home
RSS
Stop dressing so tacky for church
Remember when people used to dress up for church? Casual Friday has now morphed into Sloppy Sabbath.
April 19th, 2014
08:00 PM ET

Stop dressing so tacky for church

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - If the Rev. John DeBonville could preach a sermon to lift the souls of churchgoers across America, his message would be simple:

Stop dressing so tacky for church.

DeBonville has heard about the “come as you are” approach to dressing down for Sunday service, but he says the Sabbath is getting too sloppy.

When he scans the pews of churches, DeBonville sees rows of people dressed in their Sunday worst. They saunter into church in baggy shorts, flip-flop sandals, tennis shoes and grubby T-shirts. Some even slide into the pews carrying coffee in plastic foam containers as if they’re going to Starbucks.

“It’s like some people decided to stop mowing the lawn and then decided to come to church,” says DeBonville, rector at the Church of the Good Shepard in Massachusetts. “No one dresses up for church anymore.”

Church leaders like DeBonville have harrumphed about declining dress standards for Sunday service for years, while others say God only cares what’s in someone’s heart.

But which side is right? What does the Bible actually say about dressing properly for church? And does Jesus provide fashion advice anywhere? Wasn’t he a homeless, Galilean peasant who wore flip-flops?

The answers to these questions are not as easy as they may seem. The Bible sends mixed messages about the concept of wearing your Sunday best. And when pastors, parishioners and religious scholars were asked the same questions, they couldn’t agree, either.

Wearing ties on first dates

There was one point on which both sides did agree: People are dressing sloppier everywhere, not just church.

Take a trek to the supermarket on Saturday morning and you’re bound to run into a sleepy-eyed woman in slippers and rollers at the checkout counter.

Pajamas in public: The battle of 'appropriate' vs. 'comfy'

Or take a walk outside and you’ll be greeted by teenagers slouching around with their jeans sagging over the butt-cheeks.

Even corporate America isn’t immune. Casual Fridays has morphed into casual every day and even tech tycoons like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wear bland T-shirts during public presentations.

It’s a sharp departure from another era in America before the 1960s, when people wore suits, dresses and white gloves in public.

The Rev. Gerald Durley, a sharp-dressed civil rights activist in Atlanta, recalls taking his future wife, Muriel, on their first date. When he showed up at her house, her father opened the door, looked at him, and took him aside gravely, “Young man can I talk to you for a minute.”

“He told me, 'If you’re going to take my daughter out, you can wear one of my ties,'” says Durley, a retired Baptist pastor.

Jennifer Fulwiler, who wrote an article for the National Catholic Register titled, “Why Don’t We Dress up Anymore,” says her great-grandfather would put on a coat and tie just to go grocery shopping.

The reasons why people stopped dressing up could fill a book. Yet Fulwiler offers one explanation that’s seldom mentioned – lack of gratitude.

Fulwiler’s revelation came one day as she watched scruffily dressed people board a plane. She flashed back to a black-and-white photo she had seen of her grandparents boarding a plane in the 1940s. Most of the passengers were dressed in suits and ties and dresses because air travel was such a privilege at the time.

“We dress up for what we’re grateful for,” she says. “We’re such a wealthy, spoiled culture that we feel like we have a right to fly on airplanes,” says Fulwiler, author of “Something Other than God,” which details her journey from atheism to Christianity.

Church is like air travel now – it’s no longer a big deal because people have lost their sense of awe before God, Fulwiler says.

Yet some of these same people who say it doesn’t matter how you dress for church would change their tune if they were invited to another event, Fulwiler says.

“If you had the opportunity to meet the Queen of England, you wouldn’t show up in at Windsor Castle wearing jeans and a T-shirt,” she says.

The church customer is always king

Shouldn’t people have that same reverential attitude when they show up at church to meet God, some ask? After all, doesn’t your dress reveal the importance you attach to an occasion?


Just what do you mean, 'dress festively'?

That sentiment, however, is seen as hopelessly old school in many popular megachurches across America. Casual Fridays has morphed into casual Sundays.

And many of the popular megachurch pastors are middle-aged men who bound onto the stage each Sunday dressed in skinny jeans, untucked Banana Republic shirts, and backed by in-house Christian rock bands. They’ve perfected a “seeker-friendly” approach to church that gets rid of the old formal worship style with its stuffy dress codes.

But there’s a danger in making people too comfortable in their clothes on Sunday morning, says Constance M. Cherry, an international lecturer on worship and a hymn writer.

Some churches have embraced a business-oriented “the customer is always right” approach to worship that places individual comfort at the center of Sunday service, says Cherry, author of“Worship Architect: A Blueprint for Designing Culturally Relevant and Biblically Faithful Services.”

“Many young people and boomers judge the value of worship service based on personal satisfaction,” Cherry says. “If I get to wear flip-flops to Wal-Mart, then I get to wear flip-flops to church. If I get to carry coffee to work, I get to carry coffee to church. They’re being told that come as you are means that God wants you to be comfortable.”

What the Bible says

The Bible says that’s not true – people had to prepare themselves internally and externally for worship.

In the Old Testament, Jewish people didn’t just “come as they are” to the temple in Jerusalem. They had to undergo purification rituals and bathe in pools before they could enter the temple, says Cherry, who is also a professor of worship at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Both Old and New Testaments suggest that people should not approach God in a casual manner, Cherry says. Psalms 24 urges the faithful to “ascend the hill of the Lord …with clean hands and pure hearts.”

