My Take: Don’t blame college for young people leaving Christianity
The author says the politicization of Christianity is responsible for young people leaving church.
February 28th, 2012
12:39 PM ET

My Take: Don’t blame college for young people leaving Christianity

Editor's note: Tim King, the communications director at Sojourners, blogs at sojo.net. Follow him at @tmking.

By Tim King, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Christianity in America is in danger. As former Senator Rick Santorum recently pointed out, young people are leaving the church in droves.

In the mid-1980s, evangelical 20-somethings outnumbered those with no religious affiliation – the so-called “nones” – by a ratio of more than 2 to 1. By 2008, those proportions were almost flipped, with young “nones” outnumbering evangelicals by more than 1.5 to 1.

An entire generation, my generation, is leaving the church. What’s the cause? Santorum blames higher education, telling Glenn Beck last week that "62% of kids who go into college with a faith commitment leave without it."

The “war on religion” has become a frequent bogeyman among Christian and political leaders. But the reason church leaders have failed to stem the tide of a generation heading for the exit door is that they keep looking for an outside enemy to blame when the biggest problems are inside the church.

The years young adults spend in college aren’t causing them to leave their faith; those college years are exposing the problems with the faith they grew up with.

The exodus has little to do with liberal college professors, which insurance plans should cover contraception, where mosques are being built, or whether or not the Ten Commandments are hanging in courtrooms, even if many religious leaders act as if these are the greatest Christian “battles” of our lifetime.

In doing so, they are actively pushing young people away from religion.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think young people are leaving the church in record numbers just because some Christians are Republicans. There are a lot of wonderful Christians who happen to be conservative and who are great witnesses for the faith. Many of them are in my family.

Rather, the exodus is about hypocrisy.

Last year, we saw Christian leaders raising the alarm about the encroachment of “radical Islamists.” They call for the restriction of Muslims religious liberties to practice their faith and build houses of worship. But this year, when it comes to contraception, the rallying cry is religious freedom.

Last week, Franklin Graham was asked whether or not he believed President Obama was a Christian. He gave a fair answer when he said it wasn’t his place to judge.

But when asked the same question about the faith of Santorum and Newt Gingrich, Graham’s standards changed. He answered that yes, he did think those men were Christian because of “political interests” and “spiritual interests.” Graham later backtracked, but the message was already out.

What did a lot of young people hear? To be a Christian you need to look like, talk like and vote like Franklin Graham… Oh, and something about sinners and grace.

Such political spectacles are driving a generation away from faith. It almost did for me, an evangelical Christian in my 20s who attends church on an almost weekly basis.

Most of my life I went to private Christian schools or was homeschooled. I had some wonderful examples of faith that inspired me. But as soon as I heard Christians on the radio or saw them on TV, I was ashamed to call myself a Christian.

The Jesus I read about in Scriptures taught love, acceptance, peace and concern for the poor, but the Christian leaders on TV and radio always seemed to be pro-rich, pro-white, pro-America and anti-gay.

By college I was getting ready to leave it all behind.

Thankfully, I had found meaning in work with the homeless and tutoring refugees. I heard Jim Wallis, for whom I now work, speak about God’s heart for the poor and oppressed. I sat in Scot McKnight’s North Park University classes in Chicago and learned about a Jesus who didn’t think like me, talk like me or live like me but who presented a radical challenge to be a disciple of this one they call Christ.

By 2004, I realized that the highest Christian calling in my life might not be to vote Republican. I still casted my ballot, but what was most significant to me that November was inviting 15 homeless men and women into my campus apartment to celebrate Thanksgiving with some other students and spend the night indoors.

I like politics. I think it’s important. Public policy matters because it affects people’s lives every day in ways we often don’t realize. But my primary concern for it comes because it affects the people Jesus called me to love and that the Bible tells me to be a voice for. This is why the use and abuse of religion during this election season is so troubling.

When Franklin Graham sets up double standards of faith for Republicans and Democrats, when Pat Robertson intones about a coming “secular atheist dictatorship,” when the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins goes off about the dangers of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and other “anti-family, anti-religious, anti-Christian policies,” when the great test for the next President of our country is who has “real” theology and who has “phony” theology, it might make for good sound bites.

But it’s bad faith.

Blaming colleges, like Santorum did, is a lot easier than reforming the church. Finding an enemy outside of your religious faith might keep some young people in line for a little while and is probably great for fundraising. Heck, it might even mobilize an important voting bloc and win a few elections.

But it’s hastening the decline of Christianity for an entire generation.

