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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 (9,864 Responses)
  1. Erik

    The author's comment about "high" traditions seeming more authentic to millennials really hits the mark. As a Catholic kid in the 90s, I felt that efforts by left-over Baby Boomer hippies to make the liturgy more "accessible" to young people came off as really condescending, being based on the theory that our attention spans and vocabularies had been ruined by a constant diet of TV and pop music, so the Mass needed to be dumbed down to make us interested. Homilies on complex theological issues were replaced with stand-up routines, Latin hymns discarded for cheesy folk music, and many of the rituals of humility and penance were completed edited out. But if the Church was reformatted to appear more like pop culture, why would I was a 12 year-old bother going to church at all if I could get the same thing by staying home and watching the secular humanism of the Disney Channel? And the thing about Disney is that it's all obviously fake.
    It wasn't until my family found a traditional Mass at a tiny convent chapel that I really felt like I had a strong connection to Christ and His Church. It just seemed so organic and real, like the priests and nuns weren't trying to impress me. Without that real connection, I think I would have forever associated the well-intentioned and important social welfare agenda of liberal Catholics with contrived marketing attempts. Thanks to the traditional Liturgy, I take the Christian call to social justice as seriously and maturely as the traditional clergy of that convent took me.

    October 18, 2013 at 1:59 am |
  2. Kindness

    This is my experience... Thank you.

    MY personal testimony.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    I Accepted Jesus christ as my lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
    We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from some other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith ....above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are by faith above reason in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

    Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door,
    And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
    The, looking in, I saw upon the floor
    Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
    “How many anvils have you had,” said I,
    “To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
    “Just one,” said he, and then with twinkling eye,
    “The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
    And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word,
    For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
    Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
    The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone.

    Truth is..exclusive

    October 17, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • max

      Get real or go see a psychiatrist.

      October 17, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Seth

      "Transcending" the need for evidence is just another step toward mental slavery. You might think you are free, but you couldn't be further from the truth.

      You can't accept any alternatives to your beliefs because you don't truly understand those alternatives. You think you do, but you don't.

      October 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • jkflipflop

      This is what people with IQ's higher than 20 call "brainwashing".

      October 18, 2013 at 7:23 am |
    • Will

      "Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence"...... another example of how religions feeds on ignorance. Oh sure, there's no burden of proof on religion or even good. Just follow blindly and drink the Kool-Aid..... SMMFH

      October 18, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
  3. Truebeliever

    It seems to me that people want an easy religion one that does not make the demands that a Holy God requires from fallen beings. So to make it easy they cherry-pick their beliefs rather than go strictly by God's word from the Bible.

    October 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • max

      As if you do...you do wear clothing of mixed textiles/fabric don't you. You so called devout bible thumpers are all nuts and big time hypocrites....PUHLEEZE!

      October 17, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Will

      If we're fallen beings, then who's fault is that? Some dizzy dame that got duped into eating a forbidden fruit by a talking snake with four legs? Not that I care either way, because the very concept is rubbish. Perhaps people would rather live their lives as THEY choose rather than by some rigid guidelines laid out in an old book that has had more writers and remixes than the a Hip-Hop single.

      October 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • lionfou

      Mr. True Believer is, as any psychologically awake person knows,
      talking about himself, with the "cherry-picking" of scripture.

      I like Jesus' take on "projection": "Get the log out of your own eye, before you try to take the mote out of your neighbor's eye."

      Please don't judge Jesus by his followers. HE was a major cool dude. I had to leave the churches to find out.

      "I have nothing against Christianity. I just think it's never been tried."–George Bernard Shaw

      October 18, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  4. Hope

    Thank you!!! I have 100% lost faith in the church but thankfully haven't wavered on my faith in God. If you want to be criticized, find disapproval, hate, and hypocrisy go to church. If you want to find love, acceptance and understanding talk to God.

    October 17, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • Will

      I find my family and friends are more effective than "god"

      October 18, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
      • Truebeliever

        Maybe that is until you stare death in the face. Then what?

