My Take: Why young evangelicals are leaving church
Laura Sessions Stepp says young church dropouts are tired of being told how they should live their lives.
December 16th, 2011
12:45 PM ET

My Take: Why young evangelicals are leaving church

Editor's note: Laura Sessions Stepp is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, formerly with The Washington Post, who specializes in the coverage of young people.

By Laura Sessions Stepp, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Republican conservatives should be worried. Evangelical churches that frequently support conservative candidates are finally admitting something the rest of us have known for some time: Their young adult members are abandoning church in significant numbers and taking their voting power with them.

David Kinnaman, the 38-year-old president of the Barna Group, an evangelical research firm, is the latest to sound the alarm. In his new book, "You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith," he says that 18- to 29-year-olds have fallen down a "black hole" of church attendance. There is a 43% drop in Christian church attendance between the teen and early adult years, he says.

Read the full story here.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church

soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. TheRationale

    It's the Internet. Unabridged access ideas. They can hear arguments for and against Christianity, or any other religion for that. Christianity is simply not convincing. What with sites like YouTube allowing people to watch religious debates on any given topic, it's become very easy to question religion and educate yourself without having to face the social stigma that such action usually brings to a person in many parts of the country.

    December 18, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  2. Iqbal Khan


    December 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  3. scott

    My church is growing and I know a many others that are growing also.

    December 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • ___.__

      Atheism is a group that is growing very fast.

      December 18, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • TheRationale

      Fastest growing usually just means smallest. Whether it keeps growing and/or stays around is the important thing.

      December 18, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  4. Colin

    Let's hope that their rejection of the outdated morality of their parents and church leaders will be a "door opener" that will help these kids question, and inevitably escape from, the supernatural garbage of religion.

    December 18, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  5. WOT

    I see you took my coment off! The truth is not wanted!

    December 17, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
  6. JF

    WOW! But see the thing is, joung people see everything. From childhood, they are watching to learn. So by seeing and watching,they see all the fakeness in the church. And by church I mean people. But GOD is not allowing the suffering
    in the world, mankind is allowing the suffering in the world. GOD is allowing mankind. The only way for GOD to end the
    suffering in the world, is to end mankind. You say GOD will not show his self, be sure you what to see him before you
    ask to see him.

    December 17, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  7. WOT

    This is the generation of unbelief. If one would read the Bible there would be no serprize as to what is going on with the young adults of today. A great falling away ( Dark Ages II ).

    December 17, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • AGuest9


      December 17, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  8. HeavenSent

    Heaven sent us tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, and famines, plus cancers, typhoid, meningitis, lupus, and other horrible diseases that cause horrid suffering and death to millions of people worldwide.

    And then god wants to torture you in hell forever if you suspect that he doesn't exist, even given that there is no specific evidence for his existence and that he apparently hasn't shown his face for at least 2000 years if ever.

    Wow, god must be quite the cruel, evil jerk. To be polite.

    December 17, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • InLoveWithGod


      That's absolutely false; if you would take the time to "actually read" the account written for mankind, you would quickly understand that "In the beginning" God made ALL THINGS PERFECT and He saw that they were VERY GOOD; but, eventually, it came into the heart of both Adam and Eve [from Satan, whom they chose to listen to; rather than to "God"]; and "their choice" for themselves, was totally in contrast to what "God" had told them that "He wanted" for them; and "that choice" [made "by" them, not "for" them, by "God"], gave them over to engaging in a similar spirit of "disrespect, defiance, and rebellion" ... just like the one you've displayed herein, towards the very "God" [not god] that [not only] gave you life, and a FREE WILL like He did [similarly] for Adam and Eve; to either accept or reject Him; to love or hate Him; or even to believe or not believe in Him; but, there is one thing you can take to the bank; this [very same] "God" will one day require some real answers from you, and those like you; and no, He won't be on the defensive; not angry or vengeful; simply sad for you ... you see, this very "God" that you are so angry with [remarkably] still loves you very much ... heck, so much so, that He sent His Only Son to die for you; in your place ... so that you might be able enjoy everlasting life, where everything will again, be PERFECT and VERY GOOD!

      Also, you should never "bare false witness" ... especially when it comes to "God" ... and as for all those horrible tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, and famines you mentioned; you have God confused with the HAARP program (those are man-made, not God preferred for man, things) ... and, as for those dreadful cancers, typhoid, meningitis, lupus, and other horrible diseases that cause horrid suffering and death to millions of people worldwide ... again, you have God confused with the Chemtrails program (and again I say, those are man-made, not God preferred for man, things).

