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College kids feeling passion for conference
January 11th, 2011
12:00 PM ET

College kids feeling passion for conference

By Steve Almasy, CNN

The Passion conference is more than just a huge gathering of college-age kids, organizers say.  the recent Atlanta conference was a call for the next generation to make Jesus a focal point in their lives and to share that passion with others, they said.

"Church was never meant to be an island of self-indulgence, but a missional community of Jesus-followers so in love with Him that they can do nothing else but carry His name to the world," pastor Louie Giglio said in an e-mail this week.

The event drew more than 22,000 students to the Georgia capital's convention center and to Philips Arena. It was even more successful than Giglio had hoped for.

"It is truly inspiring to see a generation that is so hungry for an authentic encounter with Jesus ... one that exchanges consumer-driven Christ for Christ-centered obedience," said Giglio.

One of the main spots at the conference, a convention floor full of booths for 10 carefully selected charities that the Passion movement works with throughout the year. The call went out to the college kids to spend time at the exhibits and find one that moved them.

On a Monday night, the third of a four-day event, thousands of kids dressed in t-shirts and jeans weaved their way through the exhibits. They took brochures and enthusiastically chatted as volunteers explained what each cause was about.

The stereotype is that college kids never have much money, but these kids dug deep. Some even brought in containers filled with money they had raised or saved.

Some donated what little money they had, some brought material goods, many gave from there hearts, officials said. Every charitable goal was surpassed, not by a little but by a lot.

The goal was to raise $500,000 for the charities, but after the conference, Do Something Now, the fundraising campaign of the Passion Conferences, announced that it had raised $1.1 million for Compassion International, Hope International, Haiti Transformed, International Justice Mission, Bibles Unbound, World Made Flesh, Joint Aid Management, Cure International, Living Water International, and the Atlanta Mission and City of Refuge (kids brought socks and towels for the homeless).

Giglio says it is compelling to see 18- to 22-year-olds giving to the causes that matter most.

"The fact that 22,000 university-aged young people would journey to Atlanta and gather for the name of Jesus is staggering in and of itself," he wrote. "But the fact that, as a result of His grace in their lives, they would pool their resources to the tune of $1.1 million to fund 10 local and global causes signifies a massive shift."

Students got to hear from pastor John Piper, who returned from an eight-month leave of absence, Francis Chan, and Beth Moore. The students sat intently, many taking notes, writing down the references to scripture passages. Afterward, they left, so moved barely a word was uttered.

They also were treated to warm up music from Chris Tomlin and his fellow artists on the sixstepsrecords label. The resulting live album (yet to be titled) will be released March 8. Last year's CD went to No. 1 on the Christian charts and featured the radio single "Our God."

A second Passion event is scheduled for April 1 in Fort Worth, Texas. Tickets are still available, a spokesperson said.

- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Music

soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. Josh

    Louie was right...he said that many people would be against us and meeting together for a common goal and to share God's world throughout the world. The cool thing is nobody truly knows how much each person gave because it was not something that was told out loud to everyone. We had a great time at Passion and next year we will be in the DOME which is awesome because seeing 22,000 christians gather together in God's name was awesome, but to see 75,000 will just be another awesome miracle brought to us by God. I hope many non-christians come and invite all of you to come and experience exactly what this "God" thing is about. The cool thing is that this "God" thing is real and He lives in us as true christians and He chooses to use us as His disciples. What an awesome God we serve...

    January 11, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Kaylee

      Amen!! I was there too, and they told us we'd be persecuted. The Bible tells us we'll be persecuted. They're just proving the Bible more.
      Our God is living and working in awesome ways!!
      <3your sister in Christ, Kaylee!

      January 11, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  2. Witness

    I was privileged to have the opportunity to volunteer for Passion 2011. The students participating were extraordinary and the speakers / worship leaders were top notch. What an amazing experience to watch 22,000 students be able to connect with like minded individuals to share ideas, encouragement and love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Students from 49 out of 50 states and also from 17 other countries saved money and arranged their schedules to be able to attend. On top of that, they elected to donate a million plus to worthy charities, because they want to make a difference.

    Atlanta welcomed us with open arms and in turn the students opened their hearts to everyone from doormen to the homeless on the streets. After midnight, in freezing windy weather on the 1/2 mile or more trek back to their hotel, I watched 4-5 young ladies stop to care for an elderly man on the street. I don't think you'd see that with your typical convention.

    I guess I just want to say, it was genuine, real and relevant. That's the way it is with those that have a relationship with our Lord, not just a religion.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • Molly

      Just wanted to say
      THANK YOU!
      Thank you so much for giving your time to volunteer at the conference, you helped make the week run smoothly and brought a smile to many peoples lives!

      January 11, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • Kaylee

      I was there, and you guys were AWESOME.
      Thanks for what you did! You went above and beyond.

      January 11, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Keri

      Thank you as well... I was there too and every "DOOR HOLDER!!!" had a smile on their face to open the doors for us and welcome us in and pray for us... so... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! God Bless You!! 🙂

      January 12, 2011 at 2:21 am |
  3. Courtney

    I was actually at the Passion conference, but I have to say that it is more like a movement as opposed to a conference.
    I think this article is a little misleading to those who weren't there.
    "Warm up music" would be the last thing I would call it.
    It was worship, and I can guarantee that the majority of us didn't care who was on the stage singing.
    We were praising our God not the singers/ speakers.
    The giving was not forced upon us, it was a choice we each made.
    If you had been there, I can promise you would not have a thought in your head about corrupt practices.
    I really can't describe what it was like, but I can promise it was life changing.

    January 11, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • Em

      Amen!
      The worship was incredible.
      I also didn't quite think the article quite correctly described the conference. Maybe CNN was really holed up in their tower after all...

      January 11, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Kaylee

      I was there too.
      And I was not brainwashed, but my life was changed.
      The comments on this article have done nothing but make me want to spread the name of God more.
      Thanks forgiving peoplea clear view.

      January 11, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
  4. Mark

    Loved being there!!!!!! This was such a moving and amazing time! Not just being able to be with other college students but hearing the different speakers and the message they had to give. Being able to worship with my own age group was moving but was all to God

    January 11, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • Peter Grothener

      You guys are a bunch of consumers. No matter how much Louie says we are against consumerism, this conference epitomizes it. Don't tell me these were ramen noodle eating poor college students. I see them in their designer white boy clothes (Northface) and then they applaud themselves for giving $1.1 million. Do the math–that's $50 bucks a person. Show some passion next year and stay home and give the same amount of money. $50? Even a pagan can give more than that.

      January 12, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  5. catherine

    Christian or non-christian I think if you would watch the music video god is not a white man by gungor you would better understand why following jesus motivated us to give and why we love him so much, because he first loved us. tell me what you think

    January 11, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • Kaylee

      I know who you are.... 😉

      January 11, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  6. De

    If you don't believe in the one true God, then from where do you think you came? And how do you decide what is good or bad; where are your manuals for these things?

    Jesus is the Way. And God is Love. Did you think love just happened? No, my friend; our Loving Father in Heaven created it, just as He created you and me for it. Listen for Him; He calls to you. God loves you.

    January 11, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Don

      So.....where'd god come from? Had to come from somewhere. Impossible for god to always be. So...where'd god come from?

      January 12, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • Wow. People these days...

