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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. ReligionIsBS

    About 3,000 years ago, people were asking the same thing about why the young kids dont beleive in Vishnu anymore.

    July 29, 2013 at 8:17 am |
  2. Paul

    I feel bad for this author. She mocks the idea of getting hipper bands or a coffee shop to bring people into the church, and writes: "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."

    Ah yes. Authentic bull. So so much better than that new-age edgy bull. Pumpkin, it's the same old bull just sold to you in a different package. Grow up. God is about as real as Hera and Zeus and Jupiter.

    July 29, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Anon

      If I had a penny every time these apologists peddle their crap I'll probably be a millionaire.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:18 am |
  3. dragonfire0477

    The reason I left was not the 'church' persay, but the people in it. I tried many many churches and they were all the same. People would repeat the words, but the actions never even came close to matching the rhetoric. And it wasn't a shallow thing, either, it went deep. Christians go to church not to 'worship', but to feel validated and superior.
    You can hear it in the rhetoric that's preached from the pulpit and repeated over and over again by the people listening:
    "I am saved"
    "I am loved"
    "I am forgiven, no matter what I do"
    "I, I, I, me, me me"
    I agree that religion is a deeply personal thing, but too many churches (particularly those awful, unholy 'megachurches') are catering to those who want comfort and self-validation rather than spiritual growth. And it's an easy thing to get caught up in. When you're depressed, lonely, frightened or in trouble, it's easy to get caught up with a 'friendly voice'.
    For me, it all got summed up in a bumper sticker I saw once...
    "Please lord, deliver me from your followers"

    July 29, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • Pedrp

      You should attend a Catholic mass sometime.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:13 am |
      • larrylivingston

        Not that many people left who are into flesh-eating and blood-drinking. Most would rather just watch the national geographic channel for that stuff.

        July 29, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Pedrp

      Like three million millenials did yesterday in Rio.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:14 am |
      • JJ

        Yeah, that was shocking to see so many deluded supporters of the pedophile infested cult in once place worshipping their leader.

        July 29, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • Kellz

      Dragonfire, I totally hear you. The church is made of people, and people for the most part are dumb stupid and arrogant just to name a few qualities. Fact is, Jesus does transform people, but some people allow God to do this in their lives better than others. And some churches have better or worse leadership than others in this regard. One of the many reasons I am still a part of the church is when I remember what I am made of – Though I may be more "aware" of certain things people do wrong, I am absolutely no better than them – And to think otherwise would be dumb, stupid, and arrogant on my part. If I did find that church out there where everyone was so great all of the time, I would most certainly taint that purity =)

      July 29, 2013 at 8:38 am |
  4. Steven

    Thank you for penetrating to the core matter and not being afraid to say "Jesus.' As a 50-something, I see the same thing. The church has soft peddled the gospel in favor of marketing. How powerfully true, it isn't the absence of the cool factor, its the absence of Jesus. Church leaders, listen up!

    July 29, 2013 at 8:10 am |
  5. Scot

    This is a SPOT-ON point of view, have felt this way for 25+ years and its not simply a result of internet / social media driven changes in society. Always felt churches I attended were filled with smarmy glad-handers and led by sanctimonious egotists. Much of my early education in church was largely based on understanding where Catholics / Mormons / Unitarians / Adventists / Baptists / Muslims / Jews / Hindu were wrong and dammed in the eyes of God.

    Sitting in the pews of my upper middle class sanctuary as a teenager I always tried to imagine a rough-neck, blue-collar type carpenter being welcomed with open arms and could never see that actually happening.

    July 29, 2013 at 8:09 am |
  6. Pedrp

    Can anyone tell me why athiests are so unpleasant and seem so miserable on these comment boards? Do they want everyone else to be as miserable as they are? Think they are missing something in there lives that could possibly give them peace and joy? Their misery makes ME sad so I pray for them every day.

