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Like GOP, evangelicals look to rebrand
Evangelist leaders such as Rick Warren have spoken for evangelicals for years, but he and other leaders must adjust, some say.
March 26th, 2013
09:47 AM ET

Like GOP, evangelicals look to rebrand

By John Blake

(CNN) - There’s been a lot of debate about the Republican Party’s need to rebrand after the 2012 presidential defeat, but could evangelicals face the same challenge?

The evangelical community, too, has been involved in some collective soul-searching. Evangelical leaders constantly warn that young people are deserting churches; pastors struggle to address changing views on homosexuality; and others wonder how evangelicals can remain relevant when a growing number of Americans refuse to identify with any religion.

Relevant magazine, an evangelical publication, tackles these issues head-on in its latest issue with an article titled “10 Challenges Facing Us in The Next Decade."

“The future is coming faster than ever," the article says, "with the tectonic plates of society, church, culture, technology, economy and environment shifting beneath us.”

How the church should change to meet this future is the thrust of the article. The magazine asked some of the nation’s top evangelical leaders for their take on the biggest challenges facing the church in the next decade.

Their answers varied, and some were surprising.

John Mark McMillan, a worship leader and musician, says religious entertainers can’t save evangelicals. Building more megachurches with slicker worship services that feature skits, live music and hip pastors in skinny jeans won’t do the trick.

“How will we avoid the temptation to simply draw crowds?” McMillan asks. “While a floating head on a Jumbotron can instruct us, I think we can only grow to maturity when we learn to love at point-blank range, where the messy aspects of relationship can’t be avoided.”

Another evangelical leader says making marriage relevant for a new generation is the big challenge. David Kinnaman, whose book "You Lost Me" examines why young evangelicals are leaving the church, says more youth see heterosexual marriage as outdated.

Relevant cited statistics from the Pew Research Center that show 44% of millennials (people age 18-29) say marriage is becoming obsolete.

“Millennials face many challenges when it comes to marriage,” Kinnaman says. "They have more financial pressure, more readily available sexual temptations, fewer social inhibitions with infidelity, not to mention overly distracted spouses who are working hard to get ahead or ‘screening’ away their valuable time.”

Shane Claiborne, author of "The Irresistible Revolution" and a founding member of an alternative community called the Simple Way, points to another challenge.

He says evangelicals must broaden the definition of “pro-life.”

Claiborne says we live in a nation where gun violence kills 10,000 people every year, dozens are executed under the death penalty, and the threat of nuclear annihilation looms.

Claiborne’s suggestion: Create a Life Party of Christians who “insist on protecting life in all its dazzling forms.”

“I hope that we can decrease and eliminate abortion, embrace the immigrant and orphans, end the death penalty in the U.S. and see poor people cared for,” Claiborne says.

Evangelicals can’t meet the future by simply altering the delivery of their message. The message will have to change in some ways as well, says Shane Hipps, author of "Selling Water by the River."

“The historic strength of evangelical churches to innovate methods without altering the underlying message will no longer have the same impact,” he says. “That’s because the cultural shift now under way is not merely about music preferences or the use of video clips in sermons.”

Hipps' solution for the future is to learn a lesson from the past. He cited Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor martyred by the Third Reich during the closing days of World War II.

“We must learn to embrace what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called 'religionless Christianity,' ” Hipps says. “These people will press beyond the tired religious categories of ‘liberal’ and “conservative.’ They will see the life and teachings of Jesus not as religious or even spiritual in nature, but rather as fundamentally human.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Faith

soundoff (602 Responses)
  1. Pathetic

    Sad that these stuff shirt mega church owners think they need to change the gospel to meet the degeneration of American society. People are leaving the church in droves because it is spiritually dead. If the church was doing what it is supposed to be doing they would be packed out and looking for new places to meet...

    March 26, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Paul

      I left the church because of people like you.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Austin

      .