When Jesus taught in the synagogues, he also observed the rules and decorum of being in God’s house, Cherry says.

Cherry isn’t calling for a restoration of first-century cultural norms, such as women covering their hair in worship, or a rigid dress code. She says churches should meet people where they are, and make even the poorest person feel welcome.

She just says that preparation for worship should give less thought to people and more thought to the divine.

“There should be some sort of approach to God that will include certain steps to honor the God that is not our buddy but fully The Other,” she says.

Others back up Cherry’s call to keep the Sabbath special. Dressing up really makes a difference on Sunday, they say.

“It puts you in a different mindset,” says Tiffany Adams, a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who grew up wearing jeans in church. “It actually sets the Sabbath apart from every other day.”

And there are still pockets of church culture where no one has to persuade people to look sharp on Sunday.

The African-American church is one such place. Many of its members still insist on dressing up on Sunday because of the historical struggles of blacks. Sunday morning was often the only time in the week that a black person could assert their dignity, says Durley, the Atlanta civil rights activist who also is a retired Baptist pastor.

“On Sunday morning, when you put on your tie, your shirt and put your palms together and slicked down your hair, you were no longer the hired help, you were a trustee, a deacon or you chaired this board and you dressed accordingly,” Durley says.

What would Jesus wear?

There are others, though, who say God cares more about the person’s soul than their style. No one wears a bracelet today asking, “What would Jesus wear.” Clothes just weren’t important to Jesus or the early church, they claim.

The early church was anti-hierarchical and adopted a “come as you are” approach to worship, welcoming outcasts and the disenfranchised who often couldn’t dress in fine clothes, says Carl Raschke, a religious studies professor at the University of Denver.

Raschke cites Mark 12:38, where Jesus mocks the fine clothes worn by the Pharisees, a group of elite Jewish religious leaders of his day.

Others cite James 2:2-4, where the writer of the New Testament book criticizes early Christians for discriminating against poor people visiting the church in dirty clothes and favoring the man “wearing a gold ring and fine clothes.”

“Adopting a dress code would not only be suicidal for American Christians who are swimming against the stream of casual secularism, it would be antithetical to what Christianity sees increasingly as its abiding mission – to reach those who are marginalized and ‘don’t fit in,’ ‘’ Raschke says.

Some people, though, remain convinced that casual Sundays are getting too sloppy.

“The casualness of Sunday church attire has gone too far,” says DeBonville, the pastor of the Massachusetts church. “It’s about respect and honoring God.”

When DeBonville looks across the scruffy fashion landscape of America, he sees only one profession that’s holding the line against tacky dress.

It’s not the preachers or priests, though. These people belong to another profession whose members aren’t exactly known for respect and honoring God.

“The last ones wearing shirt and ties are the politicians,” DeBonville says.

Easter is supposed to be about the renewal of hope, but when asked if the spread of sloppy Sabbath can get any worse, DeBonville sounds gloomy. Yoga pants in the pews, pajamas near the altar – will everyone soon start showing up at church dressed like “the Dude” in the film, “The Big Lebowski.”

Nothing would surprise DeBonville anymore.

“There’s growing casualness everywhere,” he says. “I don’t know if it can get much worse.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Church • Easter

soundoff (1,006 Responses)
  1. observer

    justpro86,

    Where is the science and mathematics that SUPPORTS that the moon and sun have suddenly stopped in orbit?

    Oooops. No scientist would claim that happened. Guess again.

    April 20, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
  2. trinaangel26

    Reblogged this on The Girl Behind the Books.

    April 20, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
  3. justpro86

    Mathematician Granville Sewell writes, “[T]hose who claim that science has eliminated the supernatural from Nature have a view of science that has been out of date for 80 years.”54

    Further, OECs believe the irreducibly complex biomachinery found in cells and the complex specified information present within protein molecules and DNA code clearly and unequivocally point to an Intelligent Designer—God. Renowned British Philosopher Antony Flew, a former atheist, writes, “It is impossible for evolution to account for the fact that one single cell can carry more data than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica.” Herbert Yockey, physicist and information theorist, states the universe is at least 1010,000,000,000 times too small or too young to permit life to be assembled by natural processes.55 So whether planet Earth is 6,000 years old or 4.5 billion years old, it is still too young to generate life through naturalistic processes.

    April 20, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
    • SeaVik

      You are very confused. Anyone can find a scientist to support their cause when they have a pre-defined objective to prove. However, most top legitimate scientists are atheists. If you are actually interested in understanding the flaws in your position, read The God Delusion.

      April 20, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
      • justpro86

        Yeah you are confused that we came from a single cell that can carry billions of billions of data to "evolve" into a fully conscious human being Please get real

        April 20, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Get real", says the guy who believes a magical fairy created the universe. I hate to break it to you, but it would be hard to think of a less believable explanation as to where we came from than the Christian myth.

          April 20, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
        • justpro86

          Atleast I know God is real and don't have to believe that I came from a single cell organism that magically "evolved" into a person... Most stupid theory ever

          April 20, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Okay. I'm gonna flat out say it. Justin is a troll and he's been playing us all along. The only other explanation is brain damage. No one is this obtuse.

          April 20, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Atleast I know God is real"

          That is a factually incorrect statement. Even if there were a god, you certainly don't "know" that it is real. You believe there is a god, you don't know. We do know that the Christian god doesn't exist. I don't believe any gods exist, but I don't know that with 100% certainty just like you don't know there is a god with 100% certainty. The difference is that my belief is infinitely more likely to be correct than yours.

