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August 2nd, 2013
08:00 AM ET

Why millennials need the church

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, special to CNN

(CNN) - For a time, I counted myself among the spiritual but not religious, Christian but not churchgoing crowd.

Like many millennials, I left church because I didn’t always see the compassion of Jesus there, and because my questions about faith and science, the Bible, homosexuality, and religious pluralism were met with shallow answers or hostility.

At first I reveled in my newfound Sunday routine of sleeping in, sipping my coffee and yelling at Republicans who appeared on ”Meet the Press.”

But eventually I returned, because, like it or not, we Christian millennials need the church just as much as the church needs us. Here’s why:

Baptism

As former Methodist bishop Will Willimon has often said, “you cannot very well baptize yourself.”

In a culture that stresses individualism, the church satisfies the human need for community, for shared history and experiences.

And in a world where technology enables millennials to connect only with those who are like-minded, baptism drags us - sometimes kicking and screaming as infants - into the large, dysfunctional and beautiful family of the church.

Confession

“Sin” is not a popular word these days, perhaps because it is so often invoked in the context of judgment and condemnation.

But like all people, millennials need reminding now and then that the hate and violence we observe in the world is also present within ourselves.

We can be too idealistic, too convinced we can change the world from our iPads.

The accountability that comes from participation in a local church gives young Christians the chance to speak openly about our struggles with materialism, greed, gossip, anger, consumerism and pride.

Healing

While the flawed people who make up the church can certainly inflict pain on each other and sometimes on the world, we also engage in the important work of healing.

At their best, local churches provide basements where AA groups can meet, living rooms where tough conversations about racial reconciliation occur, casseroles for the sick and shelter for the homeless.

Millennials who have been hurt by the church may later find healing in it.

Leadership

Like a lot of millennials, I am deeply skeptical of authority - probably to a fault.

But when I interact with people from my church who have a few years and a lot of maturity on me, I am reminded of how cool it is to have a free, built-in mentoring and accountability program just down the street.

We can learn a lot from the faithful who have gone before us, and the church is where we find them.

Communion

One of the few things the modern church has in common with the ancient one is its celebration of the sacred meal— the Eucharist.

There is simply not the space here, nor in many volumes of theology for that matter, to unpack the significance of remembering Jesus through eating bread and drinking wine. But when I left the church, it was Communion I craved the most.

Churches may disagree on exactly how Christ is present in these sacred meals, but we agree that Christ is present. And millennials, too, long for that presence.

There are some days when the promise of Communion is the only thing that rouses me from bed on Sunday morning. I want a taste of that mystery.

Confirmation

Many churches practice a rite of initiation, sometimes called confirmation.

Theologian Lauren Winner, in her book “Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis,” quotes a friend who said:

“What you promise when you are confirmed is not that you will believe this forever. What you promise when you are confirmed is that that is the story you will wrestle with forever.”

The church, at its best, provides a safe place in which to wrestle with this story we call the Gospel.

Union with Christ

Those who follow Jesus long for the day when their communion with him becomes complete, and Jesus promises this will happen through the church.

The apostle Paul compared this union to a marriage. Jesus describes it as a banquet.

No matter what the latest stats or studies say, Christians believe the future of the church is secure and not even “the gates of hell” will prevail against it.

As much as I may struggle to fit in sometimes, as much as I doubt, question and fight for reforms, I am a part of this church, through good times and bad, for better or worse.

The astute reader will notice that each of these points corresponds loosely with a sacrament—baptism, confession, the anointing of the sick, holy orders, communion, confirmation and marriage.

Some would say there are many others. We could speak of the sacrament of the Word or the washing of feet.

But even where they are not formally observed, these sacraments are present in some form in nearly every group of people who gather together in the name of Jesus.

They connect us to our faith through things we can eat, touch, smell and feel. And they connect us with one another.

They remind us, as writer and Episcopal priest Sara Miles put it, that “You can’t be a Christian by yourself.”

This is why I haven’t given up on the church, and I suspect why it hasn't given up on me.

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 her.

Evans has written two previous posts for CNN's Belief Blog: Why millennials are leaving the church; and Not all religious convictions are written in stone.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • evangelicals • Faith • Opinion • United States

soundoff (4,825 Responses)
  1. Which God?

    This article starts with preconcieved ideas about religion and faith, then proceeds to try and make a case for them. What a piece of fluffyness. Starting with 'baptism, this is circular reasoning at it's best. " It's the old "I believe because I believe."

    August 5, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • ME II

      "This article starts with preconcieved ideas about religion and faith..."

      It's an opinion piece by a Christian for other Christians so, pretty much, yes. What's your point?

      August 5, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  2. AE

    The opportunities to serve others are probably the greatest gifts my church provides for me.

    August 5, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Anjil

      Religious and ethical organizations are a great way to explore a variety of volunteer opportunities. As a pantheist I don't have a local spiritual or ethical organization of that kind, but find the Unitarians open to external volunteers, and the Red Cross and local volunteer bank great starting points. For those like me who are morelikely to find ethically like-minded individuals further away, working hard and donating is really the core of what most organization need. An extra 10 hours of work to donate to a good cause is also valuable volunteer work. There are so many ways to help I don't think you can ever run short.

      August 5, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • God

      You need a church to tell you to help others? Sad.

      August 5, 2013 at 10:31 am |
      • skytag

        It's not about needing to be told, it's about opportunity. People who are part of a community have more opportunities to help others and it's much easier to find them.

        August 5, 2013 at 11:01 am |
      • Vic

        Not exactly. Every body has the conscience and basic instincts to do the right thing. What the church does is provide a body (collective) through which you reach out to others in need with your help.

        August 5, 2013 at 11:02 am |
      • AE

        No, that is not what I said. It provides an opportunity – I get to be a part of a very diverse community and find opportunities to serve other people. And find other people that can help me.

        August 5, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Ken

      The opportunity to give people good information is maybe the greatest gift my atheism provides for me.

      August 5, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  3. Brother Maynard

    My little protest.
    To protest the encroachment of religious dogma on our civil laws, I have started to take a magic marker and 'x' out the word God on all currency that I recieve. I am opposed to the statement 'In God We Trust' for it violates the separation of church and state.
    I ask all atheists do the same on any / all $1, $5, $10, $20 bills that they handle
    Thankyou

    August 5, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Vic

      Isn't that illegal?!

      August 5, 2013 at 9:07 am |
      • Your garbage comment wasn't worth reading.

        No. It is not.

        August 5, 2013 at 9:35 am |
      • Brother Maynard

        Technically yes

        August 5, 2013 at 9:35 am |
        • Anjil

          If having the god reference there (implying all do trust in god) is unconsti_tutional in the first place it would make that tricky to determine, perhaps?

          August 5, 2013 at 9:39 am |
      • Brother Maynard

        Ok I stand corrected
        quick google
        "Defacing currency with the intent to alter the bill to gain a benefit is illegal."
        So marking a $5 to look like a $20 == illegal.
        I think the key word(s) are to determine illegality are "intent to defraud"

        August 5, 2013 at 9:43 am |
        • ME II

          Or I think, with intent to make it unusable, which isn't the case here.

          August 5, 2013 at 10:39 am |
        • Freddy

          Your "benefit" would be the message you are trying to convey by X-ing out that motto, correct?

          August 5, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Similarly, whenever I'm at an event where O' Canada is sung, I do not utter the line that mentions some unproven mythical being. I respond with "There are no gds!"

      August 5, 2013 at 10:47 am |
      • Angry Marine

        Here let me fix that for ya Ace. Its GOD not gd. There that's better. Have a good day.

        August 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
        • Ellen

          Here, let me fix that for you, stupid. It's "it's" you need there. For example, it's true that only cowards believe in god.

          August 5, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Angry Marine

          Hi Ellen,
          Are you the spelling GOD? I thought not. Just so we are clear on this, I will spell what I want how I want. OK. Have a good day Ellen. Petty, Petty Petty

          August 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Angry Marine, So when you do it it's OK but when others do it it's petty. That could a source of your anger.

