home
RSS
11 faith-based predictions for 2011
January 1st, 2011
06:00 AM ET

11 faith-based predictions for 2011

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

To open 2011, CNN's Belief Blog asked 10 religious leaders and experts - plus one secular humanist - to make a faith-based prediction about the year ahead.

Have a faithy prediction of your own? Share it in comments.

Here's what those in the know are predicting:

1. With the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" there will be a more concerted effort by the gay, lesbian,  bisexual and transgendered community for gay marriage, uniting conservative evangelicals, Roman Catholics, Muslims and Orthodox Jews in a much more civil but principled resistance. Respectful debate will produce more precise and pluralistic solutions.
-Dr. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, a Church Distributed, in Orlando, Florida

2. A new generation of Muslims will bust out of their culturally and politically isolated cocoons and passionately reclaim their voice and narratives; one that has been stolen, used, abused and hijacked by extremists, terrorists and fear-mongering propagandists. Watch out for a major cultural renaissance as a new generation of Muslim artists and storytellers grab the mic, enter the arena and speak their voice with a revived passion and purpose.
-Wajahat Ali, Muslim playwright and attorney

3. As anti-Christian violence accelerates in places like Iraq, Egypt and India, a government crackdown on Christian churches gathers steam in China, and European bureaucrats continue to drive Christianity from the public square, “Christianophobia” will become a buzzword.
-John Allen Jr., CNN's senior Vatican analyst

4. After years of increasingly contentious debates and billboard wars between religious believers and atheists, American secularists will begin to embrace a message of positive humanist community, gaining increasing acceptance as they organize cooperation between nontheists and theists toward the common good.
-Greg M. Epstein, humanist chaplain at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

5. As religious tensions grow over the coming presidential election and domestic cultural issues involving perceived legislation of morality, the media will find more zealous Christians reacting to the issues of the day whose extreme positions will further divide the evangelical church into radical positions, and turn away seekers looking for a peaceful resolution to the churning in their own souls. In other words, the devil will play a trick on the church, and the church will, like sheep, lose their focus on the grace and love of Christ and wander astray. Those who seek peace, then, will turn to liberal ideologies.
-Don Miller, Christian author whose books include "Blue Like Jazz"

6. I foresee multiple instances of dialogue and cooperation between Muslim and Jewish houses of worship, with the initiative coming from the moderate Muslim community. They will avoid talking about the Middle East and concentrate on living as religious minorities in the United States.
–Rabbi Harold Kushner, author whose books include "When Bad Things Happen to Good People"

7. Mormons have delivered the vote for Republicans year after year, but the GOP would be wise to remember that Mormons don't actually belong to them. We noticed and will not forget Mike Huckabee's viciously anti-Mormon mockery of Mitt Romney during the 2008 campaign. If Huckabee is the Republican nominee for president, look for substantial numbers of Mormons to defect or abstain. Mormons are the key to Republican victory in many Western swing states; if Huckabee actually wants their votes, he'd better start mending fences now.
-Orson Scott Card, Mormon author whose books include "Pathfinder"

8. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will loudly and proudly denounce the anti-Muslim rhetoric of Republican presidential hopefuls, ensuring that religious pluralism will be a central issue in the 2012 presidential race and nudging President Obama and other leading Democrats to stand tall for one of America’s most cherished ideals.
–Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core

9. Religious conservatives and Tea Party activists will increasingly work together to keep pressure on the Republican Party to remain true to its fiscal and culturally conservative principles in the new session of Congress and the 2012 presidential nomination.
–Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition

10. More Wiccan ministers and other pagan leaders will be actively involved in interfaith organizations, conferences and initiatives in the United States and internationally. Interfaith endeavors will grow in importance in addressing ongoing needs in the world today as well as in responding to natural disasters and other tragedies.
-Rev. Selena Fox, senior minister of Circle Sanctuary, a Wiccan church near Barneveld, Wisconsin

