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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. Seth

    Gee whiz, how did that FSM of antiquity manage to be one the central figures of history? I don't get it. I no them liars and forgers from the 6th century liked to twist things, but golly gee, how did they produce a smash hit like Jesus Christ?

    November 6, 2013 at 1:23 am |
    • Seth

      A lot of it has to do with adoption by influential people. Christianity was a ready-made power structure. You pledge me your time, money, and loyalty, and I'll teach you how to save your soul...

      November 6, 2013 at 1:26 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        u have a point.

        all them poor folks flocked to him cause they they was rich
        Doug
        I do know what I'm talking about. I was born and raised in a pentecostal church and taught pre-millennial dispensationalism my whole life. I have also been to many other denominations and studied a variety of theologies as well.

        il save time seth doug dodo bird. as an experienced, accomplished teacher of pre-millenial dispensationalism, why did u believe in your savior? fill us in

        November 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          go right ahead

          November 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
        • Seth

          "all them poor folks flocked to him cause they they was rich"

          "41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, 'Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.'"

          Oh, sorry, what was that? You were finished?

          November 6, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
        • Doug

          I didn't "teach" pre millenial dispensationalism. I meant that I was taught these views all my life until I decided to open my mind to other views. Start telling a six year old that they better watch out or they'll get "Left Behind" and you can brsinwash them to believe anything....

          November 6, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
  2. Bob Wood

    YES!!! Closer to JESUS!!!!' I like that!!'

    November 5, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  3. CHOIR LOFT

    Attendance figures continue to go down. According to a recent Pew and Gallup poll by the year 2050 church attendance will be 10% of 1948 levels. Ms. Evans has come very close to the target in her article. The real reason attendance figures are sliding is because there's no soul in church – no heart, no sense of ownership or real participation. One sits in a religious theater and only chooses whatever show style one wants – the Vegas style or quiet librarian style.
    ***
    And where is God in all this dead atmosphere? He has hit the road because church leaders DON'T want him around. The Holy Spirit is too unpredictable and we can't have any of that sort of thing. God, the real God, is a loose cannon and eminently dangerous as far as leadership is concerned. That's why they killed Jesus 2,000 years ago and that's why they continue to kill Him today. Consequently we are left with one chilling fact, we have the form of religion without the power of it.
    and that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

    November 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Judy

      1500 Churches a month close and file bankruptcy

      1 out of 4 people between the ages of 15 and 25 consider themselves Atheist, Agnostic, or NonReligious

      1 out of 5 people of all ages consider themselves Atheist, Agnostic, or NonReligioius

      Church attendance is down 40 to 80% depending on the city and region since the 1950s

      The Roman Catholic Church has had to sell of billions in property to stay in business

      Because of the Internet and the ability to do one's own research, more people are "investigating" what they have been told is true-and fact checking.

      Fact-Archeology has not found NOT ONE SINGLE ARTIFACT that shows that either Jesus or Christians existed in the first or second century

      Fact-Much that is claimed as proof, are forgeries, as determined by research by science and forensics, and theological scholars with no Christian agenda.

      Understanding science, which is about observations and reporting facts (that which can be proven by physical evidence, as opposed to opinion, belief, and wishful thinking) is replacing religion as a vehicle in how to explain things.

      Religion does not explain, it demands belief.

      Religion can no longer use scare tactics, guilt, and brainwashing to control either children or other human beings....because religion and prayer is no longer allowed in public schools.

      Religion never corrects its self, but changes its tune and theology to better "sell" its self

      Religion has become more promotional of anti abortion, denying women the right to control their own bodies and reproduction; anti gay, and has the image of being only dedicated to making money selling Jesus Products.

      Religion does not cure any diseases, invent things, or engage in any kind of creativity, or promote technology that improves people's lives....whereas, that is the sole dedication of Science, which is improve the lives of human beings, and all living things.

      In the 21st century, more people are demanding that the religious as well as politicians, advertisers, etc. PROVE their product works.

      Christianity is being found to be a Hoax and a Forgery; and Christians who believe that Jesus and god talk to them sound delusional and down right insane.

      There is no turning back....80% of Europe is Atheist, nonbelievers, or nonreligious and the US will follow and finally join the 21st century.
      This is why religion over all is failing....

      November 5, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Yup! The religious house of cards, with no foundation to keep it up, is closer and closer to falling down. May it happen in our lifetime.

        November 5, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
  4. CHOIR LOFT

    But the attendance figures continue to go down. According to a recent Pew and Gallup poll by the year 2050 church attendance will be 10% of 1948 levels. Ms. Evans has come very close to the target in her article. The real reason attendance figures are sliding is because there's no soul in church – no heart, no sense of ownership or real participation. One sits in a religious theater and only chooses whatever show style one wants – the Vegas style or quiet librarian style.
    ***
    And where is God in all this dead atmosphere? He has hit the road because church leaders DON'T want him around. The Holy Spirit is too unpredictable and we can't have any of that sort of thing. God, the real God, is a loose cannon and eminently dangerous as far as leadership is concerned. That's why they killed Jesus 2,000 years ago and that's why they continue to kill Him today. Consequently we are left with one chilling fact, we have the form of religion without the power of it.
    and that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

    November 5, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Judy

      Jesus never existed.

      If you can find one single, proven authentic and original artifact (coin, pot shard, wall scribbling, papyri, clay tablet, tomb...anything) that mentions either Jesus or Christians existed in the first century, I'll sen dyou a check for $10,000.

      Jesus and Christianity is a third and fourth century fraud and a forgery....what you "believe" is true, is nothing more than your own imagination....enculcated by brainwashing. If you were born in AFrica or the Middle East, you would claim that either VooDoo gods, or Allah were the only real gods in existence.

      What you "believe" is true cannot be proven by any means known...

      Christians, Moslems, etc. would begin to regain some of their lost credibility if they stated that it was their 'opinion' that their version of god was real. Otherwise, to a growing number of people, including children, and the youth, the religious just sound like malignant liars, con artists, and the insane.

      November 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Yup! Be prepared for "incoming" from the self-appointed atheist "tone it down, you're hurting the atheist message" wimps.

        November 5, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
        • Seth

          "Yup! Be prepared for 'incoming' from the self-appointed atheist 'tone it down, you're hurting the atheist message' wimps."

          Firstly. I'm no Christian, but I'd like to see the evidence that the basis of Christianity is a forgery (and from the 3rd or 4th century, at that). Secondly, whether or not there is a God, I believe that some people, perhaps more than we might think, require that belief in order to be happy and/or stable. I don't think it's at all wimpy to fight proselytizing of all colors, even our own. Fight back where we see religion used improperly, live and let live where people are better for it.

          November 6, 2013 at 12:49 am |
        • Seth

          Agreed. There r such atheists who, in order to feel better, will go to any lengths to try to belittle Christians?

