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March 9th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

Chris Tomlin, king of the sing-along

By Eric Marrapodi and Tom Foreman, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief'] [twitter-follow screen_name='tomforemancnn']

Baltimore (CNN) - The capacity crowd at the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore is bouncing in unison to the most widely sung music on the planet today. The catwalk above the arena is shaking.

Chris Tomlin grabs the microphone and asks the crowd if they’re ready.

"I feel alive, on God's great dance floor!" He leads the packed venue in singing and jumping.

Tomlin is out touring the country with his latest studio album, “Burning Lights.” In January, it topped the Billboard 200 charts. But unlike those who've enjoyed performances by Beyonce, Johnny Cash and a host of others who've played this Baltimore hall, after these fans stream out the doors they will have ample opportunity to sing Tomlin's songs again, as one.

That is the secret to Tomlin’s success – the stage, the lights, the band - aren’t about him. As lively as his shows are, the point is not to get you inside the doors. The point is to get you singing in church.

“I strive for trying to write something that people can sing, that people want to sing, and that people need to sing,” Tomlin explained before the show.

Tomlin is the undisputed king of worship music, a genre of Christian music sung on Sunday mornings all across the world and increasingly played on Christian radio stations. The music is simple, devotional and easy on the ears.

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“We would say that Chris is the most prolific songwriter in the United States now, in this past decade,” said Howard Rachinski, CEO of Christian Copyright Licensing International, the company that tracks what music is used in churches around the world.

In 2012, CCLI paid out $40 million to artists and musicians, and Tomlin got a healthy slice of that pie. Churches around the world used 128 songs he wrote or co-wrote last year, Rachinski said.

CCLI estimates that every Sunday in the United States, between 60,000 and 120,000 churches are singing Tomlin’s songs. By extrapolating that data, Rachinski says, “our best guess would be in the United States on any given Sunday, 20 to 30 million people would be singing Chris Tomlin's songs.”

In their last two reporting periods, Tomlin had the No. 1 most-sung song and five of the top 25.

Search YouTube for "How Great is Our God" or "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)." Black, white, Asian, big churches, small ones are all belting out Tomlin songs. A lot.

For perspective, consider Tomlin’s musical success against one secular counterpart. In 2012, Katy Perry's record sales dwarfed Tomlin’s, but Billboard reported her songs were played 1.4 million times on the radio. Using CCLI’s low-end calculation, Tomlin’s songs were played 3.12 million times in churches.

Growing up Tomlin

Chris Tomlin was reared in Grand Saline, Texas, heavily influenced by country music. His dad taught him to play the guitar.

“I learned all country music - Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash, all those kind of guys. Those are what my dad played and I played. And I played at my church as well,” Tomlin said.

Tomlin went to college to study sports medicine. “I just didn't know the music would take me here. I loved it and I was getting opportunities to go play, and when I say go play I was starting to write songs of worship even (as) a young kid. I didn't know really what worship music was, what a worship leader was, any of that. I didn't know any of those terms,” he said.

Today, at 40 years old, he is the artist most associated with worship music.

While in college he began singing and writing in earnest. As a senior, he said, he was getting invitations to lead the music for Christian conferences with 10,000 students.

He knew his music was resonating with crowds when he got a call from EMI Publishing after his song “We Fall Down,” which was released in 1998, starting being  played in churches.

“I was just writing songs for the church and from there they just started taking off.”

The compositions are considerably different from pop music. They are simpler, and he takes pains to write them that way.

“I'm thinking as that comes out of my heart as a song of response, I'm trying to think, how can I form this so that everybody, people who are tone deaf, who can't clap on two and four, how can I form this song so they can sing it, so that it is singable?”

Part of that process comes from his love of country music, the simplicity of that music and the stories those songs tell. His goal is to write songs that communicate what people would like to say to God.

“Now, that doesn't happen all the time. I mean, I write so many songs that you never hear because they are not any good.”

Tomlin is the worship pastor at Passion City Church in Atlanta. He leads worship there twice a month and beta tests all his new songs on the congregation. Tomlin is also a major draw as the worship leader of the Passion Conferences, a series of Christian conferences around the world. In January, the conference packed out the Georgia Dome in Atlanta with 60,000 college-age students. Billboard magazine noted the conference helped push up pre-sales of Tomlin’s latest CD.