      See, it wasn't "God" that brought those things into the world ... Man's Sin and Satan did ... but, man shakes his fist at "God' and says, "leave us alone already; let us do all the sins we want, of every kind we chose." Then, when He ["God"] lets them have their way; they again shake their fist at Him and say, "Why have "You" let all these horrible things happen to us!" ... talk about "circular reasoning and circular disfunction all in one."

      The "Only One" that can change all that, is the [very] "God" you have chosen to disrespect. But, it's never too late to say "I'm sorry God, I was indeed wrong, and totally misinformed ... please forgive me." ... and "botta-bing botta-boom" ... you are on you way to a world that will [soon] be remade again [by God]; but this time, if you chose to make your piece with "God" ... your tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, and famines will ALL be a thing of the past ... but, if "you chose" to remain "defiant and angry" ... well, you get the picture by now; it won't be because "He chose" that outcome for you; you will have "chosen that for yourself" ... and you'll have "only yourself" to disrespect and be angry at, not God.

      As for "God" wanting to torture you [or anyone else] in hell forever, if you suspect that "He" [not he] doesn't exist; even given that there is no specific evidence for "His" [not his] existence, and that "He" [not he] apparently hasn't shown his face for at least 2000 years, if ever. That's quite an array of misinformed rubbish ... "No evidence for His existence?" ... "He hasn't shown His face for over 2,000 years?" ... I think you contradicted yourself just a bit ... how can you say "No evidence for His existence," then end that with "He hasn't shown His face in 2,000 years" ... doesn't that indicate to you that He "was here" before?

      So the existence part we can throw out, even by your own words ... but not showing His face for 2,000 years? Would you recognize Him if you saw Him? Maybe He's been here day in, and day out, in your own life, but you've been so angry with Him, that you couldn't see the perverbial forest for the trees. Have you ever "truly searched for Him with all your heart?" No, I suspect that you might be like most people ... they aren't looking for Him; they simply want the opportunity to be able to hammer "Him" for "their decisions" to do everything they want to do; yet, never want to answer to anyone when "their decisions" mess up everything ... be it in the world ... or, in their lives."

      If He ["God"] showed up today, in your living room; and told you, "I AM GOD" ... you'd still say, "no way." You see, people aren't looking for "God" ... they're looking for someone to simply fix the world they've totally screwed up; then, when the world is fixed up, they want "that person" ["God"], to get out of the way, AGAIN. You can't have your cake and eat it too; if the world chooses God ... God will turn flips to make if better ... but, when mankind says, "Get God and Jesus out of our schools, public places, congress, supreme court, the white house, our daily lives, our places of work, our businesses, etc., etc." ... let it be known to all reading this; God is the "ultimate" gentleman; if man doesn't want Him, He'll stand aside, but He will never give up on His possession, His Creation; He'll both keep and watch out for that; but, He will let "another person" come in and roost with you; and if you didn't like God to be there with you ... imagine life with the new landlord [overlord] ... he will make sure you have every rotten and lustful thing you want ... but in the end, he'll want your alligiance in return ... are you ready for that?

      So I end with this, "Choose this day whom you will serve; if Satan be [your] chosen god, then serve him; but if "God" be [your] chosen "God" ... then serve Him." As Yogi Berra would probably say, "Life's a choice ... make it!" Choose well, and choose soon ...there isn't much time left to do so ... today, more than any other time in human history, evil incarnate is crouched at the door. Be well everyone.

      December 17, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by "InLoveWithGod" is loaded with common fallacies, and concludes with the flawed argument known as <bPascal's Wager.


      December 18, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by "InLoveWithGod" is loaded with common fallacies, and concludes with the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager.


      December 18, 2011 at 10:55 am |
  9. Is Christianity The Only Faith That Worships A Zombie?

    "taking their voting power with them" Yeah, Jesus was all about voting power. It was all politics with him. People say he was into the whole messiah/zombie thing for the chicks, but he was really after voting power.

    December 17, 2011 at 2:24 am |
  10. Reality

    And the music plays on:

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" are converging these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, popes, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    December 16, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      It never fails that wherever CNN posts an article on religion, Reality is not far behind, ready to tell religious people they are stupid.