          August 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • Ellen

          What Santa said. X 10. Angry Marine, you have egg on your face. So Christian of you.

          August 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
        • Angry Marine

          @ Santa
          I don't see where I resorted to name calling. Did you?

          August 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
        • Angry Marine

          where did I call someone a name?

          August 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • Angry Marine

          So there, piggyface.

          August 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Angry, I meant correcting other's posts. I don't recall seeing you resort to name-calling.

          August 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
        • fred

          I'm guessing some big Drill Sarge gave little Angry Marine's rear flanks a drllling from his private quarters when he was tying his bootlaces. Angry's been sore and red ever since. And a bit wider, too.

          August 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Angry Marine, you are a hypocrite. Fuck Off!

          August 6, 2013 at 1:29 am |
    • skytag

      I'm an atheist, not a petty rebellious teenager.

      August 5, 2013 at 11:02 am |
      • Brother Maynard

        Hmm your name calling would indicate otherwise

        August 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
        • skytag

          I'm blunt and don't suffer fools gladly. If I call someone a name it's an honest assessment based on observation. If you want someone to coddle you if you say something stupid I'm not your guy.

          August 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Angry Marine

      Why be so offended at something you don't believe in? Attention perhaps?

      August 5, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • Anjil

        By using the term "we" it seeks to speak for all Americans, putting words in the moths of people who do not hold that belief. Are you OK with it when someone cuts you off mid-sentence, completing what you were saying inaccurately, with something you don't believe?

        August 5, 2013 at 11:21 am |
        • Angry Marine

          Happens everyday in everyone's life. I guess some people are more mature than others and can just go on about their business. Well, maybe not everyone, there are a lot of PERFECT people on here. Atheist and Christian, just ask them they will tell you.

          August 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • Anjil

          Angry,

          Are you saying that because people rudely speaking for others is a part of every day life we should accept it in our government? I think ou must mean something else?

          August 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        I am angry because the Christians, in a clear violation of the 2nd amendment, change the motto on all money to a lie in the fifties.
        Why do you want a lie to represent America?

        "In god we trust" as in the all inclusive we.
        I do not trust in gods, but am one of "we", therefore the statement is a lie.

        August 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
        • Angry Marine

          Seriously? The word God on our currency offends you that much? Wow!!! Why can't you just choose to ignore it? Don't you think it might be infringing on someone else's rights to have it removed? What would be next? Removing the Cross from the top or front of a church, because someone is offended? Removing Crosses from Arlington because you are offended ? When would it stop?

          August 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Angry
          No the word god does not offend me. The lie that the christians portray offends me. Does it not anger you that a bold faced lie is the national motto?

          August 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          It offends me. I don't "trust in God".

          It should be removed from the currency. The establishment clause makes it clear that the United States has not power to tell me that there is a God and that I should trust in it.

          Clearly this isn't a life or death issue but a symbolic one. There are more important religious incursions on the rights of citizens to worry about.

          August 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • Angry Marine

          Not in the least. I am not that petty. There are more important things in life to get your panties in a wad about. Its not like if you don't believe in God and you touch a coin or a bill that you will burst into flames.

          August 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • Ellen

          Why should we ever, anywhere, state that we "trust" a god that has been claimed to torture and murder so much?

          August 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Angry Marine, So you'd be happy for the currency to say "In Allah we trust" or "In Vishna we trust"?

          August 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • Angry Marine

          Does it really matter? It could say" Ellen is the spelling Queen" for all I care.

          August 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • Brother Maynard

          AM
          Why do I have the feeling that if we didn't remove "God" from our currency .. but replaced it with "Allah" or "Vishnu", you would be 10 times more upset than I?

          August 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • Angry Marine

          Can't answer that one for you Brother. Like i said i really would not care. Take God out of everything if you so desire, I am not the one who is pitching a b1tch about God or the word God. I know where i stand. Do you?

          August 5, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "Can't answer that one for you Brother." I think I can answer it for you AM, the answer is that if the official motto of the US and on our money it said "In Allah we trust" you likely would not have been a Marine but would belong to some militia group trying to overthrow what you percieved as an Islamic occupier.

          August 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
        • Anjil

          Angry, The thing we are all concerned about is that these things build on each other like a snowball. Christians now use "In God We Trust" and the inserted "Under God" in the Pledge as evidence that this is a Christian nation in their arguments for other policies, when in fact they were wrongly added in the first place.

          August 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • Angry Marine

          @ Just the Facts
          I don't take to kindly to someone questioning my service to our country. You don't know One single thing about me, nor do i you. You do not speak for how i feel or don't feel about any issues. If I say that i could give a Ratz A$$ what you want to take God out of, that is exactly what i mean. Don't pretend like you are inside my head and know my thoughts. P.S I didn't serve my country for God, I served my country so disrespectful know it all's such as yourself, could have OUR Freedom to walk all over what other people believe or don't believe.

          August 5, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • Ross Winslade

          "Angry Marine", in return, I don't take kindly to your inappropriate use of your corps on an internet blog. The first part of your name sure fits you, though. At least we known that you are being truthful with that part.

          August 5, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
        • Angry Marine

          @ ross
          Don't recall asking your opinion Ross Boy. My use of the Corps is what i choose, i earned it. What have you done ?

          August 5, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
        • Ross Winslade

          Angry Marine, it's a blog, dummy. I can and will comment if I feel like it. You are being a bully and a coward, and you deserve the negative reactions that you are getting. Do give some thought as to why you get them.

          August 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • Angry Marine

          @ Ross
          Thanks but no thanks for your advice. Feel free to comment on what you wish. Being a BULLY is laughable. Have you not read some of the other posts by other people? Let me guess, you are an Atheist and you got offended because someone put your same crap back in your face. Get over yourself Ross Boy. Read some of Athy,Sam Stone,Linca, The real Tom(Ellen),Dyslexic Dog and then get back to me. I am being Very kind compared to these fools. OH and by the way you can add yourself to that list as well.

          August 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
        • Ross Winslade

          Angry Marine, take an anger management course. Soon. You are an embarrassment to your claimed service, and you are a blowhard and a coward.

          August 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
        • Angry Marine

          @ Ross
          Angry blowhard coward? Whats the matter? Did you get offended? Welcome to the way a Christian feelsl. Is it OK for you to spout your mouth and we can not defend ourselves?

          August 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
        • Angry Marine

          @ Ross
          An embarrassment ? How so ? The name Angry Marine, came from my down time when i would play Angry Birds. So i kinda liked the game so i used that as a name , along with my Marines. ANGRY MARINE. It does not mean that i am ANGRY, but you sir do make me ANGRY. How so you might ask, you are a little keyboard pipsqueak who has a big mouth and i would bet MY LIFE can't back that mouth up. So you hide behind the internet to talk like a BIG man. Hit the nail on the head didn't i?

          August 5, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
        • fred

          I'm guessing some big Drill Sarge gave little Angry Marine's rear flanks a drllling from his private quarters when he was tying his bootlaces. Angry's been sore and red ever since. And a bit wider, too. After all that, he still gets caught here in a badly compromised position. BOGU, Angry, BOGU. Use lots of lube.

          August 5, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
        • Ellen

          I don't believe our "Angry Marine" was ever a Marine. I think he's just a wannabe. Real Marines have real backbones and would never make the Corps look bad like Angry Marine just did. I should know. I married one.

          August 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        To me, changing the motto from "E Pluribus Unum" to "In God we Trust" was a clear violation of the establishment clause of the 1st amendment.

        As in all things pragmatic people pick their battles. There are more important topics in religious incursion of our rights like striking down DOMA and protecting rights in reproductive choice than the symbolic issue of the motto.

        August 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      So start a pet!tion to remove "In God we Trust" from the currency.

      Or change the motto back to "E Pluribus Unum".

      You can start here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/

      I looked, there doesn't seem to be one.

      August 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        The Freedom from Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit in March of this year to remove the lie from our money.

        See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/13/in-god-we-trust-lawsuit_n_2867227.html

        August 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Good for them.

        it's not the *most* important thing to do, but symbolically it means a lot.

