Why young Christians aren't waiting anymore
A young Christian at an purity rally spreads the word.
September 27th, 2011
08:39 AM ET

Why young Christians aren't waiting anymore

By John Blake,  CNN

(CNN) -True love doesn’t wait after all.

That’s the implication in the upcoming October issue of an evangelical magazine that claims that young, unmarried Christians are having premarital sex almost as much as their non-Christian peers.

The article in Relevant magazine, entitled “(Almost) Everyone’s Doing It,” cited several studies examining the sexual activity of single Christians. One of the biggest surprises was a December 2009 study, conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, which included information on sexual activity.

While the study’s primary report did not explore religion, some additional analysis focusing on sexual activity and religious identification yielded this result: 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) said that they have had sex - slightly less than 88 percent of unmarried adults, according to the teen pregnancy prevention organization.

The article highlights what challenges abstinence movements face. Movements such as “True Love Waits,” encourage teens to wear purity rings, sign virginity pledges and pledge chastity during public ceremonies.

Yet many of these Christian youths eventually abandon their purity pledges, Relevant’s Tyler Charles concludes in the article. Tyler talked to people like “Maria,” an evangelical woman who said she wanted to wait until marriage to have sex.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

But she said she started having sex with her college boyfriend when she turned 20 because nearly everyone, even most of  her Christian friends, were having sex.


It seemed everyone in my life, older and younger, had “done it.” In fact, I waited longer than most people I knew and longer than both of my sisters, even though we were all Christians and came from a good home.

Relevant theorizes about why it’s so hard for so many young Christians to wait, including the saturation of sex in popular culture, the prevalence of pornography and a popular “do what feels good philosophy.”

Yet the article also asks a question that rarely comes up in discussions about abstinence movement. Relevant notes that in biblical times, people married earlier. The average age for marriage has been increasing in the U.S for the last 40 years.

Today, it’s not unusual to meet a Christian who is single at 30 - or 40 or 50, for that matter. So what do you tell them? Keep waiting?

Scot McKnight, author of “The Jesus Creed,” and "One.Faith: Jesus Calls, We Follow," acknowledges that young, single Christians face temptations that their counterparts in the biblical age didn’t face.

He  tells Relevant:

Sociologically speaking, the one big difference – and it’s monstrous – between the biblical teaching and our culture is the arranged marriages of very young people. If you get married when you’re 13, you don’t have 15 years of temptation.

So what should a Christian parent or youth pastor do? How do they convince more young Christians to wait until marriage, or should they stop even trying?

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Culture & Science • Culture wars

soundoff (5,770 Responses)
  1. Paulmichael

    One of religion's purposes is to slow population growth with this whole abstinence crap.

    October 28, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Zach

      Perhaps if there was more abstinence there would be more jobs....

      October 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  2. Tgfree

    Jesus told us that there would be few who would find the way to truth.

    Mat 7:13-15
    (13) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
    (14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
    (15) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    Joh 8:24
    (24) I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

    Joh 14:6
    (6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    Seems pretty clear cut to me...Jesus said it...that settles it... for me, there is no other way.

    See, some of you think that Jesus was just another good prophet, teacher, religious leader...but he was much more than that.... the other religious men that you reference were only men.... but John 1 tells us who Jesus is...and it seem plain...he was not like other religious leaders:

    Joh 1:1-14
    (1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    (2) The same was in the beginning with God.
    (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    (4) In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
    (5) And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
    (6) There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
    (7) The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
    (8) He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
    (9) That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
    (10) He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
    (11) He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
    (12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
    (13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
    (14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

    1Ti 3:16
    (16) And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

    Jesus was GOD expressed in flesh...for us to see...and He alone is coming back for his people.

    Rev 1:8
    (8) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

    It would serve us all well to know the scriptures...if we are going to try to use them to say that Jesus is something or someone other than GOD. So if He is God...and He said that He was the ONLY WAY....we should listen!

    October 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • JJ

      Blah, blah blah.

      October 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • dr.sm

      wow, you seem to have in depth knowledge of the bible.
      Can you please explain me this :- Jesus said
      "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."[John 5:30]
      Can you help me?

      How can he be god and say he can't do anything. Who is the "Father" here? I guess he has all the power.

      October 28, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  3. DesignerFabric

    Whoa! My last post generated more of a stir than I thought. I'd like to defend my statement a bit. I wasn't arguing for or against any particular denomination or religion. I can totally accept religious experiences from other faiths... here's why.

    Hinduism- Technically by BEING a good Christian, I'm following my Dharma. Following Christ = good karma. No problem there.

