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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. skytag

    @Vic: "Change implies finiteness! The least of motion (e.g. expansion) is change, hence temporal, hence finiteness. That's a scientific basic."

    That's gibberish. Seriously. Using the word "hence" does not make what follows true, nor does ending it with an exclamation point. All you have here are some claims. No proof, on logical argument, nothing but unsupported claims.

    "Metaphysical, which is non-matter, that is not physical, hence unchanging"

    See above.

    "You are talking about different manifestations into matter that changes, hence temporal, hence finite but the source, God Himself, who is metaphysical, hence non-matter, is unchanging, hence non-temporal, hence infinite, hence Eternal."

    See above. Then take a course in logic.

    August 8, 2013 at 9:04 am |
  2. AE

    Some people in this world embrace behaviors that God condemns. By rejecting sin, we Christians put ourselves in conflict with this world and its sinful tendencies. Resisting sin demands that we Christians ask ourselves some hard questions, like:

    Am I, having chose to follow Jesus Christ, willing to live for God even if it requires me changing relationships?

    Am I, having chose to follow Jesus Christ, willing to live for God even if it mean that some people might belittle me, misunderstand me, or judge me?

    August 8, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • skytag

      Those aren't hard questions. Christens like to answer them in the affirmative because that makes them feel like martyrs for Jesus. The hard questions are the ones I've been asking and you've been dodging.

      August 8, 2013 at 8:41 am |
      • AE

        Some Christians honestly answer those questions negatively and see a need for change in their life.

        I believe Jesus Christ asks me to live differently. He wants 100% of me. No justification of sin is justified. Any rationalization to continue to sin is irrational. Jesus makes clear that all willful sin will put us at odds with ourselves.

        Hey, all your questions and logical theories: I'm familiar with them. They are available online at various websites. There are sources where you can read how to debate them.

        And I don't really care to hear about you preaching your idea of truth. It kind of reminds me of what some right-wing fundie Christians do. And I don't care to listen to them, either. A lot of internet atheists and right-wing fundie Christians have a lot in common in my opinion. And there are some great secular websites that address this issue. Perhaps you should search for some of them.

        August 8, 2013 at 8:51 am |
        • skytag

          "Some Christians honestly answer those questions negatively and see a need for change in their life."

          This doesn't change what I said. Remember, Christianity comes in a wide variety of flavors. Most people pick a flavor that doesn't require them to make what they'd consider hard choices. Those who pick flavors that require them to make sacrifices don't consider that a hard choice because they like the way it makes them feel about themselves.

          They like being martyrs for Jesus. They tell themselves being ridiculed confirms their beliefs (it doesn't). The more they "suffer" for their beliefs the more committed they become to their beliefs to compensate. The more they sacrifice the better they feel about themselves.

          August 8, 2013 at 9:12 am |
        • skytag

          "I believe Jesus Christ asks me to live differently. He wants 100% of me. No justification of sin is justified. Any rationalization to continue to sin is irrational. Jesus makes clear that all willful sin will put us at odds with ourselves."

          And off into the woods he goes. This is not the least bit germane to my comment or the issue we're discussing. As always you've wandered away from the topic by regurgitating standard Christian sound bites. I was aware of what you're saying long before those thoughts ever entered your mind.

          I said those aren't really hard questions. I didn't say they weren't questions, I said they weren't hard questions.

          August 8, 2013 at 9:16 am |
        • AE

          skytag

          But some people pick a flavor that challenges and exposes the truth about them. They find another Christian that is honest about himself, and they discuss how to be responsible for their actions.

          Some don't want to be a martyr for Jesus. They don't believe being ridiculed confirms their beliefs. They are no longer trying to just feel better about themselves, they are trying to carry out God's will.

          So, yes, some act like your preconceived notion of what a Christian is. And sometimes I live that way, too.

          But I'm trying not to.

          Anyway, there are many different flavors to atheism and secular humanism, too. What you are describing sounds more like a human phenomenon, not a strictly Christian phenomenon.

          August 8, 2013 at 9:25 am |
        • AE

          Those are 2 important questions that someone who follows Jesus Christ should probably ask.

          It was and is hard for me to answer them. For some people it may be easy. Yes, I already knew that.

          August 8, 2013 at 9:36 am |
        • AE

          " This is not the least bit germane to my comment or the issue we're discussing. "

          Do you realize you do the same thing?

          Instead of Christian sound bytes, you give atheist sound bytes. And everything you regurgitate I have heard before. Both on this board and in my studying of different belief systems.

          What you criticize me for, you seem to do the exact same thing.

          August 8, 2013 at 9:44 am |
        • skytag

          "Hey, all your questions and logical theories: I'm familiar with them."

          I don't care how familiar you are with them. I want to hear how you explain why inconsistencies they appear to expose in your beliefs are not inconsistencies.

          "They are available online at various websites."

          Coming from you I don't know whether to laugh or think how sad this makes you sound. Do you think this standard Christian fare you post incessantly isn't widely available online? Are you really clueless enough to believe this kind of stuff you post is original on your part? On the contrary, you haven't posted a unique thought about God, Jesus, Christ, or Christianity since you started posting here. Everything you say about your beliefs is such standard fare for Christians I've heard it so many times over the years it makes my eyes glaze over. Nothing about it is original, little known, or insightful.

          "There are sources where you can read how to debate them."

          Yet you refuse to discuss them.

          August 8, 2013 at 10:03 am |
        • AE

          "I want to hear how you explain why inconsistencies they appear to expose in your beliefs are not inconsistencies."

          You have inconsistencies in your beliefs, too. Every single human being I've met does.