        August 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Until there's a shift in Congress, this is a a fool's errand. It will never pass in the house and I can't imagine the Supreme Court would do anything but rely on precedent where a similar measure was rejected once already.

        it's a bit like the house holding vote after vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

        August 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          That is true, it has been tried in the past and has failed, but still we need to keep trying.

          I wonder how all of congress would react to the FACT that the national motto is a lie, simply by me being one of we, and I don't trust in any gods.

          Perhaps a new tactic is in order. Shame them. They advocate a lie, and want that lie to represnt the US.

          August 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • fred

      BS you are opposed to God period. The reason you are opposed to God has not changed since the first story of the Bible. That truth has not changed in 10,000 years which gives it a Divine glow. God was rejected because of a lie. The lie brought doubt that what God said was best and in the best interests of the creation.
      Man chose to live the lie and continues to do so while the truth remains as always in the Word.

      August 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        The lies are that which are contained in the bible. Too much of it has been disproven. If there is a god, it certainly is not that which is portrayed in the bible.

        August 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • fred

          Ok, give me the biggest lie you claim is the Bible.

          August 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
        • Douglas

          fred, that'd be the bible itself. The religion it presents is one giant, absurd lie.

          August 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • Douglas

          fred, that'd be the bible itself. The religion it presents is one giant, absurd lie.

          August 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          fred
          How about the lie of Genesis. First book, first pack of lies. There are so many things wrong with Genesis that it would take far too long to explain it all, but we know a: We did not all descend from one genetic set, so we are not all descendants of Adam and Eve, so god did not have to send his son to save us all , since we are not all descended from Adam and Eve, so the whole christian idea that we all need to be saveed is not right. That story falls apart for one simple fact.
          we also know b: There at no time since life began a global flood. Not only do we not see the evidence that it happened (which we would see vast amounts of evidence for it), but we see litterally mountqains of evidence to the contrary.)

          On and on fred, too many to be counted...How about the test for adultery complete with abortiom tonic ( holy water and dust from the floor of a tabernacle)...yeah that wroks.

          Seriously, why do you think it is true, and can't you see the flaws?

          August 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • fred

          Douglas
          No, the religions that man has formed out of the Divine Truth represent the lies of man not the truth of God.
          The Bible is the story of God redeeming His creation. It is not a lie and if it were we will most likely not know that during our lifetime.

          August 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • fred

          Richard Cranium
          "We did not all descend from one genetic set, so we are not all descendants of Adam and Eve"
          =>There are several main ways to see the story of Adam and Eve and it looks like you assume both were the original physical Homo sapiens and were the first in the line of the Hebrew. This assumption does not hold for several reasons.
          =>The first child of Eve (Cain) was sent packing for killing his brother and married a couple women from another race of people. The Bible is not wrong as there were groups of Homo sapiens in other parts of the land if you are claiming multiple groups required.
          => The Bible is not wrong if wish to assume mitochondrial Eve as your base model as there were other groups. Further, if you wish to assume Adam and Eve were some form of earliest hominin that works also regardless if Adam and Eve were simply the first Hebrews or the first of mankind.

          =>The Bible is designed so that those with ears can hear and those with eyes can see God. God is not attempting to give us a biology lesson in Genesis but show the purpose of creation. To bring creation up out of the formless void according to Gods plan and purpose.

          August 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          fred
          I see, you have changed the interpretation of the bible to suit the actual facts....keeps re-writing, maybe you will be able to re-write it enough so that it is ture, after all an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of word processors will eventually write everything.

          You can't see the forest for the trees fred. Ypour bible thinks that I cannot see, but instead it is you who is blinded by a group of superst!tiuos, ignorant men.

          Join us in the 21st century fred.

          August 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "The Bible is designed so that those with ears can hear and those with eyes can see God"

          So what you are saying is that the bible is some magical rorschach test where only those who really want to believe will be able to see the true message that is flawless amidst hundreds of pages of ink blots. If it says global flood but geological evidence says otherwise, but you still want to believe anyway, just tell yourself they didn't really mean "global" but must have been a regional flood... If it says Adam was the first human but DNA shows otherwise, then think "first hebrew" instead. It's so easy! Only those who will want to believe in invisible fairies actually find the proof of them!

          August 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • fred

          Richard Cranium
          "Seriously, why do you think it is true, and can't you see the flaws?"
          =>I see what you claim to be flaws and they would be flaws based on your assumptions. The problem is with your assumptions. In the case of Adam of Eve your assumption is very restrictive and does not fit with the rest of Genesis. Your assumption cannot work until you explain the other populations of peoples with Eve's family.

          =>As to Adam and Eve the reason I think it is true is because I put questions that have no answer (who were these other people with Cain, why was Cain working with bronze tools, was Hebrew word Adam referring to mankind or man physical since it has two common usages, etc) into an unknown box but to be answered someday category. The truth is given to me (God created man for His purpose out of dust i.e. preexisting matter and breathed life into man i.e. nonphysical eternal soul) in order to understand purpose and relationship between known and unknown.

          =>What I put into the unknown is by faith that was given to me. God has come through for me in prayer. God has shown me reality with God present verses the reality I thought existed where there was only the known physical. Life is more than an accident and more that simple chemical reaction on organic matter. There is something that we cannot comprehend without faith.

          August 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • fred

          Richard Cranium
          "I see, you have changed the interpretation of the bible to suit the actual"
          =>Ha, science claimed the universe was 6,000 years old then about 50 years ago it was 25 billion then 4 million and today we think it about 14 billion years old. The truth is the universe is an age certain while we interpret to suit the actual.

          =>You have come across what makes the Bible Divine. It was just as true thousands of years ago as it is today we just see it from our "advanced" perspective. The theologians can continue to debate if Adam and Eve were physical beings or not. They can debate if the Bible was speaking about the first generation of the chosen ones (Hebrews) or the first "modern man". They can debate if God breathed life (spiritual) into Homo habilis or rhodesiensis or Adam the first Hebrew Homo sapien. This changes nothing as the Bible is to presents the purpose for our existence and how should we respond. The Bible gives us the history of revelation of God from the Hebrew perspective and the New Testament gives us the revelation of the promise made in the days of the Old Testament of the messiah.

          August 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • ME II

          @fred,
          "As to Adam and Eve..."

          If you are claiming that Adam and Eve were simply a step in the process of man's development then how does creating Adam from dust and Eve from Adam's rib fit into that?

          August 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • fred

          ME II
          We have Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 in the account of creation. Genesis 1 the word for God is different than the word for God in Genesis 2. The God of Genesis 1 is creator whereas God in Genesis 2 takes the personal meaning of God. In Genesis 2 God formed man out of the dust. The key is formed by hand in a personal tender way expressing relationship. God is a personal God. God then made Eve out of Adam. You say Adams rib but the Hebrew word translated “rib” in Genesis 2 is tsela which also means side or side of strength. I doubt the Bible was speaking about cell division or half of his or her genes but some have argued that. My point is the creation of Eve was about relationship. Adam was alone and this is the only time in creation where God said it was not good (it is not good for man to be alone). Eve and Adam together became one and came from one addressing unity in relationship.

          August 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
        • ME II

          @fred,
          "In Genesis 2 God formed man out of the dust. The key is formed by hand in a personal tender way expressing relationship. "

          You still don't explain how forming man out of the dust is just part of the process. There is no process for forming a person out of dust. And you're saying Eve was formed, what? out of the relationship? how is that just part of the process?

          August 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • fred

        Just the Facts Ma'am...
        No, you have a current disposition, character, heart, soul or what ever you want to call the life force within you that makes you very different from all the other animals you observe. You have the capacity and most people act upon that capacity to worship at a spiritual level.
        When you read the Bible it will reveal that force within you. You believe the flood story can only be seen through the lens geology, physics and hydrology. That is not the story of Noah and Gods provision for those who have the likeness of Noah.

        August 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • G to the T

      I like it, but I think I'd like to see us go back to the original motto on the money – "Mind your business". Ben Franklin knew what he was talking about...

      August 7, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  4. skytag

    @Mark from Middle River: My faith there is no god = your faith there are no leprechauns. The only difference is that there aren't five billion people in the world gullible enough to believe in leprechauns.

