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Like GOP, evangelicals look to rebrand
Evangelist leaders such as Rick Warren have spoken for evangelicals for years, but he and other leaders must adjust, some say.
March 26th, 2013
09:47 AM ET

Like GOP, evangelicals look to rebrand

By John Blake

(CNN) - There’s been a lot of debate about the Republican Party’s need to rebrand after the 2012 presidential defeat, but could evangelicals face the same challenge?

The evangelical community, too, has been involved in some collective soul-searching. Evangelical leaders constantly warn that young people are deserting churches; pastors struggle to address changing views on homosexuality; and others wonder how evangelicals can remain relevant when a growing number of Americans refuse to identify with any religion.

Relevant magazine, an evangelical publication, tackles these issues head-on in its latest issue with an article titled “10 Challenges Facing Us in The Next Decade."

“The future is coming faster than ever," the article says, "with the tectonic plates of society, church, culture, technology, economy and environment shifting beneath us.”

How the church should change to meet this future is the thrust of the article. The magazine asked some of the nation’s top evangelical leaders for their take on the biggest challenges facing the church in the next decade.

Their answers varied, and some were surprising.

John Mark McMillan, a worship leader and musician, says religious entertainers can’t save evangelicals. Building more megachurches with slicker worship services that feature skits, live music and hip pastors in skinny jeans won’t do the trick.

“How will we avoid the temptation to simply draw crowds?” McMillan asks. “While a floating head on a Jumbotron can instruct us, I think we can only grow to maturity when we learn to love at point-blank range, where the messy aspects of relationship can’t be avoided.”

Another evangelical leader says making marriage relevant for a new generation is the big challenge. David Kinnaman, whose book "You Lost Me" examines why young evangelicals are leaving the church, says more youth see heterosexual marriage as outdated.

Relevant cited statistics from the Pew Research Center that show 44% of millennials (people age 18-29) say marriage is becoming obsolete.

“Millennials face many challenges when it comes to marriage,” Kinnaman says. "They have more financial pressure, more readily available sexual temptations, fewer social inhibitions with infidelity, not to mention overly distracted spouses who are working hard to get ahead or ‘screening’ away their valuable time.”

Shane Claiborne, author of "The Irresistible Revolution" and a founding member of an alternative community called the Simple Way, points to another challenge.

He says evangelicals must broaden the definition of “pro-life.”

Claiborne says we live in a nation where gun violence kills 10,000 people every year, dozens are executed under the death penalty, and the threat of nuclear annihilation looms.

Claiborne’s suggestion: Create a Life Party of Christians who “insist on protecting life in all its dazzling forms.”

“I hope that we can decrease and eliminate abortion, embrace the immigrant and orphans, end the death penalty in the U.S. and see poor people cared for,” Claiborne says.

Evangelicals can’t meet the future by simply altering the delivery of their message. The message will have to change in some ways as well, says Shane Hipps, author of "Selling Water by the River."

“The historic strength of evangelical churches to innovate methods without altering the underlying message will no longer have the same impact,” he says. “That’s because the cultural shift now under way is not merely about music preferences or the use of video clips in sermons.”

Hipps' solution for the future is to learn a lesson from the past. He cited Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor martyred by the Third Reich during the closing days of World War II.

“We must learn to embrace what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called 'religionless Christianity,' ” Hipps says. “These people will press beyond the tired religious categories of ‘liberal’ and “conservative.’ They will see the life and teachings of Jesus not as religious or even spiritual in nature, but rather as fundamentally human.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Faith

soundoff (602 Responses)
  1. Marianne Neal

    The message never changes. Christ was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead. We are justified freely by His grace.

    March 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And the message has never been proven to be anything more than a myth, a fairy tale, a wrk of fiction, a con job.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Tinky Winky

      Evidence?

      March 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  2. Robert

    "Blessed are the Cheesemakers," if you're going to try to defend the Bible, couldn't you choose a name that reflects a little more reverence?