    Islam- I believe in Allah, I simply call him by a different name. (Yes there may be differences of opinion here, but we both love the same God, and try to worship Him as we understand it. If Islam is correct, I'm pretty sure the All-Merciful Allah would appreciate a Christian's good effort, even if their doctrine was confused.)

    Buddhism- I believe in the 8-Fold path. (It pretty closely resembles Christ's teachings.) In fact if you look at Amitahba of the Mahayana sect, there are some interesting similarities to Christianity (Saved by grace anyone?) Either way.. if Buddhism is right, by following Christ's teachings you're still closer to getting off the wheel.

    Confucianism- Christianity supports ALL of Confucius' ideals. Fidelity, Honor, Filial Piety, Virtue, Benevolence, etc.

    Daoism- No real gods to offend here. Besides, Christ's sermons, once again, resemble many things from the TaoTeChing.

    Atheism- Again, no gods to offend... Just be a good person for society's sake basically, so good Christians are okay here too.

    And finally, Christianity- Christ said he was the "way." But He also said that simply claiming his name wasn't enough. We claim Christ in our hearts. So I see no reason why other faiths are denied His grace. By striving to be good people, haven't they have already claimed Christ? God is just and fair, I believe all of His Children will have a chance to accept Christ. I like C.S. Lewis' idea, that maybe when we die we'll see that we were all worshiping the same God after all.

    So in short... the religious experiences of other faiths only strengthens my own. I think that having such experiences is God's way of responding to our searching. Once again, if you haven't found evidence of God, it's likely because you're not looking.

    October 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  4. sapientia

    There is a certain wisdom in choosing a partner and it is not about 'knowing them' before marriage in the biblical sense.

    October 28, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Scriptures

      And Eleazor did the right thing in Genesis 24....

      October 28, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  5. opinionguru

    This article is a waste of electrons.

    October 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  6. DesignerFabric

    There are a lot of people who say that there is no evidence for God. How do you know? Have you looked for any?

    Millions (even billions perhaps?) of people have claimed to have the powerful experiences that their scriptures promise them. (Seems like evidence to me.) Are you really saying that ALL theists are simply delusional or liars? You really believe that atheism is the only valid answer? That you are some kind of "enlightened chosen"? (Sounds like typical religious fanaticism to me.)

    If you were really looking for evidence of God, you would have found some already. But you don't WANT there to be a God, so you don't want to look for Him.

    October 28, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • Rick

      There are a lot of people who say that there is no evidence for God. How do you know? Have you looked for any?
      "Millions (even billions perhaps?) of people have claimed to have the powerful experiences that their scriptures promise them. (Seems like evidence to me.) Are you really saying that ALL theists are simply delusional or liars? You really believe that atheism is the only valid answer? That you are some kind of "enlightened chosen"? (Sounds like typical religious fanaticism to me.)"

      Obviously, if they are reading their scriptures, they are already receptive to their god.

      I don't know that atheism is the answer, but I certainly doubt that the answer is anything but subjective

      October 28, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Ruler

      @DesignerFabric you said,
      "If you were really looking for evidence of God, you would have found some already. But you don't WANT there to be a God, so you don't want to look for Him."

      I totally agree.

      October 28, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Chuckles

      Please explain this to me then.

      I am positive, I mean 100% certain that Zeus spoke to me. I mean, he looked exactly like he would from the pictures I've seen and said he was zeus and to prove his power, he changed me into a newt (I got better) he then charged me with a sacred quest to go and spread his words that the greek gods are still very much alive and that I must spread their message in any way possible.

      Now, according to you, I was receptive and so I found god, a lot of people agree with me, including the ancient greeks, are you calling a whole ancient culture liars?! Blasphemy! I mean, isn't that proof enough for you that a whole bunch of people believed in them, worshipped and sacrificed to them and a lot said they had intimate experiences with Zeus, Hermes, Athena, etc...?

      Also, FYI, You and Ruler seem to agree, then again he believes muhammed was gods spokesperson and I'm as.suming here that you believe that jesus was god/gods son. So who's right? I mean, would you call more than a billion peoples liars or having hallucinations because they believe in a different religion than you?

      October 28, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Ruler

      @Chuckles : I absolutely agree with you with your point in the 2nd paragraph. A whole lot of people can be misguided whether ethically, religiously, scientifically,etc etc. It was the misguided people of Germany who killed 6 million Jews. But i agree with you that you cannot call them liars. You cannot doubt someone's sincerity. You can be sincerely wrong. You may think that a pill, for example, is good for your health but actually it is not; and you are taking that pill thinking that it will increase your health. I can't blame you that you are a "liar" and deliberately taking the pill, knowing that it is harmful but saying that its good. You can be sincerely misguided.

