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July 27th, 2013
08:33 AM ET

Why millennials are leaving the church

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, Special to CNN

(CNN) At 32, I barely qualify as a millennial.

I wrote my first essay with a pen and paper, but by the time I graduated from college, I owned a cell phone and used Google as a verb.

I still remember the home phone numbers of my old high school friends, but don’t ask me to recite my husband’s without checking my contacts first.

I own mix tapes that include selections from Nirvana and Pearl Jam, but I’ve never planned a trip without Travelocity.

Despite having one foot in Generation X, I tend to identify most strongly with the attitudes and the ethos of the millennial generation, and because of this, I’m often asked to speak to my fellow evangelical leaders about why millennials are leaving the church.

Armed with the latest surveys, along with personal testimonies from friends and readers, I explain how young adults perceive evangelical Christianity to be too political, too exclusive, old-fashioned, unconcerned with social justice and hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

I point to research that shows young evangelicals often feel they have to choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith, between science and Christianity, between compassion and holiness.

I talk about how the evangelical obsession with sex can make Christian living seem like little more than sticking to a list of rules, and how millennials long for faith communities in which they are safe asking tough questions and wrestling with doubt.

Invariably, after I’ve finished my presentation and opened the floor to questions, a pastor raises his hand and says, “So what you’re saying is we need hipper worship bands. …”

And I proceed to bang my head against the podium.

Time and again, the assumption among Christian leaders, and evangelical leaders in particular, is that the key to drawing twenty-somethings back to church is simply to make a few style updates edgier music, more casual services, a coffee shop in the fellowship hall, a pastor who wears skinny jeans, an updated Web site that includes online giving.

But here’s the thing: Having been advertised to our whole lives, we millennials have highly sensitive BS meters, and we’re not easily impressed with consumerism or performances.

In fact, I would argue that church-as-performance is just one more thing driving us away from the church, and evangelicalism in particular.

Many of us, myself included, are finding ourselves increasingly drawn to high church traditions Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Episcopal Church, etc. precisely because the ancient forms of liturgy seem so unpretentious, so unconcerned with being “cool,” and we find that refreshingly authentic.

What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance.

We want an end to the culture wars. We want a truce between science and faith. We want to be known for what we stand for, not what we are against.

We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers.

We want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation.

We want our LGBT friends to feel truly welcome in our faith communities.

We want to be challenged to live lives of holiness, not only when it comes to sex, but also when it comes to living simply, caring for the poor and oppressed, pursuing reconciliation, engaging in creation care and becoming peacemakers.

You can’t hand us a latte and then go about business as usual and expect us to stick around. We’re not leaving the church because we don’t find the cool factor there; we’re leaving the church because we don’t find Jesus there.

Like every generation before ours and every generation after, deep down, we long for Jesus.

Now these trends are obviously true not only for millennials but also for many folks from other generations. Whenever I write about this topic, I hear from forty-somethings and grandmothers, Generation Xers and retirees, who send me messages in all caps that read “ME TOO!” So I don’t want to portray the divide as wider than it is.

But I would encourage church leaders eager to win millennials back to sit down and really talk with them about what they’re looking for and what they would like to contribute to a faith community.

Their answers might surprise you.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Rachel Held Evans.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • evangelicals • Opinion

soundoff (9,863 Responses)
  1. libfreak50

    At 51, I remember the hippie Jesus freaks of the 70s when the Evangelical movement took off, which has a whole lot more in common with millenials' views than the current crop of Evangelical Pharisees.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • rhinelson

      I really wish there was a like button for this...

      July 28, 2013 at 4:24 am |
    • Realist

      ..........

      ......................

      ..... http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ...

      ..... and thank goodness because he emanates from the .....

      ..... http://www.EVILbible.com

      ........................

      ( PLEASE visit those sites and learn the truth )

      July 28, 2013 ..... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

      July 28, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Pentheus

      How did Jesus get along with RELIGIOUS people? Not as well as you might expect: http://goo.gl/VKwbWz

      August 28, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
  2. Nate

    The evangelicals ARE being true to Jesus. The people that would reinvent mythical Jesus live in Matthew chapters five and six. Before it and after it, Jesus is drowning all the people on the planet, casting disobedient people into outer darkness and enjoying the smoke of tormented believers as it rises up before him for all eternity. True believers are a sadistic, mean bunch- and it shows.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • larrylivingston

      We look at Christians and see people that we don't wish to be....and that's a problem for them. Look at the article and these posts....the christians just.don't.get.it. We see their false morality. We see the hatred disguised as love. We see the cultural destruction they offer up as "good missionary work". We take the advice of their own Bible, and judge them by their works, and the verdict is that these Christians are just not very nice people at all. We want to be better than that. And therefore the churches and their teachings have nothing to offer us.

      July 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
      • worktolive

        No where in the Bible does Jesus state that Christians do not sin. We sin every day-but we also pray every day for forgiveness of our shortcomings and sin. Christians are not in any way, shape or or form perfect. But we do believe in Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we do believe he gave his life by being crucified on the cross, we believe his blood covers our sins and thereby, we will have eternal with him in Heaven when this life is over. There is no other God-period. The Bible serves as a guide for us to live by and teaches us how to live. If you read the Bible, you will see God's wrath towards sin. So many want whatever lifestyle or sin they live by accepted by Christians and, I do believe God. That's not what being a Christian is about-not gonna happen. We are to love the sinner but hate the sin-if that is what this new generation wants changed-not gonna happen with true Christians.

        July 28, 2013 at 8:31 am |
        • Edweird69

          Your worship an event that was torture, disgusting, and should be despised by any rational person. If I asked my son to go get tortured so I would forgive someone for something, you would want me imprisoned! Your religion is perverse, and finally society is seeing through it. Get help! It is a disgusting belief.

          July 28, 2013 at 9:24 am |
        • larrylivingston

          We all know know very well what your beliefs are...you're a blood cult that practices ritual cannabilism(protestant) or actual cannabilism(catholic doctrine). See, the problem is that we know your beliefs TOO well. Yes you christians have become more civilised over the years, I'll grant you that. You became civilised due to EXTERNAL forces. It was not self-guidance that forced you people to stop burning people at the stake. The only morality you know is what you've learned from outsiders.

          July 28, 2013 at 10:02 am |
        • larrylivingston

          So do you consider cultural destruction through missionary work to be a sin? yes or no? Are you in favor of cultural destruction?

          July 28, 2013 at 10:07 am |
        • James

          There are hundreds of other gods..each with the same amount of proof of its existence.....none.

          July 29, 2013 at 5:55 am |
        • fred bowen-smith

          Larry, you need to look at a better picture. Christians note they are flawed and working on being better. THose who think they ARE better... are blinded by their own evil. And our job, as a loving group, is to help them connect to Christ.

          July 29, 2013 at 9:45 am |
        • craig

          well said.

          August 1, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • graywills

          Well put!

          August 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
      • liz48

        Great question! The Truth of the Word of God, without the corruption of religion, is that man is made in the Image of God and is a co-creator of his destiny and can override or create his destiny. Religions introduce a god that is outside imposing his or her will in humankind who are depicted as helpless to resist. The God of Israel, Who is the God christians are supposed to refer to, is NOT of that nature at all. If you read scriptures like Deuteronomy 30:19, Psalm 82, Proverbs 18:20-21 and Galatians 6:7 you will find that the Will of God is that man chooses wisely, that he chooses LIFE, and that man can cause destruction by his choices because HE IS A CREATIVE SPIRIT JUST LIKE GOD and can create reality, even by the words he speaks.

        The Lord has created man His equal and desires a RELATIONSHIP WITH MAN not based on a religion or its rules or customs and fears, but in the freedom on a Loving Father and His Son. He sent His Son and our Brother to bring us back to His Family where we can live outside of Adamic rebellion and control. That is the Love of God that is the Truth behind His Word.

        His Desire is for man to experience His Kingdom of Peace and Joy within and be in right standing with Him (wrought by the sacrifice of Jesus) – see Romans 14:17.

        The corruption of the Truth that is christianity is that it is a false depiction of the Heart and Truth of the God of Israel, Who christians claim to worship.

        First, the roots of all christianity is in pagan customs and roman catholic doctrine. Over a little more than 2000 years man has developed his own idea of a religion that he claims pleases the God represented by the Bible.

        Second, the Bible itself was put together (the canon) and translated by people who were tainted by the christian religion. It was man who decided what would be the Bible and how it would be translated. For example, king james who was the sponsor of the famous king james translation of the bible gave the translators rules on how they were to translate; one rule was that they had to stick to language recognized by the church of england (the anglican church or the episcopalian church) at the time. There was a split from rome and the king of england was conscious of his need to remain relevant as the head of the church of england.

        Judaism has the Promise of the Messiah as a Core Hope and much was done to sever all ties to Judaism when the roman catholic system took over. One reason they used, ignoring the Truth of God's Word, was that it was the Jews who killed Jesus and therefore should be shunned. With that strategy they introduced pagan doctrines which involved sun worship etc. Even though Marin Luther introduced some reform from the roman catholic system, he was very much a roman catholic in that he favored the pope and had people burned at the stake who did not believe in infant baptism!

        There were deliberate moves to have a system that did not favor The Truth of God. We can hear from the Lord and speak to Him and read any book we desire and be led by Him into His Truth, which He has told us is the ONLY way we will be free. All other things may seem like Him but they will bring us into bondage and oppression, including the christian religion or any religion. The Lord never created a religion. Man did and expected god to endorse his good ideas. Rebellion is man's good ideas without the Lord's Endorsement...