    August 5, 2013 at 8:41 am |
    • Vic

      The Creator and creature are never equal, conceptually and actually!

      August 5, 2013 at 9:09 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        There is no evidence of a creator except the ancient superstitions that have evolved into religion.

        August 5, 2013 at 10:39 am |
      • ME II

        What creator?

        August 5, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • mk

        Did your creator create the leprechauns too?

        August 5, 2013 at 10:45 am |
      • Freddy

        Creatures imagine that whatever could have created them must have been greater than they are, you mean?

        August 5, 2013 at 10:48 am |
        • Vic

          It's not imagine, it is "believe." Very good, and to all, that's part of the "conceptually" I inferred. By concept alone, the Creator and creature are never equal. A leprechaun is concept of a creature, and by concept, can not be equated to a Creator.

          August 5, 2013 at 11:12 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Vic. God is a concept of a creature – as you have no more evidence for it than for a leprechaun

          August 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
        • Ellen

          My leprechaun has created far more than Vic's god has. Many times more.

          August 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
      • skytag

        I guess if you have nothing intelligent to say you can always rattle off some meaningless platitude.

        August 5, 2013 at 11:07 am |
      • Thinker...

        I dunno, I consider myself the equal of my parents.

        August 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  5. Paul Flanders

    Scientology will take over one day. I think a lot of Christian would become Buddhist if the churches weren't so hostile toward the religion. Why do you have to go to church at a specific time. Shouldn't god wait for your answer at any time. In Thailand and Korea, I just go to the temple at anytime to be blessed by a monk and give an offering. Life is good.

    August 5, 2013 at 6:10 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "Scientology will take over one day."

      Too funny! Considering it is outlawed in some countries and in others not recognized as a religion. Most people who know about this cult know the exact story behind it.

      August 5, 2013 at 6:46 am |
      • Thinker...

        The terrifying thing? Thats what the Romans would have said about Christianity. Sobering thought.

        August 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Mirosal

      Scientology .... let's see.. rule #1 .. the aliens landed and left a bunch of "souls" around a volcano ... yeah just what I always wanted to believe. Even the founder, L. Ron Hubbard, knew it was a scam. "If you want to make a little money, write a book. If you want to make a lot of money, start a religion."

      August 5, 2013 at 6:57 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Your guys' problem is that you haven't read Dianetics in the proper context. The book was extra terrestrially insipred, but written in language and metaphors specific to mid 20th century Americans. You have to understand the society in which those ancient peoples lived to fully comprehend the subtle complexities.
      But if you seek Thetans with an open heart, they will reveal themselves to you.
      Oh lord Hubbard and thy prophet Tom Cruise, protect us from the evil of Xenu so that we might become Clear and gain super-powers.

      August 5, 2013 at 8:18 am |
      • Rev. Rick

        I began reading Dianetics a couple of decades ago. It was interesting up to a point, but then while reading it one afternoon, all of a sudden I laid the book down and never picked it up again. It simply didn't ring true after a while.

        August 5, 2013 at 10:23 am |
      • ME II

        @Doc Vestibule,
        Well done!

        @Rev. Rick,
        ... and the Bible "rings true"? Not for me.

        August 5, 2013 at 10:59 am |
      • R.M. Goodswell

        DON'T MOCK THE CRUISE!!

        August 5, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Freddy

      If Scientology takes over it will be mostly due to the average American's desire to be a celebrity.

      August 5, 2013 at 10:46 am |
      • ME II

        ... or an unprecedented surge in trust of the spiritual nature of galvanic skin response.Nothing like a little sweat to connect one to their inner Thetan

        August 5, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          How dare you profane the sacred E-Meter!
          It is so much more than a device to measure skin temperature. Thanks to L. Ron's advanced engineering skills, honed via ascending to the highest level of OT, those boxes tell a trained operator so much more about you than even you yourself know. Like how you need to cut them a cheque to attend seminars on how to be fulfilled as a human being.
          Oh, and the Hubbardites will be happy to sue your pants off if you try to say it's a scam.

          August 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          🙂

          August 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
      • Anjil

        Scientology, Mormonism and other religions that relied historically on secrecy have met some real hurdles in the internet age.

        August 5, 2013 at 11:03 am |
  6. Nancy Brian

    It really looks like this comment section became a place for atheists to evangelize to others on their philosophies, not a discussion of the article. I am a retired person so have the time to make a final comment. I do not make fun of atheists. It would be rude and in bad taste. It would be much appreciated is atheists would be just as respectful.

    August 5, 2013 at 5:22 am |
    • ct

      I agree with Nancy.

      August 5, 2013 at 6:08 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Intolerance of intolerance is a good thing.

      August 5, 2013 at 6:48 am |
      • Richard Cranium

        I woin't stand for that kind of talk.

        August 5, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • sam stone

      i am respectful to christians who are respectful. i am rude to christians who are rude

      August 5, 2013 at 6:52 am |
      • Truth Prevails :-)

        Absolutely...I will cal out absurdities but I do try to be polite.

        August 5, 2013 at 7:32 am |
    • skytag

      When believers stop trying to dumb everyone down by telling them faith is a more reliable way to know something than educating yourself about it and using your brain then I'll be more tolerant.

      August 5, 2013 at 8:44 am |
      • Vic

        Apples and oranges!

        Atheists keep regurgitating fallacies about Christians. Faith/Belief in God is about God. We don't suggest it is about how to make an omelet!

        August 5, 2013 at 9:23 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          What fallacies? Do christians not try to impose their beliefs on society and law? Did you find some evidence of a god?

          August 5, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • skytag

      "It really looks like this comment section became a place for atheists to evangelize to others on their philosophies"

      What philosophies? I don't believe in God, leprechauns, Santa Claus or vampires, all for the exact same reason. What's so philosophical about that?

      "not a discussion of the article"

      The article is a puff piece. There isn't really much to say about it that hasn't been said.

      August 5, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • AE

      It must be more of an internet thing than an atheist thing. Most atheists I know don't act like the people that post here.

      August 5, 2013 at 9:16 am |
      • Vic

        I have been always wondering about that. I haven't encountered atheists in the corporate world like the ones online!

        August 5, 2013 at 9:26 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          One of the fastest ways to lose a job is to dicuss religion. I do not discuss philosophy at work. Here is a different matter.

          August 5, 2013 at 10:30 am |
        • Larry Homes

          I agree with you about the atheists, but most of the Christians I know personally are as rude and judgmental as those on this blog.

          August 5, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • Vic

          @Richard "..."

          We are all adults here. We know what's appropriate and what's not, for the most part. I don't wear my belief system on my sleeves, I only share it appropriately when asked. Don't you ever encounter personal talks with co-workers, especially over company's social functions, i.e. after hours beer, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas part, etc?!

          August 5, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • Vic

          @Richard "..."

          We are all adults here. We know what's appropriate and what's not, for the most part. I don't wear my belief system on my sleeves, I only share it appropriately when asked. Don't you ever encounter personal talks with co-workers, especially over company's social functions, i.e. after hours beer, business trips, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas party, etc?!

          August 5, 2013 at 11:19 am |
      • Henryo

        Most of the atheists on these belief boards are sociopaths. Real atheists don't force their beliefs, hypocritically, down other peoples throats because that's what religious people do.

        August 5, 2013 at 10:33 am |
        • LinCA

          @Henryo

          You said, "Most of the atheists on these belief boards are sociopaths."
          Most believers are dimwits. Their beliefs are no more rational then those of a five year old who still believes in the Tooth Fairy.

          You said, "Real atheists don't force their beliefs, hypocritically, down other peoples throats because that's what religious people do."
          Pointing out how moronic religious beliefs are isn't "forcing my beliefs on you". You are free to remain blissfully ignorant. Trying to keep those infantile beliefs out of the laws of society, isn't "forcing my beliefs on you". That I want society to be based in reality doesn't limit you in any way to live your life according to your fairy tale.