11. Two-thousand-eleven will be, unfortunately, a continuation of great Islamophobic and uninformed attacks that will further alienate American Muslims and cause great distress in the rest of the Muslim world. However, I predict that the Park 51 will become less of an issue as more New Yorkers decide enough is enough and that they will not allow a few people with an Islamophobic agenda to dictate location of places of worship.
- Muna Abusulayman, secretary general of The Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation

CNN's Jessica Ravitz, John Blake, Maria Ebrahimji and Kelly Marshall Smoot contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Islam • Judaism • Leaders

soundoff (803 Responses)
  1. JT

    I predict the gaps in human knowledge will continue to be filled as they have over the past hundred years causing the god of the gaps to become smaller and smaller, further squeezed and threatened. Even with this god becoming more and more obviously nonexistent, the terrified believers will do all they can to keep him/her/it alive with their relentless attack on science and reason. Their motivation, driven by fear, will continue to drag us back into the dark ages until we are, once again, burning witches and heretics.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Unfortunately, I think you may be correct.

      January 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  2. Torquemada

    Sheep will always need to be led and commanded. Religion, unfortunately, is here to stay.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  3. David Johnson

    I have been reading my bible, as I do every day. I found a passage that seems odd to me:

    Psalm 139:16 – Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

    If this passage is true – and every passage in the King James is the inspired word of God – It indicates predestination. Even the number of days we will live is determined. There is no free will. We act according to God's plan.

    If this is true, then I might be scheduled to be run over by a beer truck this afternoon. Or shot by a robber, who in turn was destined to murder me, sometime in the night. The number of my days is a known quant_ity. Yes?

    If this number is set, then that means that until the day and hour that god has set for my passing, I will not die. Yes?

    We only die, when it is planned that we do so. When our predetermined number of days has been spent. But as a Chick Tract, I once read, said, "We never know when our soul will be required of us". Yes?

    Would this also not mean that abortions are part of the Plan? The aborted, just didn't have any days in god's Great Planner. Yes?

    Waiting to hear your thoughts!

    January 1, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Philologus

      wow, WAY off topic!

      January 1, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Believer1

      David,
      1. With regards to Predestination...yes God certainly gives us free will, however, long before we walked on this earth and made any decisions, He knew our every step, and thus, the number of days reserved for us here on earth. It is not that He decides for us, it is that He knows what our choices will be long before we make them....but He does in no way decide for us.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Believer 1

      You said: "long before we walked on this earth and made any decisions, He knew our every step, and thus, the number of days reserved for us here on earth. It is not that He decides for us, it is that He knows what our choices will be long before we make them....but He does in no way decide for us."

      All you did, was restate the bible verse and then deny what it says.

      If god Knows our every step that we will take before we are born. If He knows what our choices will be long before we make them... then that is predestination. If the future can be known, then the future is fixed. It cannot be changed. It even binds god. Yes?

      God allows people to be born, who He knows will some day burn forever. Yes?

      God would know that a person has no future. He will be aborted. Or he will be die a minute after birth.

      Is what I am saying not true? I am only extrapolating from what the bible verse and you have said.

      Cheers!

      January 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Also a believer

      Why does God having knowledge of our lives bind him? I see evidence constantly of God at work in our lives. How do we know that those actions are not as they are supposed to be? It does not usurp free will. God speaks to us all of the time and we are free to ignore him. He may be full aware of what we will do in our lives, but that does not mean that we are free to do whatever we want because "it's predetermined." That's a cheap answer. He knows our hearts, but he does not control them.

      I had a friend who was visiting a church while on a business trip. A woman next to her was crying and no one said anything to her. My friend leaned over, touched her arm, asked if she was okay, and offered a tissue. The woman thanked her and assured her that she was fine. My friend intended to speak with her after the service to see if she was truly okay. Before the end of the service the woman got up, handed my friend her bulletin, and left. My friend never saw her again.