His songs are so sought-after that, even before they're released on CD, they start showing up in CCLI’s online database.

“His songs have probably had the most immediate impact on churches that we have seen in history,” Rachinski said. “Even before you get to street release [of a CD], churches are already networked and engaged with his songs.”

Don’t look for a crossover

Other contemporary Christian musicians, as the music industry designates them, have crossed over to mainstream pop with some success. Tomlin said he has no designs on making that leap.

He also doesn’t need the money. Over the course of his career he’s sold 4.2 million albums, had 6 million digital downloads, a number of sold-out tours, and of course, the copyright royalties.

Tomlin said money isn't what motivates him to write and perform.

“I feel like I have a responsibility,  that God has given me a gift to write songs for his church that people listen to and that people are coming to expect now,” he said. “When I make a record I feel that responsibility that worship leaders, churches are going to say, 'Hey, are these some new songs we can sing in our church?' And I don't take that lightly, and I don't go, ‘Oh let's go do something else fun.’”

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“I haven't invented any new instruments, I haven't created new chords that no one has ever played. I play the same chord that every band plays, we play the same instruments up there, the melodies are melodies. The difference to me in the music is that I ask that God's presence be on it and that people, when they sing these songs, sense that God does something.”

The spotlight is on Tomlin even more than ever after starting the year a top the Billboard charts. As he tours the country at bigger and bigger venues, he would prefer to step out of the spotlight, away from the microphone, and let everyone else sing.

“People would be mad that they paid for a ticket for that. So I do that just occasionally, but that is what I love.”

He said the night before, at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, he took as much time as he could to step back and let everyone else sing.

“It was just so beautiful, because I feel like it says something. It's not just like, ‘Hey, listen to me sing.’ This is all of us together. I think when you step back from the mic and it is not about you - and yeah, the light may be on you, but this is about all of us singing. This is about a bigger story, it's about a greater story. It's about a greater name than my name. My name is on the ticket, but this is about a greater name.”

CNN's Oliver Janney, Chris Turner, and Dan Merica contributed to this post.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Music

soundoff (1,754 Responses)
  1. Banjo Ferret

    This intrigues Tim the Destroyer of Worlds. While sing alongs about a false sky daddy are hokey and amusing, Tim recognizes the power of a catchy tune. Therefore, it is decreed that Ferretianism needs musical representation. Expect a bluegrass death metal band to emerge soon that sings (well, screams) praise to Ferretianism is the one true religion. Repent! (banjoferret d c)

    March 10, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  2. Dan

    Let's face it sheep. The bible is a man-made fictional book. It was written by a bunch of uneducated (by today's standards) men who tried to explain things and to keep people in line. The story is fine and dandy but don't take it literally. There is no actual heaven and hell. They just meant that you should be a good person. There really is no invisible man in the sky, people don't really walk on water or part it, snakes don't talk, people are not made from magical ribs, the universe was not created a few thousand years ago, etc. Use the book as a guideline to behave yourself if you really need that crutch but don't walk around telling people that everything in there is true. You really make yourself sound silly and uneducated. There is an incredible amount of proof for evolution and absolutely no proof that people were magically created by an invisible guy.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Nietodarwin

      “I am now convinced that children should not be subjected to the frightfulness of the Christian religion [...]. If the concept of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society's admiration, what types of human behavior can be presented to them as reprehensible?”
      _ Ruth Hurmence Green, The Born Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible

      March 10, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Dan

      It's horrible that people scare their children with this stuff so early but brain-washing has to start at a young age.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  3. Richard Cranium

    Mennonite
    "worship music" has been around 40 years? Try as long as men create gods for themselves, they have created music to go along with their gods. 40 years?...try thousands.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:38 am |
  4. Jeebusss

    Ahhh, touchy-feely malarky for the religiously gullible. Basically they are saying, your songs aren't that good, but people buy them because they are brainwashed.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Dan

      I'd like to take advantage of the sheep too.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:40 am |
  5. Mennoknight

