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book "You Lost Me" examines why young evangelicals are leaving the church, says more youth see heterosexual marriage as outdated.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)

    unless you turn and listen to Jesus now, in real and truthful sense,
    there is no hope and no future for you! (=Matthew 7/22-23)


    March 28, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      My point exactly

      see below

      March 28, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  2. David Eakin

    How easy it is to get sucked into the whirlpool of negativity against the Christian Faith when we are surrounded by it. Paul writes to the church in Rome: “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold, but let God remold our minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the Plan of God for you is good…” (Romans 12:2, Phillips). Re-branding, yes, if it does require compromise with the Word of God! Pressure and heat, as with metals, brings out the strength and purity of the metal. So it should be with the Church – it should make us stronger in the Lord. Consider this: the Plan of God is not only good for us, but also for the whole world! God so loves His world....!

    March 28, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The premise of the Christian dogma..... that we all deserve punishment because we live in a fallen world because of something someone did thousands of years ago and now we can get out of that punishement if we only believe certain things is not a "Good Plan". It is an awful plan. The whole premise is immoral and I get tired of hearing how moral and "just" it is when it is one of the most vile concepts man has created.

      March 28, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      But David is right. God, through the Holy Spirit and by the sanctification of Jesus is working out in me and in others, in the Church and in the whole world, the perfection of His divine mercy

      March 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. Specos empor, Billy is trying to selling love and salvation but what you end up with is blind obedience to dogma and the hierarchy of a corrupt church, the RCC.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Demons wants to go to heaven, he just refuses to take the road that leads there. Might have to give up television.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      Mercy for what? Being born into a fallen world? Why is that my fault? Why do I have to accept a belief (delusion) before I get "proof" of the belief? What other reasonable non-religious belief do you hold that you can say that you HAD to accept BEFORE proof was given? According to you god gave us our reason and intellect and yet you guys argue we are supposed to set those aside and just accept the claims first and THEN we can engage our reasoning, but only then to justify the belief we have ALREADY accepted. That is cult logic.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal troll. Beat you to it Billy, only TV I get is over the air and only use it to watch news and some sports; why is that important in your world? How much does a used rosary go for these days, Billy?

      March 28, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious apologist troll. Of course like you I could not give up my computer. Right now, posting here, listening to SOCUS, watching the stock market-one trade today, eyeballing the Houston Open Golf Tourny isn't multi-tasking great?

      March 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. HAHAHA "the perfection of His divine mercy" did they (the RCC lawyers) use that line in the class action suits by the victims of abuse, moron and hypocrite that you are, Billy.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  3. Bill

    From the attached article....

    "When non-Christians aged 16 to 29 years old were asked, “What is your current perception of Christianity?” here’s how they responded:

    91% anti-ho mos exual
    87% judgmental
    85% hypocritical
    78% old-fashioned
    75% too involved in politics
    70% out of touch with reality
    70% insensitive to others"

    Looks like they pretty much nailed it.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • David Eakin

      That may simply be the perception of the person or people making the observation. We need, also to be careful not to respond in the same manner as the one or ones we are criticizing!

      March 28, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yes because the perceptions of 16 year olds are always so spot on.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. If you haven't made the brainwashing stick by the time the kids have turned sixteen you know you are screwed, do you not realize that, Billy.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Not so Demon. As atheists point out many of them left the flock as young children. They posit that they intellectually outgrew theology by ten or whatever. I posit that they developmentally stalled. A great number and the most devout followers are often those who come to faith later in life. St. Augustine is perhaps the earliest example followed by generation after generation of those saved and redeemed after a life of self will run riot left them abject, empty and ultimately at the foot of the cross. Your argument is invalid

      March 28, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Bill Deacon,

      "Yes because the perceptions of 16 year olds are always so spot on.

      It's glib and dismissive statements like this that erode the credibility you otherwise have when you stick to articles of faith.

      Clearly neither the mean or mode of the distribution of respondents to these questions in the range of 16 – 29 is likely to be 16.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Saint Augustine was a wonderful Christian, wasn't he?
      The legacy of his doctrine of "Cognite Intrare" helped Christians justify all manor of atrocities to convert heathens for many centuries.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  4. Bill

    I love how the bibletards trot out words like interpret and context when faced with the complete and utter absurdity of their silly story book.

    Yes of course, the indisputable inerrant word of the almighty super-being is open to interpretation and context.

    How do you intellectually challenged dimwits actually look at yourself in a mirror without laughing.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Under what criteria do you decree all Xtians as dimwits. If someone is able to analyse rationalise and refine his beliefs I see him as far more intelligent than the Atheists here who apparently are paranoid; proud and suicidal!

      March 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  5. Jim


    Creationist offers 10k to prove bible wrong. This should be interesting.

    March 28, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Bill

      I'll offer him $10K to prove rainbow colored unicorns don't exist.

      We will both not have to pay.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:24 am |
  6. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Once again, all the GOP rebranding will not help a "pro-life"/GOP presidential candidate as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

    The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

    2012 Presidential popular vote results

    65,899,660 for pro-abortion/choice BO 60,929,152 for pro-life MR

    And the irony:

    And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)

    The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.


    (Added note: Bill Gates is quite aware of the health issues. From today's news: "Gates will give a $100,000 grant to whoever can invent the “next generation condom” through The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges in Global Health. The estimated 80 grant recipients can then apply for a follow-up grant worth up to $1 million."