I have a simple request for our nation’s religious leaders who keep finding “enemies of the faith” at every turn without ever looking inward. For Christ’s sake, stop talking.

Spend some time in prayer and think about what you say before you say it. Ask yourself, is the political gain, the next spot on cable news or the notoriety I can achieve really worth the damage to the church?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Tim King.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Politics • Rick Santorum

soundoff (1,729 Responses)
  1. Salero 21


    "Rather, the exodus is about hypocrisy."

    Really! Who's "hypocrisy", their own or that of others? Apostasy and backsliding was foretold long ago by the apostle Paul. So, if Colleges can't and ought Not to be blame, then Neither is the hypocresy of others. Learn to take Responsibility for their own and place the blame where it really belongs. Because, if that does Not flies in the eyes of men, much less is going to fly before God and Christ in Judgement day.

    Get over it and snap out of it! Take your own cross, carry your own cross Jesus said and follow him. Even if that means leaving Churchianity behind.


    March 1, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  2. someonewithideas

    i think that's bull. the church doesn't see that our culture is changing. were in a society where people can do almost anything they choose. so now people are choosing not to go to church or supporting their organized religion. it makes sense to me. people can't spare the time or resources for church anymore. they have more important issues to deal with like keeping up with today's culture. and another thing just because someone doesn't go to a church doesn't mean they don't believe in god.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  3. Seriously

    @TexasTexas Texas: "The exact people who try to guilt and shame me into being Jesus Freaks are the people I would NOT want to spend eternity with."

    Exactly! I believe in God as a Universal Mind, and believe in the power of being positive and good. I am no longer a Christian because I can't believe in the rule that ONLY people on the world who believe in Christ go to Heaven. And too many Christians cherry-pick the bible and want to turn a blind-eye to the ridiculous parts of it. Sure there are good lessons to learn from the bible, but to say it is all "God's breath" is truly juvenile. More people should go to college and think for themselves.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  4. Salero 21

    Franklyn Graham could be a good reason to leave Churchianity, but he is not. Au contraire, someone, somebody from within churchianity ougth to tell him, to make sure he speaks for himself only and not for the church.

    The church does NOT have spokepersons, there is NOT such a position or post within True christemdom. That is usually a trait of worldly religions. Every christian ought to make sure that other people understand that when he or she speaks on certain matters. They're doing it on their own and NOT pretend to drag the church along with their comments and opinions.

    My opinion is mine and I have a God given concession to have and to own it. If I want to share it, like I do here, then peoplo should understand that it is my opinion only. Luckily I'm not a leader in churchianity. Mr. Graham is and that creates the problem for many people, who start thinking that he's speaking on behalf of all "christians". He is NOT! Althoug he may be thinking that he does, just like other "leaders", who appear to have taken upon themselves that prerogative. No he does not, have that prerogative. Neither does Pat Robertson and many others like them.

    They don't speak for me, they may speak for a large section of churchianity, who are too lazy to do their own research.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  5. Edward

    There is only one race- the human race.

    Know {world} history and you shall understand religion.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  6. toks

    couldn't have said it better...hats off to Tim King!

    March 1, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Snap

      Exactly how I feel about Christianity and why I left it. It's hypocritical to the core, and in my opinion it all starts with the perception that you are right and everyone else is wrong. Which comes about because you believe you have a personal relationship with God himself, and when others don't see things the way you do, it naturally flows to the idea that they must not be talking to God, or they'd agree with you. Especially over disagreements concerning spiritual matters.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  7. jknbt

    the church pews will be full, full, full the Sunday after the Rapture with former christians who will be demanding why God would be so unfair to leave them behind. How could God reject those who rejected his Son? Some latter-day calvinists are going to be surprised that that "once saved, always saved" heresy they were taught in their tender youth only applies to the bunch that fits the description "once Christian, always Christian".

    March 1, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • CM

      I can assure you I won't be one of them. IF the "rapture" happens as you say, I have no interest in spending an eternity with a God so petty and small-minded. It's like having a nagging wife.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • jknbt

      the alternative to eternity in bliss with the Most High is an eternity wallowing in unbearable pain. You will be hurting so badly some day that you will even regret your smart commen abovet. Jesus spewed you out because you would be part of his nagging wife if he let you into the church in eternity. He is not going to have a bad wife. See Rev. 3:16 if you don't know what I'm talking about.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Believing in a Deity out of fear is not exactly a pure belief, is it?

