home
RSS
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. Austin

    I am the recipient of special revelation from the Holy Spirit. I have data and evidence, that is to me proof, which it is anyway.

    Jehovah Shammah
    Our Lord is There

    July 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • M.R.

      Capitalism forthcoming fastest. Join.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • Austin

        sounds like a secular bicameral.

        July 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
        • M.R.

          Slim pickings; communication lacks.

          July 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  2. OldMo

    People are leaving the church because they're getting smart? Aaaahahaha! Yes, that's what I'm seeing in the world today, an outbreak of smart. Seriously though, I don't think most churches preach a watered-down gospel that doesn't convict of sin or lead to salvation. Why would you go and if you did, why would you stay? As for the LBGT community, I think Christians should reach out and welcome them but it's not loving to teach them a false gospel. Don't tell people what they want to hear, tell them what they need to hear.

    July 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • J W

      "People are leaving the church because they're getting smart? Aaaahahaha! Yes, that's what I'm seeing in the world today, an outbreak of smart."

      As a millennial who grew up with a Christian background, I detest this. I truly do. You have not idea how arrogant you look as a Christian. You would be the problem, not the answer.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • summerday1

      That's not what the author said. She said that there's too much focus on negative and hate and not enough focus on love and doing something good within the community. I agree that bad is bad and it's church's role to speak about sins. However, speaking and thinking mostly about negative tends to attract more negative and hate. If we want people to do good and be good people, we shouldn't preach about the sin, we should speak about the positive and we should engage others in doing the positive. People who have good in their lives have more strength to resist a sin. Unfortunately the church doesn't have an instrumental role in people's lives. Instead the church helps to evangelize the poor in order to get new "customers" and they think their role is done. Yes churches also have a business model, if you don't believe me look at the curriculum of any seminary. I would also add to this that sermons became too abstract and filled with many inaccuracies and contradictions. In many instances they are not interested in saying smart things to smart people. Sometimes they can't because they themselves are not smart. I don't want my priest or pastor to be cool, to wear jeans, or to cater sermons to me. I just want the traditional atmosphere, nice singing and a smart pastor that's going to say smart things. Last Sunday the whole sermon was about coming to church more often and working less and giving more to the church. How is that right to tell people who are poor to be even more poor? If that's not the message of Christianity then at least someone should inform the pastors.

      July 27, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  3. sgb

    . . .young evangelicals often feel they have to choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith, between science and Christianity, between compassion and holiness." This senior citizens agrees.

    July 27, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
  4. what1ever

    Christianity is killing itself. This whole modernization hipster Christianity thing, cheapens and commodifies the whole thing. Even if they can make Christianity "trendy" in the short term, as soon as it becomes untrendy again it has lost ground that it will never make up. They turned a 2,000 year-old religion that people were willing to be fed to lions to protect, into an online fundraiser. Lame Christian rock music and boring Power Point sermons from Steve Jobs wanna-bes add nothing to the whole thing. People like Pat Robertson who blather on tv and then ask for money are so far from where the church could, and should, have been that it will never reconnect itself in our life times. Say what you want, even if you don't believe in the literal nature of Christianity (and that's fine if you don't) Christianity is a defining aspect of our culture, and Western Civilization in general. We'd be better off just ending the whole thing than to keep going down this road, before we end up with some guy with aviator glasses and skinny jeans delivering a Power Point "sermon" in Notre Dame Cathedral.

    July 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • dissidentfairy

      You actually put a smile on my face because I agree with what you said. Religion is killing itself dead because it has veered away from the teachings of Christ. It is full of hypocrisy greed and corruption and is singlehandedly responsible for all the Atheists we see today. The good news is the Bible foretold this would happen in the last days. That people would "cool off" and turn away from God. The bad news is the people who are misled are the collateral damage in all of this. What everyone needs to do is open their eyes and quit being misled and seek God while there is still time.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
      • what i hate the most

        this

        argh

        constantly shoving the end of the world down our throats

        i need a therapist full-time if i were to go to a church that did that on a continuous basis – big reason i do not go – nor am a faithful follower anymore – follow where – into deep dark depression because of the horrors of the world ending getting shoved down my throat my whole fiiiiinnnnnnng life

        no thanks

        July 28, 2013 at 9:10 am |
  5. Steve

    As a former youth pastor who transitioned into higher ed, where I've spent the past 12 yrs in Student Development, I appreciate and can agree with what Rachel is saying...my hope is that Millennials will transition from echoing the problems into discussing and exploring possible solutions to this concern.

