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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. Bob

    I can't imagine having expressed it better myself. My mom even converted to Catholicism for very similar reasons. I consider myself christian, born again, I consider myself as a follower Jesus, if a bit detached, but I haven't been to church since I was 14 and realized they were missing the point so very much.

    I long to go to a church where they see the bible for what it is, and take all the text at it's real value. It's complicated, like life, and like the universe. The answers aren't all simple just because that's what you want. People in so many places now days stick with religion, but have already departed from their doctrine since it's clearly just lagging behind. I'm sure it's always been this way to some degree, since religions like Buddhism have little even to do with common people beyond a few general ideas filled in with local culture and customs. Religion can, and probably should, be a defining force in humanity, but when it's simply not relevant and no longer has, nor actively seeks, the answers humanity needs, it's just holding itself back.

    July 28, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • MagicPanties

      "...see the bible for what it is, and take all the text at it's real value..."

      Uh, that would be a work of fiction cobbled together by multiple people over decades or more, liberally using old stories from pagan mythology.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • Ken78

      Bob, Almighty God is the center of the universe. Not human beings. Not you. You exist to serve God. Not the other way around. From your post, I am getting the impression that you do not accept that.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:52 am |
  2. Bobel

    "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."

    This paragraph right here describes what my church has done over the last ten years. The church is located right in the middle of a huge college university and guess what? The college kids avoid us like the plague. Now my pastor wants to build a "housing complex" on the property thinking that the college kids that live there will come to the church. SMH

    July 28, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  3. Ray Sanders

    Rachel says, Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Episcopal Church, etc. – precisely because the ancient forms of liturgy seem so unpretentious,..................Are you kidding me??? Have you ever seen the royal robes that Catholic Priests wear? Come on Rachel give me a break.

    July 28, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  4. qqw

    CNN presses on with the atheist agenda. And some still want us to believe that CNN is still a credible and impartial news network.

    July 28, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

      The atheist "agenda"? Get real. There's no agenda. People are finally realizing that it's okay to voice their views about religion. Why are you so threatened by the fact that not everyone believes your silly fairy tales?

      July 28, 2013 at 9:49 am |
  5. Ken78

    You want something you can call Christianity, without any of that messy, socially inconvenient, Christian doctrine.

    You sound like a spoiled child.

    Why don't you please have the honesty to invent a new religion for yourself that does not challenge your own personal beliefs and which puts human beings instead of Almighty God in the center of the universe, give it a new name, and practice that, instead of trying to glom onto the name Christianity?

    Thanks.

    July 28, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • sybaris

      Religion, a filthy perverted disease of the mind

      July 28, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • snowboarder

      why invent something new when we have so many existing sects that could benefit from the update.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • larrylivingston

      Ah you just don't get it do you? We very much realise that humans are not the center of the universe. Earth is likely only one of billions of inhabited planets in the galaxy. We do not pretend to be special...YOU are doing the pretending. Your people are the ones who make claims about having your "personal jesus" who watches you like a Facebook stalker. It's the Christian who thinks he's important enough to be catered to by a deity. What could possibly be more self-obsessed than THAT?

      July 28, 2013 at 9:52 am |
      • Ken78

        You atheists are funny. Sad, but funny. You don't see me wasting all my time posting over at the Atheist Blog. Your life is so short (or so you believe). You should be asking yourself why are you wasting even one precious second of it posting here?

        July 28, 2013 at 9:57 am |
        • just me.

          Being totally convinced,after abandoning your intellectual honesty,that you will continue blissfully in some unknown form for all eternity,is not just sad,but verging on insanity.Stay with that.

          July 28, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • HWB

      Spot on.

      July 28, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  6. Skeptimist

    I suspect the disconnects Ms. Evans describes are not simply generational. Within my Bible Belt community I see the growth of huge, elaborate, Christian (but very segregated) churches even as schools and other critical elements of social infrastructure are crumbling. It seems that an unarticulated paranoia has driven a retreat into the perceived safety of exclusive seclusion. I don't think that's what Jesus had in mind. If the Millennials question, challenge and can change that, Godspeed!

    July 28, 2013 at 9:42 am |
  7. On and on

    Rachel, As former Catholic (and now and atheist), I understand the intent in your particular religious desire. Church does bring a sense of community and socialization – that's wonderful. It sounds like you're on your way to becoming a "none," but at least a deist. Good luck to you in your search for truth and wholeness.

    July 28, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • John Q.

      Sad how many Catholics turn to atheism. They seem to communicate ritual over relationship and it turns off so many...