      Any god that feels the need to use such tactics to get or keep followers is not exactly one I would consider worthy to follow.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Snap

      You are a shining example of what is wrong with Christians. How fitting you would post on this great essay such a comment which only goes to prove exactly what the writer is talking about. Next time you are in church and they ask why are they young leaving, please stand up and be honest and tell them its because you can't keep your mouth shut, and you are a very sick sinner.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • A. Gnostic

      “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
      Then he is not omnipotent.
      Is he able, but not willing?
      Then he is malevolent.
      Is he both able and willing?
      Then whence cometh evil?
      Is he neither able nor willing?
      Then why call him God?”

      March 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  8. Nii Croffie

    Humans have absolute free will that is why we pray!

    March 1, 2012 at 3:02 am |
  9. Nii Croffie

    Excellent! Now we can all celebrate this amazing discovery! Just post your adress and a carton of beers will be on their way!

    March 1, 2012 at 2:01 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      The Bible does not teach us so much about the natural as it does the natural. In fact following biblical teaching helps you to live a good, healthy and rational life-st.yle in spite of your circ.umstances here on Earth. If that gives us an after-life, I don't think that is bad at all, do you?

      March 1, 2012 at 4:26 am |
    • myweightinwords

      So which part do you find rational? Stoning disobedient children? Stoning gay people? Killing all of the men and stealing their women?

      March 1, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  10. Annaliesa

    I left Christianity around thirteen years of age. I was raised Episcopal, and I don't have a problem with many of the teachings of that church. I struggled with the idea of a higher power, prayers being answered, and a second coming. I don't have a problem with religion, but it's not for me.

    I went to Europe a few years back and visited a concentration camp. It wasn't a death camp, but a show camp – though it was also a holding place for people on their way to Auschwitz. At the entrance, the words "Work makes you free" was painted in German. I felt sick to my stomach, and I had nightmares for several weeks afterward.

    I was telling a relative, an evangelical, about my trip. She said to me, "The Bible says the Jews would be punished for not accepting Christ." I couldn't say anything. The Holocaust was genocide, pure violence, and fascism. If there is a benevolent God, surely God would not say anyone deserves to be tortured and put to death in a painful way based on their beliefs. If the Bible is the word of God, I wouldn't doubt that man has tampered with it.

    People have some level of free will (I don't believe in complete free will, personally). When I was a teenager in the nineties, I had three Biology teachers who were open about their Christian faith. They also believed in evolution – they felt that the Bible isn't particularly detailed on how God went about doing these things, and there was nothing wrong with man exploring how the universe was created. Where is this open-mindedness now? I honestly don't remember nearly as much extreme thinking, minus a few abortion bombings when I was younger.

    I think a lot of people who identify as Christian have lost their faith, too. Thou shalt not kill, Judge not lest ye be judged, and Love thy neighbor seems to have gotten lost. It's very unfortunate.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • nii croffie

      Hi Anna, I am also an Episcopalian. However I became one after flirting with Methodism for a long time. I went to an Episcopal Senior High which was originally built as a Seminary and in their libraries I found los of Classicals including Aristotle and Plato. I also read lots of Theology books. I finally settled on Episcopal doctrine after reading Mere Christianity by CS Lewis even though I didn"t know it was his book or he was Episcopalian too. It was not very well preserved. I admire the Anglican Communion for its doctrinal diversity. However in your original post you stated belief in partial free will. However it is not biblical. Humans have absolute freewill otherwise prayer, confession, repentance, etc are unjust. Armenian Calvinism and Anglican Calvinism are closer than Pure Calvinism here. You left the faith so early and I hope you have availed yourself of opportunity to make it back. There are doctrines beyond what you were taught and which you will find closer to the Bible"s teaching! Thank you

      March 1, 2012 at 3:51 am |
    • I Don't Get It

      nii, "...closer to the Bible"s teaching!"

      So what? There is no evidence that any teachings of the supernatural in that book are true.

      March 1, 2012 at 3:57 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      I don't know about you but I have a yearning to be good, loved by my friends, trusted by my lovers and to be forgiven by my enemies. If a book teaches me how to do all that I will take it. Immortality and eternal life are not the same. Eternal life is gained on earth n I ENJOY IT !!

      March 1, 2012 at 4:45 am |
  11. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you fat.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer makes you frothy in your posterior just like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:16 am |
  12. Reality

    More from the college grads:

    Free Will and Future are inherent to all the thinking beings in the Universe. This being the case, it is not possible to alter life with prayers. Statistically, your request might come true but it is simply the result of the variability/randomness of Nature..