          August 5, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • LinCA

      @Nancy Brian

      You said, "It really looks like this comment section became a place for atheists to evangelize to others on their philosophies, not a discussion of the article."
      If you have such a big issue with people posting off-topic comments then why do you perpetuate the "problem"?

      You said, "I am a retired person so have the time to make a final comment."
      Comments don't take a whole lot of time. No need to be retired.

      You said, "I do not make fun of atheists."
      You probably couldn't if you tried.

      You said, "It would be rude and in bad taste."
      True, but not for the reasons that I suspect you think.

      You said, "It would be much appreciated is atheists would be just as respectful."
      Sorry, can't do that. I can't respect ridiculous beliefs. I will respect your right to hold such beliefs. So I'll offer you a deal. I promise that I won't ridicule you, if you promise not to post anything ridiculous.

      If you don't want your beliefs ridiculed, don't hold ridiculous beliefs. If you can't help yourself having ridiculous beliefs, don't post them here.

      August 5, 2013 at 10:39 am |
      • fred

        I just came back from Disney Land and noticed believers were having more fun than atheists. Those who complained that Tinker did not really fly over the Castle and children were being brainwashed about Mickey and Minnie must have philosophical naturalism surging through their veins.

        Walt Disney was a Christian. I imagine if he was more like you Lin Tinker would never fly.

        August 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • LinCA

          @fred

          You said, "Walt Disney was a Christian. I imagine if he was more like you Lin Tinker would never fly."
          Bullshit. Are you really that moronically stupid? Atheists have just as much, or even more imagination as believers. They just don't sell it as truth. They don't insist their fairy tales are somehow real.

          August 5, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
        • fred

          No, if only naturalism is what you bring to your children (according to you) how can they learn hope in what cannot be seen? You spit on children's stories of fantasy (according to you) yet you have no clue as to how important it is to believe you can do something that has never been known. We fly today because someone thought we could fly like birds. We are heading into space because someone had a vision of man on mars. That out of the box creative ability of man is part of the image of God given to man. God created all that your eyes see through your lens of naturalism out of a void. Hope and faith in the promise springs out of that same cognitive function yet you block its full expression at the point of materialism. There is more and our never ending imagination is proof something is outside limits of your self imposed lens.

          August 6, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • LinCA

          @fred

          You said, "No, if only naturalism is what you bring to your children (according to you)"
          Bullshit. Please point me to where I said that.

          You said, "how can they learn hope in what cannot be seen?"
          Distinguishing what is real from what is imaginary will allow them to see what is invisible to the naked eye with tools provided by science.

          You said, "You spit on children's stories of fantasy (according to you)"
          Bullshit. Please point me to where I said that.

          You said, "yet you have no clue as to how important it is to believe you can do something that has never been known."
          Fairy tales are fine for children. They will let their imagination run wild. Once they are old enough, if they haven't figured it out for themselves, they should be made aware that Goldilocks isn't real.

          They don't need to have a fairy tale, past off as fact, forced upon them until they are adults.

          You said, "We fly today because someone thought we could fly like birds."
          There is very little, if any, resemblance between how birds fly and how humans fly. The early dreamers that thought they could make man fly like a bird failed miserably. We can fly because of science. Science too, requires a lot of imagination, but only that what can be verified as true is retained.

          You said, "We are heading into space because someone had a vision of man on mars."
          Because of science.

          You said, "That out of the box creative ability of man is part of the image of God given to man."
          Your imaginary friend has nothing to do with it. Just because in your infantile beliefs you think that is the case, doesn't make it so.

          You said, "God created all that your eyes see through your lens of naturalism out of a void."
          Bullshit.

          You said, "Hope and faith in the promise springs out of that same cognitive function yet you block its full expression at the point of materialism."
          Bullshit.

          You said, "There is more and our never ending imagination is proof something is outside limits of your self imposed lens."
          Of course, there is more than we currently know and understand, but our imagination is not proof of anything that is outside our current knowledge. Our imagination allows us to guess at what might be there. It is science that will tell us if our guess was correct. The guesses about gods have as of yet failed to be shown correct.

          August 11, 2013 at 1:55 am |
  7. jaynesbooks

    What about a sense of community?

    August 5, 2013 at 3:53 am |
    • Vic

      That's one of the highlights of the church. We are all social beings. We need to socialize, interact, and have a sense of community and a support system. You sure can find that at the church along with spiritual lifting.

      August 5, 2013 at 9:42 am |
      • jaynesbooks

        The reason that I said it was that those in my generation and younger don't have the connections that other generations may have had in the past and often those connections with other people were made through organizations like the church and other community groups and this generation seems to just work and nothing else; its like community doesn't really matter at all and they would rather just go home and lock the door and not interact with those around them.

        August 6, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  8. Carrie Geren Scoggins Political Newsletter

    I am sending to law enforcement the informants harassing me on here over religion, sep of church and state, and also want it duly noted that they censored my posts.

    August 5, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • Mirosal

      yeah, good luck with that - if you don't want to be hassled over religion, don't you think it would be in your best interest to just stay away from a Belief blog? Let that thought sink in for a minute or two.

      August 5, 2013 at 3:53 am |
      • Carrie Geren Scoggins Political Newsletter

        Sad that it has come to that, informants on tax money harassing Christians stalking them online. We saw the NSA admitted to TRILLIONS of phone calls and emails stashed away in files on Chrisitans and conservatives, religious right... LIke me and my newsletter. My post has been censored, I still can not get it posted.

        August 5, 2013 at 3:55 am |
        • Hey There

          Carrie Geren Scoggins,

          There is a word filter in place on these which flags certain word fragments within words. Ditch your paranoia.

          Did you try to say Const-itution or something like that?

          August 5, 2013 at 4:04 am |
        • Hey There

          * on these blogs (sorry)

          August 5, 2013 at 4:07 am |
        • skytag

          You sound nuts, even more so than most believers. Yes, the authorities have nothing better to do that listen to you whine since there isn't anyone out there actually breaking laws.

          August 5, 2013 at 8:22 am |
        • Larry Homes

          Carrie
          Yeah, and we all know that the government secretly has Jesus locked away in some high tech vault preventing the Rapture.

          August 5, 2013 at 10:31 am |
      • Truth Prevails :-)

        Considering it is an anonymous blog, her chances of not being laughed at by the authorities is next to nil. Silly christians and their persecution complex...they need to grow up and realize they are no better.

        August 5, 2013 at 4:07 am |
        • sam stone

          got to remember, folks like carrie speak for god

          arrogant fvcks

          August 5, 2013 at 4:17 am |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          What a sad pathetic life that must be. Arrogant, disrespectful fucks.

          August 5, 2013 at 4:21 am |
        • sam stone

          they claim to look forward to eternity with that being from whom they have to be saved, but they are in no hurry to rush it. i think in the back of their twisted little minds, they know it's all hokum

          August 5, 2013 at 4:25 am |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          If their god is so powerful, why the need to keep defending it? They can live for the afterlife if they wish, they're the ones wasting this one.

          August 5, 2013 at 4:28 am |
        • sam stone

          you know, everytime they defend god here, they get extra points when the big judgement comes

          August 5, 2013 at 4:52 am |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          Gotta be cause we all know that they're god cares so much about them posting on a blog, after all what else has he got to do...heal the sick? Feed the children?
          Although you will notice the poor little child has run off probably to her bedside to pray for our lost 'souls'.

          August 5, 2013 at 4:55 am |
        • sam stone

          amazing that people actually believe that stuff

          August 5, 2013 at 5:01 am |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          Yes, to live the grand delusion takes away from the need to actually be useful in this world.,

          August 5, 2013 at 5:50 am |
        • skytag

          @sam stone: "got to remember, folks like carrie speak for god"

          And he speaks to them.

          "they claim to look forward to eternity with that being from whom they have to be saved, but they are in no hurry to rush it. i think in the back of their twisted little minds, they know it's all hokum"

          I agree. After someone's died they say he's gone to a better place, but before that they do everything in their power to keep him here in this crappy place. Deep down I don't think they believe it either. Some do, but not most.

          Why spend $300K to keep your 90-year-old grandmother out of the better place an extra six weeks?