          I admit there are inconsistencies in my beliefs.

          "Coming from you I don't know whether to laugh or think how sad this makes you sound."

          It would be easy for me to make comments like this about you, too.

          "Nothing about it is original, little known, or insightful."

          And the same for your atheist viewpoint. Nothing new.

          Try reading this:

          http://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/dec/26/peter-higgs-richard-dawkins-fundamentalism

          August 8, 2013 at 10:14 am |
        • skytag

          @AE: "Anyway, there are many different flavors to atheism"

          Not true. Atheism is the belief there is no god, nothing more. Hard to get flavors out of that. This is just another lame attempt to use the "you're no different" argument.

          Furthermore, even if it were true it's irrelevant to my point. You do that a lot. Is it a deliberate attempt at deflection or is your attention span so limited you can't stay on topic for more than one or two sentences before wandering off in some other direction?

          August 8, 2013 at 10:17 am |
        • AE

          "Not true. Atheism is the belief there is no god, nothing more. Hard to get flavors out of that. This is just another lame attempt to use the "you're no different" argument."

          By that same logic I could say Christianity is the belief that Jesus is God. Nothiing more.

          I believe there are different types of atheists.

          "Furthermore, even if it were true it's irrelevant to my point. You do that a lot. Is it a deliberate attempt at deflection or is your attention span so limited you can't stay on topic for more than one or two sentences before wandering off in some other direction?"

          I'm usually at work, so I try to post quickly. Sometimes I am discussing something with someone, and somebody else jumps in the middle of the thread and starts asking questions that are off topic.

          It is difficult to please everyone. Oh well. This is a message board I visit during down time at work, so my responses are distracted at time.

          I apologize if I have harmed you by not giving you the attention you feel you deserve. But, you should probably accept it and move on.

          August 8, 2013 at 10:29 am |
        • skytag

          @AE: "You have inconsistencies in your beliefs, too."

          First, you can't invalidate the logical consequences of inconsistencies in your beliefs by making claims about mine. That's deflection, and it makes you look weak.

          Second, feel free to point out inconsistencies in my beliefs, and be specific. I've done that for you, let's see if you can do the same.

          "Every single human being I've met does."

          If you are no different than every other person why bother with all those religions beliefs?

          "I admit there are inconsistencies in my beliefs."

          The truth does not lead to inconsistencies.

          "It would be easy for me to make comments like this about you, too."

          It appears to be easy for you to say anything you need to say to avoid dealing with reality. That said, nothing you can say about me defends anything related to you. You're a hypocrite and you know it.

          "And the same for your atheist viewpoint. Nothing new."

          You debate like a child, more evidence you're a simpleton. Your constant need to resort to tactics like this to avoid real discussion only makes it clear you're unwilling to deal with unpleasant realities. If this is the best your God can do for you he's a pretty poor excuse for a god. I've never seen a Christian dodge and deflect so much in my life. What a coward.

          August 8, 2013 at 10:50 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Yes atheists are different but it's hard to have different ways to not believe in a god; whereas there are several main categories of christian belief – Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, etc. each with a varying number of sects, especially Protestant. They vary quite a lot in what they actually believe, how they worship, even the Lord's Prayer. So you're comparing apples to oranges.

          August 8, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • AE

          It sounds like you are describing human beings. All groups of people, whether religious or political for instance, are comprised of varieties.

          August 8, 2013 at 11:02 am |
        • skytag

          @AE: "Try reading this:"

          I read it. So what? Higgs isn't a believer:

          "In the El Mundo interview, Higgs argued that although he was not a believer, he thought science and religion were not incompatible. "The growth of our understanding of the world through science weakens some of the motivation which makes people believers. But that's not the same thing as saying they're incompatible. It's just that I think some of the traditional reasons for belief, going back thousands of years, are rather undermined."

          He thinks science and religion are not incompatible. That's his opinion, not the result of any scientific study, research, or experiment.

          Like you, his argument is basically that science hasn't made it impossible to cling to a belief in God.

          Your comments about scientists reinforce my belief that you are not very bright and have no background in any field that requires critical thinking, including science. Scientists are experts in their area of science. Outside of that area and areas related to it they are no more authorities than anyone else. None of them have any more credibility in matters of the supernatural than anyone else.

          August 8, 2013 at 11:34 am |
        • AE

          One of his points was his is embarrassed by atheists that act exactly like fundie right-wing Christians.

          That was what I was pointing out. I know what he wrote and what you post are just opinions. Yes, I agree.

          August 8, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE, Oh I didn't realise that when you said "I believe there are different types of atheists.", you meant "I believe there are different types of people."

          August 8, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • AE

          @Santa

          Yes.

          I believe there are different types of people.

          For example, there are different types of atheists and different types of Christians.

          Not all atheists would consider choosing a monicker "In Santa We Trust", consistently seek out a belief blog and talk about God all day long.

          Most atheists I personally know don't.

          August 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • skytag

        "And I don't really care to hear about you preaching your idea of truth."

        Yet you think everyone else is interested in hearing you preach about your idea of truth. What an arrogant hypocrite.

        For the record, I don't recognize your version "truth" customized for Christianity. Truth is what we know to be true by observation, objective verifiable evidence, or the result of sound logical arguments. It's not anything you believe is true even though you have no objective evidence to support it.

        "Christians have a lot in common in my opinion. And there are some great secular websites that address this issue. Perhaps you should search for some of them."

        No one is fooled by your lame excuses for avoiding my questions.

        August 8, 2013 at 10:10 am |
        • AE

          "Yet you think everyone else is interested in hearing you preach about your idea of truth. What an arrogant hypocrite."