          April 20, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          You went from a single cell to a fully conscious conscious human being in 9 months.

          April 21, 2014 at 11:29 am |
    • observer

      justpro86,

      Speaking of mathematics, the Bible shows that pi is equal to 3.0.

      Where would we be if mathematicians TRUSTED the Bible on that?

      Get serious. Read a Bible.

      April 20, 2014 at 9:32 pm |
      • justpro86

        no it does not

        April 20, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
        • ssq41

          Let's re-write a bible verse in honor of justpro....

          Matthew 5:16:

          Let your lie shine before men....

          April 20, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        • observer

          justpro86,

          WRONG. Read a Bible.

          April 20, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
    • tallulah131

      This is the source for Justin's plagiarized post:

      http://godandscience.org/youngearth/old_earth_creationism.html

      Plagiarism is theft, and stealing is a sin.

      April 20, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
      • Akira

        Not according to him, since it's done in God's honor.

        April 20, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Gosh. Then maybe he should post that bible verse that says, "Thou Shalt Not Steal, except when you're trying to use bad science to defend me."

          April 20, 2014 at 10:19 pm |
    • jbhollen

      Serial plagiarizer justpro86 caught again. His post of April 20 at 9:10pm ct is a word-for-word lift from John W. Greene's article "A Biblical Case for Old-Earth Creationism". He copied the last paragraph, and the last sentence from the preceding paragraph word-for-word from the section called "Darwinian Evolution". You can visit the scene of the crime here: http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/old_earth_creationism.html
      He confirms again something I suspected earlier. It appears he does not even read the material he plagiarizes before reposing it as his work. Notice the number 54 at the end of the first sentence and the number 55 just in front of the last sentence. These are foot note references from the original article that he did not notice, because he did not read it.

      We're still waiting for those christian values to kick in and to see you admit to the deception and the subsequent lies.

      May 5, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
  4. ssq41

    justpro.

    I wanted to take a moment and thank you for bringing the kind of credibility to Creationism that is the kind of credibility Creationism depicts.

    You do a great service to the atheist cause....and provide much needed laughter on this, your holiest of days.

    April 20, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
    • justpro86

      Actually I do a diservice because I don't post gibberish like most atheists do... YOu come on a FAITH blog trolling other believers and insulting their intellect and totally trashing the bible without posting anything resourceful... I bring forth info that is resourceful while you atheists compare God with santa clause which in reality is totally impossible... Also you go out of your way calling everything stupid with out saying anything smart to even show you have anything up in that head of yours... So really your posts in calling me out saying I am stealing or this and that is really doing you a disservice... If you don't believe in God why post in a blog that is for believers... I mean all your proving is the fact your a mindless troll

      April 20, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
      • SeaVik

        Your "info" isn't resourceful, it's idiotic. You're seriously disputing evolution. That's not resourceful, that's denial. You're just as bad as idiots like Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee who think we should be teaching religious myths in school as if they're actually legitimate scientific theories.

        April 20, 2014 at 9:24 pm |
        • justpro86

          Its not myth only in your stupid pathetic brainwashed little brain of yours... My info comes from men who spend hours and hours of research and a lot of work to look deeper into the subject matter. I am not in Denial you are because you are scared of God.. You and your atheist buddies are scared... Because you don't want to be morally accountable for the way you live your life... Face the facts dude they are legitimate scientific theories...

          April 20, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
        • ssq41

          Let's re-write a bible verse in honor of justpro....

          Matthew 5:16:

          Let your lie shine before men....

          April 20, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Who exactly do you think brainwashed me? I'm an atheist. It's not a belief, it's just an acknowledgement of how insane the concept of god is. How can I be afraid of something that doesn't exist?

          And I can assure you that the average atheist is much more moral than the average Christian. I'm not moral because I'm afraid of a fictional being sending me to a bad place, I'm moral because I'm a good person.

          April 20, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
      • ssq41

        lying for Jesus, justpro...God bless you for that...

        April 20, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
      • tallulah131

        You are a thief, justin, even if you deny it. And this is an open blog. Freedom of speech is protected in this country.

        Frankly justin, I think you're a troll. You don't seem to do anything but cut and paste from other sites, then try to insult people. But since you're playing christian, I'll take you at your word.

        Gotta say, if your god is real you'll be burning in hell with all the non-believers. Thou shalt not steal is one of the big commandments, and you are an unrepentant thief.

        April 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
        • Akira

          Notice how similar he sounds to Sal, His Panic, and thefinisher?

          April 20, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
        • ssq41

          he does have that Salero bitterness...

          April 20, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
        • ssq41

          Akira...I was wondering if "His panic" was a lionly lamb on 1/2 meds and a little less pot....do we know what happened to the lamb?

          April 20, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
        • justpro86

          Yeah ok

          April 20, 2014 at 10:08 pm |
      • jbhollen

        I agree that it is not right for someone armed with facts and reason to troll a faith blog. It's just not fair.

        April 21, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
  5. justpro86

    The Christian faith is based on truth. Scripture speaks of man knowing the Creator from His creation:

    The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their measuring line goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)
    For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)
    Philosopher and theologian Augustine of Hippo believed that science could not contradict orthodox Christianity because the Creator God and the Redeemer God are one. Truth cannot contradict truth.

    Old-earth creationists accept the geological and cosmological estimates of a 4.5 billion year old earth. Scripture speaks not of a young earth or an old earth, but an ancient earth: Hear O mountains…you everlasting foundations of the earth (Micah 6:2). The ancient mountains crumbled, and the age-old hills collapsed (Habakkuk 3:6).