          Point being, r u seriously suggesting that Christianity is fading for good? Please continue to make claims like that. Seriously. His body thrives most of all amid opposistion and harassment of all kinds.

          U may remember, someone was butchered to silence him, once and for all, and today he stands as the central figure in all of history

          November 6, 2013 at 1:18 am |
        • Seth

          Are you also named Seth? This is kind of worrying.

          November 6, 2013 at 1:23 am |
        • Observer

          Seth,

          faith / hharri / rebecca / fake Observer, etc. is a so-called Christian that believes that Christians do not need any honesty, morality or intergrity. She loves to LIE and use other people's names to make false statements. You are just the latest victim of someone who God "hates" for telling lies.

          November 6, 2013 at 1:29 am |
  5. Truth

    As more people recognize the hypocrisy of false Christianity and false religion as a whole more and more people are finding the one true religion that the son of God established back in the first century as the word of God prophesied would be the case. (Isaiah 2:2) 2 And it must occur in the final part of the days [that] the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, and it will certainly be lifted up above the hills; and to it all the nations must stream.

    They are flocking to true religion by the droves and finding that God has a purpose for the earth and it's residence and all he is asking from us is to be good tenants of this planet and the only way to do so is to listen to His voice (Revelation 4:11) 11 “You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.”

    Rule by man has resulted in mass atrocities over the centuries and because of our carnal intelligence we are poised to do even greater harm to the human family and our home then ever before. (Revelation 11:18) 18 But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time for the dead to be judged, and to give [their] reward to your slaves the prophets and to the holy ones and to those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.”

    I hope everyone I have spoken to on this blog finds the truth and gains the free gift. John 17:3, John 3:16

    November 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Doug

      you talk about "true" religion...

      "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction..." James 1:27

      Basically, we can get together and do all the stuff it takes to be "good tenents" of the planet without believing in the God of Jehovah's Witnesses.

      If on the off chance your religion is the true one, the only thing that will happen to us in the end according to Watchtower theology is we will die and cease to exist. No big deal.

      Plus we won't need to go to kingdom hall 5 times a week.

      Also, you have not even attempted to answer my previous comments in the inconsistencies of the watchtower society....

      November 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • Doug

        "Gains the free gift..."

        If its a free gift you can't gain it

        Same thing as saying "salvation is free but it will cost you everything."
        Makes no sense

        But who defines "everything"?

        Someone else above you.....

        November 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Judy

      There is NO false Christianity.

      It is pure hypocrisy and a lie to "cherry pick" your way through the bible, ignoring the nasty bites, and promoting only the parts of the bible you like, or make you feel good, or keep you from getting arrested. For example:

      The bible promotes slavery, mass murder, and racial discrimination. Jesus said that if you beat a slave to death, but the slave lives for 24 hours, then the person is not guilty of murder. Jesus said he was coming back "that generation." Jesus did not come back that generation or any other generation.

      The bible says in more than 1000 bible verses to "kill non or different believers" (www evilbible com).

      People who actually read the bible and know what's in it, including an increasing number of preachers, are concluding the Jesus story is a myth and a fraud.

      Thousands of "honest" preachers are leaving the church, and speaking out against how and why they were lied to by the church....but they and many others could not morally or ethically continue to promote silly, and false beliefs.

      Atheism and Agnosticism is the moral, honest, and ethical conclusion a individual can come to when examining Christianity, Islam, and all other "belief systems" who claim that their god, or versions of gods exist.

      The world and the human species is finally evolving and growing up and many are refusing to be led around by the nose, and blackmailed, extorted, and threatened into believing in gods.

      The last resort of the Christians is to threaten people with suffering eternal torment in hell if we don't "believe" their myths. The problem is, that if you ask Christians where is hell...what's the address, Christians can't tell you. Science has discovered that hell is now "down there," and heaven is not "up there."

      Christianity and their myths, delusions, threats, and hate has no more places to hide.

      November 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
  6. Jesus

    I am an atheist. I will fight tooth and nail for your right to believe what you want and worship what you like, provided you aren't disrupting others with it, expecting others to believe as you do, or representing your beliefs as facts.

    November 3, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Brian

      Are your beliefs a fact?

      November 4, 2013 at 9:54 am |
      • Seth

        My beliefs are not facts. I try to base what I do believe on facts.

        November 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
      • Judy

        Atheism is NOT a belief. It is NOT a religion.

        Atheism is a CONCLUSION....BASED ON THE FACT THAT NO PROOF EXISTS OF JESUS.

        Atheism does not have a church, a bible, demand belief, or threaten people with eternal punishment in Hell if one does not become an Atheist.

        Atheism is based on a conclusion, that if no proof exists or any kind of god or divine thingies, then gods do not exist.

        IF YOU HAVE ANY ACTUAL, VERIFIABLE, PHYSICAL PROOF OF JESUS OR YOUR SUPERNATURAL BELIEFS....THEN SHOW US.

        If you don't have any facts or evidence to prove your beliefs are real, then know this....you sound insane and are living in a world of make believe.

        November 5, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • bibleisfable

      as an educated, intelligent adult and atheist, it is my moral obligation to fight religion where ever it creeps into society, why? It has been lying to and subjugating its believers and persecuting the non believers for centuries..it is time to take a stand and stamp it out.

      November 4, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
      • Seth

        The problem isn't with religious beliefs per se. It's with the abuse of those beliefs, the lack of recognition on the part of believers that their beliefs are not (and often cannot be) universally recognized facts. The same goes for you and I. We don't have the right to stick our noses in what other people believe if it isn't harming anyone. In fact, I'd say that religion is necessary for much or even most of humanity to function properly. Atheism is not for everyone.

        November 4, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
        • Very Well Said

          Where is the "like" button?

          November 5, 2013 at 6:08 am |
        • drturi

          Please Google "Halloween Suicide Girls Born Witches Dr. Turi" and have a blast! Pass it on if you like it! Check also – Google "Anarchy Coming To America? dr.turi"

          November 5, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
  7. ksta

    We find the answer in Revelation 3:15-17 "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:"

    November 3, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Doug

      Well, ksta, how do you know you're not being too lukewarm? Have you really given it all?

      Are you saying christians must work extra hard to be 'hot' or "on fire" for God so as to avoid being spit out of his mouth? We wouldn't want to end up like that "wicked" servant in Matthew 25 who was given 1 talent and didn't make a profit, right? O no, what to do, what to do???

      November 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  8. Keeth

    Let's understand the bulk of recent posts. Let's ask the question;
    Why are so many atheists so interested that 'Millenials' are losing interest in Churches?

    I remember when atheists were cool...when they didn't obsess over the faith of others.
    What happened?

    November 2, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • Doug

      Possibly the increase of religious fanaticism in light of the turmoil of the modern world. People start doing more crazy stuff because of their faith and someone's got to try and stop the them.