    My favorite Tomlin song is still Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone.
    It was written for the Moving Amazing Grace which follows the life of William Wilberforce, one of the Greatest Christians of the past 500 years.
    What secular humanists don't understand is even their world view of equal human rights are built on New Testament principles. The whole notion of equality of genders and races comes from the Bible.
    These are simply historical facts. Look up the story of who Wilberforce and the Evangelicals of England and America brought an end to Slavery, brought in Human Rights, Child labor laws, Universal education for all children, and even animal cruelty laws.
    My challenge to those like "Unintelligent Designer" on this forum is don't find the worst example of Christian and judge the whole by them.
    I COULD do the same with Atheists, (and I use to brand all atheists because of Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc..) but I realized that is what you do with us Christians.

    Please look to men like Timothy Keller and Lee Stroble to understand why Christians believe what they believe.

    Lets all stop setting up straw men.
    God Bless

    March 10, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • End Religion

      Morality: Using empathy as a guide for human interaction. AKA, "treat others the way you want to be treated" and "put yourself in my shoes". It has nothing inherently to do with the bible.

      When morality is based on religious text, its OK to:
      • behead one's daughter to restore a family's "honor"
      • deny emergency medical aid to a child
      • kill gays, children who misbehave, anyone who works on a particular day of the week, entire groups and races of peoples, and many others for equally capricious reasons
      • buy and sell humans as chattel, including one's own family members
      • kill anyone who visually depicts Muhammad

      Karen Wynn of Yale has a study showing even babies have an idea of wrong versus right. Neuroscientist Christian Keysers has done research to show that the brain of those who see others receiving pain themselves have similar neurological responses. There is a curve to empathy; some feel it more than others. But it certainly doesn't come from a hateful book about imaginary people.

      Humans and probably other animals exist on a spectrum of empathy.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empathy
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_neuron

      Frans de Waal shows that even monkeys employ "morality"...
      http://youtu.be/GcJxRqTs5nk

      March 10, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • End Religion

      Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • dave

      Haha god one.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • MagicPanties

      The fact that good people and bad people believe all sorts of things, and some of those things are true, or false, or good, or evil, and that people do both good and bad things, has nothing to do with a belief being "real".

      No book, the bible or anything else, makes imaginary beings real.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Unintelligent Designer

      Dude, I never found the worst example of Christianity and judged all Christians by it. You are bearing false witness.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • gager

      Human rights do not have a religious origin. You know little of philosophy.

      March 10, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • MennoKnight

      End Religion
      I agree with you, please re-read my post.

      March 10, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • MennoKnight

      gager
      How did slavery in England? Evangelicals lead by the likes Wilberforce. Historical fact.

      March 10, 2013 at 11:28 am |
  6. Nietodarwin

    I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.
    Bertrand Russell

    Religion. It`s given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.
    Charlie Chaplin

    It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.
    Mark Twain

    March 10, 2013 at 10:34 am |
  7. Nietodarwin

    “What I have a problem with is not so much religion or god, but faith. When you say you believe something in your heart and therefore you can act on it, you have completely justified the 9/11 bombers. You have justified Charlie Manson. If it's true for you, why isn't it true for them? Why are you different? If you say "I believe there's an all-powerful force of love in the universe that connects us all, and I have no evidence of that but I believe it in my heart," then it's perfectly okay to believe in your heart that Sharon Tate deserves to die. It's perfectly okay to believe in your heart that you need to fly planes into buildings for Allah.”
    _ Penn Jillette

    March 10, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  8. Nietodarwin

    HEY JUST ME!!!! Did you really post in this horrible grammar?? Put down your bible and pick up an English grammar book!!!

    Just Me
    You sound jealous? Why shouldn't a child of God be filthy rich while the ungodly people who has nothing to do with God is FILTHY rich??? HAVE ARE

    March 10, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  9. DJensen

    Go Chris Tomlin for glorifying Him.

    And for all folks out there – doesn't matter who you are, one day, EVERY knee will bow.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Melissa

      I don't bed my knee to anyone, honey. I don't care who it is. I am not a slave.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • End Religion

      DJ, every knee will bow to the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster, your Lord and Saviour! It is said that at the Second Coming we will all be bathed in red sauce. RAmen!

