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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. K Sav

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

    No "we" don't. Speak for yourself.

    July 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
  2. I_LOVe_America_Too_

    Maybe we're leaving cause we realised that tyour silly church is a GAY-HATING sesspool of vile,evil and HATRED!

    July 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • bcalvert9

      You would be wrong.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
  3. Mark

    Excellent article, and I've found the church you are talking about. The United Church of Christ is that authentic, diverse, accepting spiritual home more concerned with social justice and Jesus' teachings rather than literal interpretations of Old Testament mythologies.

    July 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
  4. UncleBenny

    You know, the article doesn't touch on one of the probable reasons that people are turning away from church in droves. Most churches still insist that to be a member of their club you have to assent to belief in a whole litany of things that simply don't make sense to people nowadays. Like belief in an all powerful supernatural being who created the world but then destroyed everything in a flood because he fu*ked up and then sent his Son (who is actually God, sorry for the confusion) to be born of a virgin and perform miracles and die horribly on a cross and then rise from the dead and walk and talk and wait for us to meet him in some glorious afterlife and so on and so forth ...

    Is it any wonder that more and more churches are closing? Except for some of the evangelicals that offer simplistic answers to complex problems to people who need that sort of thing?

    July 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
  5. Ron

    It always amazes me that otherwise intelligent rational people can willingly worship and praise the self admitted worst mass murdering genocidal, self absorbed, tyrannical maniac that the universe has ever seen. This thing you call god, if you believe in it, willfully, and with impunity, murdered every single living thing on planet earth, including every little baby, every little innocent child, save what a 500 year old man could stuff on a wooden boat. And you wish to worship and shower praise and sing songs in it's honor.

    It condones slavery and gives instruction on how to beat your slave properly, it condones murdering of children for making fun of you like it did for Lot (read your bible), it condones stoning for ridiculous offenses centered around not kissing it's feet enough. It created an eternal blast furnace specifically to punish for all of time, people that don't believe in him or break even the smallest of his rules and dont tell him sorry. It gives a pass to the worst murders and criminals as long as they believe he is their savior right before they die, It supposedly sees everything we think and do like a true creeper and yet stands by while millions suffer and starve and live life in pain, knowing it can do something about it but it chooses to just watch and pick and choose which prayer to answer based on who knows what. It not only created satan and hell, it allows satan to influence the lives of people knowing full well what happens to them if they break the rules, and punishes them anyway, even tho it could just snap it's fingers and make satan vanish without an afterthought.

    You worship this? This is what love looks like? If you love someone, would you allow them to suffer? Would you kill them and their family because they dont like you? Would you light them on fire and throw gasoline on them? If they pleaded with you to help them in a time of need, would you just ignore them? If you saw they were about to get hit by a bus, would you not say anything and sit there and watch while it happens? If you believe god loves you, then you believe that is what love is.

    July 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • Tommy

      TL;DR.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
      • Burzghash

        Too stupid; won't think.

        July 27, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • David

      Great summary, Ron. Perfectly describes how Judeo-Christian theology has an extreme hateful and violent bent that is often purposefully ignored by believers or actually used a weapon against those who don't conform.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  6. Bobojacobo

    That all sounds perfectly nice. I'd love to see the culture wars end. As an atheist, I find them exhausting. But here's another question for you: when will the apology arrive? The "we're sorry for thousands of years of repression against other religions, minority groups, intellectual dissenters, and women?" I'm guessing never. So back to the trenches for me.

    July 27, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • hee hee

      Hear hear! And I'm sick of hearing "Oh please stop disrespecting me! Oh the intolerance and persecution!" every time you disagree.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • christy

      Perhaps religious people will feel more inclined to apologize for their leaders' atrocities when atheists in turn decide to apologize for the atrocities committed by atheist dictators. (who, by the way, murdered millions of people in the last hundred years). Atheist dictators (eg Kim Jong Un) are still murdering innocent people.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
      • hee hee

        How many of those killed people in the name of atheism?

        p.s. I know who else you're thinking of ... he wasn't atheist.