    March 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Are you new?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • fred

      Blessed are the Cheez makers ! We need some smarts on our side. Cheez whiz anyone?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
  3. us_1776

    There is no Sky Fairy.

    Get over it.

    .

    March 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  4. Susan

    You can't rebrand Christianity or the G.O.P. It just won't happen unless people _stop_ thinking. And this is so critical I won't even wish you 'good luck' on it. What all religions and the G.O.P. need to do is CHANGE and stop lying to us in the face of our real world reality we live in. We are talking about humanity's survival–not for a couple decades but for millions of years.

    March 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
  5. Doc Vestibule

    THE NEW EVANGELISM
    Brand name dogma at discount prices!
    You won't find a thriftier way to rationalize bigotry.
    But wait! There's more!
    Get born again in the next 30 minutes and receive a plenary indulgence – ABSOLUTELY FREE!

    March 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • popeye

      Now that is funny!

      March 28, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
  6. Theo

    99% of these posts are a few people with agendas posting as if they are different people really talking to each other

    March 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Nonsense.

      March 28, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
  7. Bondsevant

    When ever I want to gaze upon everything that is wrong with society I simply read the comment section here at good old CNN. I see supposedly open-minded, enlightened human beings acting like children. I catch a glimpse of a world where it is ok to believe anything... as long as it is not Christianity. I behold fallen humanity and I believe the bible is true.
    Attacking straw-men arguments via anonymous websites must be the atheist Elysian Fields.

    March 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Apparently you are just really bad at reading then.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I know you are, but what am I?
      Who is the one making childish, straw-man arguments now?
      Huh, Mr. Poopy Pants?

      March 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • yo mama

      The fool says in his heart – there is no God.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  8. Pastor Evans

    Read all of this:

    Malachi 3:6 – For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
    Matthew 24:35 – Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

    2 Timothy – 3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.The Man of God and the Word of God 10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    March 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Read this:

      If you really are a pastor and believe the crap from The Babble you just posted, you are mentally ill, a liar or both. I'm going with both.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • fred

      Thank you for bringing us back to the truth in the Word not the bloggs of man

      March 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • fred

      Hot Air
      Let me see 98% of the world is mental but you and the 2% like you are all that is sane in our world.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      By current definitions of mental illness, no, but times are changing and I believe in a few generations membership in today's cults will be considered a mental health issue.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Tinky Winky

      Non religious people are 20% of America, and about the same of the world. Only one in ten of those will identify as atheists due to the stigma of bigots, but like the acceptance of gays and races, that will fall too. Once it does, then the numbers of atheists will skyrocket.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • fred

      TinkyWinki
      Since you can see the future should I buy or sell apple?
      The good news is that the Bible agrees with you and as the End of Days approaches the mark of the beast will be on the vast majority of people.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Banjo Ferret

      The only truth you need is the Tweet According to Tim: "Be good to your planet. Protect the critters. Don't be an a**hole." So sayeth Tim the Destroyer of Worlds. Ferretianism is the one true religion. Repent and secure your purple energy bubble! (banjoferret d c)

      March 27, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • smoozer joe@pastor e

      Read this:SHUT UP!!!!

      March 28, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
  9. Theo

    Normal religion is weird enought, evangelical is down right nutty, how anyone can believe these used car salesmen is beyond me

    March 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  10. Say My Name

    Uh, maybe people are flocking AWAY from the church because they're tired of being belittled and condemned. Maybe they're tired of being talked down to and made to feel like if they don't believe exactly what their pastor does, their soul is lost. Maybe they're tired of an atmosphere that lacks tolerance and real concern for people. Everyone sins. To constantly use those sins as assault weapons is getting really old.

    March 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  11. palintwit

    A growing number of us are convinced that Sarah Palin is the only one who can heal and re-unify our country. But first she must return to her motorhome and resume her cross country tour. She will have to visit cities both large and small, being careful to speak only to real Americans, dispensing her sage advice and folksy, homespun common sense solutions. We can be a great nation again if we all follow the "Palin Path".