      Its no wonder a men like Dawkins say things like "science will fly you to the moon, faith will fly you into buildings". Not totally true all the time, but he's only trying to stop crazy people. Can't fault him for that.

      November 2, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
      • lionfou

        "Faith will fly you into buildings."

        That's if you disagree with the thousands of architects and pilots, and the former worldwide head of Army intelligence, who say that planes didn't do it.

        November 2, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
        • Doug

          Not my point, nor is it the point Dawkins makes.

          November 2, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
        • Will

          RED ALERT!!! We got another conspiracy theorist on our hands

          November 2, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
        • lionfou

          I have no interest whatsoever in conspiracy theories. Only in expert testimony. Do your homework.

          November 2, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
        • Will

          I get n that as soon as I'm done reading about how the moon landing was really a movie stage. On to the topic at hand now.

          November 2, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
        • lionfou

          If you would like to read the systematic math and science coming from professionals with tens of thousands of years of experience, who have risked their reputations to put out the figures that back up what they are saying–then DO YOUR FRIGGIN' HOMEWORK BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH! Architects, engineers, demolition experts, Army intelligence Major General, pilots, et al. Until you say something that indicates you have studied something, then you are wasting all of our time with pure ignorance.

          November 3, 2013 at 1:09 am |
        • Will

          So is THAT where you learned about Area 51? Moving along

          November 4, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
        • lionfou

          Google the thousands of architects, engineers, pilots and demolition experts, Maj. Gen. Stubblebine, the CIA assets (one of whom, the CIA back door channel to Iraq before 9/11, was tossed in prison under the Patriot Act to keep her from testifying, the charges were dropped after the wind blew over).

          They know what they're talking about. You obviously don't.

          November 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
        • Will

          Can they also tell me about that magic bullet that killed Kennedy? Back to the topic!!! (I wonder how long it's going to take this guy to figure out that I'm toying with him.... hmmmmmm)

          November 4, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
        • lionfou

          Oh I got that a long time ago,
          not all of us are toilet-trained.

          and the topic that led to this, was blaming Muslim fanatics (which the hijackers were not, they chased women, smoked, drank, etc.) for 9/11....when it's neocolonialism that created the mess, coming out of majority Christian nations with largely secular motives (as in greed).

          November 4, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
        • lionfou

          And yes, 5 of the Parkland doctors say on camera that JFK was shot from the front, and the first African-American on the White House Secret Service detail says that all the Secret Service guys with him said the same. The owner of the company that repaired the limo says there was a bullet hole in the windshield from the front. All these guys are on camera.

          Nothing is as it seems. And religious fanatics are NOT behind the war on terror. The resistance to neocolonialism is.

          November 4, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
        • Doug

          Actually, my point was that faith has the potential to drive people to do good or evil, and atheists often point out the danger of blind faith. II said nothing about 9/11, I was simply using a quote from Richard Dawkins to support that point.

          November 5, 2013 at 5:55 am |
      • Keeth

        Doug, you're losing it. There's no mad dash to madness from the followers of Jesus.

        November 3, 2013 at 1:27 am |
        • Doug

          "There's no mad dash to madness from the followers if Jesus."

          Not all of them for sure. Others I'd have to say yes.

          I spent years as a believer in bible prophecy and spent much time with christians who fantasize about the apocalypse and compare news headlines to ancient scriptures.

          They believe Israel is God's special timetable for world events and think that because Israel became a nation in 1948 there's a 100% chance the world's going to end before that generation passes away.

          They believe the "spirit of the antichrist" is behind any attempts at unity and international cooperation. Even the seemingly harmless olympics are sometimes viewed as Satan's tool. To some of these people the above views are as debatable as the earth revolving around the sun.

          Believe me, I've been there-I used to be one of them. Total madness.

          November 3, 2013 at 6:28 am |
    • Seth

      "Why are so many atheists so interested that ‘Millenials’ are losing interest in Churches?"

      Because I am an atheist who is a Millenial that left the church. My reasons had only a little to do with what is written here. Most of my discussion here concerns certain theistic claims.

      November 3, 2013 at 2:18 am |
      • FellowTraveler

        Keep searching Seth. I would guess that you are young. Our understanding of life, the universe and everything matures with time. You, and most atheists are on their way! Roughly at about stage 2 in a roughly 5 stage progression of belief.

        November 3, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
        • Seth

          Forgive my skepticism, but what were the other three stages that led to your belief?

          November 3, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
        • drturi

          Please Google "Halloween Suicide Girls Born Witches dr.turi" it will make a lot of sense to you and please if you like it pass it on to all the witches out here...

          November 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
  9. Doug

    This has been a very humbling and enlightening experience listening to so many different people on this blog and others.

    Amazing how in the midst of alll the intelligence and information literally at the tips of our fingers we still haven't been able to solve all the questions of life or figure everything out. Makes me think....maybe we weren't meant to. I think its got to be something- something else I'm not quite sure what it is. Something that makes me sad when I see the tears and frustration if hurt people particularly those Ive seen here on this blog, something that makes me mad when I see injustice or cruelty, something that makes me want to bring hope and healing to the world. Something, I say.

    One thing I did learn after leaving religion was that we so often forget that there are real people, hearts, and minds behind every comment, book, blog, speech, website, and every expression of emotion imaginable.

    November 2, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • lionfou

      Gorgeous, Doug.

      I think the atheist Albert Camus made a very Christian statement when he said,
      "Simple caring is the source of all value."

      Getting the log out of our eye so we can truly 'see' the other.
      "Re-spect" means "look again".

      November 2, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Elizabeth

      Doug , I would like to know what religion
      you learned? It sounds like mine. I would
      never leave it.

      November 3, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Elizabeth

      I have learned , God wants a family
      that's why we are here. Have you read this
      in your Bible??

      November 3, 2013 at 11:40 am |
      • Doug

        I wish I could believe in that, I really do. Care to expound?

        November 3, 2013 at 11:57 am |
        • Elizabeth

          Go to theTrumpet.com
          also the liberary for booklets
          FREE

          November 3, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
      • Doug

        Point being I didn't learn all that stuff from my previous comment until I gave up the religion I was in. I had to give up those beliefs in order to learn and embrace those views. The more I felt compassion and concern for individuals the less I cared about the religious doctrines

        November 3, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • Elizabeth

          I agree with your believes,I like to add them to
          my religion

          November 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  10. Keeth

    Now I can target Marriage, you must not discriminate,
    Gay, Lesbian and Bulls,
    are those people you hate?
    You’ll say ‘there are Partnerships, Unions and such’,
    But we want straight verbiage,
    do you hate us that much?
    And you Christians so soft and so willing to please,
    your definition you’ll run from,
    just like a disease.
    I'm enlisting your own, so bright is my plan,
    in books, schools and scouting,
    your Jesus you’ll ban.
    Well sure I am miserable and jealous of you,
    I'm going to feel better
    with you miserable too.
    Now feeling much better and with Christian consent,
    I pretend there's no sin,
    and I’ll never repent.