      My small church reaches out and we had 667 new believers go up to the altar and pray for the spirit. That is in one year, and we have expanded from 2 services to 4 AND bought a new campus on the other side of town.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • dumbasfock

      Yep. Thats the case. Paul, was your faith so weak that someone standing up for the word of God turned you off and made you feel like you had to leave the church? Thats not anyones fault but your own. If you dont like ALL of Gods word then why bother with the parts you do like? Its spiritually dead leaders that cause spiritually dead churches which are a huge waste of energy for everyone involved. See what Jesus says in Revelation about the churches. Hint: He doesnt like the spriritually dead churches....He likes the ones populated by the guy who you claim you left church over.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
  2. Which God?

    Rebranding? Rick Warren is finally coming out of the coloset?

    March 26, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • TIRED OF TRYING TO BE NICE

      What is a coloset?

      How about before you make fun of someone, you take the time to spell check?

      March 26, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Which God?

      Well Tryin', at least I'm not a pr!ck, like you. Everyone knows you aren't nice, nor ever tried to be nice, I bet. You live up to your handle quite well, azzhole. Got something else to say, wanna be teacher?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • TIRED OF TRYING TO BE NICE

      ...right, you're not a pr!ck...questioning someones se.xuality is very polite!

      Since I have your attention, it's

      CLOSET

      ...we can go over adjectives and verbs after your nap...

      March 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Which God?

      You really do live up to your handle. Get over yourself little boy.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • TIRED OF TRYING TO BE NICE

      u mad, bro? LOL!

      March 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • ME II

      @TIRED...,
      When were you trying?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • TIRED OF TRYING TO BE NICE

      That's a fair question ME II...

      ...not even a week ago. I was trying to explain why I believe what I do. I was met with ridicule, name calling, and the ever popular "weak-minded" argument.

      There are some that speak their differences with respect...they are sadly few and far between though...

      March 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Think B4 U Post

      Which God? got schooled and the rest of us think it is hilarious. ROFLMAO!!!!

      March 26, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Tire of being nice,

      Supersti tion – belief in miracles, revelation, magic, or the supernatural is included as well much of Christian doctrine.
      .
      Weak mindedness can result from several factors, including but not limited to lack of education, lack of critical thinking skills, lack of interpersonal experience or understanding, or developmental disability.
      .
      Hmmmm I think the shoe fits. You are free to believe as you do...but dont get upset when people view you as weak minded or possible having a mental disability.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  3. Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

    "and others wonder how evangelicals can remain relevant "
    .
    The Gods of Rome the same problem. Gods no longer exist when they lose their followers.

    March 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • dumbasfock

      Luke 19:40 "I tell you, if they keep quiet the stones will cry out". Looks like if the only definition of whether a God exists lies in who worships them then the God of Christianity will never die. Not to mention that if God does exist why would you assume he gets his power and very existence from those he created? Do architects cease to exist if their building is demolished? Your logic is flawed. God exists independently of you just like you exist independently of your children. They can deny you all they like but you dont simply disappear.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • sound mind

      Praise God. 🙂

      Jesus lives!

      March 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      dumbasfrock, what evidence do you have that gods are not just the inventions of man, and that when the last believer is gone, the said god continues to exist (other than as a myth)?

      March 27, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • sound mind

      Dude, you still looking for evidence on a message board?

      God is with the poor – go help them – and maybe you'll find him there.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • dumbasfock

      What evidence do you have that humans are not the invention of God? You have the same proof I have. That is to say neither of us have any proof at all. Ever wonder why that is? Hint: Things are exactly as they should be. No one will ever prove the existance or non existance of God with science. This is not an accident.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      dumb
      What evidence do you have that god created the universe and everything in it? You have the same proof I have. Only you won't believe the science that disproves the creation myths of all religions. A god may exist but there is no evidence since the big bang and I doubt we'll ever know what, if anything, was before that.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  4. Kafir

    Rebranding is what corporations do to reintroduce product(s) to the market. A product that brings profits. The evangelicals are scrambling to keep the collection plates full, nothing more.

    If they were serious about their beliefs, they'd hold true to them no matter the changing times.

    This "soul-searching" in this article highlights EXACTLY what has always been known about religions. They're in it for the money.