    March 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • asdrel

      Please define "real American". I certainly hope you don't think that Americans who have a different relifious and/or politacl viewpoint than you have are not "real".

      March 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  12. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    EPIC HISTORY OF BIRTH OF HINDUS IGNORANT S AND THEIR HINDU SECULAR ISM.
    In hindu dark ages, a woman was laying in bed, while her husband was away, she was having her lust pleasing dreams in hindu secular ism, filthy self center ism of enjoying company of her husband in bed in a hindu darkened cave, a hindu filthy languor, secular daddy of hindu hanuman, stupid monkey, secular, every hindu believes to be their god saw her moaning and took advantage of her, her husband came back and had relationship , but she had already been pregnant by hindu crook languor, filthy secular. She never told her husband of the indecent, time of child birth her husband took her to a medicine man for deliver, and waited for hours, while he heard wild noises from inside delivery cave. Finally medicine man came out of cave sweating and all bruised, her husband rushed to him, and asked about wellbeing of his wife and child, boy or a girl, medicine man could not answer, while he was trying to figure out way to explain, finally he put himself together and started to explain mystery of his child birth. AS HE STATED , RIGHT AFTER BIRTH, CHILD JUMPED AND CLUNG TO CEILING OF THE CAVE, HIM AND HIS ASSISTANT WERE TRYING HARD TO CATCH CHILD FOR S GENDER IDENTIFICATION, BUT TO NO VIALS, AFTER HOURS THEY GAVE UP.
    Child of hindu crook Languor, secular from a woman was called Bujrungbhali, meaning ruler of his own limit, a hindu secular, stupid self centered, he matted with his own half kind, hindu monkeys and donkeys, stupid secular s, self centered animals and multiplied enormously,
    Living by hindu secular ism, self center ism, kenjer ism, today his progeny claims their linage from Monkeys AND DONKEYS, stupid secular s As their maternal gods. So much so, producers of Gorge of the Jungle movie borrowed concept from inception of hindus, ignorant and made a lot of money.

    Every letter of a word has meanings of its own, seeds to grow crop of words for humanity to communicate. From seeds of letters, blocks are created and than blocks are combined to create words to communicate intentions of a person. Word ATHEIST MEANS, A SELF CENTERED, DENIER OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE, OR A PERSON CLAIMING HIMSELF TO BE TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD, A HINDU SHAMAN, A CROOK SPEAKING BY HIS SOUL, DESIRE, NOT OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE OF A MATTER. Atheism is not of human, but in line with mind set of a animals. Following words are best example to identify Atheism.
    DOG
    Letter D, means, THE. vowel O, represents, QUANTIFIED AND Letter G is result of one s intention from his mind and heart. Sounded Ga. meaning a secular, self centered by intention in opposition to truth absolute by intention. or an atheist,
    MONKEY
    Letter M means essence or choice of an intention, Vowel O represents Quantified. Letter N means enshrined or established. Letter K identifies function of a noun. Vowel E represents unity of an adjective and a noun in essence. Letter Y means Ye, from heart and mind, base of word Yes. meaning by self choice, with dis regard to truth absolute, a Secular, self centered or an atheist,
    DONKEY
    Letter D, means THE, Vowel O means QUANTIFIED, Letter N means established or enshrined. Letter K identifies function of a noun. Vowel E represents unity of an adjective and a noun in essence. Letter Y means Ye, from heart and mind, base of word Yes. meaning by self choice, with dis regard to truth absolute, a Secular, self centered or an atheist,
    As a matter of fact, word ANIMAL means nothing else, but a atheist, self centered or denier of truth absolute.
    Atheism, self center ism is way of animals and hindrance negativity to truth absolute GOD, foundation of consti tution of USA and universe and source for existence of every thing in existence, otherwise known as constant.
    Atheism is way of hindus, deniers of truth absolute, not of human, but animals observed by pot head hindu Swamis, ignorant goons, secular, self centered by their hindu soul, filthy desire and foundation of hinduism racism of hindu dark ages.