    July 27, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      What possible solution are there? Who decides what parts of the bible are truths and what parts are not. What parts someone should follow and which ones they can ignore. I think she need to make up her mind if she wants to be part of the secular community or the christian community.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
      • summerday1

        The problem isn't with the bible, the problem is with what the church prioritizes. Some of the things spoken in the church are not always filled with love, empathy and compassion for other people. Some sermons are full of contradictions, they repeat, some pastors use wrong anecdotes that actually support the opposite point to the one he tried to make. And many times sermons aren't about preaching and helping people be better human beings, but they focus on marketing (i.e. getting more people to come to church every week) or collecting more money needed for evangelization of the poor. It's really difficult to go to church when you hear things like that every week. If things were great in the church, pastors wouldn't have to guilt people into coming to church or tell them to come, people would go because they would want.

        July 27, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
  6. Larry Heath

    Excellent...

    July 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • What does God want?

      The article from Rachel clearly explained what she and others who are leaving the Church want.

      What about what God want from you?

      God created heaven and earth and all that is in it. He gave his only begotten son so we can have life more abundantly.

      Yet. like parents who sacrifice to provide what is best, their children disobey. They think that their thinking is better than their parents.

      Our Creator spoke through His prophet Isaiah and said, "Let the wicked forsake His way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord; and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isa. 55:7-ff).

      We all have a sinful nature and this ever increasing sensual world (Internet, cable, cell phones) does not help and serves to provide further distraction, self-justification for there separation from God.

      2 Timothy 4:3: For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

      A parent does not tell there child what they want to hear to be friends. There job is to raise them up in the way that they should go.

      The millineum are leaving the church due to their rebellious spirit(of Satan). If satan could cause 1/3 of the angels to follow him, no one should be surprised by a large number of Christians leaving the church.

      The gay community should be seen as other sinners, lost. Jesus died on the cross, not for perfect people, but for the lost. They should be loved as well as taught what God would have them do to be reconciled to Him.

      There were many false prophets and priest in the Old Testament telling people that everything was ok or what they want to hear. The "millineum" leaving the church end up in congregations like this.

      Jeremiah 5:30-31 :An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?

      In ending, I agree with the writer that there are many causes the Church should continuously take on: feeding the poor, evangilism. etc.

      There is no compromise between science and God.

      What came first, the chicken or the egg? Answer: God.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
  7. sativa619

    The author also claims to want a 'Truce between science and faith". That truce will only come when Religion starts calling itself a myth and stops pretending God is real and that you can talk to him. Scientific facts can't and wont change for someone's beliefs! How Dumb is this author??

    FACT: The Earth is BILLIONS of years old
    FACT: Dinosaurs existed. WE have their fossilized remains. Fossilization occurs by minerals replacing calcium over millions of years! Dinosaurs did NOT exist when man was on the planet. Dinosaurs not mentioned AT ALL in the story of Genesis. Period. Wrong.
    FACT: The Earth is one of BILLIONS of planets in the universe!
    FACT: Science tests theories and proves them through recording data, reproducing exact results, and submitting to peer review (relentless questioning). That is why they are FACTS.

    If you as an Evangelical have a problem with FACTS that is why you think science is at war with you, because YOU ARE WRONG and science is RIGHT. Morality has NOTHING to do with scientific data. Morality developed over millions of years of evolution. Even CHIMPS have morals, and YOU share 98% of your DNA with them! Deny science all you want, you just look like a Neanderthal.

    July 27, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Bob

      Second great post of yours that I've read recently, sativa619. Great points, and thanks.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      July 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • counter

      You mean like the chimp that basically bit and clawed a person's face off awhile back? Really?

      Macro evolution has NEVER been proven. It's a hypothesis that is a educated guess, and a big guess at that.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
      • Bob

        "counter", do spend some time learning what evolution actually claims instead of presenting straw men such as you just did. Men commit murder. Does that mean that all men have no morals?

        Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
        Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
        http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

        July 27, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
      • FreeThinker

        Religion is NOTHING but guessing, 100%

        July 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • Harry

        Evolution is the most settled and agreed upon theory in science. Try again.

        July 27, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Tim

      what is the probability of evolution happening only on Earth?

      July 27, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
      • Bob

        What is the anthropic principle?

        July 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • lol??

      Scientific facts/2?? Those kinda facts are never the final word. Use yer science fer science.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • lol??