    March 26, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • dumbasfock

      This article wasnt written by evangelicals nor is this their official press release. This article is on CNN...you know. The same CNN that attacks Jesus every Easter and in general trys to minimize and discredit Christians on a regular basis. If you think an opinion peice from CNN is indicitive of evangelicals then you have bigger mental issues than you think we Christians do.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
  5. End Religion

    They already tried rebranding their hate as "love" - where can they go from there? They should try rebranding as a boutique coffee café.... they'd have more luck.

    March 26, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Big Shiz

      Did you know science supports the idea of a lager intelligence that could have created the universe? I don't believe in realign but I do believe in god and that's my right. Your crusade is short sighted.

      March 26, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Kafir

      No shiz,

      intelligent design is not a scientifically testable hypothesis, because it lacks what is known as "falsifiability".

      This means a test cannot be devised for which a "false" outcome is theoretically plausible. And all scientific tests need to be falsifiable.

      March 26, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Big Shiz

      There are a lot of scientists that would disagree with you,but dont let the facts get in the way of your agenda.

      March 26, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Kafir

      I won't hold my breath that you'll back up any of your statements with cited sources.

      Doing so is not rocket science.

      March 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Big Shiz

      Steven Hawking, bit ch

      March 26, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • End Religion

      Science supports no hypothesis involving intelligent design. You're flat out wrong, and even if Stephen Hawking holds your position, which I doubt, it would be one scientist's opinion, not "science." Science does not even approach the subject of an intelligence when it comes to the natural processes of the birth of the universe. Since you refuse to cite any evidence for your claim, you are dismissed, Tiny Shiz.

      March 26, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      God is unnecessary to explain the origin of the universe, says Steven Hawking.

      Burgess, Anthony (29 December 1991). "Towards a Theory of Everything". The Observer. p. 42. "Though A Brief History of Time brings in God as a useful metaphor, Hawking is an atheist"

      March 26, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
  6. Rev. Rick

    I think it may be dawning on a few Christians that the antique theology of Abraham was misguided. It was an ancient view of God that may have served humanity for a while, but in light of new knowledge (science, sociology, psychology), the Abrahamic version (brand?) of religion, and of God, has outlived it's usefulness. Some of humanity is still clinging to a version of God that is thousands of years old, but what we must realize is that we are depending on scripture that was written for and by ancients who had very little if any formal education. Their version of "religion" saw God in everything that they couldn't explain: earthquakes, floods, disease, comets, asteroids and other natural disasters. Still many people cling to those old explanations and think they still apply. I do believe God exists, He just doesn't exist in the form we have been taught for the last 3 or 4 thousand years.

    March 26, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Austin

      I have experienced spiritual revelation, and i was through the God of Israel, so you are on the wrong end of spiritual life.

      and you are no REV. unless you are a satanic Reverend. Abraham and Moses can tell you just exactly what is up , and if you want to differ with the God of Isreal, you are headed for cliff.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @Austin – Thanks for proving my point. You are stuck. Stuck in fear.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:08 am |
  7. Big Shiz

    Evangelicals are some crazy fukers,just like atheist activists. Why not just let other people believe in what they want to? Why do they always have to push there views on everyone else? I don't care who's right or wrong,I know what's right for me and that's all that counts.

    March 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Saraswati

      How people believe affects how they vote and how people vote affects all of us.

      March 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Big Shiz

      And we all have the right to vote how we want.(just like we have the right to believe what we want)

      March 26, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Certainly everyone can vote how they want, but it is perfectly reasonable for others to try and influence both the thinking and the votes.

      March 26, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • End Religion

      Shiz, this isn't a fight against your right to believe silliness. It's a fight to keep silliness from determining changes in legislation and education. It wouldn't be cool to have to teach Bigfoot as a fact right beside Abraham Lincoln. It isn't cool to have laws based on what Leprechauns tell us is "right". We don't teach the existence of fire-breathing dragons because we don't have any evidence for dragons; the same goes for god.

      March 26, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Kafir

      I can't remember the last time an atheist voted to ban gay marriage, or outlaw abortion. And you're calling the atheists just as "crazy"? *facepalm*

      March 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Big Shiz

      If the influence is unwanted than it is completely unreasonable to try to influence how people think(and when it comes to personal belief no one wants to be told how to think,except those already brain washed).