        October 24, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
        • Will

          Do what most REAL men do: Try not to blink. Take it from a guy that HAS stared death in the face. Praying for your life has never saved it. Fighting for it does.

          October 26, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  5. Melody

    Unlike those much younger than myself, I do not attend church for a rock concert or for a science lesson. I want to delve into scripture and learn who God is and what his plan is for me. Also, to have fellowship among other believers is a wonderful experience that I look forward to each week. The debate about what a true Christian is silly. Anyone who has confessed that Jesus Christ is Lord in the hearts, is a Christian. Perhaps the judging of others is something the secularists folks like to pretend they do not do, but in all reality... Secularist want everyone to point fingers at Christians and find each and every flaw, but well they themselves don't have any. Hypocritical, but hey I go to sleep every night knowing I'm a sinner, asking forgiveness and repenting. No one can see what is in my heart but God.

    October 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • lionfou

      "The debate about who is a true Christian is silly."

      Sure, why make a distinction between the Spanish Inquisition and Martin Luther King?

      Between the bishops who helped the oligarchs in Latin American slaughter and enslave and steal from millions, and those like Archbishop Romero who worked for social justice and was machine-gunned while saying mass for his efforts, by soldiers trained by the US with the full support of President Reagan, elected by evangelicals? Soldiers trained specifically to repress the poor and destroy democracy, funded by American taxpayers.

      Let's not even CARE about real-world gospel, or "By their fruits you will know them" or "Faith without works is dead".

      Even while Jesus says that if you don't stand up for these things, it doesn't matter whether you believe He is God and died for your sins, he will say "Get thee gone, I don't know you."

      Love your neighbor means love your neighbor means love your neighbor means love your neighbor.

      And in the real world, that shows up as social justice. A Christian who pays unlivable wages, is not a Christian. Jesus leaves not one millimeter of wiggle room on this.

      Anyone can be a Sunday Christian. God is not fooled. If it doesn't cost you something, it ain't Gospel.

      October 16, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • lionfou

      Believing JC died for your sins isn't enough to be a Christian, and Jesus said so very clearly.

      It's not a matter of judging, it's a matter of facing the truth and living the Gospel. And calling a spade a spade.

      July 29, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
    • lionfou

      " The debate about what a true Christian is silly."

      Hoh boy. Nothing is more fundamental. Ahem–who is silly?

      July 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
  6. GOOD NEWS

    It's time to leave the Church, and you shall truly find Jesus Christ!

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    October 16, 2013 at 4:11 am |
    • Check

      ^ 😈

      Nonsense.

      October 16, 2013 at 4:21 am |
  7. david

    Maybe because they like their money.

    October 15, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
  8. barcs

    Society is getting smarter, and more people are encouraged to think for themselves rather than just accept what is told as absolute truth. The smarter people get, the less religion there will be.

    October 15, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  9. Terry Ben

    What is sorely missing in all these comments and replies, (I tried to read them all) is the essence of what faith is. Also, Christianity is not a religion it is a relationship. Unless you accept the tenets of the bible (the authority Christians use as their basis) you cannot even enter into an argument or debate. I have not included any scripture references because the worldly person cannot understand. Furthermore, true followers of Jesus Christ don't care what the world thinks of them, they are only interested in what God thinks of them as they follow His will. It is sad what has happened to our youth, but it is no different than it has ever been through the ages. Religion is man's quest to reach a godly standard and relationship by following rules set down by organized religious groups, whatever they may be, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc. Follow these rules and you'll be ok NOT. Followers of Jesus Christ are commanded to love each other and exercise that love toward their neighbors, whomever they should be. You will know a Christian by their love. Bitterness, hatred and constant strife are not indications of a faith filled person. Sorry most cannot grasp that concept.

    October 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • lionfou

      Brother-ji,

      I sincerely hope someday you find the primal innocence of the Holy Spirit,
      and run out of opinions.