    November 2, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • lionfou

      The idea that non-Christians are any less holy and righteous than Christians,
      is pretentious delusional arrogant bullcrap.

      People baptized Christian have slaughtered more people than all other religions plus atheists combined.
      When they conquered Jerusalem in 1099, they butchered 40,000 people in 2 days.

      When Saladin took it back in 1187, he told his soldiers to spare the civilians, to "teach them a lesson",
      when a Muslim general taught the Christians how to be Christians.

      November 2, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
      • Keeth

        Let's see Lionfou, National Socialists – 7 million dead. Soviet Socialists – 20 million dead. Chinese Socialists – 60 million dead.
        Honest Atheists know the truth. Humans share over 90% of their DNA with cattle. The other 10% isn't better DNA...just different DNA.
        With this logic, an honest atheist believes the penalty for murdering a human should be similar to ordering steak.
        Hitler, Stalin and Mao were all Atheists. Good luck proving otherwise.
        Now before we all have a temper tantrum, please note; I did not say atheism causes mass murder. I only said it allows for it.
        Isn't math fun?

        November 2, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
        • lionfou

          What math?

          Nazis were raised Christian. Most of Stalin's folks were raised Christian. The Russian Orthodox Church is alive and well.

          The CIA alone was responsible for at least 6 million dead, according to former insiders like John Stockwell.

          Even the Islamic terrorists are blowback from centuries of Western imperialism.

          November 2, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
        • lionfou

          "Now before we all have a temper tantrum, please note; I did not say atheism causes mass murder. I only said it allows for it."

          Utter garbage. Atheists are as moral as most Christians, if not more so. And I'm a BIG Jesus fan.

          November 2, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
        • lionfou

          As far as Hitler being an atheist, there is debate about that, yet at least one Cardinal pronounced him a believer, and:

          3. Adolf Hitler: Secular Schools Cannot be Tolerated
          Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith ...we need believing people.

          – Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933, speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordant
          4. Adolf Hitler: We Will Fight the Atheistic Movement
          We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.

          – Adolf Hitler, Speech in Berlin, October 24, 1933

          November 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
        • Doug

          Lawrence Krauss and other proponents of New Atheism make a valid point that one does not need to believe in God in order to act morally...and their theistic opponents heartily agree.

          The question therefore is not concerning what worldview causes the most good or evil, but rather the debate is over what worldview best explains good and evil in relation to our lives

          Some theists point us to a bright dazzling God, while Dawkins points us to evolutionary processes such as reciprocal altruism and what he's called "the selfish gene"

          Most of the time the former looks more appealing, especially if we can plug in our own ideas of who or what God is. So that's kind of why atheism gets a bad rap sometimes

          November 2, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
        • Seth

          "I only said [atheism] allows for [mass murder]."

          Any philosophy that does not forbid mass murder allows for mass murder. Thanks Captain Obvious, I think I'll promote you to admiral.

          November 3, 2013 at 2:16 am |
        • lionfou

          Old Testament glorifies mass murder, including babies and children in at least 3 places. Most atheists do not.

          November 3, 2013 at 6:05 am |
        • Judy

          180 million people have died in wars between 1900 and 1999, mostly Christians and Jews....with a prayer to their nonexistent god on their lips.

          Where exactly is your god again? What does it do? How can you get your imaginary god to listen to you and "save" you and all the millions of people who have died in wars.

          And take a note: Socialism and communism ARE religions. One is required to "worship and obey the state" and its socialist and communist dogma and beliefs.

          Dictators such as Stalin, Hitler, Castro, etc., attempted to become the new gods....using the VERY same kind of punishment that the Christian Forgeries in the Fourth Century AD also use, which was MASS MURDER to FORCE people to believe in their new gods.

          Christianity has murdered 35 million people, engaged in some of the heinous, brutal, and horrible acts of torture imaginable...to force different believers, or nonbelievers, to believe in Jesus and their version of god.

          The ONLY group who STOPPED Christian despots and dictators were the FOUNDERS of the US who REMOVED ALL RELIGIOUS LAWS FROM THE NEW AMERICAN GOVERNMENT.

          THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WAS FOUNDED ON ATHEISM: There is not one single religious law in American law, in any state of the US that PUNISHES any citizen for NOT obeying the bible.

          The very worst sin of the church, Christianity, Islam, etc. is that it is ANTI SCIENCE....and has retarded the earth's progress by 2000 years or more. Without religion, the world and its scientists, inventors, and creativity people could have solved world hunger, over population, eliminated or prevented pollution....and cured almost all diseases.

          Religion in all its various forms is the stuff of one's narcissistic religious beliefs in which if one believes in god, then that person is not only better, more special, deserving of enhanced rights to control other people...and especially their children...but the religious believe they can lie and lie, and lie some more....because they a) don't have to prove anything, and b) if they lie, they are forgiven. Religion IS a mental illness.

          November 5, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
        • lionfou

          And by the way Keeth, what's this strange idea that puts Christianity and Socialism on opposite sides? The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a Christian Socialist.

          November 5, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
      • Doug

        True, true. Jesus did say that not all who say to him "Lord, Lord" really were his disciples. In Matthew 7 its all those people who thought they were holy and righteous to whom Jesus replies "I never knew you. Depart from me you who practice lawlessnes." what law did he mean- the greatest commandment, of course.

        CS Lewis made a good point that in the story of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25, the sheep don't even realize they had served Christ- they just helped the poor and needy.

        I've seen many forms of christianity in my theological studies, and I'll say one thing for sure- holiness is not isolating one's self from society and fantasizing about the end of the world with xenophobic relish- that's insane.

        There's a housing project near my neighborhood where kids sometimes resort to dumpster digging to find food. A friend of mine runs a youth center nearby where they bring games and food and help the kids with homework- that's holiness.

        November 2, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
        • Amy

          I love this! I love Jesus, and am not looking to debate anything, everyone's already heard it all, but I think you're absolutely right. It's a beautiful picture of what Jesus would be doing.

          November 5, 2013 at 10:56 am |
      • Calvin Patterson

        satan has done a masterful job in creating all the religions of the world; cept ONE eg. Christianity... Christianity is NOT a religion eg. do good & go to heaven etc. , but admit your lost in SIN & repent & be Born Again ! only the blood of Jesus washes SIN away... it is not wicked Islam (the Muslim religion) who teach Christians ho to be Christ Like but the precious Holy Spirit that lives inside a Christian that is Saved (Born Again).Islam's God is not the Christians God but satan himself. Hitler could not teach a Jew how to be Jewish nor can a Muslim who follows Islam teach me anything cept to HATE ! POUND ISLAM & SATAN INTO THE GROUND !