      March 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      I know right, and I guess he thinks that without religion everyone would start voting one way and start singing koombaiya(the secular version of course)

      March 26, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Kafir

      Depends what you're fighting for. If you're fighting to limit the tyranny of the majority on a minority population, then you have every obligation to push your beliefs on that majority, until the oppression is extinguished.

      March 26, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Big Shiz

      You dont end oppression by pushing your beliefs on others. What a ignorant thing to say(plus you name is racist). Kafir

      March 26, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  8. TIRED OF TRYING TO BE NICE

    No, there is no re-brand. We are right and that's all there is to it. We will continue to reach out to the lost and care for everyone (believers and non-believers alike), but that will not change our opinions and beliefs.

    For the atheists that will undoubtedly hammer this comment and pollute this board, I offer this...complain all you like, tell me to prove my God exists or that my Bible is true, ramble on however you see fit. Until you become the majority, you're going to have to deal with my stance on marriage, my pro-life agenda, and any other issue that goes against scripture. Go ahead and tell me I'm wrong...feel free. Put your issues on a ballot and we'll see how many people agree with you. Prop 8 anyone?

    ...don't worry, you'll be the majority someday...right after the rapture...

    March 26, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Madtown

      Witness the essense of compassionate and loving christianity. This has got to be the EXACT OPPOSITE of what God would endorse. How interesting.

      March 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • TIRED OF TRYING TO BE NICE

      BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...

      ...don't you have some anti-family rally to attend? I'd ask about work, but I'm sure you're check from my taxes is in the mail...

      March 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Hodge

      Christians please remember that your god has its origins as a middle eastern bronze age minor war deity...

      March 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • TIRED OF TRYING TO BE NICE

      Great...your god (science) has proven itself wrong time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time...

      ...hang on to that though...it's served you well to date...

      March 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • StafCoyote

      You believe you possess Truth with a capital T., yet your flip prediction about the so-called rapture demonstrates that you are a Darbyite, and thus do not profess rightly believing Christianity. Heresy always needs to rebrand, because it does not possess anything close to truth.

      March 26, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • End Religion

      NotSoNice: if you could go ahead and rapture it'd be a big sigh of relief to be rid of you.

      March 26, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • TIRED OF TRYING TO BE NICE

      ...in time. Not my rapture though...in God's time.

      I'm sure you can't wait for us to be gone...free to live your existence with the ent.itled att.itudes you possess. By the way, it is that att.itude that has driven this country right into the ground.

      Like it or not, there is a moral code that should be adhered to. I know you can't see it today...those lines were crossed some time ago...but that does not take away from right and wrong. Talk all you want and say whatever you think will be acceptable in here...but at home when you're all alone, you know the difference. Your inability to stand up for what you know to be correct will be your downfall.

      March 26, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Hodge

      Science has been proven wrong? Science is not a belief but a process. Has the scientific method been proven incorrect? Is this your statement?

      March 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • TIRED OF TRYING TO BE NICE

      Pull your head out Hodge...or are you really genuinely confused?

      Science believes one thing and pushes that agenda along as fact until someone proves that 'fact' incorrect...Spontaneous Generation, Expanding Earth, Phlogiston Theory, and Einstein’s Static Universe to name a few...

      March 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Notsonice. Whereas the religious stick with the ancient superstitions even when they're proven to be incorrect.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • TIRED OF TRYING TO BE NICE

      Disprove God then...do it. I'll be right here waiting...using all your science...eliminate God for me.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Notsonice. You're the one claiming a god, so you're the one that needs to prove it. I'll be waiting for your proof that Zeus does not exist, and that Odin does not exist. Well there are thousands so let's leave it at those two.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • TIRED OF TRYING TO BE NICE

      Predictable response...I should have seen that one coming...

      Don't worry about it Santa...at your end, you'll be face to face with the truth. You can do your best to explain that you never had proof...won't matter. That's why it's called faith here on earth. I'm done with you and your 'prove it' mob...