    Multiple independent evidences confirm an ancient earth, including 40 different methods of radiometric dating and numerous non-radiometric measurements: Ice core samples from Antarctica and Greenland provide an unbroken record of annual ice layers spanning the past 800,000 years. Annual tree ring records provide a continuous record of the past 15,000 years. Coral reefs record long ages of growth (Eniwetok Reef 140,000 years, and the Grand Bahama Reef 790,000 years). Ancient annual lake varve sediments provide evidence of earth’s history dating back 15 to 20 million years.42

    Augustine presciently wrote, “In matters that are obscure and far beyond our vision, even in such as we may find treated in Holy Scripture, different interpretations are sometimes possible without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such a case, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search of truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it.”43 Copernicus and Galileo were castigated by the Church for advocating the cosmological theory of heliocentrism (earth revolving around the sun), which the Church deemed contrary to their geocentric understanding of Scripture (Psalm 93:1, Psalm 104:5, Ecclesiastes 1:5). Ultimately scientific discovery helped clarify Scripture and prompted correction of a faulty interpretation.

    April 20, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
    • ssq41

      ..."based on truth..." as a novel is based on fact...

      April 20, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
      • Akira

        Justpro is a pro at being a thief. He has written very little of his own thoughts and plagiarizes forom others.

        April 20, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
      • justpro86

        LOL your right its based on fact thank you

        April 20, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
        • Akira

          It's a fact you're a thief, yes. Your post above is plagiarized.

          You don't feel the slightest guilt stealing, do you?

          April 20, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
        • justpro86

          I really dont care

          April 20, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
        • sam stone

          justpro: jeebus is waiting for you. do you have tall buildings where you live?

          April 20, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
        • Akira

          You don't care that you are breaking a few of God's Commandments?
          Seriously? You do know that repentance and not continuing to commit the sin is a tenet of Christianity, don't you?

          Oh, my.

          April 20, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
        • justpro86

          Oh my you are making no sense everytime you post give it up

          April 20, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
        • Akira

          Oooh, I see. Pizz off JR.

          April 20, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
        • ssq41

          ....and justpro's reading comprehension is another example of why we need to provide kids with more English grammar, composition, and rhetoric classes...not to mention more funding for the arts....

          Creationism in particular is simply dehumanizing its adherents.

          April 20, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
        • justpro86

          LOL

          April 20, 2014 at 10:08 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Again, this post was stolen from:

          http://godandscience.org/youngearth/old_earth_creationism.html

          April 20, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
    • SeaVik

      How can you expect anyone to take anything you write seriously when you start off by saying the Christian faith is based on truth? It has nothing to do with truth – it is quite the opposite. It is a myth based on a book of fiction. The truth is, we know that the bible is a work of fiction, thanks to science and common sense.

      April 20, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
      • justpro86

        Science proves the bible more than anything so yes the Bible is based on truth

        April 20, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Um, wrong. I am sorry that you were brain-washed into thinking that. The stories in the bible are undeniably disproved by science.

          And you see, I don't have to write a bunch of long idiotic paragraphs to make my point because it's obvious to anyone who isn't delusional.

          April 20, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
        • justpro86

          Actually lol thats where your once again wrong... I am showing fact and all your showing is pathetic insults... OH No hes stealing oh no his name is this and that.. Oh now you live here... OH NO Shut up

          April 20, 2014 at 9:08 pm |
        • observer

          justpro86,

          Has science proved how the moon and sun suddenly STOPPED like the Bible said yet?

          April 20, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
        • justpro86

          Has anyone looked at that yet or observed it? With God anything is possible... If he wanted to he can make the world move from our current sun to the the sun 4 billion light years away....

          April 20, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Your post wasn't really coherent. I didn't bother to share facts that prove the bible is a work of fiction because I assume those facts are as obvious as they are endless. But ok, if you're not aware:

          1) Through science, we know that it is not possible to walk on water as the bible claims Jesus did. Conclusion: science proves the bible is fiction.
          2) Through science, we know that it is impossible to turn water into wine as the bible claims Jesus did. Conclusion: science again proves the bible is fiction.
          3) Through science, we know that it is not possible to be dead for days and then return to life, as the bible claims Jesus did. Conclusion: science proves the bible is a work of fiction, and a fantastically far-fetched one at that.

          That's three easy obvious scientific facts among thousands that proves the bible to be a work of fiction. Like I said, I didn't bother writing them because I assume they are obvious and known to everyone.

          April 20, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
        • justpro86

          LOL all you have is stuff against Jesus's miracles that no body can disapprove I mean Jesus miracles prove one thing that he is the son of God and he is what he says he is... It is recorded by several historians and Christians Like Luke, Peter, John, PAUL won't lie or make stuff up... Paul went through trials prison and all discrimmination against him but still holds his ground that Jesus is resurrected...It would be undoubtfully stupid for someone to suffer all the beatings all the tribulations like these men did just for a myth or a fantasy...

          So all you got is the miracles of Jesus being impossible by science well guess what... God can do anything he wants...

          April 20, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
        • SeaVik

          That's a pretty idiotic excuse. You can't prove that I'm not God, so I guess it would be equally logical for you to believe that I am God. I'm God. I command you to stop making idiotic posts.

          April 20, 2014 at 9:32 pm |
        • justpro86

          Sorry all your posts and claims have been more idiotic so stop being stupid

          April 20, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Calling facts idiotic is the only way to believe the Christian myth. I pity you.