        July 27, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
      • RichardSRussell

        Hitler and Stalin had mustaches, too.
        We must fear Geraldo Rivera and Tom Selleck.
        Such is your "reasoning".

        July 28, 2013 at 2:00 am |
  7. DOUBTER

    I think a reason they are leaving the church is because of discussions just like this one. I love the fact that this kind of discussion happens continually all around the world now.

    July 27, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • bcalvert9

      Doubter people don't really care what non-believers like you think.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
      • hee hee

        So your response to "I love these discussions" is "no one cares what you think?"

        Telling.

        July 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
      • JD

        Jesus would certainly disagree with your judgemental assessment, b.

        July 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
        • bcalvert9

          Not at all.Unbelievers have various reason for not believing. But for a unbeliever to comment why believers may be leaving makes no sense since you have no idea what a believers is or believes.

          July 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Qwert

      People are having this discussion because of CNN's agenda, the effect this has on the world as limited as the mainstream media's ratings. CNN with this kind of trash (I wouldn't call it news) just shows how much it keeps drifting away from the number 1 news network it used to be.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
  8. Mosby

    What a wonderful article ! You go girl ! There seems to be some hope for the future ? Another layer of the onion to be peeled back is the history of Christianity , starting with the scholarship of Dr. Barbara Thiering , who has written several books on the subject .These books will set you free , as they tell the actual life story of Jesus . For a teaser I will share one fact about him that the people that depend on Christmas business for survival don't want you to know .BIRTHDAY of JESUS is : 1 March 7bc !!!

    July 27, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Dippy

      Don't put a space before punctuation marks. It makes you look really stupid. Are you?

      July 27, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • brb

      The Christian Church is a whole lot better about answering questions than the Mormon Church. Whatever you do, do not join that church!

      July 27, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

      Any scholar that dates Jebus, is a fraud.
      No historian or Biblical scholar would ever do that. In fact, there actually is no evidence he ever existed.
      Why did THE most prominent Jewish historian of the time, who likely was in Jerusalem during his last months, say NOTHING about him at all ?

      July 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
      • bcalvert9

        Jesus was mentioned several times by Josephus. Even John the Baptist is mentioned. Why were the Roman dictators scared of of a person that never existed. Why would the disciples hide for 40 days then start preaching about some one that didn't exist. Why would Paul who was killing the Jewish believers stop and join them for some one that didn't exist?

        July 27, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
        • RichardSRussell

          Why do you believe that any of that is true?

          July 28, 2013 at 2:02 am |
      • Brian

        Who knows? Others (specifically, Josephus, I'm not sure if there are actually any other reliable contemporaries) wrote about Jesus and in fact there are plenty of legitimate historians who agree that there was a historical Jewish rabbi named Jesus who came from Nazareth who was put to death by Roman crucifixion some time around 30s/40s-ish AD.
        Besdies, there's only one account (a personal one, at that) of Julius Ceasar crossing the Rubicon and nobody argues against that (granted, nobody claims to have a relationship with Julius Ceasar these days who isn't already locked away in a mental hospital). So the issue isn't whether or not the guy ever existed, the question is whether or not he's as special as the Bible and Christians claim him to be.

        July 27, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Jax

      So he was 40 when he died?

      July 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • bcalvert9

      There are several dates that could be used for the birth if Christ. No date is mentioned in the Bible so that really doesn't mean she knows anything more about the Bible. This isn't really news at all. All the stories that are needed about Christ are in the Bible. If she adds to or takes from that she is wrong.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
  9. Stephanie Broughton

    I completely agree with this article, one of the main reasons I no longer attend church is the LGBT issue, followed by a few others that I just can't relate to. I hope something comes along to entice our generation and those after us to come back to the church, but right now it doesn't look good. Would be so refreshing!

    July 27, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Athy

      What could that possibly be? People are not going to get dumber, are they?