      We will all celebrate with you.....infinite patience, as Paul would say...in his "Love" passage that is so popular at weddings.

      "But it's NOT my opinion, it's the TRUTH!"

      Mm hmm. God bless...:)

      October 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • lionfou

      And you are ALMOST totally right about everything.

      Especially that the love IS the "witnessing".

      "By their fruits you will know them."

      You definitely got the Spirit,
      and the weeds get shorn in the Spirit's sweet time......

      October 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
  10. bens772

    We want our LGBT friends to feel truly welcome in our faith communities. We want, We want, We want, We want, We want, We want, We want, We want, ect. ect. ect. In answer to the first item on your list of wants thats no problem. Just teat out all of the pages in the Bible pertaining to Sodomy. In answer to the rest of your " We want" list just cut out all of pages in the Bible that have to do with God's will for your life. Then tear off the front cover and all references to the Bible. Then go join the ultra liberal Democratic Party if not already a member.

    October 13, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • lionfou

      Yes indeed, tear out the parts that are not all all divine revealed truth, but only the primitive, hateful, patriarchal, racist, ignorant remnants of an ancient desert civilization.

      And retain the Gospel.

      Tear out the parts that say you have to kill your kids if they curse you, and can sell your daughter into slavery. The parts that glorify, in at least 2 places (Exodus and Samuel), the mass slaughter of babies just because they belong to another race.

      And recognize that pure and noble truths are mixed in with viciously immoral rants.

      In a word, think.

      God never said you have to check your brains and morality at the door.

      October 13, 2013 at 9:49 am |
      • JanesMama

        Awesome and wonderful reply to ridiculous rant.

        October 14, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • cipher

      "We want, We want, We want, We want, We want, We want, We want, We want, ect. ect. ect."

      I can't speak for anyone else here, but what I want is for people like you to STFU.

      (And it's "etc.", genius.)

      October 13, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      @Bens772 – Even better...place the book down and practice the simple human love in your heart. We all make mistakes, we can recognize those, forgive ourselves, apologize to those we have offended, and become a better person. It's so easy.

      October 14, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Patrick Jordan

      Did you not learn anything from this article you genius? Omg, no wonder millenials don't go to church, people like you are there.

      October 16, 2013 at 2:31 am |
  11. Atheists are wrong about Jesus and ancient religion

    Atheists are wrong about Jesus and ancient religion[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50&w=640&h=390]

    October 13, 2013 at 5:35 am |
    • Patrick Jordan

      http://theoatmeal.com/comics/religion

      October 16, 2013 at 2:44 am |
  12. Glenn

    Just as it was in the days of Noah. They were eating drinking marring getting engaged, planting, building, but did not no until the end came and took them all away. So shall it be when the Son of man will be revealed

    October 12, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
    • lionfou

      And the hottest places in hell, are reserved for the pseudo-Christian bigots.

      Jesus (who never said a word against gays, check your Concordance) will be dancing all night with them,
      as the funless mentalists get barbecued by their own judgments.

      Even an atheist who loves her enemies, and gets the log out of her own eye, and does unto the least of these,
      is first in heaven before the religious nasties.

      "One who loves is born of God and knows God.
      One who does not love is not born of God and does not know God,
      for God is Love."

      "Simple caring is the source of all value."–St. Camus, atheist

      "All commandments are subsets of 'love your neighbor"–John, Paul and Jesus

      "Get the log out of your own eye."

      October 13, 2013 at 1:01 am |
      • weismonger

        And exactly where is hell? What's the address? If you Liars for Christ are going to threaten us with hell because we refuse to believe in your unproven, silly myths, at least you should know where it is. duh

        October 13, 2013 at 1:24 am |
        • lionfou

          Unlovingness is hell. Judgmentalness is hell. "Projection" (seeing our own flaws in others) is hell.

          October 13, 2013 at 1:30 am |
        • lionfou

          Neither hell nor heaven is a place.

          Unlovingness is hell.

          Love is heaven.