    March 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Theo

      Get a real JOB wierdo, maybe it will help with your problem

      March 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • YankeeintheBluegrass

      Wow. Just...wow.

      Time to put that tinfoil hat back on. The signals are getting overwhelming apparently.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
  13. lolita from rhode island

    if Jesus was on earth...would he grow a goat bear like this so called evangelist leader?

    March 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  14. Robert

    It's not a popularity contest. God told Jeremiah to go and tell Israel to repent. God also told Jeremiah that they weren't going to listen to him but to tell them anyway. The first goal in evangelism is in not to serve man, but to serve God, and that incidently happens to be what's best for man. No one can serve two masters guys (i.e., pastors).

    March 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Say My Name

      Isn't the goal to bring people to Christ? While there need to be tough discussions, don't you think more might come to the church and eventually accept Christ if you are less belligerent and condemning with them?

      March 27, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • houkoten

      What you fail to realize is that people can have faith and be religous without pledging allegence to any specific organization.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
  15. David

    Different poop, same toilet. With "men of god" like these (Rick Warren and other self proclaimed holier than Christ evangelicals) – whom btw co sponsored the Kill the Gays bill in Uganda- and lunatic hypocrites like Pat Robertson and "i ain't gay no mo" Haggart, they can "rebrand" all they want. Those with functioning brain cels will see them for the lying, foaming at the mouth hypocrites they truly are.

    March 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Robert

      David, you are a liar, which means that you are a wicked man. You've got bitterness and hate in your heart towand anyone who tells you that you might be wrong. And why? It's because you are in the gall of sin, and sin always produces pride. It's been said that sin is like a snake bite. First it stings, then it numbs, then it puffs up and finally it kills. In other words first sin wounds your conscience, then it numbs your conscience, then it makes you proud in justifying your sin and hardens your heart so that you proceed further into your sin. Finally, that sin will destroy you. You know that is true.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  16. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    By far the best verse from Leviticus, but I would argue it is refering to the fellow chosen people, the Isrealites and not the everyone else unconditionally.

    Lets see how your book of multiple choice recommends dealing with non-believers such as myself.

    Kill them.

    If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you ... Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die. - Deuteronomy 13:6-10

    Shun them.

    Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? ... Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord. - 2 Corinthians 6:14-17

    hmmmmmm, not as loving a book as you would have people believe.

    March 27, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • bill.x

      You don't have to be a Christian or follow or adhere to those fancy books and references you mention to believe in God – or be a believer. So there must be more than objecting to or favoring certain interpretations to suit ones point of view. I respect you view or decision to not be a believer, just based on your own declaration.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  17. just me

    My fiancee and I have been making our wedding plans. I told her just yesterday: "It's no wonder more people are choosing to just stat living together, the high cost of getting married is outrages!" I had checked out the cost of tux rentals,$100.00, hey! I thought, I just want to 'rent the it, not buy it! And the cost of a wedding gown? For $1,000+, what are they making those things out of? And a cake? Did you say "Only $300+? My gosh what are they doing to think they need $300? And flowers! another $1,000+? Hey! They are just flowers for crying out loud, why so much?
    You can see where I'm going with this! I say: "Why not just a judgstice of peace? And my fiancee says: this is my big day and it's got to be right. And I say: and yeah–we'er getting ripped off at the same time.
    It's no wonder to me that marriage is being "out-dated"
    P.S. Did you know that people who just start to live together, and start a family together stay together longer than married couples? I can cite a number of cases when couples who were just living together a long time and then decided, for what ever reason, to get married were soon devorced afterwards. One such relationship I knew of only lasted two months,after living and raising a family for 19 years. (Their kids prompted them to get married.) ??? Don't get me wrong, I think it is imoral to just start living together. But I also think it is imoral for those people in the wedding industry to be rip-offs.