      "...................Morality has NOTHING to do with scientific data..............." Yup, data has been fudged for big bucks. Yer sayin' that's SOP now??

      July 27, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
      • M.R.

        Spitter's remorse.

        July 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Mizzle

      Aren't you being a Neanderthal by being disrespectful of someone else's beliefs? Also just to point out a science error you had, it does not take millions of years for bones to fossilize. It can take to as little as 5 years. Also, morality is what makes us human, not science. If you disagree with that I'd love to hear your argument.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
      • Just Call Me Lucifer

        There is no respecting those who believe in nonsense. I swear to god.

        July 27, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • FreeThinker

      Amen Brother

      July 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • duck

      1. Describe to me how they came to the age of the earth, don't just get mad and say they have proven it. 2, show how anyone can prove fossils take millions of years to form when they can be done in a single lifetime(also, and i know how, what are the factors involved in fossil creation(you will see that these conditions are made during small or a large flood). The geological column proves a great flood, events in water, not millions of years of time(just think the large fossils of dinosaurs are buried in what scientists would call thousands of years because of layers but obviously happened instantaneously as bones are gone quite quickly if not buried quickly by sedimentation). If you leave a bone buried on the soil and not buried in sediment and water, it dissolves it doesn't become a fossil. There are are large dinosaur graveyards where the animals are facing the same way(thousand of all different types of dinosaurs) and is can be shown that it was a large river that caused this). From the grand canyon, to oilfields, to the one continent breaking down into the many we see today, coal fields, glaciers, mammoth preservation, rain, salt water... all prove a great flood but are taught to children(since to young to think through it logically and after the information is put into a child's head this information becomes what the child unconsciously believes as an adult) incorrectly to cast off the fact that everything points to a young earth.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  8. Loathstheright

    Logical reasoning and a little bit of research will of course shine light on the greatest fraud mankind has ever seen...God....is not real but a made up ancient story by goat herders, and anyone with a lick of education should see that.

    July 27, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  9. lol??

    Daemoniacs hang at the belief blog.

    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Not to worry. God is cherry pickin'.

    "Mat 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened."

    July 27, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • M.R.

      Hunger games lost. Banquet over.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
      • Austin

        that movie was an obvious skew.

        July 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
  10. Reality

    Why the fuss over a man no better or worse than any human who ever existed?

    Tis mind boggling that this man and his religion can be brought down to earth in less than ten seconds. With this in mind should not the moderators of this blog and their buddy Stevie P be looking for new jobs?

    Again for the new members:

    To wit:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Added details available upon written request.

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

    e.g. Taoism

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

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

    July 27, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  11. Buck Rogers

    There are two lies that have plagued mankind and thus caused massive confusion.

    Lie #1 – When you die, you don't die. This lie began at the Garden and the Church (not all) fails to recognize that the dead are indeed dead – i.e. 'sleeping' in the grave as the Bible plainly teaches. All are waiting to be resurrected by Christ and judged.

    Lie #2 – The Copernical heliocentric myth. Earth is not moving and the Tychonian system is the most accurate. The Church also denies this (not all), yet the Bible teaches this scientific truth and that this present creation will be burned-up and dissolved in order for Christ to "create all things new".

    If the church were to truly recognize and "cast down" these two grand lies, millennials might come back to church to hear the truth....

    July 27, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  12. Robby

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

    What a bunch of rubbish ! I am longing for people to open their eyes to beauty of reality and realize these old myths have no place in the 21st century.

    July 27, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • lol??

      You sound like a book burner. Been practicin' on witches??

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

        lol, that's a Christian specialty, burning witches. Just one more act of terror among many, by participants in that wicked religion.

        July 27, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • lol??

          Christians were getting slaughter from the beginning. By calling em wicked you have voiced your approval.

          Weird ideas of pleasure.

          July 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
      • Shamma Lammadingdong

        And you sound like just another brainwashed fool. Religion is a cult, nothing more.

        July 27, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  13. MagicPanties

    As Country Joe said
    "...ain't no time to wonder why,
    whoopee we're all gonna die..."

    July 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Reality

      Death's Debt is Paid in
      Full

      Death's debt is then and there
      Paid down by dying men;

      But it is a promise bare
      That they shall rise again. "

      Al-Ma'arri- 1000 CE

      July 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
  14. Atheist

    The article started off strong pointing out some of the many, many, many flaws and errors of Christianity, but then does an abrupt 180* flip back to Jesus. Christianity does not need to be reformed and modernized, Christianity needs to be destroyed. And if they do make all the changes listed in the article to attract new sheep, wouldn't that go against everything their Bible/God stand for? Well, I guess they'll have to re-write and edit the Bible AGAIN... Religion is a joke.