      Actually Don, God did not HAVE to come from somewhere. If he came from somewhere then He would cease to be God. God, by definition, was not created.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
  7. captnavenger

    I think individual belief in something beyond oneself can be great and highly beneficial. But I think organized religion, however good the original intent, has no choice but to break down into something malevolent, controlling, even wicked. It's just human nature, and no god can overcome it on a massive scale, except Love in the most general, human, non-dogmatic, non-religious sense. Unfortunately, the truly wicked do not bow to Love, and will always end up with some semblance of control over part – or most – of an assembly like this.

    Thus, that photo is one of the scariest things I've seen in a long time. Potential Hitler Youth, however good their original intentions.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Anne

      We ARE attempting to change the world, but not in the way you are describing. Loving God is not an organized religion. We CHOSE to come together to worship Him with each other.
      We raised over one million for the less-fortunate. You're comparing that to Hitler? We were not forced or even urged for that matter. We chose to give.
      Where do you thinkg LOVE came from? It's just always been around?
      Nope, God CREATED it, and we have come together to worship the CREATOR of all living things.
      I assure you, had you been here, you would know that you are totally wrong. There is nothing wicked about sacrificing your life to the Savior of the world. You only say there is because thousands attended. You are basing your ideas of an unlimited God by your very limited brain.
      I suggest you YouTube some Passion videos and watch them with an open mind. You'll be surprised.

      January 11, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  8. Julie

    I can't fault this "passion" movement for promoting charitable work, and, hopefully, maybe, a move away from the self-righteous materialism that has been infecting Christianity in the US until it's reached the point where the gentle religion of my childhood has become an unrecognizable mess of gun-hugging, narrow-minded creeps who are sure to cheat you because of the belief that God wants them to have stuff and apparently doesn't mind how they get it.
    I only hope that these "passion" people aren't preaching politics. If a Christian wants to witness to me, fine. I can tell them to cut it out or quit preaching to the converted. But when they go to the voting booth and try to impose Sharia-like religious on others as law – then there's a problem.
    Remember to "give unto Caesar what is Caesars" and learn the boundaries between ones own personal belief and practice and that of others. The Christian calling is to spread the word, not force the issue. That isn't how you make friends and win converts.
    God bless ya, kids.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Em

      As an attendee of the conference, I can promise you that politics were never brought up. The purpose of the conference is coming together and worshiping our Savior as one body of believers. Nothing at all to do with politics.

      January 11, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  9. J Fritzl

    Seems like a prime locale to get some Christian "passion", if you get my drift. 🙂

    What? You can't hook up before/after the conference and still get something spiritual out of it? C'mon, man! This is a gathering of like-minded individuals here! You gotta get some, man. GET SOME!

    January 11, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  10. CNN's Poor Writing Staff

    "many gave from there hearts, officials said." Are you kidding me, CNN? Are your editors asleep at the wheel? It's "their" showing possession or ownership, not "there." Awful...

    January 11, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  11. vel

    let's see. Kids flocked to all of the religous nonsense after the Columbine shooting and what happened? Nothing. they just went back to acting like kids. And ah, nice how God always needs money. I guess creating manna and water in the desert is just too retro for him. Where is the God that is supposed to take care of his followers (followers who are supposed to leave their families and possessionsn behind) like the birds of the air and the lillies of the field?

    January 11, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Where is the God that is supposed to take care of his followers (followers who are supposed to leave their families and possessionsn behind) like the birds of the air and the lillies of the field?
      ------
      You are asking where is the God... I'm asking where are those words in the Bible? Actually, some do leave all, we call them missionaries! All are not called to be missionaries and leave everything! Why might you ask? Because one of the largest missionary fields in the world in right here in the USA! Need proof? No problem! Is Jesus YOUR Lord and Savior?

      January 11, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Reality

      Steve the real one,

      The Apostles' Creed 2010: (updated based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

      I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created state of bliss called heaven.

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary.

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen

      January 11, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      @Reality:
      1. Bet this was created by a very liberal religious (note the absense of the word Christian) group
      2. Joseph DID NOT conceive Jesus. The Bible clearly states it was the Holy Spirit! If Joseph conceived Jesus, then he (Jesus) would be in need of a savior as He would have been conceived in sin!
      3. If Jesus never rose from the dead, we would STILL need a savior!
      4. Nice try but, I am not buying it! Your cut and paste skills are vastly improving!

      January 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Reality

      Actually the updated Apostles' Creed was done in house using the previously listed references.

      With respect to the father of Jesus, some thoughts:

      where Joseph is reported to be the father of Jesus:

      John 6:42
      John 7:40-44
      John 8:39-41
      Luke 2:27,33,41,48

      In Rabbi Jesus: An Inti-mate Biography (2000), Professor Bruce Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a ma-m-zer; someone whose irregular birth circ-umstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural pa-ternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous co-nception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-ident-ity, his concept of God and his spiritual quest. "

      January 11, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Kaylee

      Hey Reality, you are basing your ideas of and UNLIMITED God off of your VERY limited mind.
      Romans 14:11. You are not excluded from 'every'

      January 11, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Reality

      More on the paternity of JC via the Christmas legend:

      Christmas, the embellished story of the birth of a simple, preacher man named Jesus.

      As per most contemporary NT exegetes, his parents were Mary and Joseph although some say Jesus was a ma-mzer, the result of a pre-marital relationship between Mary and a Roman soldier.

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      Jesus was not born in Bethlehem at least the one we are familiar with and there were no pretty wingie thingies singing from on high, no slaughter of the innocents by Herod, no visiting wise men and no escape to Egypt.

      Gerd Luedemann

      "Luedemann (Jesus, 280f) finds the genealogies in both Matthew and Luke to be theological creations with no historical basis. In similar vein he finds no historical value in the dispute over the davidic lineage of the Messiah (Mark 12:35-37 and parallels), finding it instead to be the product of "a learned scribal" effort to demonstrate that Jesus is "more than son of David, namely son of God." (Jesus, 87)

      "John P. Meier – Professor at Notre Dame

      Meier [Marginal Jew I,216-219] notes that the "affirmation of Jesus' descent from David might easily be placed alongside his birth at Bethlehem as a theologoumenon (a theological insight narrated as a historical event) if it were not for the fact that numerous and diverse streams of NT tradition also affirm Jesus' Davidic lineage." (i.e. Joseph's genealogy not Mary's)

      "Meier suggests that the belief that Jesus was "son of David" may have been held by Jesus' followers prior to his death, with his resurrection then being understood as a form of enthronement. However, he notes that such messianic views, whatever their provenance, cannot prove Jesus was "literally, biologically of Davidic stock."

      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=007_Of_Davids_Lineage

      Conclusion: the holyday of Christmas is historically a non-event. Ditto for the Feast of the Magi and the solemnity of Mary aka New Years day.

      January 12, 2011 at 7:58 am |
    • Steve the real one

      Reality,

      Nice try but Joseph raised him. How about some scriptures that show Jesus stating He is the SON of GOD! I see you just failed to mention those! Not to mention you missed the entire 1st chapter of John! 1. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was GOD! 14. And the Word was made flesh an ddwelt among us ( and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER... simply put.... JESUS! Joseph raised Jesus as a step father would! You are reading the Bible with no spiritual understanding!

      January 12, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Reality

      Hmmm, let us see what some of the experts (NT, historical Jesus exegetes ) have to say about the "Son of God/the Father references in the NT:

      Matt 7:21
      “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven."