        Winning with Jesus... Losing & LOST if your NOT Saved... To Hell with the Devil, Jesus is for Winners... WINNING !!!

        In Jesus,

        Calvin

        November 3, 2013 at 1:56 am |
        • Kendall

          You and your religion do a great job spreading hate. But wait i thought christians were supposed to be tolerant.

          November 3, 2013 at 4:53 am |
        • lionfou

          Yup, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Paine et al. created the US to get away from this stuff, and it's still raising its head to barf on our free society.

          But a free society can handle it. Just as the Ku Klux Klan demonstrated at U Miss in full regalia, and got laughed out of town by black and white students together.

          November 3, 2013 at 6:01 am |
  11. Keeth

    Who was this Jesus with his mission of love,
    He came here to witness
    for his God up above,
    He promised me life, with repenting of sin,
    But I will not confess
    and I think I can win.
    His message too good, it’s so hard to knock,
    So I’ll target his followers,
    I’ll de-nounce his flock.
    I’ll distract from your message and all of those rules,
    So successful I’ll be,
    you'll ban Christ from schools.
    I’ll fabricate grievance to make you look rotten,
    so your message you'll weaken
    and soon be forgotten,
    With fake victims of 'bullying' in-stilling some guilt,
    you'll remove your core message,
    so the faithful can wilt.

    November 2, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • lionfou

      You know, the utter narcissism behind this complaint about "banning Christ from schools" is quite a riot.

      If you want to start a religious school, please do. It's your right.

      But to use public funds to exclude and discriminate against the children of Muslims, atheists, agnostics, neo-pagans, and all the other folks who comprise our great nation, is as un-Christian as you get.

      I think there is, for example, a way to have a silent moment without it being sectarian. Have kids think of what is most precious and noble in their lives, once a day at school.

      THAT would not be narcissistic, divisive or exclusionary.

      The US was founded to get away from religious bigots–and if you read the founders, most of them were very wary of the influence of established religions and priesthoods as a force undermining freedom, rational and critical thinking, and E Pluribus Unum, with emphasis on Pluribus.....

      Unwittingly, you are proving their point.

      "I have sworn on the altar of Almighty God, eternal hostility to every form of tyranny over the mind of man."–Thomas Jefferson.

      And he was speaking SPECIFICALLY of the religious conservatives who opposed him for the Presidency.

      November 2, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
      • Keeth

        Thomas Jefferson would have never demanded the removal of religion from schools.

        November 2, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
        • Seth

          I am an atheist. I will fight tooth and nail for your right to believe what you want and worship what you like, provided you aren't disrupting others with it, expecting others to believe as you do, or representing your beliefs as facts.

          November 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
        • lionfou

          Keeth,

          Would you like to elaborate about Jefferson?
          The main who demanded a wall between church and state?

          Kinda like Jesus with "Render unto Caesar"?

          November 2, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
        • virginiapicker

          Thomas Jefferson also "created" his own Bible by cutting out the parts he disagreed with and reassembling the rest. He'd have a tough time explaining that to the religious right today.

          November 3, 2013 at 12:01 am |
        • Doug

          Interestingly, the religious right is basically doing the same thing Jefferson did, only they're cutting out different parts.

          November 3, 2013 at 12:11 am |
        • Judy

          Thomas Jefferson was a functional Atheist.

          Thomas Jefferson found religion and Christianity idiotic, the stuff of small, deluded minds. Jefferson did not find any evidence for god or supernaturalism anywhere....

          In Jefferson's private letters he laughs at Christians.

          When founding the first University in the US...Jefferson wrote to a friend to NOT HIRE ANY CHRISTIANS, as they would attempt to turn the new United States back into European Christian dictatorships.....

          The bible, Paul's writings, states that:

          1. Christians must worship and obey, and never rebel against any king or leader, as they are "appointed" and chosen by god. This is the Christian doctrine of the "divine right of kings." The American Founders ....were also functional Atheists, and DEFIED Paul and the Bible's mandates of a Christian dictatorship.

          2. There is not one single bible verse that promotes either human freedom or democracy. If you can find anywhere in the bible that claims it is your RIGHT to be free, and live in a democratic nation, with individual rights....I'll sned you a check for $10,000.

          3. The bible promotes slavery, beating slaves to death, and MASS MURDER for non or different believers.

          Explain WHERE YOU GOT THE IDEA THAT CHRISTIANS HAVE A RIGHT TO FORCE OTHER CHILDREN TO PRAY IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS? WHERE?

          November 5, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • lionfou

      One of the signs of a real Christian, is compassion and understanding for those who are not Christian.

      Self-centered bigots, are not Christian.

      No one is putting down Christ–they're asking you to take him seriously in the secular world, or you're not a Christian.

      Any hypocrite can pray out loud, and exclude those who are not of his religion. Jesus said to do it in silence–he was very clear about that.

      No one can teach you compassion. "By their fruits you will know them." If you exclude non-Christians in public school activities, you are not a Christian.

      When "Christians" conquered Jerusalem in 1099, they slaughtered 40,000 civilians in cold blood. When the Muslim general Saladin took it back in 1187, he told his soldiers not to harm civilians, "To teach a lesson."

      When a Muslim has to teach Christians how to act like Christians–that tells you something.

      You could use that kind of lesson.

      July 29, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
  12. OldWhiteGuyWithHairInHisEars

    Every time I get to thinking that modern people are the most educated in history I have to remind myself that religion, unfortunately, is still out there, causing more divisiveness, guilt feelings, terrorism, war and unhappiness than any other force imaginable.

    November 2, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  13. Keeth

    Too many folks use Christianity to argue for 'Social Justice'. They say government must take from others and give to the 'have-nots'.
    "Jesus never said 'give unto Ceasar that which is God's"
    Besides, most folks demanding help for the 'have-nots' refuse to tell us what the 'have-nots' don't have. They refuse to define the very folks they obsess about.
    Why is that?
    They refuse to disclose the truth. They are not Biblical Christians...they're Marxists.

    November 2, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • lionfou

      No one was more communist than the early Christians (see Book of Acts, about the couple who sells their land, give the money to the Christian community, yet try to keep a little for themselves).

      The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a Christian socialist.

      It was capitalism that was forbidden for over 1500 years among Christians. "You cannot serve two masters."

      I like capitalism, when it's moral. But let's tell the truth.

      November 3, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Judy

      The nonexistent Jesus, according to Paul, said....Pay your taxes, and do not rebel against either Rome, Cesar, or god.....

      There is not a single bible verse that is against slavery, or beating slaves to death.

      There is not a single bible verse that apologizes or refutes....mass murder of non or different believers....

      There is no statements in the bible about anyone's individual rights, or tolerance of others...its either god or Jesus' way or eternal hell.