          I talk about what I believe. I strive to not preach to others what to do. Usually, if I preach, it is because someone asked me my opinion, so I let them know what I am thinking.

          "For the record, I don't recognize your version "truth" customized for Christianity."

          Yesterday you suggested I watch a Star Trek episode. And I will try to watch it.

          Did that Star Trek episode reveal a truth you think I should know about? I've noticed truth is sometimes revealed in different ways.

          "No one is fooled by your lame excuses for avoiding my questions."

          No one? You mean you. And possibly a couple other people?

          I can't please everyone. So I won't worry about a few people.

          August 8, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Sin doesn't exist.
      It's entirely made up.
      Sin is by definition is the defiance of God's will. A god that you haven't demonstrated even exists.
      And just how exactly do you kow the mind of God? How are you so certain you're doing what he wants you to do?
      By following what others have told you he wants? Why should you trust them?

      August 8, 2013 at 9:02 am |
      • AE

        –And just how exactly do you kow the mind of God?

        I don't. I seek it daily. I humbly ask him for direction. He directs me in His ways.

        –How are you so certain you're doing what he wants you to do?

        Instead of certainty, I seek humility.

        –By following what others have told you he wants?

        No.

        –Why should you trust them?

        Human power will always fail me. I put my trust and confidence in God, who has never failed me.

        August 8, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @AE
      What do you mean exactly by "changing relationships"?
      Are you implying that Christians need to be in relationships only with those who share their religion, like when Scientologists cut "suppressive" persons from their lives?

      August 8, 2013 at 10:00 am |
      • AE

        "What do you mean exactly by "changing relationships"?"

        I may need to change who I associate with. If I like to gamble but discover I have a problem that is harming my family, I may need to make some changes. It may be best for me to not hang around with my old gambling friends. A Christian who decides to follow Jesus may have to stop associating with people that encourage him/her to do harmful things.

        "Are you implying that Christians need to be in relationships only with those who share their religion, like when Scientologists cut "suppressive" persons from their lives?"

        No.

        August 8, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  3. Reality

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah/Argentine white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

    August 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    August 8, 2013 at 7:47 am |
  4. Steve Finnell

    INCLUSIVE SALVATION

    Who are those who are included in salvation? All men who believe and obey what the apostle Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost are saved. It does not make any difference what denominational name is written on the church building where you worship, if you obey the gospel preached by Peter, then, you are saved, you are a member of the Lord's church, you are part of the church of Christ, you a member of the body of Christ, you are a Christian.

    What did Peter preach?
    1. Peter preached that Jesus was a miracle worker. (Acts 2:22)
    2. Peter preached that Jesus was resurrected from the dead by God the Father.(Acts 2:24-35)
    3. Peter preached that Jesus was both Lord and Christ.(Acts 2:36)
    When the three thousand believe Peter, they asked "What shall we do?"(Acts 2:37)
    4. Peter told them to repent and be baptized in order to have their sins forgiven.(Acts 2:38)

    This is the same message Jesus preached. (Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved....)

    THE TERMS FOR PARDON ARE: Faith-John 3:16, Repentance-Acts 2:38, Confession-Romans 10:9-10, Baptism (immersion in water) 1 Peter 3:21

    All who meet the terms for pardon are saved regardless of the denominational name on the church building.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search>>>>steve finnell a christian view

    August 8, 2013 at 5:53 am |
    • sam stone

      interesting that you desire eternity with a being from whom you have to be saved

      August 8, 2013 at 6:01 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        What makes you think being saved equals being saved from God sam?

        August 8, 2013 at 9:36 am |
      • Studerbaker Hoch

        @sam stone.. "interesting that you desire eternity with a being from whom you have to be saved"

        and fear....

        August 8, 2013 at 10:00 am |
  5. lol??

    August 7, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    lol??
    C'mon nickster, yer the smart one. Don't be such a chick en. Girly men can't lead without a mob in back.

    Hemingway had no problem with death. What's different with that passage of scripture??

    August 8, 2013 at 4:08 am |
  6. lol??

    August 7, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    It's like this niknak. Scientific facts are always subject to revision. It's the nature of the toy. Using a toy to attack the all powerful is childish...

    August 8, 2013 at 4:05 am |
  7. lol??

    niknak
    Is that even English?

    I have no take on passages from the bible.
    They are purposely written so as to be interpreted in any way the reader wants.

    August 7, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    lol??
    C'mon nickster, yer the smart one. Don't be such a chick en. Girly men can't lead without a mob in back.

    August 7, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    niknak
    I don't know if you have been keeping score, but I seem to be all by myself on this one.

    August 8, 2013 at 4:00 am |
  8. lol??

    ol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    niknack paddywacks and bones:"a small trivial article usually intended for ornament.of temples of doom"

    This old man came trolling home

    August 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    niknak
    You think what I have recently written is trolling?
    I guess it could be seen that way.
    Difference is most trolls just post and run, whereas I stay and play along.
    Really, I am just trying to liven things up around this joint.
    It is as lively as a bible study class right now.

    August 7, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    lol??
    OK, so what's yer take on this off the charts statement??

    "Rev 9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them."

    August 8, 2013 at 3:58 am |
  9. hack in the box

    "And for the record, given that Joseph Smith was 14 years old, unmarried, and living with his parents at the time he claimed to have his first vision I think your cynical explanation sounds rather stupid. I don't suffer fools gladly, and I consider ignorant cynics to be fools. Quit while you're behind"

    Mormonism is very easy to cut apart. Sit through one of their Fast and Testimony meetings and listen to these 'heart felt' personal stories and then compare that to how they actually are in everyday life. Contrast will be an inadequate description. I love it when people tell me how they will pray for me – it lets me know right from the start they aren't playing by any rules and I can handle them accordingly. You obviously are fooled by their masks.