      October 28, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Ruler

      @Chuckles : Regarding you spoke to Zeus, With all due respect i would say that you need a psychiatrist. Believe me, if someone say today that he hears voices or have talked to god, he seriously need a psychiatrist. Immediately you must be thinking, "This idiot is rejecting the idea of someone hearing voices of god but is convinced that Muhammed(pbuh) actually heard them 1400 yrs ago". Qur'an gives the reply:-

      "Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Apostle of God, and the Seal of the Prophets: and God has full knowledge of all things". Quran 33:40 And,

      "This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allah is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." Qur'an 5:3

      The system of prophet-hood was completed 1400yrs ago with Muhammed(pbuh) being the last. [just want to clearify that Muhammedd(pbuh) did brought something new, it was the culmination of the religion introduced to humans by the first man on earth Adam(pbuh)] And now God has taken the responsibility to preserve his last book, Qur'an till the last day and protect it from corruption. Even the staunch critics of Quran do agree that it is still the same which Muhammed(pbuh) brought.
      Coming to the point, How can i prove that Muhammed(pbuh) talked to God or Jesus(pbuh) had the Holy-ghost with him? Honestly/frankly/obviously I Cannot, infact nobody can. But what i can do is to present you the Quran which Muhammed(pbuh) claimed to be from God. This is ONLY proof we have which is still in its pure form.
      I am a logical person and i don't follow blindly. You seem to reason, argue, think logically too and that is a very healthy thing to do. You analyze that claim of Muhammed(pbuh) (i.e the Quran). Read it and find the mistakes in it; point out the unscientific, illogical things in it. Its so simple. If you found a book, for example, claiming to be of god's but in it is mentioned that the earth is a triangle: can this be from God? Ofcouse not. Its so simple.

      October 28, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • mike

      what does this have to do with the subject?

      October 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Debunking Quaranic Science


      Joseph Smith said pretty much the SAME THING - that he was a prophet of "God", spoken to directly by "God's" angel, with the truth of all truths. Mormon 'scientists' are turning themselves inside out trying to authenticate Smith's claims - and they, too, claim success.

      In only 150 years the Mormons have around 14 million followers - you have a 1200-year head start on them, so of course you have greater numbers at this point. The bottom line - It is ALL supernatural fantasy - and there are many desperate people who will believe it in order to feel 'special' and to feel destined to live forever.

      October 28, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Ruler

      @Debunking Quaranic Science
      If Mormons are making a claim you ask them for proof and analyze that. Similarly if Muhammad(pbuh) or Jesus(pbuh) made certain claims you ask their followers for proof which is their respective books i.e Quran & Bible and then analyse them. But if you say you don't have time for that then atleast do not comment on it and reject it in advance without researching it and advise others to do the same also.

      October 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • NR

      People don't want to live in vein, therefore, they deny the existence of God... it makes them sleep better at night

      October 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • DesignerFabric

      See my above response. Short answer: I find strength in other people's spiritual experiences, even if they are part of another religion. So no, I don't think they're "heretics."

      October 28, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  7. Ruler

    @Debunking Quaranic Science, you said "you sound as wide-eyed as our regular christian poster, Heaven Sent, with her misplaced awe at things that the Old Testament people knew from observation and discussion with other investigative people."

    With all due respect, you too sound like a type of mentality mentioned in the Qur'an
    "Deaf, dumb and blind, They will not return (to the path)." Qur'an 2:18
    The Bible also repeats the same message,
    "seeing they see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." Matthew 13:13
    You have already made up your mind which is expressed in your name, "Debunking Quaranic Science".
    I advise you to read the Qur'an unbaised and then criticize. I am sure you haven't read it, even some of it.

    October 28, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • Ruler

      Sorry once again. The was to be posted in Dean's replies.

      October 28, 2011 at 7:09 am |
  8. Emily

    I think its amazing when people choose to wait until marriage!! This is what God wants for us and he knows what is right for us! I will be waiting until marriage and I am perfectly okay with that!! 🙂 Praise be to God for He is the greatest! 🙂

    October 27, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Rick

      Good for you

      Attributing the edited, transated hearsay of bronze age man to god is awesome.