      Not said by the historical Jesus, but more embellishment my Matthew. .faithfutures.org/index.php/111_Invocation_without_Obedience

      Matt 9:6 Passage notes "Son of Man" not Son of God.

      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/127_Sickness_and_Sin

      Matt 10:32-33, ""Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; /33/ but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven"

      "Ludemann [Jesus, 344] states " this is a prophetic admonition from the post-Easter community. For it, Jesus and the Son of man were 'identical in the future: Jesus will return in the near future as the Son of man with the clouds of heaven. In his earthly life he was not yet the Son of man, since he will come to judgment only with the clouds of heaven (Dan. 7.13f) at the end of days' (Haenchen)."

      Matt 11:27 "All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

      .faithfutures.org/index.php/045_Father_and_Son and

      "Lüdemann [Jesus, 330f] invokes the classic description from K. Hase of this passage as a "thunderbolt from the Johannine heavens." He notes the typically Johannine reference to mutual knowledge between Father and Son, and the absolute use of "Son" as a designation for Jesus. In dismissing the saying's authenticity, Luedemann also notes the similarity to ideas in the post-Easter commissioning scene at Matt 28:18, "All authority has been given to me ..."

      Matt 1:20- 225 (another "pretty, wingie thingie requirement)

      20/ But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. /21/ She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." /22/ All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: /23/ "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." /24/ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, /25/ but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus."

      "Bruce Chilton

      In Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography (2000), Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a mamzer; someone whose irregular birth circ-umstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural paternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-ident-ity, his concept of God and his spiritual quest. "

      Mark 1: 11 And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."

      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/058_John_Baptizes_Jesus

      "Gerd Lüdemann

      Lüdemann [Jesus, 9] affirms the historicity of Jesus being baptized by John, but does not trace the theological interpretations back beyond the post-Easter community:

      ... Jesus did not regard his baptism as appointment to be the son of God. The underlying concept derives from the community, which believed in Jesus as the son of God (cf. Gal. 2.16; 4.4) and located his appointment within his lifetime. In the earliest period, for example, the appointment of Jesus as son of God came only after his resurrection from the dead (cf. Rom. 1.4).

      "John P. Meier

      The second volume of A Marginal Jew devotes considerable space to a study of John as "mentor" to Jesus. The historicity of the baptism is addressed on pages 100-105, before considering the meaning of Jesus' baptism on pages 106-116. On the basis of the criterion of embarrassment, supported by a limited proposal for multiple attestation (relying on possible echoes of a Q version in John's Gospel and in 1 John 5:6), Meier concludes:

      We may thus take the baptism of Jesus by John as the firm historical starting point for any treatment of Jesus' public ministry. (II,105)

      Having established the historicity of the baptism event, Meier is adamant that the narrative must be seen as a Christian midrash, drawing on various OT themes to assert the primacy of Jesus over John. In particular, Meier insists that the theophany must be excluded from all attempts to understand the event, since it is a later Christian invention rather than a surviving memory of some actual spiritual experience of Jesus.

      Meier's discussion of the meaning of the baptism puts great weight on the fact that accepting baptism implied Jesus' agreement with John's apocalyptic message, and also engages at length with the question of Jesus' sinlessness."

      January 12, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • duh

      Ummm, not sure how to tell you this but God doesn't need money and never has. Everything we have is HIS and on loan to us. We give in his name, not to find glory in what we do necessarily but for who we are doing it for.....God! I do these things in the name of Jesus.

      January 14, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  12. Reality

    Should not the Passion Conference attendees be advised about the historic passion of JC?

    e.g. From Professor JD Crossan's book, Who is Jesus:

    "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

    “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

    “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

    “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

    I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

    Bottom line: JC caused a ruckus in the Jewish Temple. He was captured by the Roman soldiers and summarily crucified with no trial or cross-dragging through the streets and no crown of thorns.

    January 11, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • jeff

      I imagine most of the Passion conference attendees do not care about Crossan's OPINIONS about the historical passion. They have many fine, mainstream scholars, with better credentials, to choose from.

      Bottom line: all opinions are not equal. Putting oneself on the history channel or in movies or popular fiction books does not give one equal standing. Do try and find any of the early church fathers recommending the Gospel of Thomas.

      January 11, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Reality

      Professor Crossan's thorough reveiw of all the scriptural and non-scriptural docu-ments from the first to third century CE and his conclusions are tough to beat but his conclusions are not the only ones. Might want also to review the conclusions of the other historic Jesus exegetes listed at earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html . The Gospel of Thomas by the way is one of the major doc-uments in the litany of references used by modern historical Jesus exegetes.

      January 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Reality

      Professor Crossan's thorough reviews of all the scriptural and non-scriptural docu-ments from the first to third century CE and his conclusions are tough to beat but his conclusions are not the only ones. Might want also to review the conclusions of the other historic Jesus exegetes listed at earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html . The Gospel of Thomas by the way is one of the major doc-uments in the litany of references used by modern historical Jesus exegetes.

      January 11, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Reality

      Added suggested readings:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter
      100-200 Odes of Solomon
      101-220 Book of Elchasai
      105-115 Ignatius of Antioch
      110-140 Polycarp to the Philippians
      110-140 Papias
      110-160 Oxyrhynchus 840 Gospel
      110-160 Traditions of Matthias
      111-112 Pliny the Younger
      115 Suetonius
      115 Tacitus
      120-130 Quadratus of Athens
      120-130 Apology of Aristides
      120-140 Basilides
      120-140 Naassene Fragment
      120-160 Valentinus
      120-180 Apocryphon of John
      120-180 Gospel of Mary
      120-180 Dialogue of the Savior
      120-180 Gospel of the Savior
      120-180 2nd Apocalypse of James
      120-180 Trimorphic Protennoia
      130-140 Marcion
      130-150 Aristo of Pella
      130-160 Epiphanes On Righteousness
      130-160 Ophite Diagrams
      130-160 2 Clement
      130-170 Gospel of Judas
      130-200 Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus
      140-150 Epistula Apostolorum
      140-160 Ptolemy
      140-160 Isidore
      140-170 Fronto
      140-170 Infancy Gospel of James
      140-170 Infancy Gospel of Thomas
      140-180 Gospel of Truth
      150-160 Martyrdom of Polycarp
      150-160 Justin Martyr
      150-180 Excerpts of Theodotus
      150-180 Heracleon
      150-200 Ascension of Isaiah
      150-200 Acts of Peter
      150-200 Acts of John
      150-200 Acts of Paul
      150-200 Acts of Andrew
      150-225 Acts of Peter and the Twelve
      150-225 Book of Thomas the Contender
      150-250 Fifth and Sixth Books of Esra
      150-300 Authoritative Teaching
      150-300 Coptic Apocalypse of Paul
      150-300 Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth
      150-300 Melchizedek
      150-400 Acts of Pilate
      150-400 Anti-Marcionite Prologues
      160-170 Tatian's Address to the Greeks
      160-180 Claudius Apollinaris
      160-180 Apelles
      160-180 Julius Cassianus
      160-250 Octavius of Minucius Felix
      161-180 Acts of Carpus
      165-175 Melito of Sardis
      165-175 Hegesippus
      165-175 Dionysius of Corinth
      165-175 Lucian of Samosata
      167 Marcus Aurelius
      170-175 Diatessaron
      170-200 Dura-Europos Gospel Harmony
      170-200 Muratorian Canon
      170-200 Treatise on the Resurrection
      170-220 Letter of Peter to Philip
      175-180 Athenagoras of Athens
      175-185 Irenaeus of Lyons
      175-185 Rhodon
      175-185 Theophilus of Caesarea
      175-190 Galen
      178 Celsus
      178 Letter from Vienna and Lyons
      180 Passion of the Scillitan Martyrs
      180-185 Theophilus of Antioch
      180-185 Acts of Apollonius
      180-220 Bardesanes
      180-220 Kerygmata Petrou
      180-230 Hippolytus of Rome
      180-250 1st Apocalypse of James
      180-250 Gospel of Philip
      182-202 Clement of Alexandria
      185-195 Maximus of Jerusalem
      185-195 Polycrates of Ephesus
      188-217 Talmud
      189-199 Victor I
      190-210 Pantaenus
      193 Anonymous Anti-Montanist
      193-216 Inscription of Abercius
      197-220 Tertullian
      200-210 Serapion of Antioch
      200-210 Apollonius
      200-220 Caius
      200-220 Philostratus
      200-225 Acts of Thomas
      200-250 Didascalia
      200-250 Books of Jeu
      200-300 Pistis Sophia
      200-300 Coptic Apocalypse of Peter
      203 Acts of Perpetua and Felicitas
      203-250 Origen