      July 27, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  10. Thierry

    Maybe the reason is that the people trying to draw young people in STILL think church is all about the trappings. And by trappings I don't mean worship bands – I mean, "what's this church's stance on evolution?" and "what's this church think about universal health care?" Could it be that young people today, with access to so much information and exposure to so many different cultures, simply don't believe that an omniscient figure in the sky guides our lives, pushes us to convert others to OUR particular beliefs, and seeks to exclude everybody who isn't part of OUR particular tradition from a peaceful existence and happy afterlife? d

    July 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
  11. Ron

    Can someone please tell me how Jesus is not a zombie? He died, then rose from the dead. How is that not a zombie??

    July 27, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Athy

      I've been led to believe that that's exactly what a zombie is. But aren't they supposed to walk around like an LA pedestrian? Jebus doesn't do that, does he? Maybe he's a lazy zombie.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Jordan

      The difference between the resurrection as related in Scripture (which for our purposes we will assume to be true) and a zombie is the state of the brain. Zombies are brain dead, and their minds dysfunctional (the most common belief is that it is the virus, or whatever the illness is) but Scripture seems to give clear indication that Christ's mind was working just as well as before His death

      July 27, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
      • hee hee

        You're right. For example, zombies can't recognize facetiousness.

        July 27, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
      • Ron

        Well that makes sense.

        July 27, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • Nicole F.

      Because Jesus took three days to rise from the grave and heads a religion that drinks blood (and eats flesh I will give you that) so that makes him a vampire not a zombie...or he could be a zombie vampire...hmm...

      July 27, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • christy

      So, by your logic, people who die and then come back (whether through resuscitation, or mysterious, unknown means) are zombies? Your comment doesn't make any sense because zombies are people who are still dead, not people who have come back to life.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
      • Athy

        But dead people cannot come back to life, in spite of fairy tales to the contrary.

        July 27, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
        • christy

          Did you not recently read in the news about the newborn in Brazil that was dead for 3 hours and came back to life? She died, and the nurse who delivered her was so distraught that she couldn't take the baby's body to the morgue so she laid it on the altar in the hospital chapel. The baby came back to life on her own.

          Whenever anything like this happens–and people do die and come back, some have even been pronounced medically dead–believers believe and skeptics just say that the nurses and the doctors made some sort of mistake, or that the person wasn't really dead. (despite what the trained, professional medical staff say).

          Conclusion: people believe what they want to believe, and refuse to believe what they don't want to believe.

          July 27, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
        • bcalvert9

          Jesus did and over 5 hundred saw Him. God can do anything. That is why He is God.

          July 27, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
      • hee hee

        I hope that the posters here can settle this important zombie Jesus issue. I'm confused.

        July 27, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Arose from the dead? Like that's some kind of big deal? Heck, not only was Jesus not the first god-man to pull off that particular stunt in antiquity (let alone the ONLY one), he wasn't even the only JEW who came back from the dead THAT WEEKEND. (Matthew 27:52-53)

      July 28, 2013 at 2:06 am |
  12. Buddy Ralph

    Well I read some postings and I'm a little impressed with some of the dialog, sentax, etc. Obviously some pretty intelligent folks, but the content just doesn't cut it for me. I'm no rocket scientist, no super acomplishments, but I did manage to raise and provide for a family. I wasn't raised by a so called religious family, but somehow I always felt the need to believe there is a God. If God really exists, that's cool; if he doesn't then it really doesn't matter. I love intelligent people, I wish some of it would rub off on me, but I have to just deal with my daily life one day at a time. Believing in God helps me sometimes when I look back at all the poor judgement and mistakes in my life. A message to everyone: I wish you peace and goodwill.

    July 27, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • hee hee

      Don't sell yourself short. You sound smart. I would say: forget about whether there's a god or not. Just learn as much as you can with the time you have left. I bet you have a critical mind. There are interesting questions.