      When my friend was walking out she looked down at the bulletin and saw that the woman had written something on the bulletin. She said that she had decided to commit suicide that morning. She was on her way to jump off of a bridge when she walked past the church. She asked God to reach out to her and tell her if she should live, and she went into the church. Because my friend reached over to her she decided not to commit suicide.

      Did God take away her free will? No, she was still free to end her life. Was she supposed to die that day? I don't know. If God knew when she was going to die and it was not that day maybe this is how he reached out to her. He is God and he can certainly be a puppet master if he chooses. He gives us free will instead. That free will allows us to wrestle with doubts and questions like this that are not easily answered. It also allows us to reject him.

      January 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • KeithTexas

      The philosopher that brought pre-destination to Fundamentalist Christians was not even a Christian and besides that he was French. Who ever heard of a French Philosopher?

      January 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Raider

      "I see evidence constantly of God at work in our lives. "

      I see evidence constantly of no way that god could be at work in our lives. Also, your story is amazingly similar to those made-up inspirational stories that preachers spout every Sunday. I'm guessing you actually heard it from one and are parroting it, like so many of you do.

      If there's a god, then he/she is an extremely evil being that is in no way someone I'd want to worship.

      January 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Also a believer
      You said: "Why does God having knowledge of our lives bind him? I see evidence constantly of God at work in our lives. How do we know that those actions are not as they are supposed to be? It does not usurp free will. God speaks to us all of the time and we are free to ignore him. He may be full aware of what we will do in our lives, but that does not mean that we are free to do whatever we want because "it's predetermined." That's a cheap answer. He knows our hearts, but he does not control them."

      Psalm 139:16 – Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

      If this passage is true – and every passage in the King James is the inspired word of God – It indicates predestination. Even the number of days we will live is determined. "The days are fashioned for me" – fashioned by who? God of course. The days are not fashioned by me, but for me. God predetermines (fashions) what I will do each day that I live. Do you see this another way?

      You said: "He may be full aware of what we will do in our lives" Really? Fully aware before we are even born?

      If God knows someone will never believe before he is born then what God knows must actually happen. History cannot happen in any other way than by what God already knows. Even god himself is bound by this knowledge.

      Believer1 said: "long before we walked on this earth and made any decisions, He knew our every step, and thus, the number of days reserved for us here on earth. It is not that He decides for us, it is that He knows what our choices will be long before we make them....but He does in no way decide for us."

      The bible verse contradicts Believer1's statement that god in no way decides for us. – "And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them."

      If our every step in our lives was known to god, even before we were born, then the future is set. God could not have seen/decided the future one way and had it turn out another. God would have to know, who will be saved and who will be damned, even before we are born. Yet, He allows the damned to be born, knowing they will one day be tortured forever.

      If God in some sense knows ahead of time what will happen, then events in the universe are effectively predetermined from God's point of view.

      There is no free will, because the movie is already in the can.

      What you are talking about is not the same thing as an all knowing god. Your seeing evidence of God constantly at work in our lives is subjective. Certainly starving people in third world countries don't see any evidence of God constantly at work in their lives.

      Psalm 139:16 speaks for itself. It says what it says. It is what it is.

      Evangelical Rule of Thumb: If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is a translation error; means something other than what it actually says; or is magic.

      I'm sure you will apply one of these "fixes".

      Cheers!

      January 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Also a believer

      Raider,

      No, the story is not made up. I was in a meeting with her on Thursday and she shared this story with me not to talk about the woman that I discussed, but to talk about how the other members of the church did nothing to assist this woman. We were discussing how as Christians we often do not behave as Christ calls us to. If you choose not to believe me *shrug*.

      Why is God evil? Is it because he does not behave as you think that he should? When you claim he is evil do you do the actual research to find out why he does or doesn't do the things that he does? Have you spent several years in a non-biased search of the evidence for the truth? I didn't. I spent years thinking that he was a bas tard and that's how I approached him. I used to spout off scripture out of context without knowing the background and historical context of the time. I used to love to show my intellectual superiority over believers. I read the bible with a closed heart and all I saw was how unloving he was.