    July 29, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Paul

      I'm an atheist and I'm positively happy. Because I don't delude myself all day that some magic sky friend is looking out for me. And I know that the 75ish years I have on this planet are all I (or anyone else) has got. So I make them count.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:16 am |
      • dissidentfairy

        I have an uncle who has been a devout Atheist all of his life. He recently found out that he is terminal. My father who was an Atheist but is now a Bible scholar has been trying to convince him of the existence of God for a number of years but to no avail. Both men are highly brilliant but my father always won the debates, still my uncle refused to believe. All that is starting to change now that he knows his time is short...

        July 29, 2013 at 8:52 am |
        • Anon

          Your uncle is a hero that doesn't bow down to primitive desert myths and you should be proud of that.

          July 29, 2013 at 9:03 am |
        • dissidentfairy

          He is now re-thinking his stubborn stance on Atheism. I believe that my father convinced him of a creator years ago but my uncle doesn't like to admit defeat but now that he has nothing to lose he is asking a lot more questions and showing a lot more interest in the possibility of an afterlife. They are both wonderful men and have lived their lives with morals and ethics. My father is more of an optimist and my uncle is more of a sceptic.

          July 29, 2013 at 9:35 am |
        • Anon

          I don't know how could this sicken me more. That you and your father are acting taking advantage of dying man's mental state to satisfy your egocentric religion and not respecting your uncle's last wishes. Oh the screwed up part you'll probably use that as apologist propaganda at his funeral if your uncle recants at his death bed if ever.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • dissidentfairy

          You don't know what you are talking about! He is the one asking questions! One of his sons is a believer and he's been asking his son why he should believe. I've noticed he hasn't been turning to his Atheist son for much moral support. So what's that tell you!

          July 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Anon

      Try living a country or in my case island where 97% are devoted Christians. By just being an atheist I'm already a traitor in their eyes.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • larrylivingston

      I'm quite happy, thanks. The reason we attack christians with such energy is that we are very familiar with your religion and its followers. In fact, we likely know much more about who you are than you do. We understand that what you are really offering is hatred cloaked as love. You see, it's your actions that give away what you really are. And it's your own lack of self-awareness that makes it so easy for the rest of us to understand your motives. You want social control. You want obedience. You want mindlessness. And for the most part, you HAVE that. Most of the world believes in one religion or another; all of them requiring the same things from its victims. But a small percentage of the global population is now waking up. People are becoming more educated. They are learning to read. They are discovering the world. And they (we) are quite HAPPY to be free of the ignorance of the past. We are quite happy without you.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  7. MAR

    Good article, if nothing else it created a lot of discussion which is always good. For all of the “Science” guys please know what you are talking about before you write something. Most of what you believe is proven science is not, this includes evolution. It is OK to say that we don’t know that is what separates you from creationists if not you are a blind sheep following the heard same as them.

    July 29, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • Anon

      Evidence for creationism = Zero and barely qualifies as a hypothesis
      Oh and the screwed up part it has to be the Abrahamic god of the three desert blood cults.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • Thinker...

      The fact that evolution occurs is a proven fact. You can directly observe it in rapidly reproducing organisms.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:18 am |
      • MAR

        I’m sorry but I have to disagree with you Thinker. What is a fact is that change occurs but it does not mean that this is “evolution” as we define it. I just hate giving ammunition to the other side.

        July 29, 2013 at 9:56 am |
  8. KB

    I was raised Catholic, then "became" catholic charismatic, then Assembly of God, then independent, then Alliance. Now I am nothing. I do not believe there is only one religion or way to truth. Ghandi said he first believed that God was truth, and later he discovered that truth is God. Don't get me wrong, I still have beliefs. I have two beliefs: 1- there is a higher being, and 2- we are here to make things better, for the world and for each other. That's it. I am 64 years old and I am sad that there is no community that I can find that is not money-driven, exclusive, and judgemental of people different from themselves, indeed something I need to always be in check with myself. But I try.

    July 29, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • NJ

      If i may...please look within yourself than looking outside in the community. Once you find yourself...rest should fall in place....i dont know but i am going on a limb and say Gandhi would have done the same to figure out the truth.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  9. wisdomVSknowledge

    Well said, my gay friends used to visit my church. Not any more. When gay marriage became a main stream issue, the messages preached were hostile and hateful. Although adultery is mentioned far more often in the scriptures it was never preacher. My guess is because it might offend some of the re-married couples that contributed heavily to the offering plate. This opened my eyes to the hypocrisy as well as the political agenda of the church. I never before realize how we were being manipulated each election year. Now, I no longer attend myself. I always thought the church would help with the burdens of life... it actually added to them. I seriously doubt the church today is anything like Jesus would have intended. Perhaps what is happening in the church today could be called an awakening, although some are calling it the great falling away.