      October 28, 2011 at 5:00 am |
  9. Ruler

    @Real Deal : I respect your opinion Sir. You say Muhammad (PBUH) copied that. I agree. And for the sake of the argument I even agree that All of the points mentioned in the Qur'an about science were copied from here and there.
    Can you explain then to me, that, How come Muhammad(PBUH) copied only those points which were correct and ignored all those which were incorrect? At least he should have made one mistake by copying the wrong concept of that time.
    How come he was 100% accurate even in copying? Explain.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Ruler

      Sorry, I mistakenly posted it on the main page. Actually i wanted to post it against Dean,s replies

      October 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  10. Leigh2

    You know, you don't have to be a Christian to get it in your head, but Christians need to be aware as well - you better be very careful with whom you mess around with. You may just get a gift that keeps on giving and no way to be rid of it.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:50 am |
  11. obviously heathen

    someday she will figure out that s-e-x is a n-a-t-u-r-a-l thing that humans have been doing for m-i-l-l-i-o-n-s of years, even before they cribbed the b-i-b-l-e from other folklore and certainly before the f-l-a-t e-a-r-t-h was supposedly created s-i-x thousand or so years ago. Hopefully she will eventually meet someone who can teach her that s-e-x is pretty damn wonderful and start b-a-n-g-i-n-g like normal people, instead of these repressed idiots taking out their frustrations on the rest of us.

    October 27, 2011 at 12:28 am |
    • Post-believer

      I suppose I should know why you're spelling out words in your comment, but confess to not being clever enough to understand...

      October 27, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Helpful Hints

      Post-believer: This is what the – – – are trying to overcome. It's better if you know the common flags, though, so you don't go around – – – everything.

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      October 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  12. Scott from Tucson

    Why wait? Because of God? Don't wast your time, God doesn't care, just don't knock her up.

    October 26, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Not only does "he" not care, it is highly unlikely that "he" even exists. But if just one unwanted pregnancy is prevented because people fear "him" that would be a good thing.

      October 27, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  13. Douglas

    Celib@te Gay/Lesbian youth are on the move! They are rejecting sin and STDs for salvation along with their straight counterparts who have pledged to not fornicate. It is a new day. A beacon of hope shines brightly. STDs and sin...take a hike!
    Best, Douglas

    October 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • *frank*

      Hey I got a great deal on some swampland in Florida for ya, call me.

      October 26, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  14. Dean

    To knowingly and intentionally sin cheapens the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Fuzzy Zeller


      October 26, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Ruler

      You said you are an atheist. My question to you is that how come it is that a fourteen hundred years old book, out of its six thousand verses, speaks about science in approx. a 1000 verses and surprisingly is found to be correct in 80% of the verses. The remaining 20% is neither proved wrong nor correct, its ambiguous.
      How come someone was so accurate about scientific knowledge fourteen hundred years ago when we know that these things were known just a few centuries ago? How is that possible?
      Don't say it was a Fluke. Be realistic. As an atheist, its good that you are thinking and are logical and seems to have rejected the idea of Christianity. Answer this to yourself based on logic that how can this be a fluke.
      Whether you agree or disagree with my view, I damn care. I just want you to see the point.
      P.S : This is in your reply to your comment somewhere in this discussion where you said that you are an atheist. Somehow I can't find that comment. That is why I posted it here.

      October 27, 2011 at 3:46 am |
    • Ruler

      The previous reply was for Fuzzy Zeller

      October 27, 2011 at 3:48 am |
    • wayne317

      @Ruler, do you mind posting those facts? I'm pretty sure most if not all of them are incorrect. Which isn't the fault of the men who wrote them only the fault of the people who think it's the work of a supreme diety.

      October 27, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • Ruler

      @wayne317 : Sure Sir. It'll be my pleasure but are you willing to discuss?

      October 27, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Chuckles


      What bible are you reading? Mine speaks nothing about science other than in the loosest of terms, has many incompatibilities AND of the releatively small amount of space it provides for scientific thought its actually completely backwards. So I can only come to a couple of conclusions here, 1. You are not talking about the christian bible and this is a misunderstanding 2. you have have learned science from a 10 year old or 3. you and I have completely different bibles and yours seems to actually somehow make sense.

      Please explain.

      October 27, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Ruler

      @Chuckles : Sir your first conclusion is correct.
      @wayne317 : just one fascinating point out of the many i can give:-
      Chapter ath-Thaariyaat of the Qur’an also seems to allude to one of the most imposing discoveries of modern science, the Expansion of the Universe.

      “I built the heaven with power and it is I, who am expanding it.” Qur’an,51:47

      The expansion of the universe was first suggested by the general theory of relativity and is supported by the calculations of astrophysics. The regular movement of the galactic light towards the red section of the spectrum is explained by the distancing of one galaxy from another. Thus, the size of the universe appears to be Progressively Increasing.

      @Fuzzy Zeller & Chuckles: How can someone, fourteen hundred years ago, claim that the Universe is Expanding! Explain?