      Then I had an event that changed my thinking and I began to look at the evidence of God with a more balanced view – albeit still guarded and skeptical. I would encourage you to put your hate aside and really research God. Talk to theologians to get their perspective, talk with loving Christians (I'm not talking about the hell fire and brimstone fundies that can drive anyone away from Christ) to find out how God is at work in their lives, read, read, and read more from Tim Keller, Lee Strobel, Dallas Willard, Josh McDowell, and others who explore God with an open mind and heart. Educate yourself. Just spouting that he's an evil God speaks from your anger and is no different from someone who tries to beat you over the head with a bible.

      Faith is a choice that one should come to after thoroughly researching God. Blind faith in anything – including believing that their is no God – is irresponsible. Finding answers or bashing people on a CNN blog is not going to change anyone's mind either. If you really feel that he is evil and that he has no place in your life then you should have no problem delving into a thorough examination of why he is evil. I will warn you that you may be surprised where your research – real research – will lead you.

      January 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Also a believer

      Hello David,

      I am not going to spend a great deal of time addressing your questions for several reasons. 1) I do not enjoy engaging in an apologetic debate as it is not my forte, 2) my family is waiting to watch a movie, and 3) I do not understand why you would turn to anonymous posters on a CNN blog to answer your questions. If you are serious in your inquiry why wouldn't you seek out several varying experts on the topic and find out their views? I don't think that you are serious in your inquiries. I think that you feel that you have a few clever retorts up your sleeve and you want to show your "intellectual superiority" by baiting believers and then bashing them. I will grant you that many believers are not well versed in Christianity, but many are – just as many atheists are very well versed in biblical studies and many just spew hate. I also think that someone who spends as much time as you do discussing a being that you do not believe in is deluding themselves, but that's your issue to face.

      [If our every step in our lives was known to god, even before we were born, then the future is set. God could not have seen/decided the future one way and had it turn out another. God would have to know, who will be saved and who will be damned, even before we are born. Yet, He allows the damned to be born, knowing they will one day be tortured forever.]

      First of all, I don't believe that tortured is an adequate term. God is not some petulant child who stomps his feet and says "My way or you go to hell". God created hell as a response to our desire to live our lives separate from him. Because he loves us so much he gives us what we want – permanent separation from him. That is hell. It is not a pit of fire full of gnashing teeth, etc. When we refuse to live as we were designed to – in loving relation with God and others – then we get what we ask for.....permanent separation from him. He does not choose that for us – we choose it.

      God is the most generous, loving, wonderful being in the cosmos. He made us with free will and he made us so that we may relate to him and others lovingly. When we CHOOSE to turn away from Him and live our life without him then he gives us what we ask for....separation from Him. The pain and suffering of hell comes from the realization that we are banished from his presence.

      If God were to not allow the "damned" (your term) to be born than he would remove free will. Let's suppose that I am exposed to a Christian who is a hypocrite and I choose to reject God because of what I see. Let's say that as a result of my rejection of God that I live a very immoral life as a non-Christian and five people see my behavior and as a result they become Christian. They see how non-Christians live and they do not want to live that way. Because of my non-Christian life five other people enter into a loving relationship with God. I may have been that catalyst through which those five people fulfilled their destiny to become Christians. It would seem that his goal would be to get as many people into heaven as he could more than keeping as many people out of hell as possible. If he knows that I will reject him from the beginning then perhaps my (already know to God) choice to reject him will be used to bring others to their (already known to God) choice to love him.

      Also, quickly as my family is giving me the evil eye, you do realize that the inspired word of God does not mean that he controlled the quill as it wrote, correct? Psalms are songs that are written for praise for God's help, God's majesty and virtues, songs for Zion, confidence in God's providence, etc. The psalmist here is rejoicing in the mutual loving relationship that they have with God and how well God knows them. It is a praising song that is inspired by the relationship with God – it is not written word for word by God.