        July 28, 2013 at 10:51 am |
        • Pierre

          Well done Liz!!
          As you can see, no clever replies from anyone...

          Life is spiritual! If you are going to try and figure it out realistically or factual all the time, you are going to get stuck sooner or later. God wants us to live life to the full, not limiting us to the limits that this realm seemingly has. All things ever created was first created in the spirit, by believers or unbelievers. Death and life is in the power of the tongue, so anything we speak comes into being. (Prov18:21). Good or bad, knowingly or unknowingly.

          July 29, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
        • Randy

          A nice story. But could you please offer your BEST proof that there is a god. Any god.

          July 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • Randy

          @Pierre. "God wants us to live life to the full, not limiting us to the limits that this realm seemingly has."

          And you know this how?

          July 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • John McGrath

      The sadistic delight in Revelation does seems to be the work of a psychopath.

      August 2, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
      • graywills

        Then you haven't read it properly.

        August 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • Observer

        It also fantasizes about cannibalism, which is not unusual for a book that talks about symbolically eating the body of Christ and drinking his blood.

        September 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • spockmonster

      Jesus said judge not. Evangicals are not being true to jesus, they are directly acting against what he said to do. Worry about your own life and no one elses.

      September 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • The Lord of Excess

      "Outer darkness" ... your former Mormon is showing there.

      September 19, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
  3. Alaistair

    Matthew 7: 14

    July 27, 2013 at 9:41 am |
  4. Nathan

    "I explain how young adults perceive evangelical Christianity to be too political, too exclusive, old-fashioned, unconcerned with social justice and hostile to lesbian, ga.y, bise.xual and transgender people."

    Don't forget it's perception as anti-science and blind to new evidence in favor of rote quotations of ancient dogma.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Qwert

      you obviously have never read any serious Christian scholarship. The denial of evolution and global warming is purely an American phenomenon. The major Christian churches, as well as other religions, around the world, do not oppose science.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
      • Burzghash

        I'm happy to hear that – being an American, our Christians are intellectually and scientifically stunted.

        Please, please do something to fix them and this mess :(

        July 27, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
        • ODD BALL

          As time gets closer, read what revelation says - hate towards christians will increase, we will be persecuted and more people will leave the church more than ever– I guarentee you that christianity will be outlawed in the next 30 years and people will be imprisoned....

          July 29, 2013 at 4:28 am |
      • fnordz

        Science often opposes them, though. As it should.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:10 am |
      • Rose ASL

        Thankyou, Qwert! This is so true. I was so happy when I started reading a book by the current Patriarch of Eastern Orthodoxy and realized that there actually IS a form of Christianity that doesn't deny scientific evidence! And it's the oldest form too.... How about that. Western Christianity is a sad mess of religious whisper-down-the-lane.

        July 29, 2013 at 8:02 am |
      • Jeshua

        And why should we believe in Evolution?

        August 16, 2013 at 5:34 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Potentially due to the fact that there is vast amounts of evidence to support it. You may not care that what you believe is based on evidence but we do.

          August 16, 2013 at 5:54 am |
        • photografr7

          I think he was joking (about that evolution thing).

          August 16, 2013 at 6:55 am |
        • photografr7

          Didn't you hear? God replicates each gene, and then once in a while randomly selects some to be slightly different. And then, after some, what, 6,000 years, He eventually says unto thee, "Let there be Man to walk among the creatures of the earth, which I made from nothing. And there was Man. And Woman was made from his rib." And He rested. Science is wonderful.

          August 16, 2013 at 6:54 am |
        • David Austreng

          Because, it's measurable... Because we see development of this in nature. I know, why should we believe in something that's just a STORY? You can believe in stories, I like to believe in something that has it's foundation in REALITY!

          October 11, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
      • Ken

        Then why has this CHRISTIAN nation has led the world in every kind of technological endeavor?
        Oh and please give me an 'atheist' nation (it's been tried) that has accomplished anything for the world.

        September 15, 2013 at 12:58 am |
        • Seth

          Ken, you need to have a more concrete connection between faith and innovation to prove that the former is responsible for the latter. We are a country founded on the need for innovation. We are large, populous, and prosperous, fine conditions for fostering good thinking, scholarship, and invention. Christianity happened to be the most popular religion; we would likely have seen many of the same things we have today had some religion or no religion been, provided the state wasn't trying to fill a loyalty vacuum with a cult of personality or state propaganda much like those Communist countries the weakest of apologists like to claim are representative of atheism.

          September 15, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • Realist

      ..........

      ......................

      ..... http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ...

      ..... and thank goodness because he emanates from the .....

      ..... http://www.EVILbible.com

      ........................

      ( PLEASE visit those sites and learn the truth )

      July 28, 2013 ..... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

      July 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
      • OdinVonTogan

        Its about time for you to expand your mind. I'm an engineer and I do stuff that biblical-time people would say is the stuff of gods. During ww2, pacific islanders thought the US military were gods – because they never saw planes before. You need more than that, OK, here it is. Today, our science is writing data onto and doing calculations with protein molecules – far more advanced than using silicon chips. Your brain is protein – with a database that holds your memories and philosophy, and it does calculations. God made it. God also made an internet that is wireless, which is uploading and storing a copy of your memories, ideas, decisions, etc. All these combined are you, your soul.. Yep, it is being uploaded and stored in a file folder, with your name on it, and when it is no longer uploading, because your (current) body died, you still exist, in that file folder. This explains what others speak about as your spirit, or soul, that lives forever. As others explain, God doesn't worry about your (current) body that only lives for 100 yrs – He takes care of your soul. Simple. And when you think others are stupid to be 'religious', how stupid are you to limit yourself to this one planet, when there are billions up there, all connected by God's Galactic Internet, no big bang, no beginning, no end, forever, billions of souls traveling the ever-changing universe, in and out of various human-like bodies, on and off of different earth-like planets. As far as memories you have that you would like to forget, no problem, file deleted. As far as heaven and hell, look around, this is a hellish place, with some heavenly stuff to teach us the difference. Wanna go to a better place next time, with nothing but heavenly good stuff, then fill your file folder with good deeds, because some day, yes, it will be opened and reviewed and judged, and next time, you will be uploaded (or downloaded) as you deserve, to a better place, or a worse place, than this one. Yes, it is that simple. Case closed.

        July 28, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
        • Yep!

          ....Wasn't Odin a Norse God?

          July 29, 2013 at 4:01 am |
      • fred bowen-smith

        Realist, that’s a pretty bad site full of falsities and delusion. Slavery… Remember it’s the Jewish heritage and recording of their history that leads to Christ and the birth of Christianity. The Jews were slaves of the Egyptian rule and became a free society. That took a while to “evolve” in culture and standards. Just as our inner cities have taken a while to de-evolve in culture and society.

        Now maybe you believe in spontaneous something from nothing and in only one planet in the entire universe. Yea, I'll buy a bridge before that one. Just look at how wonderfully a daisy is made and transforms into a seed sail! please.

        Things may evolve and adapt but change form slime to human… farfetched thought.

        July 29, 2013 at 9:54 am |
        • JustSarah

          Oh, it's very likely that humans evolved, over billions of years, from single celled organisms. Just like birds are the descendants of dinosaurs. Science is awesome.

          September 19, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
      • fred bowen-smith

        Further realist... your sites interpretation of Gods center of Women in the bible is totally wrong. AS all site against the bible and Christ’s teaching, it takes excerpts OUT of context and erase and destroys the original meaning. You do know that Christ was born of women, not a man. Also that Woman, Marry, was a direct decedent to Adam and Eve. A traceable heritage which links thru time to the savior of the World.

        July 29, 2013 at 9:59 am |
        • JustSarah

          Please explain to me how anyone would know Mary was a direct descendant of eve? Is there some really big ancestral tree in the Bible I have never seen? How about real proof? Technically, according to Christianity, shouldn't we ALL be descendants of Eve?

          September 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  5. hrdwrknjoe

    Bravo, if your a believer and nevermind, if your not.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • Gretchen

      You should be using "you're" not "your" in this context. Rule of thumb: if you can replace your with "you are" you should use "you're" not "your." Common mistake,especially among the religious, I've noticed.

      July 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
      • Ken

        Hail to the troll-box police!
        What a mighty service you are to society!

        September 15, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  6. Xavier

    Perhaps the author should consider one additional (i.e., the primary) reason why the millennials are leaving church: they don't believe it's true. With the technology explosion of the past few years, information is readily available. Religious claims can be debunked in seconds with a quick google search. People have exposure to several different religions in the 24 hours news era. They recognize that billions of people have the same level of dedication to inconsistent religious beliefs and that they can't all be right. God is no longer necessary to explain anything and with the absence of evidence of his existence, there's just no reason to hold on to the myths of the past.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • ko

      Good point Xavier- however, the real problem is that this generation has not bothered to investigate the truth claims of Christianity for themselves. They eat and drink at the bar of Google, as if Google, or any internet information, is absolute truism. Instead of thinking for themselves, they rely on an outside authority instead of the church's authority to defend their truth claims. I wish more people would challenge the church and their pastors, by calling the church, sitting down with a pastor, and listening to the other side.