      March 10, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Saving the earth,one pithy comment at a time

      As per Muslim faith in god-All infidels will covert, die and/ or burn for eternity.You are in total agreement with the 9/11 terrorists.Have a nice Sunday.

      March 10, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • sam stone

      Sort of a pathetic god that needs to be glorified by humans, no?

      March 10, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      While we are at it, DJ, fvck you and your emtpy proxy threats

      March 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Damocles

      Gosh yes, nothing oozes love like threats.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
  10. lol??

    Anybody wrote the music for these chickadees chirpin' the night away??

    "Rev 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird."

    March 10, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Dan

      Quote fiction much?

      March 10, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • clarity

      John of Patmos was clearly a substance abuser.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • better than you

      hey Dan – retarded much?

      March 10, 2013 at 10:35 am |
  11. Charlie

    I wonder how innocuous an article has to be to not cause people to jump up on their soapboxes and proclaim their preferences, prejudices, beliefs, etc. It's just a guy who happens to be Christian who wrote a lot of good songs. I would be willing to bet that, if I had the time to go through all the comments, I would find a comment about Benghazi somehwhere is the pile. We are nation of overgrown children who just cannot shut up.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • End Religion

      Are you a prophet? You made your own vision come true! Oh, and god doesn't exist.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Dan

      I hope nobody criticizes me when I start writing songs about the Tooth Fairy.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Charlie

      End of Religion: I have no idea in Hell (if Hell exists) what you are trying to say. You just strung three nonsequitors together.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Charlie

      E of R: However, you did prove my point since nothing in my comment indicates a prophecy, a vision or a belief (or lack thereof) in any kind of diety.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  12. sybaris

    It is no wonder that this type of thing gains so much traction in the U.S., after all the U.S. doesn't even rank in the top 10 of global academic achievement.

    Religion requires willful ignorance or for that matter just ignorance to perpetuate

    March 10, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • End Religion

      Dumb religious people of all countries need shiny baubles like Chris Tomlin dangling in front of them. It's like catnip for them.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • lol??

      Party, party, party. Now shut up about your hate and tell us your plans on payin' your debts.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Joshua Farmer

      No, religion requires something called faith. Don't you have faith that when you hit a lightswitch, electricity WILL flow from circuit to circuit, in a current, that brightens the room? I bet you say yes. Faith is no difference. After all, the scientific method, that which so many of us base our lives upon, is rooted in PROOF or DISPROOF. Therefore, where has science EVER disproved the existence of God? It never has. 🙂 I believe you should review your statements about willful ignorance, a person whom cannot believe in something greater than themselves is ignorant.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Doug Lynn

      Why do you people have such a large need to hate? If you do not believe in Christ, why do you have such a strong need to mock everyone that does? What pain has Christ caused you to suffer?

      It takes unusual talent to write popular music regardless of the genre. It takes even more talent to write music that can be used by individuals and choirs. Kris Tomlin is extremely gifted. Dolly Parton is probably one of the greatest song writers of our time. I am sure she thinks Kris is amazing. Who are you to think otherwise?

      March 10, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • End Religion

      Joshua you probably don't even realize you summed up stupidity with your comment. We use science to describe our reality *because* we know we cannot trust "faith" in anything. We need evidence. There isn't the tiniest shred of evidence for any god. And electricity has nothing to do with faith, ask any electrician, retard.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • End Religion

      "Who are you to think otherwise?"

      We are free human beings. We may think whatever we'd like. And the reason we are sometimes not so nice to you religious lunatics is because you are not satisfied with practicing your faith quietly in your own home or church – you must spread your dirty faith by force, attempting to change the laws of this country and force others to act and think like you.

      Just look at your post, numbskull. You're chastising us for having a thought unlike yours. THAT is the root of the issue with religion and you just reinforced it. Your religion is dying because of this, though it isn't dying fast enough. You'll have to find another security blanket to cling to.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Doug Lynn
      You ask "What pain has Christ caused you to suffer?"