      Of course, Christians have no idea where heaven or hell is..... If they are going to threaten us with hell, at least they should know where it is, duh.

      November 6, 2013 at 12:01 am |
      • lionfou

        "Social Justice" does not meaning taking from others and giving to the have-nots.

        It means keeping a few oligarchs from stealing trillions from working people. Justice, not charity.

        Medicaid is not a subsidy for the working poor. It is a subsidy for Wal-Mart et al. after they have stolen the labor of the working poor.

        No Christian would write like you write. There is absolutely nothing Christian in what you say. And don't think for a second that Jesus would recognize you as a follower.

        The inspiration for fair wages, social justice, free education, and equal opportunity has always been the Gospel. It is the conservatives who don't take the Gospel seriously.

        November 6, 2013 at 12:08 am |
  14. virginiapicker

    What drove me from the church is reading the Bible. When I actually sat down and read it, word for word, Old Testament and New, I realized for myself that there's no way God said all of the things attributed to Him. If he did, he's a complete d*ck, and I certainly don't love or respect him.

    Science certainly doesn't provide any answers to the big questions, so I'll never call myself an atheist, but this thing we call the Bible is so imperfect as to be useless.

    The thing is, it's impossible to debate these issues with most Christian Evangelicals, because they either haven't read both the OT and NT, or they punt with a comment such as "it's impossible for us to comprehend God's plan."

    November 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Thomas More

      The Bible is exactly what brought me to understand.....the questions is: Who is your authority? Yourself, CNN, pseudo-intellectuals? The Bible is interwoven over 1,500 years by 40 authors in an un-earthly way. The fact is that there is truth, and man doesn't define it – he can only see it...possibly recognize it. No one can "guess" spiritual truths unless they are told by someone who has been there....namely God. Without Him, it is just guess-work – your word against mine....the world says I'm a genius...the educational system....the professionals paying me big bucks....but in the end, I can either imagine what I want or believe from someone who has been there....

      November 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • lionfou

        The Bible is one people's partly holy, partly corrupt, partly primitive, partly virtuous take on God, NOT God, Who is beyond any words, cultures, religions or opinions–WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY beyond all scriptures.

        The word food is not food. You can't eat a restaurant sign or a menu, you have to come in and enjoy the meal–divine love, divine guidance (from WITHIN, not a book–the purpose of the book is to awaken the son/daughter of God in us ("Whoever follows the spirit of God (not the rulebook of God) is the son of God."–Romans 8).

        You can use the Bible to justify slavery, the repression of women, the abuse of children, the mass slaughter of babies (3 different books, Exodues, Samuel and Ezekiel) and all kinds of crimes, over 2000 years. Not a pretty sight.

        Yet the "spirit of God", of forgiveness and understanding, generosity, higher motives, and surrender of vanities and fears and aggressions–is beyond all that, the Crusades and witchburnings and bigotry.

        But you won't find that spirit in a book–only in you. And the book can help.

        And yet the Book can justify all kinds of atrocities.

        It's not....the Book....that will save you. It's your own heart, where God dwells.
        "One who loves is born of God and knows God."

        Religion is irrelevant–and a fine option if you like.
        The name of the game is the direct experience of God.

        "A condition of complete sjmplicity
        costing not less than everything."
        –T.S. Eliot, "Burnt Norton"

        November 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • Keeth

          Good Points Lionfou, Sounds like you'd need a new Bible with some parts removed. Let me know when you're done writing. I'd love to read it.

          November 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
        • lionfou

          Jefferson had an edited Bible with the real-world stuff retained.

          Myself, i believe in and practice the healing and 'kingdom of heaven within' stuff,
          not just the humanist.

          November 2, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
      • Seth

        "The Bible is interwoven over 1,500 years by 40 authors in an un-earthly way. "

        I would say it's very Earthly. Unusual, but still human.

        November 2, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  15. Truth

    Many people have fallen away from the church because:

    1. the church cannot give satisfying answers to life's most important questions. (Matthew 23:13) 13 “Woe to YOU, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because YOU shut up the kingdom of the heavens before men; for YOU yourselves do not go in, neither do YOU permit those on their way in to go in. . .

    2. the church is heavily involved in political pursuits when their exemplar Jesus Christ stayed clear of the political scene in his day (Luke 4:5-7) 5 So he brought him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an instant of time; 6 and the Devil said to him: “I will give you all this authority and the glory of them, because it has been delivered to me, and to whomever I wish I give it. 7 You, therefore, if you do an act of worship before me, it will all be yours. . .

    3. the church is responsible in full or in part for most of the bloodshed that has taken place on the earth in the past several centuries (Matthew 7:15-16) . . .“Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to YOU in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruits YOU will recognize them. . (Matthew 5:43-44) . . .“YOU heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 However, I say to YOU: Continue to love YOUR enemies and to pray for those persecuting YOU;

    4. the church is more of a money making machine than a place for learning, building, and sustaining faith in God. (2 Corinthians 2:17) 17 [We are;] for we are not peddlers of the word of God as many men are, but as out of sincerity, yes, as sent from God, under God’s view, in company with Christ, we are speaking.

    5. the church has compromised their spiritual values, morals and assignment in an attempt to keep the masses from leaving the pews (Matthew 7:21-23) . . .“Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. 22 Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ 23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU! Get away from me, YOU workers of lawlessness. . .

    These are just a few reasons that people are leaving false Christianity by the thousands each year. If everyone who believes in the God of the bible and his son, and worshiped the Creator according to the examples his son and apostles clearly laid out for us there would not be so many religions on the earth, there would be just one. (Ephesians 4:5) . . .one Lord, one faith, one baptism. . .

    Of the 7 billion people that occupy or planet approximately .001 persons are practicing true Christianity that leads to an approved relationship with our Creator. "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Matthew 7:13-14) . . .broad and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are the ones going in through it; 14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are the ones finding it.

    November 2, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • Commenter

      Well, you're slowly getting there @Truth. All of the quotes and sentiments that you aver were brought to you by... wait for it... The Church. It is not known who this Jesus even was, or what he said. A god? Not proven, sorry. The first century zealots were throwing stuff out there like crazy in an attempt to capture the minds of people.

      November 2, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Observer

      Truth,

      Congratulations. You have found the ONE TRUE denomination of Christianity.

      Of course there are 41,000 other denominations of Christianity that are every bit as positive that they are the "true one" as you are, but all 41,000 are wrong and you must be correct.

      November 2, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Phillip Waselik

      1. Jesus did stay clear of politics, if you read a lot of the New Testament.
      2. You exemplify another reason people are leaving the church. That would be false witness to what most of the church does and lead weak sheep away.

      Thank you for supplementing to my material to discuss.