    So put down your rosaries and prayer beads and stop worshiping/revering cows or bowing to Mecca five times a day. Instead work hard at your job, take care of aging parents, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to charities and the poor and continue to follow the proper rules of your religion or any good rules of living as gracious and good human beings.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  13. W Canelos

    and God Created man in his image. I think not. It is the opposite. Man created God (s) in mans image.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Robert

      Simply because we find awe in our world we call it godly...simple minds will always look to someting for answers when they cant understand.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      The Books of Moses, The Gospel of Matthew, etc were written by men for men concerning their experience of a higher power. What makes you think Christins don't know this? As for a God in our image look to Greece. A God who we are made in His image is YHWH. It is not who made Him but His qualities.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:53 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Science uses the Scientific Method( childlike faith) together with the five rational senses to explore the natural. Judaeo-Christianity uses the same tools adds the sixth intuitive sense and explores the spiritual.

      March 1, 2012 at 5:01 am |
    • myweightinwords

      The scientific method equates to child like faith in your brain?

      That explains a lot about your postings. The two phrases are nearly polar opposites.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  14. Necrosis Thanatos

    Leo wrote "So you look at creation and come to the conclussion that this all fell into place by random chance? The Human eye you happened through lucky gene mutations? Life from non life or Abiogenesis has never been proven, yet people will believe it rather than follow God."

    This conclusion by religious individuals frustrates me. Nowhere did the original poster Leo is responding to here state that this universe happened by chance. The fact is that if there is no creator of the universe, it DOES NOT neccesarily follow that the universe happened by chance. There is at least one other explanation. It is plausible that ALL possible universes exist simply because they can. Then this universe didn't happen by chance; it simply is one instance of all possible universes all of which exist. That also means that this universe is not particularly special; it's just one example of an infinite number of possibilities, all coexisting. At least there is some support for this view: the very fact that one universe exists (ours) lends credence to the possibility of other universes. In fact, it's rather arrogant to believe this is the only one and that it is special. The claim of there being a creator has absolutely nothing to back it up and, ironically, has the same flaw that Leo is criticizing the original poster about: his creator he postulates the existence of apparently arose by chance!

    February 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Hmmmm

      interesting belief......

      March 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  15. MikeTheInfidel

    "Rather, the exodus is about hypocrisy."

    No... the exodus is about the fact that it's mythology.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  16. Lol

    Christianity is disgusting in every way.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I find the original message of christianity to be quite a good thing. Tolerance, love, acceptance, and good works. As time went on the message was innevitably buried beneath dogma, mysticism, intolerance, and simple human greed. I am an atheist, and I do not believe in their god, but I will give credit to churches that have done good works, and continue to, even though many religiously affiliated non-profit charities operate almost as seperate enti.ties.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • HarryHoudini

      I think it was Gandhi who said something like: "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."

      February 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • momoya

      Of course the christian church has done a lot for the world both good and bad. I take issue with the dynamic it implies. Other than for a few chapters in Acts, the bible instructs joy in abject sl.avehood and feudal worship. It's encourages people to view themselves as weak and faulty and to exalt the "father figure" at all expense. I beleive it influenced Europe's taking over South America and Africa and turning those inhabitants into sl.aves who produce one crop only (instead of the many needed for nutrition) and live according to the mandates of those who reaped the rewards from their labor.

      The book implies that a perfect relationship is an honored heir sacrificing to the father's will, and women are afterthoughts more like property or s.ex.ual utensils slightly higher in rank than the beasts of burden under control of "the master." The very people that most need the christians help today (clean water and modest nutrition) are the descendants of those who were conquered simply for not having a flag or for not having the "right" god-belief. There are more sl.aves today than at any time in history, and they are the ones whose lands, monetary systems, and beliefs hijacked under the guise of the christian explorers.

      I don't find it particularly impressive the the dominant religious philosophies of the world are doing the most to help the people that their systems have, in history, relegated to poverty so others of the faith can live like kings. And the average american lives like a king by almost every standard imaginable..