    August 8, 2013 at 3:36 am |
  10. Anon

    Millennials are leaving religion because they're starting to notice it's a complete scam.
    Jesus is as mythical as Hercules and Christianity is a farce that has retarded humanity.

    August 8, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • Hey There

      Yep, they've seen and read lots of sci-fi, fan-fic and horror spectaculars and can see how these stories are conjured up - now or 2,000 – 5,000 years ago...

      August 8, 2013 at 1:10 am |
  11. AE

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

    I was surprised at my church, there was quite a bit of discussion. Not just preaching. There are some great churches that are not afraid to address all issues. "Wrestle with this story" is a great description of this process.

    August 7, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • Freddy

      Oh, I still think your church is afraid to tackle at least some of the big questions. Honestly addressing all the big questions very often leads to atheism, after all.

      August 8, 2013 at 1:15 am |
      • AE

        No, they are not.

        August 8, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • sam stone

      do they address the supposed need for salvation?

      August 8, 2013 at 5:42 am |
      • AE

        Of course. We are flawed, imperfect beings. And flawed, imperfect beings can't fix flawed, imperfect beings.

        Or, broken can't fix broken.

        August 8, 2013 at 8:21 am |
        • Studerbaker Hoch

          Doctors do a pretty good job.

          August 8, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • WASP

      @AE: ""The church, at its best, provides a safe place"

      for what? ridicule? bigotry? shunning?

      try talking to your church that you're gay, etc etc etc see how safe you feel in your church then?

      August 8, 2013 at 7:28 am |
      • AE

        H.mos@xuals are welcome at my church.

        August 8, 2013 at 8:18 am |
      • AE

        H,mos@xuals serve at my church. One congregation close to me has a lesbian pastor. You really might be surprised at what we openly discuss and share.

        August 8, 2013 at 8:29 am |
      • skytag

        You're only setting yourself up to look foolish and ignorant when you engage in those kinds of attacks. There are so many flavors of Christianity you have no idea what a Christian believes until you ask him, and there a plenty of good churches that don't encourage bigotry or hatred.

        August 8, 2013 at 8:45 am |
        • AE

          I know there are different types of denominations and different beliefs among Christians.

          But WASP said "try talking to your church that you're gay, etc etc etc see how safe you feel in your church then?"

          People that are gay, etc etc etc are welcome at my church. They serve and hold leadership roles.

          My church admits we have earned our bad reputation with gays, and we are trying to correct a wrong.

          August 8, 2013 at 8:57 am |
  12. niknak

    Where are you Christians?
    Atheists are all over your weak board, dissing your god and The boy, and not a peep out of any of you.
    Come on, at least give us a bible quote or condemn us to eternal torture in the fiery pit.

    Had this been a muslim site, they would be rioting on the streets. Shooting their AK47s and whipping themselves with chains had allah and the prophet been dissed like this.
    They would put a phat fatwa on me like they did Salmon Rushdie and never rest until I was killed.

    But you xtians, what do we get out of you?

    Nothing but crickets.

    See, the muslims will defeat Christianity in the end because you xtians just don't have the fire in the belly.

    August 7, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • skytag

      "See, the muslims will defeat Christianity in the end because you xtians just don't have the fire in the belly."

      ROFL

      Christianity isn't a religion as much it's a religious smorgasbord, ideal for the church-shopping crowd, people who want all the benefits of the core narrative but want to be able to pick and choose how and to what extent they have to incorporate it into their daily lives. Some Christians are part of no denomination whatsoever, while others embrace variants requiring considerable sacrifice, such as the Amish. This ability to pick and choose is a major reason Christianity is so popular, this and the fact that it offers so much while asking so little.

      August 7, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
      • niknak

        I guess I never thought of it in that light.

        My take was that the various sects got that way because the various scammers wanted their piece of the financial and power pie and started their own.

        Some of them are dying, like the Shakers (I read there are only 3 left), and some are getting bigger like the Mormons.
        I am sure more will come, as science keeps walking over the lines in the sand they all draw.

        But I think you are right in terms of the followers. They now get to pick what appeals to them, like going to a restaurant and choosing from a menu.
        And it will also satisfy their family and friends/co-workers so they won't be ostracized, and to feel part of the "team."

        August 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
        • skytag

          "My take was that the various sects got that way because the various scammers wanted their piece of the financial and power pie and started their own."

          I think this is cynical hogwash. Sure, there are some corrupt people out there running churches, but overwhelmingly the people running churches are sincere. There's so much variation because there's no god guiding them. Without a god guiding them it's just different groups of people using their imaginations to come up with their idea of what God wants. It's not much different than trying to plan Santa's favorite menu.

          So you have a bunch of people in a religion who think there's something about their religion that isn't what God wants. Either they can get the folks in charge of doctrine to change it, or they break off and start their own church. They may think their old church had too much ritual, too little ritual, was too tolerant of sin, too judgmental, interpreted the Bible too literally or not literally enough, and so on. Or they'll get fixated on some passage and decide a true Christian handles snakes, speaks in tongues, shuns worldly possessions, avoids alcohol, or some such thing.

          "They now get to pick what appeals to them, like going to a restaurant and choosing from a menu."

          Yep. Truth be told, if someone tells you he's a Christian you really don't know what he believes.

          August 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
        • niknak

          You are saying John Smith was sincere in coming up with that bull about the angel Morroni and his starting Mormonism?
          The only thing he was sincere about was getting out of debt and getting his wife to go along with him shagging her young cousin.