      Life's hard. If it helped you, fine; I don't really understand it, but so what if I disagree? Bit of disagreement never hurt anyone.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
  13. Laurie Cunningham

    It's a catchy line but if I was playing a certain card game with this author I would have to call her bluff...BS! I have lived many places and been part of many churches, many denominations, some cool, some less so, and I have found Jesus at every church, in every gathering of believers and even nonbelievers throughout my life. Even when I'm with Christians who think FOX news has a direct line from heaven and do all the things that drive this author crazy, I still see clear as can be their love for Jesus and often, very often for others too. If you know what you are looking for, He is not hard to find. Take another look I say.

    July 27, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • hee hee

      Was he under the pew? I knew I should have checked under the pew.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • Jax

      I'd venture a guess that RHE is more of an evangelical than you are, Laurie.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
  14. Jim O'Gara

    I'm probably the same age as Rachel, maybe a little older. Born in 1976, I'm supposed to be part of Gen X, but I don't feel like I belong to them. And not sure about Gen Y either. Anyway, this sentence she wrote sums up perfectly why I left the church:

    "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."

    It's not that I loved Jesus any less. It's not that I don't source my ethics from his teachings anymore. I just don't find Jesus or his ethics in many of the modern American churches.

    And when I told that to Jesus, he replied back, "That's ok, I can't find me there either."

    July 27, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Jax

      She's 32. It says that in the first sentence. And what you've posted is precisely the gist of her essay.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
      • Jim O'Gara

        Thank you! I guess I skipped right over her telling her age. I was too busy in my head saying, "Me Too!"

        July 27, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  15. Casey

    Hey! I never would have imagined CNN would do a story that shows religion is some sort of negative light. I'm sooo surprised. This HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE! ( I wonder if they have some sort of agenda?) ... naaaaa... they're a reputable news organization. They would never cherry pick stories. What was I thinking? I mean, if CNN is doing a story on it, it just has to be fair, accurate, and unbiased... right? right? (Is there any intelligent person that believes that?)

    July 27, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • midwest rail

      This is not a news story, it is an opinion piece written for the Belief Blog. You wouldn't be jumping to conclusions just to make a (faulty) point, would you ? Naaaa......

      July 27, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
      • Casey

        of course it's an opinion piece. When is the last time you saw a CNN opinion piece extolling the good works of the Church? CNN has become an irrelevant rag that is basically the mouthpiece for liberals and democrats. It is obvious if you look at the preponderance of the evidence.

        July 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
        • Burzghash

          Hey, how about that! Commentator responds to an opinion piece with a bunch of angry opinions!

          SHOCKING!

          Tell you what, when religion does something good, like making a major scientific breakthrough, I'm sure CNN will cover it. K?

          PS – Enjoy your computer, which allows you to spout your unfocused rage that "OOOH, SOMEONE SAID SOMETHING BAD ABOUT THE RELIGIONS!! SO WHAT IF THE ARTICLE IS BY A DEVOUT CHRISTIAN!?" You can thank science for that.

          July 28, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • Observer

      Are you accusing CNN of cherry-picking like all the Christians who pick-and-choose from the Bible?

      July 27, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
      • Casey

        I'm not a Biblical scholar, but I know many who are. Usually I find atheists will pull out some particularly heinous part of the Bible, and hold it up as a reason to question believe. They give no context, no understanding of the authors time and use of language, and no understanding of the audience. That is cherry picking. In my Church, and particular at our classes, we discuss passages that you allude to and try to understand them... and to do so usually requires a context. So... I guess I really don't know what you're talking about.

        July 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
        • One one

          "Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately." Numbers 31:17
          "utterly destroy all that they have, and don't spare them; but kill both man and woman, infant and nursing baby, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'" 1sam15:3

          "Yahweh struck the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and it was very sick." "It happened on the seventh day, that the child died."
          2 Samuel: 15 & 18

          July 27, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
        • Casey

          One One... you totally prove my point. LOL. You cherry pick this Passover event with no context, or understanding of the conditions surrounding the events. You are, at best, intellectually dishonest... There are a million out there just like you.