          April 20, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
        • justpro86

          I pity you because you have no purpose in life

          April 20, 2014 at 10:08 pm |
        • SeaVik

          I have as much purpose as you do. The difference is, I'm not delusional.

          April 20, 2014 at 10:56 pm |
    • sam stone

      the christian faith is based on translated, edited hearsay

      April 20, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
      • justpro86

        Evolution is based off Nothing relavent but outdated stupidty and LIES

        April 20, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Hey christard, is creationism allowed to be taught to children? The simple answer is NO and do you comprehend why that might be??
          Of course you don't, so here's a little bit of an answer for you:
          [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVD4TjxnJ0M&w=640&h=390]

          April 21, 2014 at 4:56 am |
        • sam stone

          wow, troll, capitalizing all the letters in "lies" sure makes it a much more convincing argument

          now, go suck on a 12 gauge

          April 21, 2014 at 5:21 am |
  6. justpro86

    Are humans becoming smarter or more stupid? Comparing our modern lives and technology with that of any preceding generation, one might think we are becoming increasingly smarter. But, in two papers published in Trends in Genetics, Gerald R. Crabtree of Stanford University claims that we are losing mental capacity and have been doing so for 2,000–6,000 years! The reason, Crabtree concludes, is due to genetic mutations—which are the backbone of neo-Darwinian evolution.

    The significance of these articles is that a senior scientist, writing in a peer-reviewed journal, claims that humankind is susceptible “as a species to random genetic events [mutations] that reduce our intellectual and emotional fitness.”1 This conclusion is consistent with the second law of thermodynamics, which states (among other things) that natural systems tend toward a state of disorder and that random processes cannot bring order out of disorder. (This is such a fundamental law of nature that British astrophysicist Arthur Eddington wrote, “But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”2)

    In contrast, the theory of neo-Darwinian evolution claims that natural systems progress in the opposite direction. That is, random genetic mutations serve to advance a species toward a state of order. Yet Crabtree’s findings seem to imply that the second law of thermodynamics is right, and neo-Darwinian evolution is wrong.

    In conclusion, these two articles in Trends in Genetics seem to support the second law of thermodynamics while undercutting Darwinian evolution. They might even be said to promote a creation model!

    April 20, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
    • justpro86

      Primitive humans lived in a dangerous world, and only the fittest survived. This sounds plausible—except when considered in the context of the genetic data. If humans developed 5,000 mutations in the past 3,000 years, then we can estimate that 83,333–833,333 mutations developed in the earlier 50,000–500,000 years. The 2–5 percent deleterious mutations failed to survive, and the “vanishingly small fraction” of beneficial mutations were presumably the basis for our intellectual growth. But what is a “vanishingly small fraction” numerically? It must be at least a factor of 100 lower than the harmful 2–5 percent or it would be measurable. Thus, taking 0.05 percent as a rough approximation, there were at most 42–417 new beneficial mutations in 50,000–500,000 years. If “vanishingly small” is an accurate description, then the actual number is probably even less.

      Is it plausible to imagine that so few beneficial mutations could evolve “a brain capable of writing symphonies and performing higher mathematics”? It seems unlikely. Perhaps this is why Crabtree does not offer any calculations in part 2 similar to what we have done above. Instead, he relies on the “extraordinary natural selection,” implying there was a beneficial mutation rate much greater than presently observed. However, to be scientific, one must have a plausible hypothesis to explain this—yet none is proposed.

      April 20, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
      • justpro86

        All this explains the stupidity in Evolution... Each and every new discovery leans towards the Creation model...

        April 20, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
        • tallulah131

          When you copied and pasted, you forgot to include the referenced footnotes and you forgot to credit the real author. Plagiarism is theft, and stealing is a sin.

          April 20, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Since justin forgot to include it, here is his source:

          http://www.reasons.org/articles/is-evolution-making-us-less-intelligent

          April 20, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
        • justpro86

          Thank you for making my post more crediable... Its a great site with a lot of good Facts...

          April 20, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
        • Akira

          He has been told that again and again; nobody likes a hypocritical,

          How hard it it to copy/paste the website it's stolen from? Or is it just an effort to look more intellectual than one really is?

          April 20, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
        • justpro86

          Whos hypocritical? You? I don't steal I don't turn in other peoples paper for credit... I am simply on a blog posting against stupid evolutionist trolling a faith blog like they have nothing better to do...

          April 20, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
        • tallulah131

          For those who are interested, here is a critique of Hugh Ross, the astrophysicist who created the site justin's comment was stolen from.

          http://www.talkreason.org/articles/ross.cfm

          April 20, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
        • justpro86

          LMao thats not even the site

          April 20, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • ssq41

          Not to mention his "honesty" about his list of "scientists"...18 of which I widely read when I was a Christian and have zero credentials...but in a Creationist's world, lying is just another apologetic strategy...he'll just ask Jesus for forgiveness later...

          (and Hugh Ross will grant him forgiveness)

          April 20, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
        • justpro86

          They were scientists, theologians, Well respected authors, Biblical Scholars, men with far more credential than most those pathetic Evolutionists... Men with Ph D.

          April 20, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I know, Akira. I just thought I'd provide not only the evidence of the theft, but the ability for anyone interested to look at the source and determine if they find the material to be reliable. Due diligence and all. It's simpler than waiting for justin to do the honest thing. I don't think he's capable.

          April 20, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
        • justpro86

          LOL Go ahead all you post is usless drivel I atleast state my case for God...