          August 5, 2013 at 8:38 am |
        • Vic

          Life is given, taken and sanctified by Almighty God. It is not the job of man to end this life to get to the next; that's God's! God also programmed us preserve life, it is a basic instinct, so we do, naturally.

          August 5, 2013 at 10:03 am |
        • Ken

          Vic
          That's a great argument for complete pacifism and an end to the death penalty. It can't be an opinion shared by the majority in the Red States.

          August 5, 2013 at 10:26 am |
        • Vic

          The Capital Punishment does not fall under the same concept and purpose. I am referring to suicide, assisted suicide, mercy killing, etc. for examples, and first and foremost, to be with the Lord by own (deluded) measure!

          August 5, 2013 at 11:26 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Vic, No the only preservation of life by christians is in the context mentioned – no rush to meet their saviour – and abortion; they are almost totally inactive in all the other areas where life could be saved – starvation, road safety, drug safety, gun safety, preventable disease, etc.

          August 5, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • Vic

          Jesus Christ laid His life to save everybody's.
          Jesus Christ founded Freedom and Individual Liberty.
          ...
          This list is endless!

          Christians founded all branches of Modern Science as well as the Scientific Method of Modern Science.

          76%+ of Americans are Christians and make up the majority of the workforce in all vocations.

          All President's of the United States have been Christians.

          All members of the US Congress have been predominantly Christians.

          Christian Churches have been constantly the forerunner in Faith Based Initiatives of which are feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless.

          ...
          And the list goes on and on and on...

          I don't know how much more active in preserving lives can anyone be!

          August 5, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • sam stone

          "Life is given, taken and sanctified by Almighty God."

          Saying it doesn't make it so, Vic

          August 5, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
        • sam stone

          "Jesus Christ laid His life to save everybody's."

          Gee, another unsupportable claim from Vic....the hits keep on coming

          Vic: Allowing someone else to take the punishment you feel you deserve is about the most immoral thing you can do. But you are not interested in morality, are you? You are more interested in sycophantry.

          August 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      God Bless America – Land of specious litigation.
      Good luck with pursuing legal action. Perhaps you've more time and money than common sense....
      If you're going to vociferously espouse contentious, and not altogether rational, hypotheses like Google glasses being tools of Satan, or if you seek to engender hate and fear of anyone defending secularism, then you're probably going to get some messages calling you a crackpot, some calling you delusional and others saying things less flattering (and more profane) than that.
      If you're unwilling to gracefully accept criticism of your religious/political agenda, you probably shouldn't be condemning this and that from your fiery pulpit.

      August 5, 2013 at 8:38 am |
      • Jesus the Christ

        Troll.

        August 5, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I'm a troll or she's a troll?
          Did you visit this woman's website? She's a conspiracy nut.
          She seriously is saying that Google glasses are tools of Satan's army and a sign of impending armageddon.

          August 5, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  9. Carrie Geren Scoggins

    I see all the antiChrisitanism, the anti Christian haters, the athiests, and a few who stil want to believe, but what I do not see out of all these posts is anyone that knows the Bible. This is not a public opinion debate, it is a "what does the book say," kind of debate, meaning there is no room at all for the Chrisitan haters with their Christian bashing, no roome for athiests that feel the need to get on this page to mock, harass, and stereotype those that do actually want to still believe. Those few that are here on this forum that do believe, the few left, all of you need to get to know the scriptures well, that is what you will be judged by, "by the light and knowledge you recieved according unto God, and how you have sough God," on those two things. You are given the Bible and that is what you will be judged by, know that book!

    August 5, 2013 at 2:32 am |
    • devin

      @ Carrie

      I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, there are perhaps a significant number of non theist posters on this forum who "know that book" equally or better than yourself. I don't say this to be critical, just factual.

      August 5, 2013 at 2:38 am |
      • Carrie Geren Scoggins

        Devin, those on this forum know little to nothing in any given religious debate, this is evident. I read some of your posts, and though you may think you "know" the scriptures, though you do not believe in them, I dare say that you are not Biblically literate. Just being "factual."

        August 5, 2013 at 2:42 am |
        • devin

          @ Carrie. I will assume you are a Christian, and as a result have no desire to banter with you. I was merely stating the fact that there are numerous intelligent individuals on these forums who have a very keen cognitive grasp on the biblical text. My apologies if offense was taken, it was not intended. Just curious though, how did you come up with the notion that I "don't believe the scripture"?

          On a side note: my first undergraduate degree major was in Philosophy/Religion with a minor in New Testament studies. Included in the curriculum were 4 semesters of koine Greek and 2 semesters of Biblical Hebrew. Obviously this does not qualify me as a biblical scholar by any stretch, but I dare say it makes me "Biblically literate."

          August 5, 2013 at 3:17 am |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          Carrie: What an assumption to make. Most of us posting were believers and it is stated that the quickest way to disbelief is to read the bible. You scream about being persecuted but yet you do the same thing. Maybe try stop the hypocrisy and listening with an open mind instead of acting like your favorite toy has been stolen.

          August 5, 2013 at 4:12 am |
    • midwest rail

      In other words, no room for the free exchange of ideas. Thanks, I'll pass.

      August 5, 2013 at 2:40 am |
      • Carrie Geren Scoggins

        Why would I want to argue, there is no need for the 'free exchange' of ideals, my opinions are in the Bible, so look it up online if you do not have one. Also, no I am not interested in your opinions. Evidently you think your Christian bashing isn't the cliche' over done, done-to-death idiocy we all heard through out our college years. No, I have heard it all, and do not need to hear any of it again from the likes of you. Your ugly posts was exaclty what I clearly stated was not welcome, and no your not welcome on my page. No arguing will be allowed, and no Christian bashing, so that leaves your kind out.

        August 5, 2013 at 2:57 am |
        • midwest rail

          Please demonstrate where in my post I did any Christian bashing.

          August 5, 2013 at 2:59 am |
        • sam stone

          carrie: "throughout" is one word

          August 5, 2013 at 3:49 am |
        • sam stone

          "your page"?

          you sure are a condescending gash, aren't you?

          August 5, 2013 at 3:51 am |
        • Hey There

          Carrie Geren Scoggins,
          "Your ugly posts was exaclty what I clearly stated was not welcome, and no your not welcome on my page."

          You went to college? Really? That school should lose its accreditation if they gave you passing grades.

          August 5, 2013 at 4:01 am |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          Carrie: This isn't your page and if you don't want debate then don't post on an open, anonymous belief blog. Stop the hypocrisy and arrogance...your belief is not the only one that matters.

          August 5, 2013 at 4:14 am |
        • Hey There

          TruthPrevails,

          I think she might be talking about her own 'world famous' Carrie Geren Scroggins Political Newsletter Blog, where she will censor anyone who disagrees with her - precisely what she paranoidly suspects is going on here; and it shows her total ignorance, hypocrisy, creepiness and nuttiness.

          August 5, 2013 at 5:04 am |
        • Hey There

          I hope that the Editor does not delete her posts (and all of ours) for being Off Topic (which I know they sort of are), because then she will never know that that's the reason and deleting will feed her persecution complex.

          August 5, 2013 at 5:12 am |
    • sam stone

      it is most certainly a public opinion debate. it is not about who knows the bible better. with some 40,000 + versions of christianity, can anyone seriously claim they know the real bible? this is about millenials and the church

      August 5, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • sam stone

      also, this is a PUBLIC forum, so anyone can post. so, unwad your panties and deal with it

      August 5, 2013 at 3:44 am |
      • Truth Prevails :-)

        Just one more christian feeling persecuted. Too bad she is acting like a disrespectful little girl. She claims she went to college yet given how she defends her imaginary friend, I'm guessing she never made it out of college. On the next page she has the audacity to threaten everyone speaking out against her with law enforcement...I'd love to be a fly on the wall when the police laugh her sorry persecuted ass out of the building. She truly needs to grow up and realize that this is the 21st century.