      July 28, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • Ken78

      I agree. She is an atheist in denial who longs for all the good feelings of religious connection. It is sad to behold.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • snowboarder

      the best thing about church was always the singing.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:51 am |
  8. Jesus Christ Son of God

    People are leaving the church because they pray and bad still happens. What is that? Gods Plan? Nonsense. Who would plan bad to happen. People are becoming smarter and realize that religion is a waste of time,

    July 28, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Glenn Parker

      Bad things happen because there is evil in the world. What about you? If God dealt with evil tonight at 12:00, where would you be at 12:01?

      Jesus Christ is the only hope for this dying world, and people are leaving the church for the same reason people have always left church: they are not truly converted, and they love the world more than they love Jesus Christ. They have chosen their master.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:44 am |
      • Jesus Christ Son of God

        If I am the only hope for this world, then you have no hope, as I don't exist.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:46 am |
      • IAgree

        You are spot on.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Ray Sanders

      If bronze age middle eastern goat herders wrote it then it must be true.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:47 am |
  9. Giovanni

    What's your favorite scripture brothers and sister in Christ?
    Mine is Genesis 19:30-38, where the only good family in Sodom is saved from God killing everyone in it (including pregnant women, meaning God committed abortion), and they hid in caves outside the city. It was Lot, a true man of God and his daughters. The daughters said that there father should have a son, so they take turns getting him blasted on wine and riding him good. Then they both became pregnant, and one of his descendants was our Savior! Praise be to God!

    True story, look it up in the "Good Book".

    July 28, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Qwert

      There is a wide difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament, thank you for pointing that out.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:39 am |
      • Giovanni

        Yup, big differences. For an eternal and never changing deity, that Yahweh guy sure did act differently in certain books of the Bible.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • John Q.

      Wow...Tons of stories of hope, healing and deliverance and you pick an example from one of the most vile cities in existence to use as an example of the bible? Funny, so many people say, "Why doesn't God do something with these evil people?" Then he does and still gets slammed...

      July 28, 2013 at 9:41 am |
      • Giovanni

        John Q, do you condone the killing of babies, children and fetuses in that city? If so, then you are immoral stain upon the Earth. If not, then you disagree with that Yahweh guy as being a good moral deity.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:48 am |
      • UncleBenny

        I like this one – some children make fun of the prophet Elisha, and look what God does to them:

        2 Kings 2:23-24 And he went up from thence unto Beth-el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

        July 28, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

      Oh, that nutty, whacky god! He'd do anything for a laugh! Kill almost all of the people and animal sin the world in a flood, allow earthquakes and tsunamis, all while buying those pretend dinosaur fossils to test people's faith. What a guy!

      July 28, 2013 at 9:42 am |
      • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

        Burying fossils, not buying. need more coffee.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:43 am |
      • MagicPanties

        Hey, we should get together.
        We could blaspheme, or... something.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  10. angbalti

    I am way past millenial, but I too have been very disturbed by the equating of whatever political stance in held by the, usually a guy, doing the preaching, is presented as God's will. Further, while I acknowledge that the bible is important, it is a constant wonder to me that given a rather broad based anti science stance, folks fail to look at the greatest evidence we have of the mind of God. If one believes that God is the creator, it is peculiar that more and more Christians are not going into the sciences. After all, each of the sciences studies one of the aspects of God's creation and the more I delve into science the more I am awe struck at the extrordinary complexity of what God made. How can Christians complain about the ungodliness of sciencec when it is their very refusal to be part of it that leads to that. Nature is the work of God's hand and the language he used was Mathematics. Unless and until Christians start to realize that there is much to learn about God from his creation, the message will get smaller and smaller. The true wonder and awe of God is most evident when looking into the night sky or even in seeing the amazing complexity in the smallest bits of particles the are found by the massive machines humans make. Sadly, science is hard and math complex so it is easier to vilify them in just read and reread translations of translations of things written thousands of years ago. There is much to learn from those words but there is infinitely more to learn by studying what the creTor made.

    July 28, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  11. PamSkeen

    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

    July 28, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • snowboarder

      or just maybe think for themselves instead of relying on someone's interpretation of ancient texts.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • JustTheFacts

      Pam... Amen to that, Pam. You hit the nail on the head. That is precisely the case here...

