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. porthos01

    Religion is a cancer that some look forward to. It is really sad.

    July 29, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • Austin

      what happens if you get gangarene or cancer?

      July 29, 2013 at 12:11 am |
      • Rico

        I would go to a doctor who practices evidence-based medicine. That is an applied science.

        Most of the Evangelicals would also do that, but they would also emphasize prayer and consider it to be at least as important as going to the doc,

        Anything other than The Lord's Prayer is begging.

        July 29, 2013 at 12:40 am |
        • jason

          Is that the same Lord's prayer that asks for today's daily bread?

          I assume that all the instances of prayer in the Bible should be disregarded as begging as well?

          July 29, 2013 at 1:05 am |
        • AE

          God gives "daily bread" or strength to everyone without our prayers, even to people doing evil.

          But we pray in this pet!tion that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

          July 29, 2013 at 1:17 am |
      • HotAirAce

        You cut it out, just as many of us would like to see religion cut out entirely from government.

        July 29, 2013 at 1:19 am |
  2. Jamie Robillard

    Ever took a real hard look at reality and realised the reason they are leaving is because they realize religion (christianity) is a farce and the would prefer more realistic view on the world?

    July 29, 2013 at 12:05 am |
  3. Jamie Robillard

    Ever took a real hard look at reality and realised the reason they are leaving is because they realize religion (christianity) is a farce and the would prefer more realistic view on the worl?

    July 29, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • Justdad

      SO they cover themselves with tattoos and piercings, drink, do drugs and have lots of failed relationships..... yeah thats one form of reality.

      July 29, 2013 at 12:08 am |
      • Lenny Pincus

        Sounds like the Bible.

        July 29, 2013 at 12:10 am |
      • Observer

        Yep. The Bible says that you can't get a tattoo saying "Mom" to honor your deceased mother.

        July 29, 2013 at 12:22 am |
        • icowrich

          Only if you read it out of context.

          July 29, 2013 at 12:27 am |
        • Observer


          "Only if you read it out of context."

          Ever read a Bible?

          (Lev. 19:27-28 “You shall no make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord”

          July 29, 2013 at 12:40 am |
        • George W

          Observer if you are going to the quote the Bible please qoute it right.... the most accept translation of your Lev. 19:27-28 quote is "Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord." Notice the comma that you left out? This is more about these things promoting witchcraft then anything else. See: "And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them." 1 Kings 18:28 and "Ye are the sons of the LORD your God; you shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead." Deuteronomy 14:1. Tattooing and marking ones body has it roots in witchcraft as it was done to morn the dead at the time. The Bible not only needs to be read with the context of the surrounding verses, but also in the context of the time that it was written. You cannot separate the two.

          July 29, 2013 at 12:52 am |
        • tony

          And the difference between witchcraft and religion is? Harry Potter seems to have better magic.

          July 29, 2013 at 1:13 am |
        • Observer

          George W

          "Observer if you are going to the quote the Bible please qoute it right" "Notice the comma that you left out?"

          You might want to do some research in the future so you won't appear so ignorant.

          I quoted EXACTLY what the Bible says. I quoted EXACTLY from the English Standard Version of the Bible. Look it up sometime so you'll know better.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:07 am |
        • George W


          I quoted what was in the KJV version of the Bible, accepted by the Southern Baptist Convention with 15,872,404 members as of June 2013. In the NRSV, which my denomination uses, and as also used the by the SBC, states a little better: "You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord" Please note: there are two separate items and the part about tattoo is upon you not the dead. According to Judaism, there are 613 laws that a pious Jew must follow but if you ask a Rabbi what they are you would get a different list form each one of them. The Bible is not translated in a vacuum as each group of translators have an agenda that they want to set forth?

          Ahhhh.... the ESV says it all.... Taken form the Tyndale Translation of 1534 and some of the KJV of 1611 doesn't include recently discovered scrolls, like the Dead Sea Scrolls. The ESV isn't translated from the original text. ESV is for the none thinking conservative and evangelicals.

          Can you tell me did Moses part the Red Sea or the Sea of Reeds? If you look at the original Hebrew: Yam Suph (written:
          יַם-סוּף) appears 23 times in the Tanakh and only once it it translated into the Red Sea. Suph by itself translates into reed (as translated in Exodus 2:3.)