      February 29, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • fred

      You confuse what humans do with what God specifically commanded. The problem is man not Christianity. There are some who actually follow and live their lives as Christ set for us. If the majority lived this way we would not be having the problems we are haveing. The theme of the Bible is that God sets up a plan and man refuses to follow it, generation after generation.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • momoya

      fred, your religion causes you and others to feel joy in servanthood as sl.aves to one might-makes-right creator who magically changes throughout the ages to better match the surrounding mythical cults. It's a pure blood-sacrifice, bigoted, master/servant dynamic that is favored by those who like to be masters of their women and sl.aves. We don't "rule over" the earth, for cripes sake, we are part of it. God doesn't do things; people do things (sometimes in god's name / good and evil). People can believe any old religion, but they all use the same math and chemistry because the principles are undeniable. God obviously doesn't want to be found; quit pretending to know what you don't and leave such arrogance behind. You're better than that.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      I know what you mean. A lot of Christian charity appears to be done merely to sign up members and spread the reputation of individual churches. It's as transparent as when large corporations sponsor a large charity event and don't fail to display their logo everywhere. It's very self-serving.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  17. MegaZeusThor

    It may sound weird, but I think young people leave religion because there's no truth to it. The church would have you swallow mythology as if it were real. But we know that magic and gods are as likely to be fiction as leprechauns or were-wolves are.

    Look at cultures though time and see their mythology and creation stories. An after life or a superman caring deeply for each of us is most likely wishful thinking.

    February 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Leo

      So you look at creation and come to the conclussion that this all fell into place by random chance? The Human eye you happened through lucky gene mutations? Life from non life or Abiogenesis has never been proven, yet people will believe it rather than follow God.

      I like these two Einstein quotes for they say much...

      "Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble."

      The scientists’ religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection."

      What is really cool is the Very First Line in the Bible has Physics written all over it, and God created man in his image or reflection and very insignificant compared to God.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Drihtengled

      Religion doesn't need to be factually true to reality in order to have Truth in it. Most people recognize that once they start really looking into any particular religion, I think. Honestly, if your reality is limited to those things that you can sense and prove, you're even missing out on some of the unexplainable things scientists are discovering, so I'd recommend broadening your worldview a bit.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Drew

      @ Leo

      I will never get why Christians say what you just said at the top of your comment: "Life from non life or Abiogenesis has never been proven, yet people will believe it rather than follow God."

      Why is the only other option to "believe" in abiogenesis or to follow the Bible? The ability that people of faith have to completely disregard other faiths astonishes me every time. For whatever reason, everyone else's myths are just myths, but yours are truth? How can you overlook that hundred of deities had been thought up before yours, or that many of the stories from your Bible are taken from other mythologies (Noah's ark, Jesus's virgin birth, etc)?

      I don't understand why people of any religion can actually think that whatever god or gods that are out there have chosen just their group to be in paradise forever, and all the other people with different beliefs who believe them just as strongly, adhere to their teachings just as strictly, and believe in them for the same reasons as you do (they were brought up in them) are for some reason doomed to eternal punishment.

      I don't really see my only options as follow the bible or think everything came from nothing. Einstein's quotes you used don't even hint at Christianity. He essentially just explains his recognition at how irrelevant and insignificant he is in the face of the universe and the forces that drive the universe. He doesn't even mention a god, just a "spirit."

      And on top of that, your point for not believing that abiogenesis is true because it hasn't been proven. First of all, nothing has ever been "proven." Just supported. Even laws of physics aren't actual laws, they're just theories like everything else but out of respect or tradition or what have you they've been called laws. But then of course your next thought is that because a theory hasn't been proven to your satisfaction, that people should believe in your god and follow your holy book. Which hasn't been proven. Do you see what I did there?

      I really don't know exactly where I'm going with all this, but I guess since you're psyched on Einstein I should close referencing his most important theory. Everything is relative, and you shouldn't be so closed-minded and arrogant to believe that just because we haven't learned everything yet, that we should assume that a book written over thousands of years by sheep herders and organized by Roman emperors has been written by an omnipotent, all-knowing god's will, and on top of that he allowed hundreds of other similar books to be written by people who were not inspired by him.

      That's just my 2 cents I guess. Take it or leave it.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Not with the impossible human eye bit again!?! Come on, how many times do we have to point out that every intermediary stage in the evolution of our eyes is actually in evidence currently within the animal kingdom.

      Besides, if our eyes were designed by God, he did a rather poor job.

      Next you'll start talking about how amazing it is that bananas fit our hands.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Oh Yeah


      March 1, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  18. Javy

    I was raised Catholic. Went to Catholic school for Jr high and High School.

    When I was really young and getting my first communion, I really believed in the church and christianity in all.

    But when I started Jr High, it occured to me that modern Christianity has gone away from the community based worship of life and has gone all in to the belief that you need to spread the word constantly and believe that non believers are bad people who are going to burn in hell. Gandhi wasn't Christian. How can anybody want to see him in hell?

