: "if everything must have a cause, what caused god?"

    CNN won't post the argument I gave you, so here:

    Given the premise of the argument this question is a total non-sequitur. It's precisely because there had to be a first cause that it's illogical to ask what came "before" that first cause.

    "So James, if everything must have a cause, what caused god? God was "always there", right? In which case the very assumption you used to deduce him is nonsense."

    Not really.

    The "assumption" used to deduce the existence of a god is based on the physical and logical impossibility of an infinite regress of material causes. The "perpetual" existence of a god doesn't violate that rule, because it is not based on the "perpetual cause" of a god.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Nah

      @colin

      So we've been at this about an hour or two now, and you haven't yet rebutted any arguments you've been given.

      You're either a troll, or exceedingly stupid.

      :)

      September 27, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Colin

      Nah, you are trying to have it both ways. At the same time you are saying (A) there must be a god to have created the Universe because everything must have a cause and (B) in the same breath, you say god did not need a cause. Why not just say the Universe did not need a cause?

      Anyway, no need to answer. I can safely assume your answer will be telling me how stupid I am and how I use "ad hominem attacks" and "strawman arguments".

      September 27, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Sheila

      God's word states "Beware of vain philosophies".

      September 27, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Observer

      Nah,

      You sure lost that argument. There is no reason to believe that there couldn't be an infinite regression of gods that, by your argument, had to end somewhere, but certainly it didn't have to end with the first one. Try again.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Nah

      colin: "Why not just say the Universe did not need a cause?"

      Glad we're getting somewhere.

      Regardless of logical dictates, all material things require a cause. That's evident in science and by simple observation. Mind you, quantum mechanics isn't helpful here because things springing into action aren't quite the same as them springing into existence.

      Much less, if you say the universe was perpetually existing (uncaused) you fall into the trap of infinite regression again. Why? Because if the world were stagnant, then nothing would ever appear (i.e., be caused).

      September 27, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • Nah

      observer: "You sure lost that argument. There is no reason to believe that there couldn't be an infinite regression of gods that, by your argument, had to end somewhere, but certainly it didn't have to end with the first one. Try again."

      Sorry to burst your bubble but what you said makes no sense.

      Whether there is one god or a thousand gods is irrelevant to the fact that there had to be "a" first cause to the universe.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Nah

      colin: "At the same time you are saying (A) there must be a god to have created the Universe because everything must have a cause and (B) in the same breath, you say god did not need a cause."

      Note that the argument says specifically "material" cause.

      Whether you like it or not, the cosmological argument is internally consistent.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • Colin

      Nah, your likely copying and pasting from some Christian website is getting you nowhere. Scinece can take us back to the big bang. We do not know what caused the big bang, if anything, or whether it is one of an infinite number of expansions and contractions. But to attribute it to some Bronze Age sky god dreamed up in a Palestinian slum and then have no answer about where this most unlikely of beings came from, is not an answer. It's a cop out, a shrug of the shoulders.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • Observer

      Nah,

      The hypocritical Christian's theory:

      (1) In order for something to exist, something must create it
      (2) God exists
      (3) Nothing created God

      September 27, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • Colin

      What is the cosmological argument I am making?

      September 27, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • Anon

      Just ignore Nah and he'll dissipate in a puff of logic.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Nah

      colin: "some Bronze Age sky god dreamed up in a Palestinian slum and then have no answer about where this most unlikely of beings came from, is not an answer. It's a cop out, a shrug of the shoulders."

      You were doing so well, too. Now you're back at ad hominems when you can't disprove the argument.

      Bravo.

      "Nah, your likely copying and pasting from some Christian website is getting you nowhere. Scinece can take us back to the big bang. We do not know what caused the big bang"

      Not really. Logic dictates that the Big Bang (and so the universe) could not be the cause of itself. Why? Because if the universe caused itself it would have had to have existed, before it existed, in order to cause itself to exist. Much less, going back to the infinite regress: because an infinite regress of causes (infinite Big Bangs) is impossible, there had to a "first" Big Bang that was caused.