    March 27, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I agree with you that it is a big rip off, my wife and I lived together for 3 years before we got married. While we paid too much we shopped around and paid a lot less than most and still had her "big day". It was worth it to her and I love her,,,so it was worth it to me. I resigned myself to paying too much and just let it go and had fun with it. And believe me when I say we had no money at the time. If you get married make sure you both are on board with the plans you make, you don't want to start off with her resenting you for witholding something she has dreamed about.

      I have a question though, why do you think it is immoral to live together out of wedlock?

      March 27, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Gotta love capitalism don't you?

      All the trappings of the 'big day' have nothing to do with religion or marriage, either sacramental or civil – they are merely marketing a product for people to buy.

      They cultivate the desire for the bride to be the star of an all-out extrava-ganza with designer clothes, fancy food and floral arrangements – all usually too expensive for the bride's parents and the newlyweds start off in debt at the very worst time for them to do so. They whole system is predatory.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Robert

      That sounds like a cop out to me. You don't have to do all that. I've known people who have had very simple ane inexpensive, yet very charming weddings.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    The Apostles' / Agnostics’ Creed 2013 (updated based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

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

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

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

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

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

    Amen

    March 27, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Popular stories are formed for heroes and villains not for their faceless judges on the belief blog!
      If you made loving your neighbor as yourself your main thought we will form the Atheist Gospels with u as protagonist.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Robert

      Dyslexic doG, you are mistaken. The existance of God can be proven both through science and through philosopy. Morover, for anyone sho has eyes to see, his handiwork is seen in the creation. But let's look at philosopy for starters. There's a thing called the law of causality that says, all things that exist must have a cause, except by definition, God. Therefore, if there was ever a time when absolutely nothing existed, then you and I could't be here. Moreover, since the universe does in fact exist, and since it couldn't have caused itself, then it must have been caused by something that has existed from eternity past and is self existant, wich means that God must exist. In short, if there was no God, then neither the cosmos nor you and I could be here because it is a philosophical impossibility for these things to cause themselves into existance. And THAT is good scholarship and science for anyone, unless their love of moral darkness has prejudiced them from seeing it.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "There's a thing called the law of causality that says, all things that exist must have a cause, except by definition, God."

      Robert,

      That is not a "law" that is a logical fallacy called special pleading....look it up.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Robert, where is this alleged law stated and by what authority? I think you are making things up. Unless you provide an authoritative reference, I will move on to calling you a liar.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
  19. Atheist, me?

    Well I am glad to know that you know your ancient Egyptian theology but no I do not worship any such thing. I worship only YHWH aka Charitable Love. Hope u can understand that?

    March 27, 2013 at 3:17 am |
    • Giggling Merlin

      Why are you surprised that people think you are a fool when you constantly play the fool?

      March 27, 2013 at 3:26 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      I am not a bit surprised that you think yourself wise!

      March 27, 2013 at 3:56 am |
    • Raoul Duke, Jr.

      God loves you so much that if you don't believe in him exactly the way he commands you to you will burn in hell for eternity.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Dr. Gonzo III

      Interesting that the only entry requirement to heaven is sycophancy. Mass murderer sycophants are in, child molester sycophants are in, but the kindest, most giving and loving people who did not go for Jesus are tortured endlessly.

      God loves a toadie.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Robert

      And "Athiest, Me?," I am not a bit surprised that YOU think youself to be wise. But the Apostle Paul (one of the greatest scholars who ever lived) wrote, "thinking themselves to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the image of the incorruptable God for the image of corruptable man." In other words, they made a god in their own image to suit their own moral values (or lack there of) and purposes.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • houkoten

      And sadly, Robert, he also invokes the straw man argument of "I know you are but what am i?". See how wise i am in pointing out how unwise it is to believe that anyone outside of my point of view can have any wisdom at all?

      It is sad really and an unending argument. This is mainly due to the fact of how the tool of the word is used by an organization, instead of how each individual chooses to believe. Thus, by consequence, people become tools of the organization themselves.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
  20. Atheist, me?