          October 13, 2013 at 2:04 am |
        • weismonger

          OK, so then its not necessary to believe in any gods or divine thingies. If one wants to experience heaven they can just love...OK, love what, whom, under what conditions? What happens if someone suffers brain damage and has a flat affect in that they don't have the brain cells to love? Do they go to hell then when they die? duh...

          Love is a bio-chemical reaction based on one's DNA and the product of evolution.

          October 13, 2013 at 2:43 am |
        • lionfou

          That's not the love I'm talking about.

          And I won't try to get you to look outside your dogmas. That's your job. The more certain you are in your beliefs (and beliefs, by definition, are not knowledge), the more I'll just move on. Those who want to question, will.

          October 13, 2013 at 2:51 am |
      • weismonger

        What total religious crap. Millions of people who are Atheists and Agnostics "love" ...and they love and care about people because that is part of the human mind. If you cannot love unless you believe some imaginary deity loves you, then you have a psychiatric problem. Its not necessary to believe in imaginary gods in order to love one another.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:51 am |
        • lionfou

          God has nothing to do with religion,
          just as atheism has nothing to do with science.

          I was talking to the fundamentalist in HIS language.
          If I'm talking to a scientist, I speak HIS.
          I was deliberately doing a dialectic with his worldview.

          You can do a totally scientific investigation of whether there is an indwelling Consciousness in all life, rather than a bunch of disconnected consciousnesses. It has nothing to do with belief, dogma or religion.

          The dogma of pseudo-scientific materialism (the idea that what your 5 senses perceive is actually "out there") is as unscientific as the bearded guy in the sky smiting you.

          A real scientist is skeptical yet open-minded–and ready for real-world experiments.

          October 13, 2013 at 2:03 am |
        • weismonger

          We "love" because we have the brain cells, neurotransmitters, hormones, and neurons to love. The ability to love is an evolutionary and genetic adaptation.

          Proof: Just remove part of the brain and observe if one is able to "love" or not. For more than 200 years it has been known that those with frontal lobe injuries have difficulties in expressing any emotion, including "love." WE are made up of the physical...there is nothing else but your silly imagination. All of the emotional and religious garbage you promote cannot be proven by any means.

          October 13, 2013 at 2:17 am |
        • lionfou

          We must not confuse the visible EXPRESSION of love, with the experience of love. The outer and the inner worlds. Again, we need to rigorously question our interpretations, again and again and again. THAT is scientific.

          Question religion, AND question "scientific" dogmas, as so many avant-garde scientists are. From Sirag to Sheldrake to Fritjof Capra (sp?) to Bohm to the string theorists. And of course they'll be ridiculed.

          "All great truths begin as blasphemies."–GB Shaw

          October 13, 2013 at 2:48 am |
        • lionfou

          Absolutely. There are many atheists who are far more "Christian" in practice, than millions of people who call themselves Christian.

          In fact, people baptized Christian have killed more people than all other religions plus atheists combined. "By their fruits you will know them."

          October 15, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • lionfou

      "The letter of the law killeth,
      but the spirit giveth life."

      "I thank you Father,
      that you have hidden these things from the wise and intellectual,
      and revealed them unto babes."

      Babes know nothing of dogma,
      and everything of love.
      They listen to your "vibe", not your words.
      God is not fooled,
      and God is Love.

      And any all-Loving, all-good God who would send his own children to eternal torture if they don't follow the letter of the law,
      is unworthy of worship.

      Fortunately that "God" doesn't exist,
      except in the tortured, judgmental minds of pseudo-Christian bigots.
      They don't know that "the kingdom of heaven is at hand....within you" RIGHT NOW.

      The instant you feel the love of God, you are in heaven.
      Love and judgment are mutually exclusive,
      and you make your choice, each second,
      between heaven and hell.

      The "letter of the law" people live in hell,
      the "spirit of the law" people live in heaven.
      RIGHT NOW!
      Any spiritually sensitive person knows this.
      And bigots are not spiritually sensitive, hence have no place in heaven.
      Because God lives in heaven, and "God is Love".