          Before you yell at someone calling them ignorant. My friend you are the one that appears to be ignorant. You don't my background. I have a minor in Theology. I have studied the Bible and it's translations since I was old enough to read. I have read 5 from cover to cover of the 150 plus English translations of the Bible. The Bible must be read in context of both the place it appears in the Bible and in the context of the times. The Bible is full of two things metaphors and idioms with images that we don't understand. We all know that idioms do not translate from one language to another. Try the headline "U.K. Elects New Queen"... How does that translate today... well it could be the United Kingdom to some, it could be the University of Kentucky, and to others it could be University of Kansas. How would it be translated in 2000 years? We don't know but it might not be one of the above.

          The Bible is full of Truth but not totally accurate.

          August 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
      • evandegriff

        Is this guy for real?

        July 29, 2013 at 12:33 am |
      • shelliecaballero

        who are you to judge?

        July 29, 2013 at 12:34 am |
      • HotAirAce

        As if only atheists do the things you listed. But why did you leave out have abortions? Could it be because about 80% of all abortions in the USA are had by believers?

        July 29, 2013 at 1:26 am |
    • CMartel

      No. And those who claim religion to be a farce have all but discounted history and man's connection with the divine. It's an empty and ugly view of the world that really doesn't even stand up to the science so heralded by those who decry religion. Those who scream most shrilly against religion protesteth a bit too much, methinks. It shows more of a social flaw than a secure foundation in life.

      July 29, 2013 at 12:56 am |
  4. Steve Raven

    It's funny, that in the old days people would complain that the church was brainwashing the young people, misleading them, forcing them into the church....yet when TV and later the internet would brainwash the young people, no one would say a thing. Now here it is, a good couple decades later, and the young adults, who grow up violent, anti-authority and anti-Christian, can't figure out why the society they created, is so messed up? Why? Pretty simple....you were praying to MTV, Obama and false idols. You were misled on things like sin and happiness, and replaced it with joys of fooling around and winding up pregged. How was that problem fixed? For one, it's no longer a taboo, to wind up pregnant, with VD or HIV....likewise, it's not a mental illness anymore, to be gay....you're free to be a mentally messed up anymore...and the generation suffers for it. Yes, we're going to hell in a handbasket....and the generation is to blame for it.

    July 29, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • Rick

      What are you, 108?

      July 29, 2013 at 12:09 am |
      • Terry

        What are you, five?

        July 29, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • tom

      people like steven raven here are the reason christianity is no longer a relevant worldview. old angry white men mad at the rest of the world

      July 29, 2013 at 12:19 am |
      • Harry Cline


        Valid point. Sure they are angry, and scared. They grew up remembering when you could leave your door unlocked. Didn't have to worry about raising your kids children. Spend your life saving constantly bailing them out of one jam or another.

        Neighbors you trusted, and neighborhoods. And you never felt ashamed to be a working class hero. They went to the polls believing in a future and that so called American dream was while you where awake as well.

        July 29, 2013 at 12:27 am |
        • Levi

          Maybe that's what got us here?

          July 29, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • Hey! You!

      Yeah, the world was never screwed up before the advent of the computer! Well, except for maybe WWII. And maybe the Great Depression. But other than that it's been wonderful. Well ok, the 1860's kind of sucked, but other than that..........

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

      I won't make a snark comment, I just disagree with about 1000000% of what you said

      July 29, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • Hey! You!

      Now you damn kids get out of Steves yard!!!!!

      July 29, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • Trey

      Well said.

      July 29, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • Kay

      Exactly what generation are you talking about??? I mean, you've got a single generation growing up a couple of decades ago worshiping both MTV and Obama? How on earth could *that* possibly happen???

      Oh, and being gay is NOT a mental illness...never has been one, actually...and was removed from the DSM 40 years ago after years of scientific research. Which generation do you want to blame for *that*???

      July 29, 2013 at 1:21 am |
    • Giovanni

      Actually crime rates have fallen over the past couple decades. Why do you think it is getting so bad?