      March 26, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      notsonice, so you have nothing. What reasons do you have for not believing in the thousands of other gods? If you know, post them. Whenever you know, you'll see that they apply equally to your god. I just believe in one fewer god than you.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      I'll disprove god when you can prove to me that the buybull or any text or oral tradition of any other religion represents the will of god.

      March 26, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • End Religion

      NotSoNIce: you wouldn't know morality if it jumped up and bit you. You worship a pedophile weakling god.

      March 26, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
  9. Correctlycenter

    Conform to God's standards, not anyone else. Don't fall victim to the idea that you must conform to what the liberal leftist PC police think, they're wrong. They can attempt to sway public/judicial opinion in Washington, endless posts/ news coverage on CNN and MSNBC, but just remember that God (Who created all things) is in charge, not them! Everyone will be held accountable to the LORD some day...

    March 26, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • End Religion

      Reject god and everything about him (whichever god you're sure exists). It doesn't take any god to be a nice person. There's no "paying for it" at the end of the line, so enjoy yourself along the way.

      March 26, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • TIRED OF TRYING TO BE NICE

      LOL!

      Straight from the "If it feels good, DO IT!" train of thought, huh End?

      PATHETIC!

      March 26, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      Define a 'nice person'.

      March 26, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Nicest person ever – Mary, mother of Jesus who submitted to the will of God so that our Lord and Savior might be born into the world. Mary, who nursed and fed and raised and followed and wept for the son of man, the son of God. Mary, who is our mother, and the mother of the Church. I should aspire to her character, her devotion and to her love.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Tom W.

      Oh yeah? Prove it! Until you can you are just spouting nonsense.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Worst person ever – The christian god, who decided to r-ape a twelve year old girl and force her to give birth to a psychotic halfwit whose only claim to fame was getting himself crucified.

      March 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • fred

      TANK!!!!
      Keep up that tankless attitude and you will be a groucy old man and never know how you got that way. Stark contrast between the way the truth and the light. Name one thing Jesus did that justifies your insults.

      March 26, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Mary,allegded mother of jesus, quite possibly a tramp, if Joseph was not jesus' father.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:30 am |
    • Saraswati

      @HotAirAce, Sadly it seems more likely the poor girl was rap'ed if the rest of the story has any truth. And I'd give the Joseph character some points for helping her raise the kid and going along with a good face-saving story.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:36 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Saraswati, I agree your version has merit, and while I like the notion of being kind to Mary and Joseph, I also like the contrast of a completely different view of the allegded event.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:50 am |
    • Saraswati

      @HotAir, yeah, it's good to bring out all the possible angles. It's also quite possible the parents were con artists in it together. But realistically the story starts when he's much older, so he likely came up with the whole idea on his own.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:56 am |
  10. Islam

    God in Quran says, (Islamic scripture)

    “Does the human being not see that we created him from a tiny drop, then he turns into an ardent enemy?” [36:77]

    “He raises a question to us – while forgetting his initial creation – "Who can resurrect the bones after they had rotted?" [36:78

    ‘Say, "The One who initiated them in the first place will resurrect them. He is fully aware of every creation." [36:79]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    ‘They said, "You have to be Jewish or Christian, to be guided." Say, "We follow the religion of Abraham – monotheism – he never was an idol worshiper." [2:135]

    “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

    “The Messiah, son of Mary is no more than a messenger like the messengers before him, and his mother was a saint. Both of them used to eat the food. Note how we explain the revelations for them, and note how they still deviate!” [5:75]

    “It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is.” [19:35]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    “They do not value God as He should be valued. God is the Most Powerful, the Almighty.”[22:74]

    “If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.” [Quran 6:116]

    “There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in God has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. God is Hearer, Omniscient.” [2:256]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.

    March 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Correctlycenter

      JESUS CHRIST is Lord, Messiah, Son of God, Savior, Redeemer, the Way, the Truth and the Life, the Good Shepherd, the Holy One of Israel, Alpha and Omega, Emmanuel, King of kings and Lord of lords. And yes, Friend. He died for ALL mankind, because we have all sinned. Faith and belief in God, through His Son is the ONLY way of ever getting to heaven. Many of the world reject this message. But I believe...