      And "perfect love casts out fear".
      A loving person has no fear of hell, and does not experience it.

      To 'do good' to get a reward (some future heaven) is not virtue.
      To love in order to love, is what true hearts do.
      And true hearts live in heaven.
      No one else does, or ever will

      October 13, 2013 at 1:11 am |
  13. lionfou

    Yes, I believe in every word in the Bible! I believe all football players are sinners ("You shall not touch the skin of a pig."). I believe it's OK to sell your daughter into slavery, as the Bible says–as long as you follow its rules for slavery. I believe all woman teachers and CEOs should be fired ("I will not suffer a woman to teach, or to have authority over a man."). I believe no slaves are allowed to try to escape ("Slaves, be subservient to your masters."). I believe if your child gets mad and curses you, you HAVE to kill them, as the Bible demands.

    Clown.

    John 1 says the light INSIDE you is the Logos or son/daughter of God, the same Logos that created the universe, then took a body as Jesus to awaken that light inside us.

    Fundamentalists are at war with the son of God inside you. They don't want you to follow the Light inside that God gave you.

    October 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • Guest

      So you would want every single football player to go to hell when they die. You would sell your daughter as a slave. You would kill your own little boy or girl because they said a bad word.

      October 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • lionfou

        I'm satirizing the "letter of the law" people, showing that almost no one takes those cruel Bible passages seriously, so why be a hypocrite and bully people with all the other passages?

        October 15, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Guest

      Hello,
      Just to make sure I read your comment correctly I would like to confirm a few things.
      You would want football players to go to hell when they die. You would sell your child as a slave. You would KILL your child because they swore. I don't know how to comprehend your stupidity. This is like 2000 years ago thinking. Who here would sell their child as a slave. Slavery was abolished 150 years ago. I am catholic but I think god wouldn't intend to hurt anyone for doing normal things that people do these days.

      October 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
      • lionfou

        That was satire. I was debunking "Every word in the Bible is true, so you'd better obey", and pointing out that we consider many of those commandments from Old Testament to St. Paul, like "Wives, be subservient to your husbands", or "Slaves, be subservient to your masters" to be inappropriate for our times.

        Any disagreement?

        So to pick and choose, like the anti-gay stuff, while ignoring all the other commandments we disobey–is without integrity.

        New Testament says clearly, JC and Paul and John, that "love your neighbor" encompasses ALL commandments. If you do that, you're handled. And you're embodying Christ. "Anyone who follows the spirit of God, is the son of God." (Romans 8)

        October 15, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
  14. Daniel

    Thinking people don't look at God's Creation and say, "It just so happen to come into existence in perfect order, working together, all at the same time, by itself." Which, by the way, it would have to for interdependent things like plants and insects to exist at all, without God. Neither do thinking people say, "Everything evolved from an amoeba, or some other simple life form."., for the same reason of the interdependence of life and evidences of young life on earth.
    The reason so many of you atheists are LGBT is because God gave you over to it for your own self-destruction when you decided to worship the creature (yourselves) more than the Creator (God). See Romans Chapter 1in the Bible (KJV) for proof of this.
    God has been very patient with many of your giving you ample time to repent receive his forgiveness and grace. But that time is coming to an end. I woulden't want to be in your shoes when God's judgement falls upon you. Many laughed at Noah and his family in their day right before God's judgement fell, and so it is today.

    October 12, 2013 at 12:51 am |
    • Observer

      Daniel,

      Do you believe EVERY word of the Bible or are you just another Christian HYPOCRITE who picks and chooses so he can trash gays while ignoring the Bible's support of immorality like slavery?

      October 12, 2013 at 12:56 am |
      • Daniel

        I believe every word. God never approved of slavery, but he tolerated it. Just as Jesus explained that God tolerated "writ of divorcement" in Moses day, it was not Gods design from the beginning and Jesus set a higher standard preparing the people to enter into a deeper relationship with God where they serve him out of love and by the Spirit of God and no longer by written laws out of fear of judgement.