    Bill Deacon
    Keep on keeping on. I love the way you take a stand for Christ's message that we should love our neighbor as ourself and show them compassion. I love you as myself and God loves u even more.

    March 27, 2013 at 2:11 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      That concept predates Jesus, I would think a god could have come up with his best stuff without plagiarism.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:18 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      So we should not love our neighbor as ourself and show compassion because an Atheist brought the concept before the Law was written down by Moses?

      March 27, 2013 at 3:03 am |
    • Giggling Merlin

      Well Atheistme, I am glad to see you are a worshiper of Maat, ancient Egyptian Goddess.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:03 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Cheesemaker
      Since you brought yourself let me ask u 3 questions
      a. Do you believe you can love your neighbor as yourself?
      b. Do you believe your neighbor can love you as himself?
      c. Is this idea,"I love my neighbor as myself and my neighbor loves me as himself/herself too" the dominant thought in your mind day and night?
      I love you as myself and God does even more.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:12 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Merlin
      enjoy the answer!

      March 27, 2013 at 3:20 am |
    • ..

      Oh, look, it's Atheist, me?, who runs away at the slightest question. His faith must be so complete that he thinks no replies are necessary.
      I love you, Atheist, me?.

      March 27, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • ..

      So an atheist gave the idea to moses. Glad to get it confirmed.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      ..
      If u think I have to sit here all day to answer the questione u have NOT asked ever, just get CNN Belief Blog to employ me. Until then there's someone who calls the tune.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Answering yes to those questions does not require belief in a god AND the god of the Bible does not love me as himself.....he should practice what he preaches.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      What does Moses have to do with the concept of loving your neighbor as yourself?

      March 27, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Cheesemaker
      a. Answering yes to those questions is not about any God to which I wholly agree so please do answer ok.
      b. Moses figures because loving your neighbor as yourself is a commandment of the Law he is believed to have given the Israelites from Yahweh. Christ and his Apostles believed this was the most important spiritual precept to which all others are subservient
      c. Please answer the question

      March 27, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      a. Do you believe you can love your neighbor as yourself?

      --Yes, as a matter of fact I think it is possible to love your neighbor more than yourself and happens quite often

      b. Do you believe your neighbor can love you as himself?

      --Same answer

      c. Is this idea,"I love my neighbor as myself and my neighbor loves me as himself/herself too" the dominant thought in your mind day and night?

      --No, I consider "love" to be an emotion. I respect my neighbors, I have empathy for my neighbors. The problem is the definition of "love" is subjective and therefore it would be very easy for you and I to misunderstand each other on this broad question.

      "Moses figures because loving your neighbor as yourself is a commandment of the Law he is believed to have given the Israelites from Yahweh."

      I must have missed that one, could you point out where he did that?

      March 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Cheesemaker
      Leviticus 19:18
      "thou shalt not avenge nor bear a grudge against the children of thy people but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
      It is the second of the Greatest Commandments. It is often bundled together with the Golden Rule but IS NOT the Golden Rule.
      In Judaeo-Christianity the former is a law the latter a principle. The Law is more forceful. The Principle aids understanding.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @formerly known as Nii

      Why am I not surprised to see you defending such a dishonest, evil individual such as Bill?

      March 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Cheesemaker
      The Bible requires as to hold love not just as an unconscious emotion but as a conscious idea too and show this as compassion.
      That is the reason why meditating on the mantra
      "I love my neighbor as myself"
      is so important to me.
      It seems that it fosters a certain type of love similar to motherly love but stronger.
      It also enables rational thought and ingenuity as well.
      In short I have no doubt that if one perfects himself you will live an extra-ordinary life of service.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      HAAWAII
      You and Bill should leave me out of your battles.
      It was a response to Bill on a post where he talked of charitable love.
      I am not his defence attorney.
      And I love him as myself. So be surprised cos I love you the same way.
      Besides, how better are you towards him?