      July 27, 2013 at 10:07 am |
      • History

        What's this attacking Google as not being accurate information? Are you aware of how the Bible comes to us in this time period? Several hundred years after the death of Jesus, the Nicaen council was founded to aggregate the many, many "true texts" that were floating around across the Meditteranean world at the time, and decide which ones were true according to the wants of the Roman Emperor. They deliberately selected works that Constantine would approve, translated/edited them into Latin, and then proceeded to burn/execute those with the now "non-canonical" texts. Constantine would leave the Nicaen council to go home and murder his wife. Then, for several hundred years, no one but a select few even knew what was in these books, and transcribed them with errors. When the King James Version was being compiled, it drew from many of these texts, selected the ones it liked, and took liberties with the translation. I'm sorry, but the Bible comes in a highly erroneous and watered-down form from what those Christians even 100 years after Christ's ministry would have known. To call it "truth" would be absurd

        July 27, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
        • mediator

          I think the point of the poster was not that Google is inherently wrong (as Google itself doesn't say anything – it just points to what others say). I believe his original thought was that our generation is very gullible to believe whatever they can quickly find on the Internet as being "truth".

          Perhaps we can all agree that just because something is within the first few pages of a Google search doesn't mean it contains "truth"? I think that would be an "absurd" assumption too.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
      • larrylivingston

        We HAVE investigated the claims of Christianity....and have discovered that they are just that-claims.

        July 28, 2013 at 10:08 am |
      • Kiku

        Funny, to many of us, the church is just as "outside" as any other group, it's one voice in a conversation of many voices that include atheism, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhist philosophy, Muslim, Morman, the thousands of gods in India, the native gods around the world. Christianity is no longer the singular voice of spirituality. In fact, Christiany seems to have lost it's spiritual voice as it, in the US, has become a tool for politics, I remember when it started in the 70s. Many churches that would have closed long ago are now funded by far right donors to push a political agenda.

        Kids today can see the duplicity. Kids today see the multicultural world, and have to find a philosophy that answers their questions and gives them a tools for operating in that multicultural world. They need a religion that helps them respect differences (like the Hindu philosophy that we all find a path to the truth, independent of what god we worship), or the Buddhist philosophy of improving ourselves and working with our community (independent of gods and dogma), or the native religions that respect nature and it's boundaries.

        Your solution to keep a the manhole screwed on so that people can't explore their world isn't going to help. But yes, Christian leaders do need to address the reality of the real world to stay relevant. It should be the leaders who are asking questions of the youth, not the other way around.

        July 28, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Daniel

      Xavier, I am very open minded person. I don't discount the concept of god. Do you discount the possibly that we could have been created by another civilization ? With all of our technology and knowledge as a society will still seem like a bunch or morons watching Jersey shore, honey bo bo and believing everything we read about the in news. I think it' a bit early to believe we have everything figured out when we can't even fix very simple problems that exist in our society.

      July 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
      • Truthm0ng3r

        yes, God is an alien – many people fail to recognize this

        October 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • David Austreng

          Where is your proof?

          October 11, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Realist

      ..........

      ......................

      ..... http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ...

      ..... and thank goodness because he emanates from the .....

      ..... http://www.EVILbible.com

      ........................

      ( PLEASE visit those sites and learn the truth )

      July 28, 2013 ..... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

      July 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • OdinVonTogan

      I'm an engineer, so spare me your lecture on science. Perhaps the millennials should, while they are so hard at work at it, consider how much of science has been proven BS, while God has not been proven one way or the other. While science struggles, and continuously fails, to explain how bio-chemistry began from inorganic stuff, they might want to ask why science is trying to find that God particle, rather than the S-happens particle.

      TIme to expand your mind. I'm an engineer and I do stuff that biblical-time people would say is the stuff of gods. Befire my existence, during ww2, pacific islanders thought the US military were gods – because they never saw planes before. You need more than that, OK, here it is. Today, our science is writing data onto and doing calculations with protein molecules – far more advanced than using silicon chips. Your brain is protein – with a database that holds your memories and philosophy, and it does calculations. God made it. God also made an internet that is wireless, which is uploading and storing a copy of your memories, ideas, decisions, etc. All these combined are you, your soul.. Yep, it is being uploaded and stored in a file folder, with your name on it, and when it is no longer uploading, because your (current) body died, you still exist, in that file folder. This explains what others speak about as your spirit, or soul, that lives forever. As others explain, God doesn't worry about your (current) body that only lives for 100 yrs – He takes care of your soul. Simple. And when you think others are stupid to be 'religious', how stupid are you to limit yourself to this one planet, when there are billions up there, all connected by God's Galactic Internet, no big bang, no beginning, no end, forever, billions of souls traveling the ever-changing universe, in and out of various human-like bodies, on and off of different earth-like planets. As far as memories you have that you would like to forget, no problem, file deleted. As far as heaven and hell, look around, this is a hellish place, with some heavenly stuff to teach us the difference. Wanna go to a better place next time, with nothing but heavenly good stuff, then fill your file folder with good deeds, because some day, yes, it will be opened and reveiwed and judged, and next time, you will be uploaded as you deserve, to a better place, or a worse place, than this one. Yes, it is that simple

      July 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
      • Yep!

        .....Isn't Odin a Norse God?

        July 29, 2013 at 4:08 am |
      • Yep!

        Animals have brains, too. Some approach the complexity of ours. Anyone can see the evolution of the brain from simpler animals to us.....God didn't make it!

        July 29, 2013 at 4:10 am |
      • sickofitall

        you're right, pacific islanders thought the U.S. military were Gods because they never saw an airplane. What do you think the people 2,3,5, 6,000 years ago saw when they called them "angels" that "descended from the heavens in fiery chariots"? Do you REALLY think they were angels sent by God? Read the story of Moses & the 10 commandments. God landed a top the mountain in (again) a glowing fiery chariot. Moses ascended the mountain & went into glowing chariot & emerged 40 days later with the 10 commandments. Angels need a a large ship the is propelled by fire to get to earth?
        You say "how stupid are you to limit yourself to this one planet, when there are billions up there". Exactly! it is the ultimate arrogance of man to believe we are alone in the universe. With billions of planets & galaxies that are 10's of 1,000's of years older than ours, we really believe there is no other life? re-read the stories of the bible & replace "angel" with "alien" 7 suddenly things make a lot more sense. Read the stories of the ancient Indian texts Mahabharata and Ramayana about vimanas. There are plans in the bibile that describe in immense detail the exact dimensions & specifications of one of the "fiery chariots" & how these "angels" instructed man to build a place for it to be kept. a former NASA scientist took these plans & built a scale replica in an attempt to debunk the ancient alien theory & after years of research & reconstructing the craft from the specs in the bible, he became a believer. almost simultaneously, a German scientist was working on the plans for the place to keep it, the "hanger" if you will according to plans & specs also from a completely different part of the bible. Both working completely independently of one another with no knowledge of each others work. Years later they learned of each others work, & when the NASA scientist set his scale model of the craft in the German scientists scale model of the hanger, guess what? it fit absolutely exactly down to the tiniest detail. Time for you to expand your mind. Look at where we wre 150 years ago, & imagine our technology in 500 years from now. Do you not think we will be traveling to other planets? we are searching for other earth-like planets with hopes of colonizing one of them in the future because we know we are killing this planet, & it's only a matter of time before this one is uninhabitable by humans. Is it really that hard for you to imagine that other like in our universe 1,000's of years ahead of us have done the same in the past & came here? You're right, how could we take quantum leaps in evolution in a span of 60,000 years when it took over 4 million to get any kind of life at all? We did get help, but it's not from where you think. You can call me crazy, but there is mountains & mountains of evidence showing that we have been visited & assisted by someone greater than ourselves. I find it much easier to believe it was an advanced civilization of inter-stellar travelers than i do that they were angles. The bible is a collection of stories written by ancient people who misunderstood the technology that they witnessed.

        September 5, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • Seth

        I'm surprised that you, an engineer, want to cite the failures of science as your reasons for believing in the Bible instead. Tell me, what do you use to guide your design principles other than what has been tested and has been shown to work? And then you apply something that has never been tested or seen as the explanation for everything. You make a completely naked assertion because you have nothing else to go on. Your colleagues would never allow you to make a design decision based on an untested hunch, why should we take your metaphysical beliefs at face value?

        September 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • mkivel

      Everyone has their myths, Xavier, including atheists and agnostics...smile I feel the article is a fair statement of many folks issues with Christianity particularly as practiced and perceived among Western protestant evangelical christians. I find it ironic that so many folks do their "research" on religion using Google driven web searches without going and actually visiting a local community(-ies) – for the social scientists and humanists here do you regularly give preference to secondary vs. primary source materials when writing papers? I can appreciate that religion in general, and christianity as it is oft times practiced has damaged more than a few people, but one might want to ask is that ALWAYS true or sometimes?

      October 5, 2013 at 8:21 am |
  7. Truth

    I comes down to absolute truth and the concepts of right and wrong. People do not want to be told they are wrong. They are programmed by the media, entertainment world, and advertisers to believe that everything is okay – with one exception – being a Christian. If you do not believe there is absolute truth – if you do not believe that some people are right and some are just plain wrong – then it would be hard to go to church. The Bible says the path is narrow and that concept repels many right there. Why can't everyone be included? Well, it comes down to right and wrong and people don't want to be told they are wrong for believing this or doing that. Now, before you jump in and say "Yep, I believe the church is wrong about LGB" then you don't understand what the church believes. You only believe what the media is feeding you for their cause. If you truly understood the stance, if you truly were as open-minded as you claim you are, then you would see what is going on.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • What is going on? FREEDOM

      Speaking of being open-minded, if the church (including the Christian extremists) were open-minded, why do they bother trying to denounce and use the government to insure gays don't have the same rights as others? God never told straight couples that they can only receive benefits did he?

      July 27, 2013 at 9:44 am |
      • Truth

        You are right – the church should stay out of that. "Render to Cesar what is Cesars". The church does make mistakes. We are humans. People see that as hypocritical. I see it as being a flawed human.

        July 27, 2013 at 9:47 am |
        • AGeek

          When the message is "that which you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me", I'm going to say that your thought process is in need of a realignment. You're being herded like sheep, away from the message, and not even questioning why.