      You clearly did not grow up as an atheist in America.
      The things I have endured at the hands of "loving" christians would make you sad to be associated with them. I have dealt with intolerance, ostricised and ridiculed for my beliefs, so I found myself having to go on the offensive, and guess what I found. Not one christian, or religious person of any "faith" could intillectual defend their beliefs, and most believed because they were told to, then peer pressure fills in the blanks. They feel the strength in numbers, and think that that somehow helps their case, but ultimately all of the "faithful" that I know, could not defend their beliefs against the light of questioning.

      I am also opposed to the christians that put the lie "In god we trust" on our money and who changed the pledge of allegiance to exclude those who do not believe. I got in trouble in 2nd grade for refusing to recite the pledge because of its religious reference, until my father ( a presbyterian) straightend out the school.

      March 10, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • lol??

      ER sayz,
      "........We are free human beings........." You ain't plannin' on payin' yer fair share?? You might get away with that with yer neighbor but not with GOD.

      March 10, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  13. Lordy, Lordy

    Revival music is OK if limited to CCR.....John Fogerty.....Down on the Corner.....sweet.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Unintelligent Designer

      Great point. I don't see us atheists attacking Johnny Cash.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:28 am |
  14. Carlos

    Pretty cool. A guy signing about something that doesn't exist. As a society, we keep getting dumber and dumber.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • End Religion

      He'll write the theme song for The Idiocracy.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Unintelligent Designer

      You are guilty of selection bias. Non-belief is growing in this country. But it's not because we're getting smarter, we're just better informed. But hey, I must admit, I'd rather my kids go to a Christ Omlin concert than Pantera.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • JJ

      Christians are the most gullible market and they are always looking for someone to tell them that they are right and blow sunshine up their ass. They pay big bucks for this reassurance. Anyone who worships a zombie and believes in talking snakes are ripe for the picking.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Lyly

      How do you know God doesn't exist? Prove it with your small mind! I suppose you are very wise...your life explains it huh?

      March 10, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • End Religion

      Lyly you have the burden of proof. Get on it!

      March 10, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Doug Lynn

      God doesn't exist based on your infinite ability to understand the origin of the universe and the purpose of life? All you are telling us is that God is not who you want him to be so you have closed your mind like a small child that closes his eyes and declares we cannot see him. Fools have been saying there is no God for thousands of years and God has allowed to them to remain spiritually blind, deaf and dumb just as long.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • End Religion

      Dougie-Poo,
      Your post is especially hilarious! You're claiming it is non-believers who are being childish? LOL, as an adult, when one sees and/or talks to imaginary creatures we call this insanity. People have had to reject your god for thousands of years because you won't let the security blanket go. In all that time there has never been a single bit of proof your fantasy exists. Now, people are wising up finally, and your pathetic religion is dying. Bye bye religion! Take the thumb out of your mouth and grow up, Li'l Dougie, Jr.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Saving the earth,one pithy comment at a time

      End religion is in a bad mood today.He doesn't usually hurl undeserved insults.Patience when dealing with the faithful is necessary in order to control blood pressure.

      March 10, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • End Religion

      My musical passion must be making me overly rambunctious with this article. Smarmy religious musical pap really chafes my buttless chaps.

      March 10, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  15. Peter Q Wolfe

    I guess that I'm confused cause these are the same hospitals that denied women reproductive health in the past? The same universities who denied for years and years minorities equal access to equitable educational opportunities? Mmm, funny that you mention India cause over population is doing wonders like it is with the rest of the planet with greehouse gass immitions. BTW: I'm not ignorant on what your Man Made Bible has to say, however, you assume with your foreign aid that it was for altruistic purposes.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Dan

      The church pretends to channel their imaginary friend and force their beliefs on uneducated people.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:21 am |
  16. Dan

    I have to give him credit for making money off the mindless sheep.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Unintelligent Designer

      That's what I've been saying. Don't hate on the guy because he's an entrepreneur. It's what freedom and the American way is all about. Personally, I think if he changed his name to Christ Omlin (kind of like Snoop changing his name to Snoop Lion), he'd increase record sales.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Dan

      The real money is in starting your own religion. The time to do it is now before all of the sheep realize it is just mythology.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • sybaris

      Religion, the ultimate ponzi scheme

      March 10, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • better than you

      mindless sheep – the mirror speaks!