      I look forward to your posts although I do not respond often. I do not feel that anyone is dissuaded either way on a media blog. I do feel that you have a few canned objections to Christianity that you don't really want answers to and you just want to trip people up and giggle behind your keyboard. It's unfortunate because I think that you are very intelligent. Choosing faith should be an intelligent, well thought out decision – as should choosing to believe that there is no God. I would hope that everyone would approach it with an open mind and not preconceived notions.

      Sorry, I'm about to be flogged by my family. I have to go. I do not find much use in these blogs and I'm not sure what drew me here today. I usually avoid them because of the intolerance on both sides. I wish you much health and happiness in the new year. Thank you for the question today and I enjoyed pondering my thoughts about it although I do not think that I did a very good job of articulating them. Again, not my forte.

      Blessings!

      January 1, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • JT

      David, you see, the problem is that you are trying to use logic and reason as you are reading a bronze age text written by sheep herders 2000 years ago that's been revised numerous times. You might as well be reading Alice in Wonderland with the same presupposition that the text is completely correct and without error.

      This ancient text is written by men who most likely never ventured further than 20 miles from their birth place and were extremely supersti-tious. Anyone who views these ancient texts as a model to live by is delusional or insane and should be pitied.

      January 1, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • Believer1

      @David
      Let's use the following example....let's say i acquire some mysterious power and see your entire day for tomorrow...what time you get up, what you will do, what you eat, every choice you will make, right down to the exact time you go to bed. Then i turn around and write everything down in my "book". Does this mean i decided for you? does this mean i somehow influenced your decisions? No not at all...this is the essence of verse 139:16, which you are so fond of quoting.

      And yes God in His infinity knows who will follow Him and who will not, who will live a full life, who will be aborted, and who will die in teenage years. God let's us make our own decisions, with sometimes devastating results. God gave us His word to live by. His Holy Spirit also dwells in all who believe. But He never takes away the consequences of our actions, wether He approves or dissaproves (sin). This results from the principle of non-interference. Otherwise we would merely be puppets on a string. We are not like animals, relying on instincts for every facet of our lives. God gave us a mind, a conscience, and a capacity of reasoning things out, as well as an inherent knowledge of right from wrong.

      Who makes the decision to abort a baby and thus end a life before he/she is even born physically? God knew that this baby would be conceived and the horrible way he/she would die...
      Who makes the decision to drink and drive and kill that teenager crossing the street? God knew well ahead of time that this person would have one too many, get behind the wheel and drive down the street at 100mph
      Who makes the decision to pollute our air and cause various deseases here and around the world? God knew some money-hungry CEO would put earnings before peoples' well-being and dump chemicals in the lakes/rivers...
      We all live with the consequences of our's, or often other peoples' actions. And everything that is wrong today results directly from bad decisions.

      Yes God could prevent each and every death. but this would go exactly opposite His reason for creating us....so that we can live, and breath, and one day have to decide wether to deny God, or chose to have a relationship with Him....both decisions bring extraordinarily opposite consequences, but when all is said and done, and read carefully now, WE ARE THE ONES WHO DECIDE.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • JT

      I couldn't have gotten a better example than the comment above this one. Note the contorted mental gymnastics required to make an absurdity make sense. He would have made more sense without trying to explain your legitimate questions in any rational way. He should have just said "the lord works in mysterious ways" and left it at that.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Also a Believer 2

      JT,

      What Also seemed to be saying is that everything happens through God for a reason. One person may make the decision not to enter into a loving relationship with God, but as a result of that decision many others many enter into one. It would be similar to someone who kills another in a drunk driving accident and after prison speaks to high schools students about the perils of DUI. Out of bad comes good. Just because we may not always see the positive sides of something (allowing the damned to be born) doesn't mean there isn't one. It isn't contorted, it's one example of how God uses the evil that man perpetrates to do good. It's another examples of his benevolence, but I don't expect you to see that as your mind is closed to such matters.