      July 29, 2013 at 2:14 am |
  5. Paul

    Why are millennials and many others leaving the churches – Here is another reason
    Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her, my people, if YOU do not want to share with her in her sins, and if YOU do not want to receive part of her plagues. 5 For her sins have massed together clear up to heaven, and God has called her acts of injustice to mind. 6 Render to her even as she herself rendered, and do to her twice as much, yes, twice the number of the things she did; in the cup in which she put a mixture put twice as much of the mixture for her. 7 To the extent that she glorified herself and lived in shameless luxury, to that extent give her torment and mourning. For in her heart she keeps saying, ‘I sit a queen, and I am no widow, and I shall never see mourning.’ 8 That is why in one day her plagues will come, death and mourning and famine, and she will be completely burned with fire, because Jehovah God, who judged her, is strong.
    9 “And the kings of the earth who committed fornication with her and lived in shameless luxury will weep and beat themselves in grief over her, when they look at the smoke from the burning of her, 10 while they stand at a distance because of their fear of her torment and say, ‘Too bad, too bad, you great city, Babylon you strong city, because in one hour your judgment has arrived!’...20 “Be glad over her, O heaven, also YOU holy ones and YOU apostles and YOU prophets, because God has judicially exacted punishment for YOU from her!”

    July 29, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • NeilV

      Come on, if flocks were joining these churches you'd be quoting something from Revelation to say it predicted that too. You people turn on Fox News, see the headlines, randomly flick through the pages of the Bible, and say you have a fulfilled prophecy.

      And people actually BELIEVE you! Amazing!!!

      July 29, 2013 at 12:13 am |
      • Paul

        Doesn't quite work that way. It is very precise. Demonstrated over and over again. One thing about prophecy or any forecast for that matter the proof is always after the fact. Lots of people do prefer to wait and see.

        July 29, 2013 at 12:20 am |
  6. Austin

    God loves YOU and that is why He walked throught the pit with Abraham ordaining a blood covenant promise . becuase He is absolutely going to intervene in your life with abundant love! and He shed His blood for you , and He loved Judas.

    July 28, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • Austin

      Judas killed himself, thats where we differ from him. we have today and tomorrow. believe on the name of Jesus and repent.

      July 29, 2013 at 12:00 am |
      • Austin

        ask the Holy Spirit to help you. this is acceptable faith. needing the Holy Spirit and waiting.

        July 29, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • Hey! You!

      And if you don't love him in return you get to burn in hell.

      July 29, 2013 at 12:01 am |
      • Austin

        you really don't have an opt out choice. not believing doesnt' cut it. Hell is NOT for you. forgete that place. forget you ever heard about it. expect the Holy spirit to reveal the truth to you and demand the Holy spirit's help, by being honest that you don't have the faith. Tell that to the Holy Spirit and ask for help.

        July 29, 2013 at 12:05 am |
        • Austin

          and then be patient. try that for a few weeks, and wait on the Lord. He will change you. YOur faith will come supernaturally and you will unlock the greatest glory within you in the face of Christ, risen like the morning star as the day dawns in your heart.

          July 29, 2013 at 12:07 am |
        • NeilV

          Be patient until something unusual happens to you (as if that would never happen anyway), or you die, right?

          July 29, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • NeilV

      Ne loves you, but he'll have you tortured for eternity if you don't love him back.

      Sounds like the worse stalker ... ever!

      July 29, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • JustTheFacts

      Jesus did not love Judas. Jesus stated "I have chosen 12. And one of them is a devil (referring to Judas)...

      John 6:70 – Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

      Jesus knew he was picking a devil. He only did that to illustrate to his apostles that in their churches not every member will be a sheep. But that some will be devils which creep in unaware...

      July 29, 2013 at 12:41 am |
  7. Wootings

    Why are "millenials" leaving the church?

    Maybe they're not as stupid as previous generations. Maybe they're actually learning to think for themselves. Whatever the case is, it's the best sign ever that humanity may actually have a chance to experience peace, love, and happiness.

    July 28, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • Mike

      That's rather optimistic. You see any evidence that the less religious a person is (regardless of religion), they're less likely to harm others? Pretty sure most violent criminals don't spent their Sundays in Church...

      July 28, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
      • NeilV

        How do you know what the people sitting in the pew next to you are capable of? Plenty of people with a lot of sins and crimes to atone for go to churches. Why would I hang out with them and more that hanging out amongst Infectious people at the hospital?

        July 29, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • Justdad

      I have noticed that the fewer religious people we have the more divorce, poverty, we have and currupt our politicians have become. Perhaps the thinking for ourselves is causing a degeneration of society?

      July 28, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
      • Observer


        Thinking for ourselves has resulted in realizing how ignorant the Bible is to support slavery and discrimination against women, gays, slaves, and the handicapped. Fortunately, man is smart enough to ignore such stupidity in the Bible.