      October 27, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Chuckles


      Ok, interesting, I have not read the Qu'ran nearly as much as the bible so forgive me on my ignorance about the material. but specifically, the expansion of the universe isn't that hard to come up with scientifically or theologically, it's only been until recently that we can verify the findings. Thinking theologically, if you want your god to be all the all powerful creator you claim him to be, then obviously he wouldn't just stop creating after earth right? When science started to catch up and create even elementary telescopes, without seeing the red shift it's very easy to track stars (or as we know, galaxies) and watch them slowly move away from one another. One thing I think everyone always seems to not understand is that although we have much more verified knowledge and technology in our era, it doesn't mean these people 2,000 years ago, or 1500 years ago were idiots. They had the same capacity to think critically and understand their surroundings in their own terms, so looking up at the night sky and not seeing stars moving towards them is pretty easy to understand why they could come up with the thought that the universe was expanding, so it wasn't a "fluke" as you put it, it was a right guess based on faulty logic and reasoning.

      October 27, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • hippypoet

      to just point out a fact – the modern math we use is less then that of the mayan's... so in some aspects of knowledge, the anicents were smarter then us! thru computers and the like we have become lazy creatures.

      October 27, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Ruler

      @Chuckles, Sir I have to agree that you have a point. Just for your general information i want you to read this also. I am not making this my point but you have to then agree with me that this was a "right guess" also.

      “Do the disbelievers not see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then I split them apart?” Qur’an, 21:30

      According to modern science, the separation process resulted in the formation of multiple worlds, a concept which appears dozens of times in the Qur’an. For example, look at the first chapter of the Qur’an, al-Faatihah:( “Praise be to God, the Lord of the WORLDS.” Qur’an, 1:1 ). These Qur’anic references are all in perfect agreement with modern ideas on the existence of Primary Nebula, followed by the separation of the elements which resulted in the formation of galaxies and then stars from which the planets were born. Big Bang is proved now.
      I am not making the above verse my point. But i want your comments on this:-

      the Qur’an distinguishes between the sun and the moon in terms of different lights: (noor) for the moon which means reflected light, and lamp (siraaj) for the sun.

      "Did you see how Allah created seven heavens, one above the other, and made in them the moon a light and the sun a lamp?" Qur’an, 78:12-13

      How can someone, fourteen hundred years ago, claim that the moon is reflected light! Explain?

      October 27, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Chuckles


      For the sun/moon question, Beyond simple. Stare directly at the sun and then stare directly at the moon, which one hurts your eyes? Thus, if you look directly into a lamp (something giving off light) vs. say, a wall that is just reflecting light, can't the same reasoning be applied to celestial bodies in the sky?

      For your first part about many worlds, that's a little more nuanced. The term "world" could have any number of conceivable meanings in the time the Quran was written. In the quote you provide, it's implying (at least how I understand it) that Heaven and Earth are two worlds that were once one and now are separate and god is the ruler of both. I highly doubt when the quran was written someone would refer to other planets other than in the most general sense, since god is supposed to be ruler of the universe, if it falls within the confines of the universe (meaning, everything), that all fits.

      October 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Ruler

      @Chuckles. you said:
      "I highly doubt when the quran was written someone would refer to other planets other than in the most general sense, since god is supposed to be ruler of the universe, if it falls within the confines of the universe (meaning, everything), that all fits."

      Kindly can you elaborate this point again. I am unable to grasp what you want to mean.
      PS: english is not my mother tongue. so i am the one whose lacking here.

      October 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Chuckles


      Surely, what I mean to say is that when the quran was written, the writers didn't think of other planets within our solar system, or outside of out solar system, they were simply say god is the ruler of everything in general.

      October 27, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Real Deal

      Ruler, Regarding your statement/question about the moon being a reflector of light:

      "The ancient Greek philosopher Anaxagoras (d. 428 BC) reasoned that the Sun and Moon were both giant spherical rocks, and that the latter reflected the light of the former.

      Although the Chinese of the Han Dynasty believed the Moon to be energy equated to qi, their 'radiating influence' theory also recognized that the light of the Moon was merely a reflection of the Sun, and Jing Fang (78–37 BC) noted the sphericity of the Moon.

      In 499 AD, the Indian astronomer Aryabhata mentioned in his Aryabhatiya that reflected sunlight is the cause of the shining of the Moon." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon#Early_studies

      These were just some of the studies and ideas which were formulated long *before* Mohammad came along. Traders and others travelled all over that area and shared and spread various concepts.