      July 28, 2013 at 10:01 am |
  12. Scott Johnson

    Well said Rachel! At 53 years of age you covered my feelings about religion almost perfectly. I feel much more comfortable in my faith when I am doing volunteer work. I love working on Habitat for Humanity projects or collecting for a local shelter. I always feel closer to God in those situations, rather than in church. I am sure that I am not alone in viewing Faith and Religion as two separate things that don't necessarily have to come together. I still go to church reasonably regularly and even try to get them to change. I wonder how long I can continue to fight the good fight

    July 28, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • leah

      I'm right at your age – and same here. It wasn't until my late 30's that I realized that religion was not the same thing as faith. That is too old to realize that. But at least I did & that has made a world of difference in my own spiritual growth, which was basically non-existent before then. Sad that many people never get the difference between the two concepts in their lifetimes.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  13. Nita

    Very well written and expressed.

    July 28, 2013 at 9:29 am |
  14. wrm

    "...often feel they have to choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith, between science and Christianity, between compassion and holiness."

    Why? You've created a need for an allegiance that doesn't exist; you being the media that thrives on conflict. When "millennials" get older they'll realize that it isn't necessary to "pick sides" but to reconcile the two in a way that allows them to enjoy their lives how they see fit, even if that means eliminating faith or organized religion altogether.

    July 28, 2013 at 9:26 am |
  15. Reality

    For those interested in the translations of the NT and associated scriptures:

    Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
    – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

    30-60 CE Passion Narrative
    40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
    50-60 1 Thessalonians
    50-60 Philippians
    50-60 Galatians
    50-60 1 Corinthians
    50-60 2 Corinthians
    50-60 Romans
    50-60 Philemon
    50-80 Colossians
    50-90 Signs Gospel
    50-95 Book of Hebrews
    50-120 Didache
    50-140 Gospel of Thomas
    50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
    50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
    65-80 Gospel of Mark
    70-100 Epistle of James
    70-120 Egerton Gospel
    70-160 Gospel of Peter
    70-160 Secret Mark
    70-200 Fayyum Fragment
    70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
    73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
    80-100 2 Thessalonians
    80-100 Ephesians
    80-100 Gospel of Matthew
    80-110 1 Peter
    80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
    80-130 Gospel of Luke
    80-130 Acts of the Apostles
    80-140 1 Clement
    80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
    80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
    80-250 Christian Sibyllines
    90-95 Apocalypse of John
    90-120 Gospel of John
    90-120 1 John
    90-120 2 John
    90-120 3 John
    90-120 Epistle of Jude
    93 Flavius Josephus
    100-150 1 Timothy
    100-150 2 Timothy
    100-150 T-itus
    100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
    100-150 Secret Book of James
    100-150 Preaching of Peter
    100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
    100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
    100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
    100-160 2 Peter

    For those who are not interested in reading the above references, a summary:

    The Apostles' Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)

    July 28, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • John Q.

      Wow, is this spam on a timer?

      July 28, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • ElectricLion

      He was a stone-cutter, not a carpenter. You're reading from the Anglicized King James version. There was very little wood in the Middle East at that time.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:56 am |
      • Reality

        Summarizing:

        "Jesus is identified in the Gospel of Matthew 13:55 as the son of a τέκτων (tekton) and the Gospel of Mark 6:3 states that Jesus was a Tektōn himself. Tekton has been traditionally translated into English as "carpenter", but is a rather general word (from the same root that gives us "technical" and "technology") that could cover makers of objects in various materials, even builders.[13] But the specific association with woodworking is a constant in Early Christian tradition; Justin Martyr (died c. 165) wrote that Jesus made yokes and ploughs, and there are similar early references.[14]

        John Dominic Crossan puts tekton into a historical context more resembling an itinerant worker than an established artisan, emphasizing his marginality in a population in which a peasant who owns land could become quite prosperous. Other scholars have argued that tekton could equally mean a highly-skilled craftsman in wood or the more prestigious metal, perhaps running a workshop with several employees, and noted sources recording the shortage of skilled artisans at the time.[15] Geza Vermes has stated that the terms 'carpenter' and 'son of a carpenter' are used in the Jewish Talmud to signify a very learned man, and he suggests that a description of Joseph as 'naggar' (a carpenter) could indicate that he was considered wise and highly literate in the Torah.[16]"

        July 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  16. Giovanni

    Hmmm... 150,000 people die every day worldwide, 33% of the world's population is Christian (in the liberal sense of the word, those rebellious Millennials included), which means that 100,000 people die everyday not believing in the Christian deities.

    So every day 100,000 people go to hell for pretty much being born in the wrong country? Sounds Christlike to me. No wonder the young are leaving the flock of sheep in droves, they have more than 3 brain cells.

    July 28, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • John Q.