        July 28, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
        • Justdad

          Support descrimination and slavery? References.

          July 28, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
        • Observer


          Women aren't to teach men. Girls can be sold off by their fathers into slavery, etc.

          The Bible is full of rules on how to treat slaves, including injuring them. Slaves are to be treated like property. Not one word calling slavery a sin or even an abomination.

          July 29, 2013 at 12:00 am |
        • Justdad


          July 29, 2013 at 12:05 am |
        • Observer


          There's lots. Here are just a few:

          – I Timothy 2:9 “Women should not have fancy hairdos, or wear expensive clothes, or put on jewelry made of gold or pearls.”
          – I Timothy 2:12 “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.”
          (Exodus 21:7-8) “If a man sells his daughter as a slave, the rules for setting her free are different from the rules for setting the male slaves free. If the master wanted to marry her but then decided he was not pleased with her, he must let one of her close relatives buy her back.”
          – Joel 3:8 “I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off; for the Lord has spoken.”

          July 29, 2013 at 12:11 am |
  8. Real Wisdom

    How Atheism Started...

    The world began with Adam and Eve and atheism did not exist. Both Adam and Eve knew God in the Garden. Atheism only developed afterwards once Lucifer got involved. The word of God was then passed down form generation to generation, with parents teaching their children about God and the ways of God. But when some parents departed from God and sought after the ways of the world and the ways of Lucifer, atheism followed pursuit, with those parents failing to mention God or the teachings of God to their children…

    Thus, atheists are people who's mommies and daddies didn't raise them right (didn't teach them about God). And the reason their parents didn't raise them right is because they weren't raised right themselves by their grandparents. And if you keep going back far enough into an atheist's past, you will eventually find someone who had believed in God. But if you then come forward a notch to the following generation, there you will find the "devil", and the very one responsible for deceiving all generations to come afterwards. And that is the reason there are so many atheists in the world today…

    July 28, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
    • Austin

      thats pitiful. I cant wait till Jesus comes back! thank God for His mercy and patience that He hasnt though my friends.

      July 28, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • Observer

      Real Wisdom,

      One reason there are so many atheists and agnostics is that they have actually read the Bible, unlike so many Christians.

      "Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."
      - Isaac Asimov

      July 28, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
      • Justdad

        I have known more than a few athiests who could read a Physics book, yet not comprehend it and put their blind faith in a old man with a theory and an equation hey could not understand.

        July 28, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
        • AE

          It is amazing how human beings place so much faith into unseen things.

          Even the complete atheist lives most of his/her life on faith. As an atheist, I got stumped when I realized this. It was like human beings were created to live by faith. Was faith just a survival mechanism we picked up by nature during evolution?

          July 29, 2013 at 12:08 am |
        • Athy

          At least we can spell atheist correctly.

          July 29, 2013 at 12:25 am |
      • JustTheFacts

        Observer... Lucifer knows more bible than you. But he's still the devil isn't he? And he's bound for the lake...
        Isaac Asimov is also of the devil. So his quotes mean nothing...

        July 29, 2013 at 12:30 am |
        • Observer


          The Bible says not to judge others and to follow the Golden Rule.

          If you had read it, you'd have known that. Or did you just pick-and-choose?

          July 29, 2013 at 12:33 am |
        • JustTheFacts

          You're not authorized to quote from a book you don't even believe in. When are you going to get that through that dull brain of yours?...

          July 29, 2013 at 2:03 am |
    • George W

      How Foolishness got started:

      1) Believe that story of creation is factual.... it is full of Truth but not totally factual.
      2) Believe that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman on earth... Bible doesn't say that just says that man was created in our image... Genesis 1:26... not that they were the first. And, if they were the first where did the people from the Land of Nod come from - remember Cain fetched a wife there... or was it incest? if was incest then doesn't your precious promote incest?
      3) Believe that the Bible is infallible when it is written by the hand of man and translated by the hand of man into other languages.
      4) Believe in borrowed material from other religions... i.e. Noah's flood... there are much older almost identical stories of a great flood.
      5) Forget about reason.

      This all leads up to being a fool.

      July 29, 2013 at 12:33 am |
      • Real Wisdom

        What is "foolishness" is believing any of that nonsense you just said...