      January 2, 2011 at 7:07 am |
    • JT

      Thanks for another example although I think we have more than enough at this time.

      January 2, 2011 at 9:24 am |
    • Believer1

      @JT
      Since you cannot understand my "mental gymnastics", let me bring it down to your IQ level...."Duh....The Lord works in mysterious ways....."
      Besides...what are all these atheists doing in a belief blog anyway?

      January 2, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • David Johnson

      Believer1

      If you or a god had the power to know what I will do for 1 day, or for an entire lifetime, then predestination is affirmed. If you have seen the future, then the future cannot change. The entire universe and god is locked into this. A movie once made, does not change its ending.

      So, if god could see my future, before I am born and knows that I will be damned, even before I am born, then god would be allowing me to be born knowing that I will go to my grave damned. I might have made my own choices, but either way, I am damned.
      Restated:
      If you believe god knows the future of each and every person, before they are born, then no matter if you believe in free will or not, you still have God creating humans who will go to Hell.

      If god can see the future, then the future must be as god sees it. It cannot be different.

      This is a fact, whether god has planned my days or not. Your story agrees with this.

      You are ignoring the part of the verse that says:
      Psalm 139:16 – " And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them".

      Definition of fashion: To form; to give shape or figure to; to mold.

      God is not merely assigning a number of days, but is actually creating (fashioning) my future.

      God is setting my future. I have no control, because god has already decided my actions.

      Why does this verse not say that? What do you think it says. It seems quite clear to me and to many others.

      Cheers!

      January 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Believer1

      @David
      There are a few points i would like to make...
      First, most of your above argument is correct. You are right, the future as God the creator saw it many eons ago cannot change. That is why His bible prophecies have or will all come to pass at some point.
      In your mind, predestination means pre-planned, pre decided, hence your reference to the word fashion.
      Second, you cannot base your spiritual life on the definition of a single word in the bible. Did you know that my bible says "All the days ordained."? (NIV translation)
      God is bigger than any definition, and much too big to fit into our small minds. The bible says God holds the universe in the palm of His hands. His realm of existence if far outside ours, and much too vast for us to ever truly comprehend and define in a dictionary.
      Anyway...cheers David!

      January 2, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • 1tauporkchop

      Dear Dave Johnson, The Psalms, recorded and canonized in the Bible came from the paeans (latin for songs/hymns) of joy, triumph and praise to the gods, especially Apollo in ancient Greece. There is no reason to think that the lyrics from this particular psalm that you've quoted above have any deeper meaning beyond giving us a sense of what went on in the minds of men during the era in which they were written.
      Again, the god being spoken of in this psalm was most likely Apollo... although there is no way of knowing for certain, if not Apollo, it may have been Zeus or Thetis (a.k.a. the alpha and omega), not the God of Abraham.

      January 2, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  4. Philologus

    Methinks... #1. shows a superficial understanding of the entire situation and of the intensity of difference in worldviews , #2. those muslims currently in control of the 'mic' will NEVER let go to allow this, #3. "church-o-phobe" would be a far more germane term - and more catchy, #4. an obvious 'spin' based solely on personal wishes, not on hard facts or existing trends, #5. hmmm... this just may be!, #6. sorry, a 'pipe-dream' for sure, #7. WAY over-stated, #8. half-right!, #9. yes, but it still won't be ENOUGH pressure (politics will happen; promises will be dropped - as both parties have proven o'er & o'er again), #10. no, and for the same reasonS it hasn't happened in the past, #11. half-right - maybe.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  5. Ed

    I predict that most of your predictions will be wrong.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • guestwhite

      I predict a chicken will lay an egg for the astronomical significance see the world turns?screwt.hat! apageinthelife

      January 3, 2011 at 5:22 am |
  6. Pile of used food

    I'm with the first guy

    January 1, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  7. Eleven Big, Steaming Loads

    Self-serving propaganda. Life goes on.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  8. FTM

    I have read the Bible through several times. I have read many, many dissertations on different books of the Bible. My prediction in regards to the future is that God's will be done.