    July 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      The article refects the feelings and beliefs of one person, who happens to be a Christian. I know many people like her. They are just not ready to become agnostic or atheist.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • lol??

      lol??
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      Hitler talked about destroyin' the "30" other parties. How long ya been a socie Nazi??

      July 27, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  15. dal

    I don't understand, she wants Christianity to change to accomodate fornication, and sadomy (which is already happening). First, the Christians forwent lent. How many still fast? Then the decided Sadomy is allowed. Didn't the Anglican Church assigned a gay bishop. Next, they will state that fornication is allright, and adultery is allowed. We have a new understanding of the 10 commandements. The commandements are just suggestions, so following them is up to you.
    Now, Christianity went from a religion to an empty shell just a way to connect spritually to something. It has no connection on how to better a person.. All the teaching of Jesus went in vain.

    July 27, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Justine

      Jesus never said a word about gay people. Try again.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      Dal, I tend to agree with you that she wants to have it both ways. She should admit she has secular values and drop out of any Christian church. She will be better for it since secular values are better than christian values.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Observer

      dal,

      Millions of heteros engage in sodomy (learn how to spell it and what it means).

      The Ten Commandments never mention gay s3xual habits, but condemn hetero adultery. Ooops.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  16. JJ

    I'm personally proud of the newer generations as they are skeptical and ask questions instead of just following their childhood indoctrination. It's inevitable that they should abandon the myths they were told were true.

    July 27, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      I agree that these newer generations will abandon some of the myths but I think they will hold tight to some of them like god and Jesus as some type of son of god. While polls show a major decline in religious affiliation they show only a small decline in the percentage that do NOT believe in a god \ higher power.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  17. sativa619

    The author fails to realize the truth. The age of the Internet has made available all information that humanity can post. This includes things that disprove many parts of the Bible, fully explain science, and make it nearly impossible to believe in a sky fairy. Religion provides no evidence for the existence of their god save books that were written BY PEOPLE (and if you question that, and think that the books were written by god, you really have a huge case of cognitive dissonance). All religion has is stories, brainwashing and money to improve all of the above. I feel very bad for the people victimized by religion. It may bring you some comfort, but you know nothing and think you do, you think you're moral but you're the exact opposite, you think the Bible is a book of solid instruction – never mind that it says "Thou shalt not kill" and then proceeds to say "Stone adulterous women to death". You just don't think. At all. You're brain damaged by these beliefs, and I'm sorry if I'm being harsh, but you need to get serious help to cure that amount of programming.

    July 27, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • counter

      And if you think the Internet is a great source of knowledge, that counters the Bible, that is just a false assertion. All I can say is "wow"

      July 27, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
      • sativa619

        The Bible has less than a few thousand pages. You are brainwashed and cannot grasp this fact. The internet has over 58 billion websites. Easily. Each with things that you can learn. The Bible is an outdated comic book.

        July 27, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
      • sativa619

        Unlike you, however, I have read the thing cover to cover. You know NOTHING.

        July 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Bob

      Fantastic post, sativa619. I fully agree with you re the contradictions and nonsense of the bible, and it is great to see the bizarre claims of a dominant religion getting the scrutiny (and rejection) that they deserve.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      July 27, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
      • sativa619

        Hey, it had to be said!

        July 27, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  18. Ron

    If heaven is paradise and so much better than where we are now... why arent believers in a hurry to die? Thats like winning the lottery and not wanting to cash the check. You should want to die the moment you get saved. Why delay going to a "better place?" That shows nobody really believes this mess. Because when it comes to death, we are all athiests. If you were a believer then there is no need for doctors or medicine to extend your lifespan to stay away from god longer.

    July 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • skytag

      I've noticed this for a long time. Furthermore, have you ever noticed how sad they are when their loved ones go to a better place? 😉

      July 27, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
      • DaveLake

        Hi Skytag-Your post startled me as those are my exact thoughts. Why get so upset when someone dies that you care about? It should be party time as they are in a better place-a time of joy. I wonder if all the sadness reflects a hidden question pondering if heaven is real. From my limited perspective those I know that are atheists do not seem to get as upset as others at the passing away of a loved one. Maybe more along the lines the circle of life has set in-with the insight this will happen to all of us.