    July 29, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • T

      Well said, I can relate.
      I feel that life got significantly easier when I could start thinking for myself. I'm embarrassed to say It used to be that I couldn't really offer an opinion on a matter until I knew how the church felt about it. Now, the only rule that really needs to be followed is "don't be an ass."
      It's really that simple, church/religion just complicates it.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:10 am |
  10. JW

    There will be no truce between science and faith. Science is real, provable and demonstrable. Faith is the reverse of all of that.

    July 29, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • Josh

      Disagree, science is the study of the material universe. Faith is the belief in the creator of that. They do not have to conflict. In fact the RCC accepted the Big Bang Theory decades ago.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • Robert Sakovich

      Faith and reason can actually work together...my faith in the God of the Bible actually works hand in hand with the order in the universe that is observable through science. Now, if you are going to just follow what scientists say with blind faith, then you will have a divide between faith and science. That is because all scientists have presuppositions...some make more sense than others. The belief that chance can work through millions/billions of years to provide the order that we see in the universe take blind faith. The belief that there is a Creator actually makes more sense.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:14 am |
      • dissidentfairy

        Science changes from day to day. There are more theories out there than black holes. The Bible and God's word is consistent and is the one thing we can count on not to change.

        July 29, 2013 at 8:20 am |
        • T

          Question, are you implying that the fact that scientific ideas change is a bad thing?

          July 29, 2013 at 8:23 am |
      • Anon

        Intelligent design is utterly retarded.

        July 29, 2013 at 8:24 am |
        • nclaw441

          Anon,
          Many would say a universe created out of nothing by nothing is pretty incredible. And of course there is no proof of it.

          July 29, 2013 at 8:40 am |
        • Damocles

          @nclaw

          So nothing made into something by something that would have also had to come from nothing makes more sense? 'Oh but the deity has always existed outside of space/time'. Well, ok then, matter has always existed and needed no creator.

          July 29, 2013 at 8:47 am |
      • dissidentfairy

        T-Of course not, I'm only saying that God's word never changes and is the one thing we can count on not to change.

        Anon-I'm not trying to be rude and I hate to say this but that comment is moronic!

        July 29, 2013 at 8:36 am |
        • Anon

          They why you peddle that I.D crap which has been constantly debunked over and over yet keep coming back for more.

          July 29, 2013 at 8:44 am |
        • dissidentfairy

          The question is why are you here Anon? If I was a devout Atheist I wouldn't be spending the 70 years of life I have left on earth, a life that will vanish like a vapor faster than I can blink, to bother ridiculing the believers. I would let them have their fantasy and live my life to the fullest while there is still time:)

          July 29, 2013 at 9:02 am |
        • T

          Fair enough, but the fact that an ideology doesn't change is not the ideal.
          For example, if there was an unmoving, unchanging belief that burying people alive is the highest moral act anyone can do, would that be worthy of praise? Isn't it better to modify/abandon previously held beliefs if they do demonstrable harm (or at least don't do as much good as possible)?

          Moreover, I take issue with the sentiment that the word of god doesn't change. There have been dozens of translations and mistanslations over the course of several hundred years, not to mention how the same verses are interpreted differently by different sects (and even people within those same sects). I'm just not sure that equates to being "unchanged."

          July 29, 2013 at 8:56 am |
      • dissidentfairy

        T-I agree with what you said regarding change. Of course I agree if something is detrimental or antiquated there should be change and that goes without saying.

        There are many translations of the Bible that is true, but they still say the same thing and you can derive the truth from each translation. I have various translations that I refer to. Some are more modernized and easier to understand but the truth can be found in all translations. As far as various religions and their doctrines it still doesn't change the authenticity of God's word. The Bible says that "no man can fully comprehend him from beginning to end." It says that "his thoughts are way above our thoughts." The Bible also says that the majority of religions and people are on the wrong path, so, one does have to be careful to make sure what they believe in is correct.