          April 20, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
        • Jill

          Justin you sound a lot like your bunkmate Salero the saltshaker.

          April 20, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
        • justpro86

          Yeah I am shaking the salt and calling all non-believers out because Fact is evolution is outdated and stupid

          April 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
        • Jill

          Justin: you've been caught stealing.

          April 20, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
        • justpro86

          nope

          April 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
        • Akira

          You are lying , and using God as your excuse. Being intellectually dishonest is not stating a case for God.

          You're stealing.

          April 20, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
        • justpro86

          LOL YOur a fool I am not gaining anything post these on this blog but showing people the truth and examples on how wrong evolution is LOL

          April 20, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
        • ssq41

          And men like John Ankerberg, Mark Noll, Chuck Smith and even the gentle Pastor Hayford would pull you into a room and issue some much needed wall-to-wall counseling for you lying here...

          April 20, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
        • ssq41

          Jill,

          Love your Rainer posts...keep up the creative writing...if only justpro could be so creative in his lying....

          April 20, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
        • justpro86

          I love you calling me lying without making any point at all victory for God

          April 20, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
        • Akira

          Whos hypocritical? You? I don’t steal I don’t turn in other peoples paper for credit… I am simply on a blog posting against stupid evolutionist trolling a faith blog like they have nothing better to do…

          You are plagiarizing. Look up the definition.you are presenting another's work as your own without giving credit. And you're arguing that you have a perfect right to do it.

          I do not do that. So no , I am not a hypocrite by pretending to have authored something I haven't.

          You need work with your ethics, justpro. You are a thief, and whether it's for a scholastic paper or on a blog site, you should give the credit to the authors.

          April 20, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
        • justpro86

          LOL you got nothing for what I post but all you got is insults and stupid accusations.. UM ok have fun I will not stop posting facts to throw in your faces because I am sick of seeing you losers troll other believers and throw your pathetic insults.. If you don't believe you don't nobody cares... Go talk about the shooting in a school and stop proving your stupidity in a Christian blog when you have no clue about anything on the subject...

          April 20, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
        • ssq41

          justpro,

          Lying for Jesus 1 post at a time....

          And real men like John Ankerberg, Mark Noll, Chuck Smith and even the gentle Pastor Hayford would pull you into a room and issue some much needed wall-to-wall counseling for your lying here...

          April 20, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
        • justpro86

          Yeah they have more credintials than you and your father combined Try again

          April 20, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
        • Akira

          LOL YOur a fool I am not gaining anything post these on this blog but showing people the truth and examples on how wrong evolution is LOL

          If evolution isn't the cause, why are you getting dumber?

          You are a thief and a liar. Claiming to do it for God is even more cowardly.

          April 20, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
        • justpro86

          Post something worth something who cares

          April 20, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
        • Akira

          If you don't believe evolution is real, what is making you more stupid, justpro?

          April 20, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
        • justpro86

          Your arrogant stupid posts

          April 20, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
  7. jonandsol

    They still have churches?

    April 20, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
  8. woshipuyi

    Rev. John DeBonville is one of the reasons people are fleeing the church in droves. You are losing focus on what's important.

    God could care less what you wear to church. There is no connection between attire and respect – whether it be church, a funeral, or work – it's an old fashioned, cultural norm. It's not faith-based. In fact, wasn't it Jesus who walked around with hair past his shoulders, unshaven, and probably unbathed in a burlap robe?

    So Rev. DeBonville, get off your bully pulpit and focus on winning hearts and minds instead of pushing people away.

    April 20, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
    • calcium11

      I couldn't agree with you more, woshipuyi! Well said.

      April 20, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
    • jhg45

      If the Bible is what Jesus thought and taught then he would have never had long hair, (1 Cor.11:14) and like I said If.

      April 20, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
      • jbhollen

        The gospels did not exist for a generation after Jesus died. If there ever was a Jesus and he read today's bible he would either laugh till he peed himself or cry a river.

        April 20, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
        • jhg45

          now how would you know that? and which translation or version are you referring to?

          April 20, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
        • jbhollen

          To JHG45. My comment was not about which version Jesus would read, it was that there are over a hundred different versions of the Bible each claiming to be the most accurate. This site (http://www.bible-reviews.com/charts_basic.html) lists 117 versions. Even putting this aside for now consider that the four Gospels (Mark, Luke, Matthew and John) were written by unknown authors using unknown sources at least a generation or more after Jesus died. Mark is generally accepted to be the oldest gospel most likely written 66-70 CE and John the newest most likely written 90-100 CE. I'll not even comment on the opportunity for the original gospels to be far afield of what really happened. The comedy of errors (pun intended) begins with the thousands of hand written transcriptions and translations each of which added, subtracted or mis-copied text. Then there are the versions that were intentionally changed by those who "knew what the original authors were really trying to say". One of the most famous is John 7:53-8:11 or the Story of the Adulteress. It is accepted by almost everyone that this story was not in the oldest texts and that it was added in the 5th century. But probably the most significant error is the mis-translating of the world "Alma" or "Almah" from Hebrew to Greek. Alma means young woman. Is was mis-translated to mean virgin. Oops. Like I said, Jesus would either laugh or cry.

          April 21, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • jhg45

          I was referring to how did you know how much he peed or cried? I have read quite a few translations and never saw anything about that. oh never mind. not that funny anyway.