          July 28, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • snowboarder

      there really is no absolute truth. morality is a construct of civil society, it varies over time and even community. even a child can determine that it has evolved over history.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:46 am |
      • Truth

        The you must believe that Hitler and Stalin and every other madman was not mad or wrong or even bad for that matter. They were just going with the times and constructing their own reality. How sad.

        July 27, 2013 at 9:49 am |
        • snowboarder

          @truth, you start right out with a fallacious argument. hysterical. no, every tyrant in history is not an example of the morality of the time. sorry yours is a false equivalence.

          July 27, 2013 at 9:58 am |
        • Truth

          snowboarder – you say there is no absolute truth, yet you accept tyrants as being wrong? How does that work? You can't have it both ways.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:06 am |
        • Truth

          Snowboarder – answer this question. Was Hitler wrong?

          July 27, 2013 at 10:13 am |
        • Truth

          Anyone want to answer on behalf of snowboarder? Was Hitler right or wrong?

          July 27, 2013 at 10:30 am |
        • snowboarder

          @truth, yes, hitler was wrong. from a purely humanistic perspective, hitler deprived others of their rights and their lives for political reasons. that is wrong and requires no magical morality.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:33 am |
        • Truth

          So Hitler was wrong but only from a certain perspective? Well said if you don't believe in absolute truth. You're statement also means that from other perspectives Hitler was right. And since you are open-minded you MUST accept and respect other's perspectives as well since there is no absolute truth. So you claim Hitler was wrong but you must embrace, respect, and defend the neo-nazi that says otherwise.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:41 am |
        • snowboarder

          @truth, I don't know why you make these absurd claims. it is plainly obvious from history that there were those who believed that what hitler espoused was not morally wrong, because a huge number of people actually carried out his wishes. right and wrong are purely a matter of perspective, as they say every terrorist is a freedom fighter from the other side. as we know history is written by the victors.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:46 am |
        • Truth

          Not absurd at all. The way I see it, you want me to accept there is no absolute truth and that I should accept anything as truth by perspective, yet you are willing to say "This act was wrong".

          July 27, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • snowboarder

          @truth, your argument is entirely too simplistic to waste my time on. i'm finished playing childish games with you.

          July 27, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • Truth

          Great comeback. Too simple? Yes, it is too simple. Some things are right and some are wrong. Black and white. In order to justify your beliefs it has to get complicated because you are contradicting yourself. So you have to construct this maze of complexity.

          Not for me. Black and white. Right and wrong. Very simple indeed.

          July 27, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • History

          Since you bring up the Hitler argument, lets examine this from a historical perspective. For the past 500 years, the various European nations had been involved in building empire specifically through colonization. Now, after WWI, Germany had its colonies restricted, its armies stripped, its nation shamed. Hitler rose to power in a country that had, according to the economic standards of the world at the time, been neutered. They were no longer allowed to build empire. So he began to construct a new economy, one that was independent of nation building, but because of the status quo among nation states at the time and his horrific ideology, he decided that the best empire to hold would be that of Europe. He began early on to attack various land holdings, and, in the end, it took every resource the British and other colonial powers had to stop him in Europe. If there is one thing you can thank Hitler for (wow that sounds bad), it is putting a stop to the centuries of Western colonial oppression.

          Now Stalin: that's what a straight paranoid complex does, especially in a position of high power.

          Now, you can look at what these two people did, and think of them in absolutist terms, as the embodiment of pure evil. I see them in a different light, as incredibly flawed individuals who happened to hold the highest form of power their nations allowed them, and as a result, no restraints on their behavior. That is way more terrifying than simply "evil"

          July 27, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
        • Bill Souter

          @Truth... is slavery 'wrong'? Is it evil?

          July 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
        • Yep!

          Gee.... You got that right.(one for one thousand!) There were many around the world that sympathasized with Hitler and Stalin.

          July 29, 2013 at 4:13 am |
        • Yep!

          The REAL truth is.....history always demonizes the loser......if Hitler would have won the war, he would be a great hero.....much like the monks during the Spanish Inquisition, but on a much larger scale......

          July 29, 2013 at 4:16 am |
      • Glenn

        Your first and second sentence are two different ideas. You state there is no absolute truth but then talk about morality. Which are you referring to? There is not an absolute morality for all but there IS absolute truth.

        July 27, 2013 at 10:09 am |
        • snowboarder

          @glenn, he was referring to absolute truth in religious terms, which there obviously is not as can be seen from the innumerable religions. if there were absolute truth in religion, morality would be absolute, which it clearly is not.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:37 am |
        • Truth

          snowboard – can you clarify what you mean by there is no absolute truth based on innumerable religions? I don't follow that.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:44 am |
        • snowboarder

          @truth, the vast majority of religions make the claim of absolute truth and they obviously can not all be right. conversely, they can all be wrong.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:49 am |
        • Truth

          Exactly. They cannot all be correct and that is what people do not want to hear. Why can't we all be correct? Why do some people have to be wrong? And that is where the concept of absolute truth comes in. You either believe it or not. And if you don't believe it, then anything goes. No one is wrong as there is no metric to measure against.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:56 am |
        • snowboarder

          @truth, again with the absurd claims. yes, people can still be wrong. we base our morality on our current societal norms and empathy. there are biblical stories of battles where god supposedly instructed to kill every man, woman and child. that is clearly morally wrong by our current standards, yet it is celebrated in religious context, which is ludicrous.

          as usual with your supposed absolutes you attempt to paint the universe in terms of black and white, while it is plainly obvious that it is not black and white, but a myriad of shades of every color.

          your thinking is entirely too simplistic to bother arguing. i'm finished with you.

          July 27, 2013 at 11:02 am |
        • Truth

          Great comeback. Too simple? Yes, it is too simple. Some things are right and some are wrong. Black and white. In order to justify your beliefs it has to get complicated because you are contradicting yourself. So you have to construct this maze of complexity.

          Not for me. Black and white. Right and wrong. Very simple indeed.

          July 27, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • Sam

          @Snowboarder...there is no absolute morality? So 'do not murder' is not absolute? It is not well known by every single *reasonable* individual within the numerous societies all over the world that one should not kill, or steal, etc? I don't follow...

          July 28, 2013 at 8:11 am |
      • Truther

        "There really is no absolute truth". Way to submarine your whole argument right off the bat. That statement that you just made, is it true?

        July 27, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
      • GiGo42

        @snowboarder – I am not religious at all, but I target with "Truth" that there is a flaw in your argument. You say:
        1) There is no absolute or constant right or wrong.
        2) Hitler is unequivocally and obviously wrong (even if there were people who agreed with him).

        You can't have it both ways logically. If you believe #1, the only thing you can say about hitler is that some people at some times would believe he was wrong. Or, you could say that you yourself think he is wrong. Or maybe even that most people today think he is wrong.

        That whole everything is relative argument is not what people really believe in their hearts. Everyone believes that there are at least a few absolutes. Everyone I've met believes that killing babies is wrong (except as part of some bizarre hypothetical counter-example). Once you open the door to the idea of an absolute shared value system, then you're just arguing about what is in that absolute system and how you determine it.

        July 28, 2013 at 12:46 am |
        • Reader

          GiGo42

          You are making an error based on a too small sample. Infanticide as family planning is a very common cultural practice in human history.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infanticide
          It is not acceptable in current culture, due to changes in cultural norms. I suspect that everyone you have interrogated about their views on infanticide is from your culture (broadly defined).

          July 28, 2013 at 6:44 am |
    • asm_ith

      Even if we accept that there is absolute truth, why should anyone accept that Christianity or the Bible embody that absolute truth any better than any other religion or an individual's personal belief?

      July 27, 2013 at 10:53 am |
      • Truth

        Exactly. You need to determine for yourself which one is right. I know which one I think is right.

        July 27, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • Ron

          That makes no sense. People cannot decide what is true. What is true is true irregardless of what people decide, feel, believe, or whatever. Truth and belief are 2 totally different things that sometimes overlap. There can be an absolut truth but just because someone thinks they know what it is does not of itself make it so. The best we can do as people is look at the evidence and base our beliefs on the facts that we are presented with. You chose (or were taught by your parents most likely) to believe in god and disregard anything to the contrary. Some of us were not bathed from birth in a sea of bible stories or threatened with hellfire forever if we dont believe or shamed into believing. You buy it, others dont. The truth will be the truth regardless.

          July 27, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • MLS

      Well said!

      July 27, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Science

      Yea, I see what's going on, churches keep switching stances whenever things don't go their way.

      Before: Haha Galileo, you're so stupid, thinking that Earth is not the center of creation. Hope you like being arrested.
      Before: Darwin thinks man descended from some lower form of life, let's all ridicule him.
      After: Yea, you know what? I think we were kinda wrong about that, let's pretend all that never happened.

      July 28, 2013 at 4:44 am |
    • Joanna

      TRUTH, very well said!

      July 29, 2013 at 2:02 am |
  8. sam

    Science drew me closer to God. I am a medical student and everything about the human body astounds me everyday, how can this complex system just happens randomly? 90% of my family members are in the science field and they are all Christians. There is a myth about the relationship between science and religion. The only thing in science that has an issue with religion is evolution (that I can think of right now).

    July 27, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • larrylivingston

      Wow, I hope you're never my doctor. I'd rather have a doctor who uses rational thought.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:47 am |
      • sam

        Good luck, most doctors are either hindus, christians or muslims.