          July 27, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
        • Burzghash

          Oh good! Maybe you can help me understand a few things;

          Under what context is it acceptable to stone unruly children to death? Under what context is it acceptable that women are literally worth less than men, must not assume authority over them, and must be silent? Under what context is it ok to take people as slaves? Under what context is raping a girl acceptable, then paying her dad a fine and marrying her? Under what context is selling your daughter into slavery acceptable? Under what context is the murder of tons of innocent children acceptable?

          I figure since you're so familiar with the bible and all, that you can give me the appropriate understanding so that I might appreciate the context of these things.

          July 28, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • J

      You do realize you're in the "blogs" section of CNN, right?

      July 27, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
      • Casey

        Called the Belief Blog. But it appears to be incorrectly named, because of the negative bias. Thy should call it the Un-Belief blog... or more accurately... the anti-belief blog.

        July 27, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • Ian J

      Well, I'm sure there's a nice Fox News article to balance things out if you think Christianity isn't getting a fair shake.You could also probably turn on one of the countless Christian television and radio stations.If you actually read the article, however, you'll find it's author to be evangelical, which is by definition, someone who intends to promote their religious beliefs and convert the damned. Hardly someone trying to bring the church to its knees.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
      • Casey

        I'm not exactly sure what you're talking about. Are you saying that it's acceptable to you, for a news organization to be biased against something, because there are other places that aren't? Really? ... and this seems rational to you?

        July 27, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
        • Ian J

          I think we both agree that our sources of media should strive to remain as unbiased as possible and respect the religious freedom of its audience. However, this piece is giving voice to an Evangelist on how to keep Christianity relevant. and serves as a poor example for CNN harboring a supposed anti-religious agenda.

          July 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  16. katyandtheword

    Reblogged this on katyandtheword and commented:
    YES!

    July 27, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  17. Matthew

    I'm thankful that I belong to a church that still believes and preaches the Bible. Unfortunately, many churches try to be just like the secular world. I'm 32, but if I were a young person today, I wouldn't want to belong to these churches because you can get the same garbage from a motivational speaker and a rock concert. The churches need to return to gospel music and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. Preachers are supposed to preach what the Word of God says and not what the people want to hear.

    July 27, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • Athy

      You're 32 and still believe the fairy tale? Well, maybe you'll wake up later.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
      • Matthew

        I never said anything about Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, evolution, atheism, or any of Obama's speeches so I don't know where you got fairy tale from.

        July 27, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • janelleshives

      I belong to a church that is faithful to the scriptures as well, not surveys of what people think is cool. It seems like the more modern churches are trying to be Christ-like in their teachings, but secular in their worship style. The author seems to want the secular to be foundational in the teaching as well. Why in the world are the younger "Christians" so tolerant of LGBT lifestyles? Don't they read the same Bible that everyone else does? Sin is sin, while we love the sinner, we don't throw out God's word to make people comfortable sitting in a building. Christ was compassionate, but He had unshakeable integrity and morality, and asks the same for us. 1 Peter 2:9

      July 27, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Casting the First Stone

      Why in the world are younger people so tolerant of the GLBT lifestyle you ask, Janelle? Because they know full well that God created them EQUAL to everyone else, that's why. Even Christian Archbishop Tutu, for one, brought attention to that fact and came down hard on the church that still preaches with prejudice and discriminates against them. And the fact that some churches will even ostracize GLBT people from the church while keeping silent about women who are actively committing abortion and those who divorce is obviously the height of church hypocrisy! So, what these churches teach is not within the teachings of Jesus Christ who said absolutely nothing about GLBT people during His Earthly ministry.