          There are only two types of religious people in my book.

          The ones who profess their belief because they are gaining something from it, in which case they are charlatans.
          Or the ones who actually believe in it, in which case they are fools.

          Maybe I am an a hole for that view, but that is how I boil it down from having to work with believers for the past 20 years.

          August 7, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Supernatural belief doesn't necessarily imply foolishness. Some great minds have been theists.

          August 7, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
        • niknak

          Maybe Dave, if you are talking about guys from the turn of the century or before.
          Men like Newton (a certified genius), or Jefferson.
          But that was because they lived in a time before we had the knowledge we have now.
          I doubt you could name me one great theist who would not be an atheist is he or her were alive now.

          The vast majority of scientists today are atheists. Like 97% of them are, that I saw in a recent poll.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Francis Collins is an evangelical Christian. There's few people as significant as him in biology today. Kurt Godel was a non-specific theist, Tolkein was a devout Catholic.

          And from my own experience, while the atheists I know are generally smarter than the theists, I know some very intelligent theists. I went to college with a Catholic guy who was an absolute genius with an IQ of 150 or thereabouts (although I believe he was borderline autistic).

          August 7, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
        • niknak

          That is certainly true, that even today we have some great minds who may still believe in god(s).
          But they have the burden of proof just like the dumb believers.
          They can say there is a god all they want, but without any evidence to back it up, it is meaningless.
          To me anyway.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I agree, but one irrational belief doesn't necessarily make somebody dumb.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
        • niknak

          I am too tired to look over everything I wrote recently, but I don't remember saying anyone who was a believer was dumb.
          Calling people names is something I usually try to avoid, both here and on political boards.
          Someone can be as smart as a whip, but just because they believe does not make is true, just because they are smarter then the average. I know you know this too.

          Like I have said many times here, I could care less if someone wants to believe in god(s), I am just tired of having to foot the bill for their house of worship NOT paying taxes, and I am tired of being the believers trying to make this a theocracy.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          "The ones who profess their belief because they are gaining something from it, in which case they are charlatans.
          Or the ones who actually believe in it, in which case they are fools."

          The second line implies that you see genuine religious people as fools.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
        • skytag

          @niknak: "The only thing he was sincere about was getting out of debt and getting his wife to go along with him shagging her young cousin."

          I never met Joseph Smith, but all the Mormons I have met have been good, sincere folks.

          And for the record, given that Joseph Smith was 14 years old, unmarried, and living with his parents at the time he claimed to have his first vision I think your cynical explanation sounds rather stupid. I don't suffer fools gladly, and I consider ignorant cynics to be fools. Quit while you're behind.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
        • Freddy

          I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that
          "Supernatural belief doesn't necessarily imply foolishness. Some great minds have been theists."

          Maybe some did before science really began to reveal the true causes of things in nature, but the number of great theistic minds has been steadily declining ever since.

          August 8, 2013 at 1:24 am |
        • hack in the box

          skytag,

          What are you? One second you cut posters down for believing – and next you are calling people out for calling religion exactly what it is...a lie.

          August 8, 2013 at 3:15 am |
      • Mark Plosser

        Wow – I must say that one hit me where it hurt. Great observation

        August 7, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      If you're that desperate for confrontation, compete in the Golden Gloves. Why so much negativity? Christians are just normal people. Some are ass-holes but so are some atheists, Jews, Muslims, etc. Most are fairly harmless.

      August 7, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
      • niknak

        Anyone who believes in imagery creatures is NOT normal.

        It is cute when a young child still believes in Santa Claus, but it is creepy when an adult does......

        August 7, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          In the US, theistic belief is very normal, as in it conforms to the norm. It's atheism that's abnormal in this neck of the woods.

          August 7, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
        • niknak

          I don't doubt it.
          And if this was 100 years ago, an atheist might be swinging from a tree for just being one.

          Your neck of the woods is where I don't go. I stay firmly in the cities for that reason, and a few others.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I meant the entire country by 'this neck of the woods'. I doubt there's anywhere in the country in which atheists aren't vastly in the minority.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
        • niknak

          Openly ones like me, yes.
          But I feel many who profess belief do so out of not wanting to go thru the hassle of being confronted by family and friends.
          Every poll shows the number atheists growing in all non muslim countries around the world.
          Here it is a slower growth, but within our lifetimes, atheists in this country will be a large percentage.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Yes, I imagine there are a large number of religious adherents who do so out of convenience.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
        • niknak

          Wanna know something funny Dave?
          I actually get more grief from people being a vegan then I get from being an atheist.
          I try to hide it as much as I can when meeting new people, especially at work.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          You're a vegan? I'm severely prejudiced against all your kind, be it vegan, vegetarian or pescetarian. I've got greater respect for goat molesters.

          Seriously though, they say people fear what they don't understand and I don't understand not eating meat. I'm highly susp.icious of anybody who doesn't enjoy a thick ribeye steak (horse-radish optional).

          Also, I don't think I've ever gotten grief over my atheism.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
        • niknak

          Going on 8 years this fall. One of the best decision I have every made.
          But I don't talk about it to avoid just the faux reaction you had.
          I had one guy tell me I was Un-American and people like me were hurting the economy.
          Another guy wanted to fight me.
          I have never had anything like that from believers about my non belief. They usually just say how sorry they are for me and how they will pray for me to see the light.

          Anyway, been fun chatting.
          Have a good nite all.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
        • sam stone

          dave: been a vegetarian for 34 years, primarily vegan now. i had a person tell me that if we did not eat the cows, they would overrun us. and he was being serious

          August 8, 2013 at 5:52 am |
        • skytag

          Actually, believing in God is pretty normal. Christians, Muslims, and Hindus alone account for more than half the world's population.