    In the near term things are going to get really, really bad. This condition is predicted but is often ridiculed. If you're a part of the ridiculing crowd I invite you to reconsider. A stiff neck and a hardened heart do no-one any good.

    In the longer term things are going to be really, really good. Google up the "Technological Singularity." I predict advances in nano-technology that will make the concept of an economy obsolete. I predict advances in the understanding of human biology that will extend the human lifetime into centuries in a near perpetual state of youth. I predict that existing nation-states will become obsolete.

    In looking at the future, my opinion only, is that people tend to focus on the "Wrath of God" thing. That wrath is coming but bear in mind that the wrath is comparitively brief. Take a look at the last chapters of the Book of Isaiah. Take a look at the last ten chapters of the Book of Revelation. Take a look at the Book of Daniel.The wrath meme is present but brief.

    My advice and my preference is to focus on the foretold perfection that follows the wrath.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      i agree with technology eventually making the economy obsolete. I don't see city-states ending anytime soon. I too have studied the bible and other religious texts, as well as enjoy examining life in general and reflecting on existence. However, i do not think anything in the Bible in regard to prophecy will ever come to pass.

      I do think that we are going to have to reconcile how we have been living with how we want to live at some point. I think you are very optimistic that we will have a period of perfection after the wrath. I fear it will be more of a chaos filled time, similar to the dark ages. We will be lucky if after such an event as the wrath we will be able to hit a reset button and reestablish society is a better way.

      It's going to be work if we want anything better, a lot of work. I hope people are prepared for it....I worry they simply think it will be handed to them.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Raider

      So how did you like the parts where god is telling them to kill babies and take slaves and murder thousands of innocent people? Great stuff huh? All sorts of great religious stuff in there!

      January 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  9. Justin Observation

    I predict more of the same from the fear based organized religions, as they try combat their dwindling membership, by continuing to try and scare more people into joining their clubs, hiding internal crime, corruption, hate and greed, and welcoming an increased number of off-beat radical sub-clubs that accommodate even more bizarre, hate filled, and fanatical doctrines, so that the main club can claim to have a larger membership number, but at the same time, deny those radical members of their club really represent them.

    I predict this will continue until all people figure out that real peace and happiness comes from within, and everyone sheds the ignorant fear, self loathing, and bigoted dogmas of organized religions.... or until their holy wars kill everyone on earth.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  10. God

    I declare that gays were born with the same "inalienable rights" that your Christian mother and father were born with. I predict that if you hate gays you hate the part of you that has secret gay fantasies.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Wzrd1

      I hate hate. Does that mean I have secret hate fantasies? Or do I have well and frequently voiced fantasies?

      January 2, 2011 at 1:01 am |
  11. Betty

    These are neither religious leaders nor experts. It is simply CNN's liberal, socialist politics as usual.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      I hardly think Ralph Reed is a liberal socialist. Not sure what you were hoping to hear from these predictions. If it's that jesus will return in 2011 and rapture the faithful, then fear not, that prediction is made every year.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Terry

      You madam are an idiot. If Ralph Reed is a socialist them most Americans are anarchists, look it up since you probably don

      January 1, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Terry

      You madam are an idiot. If Ralph Reed is a socialist them most Americans are anarchists, look it up since you probably don't know what it means.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  12. God

    I predict that "religion is for pigeons" will become a 2011 buzzword....