    February 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      "We believe as much in the purity of race as we think they do, only we believe that they would best serve these interests, which are as dear to us as to them, by advocating the purity of all races, and not one alone. We believe also that the white race of South Africa should be the predominating race." Ghandi September 24, 1903

      February 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Well there you go, Javy. Mark here wants to see Ghandi in hell.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • jmarie

      Fortunately, the Catholic Church does not teach that nonbelievers will go to hell 🙂 The faith you grew up in is beautiful and rich. Read one of Scott Hahn's books. I went to Catholic school when I was younger too, and I am in college now. It took an independent study of my faith to discover how true it rings and how its roots beginning at the death of Jesus give us such a rich and glorious life! I hope you do this and find out what the church actually teaches about things like salvation 🙂 I am sure Ghandi more likely than most of us to go to Heaven!

      February 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      ....and I said that I wanted Ghandi to go there where? EnjaySea, please show where I posted such... or were you assuming? Which we all know is the Mother of all F'ups

      Here is a quote that I have used in the past week.

      "We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low." Desmond Tutu

      March 1, 2012 at 3:33 am |
    • EnjaySea

      Mark, I apologize if I misunderstood but it seemed pretty clear when I read it. The poster said "how could anyone want to see Ghandi in hell", which you immediately followed with a post that seemed to suggest that Ghandi was racist.

      So, then, what exactly was your point?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  19. TheFleshIsWeak

    You might think that the devil does not use Christianity, but in that you would be wrong. A lot of what is going on is that many people are using the Scriptures to push their own agendas. The problem is that we should push God's agenda, not are own. Satan uses this pride in ourselves to blur the line between what is right or sinful. We are giving into ourselves and not in what God wants us to do. Society is going down fast and faith is being turned towards the logical. It really scares me to think how much we are in sin and don't even see it. People need to have a good grasp on the Bible and pray for right direction. They need to rely on God, not on themselves. The best thing to do with these people is to pray for them and ask God to get them back on track.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I don't believe in your god, or your devil. I mean, I will as soon as I personally witness something that tells me these guys actually exist. But in the meantime, your intimate knowledge of how these creatures think, and what their specific strategies are, just puzzles me.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Shifty

      The Devil is a sneaky turd, and he WILL use Christianity and the word of God against righteousness. He has done it in the past. What better way to undermine the kingdom?

      February 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I'm unable to put my faith behind a god that's supposedly all-powerful, yet can't seem to keep this devil-satan-lizard creature under control. It's a contradiction that's a deal breaker for me.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Richard Rosser

      The devil in the church, you say! I've published a short Amazon/Kindle eBook, The GOP: Antichrist's Church Home. I am a social conservative, Bible believer and a retired military chaplain. If evangelicals don't quickly figure out how to disassociate themselves from the Republican Party, and if they can't figure out how to keep right wing ideology from corrupting their perception of the Gospel they will completely loose their candle. Millions of America's evangelicals are in the hold of a false religion.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • momoya

      Wow. Excellent posts, EnjaySea

      February 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Drihtengled

      EnjaySea, there is this thing in Christianity, that's pretty doctrinal, called "free will." Humans have free will to make their own decisions and behave well or not as they choose.

      TFIS: personally, I'm pretty skeptical of anyone blaming "Satan" for their bad behavior. Take responsibility for your own wrong choices. That's free will. It's your own fault and your own weakness if you give in–don't try to blame it on something outside yourself. Take responsibility for your own frailty and try to do better. The idea that as Christians we're constantly under attack from Satan is another one of those things that I just cannot accept. Unfortunately, humanity has just as much potential to be horrendously evil as amazingly good–we can't blame it on anyone other than ourselves when we choose to do horrible things.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      What if the voice Paul supposedly heard on the roadside was not Jesus' but Satan's, and the plan was to hijack what Jesus brought for fellow Jews and use it as a weapon against God's chosen people instead?

      Tell me, would such a thing be too nasty for a guy like Satan to do?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  20. Adam C

    It would be nice to see some articles on the belief blog dealing with moving away from faith from someone who actually left the faith. This writer is positing what he believes are the reasons (and I think he is probably right), but it would be nice to hear it straight from the source.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • J Bower

      I can tell you, as someone who left the church and still struggles with ideas of faith, that he is spot on.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Melissa

      Check out goodbye generation.com – its all aboutwhythis generation is leaving the church/faith and has discussion boards and such from the sources themselves.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:22 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.