          August 8, 2013 at 8:48 am |
        • fintastic

          Hey Sam, I've also been a vegetarian for many years.... I mentioned it to someone at work recently and their reply was "what do you mean? god says in the bible we're supposed to eat meat!"

          August 8, 2013 at 10:10 am |
        • skytag

          @fintastic: "Hey Sam, I've also been a vegetarian for many years.... I mentioned it to someone at work recently and their reply was "what do you mean? god says in the bible we're supposed to eat meat!" "

          Well then, don't just sit there, go kill something and eat it.

          August 8, 2013 at 10:31 am |
        • fintastic

          I'll have my slaves to gather two animals, one for the table and one for a sacrifice to god.

          August 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Colin

      maybe the Christians are actually doing something??? not just drunkinly posting about it and bragging about how awesome they are? if you think this website is some kind of microcosm of reality, you need to put yer' beer down & turn off yer' computer and take a break.

      August 7, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
      • niknak

        First of all, I am not drunk, Colon.
        Secondly, I am doing something.
        Cooking dinner, listening to tunes and posting here when I have a free minute.

        And I am rather enjoying poking a wee bit of fun at the believers.
        If they didn't have such tight booties, they would poke some fun back.

        Unlike you, who did not poke fun back, or give me a babble quote.

        August 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
      • Dippy

        It's your, not yer'. And why the fuck do you put an apostrophe after it? Go back to school and stay awake this time.

        August 8, 2013 at 12:26 am |
    • ttwp

      Jesus said to love our enemies and to bless them and not curse them.

      August 7, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Why would somebody genuinely love or want to love their enemy? OT Yahweh smote his enemies.

        August 7, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
      • niknak

        I am not your enemy TP.

        science and reason and logic are.

        That is why the muslims try as hard as they can to keep their citizens away from education and from technology from the West.

        August 7, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
      • Freddy

        But Jesus will destroy his enemies come Judgment Day ... which has been coming very soon for thousands of years now.

        Any day now ...

        August 8, 2013 at 1:35 am |
      • sam stone

        how can you be sure what jesus said?

        translated, edited iron age hearsay, and you can claim knowledge?

        August 8, 2013 at 5:47 am |
  13. niknak

    In addition to being able to have multiple wives both now and later, being able to wear pajamas in public, and getting most of their wealth by not really working, the muslims also have that "Allah willing" after every sentence.

    Why don't you xtians have something similar?

    I think it is discrimination.

    What you need to do is tell your congressperson to draft a bill to make it law that we all have to say some phrase like that too. (and if the bill fails you can all scream Christian bashing! so it is kinda a win either way)

    Must be galling to see those muslims living it up, subjugating woman, mandatory prayer 5 times a day, blasphemy laws (so you can hunt down and stone to death people like me), carrying high powered as sault weapons around (oh wait, we have that too now), public beheadings.

    Man, those muslims get to have all the fun.

    I think you picked the wrong corporation to buy stock in.

    August 7, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • skytag

      Don't give them any ideas. Earlier this year two Republicans in North Carolina proposed a bill invalidating the 1st Amendment separation of church and state, and making Christianity the official religion of NC. There are six or seven state constitutions that prohibit atheists from holding office, though the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled they're unconstitutional and can't be enforced.

      August 7, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
      • niknak

        I know bro, it's lunacy.

        I always think of Mark Twain's book A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court when I see what the fundies are trying to do to this nation.

        Seems the more we learn and grow both socially and technically, the more the fundies regress towards the stone age.

        August 7, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
      • sam stone

        skytag: are you a belly flyer? free flyer?

        August 7, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
        • skytag

          Mostly belly, but I jumped solo a lot, so occasionally i'd go head-down, or more often to feet-down to feel the air coming up at me at 175mph or so. Good times.

          August 7, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
        • sam stone

          on my last one (so far), i held a cannonball out of a grand caravan from 13,500 to 6, where I punched out and watched the industrial haze until i dumped at 3,500

          August 8, 2013 at 6:00 am |
      • Sam Yaza

        two Republicans in North Carolina proposed a bill invalidating the 1st Amendment separation of church and state

        can you give me source on that

        August 7, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/04/07/north-carolina-religion-bill-killed-but-one-third-of-americans-want-christianity-as-official-religion-of-usa/

          August 7, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
        • Mary

          It happened in early April, I think. Belief Blog did a story on it.

          August 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
        • skytag

          @I'm sorry Dave: Thanks for the link. This is all you need to know to understand why atheists are so vocal in their opposition to Christianity:

          "According to the survey, 34 percent of Americans would favor making Christianity their official state religion while less than half (47 percent) oppose the concept. Thirty-two percent of those polled indicated that they would also favor a constitutional amendment that would make Christianity the official religion of the United States with just over half (52 percent) opposing the notion."

          August 7, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Yeah, but the majority are still opposed. Also, I'm not particularly opposed to Christianity.

          August 7, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
        • skytag

          All religions make people stupid by teaching them to trust feelings more than facts, education and reason, so I'm opposed to all of them.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Define opposed though. I'm not really a fan of any religion, apart from maybe the Church of the SubGenius, but I wouldn't describe myself as being opposed to them. Live and let live I say.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
        • skytag

          @I'm sorry Dave: "Live and let live I say."

          The problem with this is that I don't think it's possible with most religions. They may even say this themselves, but sooner or later they'll decide their beliefs need to be imposed on everyone because God's not happy with the status quo. They'll want stores to close on the (Christian) Sabbath, ban abortions, ban gay marriage or restrict the building of mosques. They'll want to ban people in certain religions or atheists from holding public office.