      December 17, 2011 at 7:19 am |
    • Reality

      Hardly stupid are they but unfortunately the followers of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, P, M, M, L, J, Mohammed, Luther, J. Smith et al suffer from the Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred. Born and Brainwashed in their various forms of religion.

      December 17, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  11. AGuest9

    Maybe they will leave the Republican party, while they are at it.

    December 16, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Eh..... I don't think we want them. We would have to haze them first.

      December 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      On the other hand, the chicks are hot. Ok, they can join us. But the dude has to go and polish Obama's balls to get in.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
  12. AGuest9

    Everybody out taking part in the capitalist over-spending extrava.ganza, er, holiday shopping?

    December 16, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Ze Pewp

      No, they did that on Black Friday. Now they have buyers remorse. They are returning everything.

      December 16, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  13. Yoda

    Tired of the right-wing brainwashing, they are.

    December 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  14. John


    December 16, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • .....

      TRASH ALERT AGAIN – don't bother viewing this garbage, click the report abuse link to get rid of this TROLL!

      December 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  15. hamsta

    Maybe theyll finally figure out that raping little altar boys and twisting gods word over money isnt working out.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  16. David Johnson

    The Christian Right does not quote Jesus on the rich and treatment of the poor. Instead, Paul has become their new Messiah.

    Remember when the Tea Party (Evangelicals), applauded the suggestion that at man be allowed to die, because he did not have health insurance? If you ever read The Good Samaritan, you would not even need to consider what Jesus would do.

    Remember when the Tea Party (Evangelicals), applauded Rick Perry for sending so many people to their deaths? Applauded? The death penalty may be necessary, but no one should applaud putting people to death. Aren't these the same idiots who want to ban even contraception? I know, its different. LOL.

    Evangelicals are losing young people, because there is no proof that the Christian god exists. No matter how many Evangelical preachers scream from the pulpit, there is still no evidence. They just want to put the fear into people, so the collection plate overflows.


    December 16, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Snow

      To be named king of the king, one's got to be different.. to be named stupidest of the stupid, one's got to be evangelical..They are like the scientologists through and through

      December 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Nickelback Sucks

      If Xenu were here, he'd be insulted.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Bo

      David, your are really spouting off about things you really don't know anything of. You say the kids are leaving the church because there is no evidence of God,* there is plenty of evidence. Where do you get this information? Yes of course there are some that are becoming atheistic, but not most of them. What is luring most of them away is the “pleasures” of this world—drugs, including tobacco and alcohol, s.e.x. and worldly music. What is “pushing” them that way is critical, screaming, unconverted angry parents. Of course these parents go to to church, but going to church doesn't make them Christians any more than parking themselves in a garage makes them a car.
      I read this somewhere:

      KIDS LEAVE HOME NOW, while you are smarter than your parents so you can choose where you want to live and pay the rent and buy the food, pay for the telephone the clothes and car and gasoline and insurance, etc. Best of all you can party all you want, so long as the cops don't arrest you. And your folks won"t interfere.

      Atheists claim evidence of evolution, none of it provable.

      Considering the complexity of single cell microbes—supposedly similar to the first life on earth from which everything else evolved. To \say that all forty some of the parts that make up a single cell “just came to gather” and sprang into life is incredible, not to mention that somehow it “just begin to live.”

      I know: “Where did God come from?” I can't answer that either, but I would rather believe that there is a God far superior than anything we can even come close to imagining, we are so finite and God so infinite. The trouble is: We want to think we are on par with God, just as intelligent, just as powerful that we can do anything He can; we can outsmart Him.

      The e-mail [story] below is not uncommon. I added the days in parenthesis. This story just happened this week, The patient is in her 90's;

      * (I'm withholding a church member's name) mother was throwing up blood and unable to keep her food down.  The doctors immediately put her in the hospital.  Your prayers were requested on Tuesday.  The doctors thought they saw additional problems with some of her organs when some of the tests were complete.  They found a bleeding ulcer and restriction in her esophagus which was repaired and the pancreas not functioning properly she was released form the hospital,(Wednesday) only because her daughter was a nurse and she only lived a few blocks from the hospital.  Later (Thursday morning) when she went back to the hospital the doctors reported that her test results showed that she was in excellent health without any of the problems that they suspected.  She is feeling great and some are saying a miracle happened!  The family is very relieved.  Thank you for your prayers.