      March 26, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Reality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Added details available upon written request.

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

      e.g. Taoism

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

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

      March 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Reality

      Turning specifically to the horror and terror that is Islam:(some examples)

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
      o
      BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
      The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

      25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

      (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

      26 ) September 12, 2012
      U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED
      Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

      March 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • dumbasfock

      copy, paste, pretend to be of superior intelligence.

      Yawn.

      So you read an article you thought was clever. Its so ridiculously stupid its not even worth responding. Cut and paste another when you get a minute. No one had ever told me any of that. I'm really learning something from you.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
  11. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    "Building more megachurches with slicker worship services that feature skits, live music and hip pastors in skinny jeans won’t do the trick."

    This was the evangelical rebranding of the 1990s. Other to increase the coffers of the mega-preachers, how'd that work out?

    March 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
  12. Ari for Peace

    Austin:
    Who is this God Character in the church that is teaching everybody that Jesus pays or paid for everyone's sins?

    Jesus taught Repentance which is correcting errors, losses, problems, and deceptions correction through work as he explained in the Parable of the Lost Coin and other teachings. Also since Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life" which is the ONLY way to our Father, then deviating from those principles and values of character would be from errors, losses, problems, and deceptions, and not only is it the ONLY way to our Father, it is the ONLY way to gain forgiveness and salvation as Jesus explained.

    God is Dead!

    March 26, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  13. Ari for Peace

    A Hore makes herself attractive to gain valuables which can be people's hearts and minds (not just money).

    Christians "rebrand" => advertise to make themselves attractive.

    Following the Hore of Babylon Christians?

    March 26, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Austin

      Maybe you are supposed to be attracted to a certain denomination because of its quality thought. It doesn't have to be ugly.
      And the actual wh.ore that rides the beast is not going to be a denomination that gets all the key components about the deity and resurrection, correct and center . The wh.ore is more likely to be a world wide system that calls Jesus a "star child" and then discloses all kinds of scientific marvels.
      The evangelical church will never have a world wide secular approval. More importantly, the apostle Paul, was an evangelical purposed individual. I dont go to an evangelical church, but the person pointing to the evangalical church as the wh.ore just seems to me to be a satanically inspired persecution of the bretheren.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Wayne

      Ari, are you sure you are not having a reaction to "idolatrous" nationalism being incorporated into the church as the remnant of colonialism?

      March 26, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Pliny

      There is no need to 'rebrand' religion.

      Because everyone is eager to follow the teachings that came from a 2000 year old agrarian society.

      It's just soooo relevant.

      March 26, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  14. Topher

    Rebranding? Ridiculous. As if the Word of God isn't good enough.

    March 26, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Madtown

      Which words of God?

      March 26, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Topher

      Genesis through Revelation.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Madtown

      Oh. Maybe you haven't heard, those are the writings of human beings. Humans also edited those writings, translated them, transcribed them, selected independent individual works to comprise the greater complete work of the bible, and continue to edit those words by offering new versions. Those are not "God's words". The hand of man is all over the bible, every single word.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Might be good enough, but apparently it isn't clear enough make 1 unified Christian denomination.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Topher

      Lunchbreaker

      I think denominations are a good thing. But don't think their existance means the Bible isn't clear on the essentials. We can read the Bible and know exactly what it takes to be saved and know God. What you have with denominations is disagreement on minor issues such as when to perform Baptism, how to do it, etc.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Science

      Science

      God LOST the origin debate........................... so facts are.............. there is no god required to take sides !

      \Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

      Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.

      http://www.aclupa.org/legal/legaldocket/intelligentdesigncase/dovertrialtranscripts.htm

      March 26, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Thai Researchers Discover 100-Million-Year-Old Crocodile Fossile

      The fairy a fossil yet ?

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwD_hjq_V7U&w=640&h=360]

      March 26, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Dorks

      Eschatology is one too. Evangelicals, seem to have taken heat over the last decade. I personally take church with grain of salt. It comes down to personal frailty and a bunch of younger generation situations where culture is forever changing, but God is not.