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,

      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"

      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."

      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
      10. 7. The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm
      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html
      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-08022006-125807/unrestricted/02dissertation.pdf
      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.org/
      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf
      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      January 11, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • KeithTexas

      Jeff you are right, most fundamentalist Christians don't care what any one says or believes. They have not read any of the books that led to their religion and the life long Christians will never learn anything about the origins of their religion. That way they will stay faithful members their whole life.

      January 12, 2011 at 12:08 am |
  13. Reality

    Looking a bit deeper:

    #1 Passion Conferences apparently does not file a Form 990 so it is impossible to see how much of the donated money actually gets distributed to the needy after the organizers take their cuts.

    #2 Compassion International, one of the recipients from the Passion Conference is a very large operation with over $400 million dollars of donations/ government grants (tax payer money) etc. in 2008. They pay well with the top ten managers making on average $200,000/yr. What they actually receive from the Passion Conference was not listed on their Form 990 but it can't be much after the money is divided amongst the other "non-profits". Compassion International lost over $1 million in the stock market in 2008 and again one wonders why "non-profits" are allowed to invest donated money in the risky stock and bond market.

    January 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • chris

      nomatter how much they make as managers and executives, there are still good things being accomplished for the children that Compassion International helps

      January 11, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Will

      1) Passion Conferences is not the name of the ministry which produces the conference.

      2) Money is given by the students directly to each charity.

      3) As far as Compassion International, the typical arrangement is that a person "adopts" a child and makes a monthly contribution towards "helping" that child. Therefore, you wouldn't see a single donation from Passion as it would be scores of smaller donations from individual students.

      4) Yes, some of the money to every non-profit goes to "overhead" including paying executives. Everyone should research a charity before they give to make sure they are comfortable with their policies. Hopefully, more charities will switch the charity:water model where 100% of public donations go to the cause identified, and overhead costs are handled by "Angel Investors" who believe in the project and choose to underwrite the cost of overhead.

      January 11, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Reality

      From a Google search:

      "Did you know that some Children Charity CEOs earn nearly $0.5 million per year?

      You have often seen the advertisements on television, with photos of childen in dire poverty, requesting you to sponsor a child. The truth is that there are many children around the world that need urgent help and there are many excellent organizations that provide much needed assistance. But do you realize that the executives of these organizations earn, in many cases 5 or 10 times more than what you earn?

      Frankly, I would not mind if they would only tell you about it. But it seems to be a secret that few people know. I am conducting a survey on the subject to see if visitors are aware that Children's Charity Execs are making nearly $0.5 million. Currently nearly 60% say that they were not aware of this. So, why don't the charities tell us? Why doesn't the media publicize the story? These are the questions discussed in this article.

      Chief Executive's Salaries

      CEO Salaries

      Charitable Organizations are required to submit a Form 990 to the IRS and usually this form is on the charity's website. From the Form 990 you can find the CEO's salary. However, these forms are often 1-2 years old. Since CEOs usually receive hefty pay raises, this means some of the salaries you see below are probably considerably higher today. This information was updated in December 2009

      Children International (Oct 2007- Sept 2008)
      http://www.Children.org
      Jim Cook CEO: Salary $357,097 + $61'183 + $17'838 = $436'183

      World Vision (Oct 2007- Sept 2008)
      http://www.worldvision.org
      Richard Stearns, President: $336'472 + $44'382 + $40'327 = $421'181

      Save The Children (Oct 2007- Sept 2008)
      http://www.savethechildren.org
      Charles MacCormack, President: $354'081 +$66'805 +$5'735 = $426'621

      Child Fund July 2007-June 2008
      AKA Christian's Children's Fund
      http://www.childfund.org/
      Anne Goddard President: $249'231 + $32'994 + $12'000 = $ 294'225

      Compassion International Jul 2008 – Jun 2009
      http://www.compassion.com
      Wess Stafford, CEO: $214'943+ $34'743=$249'686

      Pearl S Buck (July 2008-Jun 2009)
      http://www.pearlsbuck.org
      Janet L. Mintzer, President: $132'652 + 12'001=$144'653

      Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (2008 Calender Year)
      http://www.cfcausa.org
      Robert Hentzen, President: $105,756 + 16'239 = $121'995

      Children, Incorporated (2006-2007)
      http://www.children-inc.org
      Marian G. Cu-mmins, President: $95'503 + 2749 = 98'252"––

      One wonders why there are so many "children" related charities to begin with? Big money for executives? And some object to paying a bit more in taxes to have universal health care in our own country? Time to tax "non-profits"? Said "non-profits" have over a trillion dollars in assets in the USA!!!

      January 11, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  14. chris

    Chris Tommlin is such an awesome musician...that would have been such a great place to be. Any commenters here actually attend this conference? Share your input if you did.

    January 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Nicole

      I "attended" via the webstream this year, but have been there in person previous years. I am constantly amazed by the amount of giving the "poor, ramen noodle-eating college students" strive toward because they are motivated by the love of Jesus.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • KeithTexas

      Chris it is nice to see that you are praising yourself instead of Jesus

      January 12, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Kaela

      @Chris IT IS AMAZING! You totally should go to P2011 in Texas! Such an atmosphere to be in! You leave revived and so full that you are spilling over!

      @KeithTexas ... That isn't the same Chris... If it was he wouldn't have spelled his own name wrong.

      January 13, 2011 at 1:30 am |
    • Amy

      I attended the conference and I can fully say that it was not only life changing but completely eye opening. We all came to one place from ALL over the world; China, Peru, Brazil, England. And we worship one God. We are the generation that is going to change the world and these ADULTS are going to make a difference and to see 22,000 kids raise over a million dollars!! it was inspiring and its gonna get even bigger and better 🙂

      January 20, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  15. Ann Marie

    That's a lovely story. Made me happy. Thanks for giving me hope in the next generation. Glad to see it's not all about reality tv for them.

    January 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  16. Peace2All

    The action of 'giving' to charities in need by these young adults is something, I believe, should be applauded.