      October 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Ruler

      @Chuckles :The word "heavens" doesn't apply to the commonly known heaven or hell concept. It indicates to the different heavenly bodies present in the universe i.e the sun, moon, etc.
      The point here to note is that how can someone claim fourteen hundred yrs ago that the heavenly bodies were once One. Or the sun, moon, earth and the stars, which they could have seen from the naked eye back then, were once one and then split asunder (Big Bang).
      Definitely you are correct, they did not mean inside or outside the solar system. The word in chapter 1:1 is A'LAMEEN meaning Worlds. That is the world in mars, in the moon, the other stars etc and there may even be life there that we don't know about; but all within the universe. There is no such thing as "Outside the universe". If God wanted to throw you outside this universe he simply can't because there is no such thing as outside God's kingdom or outside universe.

      Regarding the sun/moon point: You have a point and i accept that. May be again this was the "Right Guess". What do you have to say about this then:-

      In geology, modern science has recently discovered the phenomenon of folding which formed the mountain ranges. It has also been discovered that the stability of mountains is linked to the phenomenon of folding. The process of mountain formation by folding drove the earth’s crust down into the lower layers and provided foundations for the mountains. Mountains stabilize the land and prevent it from moving.

      “Have We not made the earth an expanse and the mountains as pegs?” Qur’an, 78:6-7

      Stakes ( awtaad ), which are driven into the ground like those used to anchor a tent, are the deep foundations of geological folds

      October 27, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Ruler

      @Real Deal : I posted the reply to your argument by mistake to the main post. I cant post it here again as it is objected as duplicate. Kindly read it over there and reply (if you want to) over here

      October 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Chuckles


      Depends what you mean by everything being "once One". Theologically it could mean everything was once a part of god (one) whereas we've now found it means all the material comes from the sun. Couple the idea that we learned that celestial bodies are movie away from one another, well it stands to reason then that they would once have been one.

      As for your mountain quote, it works a little differently than you originally posted. Mountains spring up when one tectonic plate either folds the other under it, or the flash together, or if a volcano is formed when magma finds weak points and makes it way towards the surface because of pressure. However, mountain ranges change, fall. New ones form, they do not stay "staked" into the ground but are constantly moving at a geological pace. In this case, the quran far from being right is actually way off.

      October 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Real Deal


      I did see your reply – thank you. There are a lot of 'facts' in the Quran which have been massaged into seeming to be scientifically correct.

      I am really not prepared to discuss each and every one with you.

      I don't mean to brush you off, but I found my own way out of the morass of religious fantasy. You can too, if you are interested in reality. If you wish to remain deluded and bedazzled by it all, that is your right. I wish you peace and happiness.

      October 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Ruler

      @Chuckles : The mountains are moving. I agree. But there movement is very slow and little. It is about 1cm per year. and they move when the plates move. Point here is that the Qur'an mentions the Purpose of mountains as stake/pegs preventing the earths crust to move.

      "And We have set on the earth mountains standing firm, Lest it should shake with them, And We have made therein broad highways (between mountains) for them to pass through: That they may receive guidance". Quran 21:31

      He created the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; He set on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you. Qur'an 31:10
      The same message is also repeated in chapter 16:15.

      Geologists today do agree that the mountains prevent the earth from shaking. There maybe some difference of opinion but generally as a whole they agree with what Qur'an says.

      October 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Ruler but the earths crust is constantly moving (it's what causes earquakes) and the movement, although slow in human eyes, moves pretty quickly in geographical terms. Mountains aren't really holding down the world at all but are subject to move just as much as everything else. The quran really did get this part very wrong.

      October 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Ruler

      @Real Deal : Its absolutely everyone's own choice to choose whichever path he wants. At the end of the day we should be tolerable to each other. But because of so much fuss in the world today, I feel we should me willing to listen to each others point. Not necessarily you have to accept what the other person says. But you should be man enough and have the guts to admit and say that, "look, you have a point, I can see that (if some one has one) but i'll choose my way and you choose yours. I am really not prepared right now:" Through this we'll understand each other better and so be more tolerable to each other. Differences of opinion will remain for ever.
      Regarding your statement, "There are a lot of 'facts' in the Quran which have been massaged into seeming to be scientifically correct." Sir, with all due respect, I totally disagree. And I am quite sure that you haven't analyzed the scientific points in Qur'an or even read the Qur'an. This may be your perception and i respect it but i'll advise you to read the Quran or listen to some lectures on Quran & Science first and then, still if you have concerns about it, I say "You are free to choose and believe anything."
      May Allah guide you to the straight path.