      12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

      14Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”c Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Dorks

      Stop spamming a decent thread.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • History Channel's "The Bible" Parts 3 & 4 - In Under 11 Minutes!

      Funny stuff for creationists.

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTRn28iZD_g&w=640&h=360]

      March 26, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Akira

      Westboro and their ilk could use a rebranding. And the thing is: they're absolutely, positively 100% convinced they are speaking the Word of God.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Topher

      Science

      "God LOST the origin debate"

      In a court run by men. So what?

      "so facts are.............. there is no god required to take sides"

      Yawn. This case proved nothing.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Topher

      Akira

      Very true. What they do is disgusting and in no way represent God.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • OTOH

      Akira,

      Trouble is, Westboro does probably come very close to what The Bible actually says. They say the rest of the denominations cherry pick from it. And also the trouble is, The Bible is majorly Middle Eastern Hebrew superst'itious bunk.

      Westboro has fewer than 100 members, mostly heavily brainwashed family, and around 20 of them have left in the past couple of years.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • SeanNJ

      I'm fairly certain that you're not an authority on the correctness of the Westboro stance or their tactics. From what I understand, they do a pretty good job of justifying their position through scriptural reference.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • SeanNJ

      Last reply meant for Topher.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Akira

      OTOH, agreed; this is what makes it all so absolutely dreadful.
      Sean NJ: ibid.

      March 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Tom W.

      Which God? Zeus? Hades? Superman? Magical Pixies? Leprechauns? Or some other figment of someone's imagination?

      March 26, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  15. Dyslexic doG

    Christianity: a religion based on an invisible sky daddy that impregnated another mans virgin wife to recreate itself then "sacrifice" itself to itself to atone for a faulty creation it made but knew full well before hand that it's creation would be faulty.

    Rebrand it all you like. Wrap it up in whatever voodoo mysticism and magic you like. Just don't let anyone think about it logically, or they'll become Atheists. What a crock!

    March 26, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Bob

      Exactly, Dd.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Samuel

      Yup. I spent too much time actually studying instead of just listening to the pastor and just accepting it. Did not take long for logic and reason to win out against a flawed compilation history/myth book like the bible.

      March 26, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  16. James Berry

    Evangelical rebrand?? According to them they are the word of god, the absolute word of god. How can they rebrand without rebranding their own god. I thought these were core believes that god will put them in hell forever attempting to rebrand.

    March 26, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Well said James! Shows clearly what a bunch of snake oil salesmen these "evangelists" are. What a crock!

      March 26, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Bob

      Right on, James. And the same evangies went "soul searching" but found that they had none. The fact that their cult requires marketing techniques tells one enough.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  17. Reality

    Once again, all the GOP rebranding will not help a "pro-life" presidential candidate as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

    The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

    2012 Presidential popular vote results

    65,899,660 for pro-abortion/choice BO 60,929,152 for pro-life MR

    And the irony:

    And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)

    The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

    i.e. IF THE PILL AND MALE CONDOMS WERE USED PROPERLY, ABORTION WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE AND OBAMA WOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT.

    (Added note: Bill Gates is quite aware of the health issues. From today's news: "Gates will give a $100,000 grant to whoever can invent the “next generation condom” through The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges in Global Health. The estimated 80 grant recipients can then apply for a follow-up grant worth up to $1 million."

    "Is it possible to develop a product without this stigma, or better, one that is felt to enhance pleasure?” the Grand Challenge prompt asks. ”If so, would such a product lead to substantial benefits for global health, both in terms of reducing the incidence of unplanned pregnancies and in prevention of infection with HIV or other STIs [se-xually transmitted infections]?”

    The GOP would be wise to support these kind of projects.

    March 26, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  18. Truth matters

    Keep it real, keep it true!

    March 26, 2013 at 10:00 am |
  19. Saraswati

    I think the Republicans will work to rebrand themselves as libertarians and the evangelicals will slip more evenly between the two parties. But it's going to be a huge overhaul.

    March 26, 2013 at 9:58 am |
  20. Doris

    Photo caption-quote: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."

    March 26, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Akira

      Yeah, the dude exudes wimpiness.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:42 am |
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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.