        July 27, 2013 at 9:57 am |
        • snowboarder

          true, there is very little in medical study that would contradict religious belief. similarly, most of us go through our entire lives with no challenge to our religious beliefs and no reason to scrutinize them.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:00 am |
      • Gregor

        So you would not have him for a doctor? Your the one who is ignorant. You need to realize that people earing MD's require lots of thinking to become graduates. Believers graduate from the same Universities as non-believers in this country.

        July 27, 2013 at 10:04 am |
        • Science

          Except that universities impose strict quotas on the mainly non-Christian but overachieving Jewish and Asian population. So more Christians get to enter medical school.

          Surprise! More Christian doctors.

          July 28, 2013 at 4:28 am |
        • Yep!

          Uhhhhh.....Mongo likes thinking...(drool).

          July 29, 2013 at 4:35 am |
      • Daniel

        Yep had a doctor who was atheist who cared for my father. He basically said, your father is dying, nothing more we can do and that is life. We asked for another doctor as we were very upset. The new doctor said he would do everything he could giving us hope and asked us stay in the room with our father even while he was in a coma and pray. Long story short my father came out of the situation alive and is doing well. I am not crediting God, but I'd rather have a doctor who believes in something bigger than us all, than a cold atheist who doesn't have hope, or pray and isn't driven by anything in life other than a selfish belief that he is the most intelligent thing in the universe. Think about it.

        July 27, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
        • jungleboo

          And the forbidden question is: At what cost did your father get a few more ounces of life? Why? Did he misuse his original life and need to come back and make amends? What's with the forcing of physical bodies to "come back"? Is it sad that they no longer exist? How about being pleased that you knew him, were fathered by him, learned from him? All the tubes and needles and hospital beds in the world do not make the torture worth it. use your original life beautifully, be thankful for every second and live in a state of appreciation. Death after all of that is nothing to cry over, nor is an extended life any more of a victory. It's just more.

          July 28, 2013 at 7:31 am |
        • Yep!

          Credit your father's will, not some stupid prayer.....my sister-in-law was prayed over by a nun.....She told us my s-i-l would live. She died a week later! Great job!

          July 29, 2013 at 4:37 am |
      • SDY

        A lot of medicine isn't terribly scientific. There are parts that are, but much of medicine is still an art built on tradition and assumptions rather than cold hard data. A lot has changed, but there are still many things that are done in medicine that may be little more than wishful thinking.

        Wishful thinking (aka the placebo effect) is actually fairly effective on many things, so that's not entirely a disaster, but...

        July 29, 2013 at 1:47 am |
    • Nathan

      Christ, if you are a medical student as still think the human body happened "randomly," please leave school now and do not endanger people's lives.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:48 am |
      • sam

        Did I say random? no, a designer. Random would be evolution my friend. Think about that for a second.

        July 27, 2013 at 9:59 am |
        • Christian

          Let me help Nathan out a bit...Christ, if you are a medical student as still think that the theory of evolution claims that the human body happened "randomly," please leave school now and do not endanger people's lives.

          I suspect that's what he meant. And if so, makes your reply more evidence that you don't belong in medical school.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:01 am |
        • AtheistSteve

          Evolution isn't "random" but it's not "guided" either. Mutation does occur randomly but species adapt to outside pressures such as changes in their environment. Of course no creationist will honestly research evolution because it describes a natualistic origin for mankind.
          The most obvious indicator for common descent in the animal kingdom is body plan. If all Earth's creatures were independantly created then why do all vertibrate animals share the same bilateally symetrical pattern of 4 limbs, torso, head with 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils, one mouth. Was God so lacking in imagination that he couldn't devise unique kinds? Instead we see exactly what we would expect to see if evolution took place to produce variations within that basic framework.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:30 am |
        • Steve

          To add to Athiest steve's point. Evolution is easily disproven too, unlike metaphysical nonesense that has no evidence. Anyone found Rabbit fossils in the precambrian yet? The consistency of evolution is admirable. We find missing links between amphibians and reptiles and reptiles and birds. Retroviruses, vestigial organs, embryology. Whales have the (turned off) genes to have legs. Chickens have the turned off genes to have teeth. It all adds up and is faar better than the 7 days of creation myth which people want to continue to hold onto as they fear death. A false promise is much easier to believe, our brains are hard wired for it (well for most of us).

          July 27, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
      • sam

        All of my professors are either Christians or Hindus. Want them all to quit? Want most of the medical professionals to quit? How loving of you.

        July 27, 2013 at 10:03 am |
        • Christian

          If they are allowing their faith to adversely inform the medical evidence and teaching grotesque, even dangerous, misunderstandings about things such as the fundamental principles underlying evolutionary theory, then yeah. They should quit.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Steve

      Hi Sam. You are not seeing the full picture. Remember that christianity not only claims that there is a god, but that he is omnipresent, omniscient, all loving and perfect. Look at the world/universe and then decide if that is true or if you could have made the universe better than god did. Ok, see those craters on the moon, mercury and many other planets. Seems to indicate a pretty chaotic early solar system AND they are floating all over the place and are an extreme threat to human survival. It already did in the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Why would god do that? Suns die and can create killer gamma rays that if close enough could kill alot of life on our planet. Good idea? Our sun's solar storms throw out deadly radiation. Good idea? Rotating Magnetic field? Good idea? Could have made it innocuous. Large amounts of the periodic table of elements can kill us Why do that? Plate techtonics and volcanic activity can clearly kill. Why do that? Animals are weaponized and are at constant brutal war with each other. As are microbes and plants. God created an earth of perpetual violence. Why do that? Virus' and pathogens. Weapanized animals Why do that? To surivive all life has to kill other life. Everything we need to survive can kill us, fire burns, water = drowing. Signs of a creator would be simplicity in creation, instead our bodies have too many dependencies for survival (need to eat, sleep, breathe etc) and too many parts that if any of them fail = we die. The human mind is highly defective (eg" cognitive dissonance). Our bodes have bad design: Appendix, Prostate, breathing tube same as eating tube, retina wired incorrectly etc etc. There have been numerous extinctions on our planet. Sin and death did not arrive when adam signed OBVIOUSLY. It goes on and on and on. Clearly just by observation alone we can determine that an all loving perfect god is a false idea AND we have not even gotten to the mess that is our holy texts and all that implies. Humanity has to move beyond the belief of mistaken iron age men. Our future may depend on it.

      July 27, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • Sam

        "floating all over the place"...? The universe is finely tuned. Noticed how I didn't say "by a creator". It's finely tuned and yes there are many dangerous things out there in the universe, but are the planets just floating about, willy-nilly. Hardly.

        July 28, 2013 at 8:41 am |
        • Steve

          Unfortunately I needed to be more explicit. Those craters on the moon, mercury etc, obviously created by meteoric impact (asteroids) in the 'pre-sin' universe..lol. It is the asteroids that are basically wandering around the solar system, equivalent to a 'shooting gallery', yes they are affected by gravity, but they can hit the earth too and there are millions of them out there. Remember how the dinosaurs died. I guess that was god's intention? There, I answered that one and you never addressed the rest of my comments.

          In terms of 'fine tuned universe'. Life on earth can only survive on 0.50% of the planets volume, now compare this to the universe as a whole and life is ridiculously rare, we are an anomaly. If fine tuned, the universe was much more made for black holes than for us, since it can live in the vast stretches of space, while space is hostile to us. A weird universe to make if he (lol) had us in mind. Life seems to have adapted to this hostile universe, rather than the reverse.

          It also seems strange that god would make a universe roughly 14 billion years ago, with us in mind apparently, and then have us arrive 100,000 years ago. Killing off 99% of all previous life. THEN, a few thousand years ago deciding to intervene after 96,000 years of immense suffering. BIzarre in the extreme.

          July 28, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • giagomino

      I've thought that too, Sam. We think we're so smart but nothing we've done can even come close to the beauty of the universe. It would be hard to believe it's all a bunch of randomness.

      July 27, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
      • jungleboo

        It's not "a bunch of randomness". How childish of you to reduce it to such. It is random with cause and effect. If you tip over a wheelbarrow full of marbles at the top of a mountain, the effect will be random cascading, but principles of physics will also control cause and effect. Do that for a few billion years, and something is bound to happen, earthworms or iced tea. Please don't tell me your having tipped the wheelbarrow over makes you the god who planned (and controls into the future) all the effects of the wheelbarrow tipping.

        July 28, 2013 at 7:39 am |
        • ARE

          But there is even a flaw in that argument. You say, "you tip over a wheelbarrow". You are implying the wheelbarrow was tipped over by someone, rather than just tipping over on it own. Something had to cause the effect. To quote Isaac Newton, there had to be an action for that equal and opposite reaction. Someone had to tip over the wheelbarrow (begin the chain of events that led to the formation of the universe and all life as we know it).

          July 30, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • MLS

      I completely agree! Well put.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • John Herling

      Didn't you learn about evolution even before you got to medical school?

      July 28, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • Realist

      ..........

      ......................

      ..... http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ...

      ..... and thank goodness because he emanates from the .....

      ..... http://www.EVILbible.com

      ........................

      ( PLEASE visit those sites and learn the truth )

      July 28, 2013 ..... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

      July 28, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Yep!

      ...Gee....sorry about your brain disfunction.

      July 29, 2013 at 4:25 am |
  9. James

    You guys want facts?

    How about:

    The Biblical city of Jericho:
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxox6hoU-os&w=640&h=390]

    The Biblical city of Tyre:
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8_jV6R0_5A&w=640&h=390]

    The Red sea Crossing found:
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaN2acVMGC8&w=640&h=390]

    Sodom and Gomorrah remains:
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG3QsisQrkc&w=640&h=390]

    Noah's ark found in Turkey:
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uUjin6MA-k&w=640&h=390]

    Mt. Sinai:
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-eSRcr9CWw&w=640&h=390]

    And MANY more archeological discoveries that prove the authenticity of the Bible. The problem with you skeptics is you won't even read the Bible with an open mind and investigate the claims. 99% of Atheists have never read the entire Bible.