      December 16, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Bo, again, just because you don't understand how something happened doesn't mean that some god did it. That sort of reasoning is why thousands of gods have been invented by humanity, and why thousands of gods have been cast aside when a natural process explained what was previously unknown.

      Every true believer of every faith has believed with the depth that you do, but eventually, something else takes over, whether it be knowledge or another god. Someday, should humanity survive long enough, your god will join Zeus, Osiris and Odin in the mythology section of the library.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • David Johnson


      First: What is the evidence that the Christian god exists?

      2nd: I don't understand the subject? I think I understand what you want to deny.

      Idiot Christians have been looking up, waiting for a long dead (if He ever existed) Jesus, like Linus waiting in the pumpkin patch for the the Great Pumpkin. The youth just realizes that 2000+ years is a long time. Charlie Brown has told them true: "It's cold in the patch and your necks are getting stiff." Stop being silly. There is no Great Pumpkin or demigod who will come to bring sweets to all the believers and terrible things to all the non-believers.

      An article on this blog awhile back, reported the Evangelical youth were not waiting for marriage to have $ex. Is this not a sign that they aren't buying the "god's in the corner watching" bugaboo? If they really believed, would this be happening? Where is the fear of the Great and Terrible Oz???

      Oz is only Great and Terrible, when you don't look behind the curtain. Science is looking behind the curtain. All they see are blowhard Evangelical preachers, preaching the prosperity gospel. Oz is a fake.

      Do you think, if the people leaving the Evangelicals actually believed, that they would leave? Why would they? How could they? The entire problem lies in faith. If you leave a church, it is because you lack faith in what they are preaching. How can you deny that?

      If I / you / anyone actually believes in a god and that this god's will is being done in a church, you would not leave for any reason. If you believe, what could be more important than god?

      The Evangelicals ...The Tea Party... do not heed the words of Christ. They like the words of Paul better than their savior. Maybe Jesus was just making a "funny" when He talked about the obligations of the rich, how we should treat the poor, and even honoring our mothers and fathers – the elderly.

      I think Evangelicals and I, as an atheist, may one day be roomies in hell. Let's hope I'm right.

      The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.


      December 17, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • David Johnson


      A story of magic, to match your own:

      I heard (No idea if it is true) of a family of five,that was involved in a head on collision with an 18 wheeler at 70 mph.
      Everyone perished. The car was totally destroyed. The driver of the 18 wheeler lived, but was never "right" again. He keeps mumbling, "Oh, the humanity!"

      Still gleaming, from the Armor All little Betty had lovingly applied, that fateful morning. Doing this, always made Betty feel closer to god. She could feel His pleasure.

      I wonder if she noticed how good the statue looked, as she was catapulted through the windshield? One would hope.

      It is miracles like this, that raise the hairs on the back of my neck.

      I heard the church the family belonged to, decided to display the wreckage in the front of the church. They want the faithful to see the power of god, for themselves. A small spot light was installed to illuminate the little statue of Jesus, for night viewing.


      Read my post on prayer in the Tebowing article.


      December 17, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
  17. Stanley

    Any decline in support for churches is a good thing. Unless, of course, the churches are really former ones that have been turned into drinking establishments or other better uses than selling religion and collecting money for religion.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Louis Cypher AKA Sam Yaza AKA That Man Over There

      Ha! I’m turning a church to a youth center,. They were worried I would turn it into a h-o-rehouse. I told them I only do that to homeless shelters,…..what it gives them a job and preforms a much needed service to our society by spreading love. But never mind that I get to fulfill a long running dream of mine by burning down a church because that how they do deconstruction in that city, how many atheist say they did that.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  18. Sam Yaza