      March 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @formerly known as Nii

      How about that I actually care about what is actually true, rather than let Bill follow his priest masters and spread lies about Theresa being some amazing person, or to always find some irrelevant stupidity rather than actually deal with the criminal actions of his church?
      I'm not better "towards" him, because Bill does not deserve praise, platitudes, or "love". He's a pathetic little stooge of an immoral doctrine that is perfectly willing to overlook any atrocity that's cloaked in his religion.
      Sort of like how you merely spout meaningless drivel every time you post. You have no point here, so why are you here? To feel good about yourself that you can spout the same unoriginal stupidity claiming it as some kind of crazy revelation from god?

      March 27, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      By far the best verse from Leviticus, but I would argue it is refering to the fellow chosen people, the Isrealites and not the everyone else unconditionally.

      Lets see how your book of multiple choice recommends dealing with non-believers such as myself.

      Kill them.

      If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you ... Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die. - Deuteronomy 13:6-10

      Shun them.

      Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? ... Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord. - 2 Corinthians 6:14-17

      hmmmmmm, not as loving a book as you would have people believe...

      March 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Cheesemaker
      It is easy to see why you think the way you do!
      However
      Leviticus 19:18 is the Consti.tution and all other Laws are subject to it.
      The question of who a neighbor is was sorted out in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. It certainly refers to all men.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      More inspiration from the book of Leviticus and why your verse has nothing to do with loving everyone but only applies to the Isrealites, I am the heathen according to that book I should be a slave.....kind of contradicts the notion of loving your neighbor as yourself

      25:44 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
      25:45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
      25:46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Cheesemakers

      Don't use that bullshit translation lol. They were slaves, plain and simple. Any other nicer word is just an attempt to say it wasn't a bad thing, despite the fact that they were considered property.

      March 27, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Cheesemaker
      With reference to the Corinthians I doubt he meant the small Christian population should shun the general populace. It would be impossible. What it actually says is for one to set yourself apart spiritually like you are asking Atheist Ministers to come out.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "The question of who a neighbor is was sorted out in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. It certainly refers to all men."

      That is YOUR interpretation, certainly not everyone's. I am glad that is how you interpret it but at best that is your opinion. The Corinthians quote is from the NT.....I notice you didn't address that one.

      The point is the Bible is an unreliable contradictory mess, some parts good, some parts not so much, so parts down right vile. The idea of "loving your neighbor as yourself" predates the bible and Christianity....the best parts of the bible were not original to it.

      If one has to do mental gymnastics to rationalize the awful parts I don't see why I should consider it a "holy" book.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @formerly known as Nii

      And BTW, they weren't counted as people or neighbors, they were property, and didn't need to be "loved as yourself".

      March 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Thank you A me? I do the best I can. The boards can get a little rough and I admit to throwing a few elbows myself but my main goal is to clarify the slander and misinformation that some folks use either deliberately or because of ignorance so that genuine inquirers might think to pose themselves a question they would otherwise not.

      I'm edified by your encouragement and return same to you my brother.

      We are entering the Triduum now so we are able to worship Jesus for His instiitution of the priesthood, the passion of His cross and the glory of His resurrection. Alleluia!

      March 27, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Again, that is your interpretation, many would disagree.

      I read it at face value. If we have to properly interpret verses that taken at face value are vile, and the verses are the devine inspiration of an omnipotent god, maybe he should have been clearer, after all he would have known the confusion it would cause.

      Unless it really wasn't the inspired word of god and is just bronze age mans mixture of good and bad philosophy and dogma....then it all makes sense.

      hawaiiguest,

      Believe me I was in no way trying to minimize the passage, I just pulled it from the Skeptics Bible website that uses the KJV.

      March 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Robert

      "Blessed are the Cheesemakers," if you're going to try to defend the Bible, couldn't you choose a name that would indicate a little more reverence?

      March 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. You have a real fan, great or are you doing a Chad Rachel thing, be honest now.

      March 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Robert,

      LOL...I was not defending the bible....you need to work on your reading comprehension.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.