    Whether you are a believer, non-believer, or somewhere in between... in general principle, giving and taking action to help our family, friends, community, our country... and other countries, again... in principle... is a good thing.

    Like any charities- religious or secular, I sincerely hope that the monies and goods will go to the right places, without the charities themselves self-servingly or even illegally absconding with the funds or goods.

    My concern or maybe it's more of my own observations and questions... is why do (some) of the religious make giving about -"because of God, or ... because of Jesus" they are giving...? Wouldn't you 'believers' give anyway, regardless of faith...? I guess I am asking what if you (hypothetically) didn't have any 'faith,' wouldn't you 'still' give... because it is just the 'right' and 'good' thing to do...?

    I know many agnostics, agnostic-atheists, and atheists, (myself being one who falls in this 'agnostic' group) who as a general rule... 'give' from their hearts, just because it... 'is' the 'right' and 'good' thing to do, and they do it whether or not they 'believe' in some form of a God... or whether or not there is a God at all.

    I am in no way 'criticizing' believers for believing in a God, or any one else for that matter. I am well aware of the massive contributions done by religious groups and organizations throughout the U.S., and the World... which obviously do a measure of good. And, while agnostics to atheists also do and give a tremendous amount to the world, just because it is not measured as much, as there are very few if any 'organized' atheist groups that try to demonstrate the amounts they give to prove some kind of point. They give for the sake of giving... period.

    I just am putting forth some observations, and asking and posing some sincere questions.

    Again, these young adults should be applauded for giving... I am just curious if they, or anyone else that is a believer would (hypothetically) give–anyway– without belief in God or Jesus, or do you 'only' give 'because' of Jesus..?

    In other words, I believe whether you are religious or not... giving in principle to those in need is a 'right' and 'good' thing to do.

    What do you think...?

    Peace...

    January 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • chris

      giving is always good, whether you're a believer or not, but giving because you're motivated by Christ, I just see it as beautiful... It just stems from an appreciation for God and what he did for you by creating you and showing such an amazing mercy toward you.
      This is coming from a former athiest, and I used to give/volunteer anyway... I volunteered at a local food bank, I donated to charities, etc... but giving has just taken on a whole new meaning/feeling... It truly is about an appreciation for God and his people (regardless of the other persons faith, they're still His). I'm not going to condemn a non-believer for giving or anything... I know you don't have to be a believer to give and be charitable... but the issue is what your motivation for giving is... Is it to build yourself up or to build God up? Either way you're going to be helping someone else, but giving in Christs name helps to bring Him glory, not yourself.
      I know this sounds strange to non-believers, but, they believers know what I'm saying.

      January 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • choc

      Peace2All,

      Arthur C. Brooks has done research which should answer your question about whether these college students would give anyway.

      In his study Brooks uncovered some cultural values which influenced charitable giving: religious participation, political views, and family structure. You can read this findings in Brooks' 2006 book "Who Really Cares."

      January 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @chris

      Hi Chris...

      You Said: "I know you don't have to be a believer to give and be charitable... but the issue is what your motivation for giving is... Is it to build yourself up or to build God up? Either way you're going to be helping someone else, but giving in Christs name helps to bring Him glory, not yourself."

      I believe, you may be making some assumptions here.

      I, as an agnostic, along with other agnostics...or agnostic atheists.. or atheists are...'not' tying to "build ourselves up" as you stated. We are giving just giving for the sake of giving, because it is the right thing to do. We see someone in need, and just do it... because it is good. Not, for some 'self-serving' agenda, to build ourselves up. We have no need to "bring glory to God or Jesus" in that sense. And, I am not saying you are wrong for wanting to bring 'glory' to Jesus, as it is your belief.

      We(agnostics-atheists, etc...) give for the sake of giving... period. No glory to Jesus is needed as a reason to give.

      Thanks Chris...

      Peace...

      January 11, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • born2praise

      I am a believer and those are understandable questions that you have. Based on God's word He IS 'right' and he IS 'good', so we are giving because it is right and good. "For the LORD is good and his love endures forever" ~Psalm 100:5

      It is hard to answer the question with the thought in mind of not being a believer. I can't imagine life without Jesus as Lord. He was the perfect example to us. His whole life was lived in obedience to God the Father and He gave His life for us. The only good in us is the Jesus within us. Romans 3:10 – "There is none righteous, no not one"

      "This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe." ~ Romans 3:22

      "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." ~Romans 6:23

      I would encourage you to read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. He was an atheist and the book explains his logical reasoning on why there is a God. It is a great book for believers or non believers. It is a literary classic.

      January 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • steve-o

      Peace2all:

      Great reply. You said, "I know many agnostics, agnostic-atheists, and atheists, (myself being one who falls in this 'agnostic' group) who as a general rule... 'give' from their hearts, just because it... 'is' the 'right' and 'good' thing to do, and they do it whether or not they 'believe' in some form of a God... or whether or not there is a God at all."

      The basis of your giving is what motivates you to give. What I hear you saying is that regardless of your religious or non-religious affiliation, you should give. You extrapolate the basis as being "right" and "good." If there is a "right" there is also a "wrong." If there is a "good," than there is and "evil." For the atheist, this presents a dilemma. If there is a moral question here, it comes from a moral foundation or even, dare I say it, a moral law. So the question for you or anyone of us is, "What...or, ...who...is your moral law giver?

      For the Christian, it comes from Biblical precepts of "taking care of widows and orphans." For the atheist or even the naturalists/rationalists, there is no moral basis, as life is "red in tooth and claw." It is survival of the fittest. I see a logical outworking for the Christian to give and take care of those in need. For the atheist, it is...illogical. Morality to the atheist is as Dr. Will Provine of Cornell University says, "proximate and robust" at best. To take care of the poor and needy, for the atheist...(a great idea and I would encourage them to do it) he/they must borrow the concept from Christianity or religion, as a true atheist would consider it illogical .

      I wish you well...

      January 12, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @born2praise

      Hi -born2praise...

      With all due respect, while I appreciate and respect your right to believe what you choose to believe... you really didn't answer my questions at... 'all.'

      All you did was re-quote biblical verses to me. I am very well versed in the bible... and... C.S. Lewis, but I was curious to hear from a believer, in 'your own words.'

      Not just mere regurgitation of the Bible.

      If you care to take another stab at it... 'without' using quotes from the Bible, and using your own thoughts... that would be great.

      But, either way... best of luck to you...!

      Peace...

      January 12, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @steve-o

      Hi -steve-o...

      You Said-"Peace2All...Great reply."

      Thank you.

      You Said: "The basis of your giving is what motivates you to give. What I hear you saying is that regardless of your religious or non-religious affiliation, you should give. You extrapolate the basis as being "right" and "good." If there is a "right" there is also a "wrong." If there is a "good," than there is and "evil." For the atheist, this presents a dilemma. If there is a moral question here, it comes from a moral foundation or even, dare I say it, a moral law. So the question for you or anyone of us is, "What...or, ...who...is your moral law giver?"

      Respectfully, you are making assumptions and attempting to assert them as if they are given -facts. When you ask 'What or Who' is our moral law giver, you are assuming that there somehow, unquestionably, 'is' a moral law giver(using your terms). You do 'not' *know* that. You may *believe* that...even strongly–fervently...however, just because you believe it strongly, does 'not' mean that it is... *absolute fact.*

      And, by the way, I would also assert that you 'may' be right. But, since either one of us don't know, and just have our beliefs, then that would be a much better starting point to have an intellectually honest discussion here, than to go off of unproven assumptions... or beliefs.