    January 1, 2011 at 10:33 am |
  13. dma_lvnv@yahoo.com

    I predict that christian violence in the US will increase against rights such gay and abortion choice. Also religious violence against each other will increase worldwide.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  14. MassiveMarbles

    1. A famous scandal will be on everyone's lips
    2. A death will cause widespread revolt
    3. A new star will be born
    4. A natural catastrophe will plague Europe
    5. A serial killer will be hunted down
    6. A US government conspiracy will launch fear
    7. An unexplained phenomenon will astound the world
    8. A famous couple will die
    9. Technology will cause a major world wide panic
    10. The most unlikeliest thing will be a youtube sensation.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • JohnQuest

      You mean no difference from last year or the year before that or the year before that etc......

      January 1, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • Caihlyn

      You know..."the stars predict that you'll wake up, do a bunch of stuff, and then go back to sleep."...Quote from Al Yankovic's song "Your Horoscope for Today". In other words, the most likely change in the new year will be writing 2011 instead of 2010.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  15. Sam Houston

    Revelation 1:1

    January 1, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      I appreciate the response Sam, but in revelations 1:1, it's an angel delivering the word of jesus unto his servant John, not jesus saying it to his people. It's still a secondary source, anyone can claim "an angel told me so," would be different if jesus said it himself during one of his speeches.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Philologus

      It is true that anyone can say an angel told me so. However it is also true that it is certainly possible (and certainly necessary) to discern whether an angel really DID say so. Also, although it is true that Jesus was speaking a message to John, it is also true that Jesus instructed that the message be written down and passed on. That greatly detracts from its being a secondary source. (Lastly, although an admittedly minor detail, the spelling of the the Bible book referenced is Revelation, not Revelations. It's a common spelling error, but one which tends to reveal (pun intended) a persons familiarity with the Bible.)

      January 1, 2011 at 11:22 am |
  16. JoeSense

    I see a lot of negative comments here about the outlook of 2011 in terms of Islamophobia and Muslims i\n general. Religion and faith are about hope and seeing the best that Man can offer towards his community and God. I feel we will come together and move towards a more tolerant outlook on life and people during this year.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • JohnQuest

      JoeSense, religion is about hate and separation, just look at the past 5000 years.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  17. maybeben

    My faith prediction for 2011: Religious zealots will continue to deny that it is the 21st century. My evidence: this article.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  18. Sam Houston

    How very interesting that not one of these self-styled 'prophets' focused on Jesus Christ's thoughts and predictions concerning the future. Really, why would they, when all they are concerned about is their own prominence and glory. Just like those scribes and pharisees in Jesus' day. Matt.7:15-23

    January 1, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      Love the name by the way, but I hardly doubt anyone can speak for Jesus. And as far as predictions go, I do not believe Jesus was about making predictions, I'm pretty sure any mention of future predictions in the Bible would've been covered in Revelations, which wasn't written by Jesus.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Justin Observation

      @ Sam Houston... That's because Jesus apparently (according to Matt.7:15-23) hated corrupt, greedy, hypocritical, murderous, and hate filled organized religions.... and Christianity has been one of those corrupt, greedy, hypocritical, murderous, and hate filled organized religions since it's inception. So that parable still applies equally to Christian religious leaders today.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  19. GwT

    I predict that more Americans will come to realize that there are more than just the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths in America. We Buddhists are also engaged in the process as well, working diligently for humanity and world peace.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Raider

      Actually, I think you guys are doing it right! If you're not shoving your religion in my face daily, then I've got no problems with you at all!

      January 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Tina

      Buddhism is far and away my favorite of all the major world religions. Your beliefs are respectful, good, and thoughtful. More people like you could only be a good thing!

      January 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  20. David Johnson

    Question for the believers:

    Why is god such a proponent of slavery?

    Curious in Arizona

    January 1, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • sanjosemike

      David, the reason why religions support slavery is because it is an excellent economy (as long as you are not the one enslaved.) The "god" of the Old Testament is a psychopath.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Slavery

      David,

      Why do you look for answers on a blog?

      January 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
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.