      You can disagree with the argument all you want. But slinging mud won't help your position.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Nah

      observer: "The hypocritical Christian's theory:

      (1) In order for something to exist, something must create it
      (2) God exists
      (3) Nothing created God"

      Brilliant strawman.

      The argument centers specifically around "material" causation and the logical (and physical) impossibility of a perpetual regress of causes.

      Hence, your misrepresentation is hardly a refutation.

      Try again?

      September 27, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • Nah

      anon: "Just ignore Nah and he'll dissipate in a puff of logic."

      Alas. At least I'll have logic to dissipate into.

      Sadly the same cannot be said for "observer" and "colin".

      September 27, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Colin

      Anon – I am not trying to convince nah of anything. He is obviously Jesus-Juiced up too much at this point in his life. The trick is to let him put his " logic" out there for those with an open mind to see. The NAACP used to do this with the Ku Klux Klan.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Observer

      Nah,

      Even if there was some kind of a force that created the first material, it could have been a committee of zombies. Same old story: you have just another THEORY without any proof.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Nah

      colin: "He is obviously Jesus-Juiced up too much at this point in his life. The trick is to let him put his " logic" out there for those with an open mind to see. The NAACP used to do this with the Ku Klux Klan."

      Ah, yes. Of course. I must be "jesus-juiced up" because I pointed out how illogical your beliefs are.

      Are you even capable of responding to the argument? Or are petty insults the best we can hope for from you?

      "The trick is to let him put his " logic" out there for those with an open mind to see."

      The implication of which is, of course, that the logic is wrong. And yet merely saying it's wrong doesn't make it so, does it?

      September 27, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Observer

      Nah,

      Your futile argument is that material was created from nothing.

      Guess again.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Nah

      observer: "Even if there was some kind of a force that created the first material, it could have been a committee of zombies. Same old story: you have just another THEORY without any proof."

      Nah. Saying a first cause could have been a "committee of zombies" is absurd. Why? Because it adds irrelevant qualities into the equation. There's nothing about a "first cause" that tells you it had to be a zombie, have a beard, be black or white, or 5 feet tall. Why? Because they're all unnecessary to what is, essentially, its deducible essence: it being the cause of the universe.

      "Same old story: you have just another THEORY without any proof."

      Proof comes in two forms: 1) by data, or 2) by necessity.

      That's why, for instance, we know the composition of the center of the sun, the distance of the stars, and the diameter of our galaxy, all without ever measuring or touching any of them. Why? Because, based on math and simple logic, some things "must" be true.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • Colin

      What makes your argument silly is the whole idea that a 13,700,000,000 year old Universe, consisting of 100,000,000,000 galaxies, each with 200,000,000,000 stars and five times as many planets was all put in place by some all knowing, all powerful sky fairy for the benefit of the species ho.mo sapiens on one of these planets.

      Look, you are going to die. Get over it. No cosmic overlord is supervising your life so as to pass a final judgment on you. Live the 80 odd years you have, rather than waste them in some obfuscating religious fog that promises something it never has to deliver.

      September 27, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • Nah

      colin: "What makes your argument silly is the whole idea that a 13,700,000,000 year old Universe, consisting of 100,000,000,000 galaxies, each with 200,000,000,000 stars and five times as many planets was all put in place by some all knowing, all powerful sky fairy for the benefit of the species ho.mo sapiens on one of these planets."

      Are you getting angry because you know you've been defeated?

      Much less, you still haven't proven your position: why is it "silly" to believe that there was a first cause, especially when logic and science dictate that it had to exist?

      "Look, you are going to die. Get over it."

      And? This was relevant how?

      "No cosmic overlord is supervising your life so as to pass a final judgment on you. Live the 80 odd years you have, rather than waste them in some obfuscating religious fog that promises something it never has to deliver."

      Alas, more conclusory statements with no substantiation.

      But it's okay. Go on believing what you believe, just as dogmatically as you did before.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Anon

      ^ and for some retarded reason it has to be the christian god Yahweh/Jesus/Jehovah.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Observer

      Nah.
      "Saying a first cause could have been a "committee of zombies" is absurd. Why? Because it adds irrelevant qualities into the equation."