    Why ? Why? look the answer is easy, they are terrorist. Seriously I went into a church and I set on Sunday with in 5 min I here “if you’re not a friend to Jesus you’re his enemy” and “all enemies shall be purged from gods great America.” I brought that to his attention, that this kind of redirect has no place in to day society, especially in America. That it breeds fanaticism and hate, and as a shintoist I was rather scared having someone who is supposed to be a pillar of the community preaching such hate. He said “would you like to have Jesus as your friend?” I said “No!” “Not if this is how he treats his enemies, in Shinto enemies are friends. We treat them with respect and dignity we do not preach genocide.” “He said get out of my church Heathen”
    So I thought ok maybe it’s just the preacher, I here no others churches saying it, until I go to the next evangelical church, 10 minutes of siting listening to the upbeat feel good music, the preacher starts his sermon with. “If you’re not a friend to Jesus you’re his enemy.” and “all enemies shall be purged from God’s great America.” To times I figure maybe it’s a coincidence, so I repeat my steps form the previous evangelical. He did say get out he said “I pity you and I will pray for you, that you may find your way to God.”
    I get nothing of this from other churches,… so I try again and you guessed it the same genocide thing. But this time I got thrown out and called a Pagan.
    Evangelicals preach hate, kids go to school, their job, and any were in america and learn all they learned from the church is unfounded. That these so called, ‘evil non-believers of Christ’ are good people. Then the moral realignment starts.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Louis Cypher

      Yes Christians beware there are Wolves among you.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Beth

      Christians are well-aware of this Louis. Unfortunately, most take it to the extreme and judge. Who is to say which people are wolves and who are not? Only by the "fruit" that the person bears can another being determine whether that said person is Godly or not.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Louis Cypher

      Who’s to say being a ‘wolf’ is wrong; living proud and honorable, standing up for what right, protecting you and your family be, strong and confident, all god things. The way of the meek is garbage, turning the other check, bowing and scraping to those that belittle you, living keeping your head down following the group even if they run of the edge of a cliff, obeying your masters, avoiding responsibility because someone will tell you what to and how to live your life. There are three types of people; shepherds, wolves and sheep. Now who’s being eaten? The wolf is a proud noble animal that looks after its family
      Now enough about this metaphor you’re not going to get it. You all like being week and obedient keeps you safe and you don’t have to worry about responsibility

      December 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Sam Yaza

      You are exactly right. The Evangelicals are not Christians. They follow the First Ep_istle of Paul to the Thessalonians. They never mention Jesus' advise to the rich and how we should treat the poor.

      The Evangelicals believe they must conquer the nation for their very militant Jesus.

      Learning that the Evangelicals are losing young people and selling their Crystal Cathedrals to the Catholics is the best present I could ever get. Thank you Jesus.


      December 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Keith

      Sam Yaza, If what you are saying is true then certainly you can provide the name of the church, the street address, and the name of the pastor?

      December 16, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Sam, I believe you've been conditioned to believe in the anti-christ instead of the true Jesus.

      Remember, Jesus warned,

      Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13)


      December 16, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Louis Cypher AKA Sam Yaza AKA That Man Over There

      I don't usually give out address for fear of my ident-i-ty being known, but sure.

      thats the website of the first Chrurch

      December 16, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Louis Cypher AKA Sam Yaza AKA That Man Over There

      dear HeavenSent
      Read your bible they are preaching the truth of the word of God. It is fanaticism witch has no place in our society. All though true it is not appropriate in to day society of tolerance.
      I pray to Amaterasu, here is a picture…
      And here is one part of your God.
      Suppose a man or woman among you, in one of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, has done evil in the sight of the LORD your God and has violated the covenant by serving other gods or by worshiping the sun, the moon, or any of the forces of heaven, which I have strictly forbidden. When you hear about it, investigate the matter thoroughly. If it is true that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, then that man or woman must be taken to the gates of the town and stoned to death. (Deuteronomy 17:2-5 NLT)

      ..Unless of course the word of God should not be followed. Because you should really stone me to death because I will not stop worshiping or serving Amaterasu. Why do you not obey your god. Sounds like something a good follower should do, after all the price for disobedience is ….atheist want to help me out here

      December 16, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Keith

      So you are in California? You implied there were at least two churches. What is/are the name/names of the rest?

      December 16, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Louis Cypher AKA Sam Yaza AKA That Man Over There

      Dear Keith

      I’m not going to have you narrow down my location so you can send your witch hunters after me.
      In addition I say some pretty out there stuff that technically can cost me my life and my business. And I’m always talking about the violent overthrow of the government dude have you been watching the news in a few weeks cops can arrest American citizens without due-process. Do’s thu think me that stupid. And frankly I don’t care if you’re going to doubt my claim. My Ego is way big.

      December 16, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Keith

      Sam, Well, the reason I ask is that the website you listed is for a church in CA. I don't see how naming a specific church and a specific pastor who allegedly said such and such is putting you in jeopardy. I believe it is as I suspected-you are full of crap and bozos like David Johnson are all to willing to agree with your made up inuendos and dicuss these fallacies as if they were facts. I really thought the great David Johnson was smarter than that. Guess I was wrong.