      So, your assertion that it somehow is a dilemma for atheist's or agnostics is a fallacy, as your assumptions are based on unproven assertions. And, so to say that it is 'illogical' for us, is based on truly faulty logic.

      However, what the majority of archaeologists, anthropologists, cultural sociologists, and evolutionary biologists do agree on(regardless whether there is... a God, or 'not') is that humans began to learn certain things to do, and 'not' to do thousands of years ago, as they were developing and evolving, well before the time of Jesus, etc... So, being 'good' or 'right' was not borrowed from the Christians as you say, as these concepts of right and wrong didn't just spring up because of or at the time of Jesus.

      It appears that it became clear to early humans that in order to survive and thrive, it just didn't make sense to kill and destroy everyone. To survive and thrive... and to live, it was clear that 'cooperation', and living by a set of rules was the way to go. That is just... common sense.

      Again, we could debate whether there is a God, or whether there isn't one, etc... But that was not the frame of my sincere questions and observations. There may be one.

      So, for me and any other agnostic or agnostic/atheists... again, I or we do what we need as far as giving because we deem it as a 'good' or 'right' thing to do, for a multi-tude of reasons.

      Bottom-line... there 'may' or 'may not' be an ultimate moral law giver...God, however, we again, do what we do because it is right... "No God required."

      Thanks for chatting with me -steve-o... and I wish you well too.

      Peace...

      January 13, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • snowday

      @Peace2All – Thanks for your honest question. For many of us, our lives have been drastically affected by the history of Jesus' life and the ways His words and power are still working in unexpected, sometimes intimate ways. Letting people know that we're giving "for the Lord" or "to the Lord" by giving to them does two things.

      One, it opens up the possibility that the person will connect the feeling of having someone care about them with Jesus and not just with us (we won't always be there for them, even if we want to. To give the gift just from us would be to sell them short of all God can continue to give them even when we are gone). Two, that joy (like a feeling of being in love, only with the Lord) that is expanding inside us and itching to get out, has a chance to express itself. That joy somehow becomes even greater when you're doing something that not only helps someone but thrills God's heart. If a man I love enjoyed traveling, why would I get excited about buying a vacation package for us two, but then when we're on it, act like I'm the only one on the trip?

      January 13, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • Peace2All

      @snowday

      Hi there -snowday...

      You Said: "@Peace2All – Thanks for your honest question."

      Thank you... I am a seeker as well.

      You Said: "For many of us, our lives have been drastically affected by the history of Jesus' life and the ways His words and power are still working in unexpected, sometimes intimate ways."

      I am very happy for you that you have chosen to derive positive meaning from the story of Yeshua bar yoseph(Jesus), and apply it in your life for the better. Some things written in the Bible, and some that are allegedly attributed to Yeshua, are in fact powerful and beautiful.

      You Said: "Letting people know that we're giving "for the Lord" or "to the Lord" by giving to them does two things.
      One, it opens up the possibility that the person will connect the feeling of having someone care about them with Jesus and not just with us"

      So, using your same assertion, would it be fair to say that a Muslim who offers or gives out of the goodness of their heart, is also giving to help them develop a greater connection with the Love of Allah(which means 'God'), and Muhammed as His Prophet...? Or, the Hindus who give to help people connect to the Love of Brahman...?

      You see every believer in different religions 'believes' their version of God, etc... is, without question the 'right' one, and the others are wrong. *Exception-Of course their are some that will come out with a more universal accepting or viewpoint*

      So, are you o.k. with that ... in that others are giving to help people connect to the Loving feeling and experience of (their) one true God...? Because, they are, as a general rule, just as excited as you.

      You Said: "Two, that joy (like a feeling of being in love, only with the Lord) that is expanding inside us and itching to get out, has a chance to express itself. That joy somehow becomes even greater when you're doing something that not only helps someone but thrills God's heart."

      Whether there is a God or not, is obviously open for debate, however, again... as I stated in my other postings, that is not the scope of the discussions or the questions posed. Again... I admit... there very well may be ... a God. Who or what it may be... that is another discussion for another time.

      However, giving for the sake of 'just giving' because it is 'good' and people are in need... can and should be done whether there is a God or not, yes...?

      I certainly appreciate and respect your right to believe that your giving..."thrills God's heart," .... maybe it does. Just glad you are giving with Joy and Love.

      You Said: "If a man I love enjoyed traveling, why would I get excited about buying a vacation package for us two, but then when we're on it, act like I'm the only one on the trip?"

      I understand what you are trying to say here, however, it really is not a useful analogy. Hypothetically, if a man you love enjoys traveling, I am assuming that it this man is *undeniably tangible and real*...yes...? So, the rest of the analogy doesn't really fit nor make sense. But, again... I do get a sense of what you were attempting to communicate.

      So, with that said... I'm glad you have so much joy and love in giving, which you believe comes from your version of religion...i.e.. the Christian version that may or may not be accurate.

      Again... my point being 'everyone'... religious or not... I believe, should give because it is the right and good thing to do. Again, No God is necessarily required to be a good, kind, loving, compassionate, and giving human being.

      Peace...

      January 13, 2011 at 2:45 am |
    • KJK

      @Peace2All you complain several times about the idea of an absolute fact. Although one may be offended by the use of this idea it is an essential part of Christianity. Christianity is built on the foundation that the Bible states the truth. The idea of believing in Christianity and expressing doubt in the existence or sovereignty of our God are mutually exclusive ideas. It may come across more respectfully to nonbelievers, but defies our beliefs. We are commanded to worship our one true God, therefore we believe in the existence in only our God. Any appeal to Christians of the idea of expressing doubts out of respect are illogical. In order to be a Christian, one cannot believe in a polytheistic order or doubt Christianity.
      Unlike other Christians who have replied to this comment, I am well aware of the presence of agnostic or atheist people who have charitable hearts. I am even friends with some of them. The joy from giving of oneself is not exclusive for Christians. The joy itself is different though. Christian giving is an act of worship through obedience for we are commanded to give. 1 John 3:17-18 states, "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."
      Charity is wonderful whether one is Christian, Agnostic, or Atheist. Each set of charity does have differing motivations though.
      I hope that you do not mind my Bible quote. I also dislike it when Christian arguments are only "regurgitation of the Bible." The quote is used as it states a Christian command to give and expresses the idea in the most clear way. I hope that this clarifies some things for you. Arguments between Christians and non-Christians face the problem of two stubborn mutually exclusive beliefs competing, therefore result in people reinforcing their prejudices of the other group. This comment is meant to clarify, not to compete.

      January 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • alee

      In response to whether or not people who believe if they didn't believe, well I think that's a subjective matter.

      God is the motivation for giving for Christians, but if these people didn't believe before, who knows if they would've given or not.

      People are selfish by nature so if there are people who give altruistically, that's awesome, but I think the amount of people who don't believe in Christianity and still believe in giving and compassion is a minority.

      There are also "Christians" (I use that term lightly as many people are "Christians") that don't give. Especially among youth these days, people are just generally apathetic towards tragedies or conflicts that don't directly affect them so they think "why bother to donate?"