      November 2, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
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  18. Truth

    Dear friend it is important to know not only God’s name but to understand the person behind the name. False Christianity has failed to deliver people every thing that God is offering to each of us. False Christianity has only been able to provide desert that does not sustain and left out the main corse that can build true faith. He is pleading with us to listen to him to benefit ourselves now and make a record of obedience in order to receive everlasting blessing for the future.

    Isaiah 18:17,18 17 This is what Jehovah says, your Repurchaser, the Holy One of Israel: “I, Jehovah, am your God, The One teaching you to benefit yourself, The One guiding you in the way you should walk. 18 If only you would pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a river And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

    Revelation 21:3&4 “With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.

    November 1, 2013 at 7:46 am |
    • Doug

      False Christianity. You might be onto something. One of the main reasons I left Christianity was after years of studying in an attempt to disprove other christians I thought were false (including Jehovahs Witnesses) I found there was equal cause that my supposed doctrine was "false christianity".

      By the the "old king James" do you by any chance mean the New World Translation? Put together by a translation comittee that had no formal education in Greek language?

      Don't get me wrong. If I had to choose between all the christian gods to be the real one I'd pick your Jehovah- if he is the real christian god the only thing that's going to happen when I die is I'll turn to dust in annihilation- unless I join your church. Think I will pass.

      Dor more info on debunking the watchtower society visit http://www.4jehovah.org

      November 1, 2013 at 10:14 am |
      • lionfou

        I had to go to Eastern religion and meditation, to return to the New Testament and get what Jesus was all about. The churches only turned me off.

        JC revealed the practical secrets of healing, so-called "miracles", total divine support, heaven within, loving your enemies, on and on.....the "died for your sins" business implies an all-good, all-loving Father who would send His own kids to eternal torture if they don't toe the line. A terrorist God. A sicko God. A God unworthy of worship.

        Glad I learned to make the distinction.

        Also the difference between belief and experience. I may believe the moon is made of green cheese, but the folks who ACTUALLY WENT THERE have a different experience.

        If we are actually experiencing heaven inside us now, then all the beliefs about heaven and how to get there–can go to hell.:)

        November 1, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Doug

          FYI- Jehovahs Witnesses don't believe in hell- annihilationism in theology means one ceases to exist after death.

          I guess my point was it is not up to me to choose what is real and what is not real- reality exists no matter what I believe- and I can experience what is real in the world such as science, technology, education, relationships and social justice.

          Of course Justice, love, hate, good, and evil are immaterial concepts- they can't be described via physical senses although one might jokingly say the color of justice is green. But nobody would deny their existence.

          In the end I may apply such concepts to a god/force/spirit I think is behind it, but the actual knowledge of it is a different thing.

          The weird thing is when people say all those things I just said about reality and add "therefore my god/bible/version if Jesus is the real one" when such a fact is not knowable.

          Richard Dawkins describes the god of the old testament as "the most unpleasant character in all of fiction" and subsequently claims that such a god does not exist. In Dawkins' atheist/modernist view that makes some sense seeing as he denies the supernatural altogether.

          I might want to believe in a different spirit/god/whatever its called but that doesn't make it real. I have a hard time making objective truth claims about something that is so uncertain.

          November 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
        • lionfou

          Good post.

          I think it is possible to do a scientific, rigorous investigation of whether the universe has an indwelling, conscious, guiding Intelligence.

          That is what interests me. Anecdotal evidence is fine–such amazing stories, matching anything in the Book of Acts!–yet there are many scientists doing the work of investigation of a paradigm far beyond anything modern science has to offer.

          In several languages there are two words for "know", to know a thing (savoir, saber) and to know a person (connaitre, conocer).

          "Science" comes from the Latin word to know,
          and gnostic/agnostic comes from the other (cognoscere, going back to gnosis in the Greek).

          What would happen if both of those knowledges came together into a holistic understanding of the universe and its alleged Creator?

          What if the technology of higher intelligence, inner bliss and so-called "miraculous" powers were rigorously proven?

          That inner technology or initiation has been known to thousands of cultures. Experientially, I know that meditation leads to intuitions that produce astounding results. And the ability to direct subtle energies, just as it alters brain waves, which was proven at Harvard in the late 1960's.

          But let's put it through the tests of modern science. Many reputable researchers are doing just that.

          November 1, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • Doug

          Good point. But if we fully had all that healing and other metaphysical phenomenon down to a science there would be no reason to attribute them to a mystical supernatural force. It would be yet another case of us figuring out things once thought improbable.

          the notion of anything being supernatural implies it is beyond rigorous scientific explanation. If we come up with this grand theory of everything and say in the end it comes from some mystical supernatural power then we have no way of knowing what that thing/spirit/being/force actually is. We can deny the supernatural totally and face the possibility that knowledge has no limits or concede somethings to the supernatural in wishful thinking that the unknown is what we want it to be. I don't see how we can have it both ways.

          November 1, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • Truth

          I understand your point and there are many in the scientific community that once felt the same way as you do but when they see the preciseness of the way our solar system function with likely billions of there galaxies they have to admit that it is done by design therefore there must be a designer. The bible isn't a scientific book but when it touches on such matters it is without a doubt accurate. For possibly hundreds or thousands of years men thought that the earth was flat but His word stated that " God dwells above the sphere(circle) of the earth" and that "He is hanging the earth on nothing" and these two points were only confirmed when men gained the ability to go out in space so how do we explain this. Isaiah 40:20 and Job 26:7.
          But possibly the biggest proof of his existence is his ability to foresee events hundreds of years in advance and in great detail.

          November 1, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • lionfou

          How about some more data about those prophecies?

          Such as "This generation will not pass away before these things come to pass." Well it did, and they didn't. No?

          And as far as "without a doubt", depends on who's doing the doubting. A little more rigor is in order, sir.

          November 1, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
        • Truth

          People can attempt to do away with the miraculous things that God's son did when he walked the earth, but as scientifically advanced as the human society is today why cant we feed the hungry, fully heal the sick, or raise the dead? Or is it that people in the first century were just plain smarter than we are today?

          November 1, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
        • Seth

          First of all, those are stories. If we knew for a fact that those miracles happened, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

          Second, those problems always existed, and some of them were likely much more manageable in a world with far fewer people than we have today. We live in a literally incomprehensible sea of humanity. Solving all their problems would be impossible.

          November 1, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
        • Truth

          Not according to God's word. We produce more food, and medicine to take care of all of the hungry and the sick earth wide but because we choose not to show love to everyone no matter who or where they are we will always fall short.

          Jesus' miracles are recorded in secular history also.

          If you'd like I can find some secular resources for you

          November 1, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
        • Seth

          That would be great, provided it isn't someone who's already Christian and just quoting what someone else supposedly wrote.

          November 1, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
        • lionfou

          "Jesus' miracles are recorded in history also."

          Elaborate?

          November 1, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
        • Seth

          "they have to admit that it is done by design therefore there must be a designer."