      October 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Ruler

      @Chuckles The whole plate is moving and that is why the mountains and the crust is moving. Its not that the mountains are moving separately and the crust is moving separately. There movement is actually due to the movement of the plate itself. That is the reason there are no constant earthquakes inspite of the crust moving constantly. And when the plates collides with one another then there are earthquakes. As far as my knowledge is concerned I don't think that a single mountain moves alone and the crust and the mountains move independently.

      October 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Ruler

      @Chuckles: This geology topic is getting more and more complicated. Leave it , I won't argue. I give you the benefit of doubt. Try this :-
      The earth is not exactly round like a ball, but geo-spherical, i.e it is flattened at the poles. The follwing verse contains a description of the earth's shape:

      "And the earth, moreover, hath He made egg shaped." Qur'an 79:30

      The arabic word used for egg is "DAHAAHAA" which is not an ordinary egg. It means an ostrich-egg. The shape of an ostrich-egg resembles the geo-spherical shape of the earth.

      How can someone, fourteen hundred years ago, be so accurate about the shape of the earth! Explain? Is this the "right guess" too.

      October 27, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Debunking Quaranic Science


      October 27, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Ruler

      @Debunking Quaranic Science : I can give you ten other websites plus a very well written book too, trying to refute Qur,an.
      You reply to my above post; How can someone, fourteen hundred years ago, be so accurate about the shape of the earth! Explain?
      Negative propaganda is always there and it depends on you whether you blindly follow others and accept all what others say for granted or, analyse whats correct through logic.
      They killed 6 million Jews justifying it through the church. Will you blame the Bible for that or simply agree with what they said and did and believe that it was not the foolishness of the people back then.

      October 28, 2011 at 1:43 am |
    • Debunking Quaranic Science

      An egg is more or less a prolate spheroid, and the difference between it and a sphere is quite obvious visually. The earth is quite spherical, but, if one must be more precise, it is an oblate spheroid. It is not egg-shaped... not even an ostrich one.

      The general acceptance of the fact that the Earth is round came about in the first century A.D., although Pythagoras had already postulated a spherical Earth 600 years earlier.

      October 28, 2011 at 1:59 am |
    • Ruler

      @Debunking Quaranic Science
      Just google on images you'll see by your own eyes how close an ostrich egg is to the shape of the earth and is flattened from the top.
      Here is one example

      How come Muhammad(pbuh) knew that what Pythagoras said in 600BC is correct! Was this the "right guess" too?

      October 28, 2011 at 2:50 am |
    • Debunking Quaranic Science

      1200 years of study by others up to his time, may have helped.

      Really, you sound as wide-eyed as our regular christian poster, Heaven Sent, with her misplaced awe at things that the Old Testament people knew from observation and discussion with other investigative people.

      October 28, 2011 at 3:04 am |
    • Ruler

      @Debunking Quaranic Science : At Muhammad's(pbuh) time Pythagoras view was not the only view. There were several concepts floating at that time about the shape of the earth. People even thought the Earth to be flat and were afraid to travel too far as hey may fall off. Pythagoras view was not considered as the Only correct view. Sir Francis Drake was the first person to prove that the earth is spherical when he sailed around it in 1597.

      October 28, 2011 at 4:09 am |
    • Ruler

      @Debunking Quaranic Science
      Mistakenly replied to you on the main page. You can check over there and reply here (if you want to).

      October 28, 2011 at 7:12 am |
  15. brurp

    Dave, couldn't agree with your article more. You get it. The extreme evengelical christians give us a bad name. He loves America and every other country and person in the entire world. God is love! We are all sinners, even those that are so called saved. Just following Jesus words in the bible is enough. But did we forget what the stars and stripes were intented for and meant to mean? Had nothing to do with religion. People need to get a clue and quit splitting hairs when they truly do not have full knolwedge. Good for you. Loved the article. BTW, I am a bible believing Christian and see it the way you do.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  16. Elayne

    No wonder they jump the gun into unhappy marriages. They just wanna get laid! hahaha

    October 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Bible Belt

      Now... You've said it! Right on!!!!

      October 26, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Samsword

      To be fair though... Mormons are one group that breaks the statistics.

      Many mormons marry pretty early, but they also generally report having happy successful marriages too.

      October 27, 2011 at 7:53 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Elayne: You're right on the money, carry on 🙂

      Samsword: Having had lived in Utah for over two decades, the Mormons are largely lying. It's "keeping up with the Joneses" religious style with each other, especially the closer you get to BYU. Last i checked (a few years ago), Utah also held the record for most anti-depressants consumed per capita in the nation too, so there's the shaker of salt.