      March 10, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  17. GO_GOP

    Quantum Mechanics? Evolution? Nice joke no doubt. All backed by complicated mathematics 99.99% of the population do not understand. How convenient. No one to question you when what you write (mathematics) is something most don't understand. This is insane. Wave and particle or both? Scientists don't know so they sit on the fence. Monkeys turning into Humans (Evolution). No one has seen it but still we believers dare not question it since "smart" atheists say it is true. How cute.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Dan

      Evolution is fact unlike your little fairy tale. You can stay in denial if you choose.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • End Religion

      To the tune of "If I Only Had a Brain" from Wizard of Oz. Lyrics by "I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV"

      Scarecrow:
      Why, If I had a brain, I could …
      (singing)

      I could understand a theory,
      Of humans growin’ clearly,
      Without the mark of Cain.
      With the species all evolvin’
      And the planets all revolvin’,
      If I only had a brain

      I’d forget about ‘creation’
      And God over the nation,
      And flush them down the drain,

      Dorothy:
      With an intellect so charmin’,
      You could be another Darwin,
      If you only had a brain.

      Scarecrow:
      Oh I, could tell you how, primates evolve to men.
      I could tell you how the earth began and when,
      In thousand years, it’s more than ten!

      I would be an unbeliever,
      No “God I’m scared to see yer –
      Eternity in pain”
      With some science & some reason,
      I don’t really think it’s treason,
      If you use your fricking brain.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Dan

      Please watch this and don't reproduce.

      youtube dot com /watch?v=gHbYJfwFgOU

      March 10, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Bag of Hammers

      GO_GOP
      God did it, he has fvcked up your mind beyond comprehension.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • EvidenceBased4

      An understanding of all that science is out there waiting for you if you want to seek it through education. Believe me, the scientific community would absolutely love for the general public to actually become scientifically literate, rather than be smugly (and willfully) ignorant. Don't delude yourself that you are sophisticated enough to dismiss the entire body of work of thousands of PhD level scientists around the world. Surely you're not so arrogant as to think you understand particle physics and biology better than all the scientists in the world.

      Oh wait, clearly you are.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Unintelligent Designer

      Dude, I'll be so madd if when I die, I'm in hell because Satan tricked me. But you must understand that some of us didn't become non-believers because of science, it was because of religion itself. But religion is here to stay for the foreseeable future. I wish people would embrace a more progressive version of Christianity, and Christ Omlin seems to provide that.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Melissa

      If god is real, and he is the loving and merciful god that you crazy people claim, then he would never send people to hell. No, not even by saying that you are sending yourself (which is a cop-out btw). No one would go to hell, ever. I think you people need to go look up the words loving and merciful because your god is none of these.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  18. David Ouellette

    I wonder if he is related to Lily Tomlin, the lesbian comic?

    March 10, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Damocles

      Right, like he'd admit that.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Charlie

      You seem to be trying to imply something here, but you're not quite clever enough to get your point across. A point, I might add, that is not worth making.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Donna

      Melissa, God doesn't send anyone to hell. People CHOOSE to go to hell all by themselves. And as for God, He sent his son to save the world. Not to send us all into eternal damnation. Hell is actually meant for satan and all his followers. They have all CHOSEN to go to hell all on their own. God gave us all the freedom of CHOICE. And as for me, I choose to be with Jesus.

      March 14, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
  19. Just Me

    I LOVE CHRIS TOMLIN.....HE IS SUCH AN INSPIRATION!!! His Godly music edifies my spirit in Christ....HALLELUJAH!!!

    March 10, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • palintwit

      Will you please get some sense...

      March 10, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Just Me

      palintwit – I have, I met Christ and I got sense, peace, knowledge, wisdom, understanding. He gave me logic and help me to realize how lost people can be without Him.

      Now, can you please give Christ the benefit of doubt?

      March 10, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Damocles

      Can you give every other deity the benefit of the doubt?

      March 10, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Sane Person

      For instant salvation, please send $1500 in cash to PO Box 101, Brooklyn NY, C/O Your savior, Attn : Gullibility Dept.
      Also be away we are selling a great bridge and require no credit checks and small down payments!