          Sooner or later "live and let live" will give way to "we need to please God." Never mind that no one seems to be able to agree on what does and doesn't please him.

          August 8, 2013 at 12:05 am |
        • Ernest T Bass

          A state can invalidate a federal law??

          August 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
      • Sam Yaza

        never mind found it

        August 7, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
  14. tony

    I don't know who is the dumbest. The author, or CNN paying her.

    August 7, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • tony

      you are

      August 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • tony

      I've got a would-be echo.

      Any facts to back up your otherwise only name-calling post?

      August 7, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
      • tony

        your own posts do a good enough job of making you look stupid. There's the backup you asked for, dummy.

        August 7, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
        • tony

          make love elsewhere

          August 7, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
        • Johnny

          actually the only reason anyone would think the real tony is dumb is that they read the fake tony's posts

          August 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  15. niknak

    While on my second beer and listening to some new tunes my bro hooked me up with, I thought of what would be the most watched reality TV show ever.

    Called Final Judgement.

    We get god to let us set it up like a courtroom.

    God is in the judge seat, and Mary is the stenographer.

    Poor recently dead guy comes in, flanked by some angel who is going to plead his case in front of god.
    Of course there is the prosecuting angel who will present the negative about the poor slob.

    Then the show starts and the prosecution shows all the bad, followed by the defense angel.
    We the audience get to see everything, as this is TV and god has the records so it should be simple to convert them to digital.

    Then after final statements and all, god renders his verdict, kinda like the Roman emperor did at the gladiator fights.
    But instead of a thumbs up or down, god opens heaven if the guy gets in, or smites him with a thunderbolt if he is deemed unworthy.

    Maybe we could get a vote, that god would take under advisement.

    Now THAT would shatter the ratings, maybe even outperform Monday Nite Football.

    August 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • niknak

      It is just a rough outline, and I am not really a creative sort, so feel free to spruce it up a bit to make it more compatible with selling commercial and beer and cars and such.

      August 7, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Put the bottle down, you're sounding like a drunkard rambling.

      August 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
      • Truth Prevails :-))

        I'm sorry niknak that was not the real 'me'...our name imposter is back.

        August 7, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          Hey, that is the imposter! Austin you delusional jerk

          August 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
        • niknak

          I do some of my best rambling while drunk, so how 'bout one more!

          August 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
      • crickets

        (chirp chirp)

        August 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
  16. Science

    Pfft, this article shouldn't be "Why millennials need the church". It should be "The curious reason I didn't go to church previously when I crazily love religion". The whole article just seems to contain the author's thoughts that religion solves everything. This article isn't an explanatory essay, its just a proclamation of belief.

    August 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • niknak

      She is just trying to keep herself relevant for her next book to help it sell.
      Nothing sells like se x, violence and religion.

      August 7, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
  17. Austin

    Truth Prevails 🙂
    Where has Austin disappeared to?

    well since the IP blocker is biased and runs a hypocritical operation for editing, where do you think I have been? I can't comment from my home computer.

    why would I want to put my time into something like that when anvil, sam stone and all of you call names all day long but if i say something about REZA we have a problem immediately.

    what a blasted crock.

    August 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Rebel Belle

      Are you sure that it's not your email address? Sometimes they don't work, and the post goes into the Spam folder, sugar. This was explained to me by an editor on another of CNN's blogs.
      And I do believe that I've seen some of your posts concerning Reza Aslan, and if I'm not mistaken, threatening hell fire because someone believes differently than you may be a violation of the TOS, which can lead to you being blocked, as Mr. Burke explained some time back, bless his heart.
      Btw, I haven't seen Anvil lately, nor some of the others here; maybe they have fallen victim to the same boogieman, hmmmm....?

      August 7, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Rebel Belle

      And I don't suppose you calling every poster who has ever engaged you a "deviant" might have something to do with that, either, hmmm.....? But that's all right if you do it in the name of Jesus, right, sugar?

      August 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      Awww. Austin......having a wee bit of a hissy fit?

      If you want to come on a open blog, don't get your panties all wadded up when someone calls you delusional

      You are coward.

      You want to accept Jesus supposed sacrifice so you can avoid the punishment that you feel you deserve.

      Come back when you grow a set

      August 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Okay..you're so hated, I get it...poor Austin thinking CNN has it out for him. This claim is almost as funny as your dead cat claims. It's the humor you provide us daily that is missed. Did you by chance contact JREF yet?

      August 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
      • Mark

        Oh, yeah, the Squishkitty Chronicles. "Spiritual Revelation".

        August 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
        • sam stone

          Squishkitty Chronicles? I like it

          August 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
      • Oprah

        Do whatever you gotta do to feel better about yourself, girlfriend. If making fun of others is your thang, go do it!

        August 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          New to this blog or perhaps you're Austin's sister? Austin gets what he dishes out.

          August 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
  18. skytag

    @AE: "And when you write stuff to me, you come of as if you think you are better and smarter than me."

    Is it pride that makes you defensive when it's pointed out to you that your comments are those of someone who isn't very intelligent? Do you believe no one is more intelligent than you are? If you're the smartest guy on the planet I suggest you stop holding back and treat us to some of your intellectual power.

    August 7, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • AE

      Are you having problems using the reply function? Or do you mean to pull quotes from me to you and to other people and start new threads?

      -–

      + Is it pride that makes you defensive when it's pointed out to you that your comments are those of someone who isn't very intelligent?

      Yes. But also if someone makes a false assumption about me I will disagree.

      + Do you believe no one is more intelligent than you are?