        1 Corinthians 1:18 – For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:00 am |
    • allanhowls

      Actually, I come from a long line of ministers, and I am an atheist now, after many years of faith and many more of questioning and struggling. I was raised not only under the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule, but the Great Commission. I was told that there was but one path to salvation, and that to so much as ask the questions was to risk your very soul. The people who could have reinforced my faith condemned me for daring to exercise it in the face of questions and conflicting evidence: not just encouraging me, but demanding me to believe that much harder in what I could not see.

      Your argument fails from the beginning, as I was raised in the faith and to believe that grace saved us and our works were a witness to our salvation. Tell me again how that is faulty parenting, you fool. You're so angry that not everyone believes as you do that you have to invent a narrative out of whole cloth just to understand the world around you. You are a modern-day pharisee: the very self-righteous frauds that Jesus spoke against.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:05 am |
  9. Paul

    Those who truly want the truth and pray for it and search for it will find it. And when you do you will find that many like minded people have found themselves in the same place. And, you will find they are all working hard to live up to God's standards, free of false teachings, having true love for their brothers around the world, living in peace even today, not willing to join anybody's army, nor join political parties but respectful of national governments and authorities, law abiding but God's kingdom interests come first, carrying out the world wide assignment God has given them.

    July 28, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • Austin


      July 29, 2013 at 12:10 am |
  10. dnyjc

    1 Corinthians 11:19 No doubt there has to be differences among you to show which of you has Gods approval..... some things mention here I think are just responces to the fact that there are christians that have messed up and given people opportunity to look at it in the negitive. Or have abused power. But that doesn't mean that you have to come into agreement with wrong agenda's. Loving still and showing it but I came to Jesus to be forgiven and for him to change me.

    July 28, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
  11. Beat them over the head with it

    I am often amazed at how little Christians know about Christianity.

    July 28, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • Justdad

      I am often amazed at how many people assume they no more than everyone else. Athiests assume they have better answers, but their answers are based on mechanics, not the "soul" .

      July 28, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
      • Beat them over the head with it

        Are you assuming that your recrimination is the more Christian answer?

        July 28, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
        • Austin

          no like the other guy said, evolution does not even measure the existence of God. they do not approach the way to detect God with any type of meter.

          July 28, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        No, most atheists don't claim to know. It's a big part of why they are atheists. But if you like the answer 'big invisible sky wizard chanted magic spells to make da worldz!!' then, by all means, feel free.

        July 28, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
        • Austin

          He is more than that. why do use a vulgar illustration. ? Ask the Holy Spirit for truth.! demand the truth from the Holy spirit and thank Him that He will work with you!

          July 28, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
        • G

          @Austin, I tried asking for the first 10 years of my life. my parents tried to bash it into my head, the school that i attended tried to put it into my brain. but i could never get over the scripted nature of the rituals, and how blindly my family believed in something that they'd never seen, touched, heard, etc.

          for that reason, i'm now agnostic, i'm not sure what's out there, if anything, but just because i don't necessarily believe doesn't make me a bad person does it? my morals are still intact, i can determine through logic what is right and wrong. for instance, i don't smoke, drink or do drugs through personal choice because those would harm my body. i don't kill people because their life should not be devalued any more than mine. these are the things i know are wrong from right, and i don't need a paraphrased book or a man in a dress speaking at the front of the room to tell me that they're wrong.

          July 29, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • devin

      And yet, not as amazing as how the atheists (strong atheism) " know " there is not a God.

      July 29, 2013 at 12:00 am |
  12. Justdad

    CNN's athiest slant is very pronounced, the majority of their articles promote the "religion of disbelief"

    July 28, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot


      Really? Here is the list of current articles:

      - Pope to Mass of millions: Get out of church
      –What we learned about Pope Francis in Brazil
      –Massive crowd attends prayer service with pope
      –Why millennials are leaving the church
      –Pope Francis tells youth that faith cures discontent
      –'Slum pope' visits Brazil's poor
      –X.XX Church pastor: Weiner is an addict, not a joke
      –Security raised to`high risk' for pope in Brazil
      –A nightmare day for the pope's security detail
      –Explosive found near site pope

      July 28, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • Athy

      No, it's "disbelief of religion."

      July 28, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
      • Justdad

        The government must consider it a religion, for they are about to make Athiest Chaplins,

        July 28, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • Beat them over the head with it

      If you had a functional religion you would not be blaming others for the dysfunction.

      July 28, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
      • Justdad

        Religion is doing well here, and as a result our neighbors get along, almost no murder, or theft. The networks are based in the major cities, with the athiests and pervs. and I doubt they have the abilitty to sense when their articles are negative about religion or the religiious.