      March 10, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Just Me

      Damocles – I did and nothing happened until I gave Christ the benefit of doubt and my entire life changed.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Just Me

      Sane Person – Salvation isn't for sale, Christ gave it to us for FREE. People like who tries to sale it are the very ones you need to be on the look out as many are doing scams to rob others. If you don't have the basic understanding and knowledge of the Holy Spirit, you will think that everyone that wants money in church is of God. Wake up and allow Christ to give you the discernment of spirits so you won't have to fall in their trap.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • End Religion

      JustMe, you just lied. That's a Top 10 Sin that makes your god cry. Pack your lighter clothes, you're going to hell!

      March 10, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Damocles

      You tried every other deity? I find that hard to believe and anyway, isn't that a rather selfish atti-tude to take? Oh, I believe in this thing because I think that's going to grant me the most return on my investment. Deity Bonds.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Melissa

      Just Me, lol. Really? If he did then no one would HAVE to believe to receive it, now would they.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Sane Person

      Nope, Its all true. Trust me *wink* With our "Moral Elevation" package (for only $49.95) You too can be superior to those around you without the package. We also have judgement kits and hypocritical avoidance seminars. (On a space available basis). Also, I too have met jesus. He was wonderful and I ended up hiring him and his crew to remove a particularly large and stubborn tree stump from the back yard.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Just Me

      End Religion – You don't have a hell to place anyone in, but yourself.

      Melissa – JOHN 3:16 – It's very clear, read it.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Just Me

      Sane Person – LOL, you are a funny guy, I like that, but I get what you are saying and that's why my trust is in the LORD and not in men. Stay away from religion, many of them think that God is in the mist of it and he is not.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Just Me

      Damocles – See, that's your problem DOUBT, no wonder it's hard for you to believe......

      March 10, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • JJ

      So, you're American, indoctrinated into Christianity by your parents, you have investigated all the thousands of deities and found them all to be a fraud except Jesus? What are the chances you decided to stay with the cult you were born into! Enjoy hell.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • End Religion

      @JustMe: send us a postcard from Hell, please, so we can be the first to know what it looks like. Why do you trust imaginary creatures more than your family? Why is god in the mist, is he like a gorilla or perhaps Sigourney Weaver is the anti-christ? You sound confused.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Well, Well

      Just Me
      Just love the born agains, they were such fvcked up losers that found a crutch to "save" them and now they think everyone else should follw their lead, no thanks.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Unintelligent Designer

      Just Me. Although I don't accept your beliefs as my own, I like your style. Way to stick to the high ground!

      March 10, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Melissa

      Just Me, do you understand the iodiocy of telling someone that's an atheist to read any part of your book? What if I were to tell you to go read Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back, page 70, line 5 with the smug ignorance that you just did. What would you do?

      Its people like you that are making sure your religion is getting wiped off the face of the earth.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • lol??

      Melissa, you own the earth?? I perceive you are confused on the ID's of the wipers and wiperees.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Melissa

      lol??, what are you talking about? No, seriously, are you smoking something this morning?

      March 10, 2013 at 11:14 am |
  20. Daedsidog

    Meanwhile this Singer is getting filthy rich.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Just Me

      You sound jealous? Why shouldn't a child of God be filthy rich while the ungodly people who has nothing to do with God is FILTHY rich???

      March 10, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Unintelligent Designer

      The American Way. Got to love it. Funny thing is, CNN just gave this guy a ton of publicity. I don't see myself rushing out to buy Christ Omlin records though.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Edweird69

      Just another fairytale salesman. History is loaded with them. The ploy works on the weak-minded, everytime.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Daedsidog

      How can somebody "sound jealous" in writing?

      March 10, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Edweird69

      @Just Me – so the god blesses him with riches? Isn't it easier for a camel to pass thru the eye of a needle, than a rich man to enter the kingdon? So, the wealth is a curse? Your religion makes zero sense!

      March 10, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Kentola

      @Edweird69
      Everyone always misses the point of that scripture,
      the next thing Jesus says is" with God, all things are possible"
      as he responds to the disciples concern regarding "who then can enter the kingdom of heaven".
      The rich man had just walked away from an invitation to be with Jesus, and without his mercy
      had no hope of fullfilling the law, and gaining forgivness

      March 10, 2013 at 10:51 am |
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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.