        October 12, 2013 at 1:10 am |
        • Observer

          Daniel

          "I believe every word. God never approved of slavery, but he tolerated it."

          God NEVER condemned slavery, but instead told where people could get slaves, said they should be treated as PROPERTY and even gave rules for how badly you could HURT them without punishment.

          Please read a Bible someday and skip the HYPOCRISY.

          October 12, 2013 at 1:13 am |
        • Daniel

          Observer,
          God gave specifics on divorce in the law too, "writs of divorcement", but it was still only tolerated and allowed because of the hardness of their hearts according to Jesus.
          God used slavery to punish his people and to punish the heathen. That should give you some idea what God thinks of it.

          October 12, 2013 at 1:21 am |
        • Observer

          "God used slavery to punish his people and to punish the heathen. That should give you some idea what God thinks of it."

          So you are saying that God did approve of it. At least we agree on that. Nowhere did God make ANY provision for whether the slaves might be good people.

          NO ONE believes every word of the Bible. They just pick and choose. That's why HYPOCRITES pick passages that are negative towards gays and IGNORE the MORE IMPORTANT Golden Rule when dealing with gays.

          There's little chance you agree with God's foolish rules on marriage, but you are glad to pick on gays anyway while ignoring the MUCH GREATER number of Christian ADULTERERS who have divorced and remarried.

          Like I said, it's all HYPOCRISY.

          October 12, 2013 at 1:28 am |
        • Daniel

          I'd also like to add here that those who were slaves and liked it and had good masters had the option of becoming a permanent "slave", what we would consider a nanny, butler, or live in house keeper; with the exception that one cannot change their mind about it. It was a contract for life, but nevertheless, one entered into willingly. All other forms of slavery among Jews ended each year of Jubilee.

          October 12, 2013 at 1:29 am |
        • Observer

          It was a contract for life, but nevertheless, one entered into willingly"

          Like the fathers who sold their daughters into slavery with God's approval? Read a Bible sometime.

          Your excuses are pathetic.

          What about the MUCH GREATER NUMBER of Christians who are adulterers by marriage than there are total gays? Why are you picking on gays when your fellow Christians have much bigger s3xual relationship problems? More hypocrisy.

          October 12, 2013 at 1:34 am |
        • Daniel

          Observer,
          I do not excuse those Christians who have committed adultery. Adultery is sin also. Perhaps James 2:10 would be appropriate here. It teaches us that to break God's law at one point is that same as breaking it at every point. Point is, a law breaker is a law breaker. Only the blood that Jesus shed can pay for sin be it seemingly big of small.
          Truth is; however, God's patience with perversion is shorter as we see with Sodom and Gomorrah. I suspect that this is because perversion hurts children the most. We know what Jesus said about those who lead children astray. I really wouldn't want to be in their shoes!!!

          October 12, 2013 at 1:38 am |
        • Observer

          "God's patience with perversion is shorter as we see with Sodom and Gomorrah."

          Have you read a Bible at all?

          What was the "sin oif Sodom"?
          Who did God say were worse: the people of Sodom or the people of Jerusalem?

          Why thoughtlessly trash gays when you know so little about the Bible?

          October 12, 2013 at 1:48 am |
        • Daniel

          Observer,
          Jude Verse 7 "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah , and the cities about them, in like manner giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire".

          October 12, 2013 at 1:57 am |
        • Observer

          Daniel,

          God said that the sin of Sodom was GREED. Again, you need to read the Bible.

          So which was worse: the people of Sodom or God's people in Jerusalem?

          October 12, 2013 at 2:02 am |
        • Daniel

          I quoted my proof text, I guess that you don't know enough about the Bible to quote yours. Jesus simply said that if the works (miracles) that he did in Capernaum had been done in Sodom, that Sodom would have repented and thus been spared judgement. He also said that judgment would fall more heavily upon cities of Jerusalem which reject the disciples than that which fell upon Sodom. Matthew 11:23 and Matthew 10:15.