      December 16, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • David Johnson


      I'm pretty smart Keith. Evangelicals are militant.



      December 17, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Heaven sent.. truth again! Jesus truth is not known to you because it does not exist. you are unable to tell any one because it is a phrase passed down to you by your parents or a preacher. Jesus truth is a slogan. You may just as well sacrifice a goat or dance around a fire to get the truth.

      December 18, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Louisa Ferre

      That whole talking speaking in tongue thing,.. maybe they should just learn Yiddish

      Oh and keith

      December 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  19. JohnQuest

    That's an easy question, like all others they are getting smarter.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Actually, your generation is END of DAYS ... where famine has come upon the land. Famine not for food, but hearing His truth.


      December 16, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Rick

      Gee, End Of Days.....THAT hasn't be predicted before....

      December 17, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • AGuest9

      Before the end of days, eh?

      December 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • M.F. Luder

      The Second Coming, according to several Gospels, was to take place before the "end of the age". That would have been during the First Century.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @MF Luder

      Yes, you are exactly right. Please allow me to add this:

      Jesus is not coming back. There will be no rapture.

      Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

      Hmm... Jesus may not have known the day or the hour, but He did predict a 1st Century return. How can the Messiah and God incarnate be wrong? Can you think of a reason?

      A number of New Testament passages indicate that Christ was supposed to return before his generation had died. This would have been sometime in the first century AD.

      First, there is the testimony of Jesus himself, who explicitly stated that some of his disciples would not die until Jesus inst_ituted the Kingdom, and that his generation would not pass away until all his prophecies of the end of the world had been fulfilled:

      Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

      Matthew 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

      Jesus' speech in 24 and 25 was given, when He was alone with His disciples.

      Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

      Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

      In this discourse, Jesus makes a number of assertions about the fate of his disciples. One of the signs of the end would be the persecution of his disciples:

      Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

      While tradition records that the disciples were persecuted and martyred, this was not followed by the return of Christ, as he promised. Would they die for a lie? Apparently... Or at least for something they were told and believed. LOL.

      Jesus instructed his disciples to hurry because the time for preaching before his return was relatively short:

      Mathew 10:23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

      Hmm... Seems like 2000 years and change, would be more than enough time. Even if you slept in and stopped for coffee. Let's see, Liar; Lunatic; or Lord. Or, the one I like, Fictional.

      The Apostle Paul, too, seemed to think that Christ would return for his generation:

      I Thessalonians 4:15-17 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

      Note that Paul twice uses the phrase '...we which are alive and remain...'.

      This seems to preclude the theory that Paul was speaking of some far future generation. Paul made a similar assertion in First Corinthians:

      I Corinthians 15:51,52 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

      Note that Paul said that '...we shall not all sleep...'. In other words, he expected that at least some of his generation would not see death.

      Again, there is nothing in the text to indicate that Paul was speaking about some far future generation.

      Paul reiterated his belief in a soon return of Christ in the Book of Romans:

      Romans 13:11-12 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

      And John:
      1 John 2:18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.

      The other New Testament writers had similar thoughts about the iminence of Christ's return:

      James 5:8 Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

      I John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. WoW! Obama wasn't even born...How can this be???

      I Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

      The Apocalyptic Book of Revelations repeatedly has Christ saying that he would return soon:

      Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly....
      By no stretch of the imagination can 2,000 years be considered 'quickly' LOL

      And, to say That a thousand years is like a day to the lord, is dumb. A thousand years is not like a day to humans. An almighty god would certainly understand what "quickly" would mean to humans.

      Jesus was wrong. Jesus has been really busy being really dead, for the last 2,000 years.

      According to historian Charles Freeman, Early Christians expected Jesus to return within a generation of his death. When the second coming did not occur, the early Christian communities were thrown into turmoil." – Wikipedia: Freeman, Charles. The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and Fall of Reason, p. 133. Vintage. 2002.

      Christians want to "spin" this. They must! I will help them by giving a laundry list of theological gymnastics that believers use:

      Believer's Rule of Thumb: If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernable by humans; or is just plain magic.

      I'm sure one will work! LOL

      But, the verses say what they say. It is what it is.


      December 19, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  20. Clayton

    That's a very well-written article, Ms. Stepp. Thank you.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
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