        August 5, 2013 at 4:18 am |
    • sam stone

      knowledge of the scriptures is what people are going to be judged by?

      is this a multiple choice test or essay?

      surely nothing to do with how they lived their lives. how loving and compassionate they were? how they helped their fellow man?

      fvcking scriptures?

      from a dead language?

      that have been fvcked with more than a streetwalker in san diego when the fleet is in?

      i believe that petty, indictive punks find comfort in a petty, vindictive punk god.

      carrie here is yet another data point supporting that hypothesis

      August 5, 2013 at 5:00 am |
      • Laurence Charles Ringo

        Wow,Sam Stone! What part of"loving and compassionate"was demonstrated by this vicious,hateful rant?? Are you kidding me?

        August 5, 2013 at 8:27 am |
        • Vic

          That demonstrates Carrie's rightful concerns!

          August 5, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • SKROTE Ummmmm

      I know the bible very well. Which is why I became an atheist.

      It is a work of fiction written by people that had unholy relations with sheep and children. This is factual, common knowledge.

      Jesus was a character made up to overthrow the polytheism of the ancient Hebrew belief system. This too, is a known fact.

      The ONLY mention of jesus outside of the bible are two written forgeries. This is a known fact.

      The only reason historians and scholars "agree" that jesus may have existed is that to say otherwise would get a bunch of believers all riled up and angry. The believers would show their true fundamentalist colors. But the fact of the matter is that jesus is a fictional character that did not exist.

      The bible has been proven time and again to be fiction with its many failed prophecies, inaccurate historical records and so forth.

      And what about miracles? It is a bit funny that miracles stopped happened when the camera was invented.

      The fact of the matter is that there is no god. FACT. Not fiction, not a hypothesis, and not a best guess. There is no god, no how, no way.

      If a god did exist, it is clearly evident that it most certainly is not the inept, moron war-god of the bible with multiple personality disorder. No sir, that ship has sailed. The bible through its own terribly-written admission proves that the gods that it claims to exist are not real. Yes, I said "gods," as the bible mentions multiple gods. Hades, Tartarus, Yahweh, El, jesus, and so forth. At the time the OT was written, Egyptian gods were real to the sheep-ramming ancient Torah authors. This is why their war-god threatened to punish the Egyptian gods.

      Funny, isn't it?

      Your own bible states clearly on more than one occasion that there are other gods. None of which actually exist.

      August 5, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • Vic

      Carrie,

      I am a born again Christian Protestant. I have been quoting the Bible on here all along. I understand where you are coming from. However, as Christians, we are saved by the Grace of God through Faith ALONE in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior. That's our Salvation, Free Gift. We are not judged by our works of the flesh, knowledge of the Bible, etc. We are judged on the basis of Faith/Belief. The purpose of the Scriptures is to know who God is and what Faith/Belief in Him is. Since the New Covenant/Testament and the Time Dispensation of Grace, Jesus Christ is our focus and not the shadow of Him.

      August 5, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  10. devin

    Any rational individual who observes both the grandeur of the universe and the complexity of life forms on this planet, and then concludes that the causal agent is not a being infinitely superior to ourselves, is at best naive and at worst ignorant. This is why 98% of the worlds population acknowledges a creator, while the other 2% frantically look for evidence to the contrary.

    August 5, 2013 at 1:17 am |
    • LinCA

      @devin

      Anyone who postulates a creator without the slightest bit of evidence for such a creature is delusional.

      You are free to believe you have an imaginary friend, but that belief is no more rational than the belief of a five year old in the Tooth Fairy.

      August 5, 2013 at 1:27 am |
      • devin

        I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and attribute your conclusions to naivete as opposed to ignorance.

        August 5, 2013 at 1:51 am |
        • LinCA

          @devin

          You said, "I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and attribute your conclusions to naivete"
          Thanks, but maybe it's time you start to doubt the bullshit you believe. Maybe it's time to start living in reality.

          You said, "as opposed to ignorance."
          Ignorance of what? If there is anything that could convince a sane person of the existence of your imaginary friend, do share it with me. I'm nothing if not eager to learn.

          It's past time for dimwits like yourself to put up or shut up. Produce some evidence for that monster you call your god. Without it, all you have is a figment of your imagination.

          So far, you have nothing but a bullshit story, written down by ignorant desert dwellers. A story that is so ridiculous that you have to be completely ignorant to put any weight on it.

          August 5, 2013 at 2:06 am |
        • devin

          @LinCA

          No need to get testy.

          Unfortunately our definitions of "evidence" are at odds. You seek something that is observable and quantifiable, I am comfortable with the notion that " faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Granted, I will never be able to produce evidence to your liking, but again, 98% of the worlds population would concur with me. The REALITY is, the universe SCREAMS there is an intelligent designer as the cause of its existence. You have simply chosen to deny it for your own reasons.

          August 5, 2013 at 2:31 am |
        • redzoa

          Naivete might include the presupposition, born of child-like teleological thinking, that causation by an "agent" is required; particularly in the absence of any supporting evidence and even more so when the the presupposition is accompanied by other leaps of logic, i.e. the agent shares our mortal motivations and character traits (e.g. jealousy, anger, compassion, loneliness), the agent acted primarily to secure our existence, etc . . .

          August 5, 2013 at 2:34 am |
        • redzoa

          " . . . 98% of the worlds population would concur with me. The REALITY is, the universe SCREAMS there is an intelligent designer as the cause of its existence. You have simply chosen to deny it for your own reasons."

          You've offered nothing here but an argumentum ad populum fallacy and apophenia. Tell me, why did the intelligent designer insert a dead gene for egg yolk production in your genome? Second thought, don't think too hard about it, but remember that your "God just did it that way" response can explain any and every observation and thereby, effectively explains nothing.

          August 5, 2013 at 2:38 am |
        • devin

          @redzoe

          "causation by an agent is required". "Required" is your word, not mine. Causation by an agent is more plausible and pragmatic even in spite of your narrow definition of "evidence".

          "the agent shares our character traits". No, actually we share the agents character traits, with the addition of the sinful complexion we place on them." Remember that little phrase " Imago Dei?

          "populam fallacy" This is a 2 way street. Would you also apply this fallacy to those who would use the consensus approach in refuting that small percentage of individuals who reject the idea that men have been to the moon?

          "dead egg yoke" If you amplify why you believe this has any relevance to the discussion I would be happy to answer.

          August 5, 2013 at 3:05 am |
        • LinCA

          @devin

          You said, "No need to get testy."
          Evidently, I do. The ignorance inherent in your posts is at the root of societal misery. Your ignorance, and that of those like you are what is holding this country back in science and education.

          Your ignorant beliefs is causing real harm to future generations. Your beliefs, and the religions based on them, are a cancer on our society. They should be eradicated.

          You said, "Unfortunately our definitions of "evidence" are at odds."
          Yup. that is part of the problem. You accept nonsense. I don't.

          You said, "You seek something that is observable and quantifiable, I am comfortable with the notion that " faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.""
          Like I said, you accept nonsense, but have the gall to call those that don't "naive" or "ignorant". All you have is an infantile belief, supported by nothing other than the ramblings from primitive people.

          You said, "Granted, I will never be able to produce evidence to your liking, but again, 98% of the worlds population would concur with me."
          No matter how many people you share your delusion with can make it any less nonsensical.

          You said, "The REALITY is, the universe SCREAMS there is an intelligent designer as the cause of its existence."
          No, it doesn't. Quite the opposite. If any earthly designer designed something so wasteful, he'd be out of a job in a heartbeat. The notion that 400 billion galaxies, with billions of stars each, in a space so vast that it boggles the mind, were created over a span of 13.72 billion years, just to provide a place for simple minds like yours, is outrageously moronic.

          You said, "You have simply chosen to deny it for your own reasons."
          No, I haven't. Anyone who has a basic understanding of science and what the universe looks like, realizes that a creator is highly unlikely at best.

          You are free to remain blissfully ignorant. Stupidity isn't illegal, though it would help if it were painful.

          August 5, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Athy

      Where did this "infinitely superior being" come from, devin? An even more superior superbeing? And don't give the usual preposterous shit that "he was always here." That's infinitely harder to believe than the belief that it all came about naturally, no "superior being" required.