      No.

      But nobody knows me better than me. Most of what you say is your as.sumptions and guesses about me. And many of them just aren't right.

      That is why I usually don't read what you write, because you arrogantly try to tell me about myself.

      Instead of telling me about you and why you believe, you insist on telling me about me and why I believe.

      August 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
      • midwest rail

        " nstead of telling me about you and why you believe, "
        Nonsense. Just yesterday, when skytag took the time to do exactly what you proclaim he never does, you dismissively posted "TLDR" and added later you weren't interested in his philosophy.
        Which is it ?

        August 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
        • AE

          That rant was long.

          Even an atheist posted and admitted it was a bit too much.

          Also, before that skytag hurled demeaning insults at me and told me he had no respect for me. Why should I listen to what that man says?

          I don't want to read what a man who can't control his anger, lashes out on me and offers no apologies has to say. I avoid jerks like that in real life.

          I'm trying to offer forgiveness and talk with him about God and what I believe. But it is hard because instead of telling me about him he just tells me about me. Get it?

          August 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Long ? It took 30 seconds to read the whole post. It did exactly what you say he never does, explain HIS beliefs, and you dismissed it because you couldn't take 30 seconds to read it – but he's the problem ?? Nonsense.

          August 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
        • Rap with a capital C

          another christian victim

          August 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
        • AE

          I just glanced at it there is a whole lot of "you statements" and not a lot of "I statements".

          And what he imagines Christians believe.

          I try not to imagine what atheists believe and dictate that to others.

          Or try to tell what other people think.

          I try to share my experiences.

          August 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "That rant"

          It isn't very Christian of you to disparage my comment by calling it a rant, especially since you claim you didn't read it. If you didn't read it how can you justify calling it a rant?

          "was long."

          Not that long, your attention span is just too short.

          It was a well-reasoned, rational discussion of a topic you just didn't want to deal with it.

          August 7, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
        • skytag

          @midwest rail: "Long ? It took 30 seconds to read the whole post."

          Reading over his many comments I'd say that exceeds his attention span by about 28 seconds.

          August 7, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "Also, before that skytag hurled demeaning insults at me and told me he had no respect for me. Why should I listen to what that man says?"

          You've never paid any attention to anything I say, never answered one question I've put to you, never identified any logical flaws in my arguments. But to answer your question, the Bible exhorts followers of Christ to be patient, kind, and long-suffering.

          Truth is you don't treat any of us with respect. You're polite and don't call people names, but it's rude to post TD;DR under someone's comment. It's rude to refuse to answer sincere questions. It's rude to respond to sincere comments that took time to compose with some non sequitur one-line platitude. Your behavior here, while very civil in tone, has actually be rather condescending and rude.

          August 7, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "I just glanced at it there is a whole lot of "you statements" and not a lot of "I statements".

          More whining, more excuse-making.

          "And what he imagines Christians believe."

          More BS. I was a Christian for four decades, longer than you from the sound of it. I've most likely spent more time reading the Bible, attending church, teaching Sunday School, helping people, and discussing religious topics as a Christian than you have. I don't have to imagine what Christians believe, and for you to ignore my years of experience and study as a Christian to make this kind of comment just shows what a fraud you are.

          Maybe the problem here is that you don't know what Christians believe.

          August 7, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
        • AE

          skytag

          I'm sorry I typed "TLDR" and referred to your post as a "rant".

          Understand I am at work many times when I am posting. I sometimes get many people posting at me. I try to quickly answer the best I can.

          I feel no obligation to answer all your questions, especially when you make it clear you won't respect me.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        AE, You are consistently asked what and why you believe. You post that you believe in a god and when you get the obvious questions about the discrepancies in Genesis vs what science tells us, you respond with sidestepping platitudes.

        August 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • AE

          Yes. And you keep asking me for proof.

          And I say I had to start seeking humility. Because my pride, ego, selfishness, jealousies, etc. blocked the spiritual evidence of God in my life.

          August 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Yes, and as others have pointed out, what is in your imagination is not evidence which you have often claimed to have and when asked for it you outline your ever so 'umble path to belief which could as easily apply to astrology.

          August 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          I came to the conclusion long ago that AE simply doesn't care about evidence. I suspect this is a loner kid...don't drink, don't smoke, never kissed a girl type, who went off to college, was a social outcast and found comfort and acceptance within a religious group...they embraced him, made him feel less awkward and fed him a line of crap...hook, line and Sink AE. I can't comprehend how one goes from apparent Atheist to Christian.

          August 7, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
        • skytag

          @Truth Prevails :-): "I came to the conclusion long ago that AE simply doesn't care about evidence."

          His comments consistently reveal a very simple mind. Short attention span, poor logic skills, never attempts to address a question he can't answer with some canned Christian response or a one-liner. I don't think I've ever seen him post a whole paragraph that sounded like his own thoughts. Anything longer than a couple of sentences always sounds like standard Christian dogma.

          "I can't comprehend how one goes from apparent Atheist to Christian."

          I can see it. You take an atheist who isn't doing well in life, get some Christians to take an interest in him, make him feel better about himself, and then because he feels good around them and they seem like nice folks he starts to wonder if there might not be something to this religion thing. Wanting what they appear to have he starts reading the Bible and doing other things that immerse him in the Christian life experience, and given enough time, the brainwashing starts to take effect.

          August 7, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
  19. mzh

    And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'" He will say, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. 5:116

    I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness. 5:117

    If You should punish them – indeed they are Your servants; but if You forgive them – indeed it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. 5:118

    August 7, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • OOO

      Put some dressing on that word salad.

      August 7, 2013 at 4:34 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.