          April 21, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          actually..the Gospels existed from the very start..they were not written until later..but NOT after a generation..in fact the Gospels were written while the first generation would still be alive....Paul writes IN 1 Corithians that there were still 500 people who witnessed Jesus ascensionto heaven still alive in the day he wrote the letter...and he also refers to Luke's Gospel as Scripture in 1 Timothy, showing the Gospels were already in existance

          April 21, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • jbhollen

          You reference one of the six Pauline letters (1COR) that theologians generally agree was written by Paul. Yes that was written earlier and likely while people where still alive at the time Jesus died. In my post I was dating the gospels, not Paul's epistles. 1 Timothy is thought to be pseudepigraphic by about 80% of bible scholars (ref:New Testament Letter Structure by Felix Just) and written later than the authentic Pauline letters. Although I did not find reference to Luke in 1Tim yet, if it is there it is likely part of the evidence that casts doubt on Paul's authorship of 1Tim. Can you provide chapter/verse of the Luke reference?

          April 21, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I cannot think off the top of my head..i wanna say at the end of chapter 3 where he quotes Luke and says it is Scripture

          April 22, 2014 at 2:05 am |
        • jbhollen

          Poetic license. But using a common apologetic approach, you can't prove he wouldn't laugh till he peed or cry a river.

          April 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
    • SeaVik

      "There is no connection between attire and respect – whether it be church, a funeral, or work."

      Now that's just dumb. Of course there is a connection. It would be highly disrespectful to wear a t-shirt to someone's wedding, for example (in most cases at least). And good luck getting a job if you wear a t-shirt to the interview (assuming it's for a corporate position).

      Now, considering I have no respect for church, it seems perfectly fine to me that people don't dress up. But if I actually believed in the god of a religion, you can be sure I would be dressed appropriately when going to worship! Keep in mind, we're talking about people who believe there is a fairy who controls the universe and decides where they spend eternity. How dumb would you have to be to believe that and STILL not bother to dress up for church?

      April 20, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
    • freewillofyours

      It's a total lack of respect. You don't see Attorneys practicing law in court rooms in sweats. If you're going to church to worship God in God's house, then show some respect, otherwise why go?

      April 20, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
      • Jill

        Why go? To laugh at the idiots who believe and their loonytunes ceremonies. Cheap entertainment. Doesn't interest me much though.

        April 20, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
      • sam stone

        free will and an omniscient god are logically incompatible

        thanks for playing

        April 20, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        If your god is that shallow that it would judge a person on appearance, then why would any rational person wish to be associated with that?

        April 21, 2014 at 5:15 am |
  9. calcium11

    God doesn't care what kind of clothes you go to church in. In fact, He would likely be disappointed in the fact that people are spending too much money on clothes and worrying to much about material things. He'd rather you spend your money on giving to the poor. Jesus wore rags. Let's be real CNN, this is the problem with religion today.

    April 20, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
    • freewillofyours

      Did you ask God himself? That's just dumb and a sign of disrespect.

      April 20, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
      • sam stone

        really, freewill? how many of the pseudo-pious blather on endlessly what god likes and dislikes?

        April 20, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
    • Jill

      It's really hard to care when you don't even exist.

      April 20, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
  10. spell742

    It's so simple! Give God your best after all you want His!

    April 20, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      It's even simpler than that...Judge not lest ye be judged! If your god is so loving, it wouldn't judge based on clothing...that's just shallow.

      April 20, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
  11. saphire2014

    1) If the sermon is about clothes, or boring, people probably need caffeine to stay awake. 2) Some churches prefer members spend less on clothes, and contribute more to the church.

    April 20, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
  12. unsername1

    people should be allowed to come in pajamas, many of them fall asleep during saramons.

    April 20, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      As a teenager I would often come in my pyjamas.

      April 20, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
      • Jill

        whipp – good one. I cackled.

        I still haven't figured out what a "saramon" is though. Maybe I'm not getting a joke in that one.

        April 20, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
  13. flightfromfrostmtn

    TruthPrevails1,

    You are right, maybe we can't – maybe it will all come crashing down around us – but what else can we do but continue to work toward that goal.

    Humanity will always be plagued by the most aggressive among us – not the smartest, not the strongest – but the ones willing to scratch their way to the top no matter who pays the price....in a confined space this will eventual play out badly for us...

    And Bostontola – I wish your view of things eventually dominates.

    April 20, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
    • flightfromfrostmtn

      ...........

      April 20, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
    • bostontola

      frosty,
      We have a slightly different view of who is winning. I see the smartest as winning. There are battles going to the backwards aggressive, but they are losing the war. Consti.tutional Govt protects the minority. International law is also Consti.tutionally based. I think the smart will win. The only question I have, are the smart, smart enough to avoid self desctruction?

      April 20, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
      • flightfromfrostmtn

        They are smart enough, they are just grossly outnumbered. they need time and unnecessary speed bumps removed.

        And they need the rest of us realize what they are up against in general even if we cant grasp the particulars:)

        April 20, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
  14. ilikestealingducks

    I'm sure your sky fairy won't be mad. After all, he made us in his image, didn't he?

    April 20, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
  15. TruthPrevails1

    Wishing everyone a Happy Day regardless of how you spend it.

    One of the best songs ever written (imo) seems fitting to this day:
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b7qaSxuZUg&w=640&h=390]

    April 20, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
    • bostontola

      I like the music but I was never a fan of the words, I'm more of a vive la différence kind of person.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        I can pretty much listen to anything. Music's euphoric and saves a lonely heart at the best of times. This song is a pipe dream of sorts though, a pleasant dream.