        July 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
        • summerday1

          For the same reason as that when mothers and fathers cry when their children leave for college, or when the move far away to a different country. Or for the same reason they cry when their children or grandchildren are born. It's human to cry when someone is born and to cry when someone dies. The problem with some of these religions is that they tell people to focus on the afterlife, instead of focusing on the present life and doing good in the present for the sake of doing good. Instead they focus on sin and punishment and a reward for not sinning which would be the afterlife. People want to believe in afterlife and in God because that's what they want to have. DO you want there to be afterlife? Notice that I'm not asking whether you believe, but whether you want there to be something more. Would you like to meet your dead wife/husband? How about your dead children? Or maybe your dead dog or cat? Or how about your best friend who died a long time ago. If none of them are dead then let's talk again in 40 years.

          July 27, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • Ernie

      Ron, there are a couple of things you can't do in Heaven: sin and tell others about Christ. So why are we still on Earth after being saved? Surely it's not to sin more. Perhaps it's to share the Gospel, share Jesus, with others so they, too, can be in heaven after this life is over.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
      • Ron

        Cant sin in heaven, or tell others about christ???? When did this get made up? Why would you need to tell others about christ if you are already in heaven anyway? Why are we still here after being saved???? What else are we going to do, drop dead? And your point is that god keeps us here to be door to door salesmen for a job that he can way more easily do himself by coming down and saying "Hello I'm God, nice to meet you." Why does god need our help if he can do anything? Why play all the games with the breadcrumb belief system? Why does he need to "test" us if he knows everything already? Do religious people not ever think of questions like these??

        July 27, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • devin

      "That shows nobody really believes this mess". No, actually it shows you have no concept or understanding of Christian theology. We have been created and given life by God, which includes meaning and purpose. Life on this earth in the form of a human body is God's will according to His determined time, to end that life in order to " go to heaven" is simply naive.

      May I suggest a little critical thinking before posting, well, I'll just say it, such silliness.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
      • Ron

        I love debating smug know it alls like you. Since you were infused with purpose, what is that purpose exactly? If its gods plan, how do you know what it is? Did he share that plan with you? By being happy that death comes so that you can go to heaven, how is that being naive? Should I be sad about going to heaven? That would be the opposite of naive then? Your statement suggests suicide which is not what I said. God is the one who determines when life ends right?? What is wrong about being happy about it when it comes? Why not celebrate going to a better place? And Smug knucklheads like you, who believe a man can live in a whale, water can turn into wine, the universe is 10,000 years old, believe people should be stoned to death for working on sunday, that god murdered every living thing on the planet except for a few animals on a wooden boat that was way to small to hold all of said animals, and that snakes can talk and women can be made from ribs...... HAVE NO BUSINESS SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT CRITICAL THINKING AT ALL!!

        July 27, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
      • Ron

        Oh, almost forgot... "We have been created and given life"... might i suggest grammar lessons before posting, well, I'll just say it, such silliness

        July 27, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
        • devin

          You have no grasp of grammatical structure either?

          July 27, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
  19. FreeThinker

    Religion is a ruse perpetrated on the week-minded for profit and control. NOTHING MORE.

    July 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • FreeThinker

      *weak-minded

      July 27, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Dragstone

      And it's the uneducated who fight the most against religion because they don't get it. Faith has a deepness and wisdom that is beyond some religion hater who can't spell worth a flip.

      July 27, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
      • Justine

        Most people who leave Christianity behind are more than adequately educated in the Bible. That's the precise reason they are leaving. Pew shows that atheists are far more educated about the Bible than fervent believers. Guess again.

        July 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
        • laguna_b

          As Christopher Hitchen said many times, the best way to become an atheist is to read the Bible from cover to cover...

          July 27, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        So perfect spelling is an indication of depth and wisdom, and I assume by extension for god(s). If that were true, it would be the first measurable "evidence" for any god. But I more than suspect attacking spelling is merely a dodge for not being able to say anything factual in support of religion.

        July 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
      • Just Call Me Lucifer

        Yeah,right. I'm gonna burn you for an eternity, just 'cause I can.

        July 27, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
  20. Corinthia

    I try to pleasure my god daily, and believe me, I try HARD!
    ps. my god is part of me, guess which part?

    July 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • M.R.

      Nightstand nellie?

      July 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125
Advertisement
About this blog

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.