    Early geologists KNEW that the fossils were created by a Global flood that is the only logical explanation for Sea shells found all over the world even on mountaintops. Even modern scientists agree that fossilization occurs during flood conditions.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • snowboarder

      many works of fiction include historically accurate locations. it adds to the believability.

      noah's ark has not been found and neither has the red sea crossing.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:42 am |
      • randombilly

        HAHAHAHAHAHA, he used the "UFO TV" channel to make a claim that Noahs Ark (or was it gilgimish) was found.. Nice.

        July 29, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • snowboarder

      holy cow, you're a biblical literalist. I thought you guys were just myths.

      there is no record of a magical world wide flood. no scientist with any credibility makes that claim.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:44 am |
      • James

        holy cow I bet you didn't even watch the videos

        July 27, 2013 at 9:47 am |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          James he's right. There has been no scientific fact of a great flood sweeping across the world. Many of the cities and locations you've stated have been around centuries before the Bible was even founded. Quite a few cities you've mentioned have been a part of Ancient Egyptian and Greek culture for years.

          July 27, 2013 at 9:50 am |
        • larrylivingston

          I watched them! Harry Potter was much better (and more likely to to be true).

          July 27, 2013 at 9:51 am |
        • snowboarder

          of course not. why would I watch those silly videos? the noah's ark myth comes up every couple of years and is continuously debunked. the rest is uninteresting.

          July 27, 2013 at 9:52 am |
        • James

          Uninteresting? LOL, how are millions of brimstone hail embedded in the ashen remains of Sodom and Gomorrow uninteresting?

          July 27, 2013 at 9:58 am |
        • Nate

          The Christian myths are exactly like every other mythological constructs. They seek to do two things. One, explain what isn't known. A city struck by an airbursted meteorite becomes Sodom and Gomorrah, and so forth, two, control the peasants. Don't be a dupe.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:09 am |
        • snowboarder

          @james, I watched the s&g video and it is completely laughable. who falls for this nonsense?

          July 27, 2013 at 10:09 am |
        • James

          You watched a 30 minute video in less than 10 minutes? Sure you did..

          July 27, 2013 at 10:16 am |
        • snowboarder

          @james, I didn't get through the whole thing. it was too absurd. any geologist would make mincemeat of their claims. their assumptions are purely wishful thinking.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:28 am |
        • James

          @Nate and you're saying "myth" like they didn't find a giant petrified wooden boat nearly the size of two football fields in the mountains of ararat exactly where the Bible says.Or the 90%+ pure sulfer brimstone hail found in the ashen remains of Sodom of Gomorrah off the dead sea exactly where the cities were located. Volcanic sulfer is only 40% pure. Or the chariot wheels, human and horse bones scattered across the red sea bottom... I mean come on, sooner or later you'll just have to look at the evidence like a real scientist and put emotional bias aside.

          July 27, 2013 at 11:11 am |
        • Daniel

          @snowboarder: What about the picture of Jesus riding a dinosaur? How can you dispute that?

          July 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          James, if you had the courage to look at the evidence without bias, you'd not be making the claims you do and suggesting that the bias problem is with others. Once you decided not to consider any facts or scientific principles that did not agree with your a priori beliefs, your 'investigation' became useless.

          Try a little research, James, into all the reasons a worldwide flood did not occur and animals and plants could not survive in any way possible as the bible describes-–if you've got an ounce of courage, that is.

          July 28, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
        • James

          Ok Capt Obvious can you please show these scientific facts and principals you are referring to?

          July 29, 2013 at 12:33 am |
      • Eric T

        We are all around and probably sitting next to you at school and at work – you just don't know it.

        October 10, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Nathan

      Anecdotally, I'd say most of the atheists I know started down the path to becoming so specifically BECAUSE they did read the Bible. Most were good, god-fearing Christians who decided to explore their faith more intently and the deeper they got, the less it made sense and that's what led them toward eventually getting rid of it all together.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:51 am |
      • What is going on? FREEDOM

        That is a very true statement Nathan. I was one of them individuals, though, I wasn't a devout Lutheran I still attended the Church and I began to explore our history. After learning of so many different cultures with different religious beliefs, I began to believe that there was no one true God or multiple gods.

        July 27, 2013 at 9:53 am |
        • James

          Sadly you're wrong. Jesus is the only prophet in history to say "I am the Way, The Truth and The Life"

          July 27, 2013 at 10:03 am |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          James history has debunked your claim many times. Heck you can just go to Mexico and look at the Mayan ruins and they will show you are wrong.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:06 am |
        • Christian

          No, James. No, he is not. That is ignorant dogma that Christians are taught and quote without researching it for themselves. Many, many prophets and religious people throughout history have said essentially the same thing. It's a pretty common religious theme.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:07 am |
        • James

          Ok we have proof of Jesus saying that, now can you show me the proof of these many other people saying it? Or are you just pulling that out of your rear end?

          July 27, 2013 at 10:09 am |
        • Daniel

          @James: What proof? All you have is the Bible which cannot be used as proof of its own validity. There is NO independently confirming or contemporary record of Jesus even existing, much less saying that. All religions have their holy books, too. If that's all it takes to be "proof," then every religions' testimony about itself proves itself true making them all true.

          July 27, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
        • Yep!

          Ha Ha Ha.....James is a looney.....James is a looney.....James is a looney!!!

          July 29, 2013 at 4:49 am |
    • kimjongseriouslyill

      Oh great. There are archaeological evidence that cities mentioned in the bible and history books existed long time ago.

      THEREFORE JESUS IS REAL AND GOD.

      Thanks for saving my faith. Brb shooting myself in the head.

      July 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • gem5

      I suggest you google Kemet Nu and find out where the stories of the Bible really come from :)

      July 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Steve

      James James James. Ok noah's flood. It reportedly happenned around 3200 BCE. Now we have dendrochronology (tree rings) that go back beyond that. Now I know what you are thinking. No trees live that long! What about petrified forests? Yes. 2nd, if the global flood occured then the polar ice caps would have melted. Each winter an additional layer is is added, you know what? The layers of antarctica and greenland go back hundreds of thousands of years. Hence no world wide flood (and as others have stated, floods leave a geographical mark which is not the case with a world wide flood). Secondly, if it trained 40 days and 40 nights and reached the levels of Mount Everest, the water would have been of such tremendous force that all sedimentary rock would have been hurled down to lower levels. We don't see that. Was the flood fresh water or salt water..would have seen massive dilution either way in the evidence. I would think heavier bones would have sunk deeper than lighter bones but that is not the case. Where did the excess water go when the flood waters dissipated? How did all the animals get from their respective ecosystems to Noah? Did god levitate the sloth there? How did all the animals get from Mt. Arrarat back to their respective ecosystems. Are their fossils of koala bears in the middle east as you would expect to find. How did they get to australia. The shells in the mountains is due to plate techtonics which have lifted former ocean based fossils into the mountains and don't violate geology at all. They are all of long extinct creatures too, nothing that was alive 5,000 years ago. Take note also that Genesis contradicts itself too. First says Noah put two of each animal on board and then later it says 7 of clean animals and 2 of unclean. Which is it? Also Noah offered a sacrifice to YHWH upon landing. Since god was not a big fan of unclean animals, i guess that was a sacrifice that resulted in an extinction. Silly silly silly.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Dan

      "99% of Atheists have never read the entire Bible." Did you know that 87.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot?

      July 27, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Keith

      I don't discredit authenticity of the Bible. Instead I discredit those who twist it's words to suit their own ignorant causes.

      July 28, 2013 at 5:32 am |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        The bible discredits itself without any help from anyone.

        July 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • James

          Says guy who's never studied the Bible

          July 29, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • Realist

      ..........

      ......................

      ..... http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ...

      ..... and thank goodness because he emanates from the .....

      ..... http://www.EVILbible.com

      ........................

      ( PLEASE visit those sites and learn the truth )

      July 28, 2013 ..... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

      July 28, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • mci

      You are one remarkably stupid half-wit.

      July 28, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • mci

      *** geologists KNEW that the fossils were created by a Global flood that is the only logical explanation for Sea shells found all over the world even on mountaintops. ***

      Uh no, dimwit, as someone with graduate-level training in geology, that is completely laughable. Marine fossils are found in mountains when ancient seabeds are thrust up and made into mountain ranges over many millions of years.

      July 28, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      The flood was supposed to have been a short period, not enough to leave large deposits of seashells. There isn't enough water in the world to create a flood as described by the bible and if there were it creates all kinds of other problems with the biblical myth. Seashells are found in strange places because sea levels changed over millions of years and because of geological shifts such as earthquakes and volcanoes. btw the skeleton of a whale was found in a desert and it still had legs – another in the plus column for evolution whereas the creationist column still has 0.

      July 28, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • Yep!

      You said" Early geologists KNEW that the fossils were created by a Global flood that is the only logical explanation for Sea shells found all over the world even on mountaintops." ..... Really!!!!! ever heard of plate tectonics???!!!

      July 29, 2013 at 4:44 am |
    • reeeaaaallllyyyy....