      And yes, Christ does have impeccable integrity and morality and asks the same of us. Therefore, while you are looking in another person's backyard, why don't you start first by chastising your own kind who commit abortion, who divorce right and left and think nothing of it, who have affairs with other married people, who catch the Herpes virus through unbridled s e x, and the list goes on. Indeed, these are the very people the Bible rightfully condemns. Therefore, please go outside with a megaphone and call attention to all of these sinners first, before you try casting stones at others who were Born different from you. It's so easy for you to point fingers at others, isn't it! But you need to look at your own kind first.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
  18. jonline

    I view evangelical christians as narrow minded, intolerant people who allow no deviation of thought and will not accept people for who they are. I know no one who goes to church anymore.

    July 27, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • redcarol57

      So only your narrow minded stereotype is what? Enlightened??

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

      My observation as well, jonline. None of my friends attend church anymore. The last half dozen or so weddings I've attended we're not held in churches. Religion is never discussed at parties anymore. Religion is dying, at least in my environment. And it's about time.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • David

      Just because someone doen't approve of your behavior doesn't mean they don't love you. If you child behaves badly, you don't stop loveing them, but you do express your disappointment with their behavior. Your behavior has consequences, good or bad, but the behavior is yours, not the folks at church. If we were all perfect there would be no need to attend chruch, but church is for sinners, and that is where I will be tomorrow. Have a great day.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
      • Athy

        So, you're a sinner, Dave? Didn't jebus die to let you off the hook?

        July 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
      • NM

        Stop with the paternalistic condescension. This person stated an observation. It would have been easier and more satisfying to reply 'And those who have abandoned Thor and Woden will tremble when they get to Valhalla', but that would just be silly.

        July 27, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
      • One one

        What would your child have to do for you to send her to hell to be tortured for all eternity?

        July 27, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • hee hee

      Confession: I was at one time evangelical. Just a bit of youthful confusion; no trauma or anything.
      So I understand the evangelical point of view to some extent. But, I've met few evangelicals who have any idea of what the non-religious think and feel. Really just complete ignorance and denial. That includes written work. The times I've tried to talk with evangelicals about their beliefs and mine, I just can't get a single idea across. I'm not talking about convincing them that I'm right – I can't even get them to acknowledge a single fact, whether it be scientific or historical.

      I guess it's a stereotype? I can't help noticing this. Should I pretend it's not true?

      July 27, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
      • NM

        Cults put a mental 'penicillin ring' around certain types of conversation, claiming the person speaking is possessed by a type of demon – devil ,etc you name it – sad, but true. Don't stop trying though, in some cases the cognitive dissonance becomes overwhelming and you can save them from the brainwashing.

        July 27, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
      • Brian

        Nah – right there with ya. I spent some time in that camp too (sounds a tad like we're discussing prison stints....I'll leave the analogy there, lol) and so I'm pretty sure I get where they come from. And yet, there's no talking to them some times. I try to ask questions, to get to the same page, and yet it seems all they can do is read from a script. I seriously feel that there are a good chunk that are a half-step from cults in that regard....

        July 27, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
  19. Camila

    Reblogged this on The Vanilla Chameleon. and commented:
    This is excellent!

    July 27, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • CJ

      I agree. This article gives me a bit of hope for the future. I believe Jesus would love everyone and encourage us to use our brains to question everything. Including religions. That being said, I do not feel the need to push my beliefs onto others and have no issue with differing opinions. We should be tolerant, kind and patient with each other and work together to make our world war and hunger free.

      July 27, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
      • hee hee

        It's all very nice, but there might be some reasons that non-believers might lose their patience.

        Such as attempts to legislate religious beliefs; attempts to sneak them into the classroom; the religious knocking on our doors at all hours; having the same conversation over and over and over again, while exchanged information is completely disregarded; having been forced to pretend to be religious in an educational setting; the long, undeniable history of religious suppression of the expression of alternative beliefs through imprisonment, banishment and even torture; the attempt to spread beliefs which increase global suffering significantly (e.g. discouraging condom use in Africa, in the middle of the greatest epidemic which the world has seen in at least a century).

        Yes, I'm a little bit impatient on occasion. Oh yes, one last thing: the palpably false assertion that religious people are somehow more kind and patient.

        July 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
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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.