          October 12, 2013 at 2:21 am |
        • Observer

          Daniel

          "I quoted my proof text, I guess that you don't know enough about the Bible to quote yours"

          (Eze. 16:49) “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

          The quote was from God, who might be an unreliable source? (Is it possible that the inhabitants of Sodom were early Republicans?)

          Still stuck on the 2nd question?

          If you are going to mindlessly use the Bible to trash people, why not read it first?

          October 12, 2013 at 2:33 am |
        • Observer

          Daniel,

          Since you apparently are doing research and learning about what the Bible actually says (as well as hypocrisy), let me leave you with a quiz you can research:

          When asked what was the MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDMENT, Jesus listed a few. Which one of these did Jesus consider NOT IMPORTANT enough to qualify as the "Most Important Commandment"?

          (a) The Golden Rule
          (b) Prohibitions against hetero s3x practices (adultery)
          (c) Prohibitions against gay s3x practices

          It will be a worthwhile learning experience that you will hopefully remember when you think about hypocritically picking on gays.. Good luck.

          October 12, 2013 at 2:45 am |
        • weismonger

          Yes, god approved of slavery and commanded the Jews to take nonbelievers as slaves. Jesus said that a man did not commit murder if the slave he beat lived 24 hours. Its always funny how little Christians knows of their own bible. Christians as the Liars for Christ just simply skip their way through the bible picking out the parts that make them feel good and ignoring the nasty bits. If you want to see a collection of what's in the bible, and how god commanded the killing of non and different believers go to www evilbible com... Its time to grow up. Neither Cinderella, the 7 Dwarfs, Snow White, Jesus or god exist.

          October 13, 2013 at 1:22 am |
      • Daniel 2

        It appears that cnn won't let me tell you to look at verse 50 which you left off in your quote.
        I have not been able to post since you responded.

        October 12, 2013 at 3:11 am |
        • Daniel 2

          Trying to elaborate more but cnn wont let me post

          October 12, 2013 at 3:17 am |
        • Daniel 2

          Simply put:
          Jude verse 7
          Ezekiel 16:60
          Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13
          Romans 1
          Put it all together if you want the truth.
          If you prefer to believe the lie, then 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 is for you.

          October 12, 2013 at 3:24 am |
        • Daniel 2

          I meant Ezekiel 16:50, not 16:60.

          October 12, 2013 at 3:27 am |
        • Observer

          Daniel 2,

          Yes. Just pick what you want and IGNORE the more important Golden Rule since the Bible, as usual, is contradictory.

          October 12, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
      • lionfou

        Yes, I believe in every word in the Bible! I believe all football players are sinners ("You shall not touch the skin of a pig."). I believe it's OK to sell your daughter into slavery, as the Bible says–as long as you follow its rules for slavery. I believe all woman teachers and CEOs should be fired ("I will not suffer a woman to teach, or to have authority over a man."). I believe no slaves are allowed to try to escape ("Slaves, be subservient to your masters."). I believe if your child gets mad and curses you, you HAVE to kill them, as the Bible demands.

        Clown.

        John 1 says the light INSIDE you is the Logos or son/daughter of God, the same Logos that created the universe, then took a body as Jesus to awaken that light inside us.

        Fundamentalists are at war with the son of God inside you. They don't want you to follow the Light inside that God gave you.

        October 12, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
      • dm

        hypocrite

        October 16, 2013 at 2:56 am |
    • Seth

      Daniel, that you believe that thinking people would only ever find your position valid is both bigoted and willfully ignorant. Would not a thinking person have considered that others would weigh the evidence before reaching an opinion different from your own? While we're on that note, let's discuss your straw men.

      First, you assume that people who adopt a mainstream scientific viewpoint on origins believe that everything, including all interdependent systems, must have come into existence in perfect working order at the same time. This couldn't be more wrong. Any life that came into existence without magic and survived (without magic) would not have been dependent on things that didn't yet exist. It doesn't appear that you, a "thinking person," have given this much thought.