        April 20, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
        • bostontola

          It is a dream to some, more of a nightmare to me. It describes a world with little diversity. It sounds like utopia, but it would a dystopia to me. I like the competi.tion of ideas, it brings out the best and worst in us, rather than the mediocre in us.

          April 20, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          I've never looked at it from that perspective, definitely makes sense.

          April 20, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          Bostontola,

          That is a luxury – compete tion of ideas...right now we need to get grounded in reality and fast...once we are off this rock, let freedom ring, absolutely...that way we can spread out and get away from the lunatics

          but for now we need to lose our superst itions – too many of us, too little space.

          April 20, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • bostontola

          Everyone is enti.tled to their opinion, I'm a "freedom at any cost" person.

          April 20, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          The main problem with – in this case, competing ideas, is that under these conditions it leads to a fight, A fight that the minority usually loses.

          We need a common ground...science works the same for everyone...a common purpose and objective...expanding and improving life for all.

          Keep our fantasies and fictions (and creat more) for sure but acknowledge them as such is all im saying.

          April 20, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "We need a common ground…science works the same for everyone…a common purpose and objective…expanding and improving life for all. "

          Can we achieve that though? I would love to see these silly battles over who has the right god end and see the end of denying the evidence but I'm stuck being skeptical of that ever happening. I wish people would wake up and face the facts but with every abnormal hurricane and every abnormal winter, someone is going to start a tale of grand proportions and instead of continuing to search for an answer, they'll invent one. I'm afraid we may never see complete peace in our lifetimes.

          April 20, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          we could create more...sorry..bad paws.

          April 20, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • bostontola

          I understand and respectfully disagree.

          April 20, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • bostontola

          Sorry, to clarify, my last comment was for frostmtn.

          April 20, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
    • gabetaviano

      Curious why you chose not to include James 2:1-5 / 1 Samuel 16:7 / 1 Peter 3:3-4?

      April 20, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
      • auntiekale

        Bible verses tend to be utter nonsense.

        April 20, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
      • Akira

        Probably because those verses are not contained in the song "Imagine".
        Why would they be?

        April 20, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        What do those verses have to do with the post? I'm quite certain I posted a song opposing religion not supporting it.

        April 21, 2014 at 5:25 am |
  16. scottca07

    People should be less concerned with what people are wearing, and more concerned that people are insane enough to be attending a place devoted to the worship of ancient imbecilic mythologies based on horrific books of violence-po-rn.

    That anyone believes such nonsense mythologies in this day and age is terribly shameful for all of humanity.

    April 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
  17. unsername1

    have you ever noticed, some people always prefer to sit in the back, like they are afraid of Christ.

    April 20, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
    • jbhollen

      The people in back are the ones with small children who want to keep a safe distance from the priests.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
      • scottca07

        Sadly its the indoctrination into these ridiculous mythologies based on books of violence-po-rn that does far more damage to far more children.

        April 20, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
    • tallulah131

      I like to sit in back at most meetings I'm forced to attend because I'm inclined to make snarky remarks and don't want to bother the people who are truly interested in what's going on. The last time I was in a church was about 20 years ago, for my nephew's christening. I sat in the front and maintained a respectful silence because I was a guest. At no point did I fear your god.

      April 20, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
      • unsername1

        or you don't want to get caught snoozing by people!! lol.

        April 20, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Back when I was forced to go to church as a child, I just drew horses on the program.

          April 20, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
    • lean6

      Maybe they're wary of the likelihood of being drawn into a theatrical performance the way comedians target patrons in comedy clubs. I've seen this happen in church on many occasions. Service is a performance aimed at "bringing the house down" in some of the so-called charismatic churches.

      April 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
  18. unsername1

    I am surprised no one said anything about that lady in the picture with her legs up!!!

    April 20, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
  19. froggie1919

    God sees us everyday just the way we are; and; many people do not go to church because of comments they are not dressed "right"; maybe that is why you see only 2 in the picture; and most church are 1/10 full every weekend?

    April 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
  20. ghittsum

    First, sabbath is not Sunday. Second, be happy those sloppy dressers have their butts in a pew.

    April 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
    • flightfromfrostmtn

      But...but...what about respect for the clergy??!! – if people stop dressing up to listen to their weekly dressing down, they might start deciding what to listen to and what not to follow.

      A slippery slope that....when the illusion needs all elements to remain intact you cant afford to lose any part of it.
      it will take a while but it is already wisping away like dry ice in the sun.

      April 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
      • jbhollen

        If I was going to a Catholic Church I would dress my small children in as many layers of clothes as possible.

        April 20, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          that is a huge give away right there that its all a load. If the men of the cloth don't fear their god or the fires of hell should anyone else?

          April 20, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          And armed with pepper spray.

          April 20, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Armed with pepper spray also.

          April 20, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Sorry for the duplicate comment...on a refresh, the first didn't show...so it appeared as if it hadn't posted.

          April 20, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          well it was a good comment – no worries.

          April 20, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
    • freedomnurse

      The papacy admits to "changing" the Sabbath: Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 153. “The church after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath or seventh-day of the week to the first, made the third commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord’s day.” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04153a.htm

      Note that in holy scripture the Sabbath is NOT "the Sabbath of the Jews" but says "[T]he seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God..." Exodus 20:10.

      This was predicted before the coming of Jesus, Daniel 7:25 states "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." Since the Sabbath is the only commandment that is both a time and a law, the one who speaks great words against the most High must be the papacy.

      April 22, 2014 at 4:56 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Advertisement
About this blog

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