        July 29, 2013 at 9:24 am |
        • T

          I'm glad we agree. I would say, however, that the bible is largely outdated. I cite the Old Testament and most of the New as old and antiquated that cause harm.

          You say it doesn't change the authenticity, but how can we be sure that we're arriving at the correct conclusion? Surely people who arrive at different conclusions than you are just as sure they're correct? What makes your interpretation more correct than anybody else?

          Additionally, if "no man can comprehend him from beginning to end," how does that not inherently compromise the integrity of the book? In other words, if I'm given a book to read, and I can only understand a part of it (which happens to include the claim that I can't understand the rest, but it is to be trusted), how can I possibly know that the book as a whole is true?

          July 29, 2013 at 9:53 am |
        • dissidentfairy

          I didn't mean to make it sound like that much of a mystery:) I feel that the majority of the Bible can be comprehended. I've read it several times and every time I learn something new. I certainly don't see it as antiquated. I see Bible prophecy being fulfilled every day, even this article is a sign of the times. When you have time be sure and check out 2 Timothy 4:3-4 and you will see what I mean. The Bible gives many signs on what the world will be like in the last days. You can read about it in Matthew the 24th chapter and in 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

          The Bible is like an intricate tapestry that is designed to be analyzed and synchronized like a completed jigsaw puzzle. It was designed that way so that effort would be put into the research of it. I know I'm not answering your specific questions. I woke up too early like at 5 a.m. and can't think:) I do enjoy talking to you because I see that you have a complex mind. if you would like you can check out my spiritual boards on Pinterest. I'm under Dissident Fairy. A friend got me involved in the site and after I became bored with doing art boards decided to do some spiritual boards. I plan to do a new one on Reasons to Believe coming soon:) Ignore the photo it's only for fun, my hair is standing straight up because the photo is a bit distorted:) I have have a sense of humor:)

          July 29, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • It's okay not to believe

      Well said.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:15 am |
  11. Beth

    Looking for a church that celebrates love, promotes social justice, welcomes all, and encourages you to find the "truth" for yourself (instead of telling you what to believe)? Try Unitarian Universalism. I found it a few years ago and never looked back.

    July 29, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • The Jackdaw

      Hippies.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:04 am |
  12. The Jackdaw

    Its because church is garbage. period.

    July 29, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  13. Lanell Crowell

    I feel lucky that the pastor at my church has had meetings with church members about just this subject and is listening. There is a big push for us to go out in the community and make a difference. I love to go to church and be uplifted but it is what we do the rest of the week that defines our lives.

    July 29, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • The Jackdaw

      pitter pitter

      July 29, 2013 at 7:59 am |
  14. Bob

    The reason they leave is that churches are seldom true to the Christian faith. They are more concerned about being "hip". The truth is the church can't compete with entertainment industries and shouldn't try. The church exists to be the Body of Christ and true to its calling, doctrinally pure. If we do that, we shouldn't expect expect to be liked by the world for Christ told us that such commitment would lead to our persecution. Better that we should be true to God and present authentic Christianity to the world. However, Christ Himself tells us that the world will not respond positively to such a message.

    July 29, 2013 at 7:48 am |
    • Anon

      Your primitive desert cult is dying, get used to it.

      July 29, 2013 at 7:50 am |
    • The Jackdaw

      I agree, churches should be "more true" to their faith. There should be stonings for adultory, slaves sold for prices that the bible lays out and daughters handed over to strangers as meat puppets.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • wisdomVSknowledge