      Maybe check out Romans 1:18-21

      July 28, 2013 at 9:33 am |
      • Richard Cranium

        yes...the book of romans. Self affirming garbage. Believe the bible, because the bible tells you to , and the bible is right,'cause the bible says it is, and if you don't believe, god will punish you....crap.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:38 am |
      • Giovanni

        Thanks Johnny Q, you proved my point on how Mickey Mouse that belief system is.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:41 am |
      • John Q.

        You've won me over, I want to be one of you brain worshippers, which atheist church do I have to go to to sign up?

        July 28, 2013 at 9:46 am |
      • Giovanni

        John Q, one of the great things about being a non-deist, is that there is no church to waste time on!

        July 28, 2013 at 9:53 am |
  17. snowboarder

    i think we are long past the time when people are simply willing to believe something they are told regarding religion the way my generation and my parents generation did. the information age has shined a spotlight on the myriad and diverse religious beliefs today and throughout history. it is exceedingly difficult to see the true nature of religions and come to the conclusion that any single one is the "true" religion.

    July 28, 2013 at 9:24 am |
  18. tjw

    you cannot just pick and choose the sections of the bible you "like" you either believe Gods entire word or you don't... it is not all happy happy joy joy...there are lessons and discipline and there is love and hope,,stand on the truth and you will not have these issues.. You cannot compromise His word, and I do not mean just the "gay" parts which everyone jumps on! it is life as a whole...live to honor God not man.. He will take care of the rest...will it be perfect? no... will you in your heart/spirit have peace yes..the longer you stand in truth the easier it is not to be blown to and fro with the wind.

    July 28, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • tony

      And of course, you stand by the vile stuff in the bible too?

      July 28, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • jungleboo

      And what exactly happened to the advice, "...bend like a reed"? Doesn'tfit your personal philosophy of the divine word?

      July 28, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • John Q.

      Don't waste your time tjw, atheists have never read the Bible and have no clue of it's message. They just cherry pick a few verses out of context and look like idiots...

      July 28, 2013 at 9:23 am |
      • tony

        Vice versa actually.

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

        I think you are confusing atheists with christians' modus operandi.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:25 am |
        • Stan

          When I see them on here bashing each others beliefs (or lack thereof), sometimes I can't tell the difference.

          July 28, 2013 at 9:34 am |
      • leah

        "Us vs. them" rhetoric is nothing but hate.

        You can't know who all becomes a child of God or not -- why would you want to go after another potential child of God??? They are no different than you....

        July 28, 2013 at 9:31 am |
      • Dumbfounded

        Herein lies the largest fault of Christianity...this unequivocal belief in the Bible as the "word" of God. It is not...it was written by men with all our faults in evidence...racism, jealousy, greed, hatred..but also love, forgiveness and charity shine through. It is a collection of stories, parables and wise tales handed down for generations before being put into written form and then revised, rewritten, translated and interpreted for generations since. To read it literally belies intelligence just as discounting anything it says is likewise in error. For those that read it as literal history, how do you then condemn those Muslims that defend the Koran with equal fervor? Jesus didn't preach from the Bible, he preached from the heart. Christianity, and all religions, need to speak from the heart and our world could be a much different place.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:45 am |
      • will

        i have read the bible several times and i am an atheist. i chose not to believe. there are both profoundly good and also equally bad messages in the bible. its much the same for every religion. now john q, your tone is hateful and condescending. you obviously harbor a lot of hostility toward people like me. but how many atheists do you actually know? believe what you want, teach your children what you believe or not, and live your life as you will. i will do the same. but don't tread on me. the days where people like you can freely and publicly hate people like me without looking like you came out of the stone age are rapidly coming to an end.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:54 am |
      • HotAirAce

        How many "sins" or behaviors must be punished by stoning according to The Babble? How many instances of these sins or behaviors occur each year in the USA? How many stonings occur each year in the USA? Regardless of the actual numbers, the numbers do not add up – there are too few stonings. I can only conclude that the USA is not a very observant country, and that is a very good thing.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:57 am |
      • skytag

        Another obnoxious Christian. Shocker.

        July 28, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Stan

      Does this mean I get to keep slaves?

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

      @tj, of course that is absolutely untrue, hence the thousands of christian denominations.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • John Q.

      Ooh! a good one, wow, I really don't know what to say. You got me on that one..... Try reading Luke 4:18...

      July 28, 2013 at 9:26 am |
      • Stan

        LOL... so you interpret "oppressed" to mean slaves. But my slaves wouldn't be oppressed... just enslaved. There is a difference you know.

        My point is simply this: Everyone cherry-picks and everyone interprets, mainly because the bible is in language and language is a notoriously unreliable thing open to interpretation and multiple definitions.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:33 am |
      • John Q.