      "99% of Atheists have never read the entire Bible" BECAUSE EVERY GOOD OLE GOD FEARIN' CHRISTIAN READS THE BIBLE COVER TO COVER. When you meat for you book club on Sunday's, why is it only your pastor gets to give his opinion on that weeks chapters? Also, practically speaking, how do you guys reconcile the confusion that can occur when your members all read different version of the bible? do you just disregard the chapters that didn't make you feel warm and fuzzy or allow you to form a pitchfork mob against the marginalized group of your choice? Do you guys decide before hand which version suit your needs most before you begin to read, or.... also, how many bathrooms did the large fish have...

      July 29, 2013 at 10:44 am |
      • craig

        We actually understand that we might have different versions, but THE MEANING IS THE SAME. read a king james, niv, american standard. read john 3:16. the same .

        August 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Will

      99% of Atheists never read the Bible completely? Same can be said about most Christians. If one has any common sense, reading the Bible in it's entirety makes more Atheists than Christians. After all, you don't have to finish Mein Kampf from cover to cover to tell that it's full of non-sense.

      September 28, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  10. Chris

    You want the church on your terms i what your saying.

    You want it sll, to tell the church what they believe, what they teach, you want to believe what YOU want and not what whichever holybook your place of worship follows.

    Grow up already. The world is not yours. You millennials need take responsibility for yourself. Stop whinning about how the world owes you something. Get off mommy and daddys healthcare, stop crying about student loans, stop whinning perior. GTFU.

    The world owes you nothing. Society owes ypu nothing. Your voice means no more or less than anyone else.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Sokesky

      Hah! Everytime this happens, we get a new sect. That's why we have Amish, the various Evangelicals, Lutherans, Unitarian, Quakers, Methodist, Mormons...in the end, all breakaways from Catholicism. Not happy with the dogma? Start your own!

      July 28, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • IndependentVoter

      Ok..... in that case, how about your generation gets out of the work force and frees up jobs for us Millennials, and they maybe..... maybe we won't be complaining about student loans, because we will be able to pay them back, and maybe we will get off our parents healthcare, when we can afford it, you know with the jobs that we will have, and finally, how about this, stop treating us like we think are owed something, because you know we are owed one thing.... one tiny little thing.... its called Social Security and at the rate it is going, me and my fellow millennials won't have Social Security to fall back on and we won't have money to put forward into a 401(k) or any other "retirement plan" because there are so few jobs out on the market for millennials. So how about this, your generations should shut up about millennials, and GTFO of the jobs you are holding so we can make an honest living.

      July 28, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Yep!

      .....lern tooo sprsell, (learn to spell)you idiot!

      July 29, 2013 at 4:56 am |
  11. kalo

    How I stopped going to church.
    Step one: Read the bible and all the contradictions it has, use sticky notes.
    Step two: Read the history of the church and all the people god has killed for a 'holy' cause
    Step three: go for a science degree and find out evolution is real, just look at the flu virus every two years.
    Step four: Political elections with Christians thinking to just "Shut that whole thing down" and "Evolution is a lie from hell"
    Step five: Find out that liking the male genitals is a horrid thing, right next to working on sunday
    Step six: Crack a beer, stop caring.
    Step seven: Fulfillment by just being a good person, and if that isn't good enough...then god is a donkey hole and no one should care.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • PaganScorp

      Very well put.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • uncommonly quite

      How I stopped atheists from having any impact on my life:
      Step one: Read the bible and fell in love with God, made lots of notes about all the incredible things found in it.
      Step two: Read the bible and put together timelines that match the what actual history says
      Step three: go for two science degrees and found out evolution goes forwards and backwards... it's ridiculous to count on evolution to do anything.
      Step four: Political elections with Christians thinking to just "Shut that whole thing down" and "Evolution is a lie from hell" didn't mean anything to me. Who cares? Women killing their babies in the womb is sick, shut that down if you're going to do anything.
      Step five: Work during the week, take the weekend off, OK, I agree with God, that's a good plan.
      Step six: Coffee is done, stop caring about my list here and work on yours.
      Step seven: read the bible some more

      July 27, 2013 at 10:05 am |
      • Science

        Yea, it's ridiculous how all those bacteria keep gaining resistance to all our new antibiotics. But don't worry, evolution will go backwards and all their resistance will disappear.

        July 28, 2013 at 4:52 am |
      • Yep!

        ....I love imaginary people!!!

        July 29, 2013 at 5:00 am |
      • Will

        And the Xtian goes, "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!!!!! I can't hear you 'Common Sense and Logical thining'!!! As far as I'm concerned, one hippie liberal in a man-dress CAN walk on water with bare feet, instantly turn that water into wine, give sight to the blind and walking to the lame with but a touch. Also a boat IS capable of housing two of every animal on the planet plus a few humans and snakes CAN talk, but all the evolution stuff is a big fat lie despite the so-called evidence supporting it!!!!" Nothing like Cognitive Dissonance to get me through my day :)

        September 28, 2013 at 11:03 am |
  12. HappyAgnostic

    You notice she said nothing about millennials turning their backs on God or Jesus, just the church. Having been raised a church-going Christian...the number one reason I'm now agnostic? The closed minded hatred present in most churches. The number one reason I'm not an all out atheist? The beautiful teachings of Jesus Christ.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • snowboarder

      there is certainly nothing wrong with the belief that jesus was a good philosopher once you dismiss all the magical stores as fiction.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:38 am |
      • Nate

        ...and do not read about half of what he was purported to have said.

        July 27, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • ko

      Jesus' teachings are beautiful; however, you are negelecting the most important aspect of His life- His divinity. Since He is God, how can one be an agnostic and still follow Christ

      July 27, 2013 at 10:02 am |
      • Miz

        It's more common than you would think. I converted away from Christianity in 1998 and I love Christ more now than I ever did before. A lot of Christianity has very little to do with Christ himself. Most hardline Christians should call themselves Paulians, as they tend to prioritise his teachings above those of Christ.

        July 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Steve

      Of course Jesus has some great teaching, but remember it is a package deal.

      1. Since based on the Trinity, Jesus is also god. He is responsible for all the terrible acts in the old testament. Genocide, infanticide, slavery, execution for the most minor of infractions etc etc.
      2. He states in Luke that 'for those who do not want me to reign over them, bring them before me and slay them". Awful.
      3. Only way to salvation is through him. I guess the Buddha and Gandi type individuals and get what is coming to them. An eternity of tortue in hell.
      4. How can people say that Jesus and the Bible are good when over and over again the bible has godly acts of the utmost cruelty. What would god have to do to convince you that he is evil? Oh right, nothing, you don't want to believe that no matter what. What a twisted view of what is 'good'.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Yep. What makes god evil is that he allows a place of eternal suffering to exist when he could disallow such a place. I will not "forgive" him for that.

        July 28, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • MLS

      One of Jesus's beautiful teaching is to love and serve the bride of Christ, which is the church.

      I hate that people see so much ugliness in the church, but you get a bunch of sinners (which we all are) in a room and there's going to be ugliness. But how refreshing to be apart of a church that says, "At some point I will disappoint someone, we are all sinners and this is a fallen world. But walk in here and feel loved and safe because trust me, you are not alone!" My church welcomes "messes, ugliness and those who aren't perfect".

      My favorite saying, "It's okay to not be okay, it's not okay to stay that way. "

      July 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
      • Yep!

        Another lie from ,of course, the Church! Jesus hated Churches. He said I am in your heart. Your body is my temple. Noticed He never even tried to start a church!

        July 29, 2013 at 5:06 am |
    • Sokesky

      Right there with you, dear. Still somewhat surprised to find myself here.

      July 28, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
  13. Roger

    I appreciated the thoughtful article. I believe in Christ and that He will come again. I also believe that He wants us to live lives of truth and righteousness, because through Jesus, all of us imperfect beings can repent and return and live with Him again.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • Nate

      Blah, Blah..Unless you were Muslim. Then is would be the Mahdi descending into Damascus instead of Jesus into Jerusalem. Maybe is Santa Clause descending into chimneys with gifts.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • Yep!

      You will still be waiting for him until the day you die. !0,000,000,000 years from now, some stupid sap will still be waiting. That's why our collective I.Q. in this counrty is so low.

      July 29, 2013 at 5:08 am |
  14. Steve Johnson

    For me, I stopped going to church once I figured out that God probably doesn't exist.

    None of the other stuff really matters all that much.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • larrylivingston

      Yes, ultimately the problem the church is having....no product to sell. In real business, this would be called fraud.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:53 am |
      • Nate

        The church sells good feelings. That has a counterpart in the business world called dealing drugs.

        July 27, 2013 at 9:55 am |
  15. Areligionist

    Me Too! And I have been waiting for over forty years for the Christians to become Christians instead of being designer suits with a Christian label. I search and have my own faith and am Areligionist – without religion and or dogma. I just am.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:31 am |
  16. snowboarder

    I think the information age has exposed religion as fraud. when I was a child you only learned about religion sitting in church on sunday and what you were told was supposed fact. today information about all religions and doctrines is available at the tips of your fingers, allowing a person to make a more informed choice.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • JohnM

      You are right. Religion is a fraud, and Jesus Christ absolutely agrees with you. He came to put an end to religious fraud and offer a real and lasting relationship with Him. The problem with most unbelievers, particularly Generation X, is they google for information and other peoples opinions rather than doing their own primary, open-minded research. But, many professing Christians are guilty of the same things, they are content with not knowing what they believe and why they are supposed to believe it. Self-righteous laziness and convenient excusses? I don't know. You'll have to examine your own heart for the answer.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:40 am |
      • snowboarder

        as a product of parochial school, I've already traveled that road and found it leads to nothing of substance.

        July 27, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • uncommonly quite

      The information age has been going on since before God formed creation. Jesus didn't need to do an online search before he told the woman at the well her life's story... after just meeting her. It's all an open book to God.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:47 am |
      • snowboarder

        or so the story goes. considering that not one word of jesus supposed life was written down within decades of his death, the veracity of every story and every quote is highly suspect.