      October 27, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
  17. brurp

    P.S. Do not take scripture from the old testament either as you rule. You will be crucifying Christ all over again. He did not come to save the righteous, but the sinners. He came to heal and free them from opression and that is what love does. If you find you don't take offense or get angry at anyone and continue to show them love, you will notice the love is returned 10 fold. Love is the answer to all of it. We make it all so difficult by getting caught up in the legalism of the bible. We need to read it and do the best we can as believers, but we all fail to see the simplicity of it. Forgiveness. If you love your children and they do wrong, you may be dissappointed, but you continue to love unconditionally and forgive (or you should otherwise the spirit of Gods love has not filled your heart) So if we can forgive and continue to love our children no matter what the crime, how much more can God's love and promises to us be?

    October 26, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  18. Ruler

    Leviticus 20:10 states "the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death." Can any Christian can tell me that this is a fabrication.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • handers

      how would this be relevant today?? Do you believe the Bible as it was written (by men we don;t know) suggests that adulters will be put to death? Yes by the Taliban but not bc of Bible.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • HijodeElElyon

      A Spiritual death it can cause, every sin kills the spirit, JESUS died in the flesh the physically body, and was risen in a spiritual body, which is HIS concern he cares more about the spirit than the flesh, although we bound in flesh but we must not walk according to the flesh it leads to death, but walk in spirit and in love. Ephesians 5:2

      October 26, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Ruler

      "JESUS died in the flesh the physically body, and was risen in a spiritual body"
      @HijodeElElyon. Sir I guess you haven't read the bible correctly. After resurrection Jesus was NOT Spiritualized. Jesus himself said, Luke 24:39 :-
      "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit has no flesh and bones, as you see me have."
      He said this when he went to the upper room. So he was not a Spirit at that moment.
      You got it all wrong Sir. My sincere advise to you is to read the context again.

      October 26, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Ruler

      You have your own opinion Sir and I respect that.
      But i appreciate your honesty here, the bible really is an anonymous book. We really don't know who wrote it.

      October 26, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Fuzzy Zeller

      Holy crap there HijodeElElyon.....you are seriously brainwashed.

      October 26, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  19. compositionvii32

    I was not raised in a Christian home, but became a believer in my teen years. My boyfriend and I have been dating for 5 1/2 years and have not had s-e-x. We are often asked if we have (I guess people are curious) and then we are asked why we don't and often, people don't even believe that we're telling the truth (how open-minded of them). Everyone has their struggles. I certainly do NOT believe that engaging in premarital s-e-x means that you are not a Christian or that you are "going to Hell." That is absurd. But I do believe that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then you should try to adhere to Christ's teachings in the Bible. I don't see where there is debate about what Scripture has to say on the subject. "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. My boyfriend and I choose not to have s-e-x because we are striving to live our lives in a way that honors God. This is a way that we can protect and love one another, and for the record, we get a lot of grief about it. It is hard for other people to accept that you are abstaining from ANYTHING that they are not abstaining from. Even if you never talk about it and only answer them when they ask, they assume you think you're "holier than thou," which we do not. It is far more difficult to put up with the chastisement we get for not having s-e-x than it is to abstain from s-e-x.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Vivi

      i'm sorry. but REALLY! if you died tomorrow you'd have missed out on our only natural fun physical activity! Sorry for both of you! When we die...we die. only what we leave in others memory is left. nothing more. have some fun and share the love!

      October 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • platofish

      Abstinence seems to have resulted in you being somewhat obsessed with s-e-x!

      October 26, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • harbharb

      Knock that s-e-x thing off. It's insulting to us adults. I don't think G-o-d will get upset if you say the word. Don't be a such a j-e-r-k!

      October 26, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • Fuzzy Zeller

      Say that when you're 40 and not some nut job teen who hasn't experienced the real world away from mommy and daddy.

      October 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Antoinette

      I completely agree and I applaud you for waiting. I have been a virgin for 26 years and I'm waiting for marriage. As I Christian, I made up my mind long ago that I would honor God with my life and body and surely this is what I intend to do. Stay strong and believe me there are so many people who wish they were in your shoes regardless of what people on this site have to say. Remember 1 Cor 1:18. For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

      October 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  20. HijodeElElyon

    1 Corinthians 13:4 Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,5 doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil;6 rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth;7 beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.8 Love never faileth <3


    October 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Rick

      Better yet, be a decent person (however you define it) and don't worry about being judged against 2,000 year old mores

      October 26, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Lucy

      I like that idea, Rick 🙂

      October 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Vivi

      ME TOO!

      October 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • Fuzzy Zeller

      Thou talketh likest thy flemething wierdoth of thy 1600's. This is 2000 years past that fairy tale. Have you not figured out by now it was just a flippin' story book?

      October 26, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
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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.