      August 5, 2013 at 1:32 am |
      • devin

        The mere fact that you, or I, cannot wrap our minds around the concept of a self-existent being is irrelevant to it's possibility.

        August 5, 2013 at 1:55 am |
        • devin

          its

          August 5, 2013 at 1:57 am |
        • redzoa

          It's possible that there is an infinite and eternal being, but this argument by definitional fiat is simply special pleading to excuse your conclusion from the premise that all events require causal agency for their origins . . .

          August 5, 2013 at 2:40 am |
        • devin

          Redzoe

          Either you intentionally misstated my premise or simply do not understand it. I did not declare that " all events require a casual agent..." I spoke specifically to this particular event of the universe "screaming" for the necessity of a designer. Let's stay focused.

          August 5, 2013 at 3:29 am |
        • sam stone

          devin: if someone cannot wrap their minds around the concept of this infinite being, how are they to be taken seriously when they claim to know the nature of this being?

          August 5, 2013 at 4:05 am |
        • devin

          @ sam

          I'll preface this with the realization that you do not consider the biblical text valid, but we are given much information about the nature (character) of the creator in scripture, but virtually nothing as to his ability to be self – existent.

          August 5, 2013 at 4:18 am |
        • sam stone

          devin: fair enough. but, it was still written by man.

          August 5, 2013 at 4:28 am |
        • devin

          sam

          Partially true. Written by man but inspired ( theopneustos – God breathed ) by the creator. My angle.

          August 5, 2013 at 4:42 am |
        • sam stone

          devin: fair enough. i respect your view, although i do not believe as such. claims of divine inspiration are many. if those who wrote the bible can claim divine inspiration, why not anyone else. perhaps this post of mine is divinely inspired, or yours, or carrie geren trailertrash's?

          August 5, 2013 at 4:50 am |
        • devin

          Sam

          Divinely inspired? Carrie's ? That's a stretch. ( My apologies again Carrie, I couldn't resist).

          Just something to think about: This notion that there cannot possibly be one valid truth, given the fact that there are so many varying views on that particular matter, is erroneous . This applies to inspired texts as well as world views. Who determined that that the plurality of world views results in the dismissal of all?

          Time for bed. Have a good night/morning.

          August 5, 2013 at 5:03 am |
        • sam stone

          i think each one is equally valid, to that person

          sleep well

          August 5, 2013 at 5:09 am |
    • tallulah13

      Anyone who looks at the universe and believes it to be proof of a god is either terribly ignorant or terribly naive. It's very sad when someone with the means to know better clings to that ignorance.

      August 5, 2013 at 2:16 am |
      • devin

        98% of the worlds population either ignorant or naive for all these centuries. Interesting.

        August 5, 2013 at 2:33 am |
    • sam stone

      it is not only "something exists, therefore a creator", it is "something exists, therefore my god"

      it seems that the line is "the universe is huge and complex and intricate, therefore jesus died for your sins". it is a huge non- sequitor

      August 5, 2013 at 3:56 am |
      • devin

        You're more than aware it is not that simplistic for most christians. Why so disingenuous?

        August 5, 2013 at 4:25 am |
        • sam stone

          this is the argument i see. i am not attempting to be disingenuous

          August 5, 2013 at 5:15 am |
    • SKROTE Ummmmm

      None of us are frantically searching for some fake god that you stupidly and naively accept.

      Enough with your pseudo-intellectualism already. You aren't fooling anyone.

      God does not exist. No question about it. No doubts. No evidence of such a being exists and none never will. Your ilk have ensured this by making it clear that the imaginary friends you invented live outside of reality, thus making physical evidence a complete impossibility.

      Since there is no evidence, there is no reason to believe in any of the man-made moron myths.

      The bible is a known work of fiction. Into the trash it goes. The same goes for each and every religious text out there. You'll find that when you read them, they do not align with reality in the slightest. This is a known fact.

      Until I see evidence of a creator, I shall take it as fact that no such imaginary being exists.

      End of discussion.

      August 5, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • Doobs

      I don't look frantically for a creator. I have pictures of my parents that I can look at any time I want.

      August 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  11. James

    Millions of people worldwide have enriched their lives by rejecting fantasy. The notion that younger people should return to the chains which enslaved their ancestors is offensive to those of us that suffered to free ourselves. Thankfully, it is all slowly coming to an end as the proverbial scales fall off the eyes. Goodbye Christianity- hello love, acceptance, and freedom of thought.

    August 5, 2013 at 1:03 am |
  12. MarginalizeThis

    Without discipline, what defines you? Who will you be tomorrow?

    August 4, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • Athy

      Probably the same as I am today. Why would I be any different?

      August 4, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If you want discipline, enlist in the armed forces.

      August 5, 2013 at 8:43 am |
  13. Reality

    See comment pages 1 and 6 for a contemporary review of baptism, confession, confirmation, communion et. al. to counter Ms. Evans commentary.

    August 4, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
  14. I

    People need the church as much they need chlamydia, herpes or "crabs'.

    August 4, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Carrie Geren Scoggins

      The truth is that without the going by Biblical morals then people get Herpes, Crabs, all you listed.

      August 5, 2013 at 2:26 am |
  15. Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

    Well they're wrong about one thing. I did baptize myself. I'm Fluffy the Baptist. Or, like John was called, Fluffy the Dipper.

    August 4, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
  16. Open and Happy

    I support the pope because he is the real deal.

    I've been out for 19 years and this past week has been great because I can still go to church without feeling like a criminal for being open about who I am. My priest will have to apologize for calling me names and telling me that God is going to kill me with aids. It's hard being open in the church but now that the pope made these talks then we know the truth and the priest has to abide by it.

    I hope this pope is around a for around a long time. He is a good man and he is humble and he does not need riches.

    August 4, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Rocket surgeon

      How idiotic.
      You support a cult than discriminates against you.
      Passive aggressive much ?
      What popey says, and what they do are two different things. I bet you get no apology. One more delusion.

      August 4, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • Your garbage comment wasn't worth reading.

      Eh.

      August 4, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • I

      People need the church as much they need chlamydia, herpes or "crabs'.

      August 4, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Has Pope-A-Dope released all information about criminal pedophile priests and their protectors yet? What is he hiding? Until he releases everything, I can only conclude he was an abuser or a protector. Either way, he is just another mentally ill delusional lying charlatan.

      August 4, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • mk

      Don't delude yourself. The pope was stating a belief that the church has always had. "Everyone is welcome" has always been the case, but you are still a sinner if you practice your inborn tendencies to have relations with the same s-ex. There is no difference between this pope and others except that he's addressed the issue directly. He may say that he is unconcerned with your private liaisons, but if you continue to have them, you are, as always, a sinner in the eyes of the god. The only way for you to be acceptable to the church and it's god is to never engage in ho-mo-se-xu-al relations.

      August 5, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • mk

      Don't delude yourself. The pope was stating a belief that the church has always had. "Everyone is welcome" has always been the case, but you are still a sinner if you practice your inborn tendencies to have relations with the same gender. There is no difference between this pope and others except that he's addressed the issue directly. He may say that he is unconcerned with your private liaisons, but if you continue to have them, you are, as always, a sinner in the eyes of the god. The only way for you to be acceptable to the church and it's god is to never engage in same-gender relations.

      August 5, 2013 at 9:58 am |
  17. drturi

    SOS TO THE WORLD PREDICTIONS – Check this too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWc2zI-XcqY

    Meet Christian Cosmic Unconscious God Fearing Singles
    http://www.drturi.com/meet-christian-cosmic-unconscious-god-fearing-singles/

    August 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
  18. drturi

    Why Religions is the cancer of thw world – Check this article it will freak you out! http://www.drturi.com/meet-christian-cosmic-unconscious-god-fearing-singles/

    August 4, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • Stop spamming.

      That site looks like some bullshit some 15 year old kid set up on angelfire in the late 90's.

      August 4, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
      • drturi

        Please copy/paste pass this on – Thank you

        Dr. Turi

        President Obama’s Impeachment Prediction http://www.drturi.com/obama-impeachment-prediction/

        October 13, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
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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.