      I feel it's really on a case-to-case basis on whether these 22,000 kids would still give to charities if they didn't have Christ to motivate them. You don't need God to motivate you to be compassionate or giving of yourself, but to a lot of people, without God they probably would not be so self-sacrificing.

      January 14, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @KJK

      Hi -KJK...

      I totally understand what you are attempting to say. My only point in relationship to your assertion about the Christians beliefs as facts are: You talk about your 'beliefs' throughout your post to me... 'as if' they are = *absolute facts.* They are not.

      Again, no matter how strongly you 'believe' you are right as a Christian,(which as I stated before... you 'may' well be correct. No dispute from me), you cannot, by being intellectually honest state with 100 % certainty that you, are in fact correct. I have tried to stay away from the 'self-sealing' and 'circular' logic argument-"I believe there is a God... Why... because the Bible says so." "Well, why do you believe in the Bible...? Because, it says it is the 'word' of God." (Again, these are unprovable 'circular-self-sealing' arguments that never can get anywhere.) Again, this was not an argument about whether God actually exists or not...? If so, which version of God is it...? Islam's, Taoist's, Hindu's, and of course Christian, etc... My interest was about the act of giving anyway... regardless of whether there is a God or not.

      Secondly, I understand that it is almost hard for you believers to even 'hypothetically' try and imagine there not being a God... and would you give anyway.

      So, I appreciate and respect your comments and chatting with me, and I have no sense of any kind of 'stereotyping' or reinforcing negative beliefs or stereotypes.

      My point being is that I, and others give... because it is good. No God required. If... there is a God, then that's great too. I would imagine, he/she/it might be very, very happy with us that... chose to give anyway, without having to think we are doing it 'because' of God.

      Thanks -KJK

      Peace...

      January 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @alee

      Hi -alee

      You Said: "People are selfish by nature so if there are people who give altruistically, that's awesome, but I think the amount of people who don't believe in Christianity and still believe in giving and compassion is a minority."

      Not in my experience, I could be wrong, as I am sure that there are some kind of statistics on this, but at leas the ones that I know of, are extreme givers, and are kind and loving people-without God/Jesus. And, as for your statement, you are stating an 'opinion' as you used the word believe, but you are *inferring* it to be factual, that 'people that don't (believe) in Christianity and still believe in giving and compassion are in the (minority). Not necessarily so -alee.

      As to the rest of your post... why do you think that for some of these people, that if they didn't believe in God, they wouldn't be so giving...? I mean really, why the heck not...?

      Peace...

      I

      January 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  17. Mark

    Ted Olsen's comment above is correct. Passion is like a hipster Christian concert for young adults who are no doubt "passionate" about following Jesus.A similar but more globally focused conference has been put on by the campus ministry, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship since 1946. It's called the Urbana Student Mission Convention. It only happens every three years so the last one was in 2009 and the next one will be in 2012. In 09 15,000 students gave $900,000 towards global mission and relief work. 2,676 committed to serve long-term (2 years or more) in cross-cultural mission contexts.Passion is the glitzy, little brother (in age, not size) of Urbana that appeals to white kids from the southeastern u.s.Urbana is the ordinary, older brother with the more intellectually robust content, global perspective, and multi-ethnic attendees from all over the u.s.http://www.urbana09.org/report.cfmhttp://www.urbana09.org/about.pressroom.history.cfm

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

      Mark, I sense a little bitterness in your comments. Both conferences, Urbana and Passion, have the same goal in mind: to carry the Gospel to the world. Obviously, they are both needed as I'm sure their is little overlap in attendance between the two. I'm not sure why you seem so down on Passion. Both Passion and Urbana are on the same team, brother.

      January 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Nicole

      I agree with choc. I've attended both conferences, and both have great things to offer. They just focus on different areas of need.

      January 11, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • steve-o

      Marc wrote: "Passion is the glitzy, little brother (in age, not size) of Urbana that appeals to white kids from the southeastern u.s."

      Yo bro, not so. Lacrae rocked da house at Passion. Your view/opine is myopic. Several hundred international students (China, Italy, Greece, Brazil, Colombia) attended P2011 Atlanta. Lots a color at Passion, bro.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  18. David Johnson

    "Church was never meant to be an island of self-indulgence, but a missional community of Jesus-followers so in love with Him that they can do nothing else but carry His name to the world," pastor Louie Giglio said in an e-mail this week.

    I think the Jesus-followers should be so in love with him, that they want to just share him amongst themselves.

    The Evangelical need to share their invisible friend with the world, is why I find them so revolting.

    If there ever was a Jesus, He is long dead.

    There is no god(s).

    Cheers!

    January 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Christfollower

      Wanting that to be true is not the same thing as it actually being true. Like most atheists, I am impressed by how much faith you have in what can't be seen. God bless you, my friend.
      "When You said, 'Seek My face,' my heart said to You, 'Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.'" Psalm 27:8

      January 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • chris

      being so in love with someone that you keep it to yourself makes absolutly no sense...

      I think this was a great article, awesome portrayal of Christianity today

      January 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • tamarbach

      As a fellow atheist, I think it's okay for Christians to gather in any form they choose. However, I do agree that no one should have an idea or an opinion forced upon them. I also believe, that we should treat each other with compassion. It doesn't matter what the other person believes, or whether or not we agree with them, I still think that we should tolerate each other. I understand why so many of us atheists come across as sounding bitter, but I think the message gets lost in the anger. Love an compassion is always a better route.

      January 11, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • QS

      "Wanting that to be true is not the same thing as it actually being true. " Why is it that religious people can't seem to understand this very concept, yet expect non-believers to adhere to it?

      Thank you for pointing out what so many of us Atheists get frustrated about in regards to this particular "religion"...in a country that was founded on diversity and the idea of a "melting pot" of people all living and existing together despite their differences, this philosophy of "we love Jesus so much we just have to tell others about him" is so contradictory to that philosophy that it borders on insult.

      Also, when religious people give to charity it's never 100% altrusitic, there's always the ulterior motive of doing it so you look better in the eyes of "god".

      January 11, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Kaylee

      I attended this conference, and I assure you, there IS a God. There is ONE God.
      Jesus Christ is surely NOT dead, he is very much alive.
      I have not been brainiwahsed, and I am a straight A student. I am a hard worker with two jobs, a member of a prestigous choir, and I have a jpy within me that others greatly covet.
      And that joy does not come from the things I do, the grades I makes, or anything else.
      It comes from the FREEDOM I have thanks to the LIVING God who SAVED me. Jesus Christ.
      I'll pray for you.

      January 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • Tami

      God is not dead He is ALIVE, God is going to move on earth this year watch, do you not know that Jesus died for you and for the whole world because He LOVES us. You can't figure it out with your brain it's by faith that we accept Jesus.