        July 27, 2013 at 9:50 am |
      • Yep!

        Any stupid palm reader can do that, too. It's not really hard.

        July 29, 2013 at 5:12 am |
  17. Felix Sinclair

    Think for yourself. That's the first step.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:22 am |
  18. God

    I don't exist, so stop getting all worked up about this silly issue of man-made religions....

    July 27, 2013 at 9:21 am |
  19. haime52

    There has been a push, from many sources, to posit that there is a disconnect between religion and science. A war between cultures, one scientific, one religious. That one must be fully in one camp or another and if you disagree with one, you must surely hate the other. It is a hypersensitivity that has been fostered, over many years, now, that has divided us into these "camps", if you will. Some have come to espouse the notion that you are an extreme, crazy, ready to do violence, person, if you believe in the God of the Bible. On the other hand, some paint those who believe in evolution as people who hate and would do away with believers in God or in religion of any kind. That belief in something higher than ourselves is weak minded, and in need of purging, somehow. Youth are made to view belief as uncool and wrong minded, seeing fewer and fewer people their own age, in church, they wander away, seeking somewhere to fit in.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • snowboarder

      @haime, as an atheist, I agree with you. unfortunately, the religious aristocracy rails against science that contradicts church doctrine. we even have politicians that openly state that evolution is of the devil. how can we battle such ignorance?

      July 27, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Steve

      Have a bit more respect that youth. You ended up going as if they are leaving church as their friends are not there, and they don't fit in. Its a little bit more than a need to be conformist, and in the USA, what could be more conformist than going to church and accepting christianity carte blanche. Mindlessly following tradition has caused alot of pain. Geography is the greatest determinant of a families religion, not reflection and thought. The reason for most of the youngsters leaving is:

      1. Atheists have come out of the closet. Intellectuals such as Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins have stepped to the forefront and we can see their debates online. Networks would never broadcast this beyond 2 minute snippets. Too risky.
      2. Churches have said for centuries that gay people are evil. Now that many have come out, people realize they are very nice people and not made to be the vipers stated in church (or in the bible, where it is advocated they be put to death). Reality does not match the rhetoric.
      3. General greater tolerance in society.
      4. 911 has made many question relgious beliefs in general.

      I have heard some religious people say this 'challenge' is good, and they are right. But there is a tremendous amount of fear of athiest, far more than of people of other faiths. I think as believers deep in their hearts have alot of doubt too.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  20. iBelieve

    I believe that Jesus knows how to draw people closer to Him!

    July 27, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • Mirosal

      well, you can believe what you'd like, but today's youth wants facts. With the internet, they are constantly ex'posed to new and updated info. Churches cannot provide that. All they can do it spout off with a 2,000 year old book filled with 3,000 year old stories. So until your dead zombie savior makes an appearance, they will be leaving in droves, or not even going, to begin with.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:55 am |
      • haime52

        Your characterizations are unkind. Since you don't believe in a personal God, you don't believe in a personal devil either. It might be that Satan, if you'll allow me, works to screw scientific results to show things that would lead one to dismiss the biblical account. Surely nothing would please such a being more than to get mankind to disbelieve in his enemy. It might interest you that even Dawkins himself admits the possibility that God exists. He doubts, but cannot totally dismiss that possibility.

        July 27, 2013 at 9:24 am |
        • kalo

          FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER, FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTERS EVERYWHERE!

          July 27, 2013 at 9:31 am |
        • snowboarder

          @haime, that's just plain funny. "It might be that Satan, if you'll allow me, works to screw scientific results to show things that would lead one to dismiss the biblical account."

          it might just be that reality is what it is and magical excuses are just people attempting to fit their doctrine into the reality of the universe.

          I won't discount that there is the possibility of a force, which we may label as god, but the gods of the major religions of men are simply products of their imagination. it is quite clear by the absurdity of their doctrines.

          July 27, 2013 at 9:33 am |
        • larrylivingston

          It's also "possible" that Harry Potter was real.....very unlikely though. Same with Posiden, Zeus, Mithra, Yoda, Conan, The Seven Dwarfs, etc. See how that works?

          July 27, 2013 at 9:59 am |
      • Glenn Parker

        That's an interesting assertion. While we pride ourselves on our intellectualism and demand for facts, we are the most biblically illiterate generation to date. The "facts" show that we are mostly interested in having our presuppositions confirmed, which means that we aren't really very interested in facts at all.

        July 27, 2013 at 9:29 am |
        • Science

          What's wrong with being biblically illiterate? Have you found people being literate with another 2 thousand year old book? What is more troubling is that this is the Age of Science, and people are still thinking Bronze Age myths are true. As if you can stop the Earth from rotating whenever you like without sending the things on it flying. (Did you read that part?).

          July 28, 2013 at 5:09 am |
        • Sokesky

          Science, while I agree with you on many fronts, many people are familiar with Homer (The Iliad and The Odyssey), and these are still studied and read widely today.

          July 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • ko

        and everything on the internet is true

        July 27, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • iBelieve

      He's got the Prince George generation under his loving care and He will continue to be the loving Savior of those generations to come after George.
      What matters most is for each one to focus on their own salvation.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:01 am |
      • AV68

        Its mind boggling to me that people still believe in these ancient fairy tales. Its incredible how people can be brainwashed at an early age and never be able to figure the truth out by themselves. Today's generation is much smarter and questions everything and googles anything they need to know. The only place religion flourishes is in third world countries where information is lacking and desperation requires false hope, which is religion. Sad, but some places require it to control the impoverished and keep the rich in power.

        July 27, 2013 at 9:27 am |
        • larrylivingston

          It shouldn't really be that surprising. Check out counsciousness studies (levels of consciousness), etc. There's a lot there that should explain things. Some people advance, some don't. As human culture advances, there are always those who stay mired in the past. That's why it's possible to have donkey-riding medivalists fighting against Stealth Bombers in Afghanistan. That's why we have both Catholics, and Super Strings. And as Modern has moved to Post Modern, the clash of the primitive with the advanced becomes evermore pronounced.

          July 27, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • Nate

      "My invisible friend told me so..."

      July 27, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • Nathan

      That would be fine if the entire point of this story is how polls and studies and trendlines show an ever decreasing church attendance rate overall, especially among younger people.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • asm_ith

      Jesus may know how to draw people closer to Him. But since he is supposed to be omnipotent, he's doing a pretty lousy job of actually being able to accomplish this. One would think that he could do a better job, unless the situation is precisely what he wants, namely he wants people to not believe in him. And don't say that it's the devil and people's free will, because all that would prove is that God isn't omnipotent or doesn't care enough that people don't believe.

      July 27, 2013 at 11:06 am |
      • Benjamin Lovelace

        Your right, God does not intend to save all people, neither is he under any obligation to. In fact he has predestined some people to condemnation. This is called the doctrine of reprobation. Yes God is all powerful and loving, but he is also totally sovereign and has just reasons for all he does, even if he chooses not to share his reasons with his creation. Still that does not change the fact that those who perish do not deserve it; we all deserve condemnation, because we all disobey him. The fact that he saves anyone is because he is merciful, since he would be perfectly just to condemn everyone. You might ask how is it just to condemn a person to an eternity of suffering for a finite life of disobedience to God? It is not the amount of disobedience people are punished for, rather people are punished in proportion to the dignity of one they sinned against. Since God's dignity and holiness are eternal, a just punishment against such a one must also be eternal. Bottom line is we are all under condemnation, unless God chooses to reveal the reality of his mercy to us. That mercy is only found in Jesus Christ who lived the perfect life we failed to live and died the death we deserve as a means of appeasing the wrath of God towards us. When we reject this we remain condemned. I understand that this may sound like lunacy, but such is the gospel to those stand condemned before God. I pray that he opens your mind and heart to Jesus Christ.

        July 29, 2013 at 12:08 am |
        • George W

          Benjamin Lovelace

          You are right God doesn't require all of us to be saved as that requirement has already been meet in Christ. Christ died for all of the sin of the world therefore everyone is saved. Christ by dying on the cross bore all of our sin and by rising on the 3rd day he broke the bonds of hell as he tore down the gates of hell. After Christ rose from death hell ceases to exist.

          August 2, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
      • Joanna

        asm_ith, I really don't get it, what more do you want Jesus to do? He is constantly giving us opportunities to be close to Him, to allow Him to care for us, to allow Him to protect us, and WE REFUSE. We push Him away... He clearly tells us in the Bible how much we mean to Him and what we need to do to be in His presence. It very much is all about choice. We were created to fellowship with God, to have a LOVE relationship with HIM. But in case you haven't noticed Love is a two-way thing, you can't force someone to love you, and God has made it clear that He will not make that choice for anyone. He wants us ALL to saved, but many of us choose not to listen. Have you studied your Bible? have you asked God for Help? Did you sincerely try to change things that might be hindering your relationship with God? or are you complaining like a child that doesn't get there way and crying "its not fair!!"?

        See, you can't think that your going to manipulate anything out of God just because you don't like/ or don't understand what He created you for. You have a Grand Purpose – God wants to address all your hearts desires, He wants you to be close to Him, and He wants to protect and care for you. But it will never be on your terms, IT WILL ALWAYS BE ON HIS TERMS. and that's just the way it is. :) I pray that He will help you to understand that. God will not behold evil, He is ULTIMATELY PURE. The Bible is an amazing book, its not easy to read at first, but it is easy to find people to help you get started if that's something you want to do. God Bless you :D

        July 29, 2013 at 1:42 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.