          No, no, no! This is backward reasoning! You are using inference from imperfect human design to assume that there is a perfect designer. There is no "admission" here, it's drawing unwarranted conclusions!

          "His word stated that 'God dwells above the sphere(circle) of the earth'"

          The word used in this specific passage (chuwg) was not the Hebrew word for sphere (duwr). It's more likely that this referred to a flat, circular parcel of land or to the scope of the world as it was known in that time. In cultural Ancient Near East context, it might even be referring to the flat land in a snowglobe universe, but I don't think there's enough evidence to conclusively state that.

          “He is hanging the earth on nothing”

          This is really a matter of how you interpret the passage: You are interpreting it in your favor, while I choose to see it as poetic rather than dismiss it as another reference to snowglobe cosmology. Avoiding bias is important (As biased as it is to want to avoid bias ;)).

          If you want to get really technical, the Earth isn't hung on nothing; it's tethered to the gravitational pull of the sun, and to a lesser degree the moon and everything else in the universe.

          "But possibly the biggest proof of his existence is his ability to foresee events hundreds of years in advance and in great detail."

          These prophecies are all insufficient as evidence of the God of the Bible outside of using bias.

          November 1, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        Our DNA has proven humans interbred with neanderthals about 20-30,000 years ago. There is no geological evidence of a global flood. The remains of humans from 40,000 years ago show they had about the same life spans as we do today factoring in the lack of medical knowledge and had about the same life spans as the neanderthals and other great ape species. This proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that Genesis is wrong and always has been. It is a fairy tale, nothing more.

        November 1, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
        • Doug

          Its at this point that they will bashfully step away from your doorstep, get into their car, and drive back to the Kingdom Hall.

          November 1, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
  19. bananas

    Dwight
    "Dylan doesn’t know the Will of God? Oh…..my…..Lord….. There’s nothing to say to that. Dead lost. Absolutely dead lost."

    Now obviously, I can't know Dylan's heart, or yours, but from what I hear, yes, absolutely, he does not know the will of God? Do you? What do you say is the will of God? What is the "mystery of the gospel" for which Paul seeks prayer to speak boldly? What are the "unsearchable riches of Christ"?

    lol

    And he answered, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE" real simple

    November 1, 2013 at 1:40 am |
    • Dwight

      "And he answered,"

      It would wise to understand the context. Who was he answering and why? What else did he ask and why? What did Jesus teach next? Then read even more, not just a verse or two saying, "This MUST be the Hokey Pokey because that's what it's all about!" Otherwise, why isn't the New Testament any longer than the quote you gave me? Who needs more if that's it?

      And furthermore, is that the goal? To live? If that was it, why do we have any New Testament (NT) at all? Just for salvation? Salvation they had in the Old Testament, even before the Mosaic Law. Salvation is the same in the NT.

      No, the goal is NOT salvation. That's the means, not the end. That is NOT all. It is the beginning, for the church, that is. The church was given something so far beyond the Law, yet it cannot be seen from worldly eyes. That is why Jesus said...

      At that time Jesus declared, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:25-30)

      "Hidden these things from the wise and understanding." Jesus wasn't talking about love God and love others and that's it. What does He mean by "revealed to little children"? Is it that little children can love with a pure heart and adults can't? Almost. It is about spiritual maturity, not age. The "little children" are those who have just been born again (John 3). All believers start out as spiritual infants and "little children." Not all believers have to stay that way.

      What's to be revealed if salvation is it? Why is He saying to "learn from Me"? Why is He saying "find rest for your souls"? There's much more to learn than just salvation, and isn't about Israel and it's ancient laws. Jesus said, "on this rock I must build my church." Was He talking about Peter? No! It is what Peter had just revealed, not through flesh and blood, but by His Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 16:15-19)

      The answer was to a question Jesus asked about the Law. But the Church is NOT under the Law, it is under Grace. (Romans 6:14) "If righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose." (Gal 2:21) And consider this, we have something SO MUCH BETTER than the law...

      Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses' face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory. (2 Cor 3:7-11)

      November 1, 2013 at 7:12 am |
  20. Truth

    Many new Bible translations are putting God's personal name Jehovah back where it belongs in over 7000 times in the New and Old Testament. Psalms 83:18 old King James Version

    November 1, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • Applaud Aloud

      So what?

      November 1, 2013 at 12:27 am |
      • Truth

        Dear friend it is important to know not only God's name but to understand the person behind the name. False Christianity has failed to deliver people every thing that God is offering to each of us. False Christianity has only been able to provide desert that does not sustain and left out the main corse that can build true faith. He is pleading with us to listen to him to benefit ourselves now and make a record of obedience in order to receive everlasting blessing for the future.

        Isaiah 18:17,18 17 This is what Jehovah says, your Repurchaser, the Holy One of Israel: “I, Jehovah, am your God, The One teaching you to benefit yourself, The One guiding you in the way you should walk. 18 If only you would pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a river And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

        Revelation 21:3&4

        November 1, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • Doug

      But there are no vowells in Hebrew- I thought the original tetragrammaton translated from Hebrew was YHWH, where modern scholars insert vowells for pronunciation to come up with Yahweh . Are you by any chance a Jehovah's Witness?

      November 1, 2013 at 5:45 am |
      • Truth...

        Just getting some time in here on the blogs, started pioneering and need them hours...

        November 1, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
        • Truth

          🙂

          November 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
        • Doug

          What hours?

          November 1, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
        • Doug

          No answer?

          By hours do you mean time you need to spend "reaching out" to the "lost" in an effort to coax them into joining your religion and then "disciple" them into believing everything you believe?

          Been there done that.

          November 2, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • Truth

          Following his direction and example. Matthew 28:19 & 20, Acts 1:18, Acts 8:12, Acts 5:42, Acts 20:20 while I did not hold back from telling you any of the things that were profitable nor from teaching you publicly and from house to house. Mark 10:1,

          There are many other scriptures that show that it is our Christian obligation to reach out in this specific way.

          November 2, 2013 at 11:37 am |
        • Dwight

          Truth said, "Following his direction and example. Matthew 28:19 & 20, Acts 1:18, Acts 8:12, Acts 5:42, Acts 20:20..."

          I don't think you meant Acts 1:18. Perhaps Acts 1:8?

          November 2, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • Doug

          I dare you....

          Go visit http://www.4jehovah.org

          Do some more pioneering, see what you find....

          November 2, 2013 at 11:12 am |
        • Doug

          ..."our Christian obligation to reach out in this specific way"

          You mentioned the fact that your group is the only true christians, the rest are false. That is quite an extraordinary claim.

          Could you please enlighten us a bit more, perhaps first by stating the name of your church affiliation?

          November 2, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • Doug

          Dwight makes a good point. In Acts 1:8-9 Jesus specifically said "you will be MY witnesses...." not Jehovahs Witnesses.

          November 2, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.