        July 28, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
  13. rturpin

    There will never, ever be a truce between reason and faith, any more than there will be a truce between justice and slavery or between health and addiction. Faith is a purposeful rejection of reason. People pretend otherwise only because they like what it brings them.

    July 28, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • AE

      For me, faith is just like the dictionary says: "complete trust or confidence in someone or something".

      Complete trust in God.

      There are great scientific minds that proclaim it is very reasonable to believe in God.

      July 28, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
      • A Frayed Knot


        faith: "complete trust or confidence in someone or something"

        Ah, but first there must really *be* a someone or something.

        July 28, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
        • AE

          God exists.

          This is probably why you are here on a "faith and belief" blog... talking about God.

          July 28, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
        • Justdad

          Einstien stated he believed inGod, as did the Catolic priest who originated the big bang theory.

          July 28, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
        • Observer


          You don't seem to do much research at all.

          "It was, of course, a LIE what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
          - Albert Einstein, letter to an atheist, 2/24/1954

          July 29, 2013 at 12:29 am |
        • AE

          “In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.”

          –Albert Einstein

          He believed in God. But not a personal God.

          July 29, 2013 at 12:37 am |
        • Observer


          Yes. Not the God and Jesus that you likely believe in. Could be Zeus. Read my quote above.

          July 29, 2013 at 12:45 am |
      • Beat them over the head with it

        Complete trust in a mixed message?

        God Created the angels and when they turned out less than perfect he was mad at them. But did he learn his lesson? Nope He created man and once again was disappointed with the imperfection of his design and blamed them and nearly destroyed them. And he was still disappointed and still blamed them. Trust huh?

        July 28, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
        • AE

          I have a loving God. I trust Him.

          July 28, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
    • Austin

      I have a supernatura gift though. It came through the Word of God.

      July 28, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
      • George W

        Supernatural Gift? I haven't seen any evidence of that in all of your posts here.

        July 28, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • clinky

      rturpin, Faith and reason apply to mutually exclusive spheres. A lot of engineers, researchers, medical professionals etc are Christian. Just like a lot of the country is Christian. They don't forfeit their analytical skills for work by holding faith.

      July 28, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
      • AE

        And most of us have 2 sides of our brain –

        the reason side

        the creative side

        July 28, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
  14. Buck Rogers

    Oh, forget this debate about religion and cheer up folks because NASA's Special Effects department keeps discovering alien planets left and right and they're gonna build us some kind of tin-can 'Ark' to take us there just before we destroy this Earth....


    July 28, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Austin

      alein disclosure?

      Alien savior?

      July 28, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
      • Austin

        ok..........go right ahead and board the space ship.

        not me.

        July 28, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
  15. onemilcanaries

    Reblogged this on onemillioncanaries.

    July 28, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
  16. SusanStoHelit

    I really like the point being given here – the problem isn't style over substance. It's the substance.

    But I don't think there's much hope for a change of substance – too much of it comes from the Bible – the greatest atheist conversion tool ever created is reading the whole Bible.

    July 28, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • AE

      The Bible as a piece of literature is very important. That is why it is required material for English LIt majors.

      July 28, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
      • Lou

        It should be taught in mythology class

        July 28, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • FayKname

      Absolutely. I especially like all the parts about god punishing innocent people for petty reasons. Sign me up!

      July 28, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
      • Austin

        where did it say innocent?

        how can you explain to someone who experienced supernatural revelation through His hatred for the word of God, after i vandalized a church, that the bible isn't true?

        hint, Saul and the road to Damascus. supernatural, God inspired faith. thats what I have. you are trying to extinguish and eternal fire.

        July 28, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Marcus

      The true followers know to look for the substance in metaphor.

      July 28, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
  17. clinky

    The writer sounds okay. At least, she gets that America thrives on two currents going together, carrying passionate convictions and keeping respectful differences. Those two currents clash some of the time. But, not always. The trick is to remember nobody has all the answers for everybody else. You'd think living by that simple principle is easy. But people forget, raise a storm, and have to be reminded all the time.

    July 28, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
  18. If God is for us, who can be against us?

    “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

    22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

    25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

    27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

    29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

    30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

    31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

    -Luke 16:19-31

    July 28, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

      Awww, is this real smart god stymied for a way to conclusively verify his existence?

      July 28, 2013 at 11:17 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.