      January 12, 2011 at 7:29 am |
    • saganhill

      @Christfollower–when you start reciting scripture you are a man with an argument. Basically this artical on CNN is just showing how gullable and brainwashed people are in believing the supernatural. 22 thousand gullable kids in one location. Very scary and what is scarier is these people will be making decisions based upon the notion of an old man who lives in the sky. Might as well throw bones on the ground or sacrifice a goat. Same results only its a bad day for the goat.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • saganhill

      @Tami, You hit the nail on the head there girl. It takes no brains to have faith. Its amazing that humans want to live in the 3rd century believing that a god exist. People have been saying that god is coming back "this year" for 1000's of years even before jesus was born. Beyond the gods that poeple believed in before a monotheistic religion was forced upon the human race. Ya, jesus love you, if you believe that I have land for sale for you off the coast of Somolia.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • saganhill

      @Kaylee So what did god "save" you from? Yourself? Were you so deprived that an invisible old man who lives in the sky somehow saved you? Where is the logic in that assumption? Oh wait, there is no logic. I think you under estimate yourself Kaylee, you can do so much yourself without this monkey on your back called god.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • saganhill

      @tamarbach Your assumption is a nobal idea, but letting delusional, irrational people make decisions in the government in my opinion is very dangerous. Would you have someone make a decision or lead a group of people who believes that god talks to him and he in turn talks to god? Its happenig now and look at the results in this current world we live in. Not very pretty is it.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • EssenceFire

      If you leave negative comments on this post, or you just speak of how you believe there is no God, I completely support your right to express your opinion, but it seems like others have the intention of tearing down our beliefs. Simply be nicer, as you do not even know exactly what we believe. And as for non-believers, I don't think you are completely informed of this Christianity and what you should believe, as Jesus' message has been extremely convoluted and misinterpreted over the years, and I encourage to give it another chance. Every student who attended this conference only have the mission to spread love. (of Jesus Christ.) So remarks like "Hitler filled stadiums too" are really crappy.

      January 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Ryne

      @saganhill

      I've seen a lot of internet trolls in my time, but you are probably the worst. What moves you so much to crush the hopes of young people? Could you possibly read above and see how much you cover this comment board with your rants? They accept that they don't need to fully understand everything. I find it unfortunate that you don't have the capacity to do such a thing.

      So I'm curious, what makes your prideful beliefs so much greater than those of a religious person? You must know something that millions to billions of others, including scientists, professors (from the likes of Oxford, Yale, etc...), and many other seemingly intellectual groups don't. What is your secret, oh great one?

      January 12, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Ryne

      @QS

      "'Wanting that to be true is not the same thing as it actually being true.' Why is it that religious people can't seem to understand this very concept, yet expect non-believers to adhere to it?"
      Do you really feel that your beliefs are so much more righteous to belittle "religious" people like that? With that thought, it seems you assume the religious to all lack any form of intelligence. I'm sure that many of the Christian professors and other intellectuals out there, others I know, and myself (i'm not categorizing myself as an intellectual), do not believe because we "want" to believe. It's because we simply do believe. I (and i'm sure everyone else, including yourself) want a lot of perfection to be true, but I definitely don't believe in it. Believing in a deity such as this isn't a matter of "want." People like you just assume it is because you can't bring yourself to have the same view and if you can't understand it, then it must not be fallible. That seems to be the universal view of most Atheists these days.

      And why is it that Atheists miss this philosophy, also? While Christians are spreading what makes them happy and gives them hope, Atheists are tearing that down. If I stop by the local theatre on a Friday night and show up to work on Monday and tell everyone about it because I enjoyed it, is that going against the melting pot, too?

      January 12, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Jessica

      David, Where do you find your joy?! What on this Earth can truly fulfill your soul?... nothing. Our hearts were made by God and for God, and He is the bottom of our joy.. I'm truly praying for you. I pray that you would look outside today and realize how small and insignificant you are, and God would open up your eyes to something bigger than yourself. I hope one day you realize you have a Savior that died for you, and LOVES you (right now) and wants to help you go through this life because He understands and cares. I am praying your heart will be opened to Him, and one day you'll experience the riches of His love and His peace that passes all understanding.

      January 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Sarah

      I can only hope that my children will find the grace of God as these 22,000 have! God never said when he would come back but that he would. It is the human race that continues to say this is the year....to stike fear in some and to bring others closer but only those who truly accept God as their savior will be Glorified! I look forward to the day I meet my maker and if it is while i am still on this earth great or if it is after my death then I look forward to the rebirth. To have this faith is to know a peace of mind that others can only hope for. By his grace alone!

      January 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Amy

      How would we ever see the world in change if people who followed this LIVING God did not speak up about it. That's like saying "Well I see someone doing wrong, but I'm not gonna tell them what's right."

      We follow a God who GIVES and IS life, not one that is dead. He is everlasting and eternal and to believe in no one who mean you find no purpose in your short lived life. What's your fall back for suffering? Do you rely on yourself? There's a reason we are not able to do everything on our own. We call to a much higher power who is able to take that suffering away.

      January 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  19. Jeff C

    So basicly a sci-fi conference, like Comicon?

    January 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • tippy

      This is what happens when you start brain washing children from birth on this pagan god

      January 11, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • john

      tippy.. what happens? they get together and have a good time? what happens? did miss something?

      January 11, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Mark

      Tippy this is not a brain washing of kids. How dare you say it's that? It's not brain washing. It's something that I and those that were there believe. It is not from the brain that we think of this but the heart. We are a generation that believes that as you say pagan god is the True God. And that He is Real!

      January 11, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • ScottK

      "Tippy this is not a brain washing of kids. How dare you say it's that?" Brain washing would leave them with cleaner brains, this is more of a pep rally for the mentally deficient. It just adds another layer of thick, ignorant, bigoted lacquer to their already sticky caked brains that are too slowed down by constant religious rhetoric to have a thought of their own.

      January 11, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • TheJessieSimone

      You probably will not see heaven.

      January 11, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • saganhill

      @TheJessieSimone-Neither will you Jessie. It doesnt exist.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • steve-o

      Tippy, if you could see my brain and what it thinks, you would agree, it needs washed!

      January 12, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Kaela

      Hey Tippy, I'm 21 and as a kid growing up in a Christian home religion was never pushed on me. At all. My parents gave me space, and my right, to decide whether I wanted to serve God or choose a different path. It's not the same today as it was for our grandparents. They had no choice in the matter because if you were not in Church on Sunday then you were looked down upon. It's not like that today. And if anyone has looked down on you for what you think then shame on them! Shame on them for judging you and acting like God. We are all equal in the sight of Him and no one has the right to judge you because, really, how much better are they than you? The only difference is they have a relationship with Jesus. They are washed clean. However, they still sin. I STILL sin. There is no way to get around it. I hope and pray that you don't take offense to anything any "Christian" has said to you. I am praying for you. I hope you don't forever think of Christianity as "brain washing."

      January 13, 2011 at 1:11 am |
  20. Ted Olsen

    I doubt Tomlin, Giglio, etc. would call the music "warm up music." The worship is more or less the point of the conference. It's the reverse of most other Christian conferences. At Passion, the speakers (top-tier they may be) seem like they're more there to inform the worship. They're not the main draw.

    January 11, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • chris

      exactly... worship and praise is at the very core of our relationship with Christ

      January 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Emily

      actually, though the worship is important, it has never been the main draw for the students. an environment of a LIFE of worship and study for 4 days, connecting with college students all over the world, who believe the same things you do is the massive draw. 22,000 college students singing to the Lord is amazing. those same 22,000 college students in silent meditation on Jesus for over half an hour, even more awe inspiring.

      from a Passion 2011 college student

      January 12, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • ken terry

      I was a volunteer at Passion 2011 and I had rather be there among 22000 so called brained washed, god loving, happy, friendly, inspiring kids than in the middle of 22000 college kids whose team just won the game and they are tearing the town apart, starting fires, fighting, drunk, strung out on drugs. Lets take a vote on who is really the happiest bunch.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.