      It follows that modern interdependence doesn't preclude the evolution of life from simple to complex forms. You forget that Earth's history is very volcanic, leading to an Earth saturated with carbon dioxide – perfect for the first photosynthetic organisms. Then there are energy and catalytic sources found in non-living objects as well – molecules from beneath the Earth's crust; catalytic sites in black smokers and pyrite chimneys; let's not forget the energy the sun provides. Your "barrier" to evolution is easily crumbled.

      Then you mention "evidences" of young life on Earth. Tell me, of the available data pool, how does your evidence of a young Earth stack up against that of an old Earth? Are you going to direct me to another hoax of "giant bones" or "precambrian sandal prints?" How about those lovely polystrate fossils? Please, we could all use a little entertainment...

      October 12, 2013 at 1:25 am |
      • Daniel 2

        Tried to reply to you Seth, but what I'm trying to say won't post.

        October 12, 2013 at 3:42 am |
        • Daniel 2

          There's a glitch with cnn. I try to post something and cnn fails to post it. Then cnn acts as if I already posted it and won't let it post as if it were a duplicate. I don't want to reword everything just to try again. What a pain!!!!

          October 12, 2013 at 3:45 am |
        • Heads Up

          Daniel 2,

          I can help you with the posting problem. The hints for the WordPress automatic filter are on page #14 of this article's comments.

          I can't help you with your arguments, though; they are atrocious.

          October 12, 2013 at 4:04 am |
    • Joyce Vaughn

      I was going to church and then the church I was attending found out that I had voted for a democrat. I was told that I would be going to hell for voting that way because the liberals and democrats were of the world of Satan. I was shunned by the congregation and the pastor. I tried other churches and all of their teachings are the same. You people have joined a political party and one that has no compassion for their fellow man. They most definitely do not follow the teachings of Jesus. The church needs to read James chapter 5 vs. 1 through 6. Also read Matthew chapter 25 verses 31 through 46 Jesus put the people into two categories and called them the goats and the sheep. Those who helped the poor and those who didn't . Please answer me just how can the churches call themselves Christian and still deny their poorer brethren health care , food, and a place to lay their head?

      October 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
      • Jacob

        Most of the comments ignore Satan. Satan does have a massive following on earth! Many churches were started by satan. Each and every church are invaded by satan. Be aware and withstand him,,,Follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

        October 14, 2013 at 3:13 am |
        • Will

          That's right. Draw more followers to your "jesus" with threat of eternal damnation in hell (since it has worked so well for you in the past)

          October 18, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        They can't. That is you speaking to you – your human morals and decency. You will be amazed at just how much more good you can do by following what you know to be true in your heart, and setting aside the hate and prejudices you were/are being taught. Love is a very simple thing, and it is yours to share in making this world a better place.

        October 14, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • cipher

      "I woulden't want to be in your shoes when God's judgement falls upon you."

      Won't we be naked?

      October 13, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
      • lionfou

        "Perfect love casts out fear."

        anyone who believes in an all-loving, all-good God who would send his kiddies to eternal torture if they don't toe the line, is bound to be seriously f***ed up.

        Only those who are already enjoying the love,
        are fit to spread the Gospel.

        Anyone else is a fraud.

        Anyone who thinks that heaven is tomorrow instead of right now,
        has missed the entire point of the Gospel.

        As we see right here.

        May you find the REAL Holy Spirit underneath all the pseudo-Christian BS.

        October 13, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
  15. mickinmd

    "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."

    If you look at the current claims of the Evangelical movement, it's hard not to characterize it as "heretical." It is full of hate and not rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. There's no room for a "Good Samaritan" -who's take on religion doesn't march completely in step with the Evangelicals. And there's no condemnation of the telechurches that basically drain money away from local churches doing local good in order to line the pockets of millionaires.

    October 12, 2013 at 12:04 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.