      Tilt! Saying that this "first cause" must be the God of the Bible rather than a "committee of zombies" because the committee would add "irrelvent qualities" is nonsense. There is ZERO proof for either case. You have made zero credibility for the "first cause" to be anything we know of.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Nah

      observer: "Tilt! Saying that this "first cause" must be the God of the Bible rather than a "committee of zombies" because the committee would add "irrelvent qualities" is nonsense."

      Who said anything about the bible?

      The existence of a god and the bible are not co-extensive. Sorry if that confuses you.

      "There is ZERO proof for either case. You have made zero credibility for the "first cause" to be anything we know of."

      Were you going to prove this, or merely assert it?

      September 28, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • Answer

      It's always about their own personal god "as the best and only". Never tolerating any other religions.
      It's a disease with these people. Where you grew up and accepted that particular region's religion is the one that is right to you.

      They'll go til their last breathe in promoting this fallacy.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • Nah

      anon: "^ and for some retarded reason it has to be the christian god Yahweh/Jesus/Jehovah."

      The lack of intelligence in CNN is astounding, really.

      :)

      September 28, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • Observer

      Nah,

      You can pretend that the "first cause" is some kind of a god and I can pretend it was a committee of zombies. We both have ZERO proof to support our claims. The difference is that I admit that we both have zero proof.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:12 am |
    • Answer

      @Nah

      So you haven't accepted sources that have argued against 'first cause' right Nah? You're here on a mission to refute it because your position of faith wants to confuse people. You're perfectly happy to be ignorant and keep on ranting for support of your imaginary friend?

      September 28, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • Bob Smith

      Nah is obviously a brainless follower of Spinoza's "god". That imbecilic god is not a god, but mere physical laws that all matter and energy follow.

      Too bad, Nah. You've changed your name again, but your arguments show us who you are. Spinoza was a retard.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • JLyonB

      Nah,

      How about this. If God created the universe and everything in it (rocks, gas, physical laws, dimensions, and such) then time would also be a part of that creation. And since cause and effect requires time couldn't I be justified in concluding that God need no cause?

      Also, don't belittle or insult my comment. I'm not striking up an argument for a cause, I simply love debating this stuff.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • Bob Smith

      JLyonB, everything is made of dimensional energy. There is nothing we have observed that can be seen to be otherwise.

      Having dimensional energy "impact" or "violate boundaries" of some other dimensional aspect of this multi-dimensional universe is not requiring the existence of a "being" of any sort.
      Any "god" would have to be "born" from essentially random dimensional aspects with no guarantee of any ability to consciously manipulate any aspect of any dimensional form or aspect of same.
      Any "god" must be made of something or it can't exist.
      Every "being" IS BEING something that has developed from previously occurring "natural" dimensional elements, thus no "being" could have possibly created it's own environment. Such is life as we define it. No gods as described in the mystical literature can possibly exist anyway. Thus every argument for a universal "god" falls short in terms of dimensional logic.

      September 28, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • JLyonB

      @ BobSmith

      To be honest I am unfamiliar with the terms dimensional energy and dimensional logic so I didn't totally follow you there. However, In your statement "Every 'being' IS BEING something that has developed from previously occurring 'natural' dimensional elements" you are presuposing that before time there was still an temporal cause and effect. I would still argue then, that God's existence would not necessitate a cause.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  19. Mark

    I would rather get laid

    September 27, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  20. Sheila

    Angora, the word of God did exists before Jesus Christ was born. Jesus was in fact "The word of God" which was made manifest in the flesh. God created the world through Jesus Christ. Jesus was with God, before the world was created.
    God did a true miracle where he took Jesus Christ and from God's Kingdom placed him inside of an infant body inside of another human being to be born as a human. That was truly tremendous.

    The very breath you breath is from God, and if he wanted to, he could withdraw it in an instant. But he gave you life for a purpose, and he wants you to come to know him, so that he in turn can bless you and love you. Is being loved by someone who truly loves you and is not some sinful human trying to "get into your pants" a bad thing ?

    September 27, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • stejo

      have you ever had an original thought?

      September 27, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • JW

      So modern Christians never get divorced? Have wonderful marriages and such?

      September 27, 2011 at 11:47 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.