        So in a modern educated atheist world there would be no slaves? I wonder what percentage of the world population are slaves now? Hmm... Pretty high...

        July 28, 2013 at 9:35 am |
        • bostontola

          Even if there were a high percent of slaves in the world today (not true), today's world is not a modern atheist world, its an Abrahamic world.

          July 28, 2013 at 9:39 am |
        • Stan

          That is your statement... not mine. Slavery will exist or not exist independent of religious belief or lack thereof. I have no idea what the percentage would be on slavery vs population, but I can guarantee whatever it is, it is too high.

          July 28, 2013 at 9:40 am |
        • jungleboo

          Abrahamic religions are a cancer that has absolutely destroyed many cultures and societies and civilizations over several millennia.

          July 28, 2013 at 9:44 am |
        • snowboarder

          @john, considering slavery has been banned in all modernized, educated countries and therefore only exists in a secretive subculture, probably not many.

          July 28, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • Plgrm56

      Would challenge anyone that says we must believe and follow the entire Bible. I know very few, if any, that really do not pick and choose. I can't remember the last evangelical church I ever attended where the women covered their hair or kept silent, nor any decent size church that Didnt have a nice bookstore (remember the money changers being chased from the Temple)?

      July 28, 2013 at 9:36 am |
      • jungleboo

        Once a "new philosopher" steps up (Jesus, Muhammad, Smith) and says, "here's the new law", the pick-and-choose festival begins anew, and the splintering of factions creates all the arguing about stuff and nonsense. It is laughable when they hold court in their churches, mosques and temples, and tragic they enter the political arenas carrying swords. Away with them, and the sooner, the better.

        July 28, 2013 at 10:01 am |
  19. Pastor's Wife

    The church qualities you described exactly describe the mission & tenants of the United Church of Christ! All are welcome, no matter where you are in your faith journey! Check us out at http://www.ucc.org. My UCC pastor husband never wears skinny jeans, but he does stand up for social justice.

    July 28, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Stan

      Funny... when I read this I did think she was basically describing a UCC or Presbyterian church.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • tony

      So what's religion for, if you are for social justice?

      July 28, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Why is it that everyone thinks their cult is the best, if not perfect, cult?

      July 28, 2013 at 10:00 am |
  20. John Q.

    The millennial are leaving the church in droves because of CNN. Usually we would be in church right this minute on a Sunday morning, even though we are too dense to understand that the sabbath is actually on Saturday (thank you Rome and catholic church for screwing that one up). We are here because the Belief Blog on CNN needs us. To correct and guide godless liberals and atheists. We are on a mission, a mission from god! Thank you Blues Brothers.

    July 28, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • JJ

      Wow...CNN is the reason people are leaving your cult? Lol...could it be that young folks don't buy the bullshit anymore and are repulsed by delusional hate-filled sheep like yourself?

      July 28, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Dave

      That's either a lame attempt at humor or crazy talk.

      July 28, 2013 at 9:17 am |
      • JJ

        I'm afraid it's the latter. This guy's a real frothing at the mouth fundi loon.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Edweird69

      You're trying to convert people, because you are infected with a "meme". Look it up. You have an infection, and the only way your disease can live on, is to "infect others". Your god doesn't exist, and with modern technology, education... your "meme" is becoming a thing of the past. Your "meme" is hateful, judgmental, and the younger generation is sick of the suicides, hurt, and disdain you have inflicted on their peers. I'm so glad to see Christianity starting to fade away...FINALLY!

      July 28, 2013 at 9:20 am |
      • Qwert

        Wrong. Christianity is part of the heritage of Western civilization, throwing it away is not only disrespectful, it is dangerous. Your happiness with this alleged end of Christianity proves what militant atheism is all about: you just want to burn down the house, you love the act of destruction. he problem is you have nothing to put in Christianity's place.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • John Q.

      No it's true, we are here to help show you Darwin worshipers the error of your way. Repent now, your next evolutionary step is not kind, trust me....

      July 28, 2013 at 9:21 am |
      • tony

        tell that to the 250,000 innocent tsunami victims of your bloody god.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:26 am |
      • jungleboo

        Fortune telling is a sin, John Q. Enjoy the heat.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:27 am |
      • John Q.

        Dude, I am not Islamic...

        July 28, 2013 at 9:28 am |
      • bostontola

        "trust me". That's your argument? You actually use that argument anonymously to strangers. That shows your thought process perfectly.

        July 28, 2013 at 9:29 am |
      • snowboarder

        darwin worshipers? these are all jokes right?

        July 28, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • snowboarder

      funny!

      July 28, 2013 at 9:31 am |
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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.