      Pure?! With all the many different religions in the world how could you possibly know what is pure? In the United States alone there are over 40 different denominations of Baptist. Why? because they can't agree on what is true... or pure, as you call it. I'm afraid the church is digging it's own grave.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:14 am |
  15. Lance Cardaro

    her quote "What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance"...confuses me... Churches are built around gospel...the same words that have been preached verbatum for thousands of years...this is scripture...this is God's word and Christ's teachings. These will not and should not change. I get that we should challenge what "we are hearing"....so don't leave the "church"...just find another pastor until you find what resonates with YOU. Pastors come and go...some are awesome...some stay right with the "word" and then tech us how to apply that in our daily lives. Unfortunately...many, knowingly or unknowingly, lace thir sermons with there own agenda, political views, personal idealisms...valid or not... The "millenials" I believe are challenging that...not the "Church". My folks would never have considered leaving a church because of this...which I don't agree with...again, church and pastor being used interchangeably. I believe my generation we began this...looking for something purer...deeper. I find the pastor I connect with...I have no loyalty to the flesh in this respect...just loyalty to my faith and the "church"...

    July 29, 2013 at 7:47 am |
    • Rose ASL

      It is absolutely not true that the Protestant/Western churches teach the same things Christianity has taught for thousands of years. If you ever want to find out just how far removed they've become, start reading Eastern Orthodox literature.

      July 29, 2013 at 7:56 am |
  16. Reality

    Tis one of the weekend feature religion topics on CNN Headline news and the result, as normal already over 5000 comments.

    And to keep up with traffic flow:

    Again for the new members:

    Some 21st century nitty-gritty:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Added details available upon written request

    July 29, 2013 at 7:35 am |
  17. D. Horvath

    Awesome essay and I agree with you. Yes, I'm a 62 yr. old grandmother and a practicing Catholic who is seeking to live a holy life in a world that 'yells' at us, through every type of communication, to "be our own person, be whatever we are and be proud, 'me first', and to follow along with the world in every way and jump on board to every new trend....and that is the same enticement that has lured people since the beginning of time. The choice is simple: God's Way or my way. I lived my way for years and there is no peace there, that why as you read some of the above comments there is such hatred and bitterness. For those living according to the way of the world, ask God to soften your hearts and read the gospels. For pastors, priests & Sunday School teachers teach about Jesus, holiness, moral courage, self-denial, & reverence watch what God does! We all, myself included, long for Jesus.

    July 29, 2013 at 7:23 am |
    • Colin

      It is unfortuante that you will die having spent your entire life chasing an immortality that does not exist.

      July 29, 2013 at 7:27 am |
      • No one

        There is theoretical immortality and recurring youth in the Turritopsis Nutricula. Kneel before its tentacle-y appendages! Or attempt to understand its ability and engineer it into ourselves.

        July 29, 2013 at 7:31 am |
      • rocketscientist

        Ripping on a grandma's testimonial. That's really classy guys. You must be very proud of yourselves.

        I know some of you (definitely not all) hate religion and religious people (making you bigots), but, in light of the oft-stated superior morals and enlightenment you atheists and agnostics typically say you have, I would've thought that at the very least, you'd have some respect for mothers, grandmothers, and seniors.

        Would you treat your own mothers or grandmothers this way?

        Dr. H

        July 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  18. Marvin Mathew

    Reblogged this on Marvin Mathew and commented:
    Solid blog..."Why Millennials are Leaving the Church"

    July 29, 2013 at 7:13 am |
  19. leah

    If God is so great, why are his churches such a failure?

    July 29, 2013 at 7:13 am |
    • skytag

      Even as an atheist I think that's a stupid question.

      July 29, 2013 at 7:20 am |
    • Ramon Martinez

      God is real Leah, but you have to believe that he is real. I believe young people are leaving the church because they do not connect with all that the bible talks about. The people who wrote the bible were real persons, but they were inspired by God to write it as God said it. Many call the bible old fashioned teachings, perhaps, but God or Jesus (same person) only wants us to enjoy this world to the max. Rules to follow to benefit us and prosper, many young people don't want to be told about rules or how to live. Are they selfish, no not really, far to many young people simply grew up not knowing about the bible and the stories in it., that, could have made a difference.

      July 29, 2013 at 7:53 am |
      • skytag

        "God is real Leah, but you have to believe that he is real."

        I don't have to believe he is real, and I won't until I see some reason to believe he is real. You believe he is real because you want to believe he is real.

        July 29, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • nclaw441

      Because humans tend to mess things up, even in church.

      July 29, 2013 at 8:48 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.