    "Is it possible to develop a product without this stigma, or better, one that is felt to enhance pleasure?” the Grand Challenge prompt asks. ”If so, would such a product lead to substantial benefits for global health, both in terms of reducing the incidence of unplanned pregnancies and in prevention of infection with HIV or other STIs [se-xually transmitted infections]?”

    The GOP would be wise to support these kind of projects.


    March 28, 2013 at 7:50 am |
  7. krhode

    nonsense, if you have not noticed.....it is the liberal churches that are bleeding members?

    March 28, 2013 at 5:18 am |
    • Ping

      Your statement is not a question?

      March 28, 2013 at 11:46 am |
  8. Atheist, me?

    The central theme of the Bible is
    charitable love which is loving your neighbor as yourself and showing him or her compassion.
    Now I have heard Atheists call this the Golden Rule because some scholars erroneously do while others here say its common sense.
    The Great Commandment(like Consti.tution) has every other Law subservient to it.
    As such no contradiction exists in the Bible if you look at it with this central precept in mind.
    Moby Svhtick in particular has lost her theological sharpness or is now tired of spewing archaic liberal theology and being rebuffed time and time again with this principle.
    Its time we all make
    I love my neighbor as myself our central thought and stop petty bickering.
    Then we will get the proof of Christ.

    March 28, 2013 at 2:29 am |
    • HotAirAce

      You were doing ok until the last line. Where is this proof?

      March 28, 2013 at 4:57 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You miss the point Hot Air. Loving others and following Christ commands come before the proof.

      March 28, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Most christians are such hypocrites

      Telling everyone else to love thy neighbor and not bothering to follow their own advice because they “know” they are forgiven

      March 28, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • God is just like UFOs

      You don’t get the proof until after you believe in them.

      March 28, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Bill

      "You don’t get the proof until after you believe in them"

      Same thing with bigfoot.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Ping

      Bill Deacon is a blustering fool.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Atheists Anonymous

      God is not like UFOs because with UFOs you do not have top watch what you do to your fellow human before they draw close to you. However if you are loving and compassionate you will feel the presence of God.

      March 28, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Atheists Anonymous

      In science you only get the proof by following the instructions faithfully. That is what Bill Deacon is talking about but you can't see the wisdom in his words. Only wise men can!

      March 28, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Bill Deacon,

      You miss the point, Christianity at its foundation is immoral. Loving and treating our neighbors with respect does not require Christianity. Any other requirement to attain salvation is immoral even if it were true.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      In the spirit of honesty I will like to say that your concept of morality is irrational. Under what do you charge Christians as immoral and dont tell me its just because they are Christians. Christophobia is a disease mind u.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Atheist, we?

      Where did I say "Christians" were immoral? You need to take a step back and realize what I am condemning is the concepts of Christianity and NOT the Christians. I agree with you that "love and respect" for our fellow man is a great teaching and goal, but those ideas are not original to Christianity. That is not all that Christianity teaches or requires for salvation though is it? If that IS all that is required by Christianity than we can throw the rest dogma (garbage) out right?

      You can't see the forrest for the trees.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Of course loving one another is not the central tenet of Christianity, it is the fruit thereof. The central tenet is that God, out of His abundant mercy, and by His nature, loved us while we were yet sinners and deserving of death. Therefore, He sent His perfect and spotless Son to shepherd us into His care, by which we are instructed to care one for the other.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      Even THAT is not the central tenet, the central tenet is that we have to BELIEVE it, if we don't BELIEVE it we deserve punishment.

      You would never argue that a person should be found a criminal in this country for nothing more than what they think, to do so would be immoral. And yet you make excuse after excuse justifying your god for that same immorality.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  9. Geoffrey

    'religionless Christianity' – An interesting concept that I have been personally practicing for years. My faith in Jesus Christ as my savior is unwavering – yet do not make a show of religiosity. I live my life on Sunday and Christmas and Easter the same as I do every other day of the year. I attempt to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with my God. Not without mistake or stumbling. Not “Self” righteous. Seeking wisdom above all else. Show the youth that “Christian” living will benefit them in this life and the hereafter.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:45 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      I love it when I know I am not alone. God bless you. I love you as myself and God does much much more!

      March 28, 2013 at 2:40 am |
    • Science

      Hey Geoffrey

      Origin of Life:

      Natural Cause no god(s) required.

      Hypothesis Traces First Protocells Back to Emergence of Cell Membrane Bioenergetics

      December 20, 2012 — A coherent pathway – which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells – has been traced for the ...


      March 28, 2013 at 5:46 am |
    • Atheists Anonymous

      Read the books and not web articles. Better yet take free science courses online from MIT.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      There are lamentably few Christians who keep their faith personal and strive to lead by example.
      Though I am a naturalist and don't believe in the supernatural, I have respect for those who endeavour to live in Christ's image of humilty, charity and compassion.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  10. capitalist

    Putting lipstick on a camel won't get it thru a pigsty

    March 27, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Agreed! There's no way to dress christianity up so that it is anything other than the myths of 1st century goat herders.

      March 27, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Austin

      I can't picture Jesus in a suit and tie. Charisma is god.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Austin

      The again, charisma is not god. .

      March 27, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Zombie on a stick

      Rebranding evangelicalism = stupid in a new leisure suit.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • fred

      What is going on with you? You seem to be overcome by something other than the Holy Spirit?

      March 27, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • Austin

      I've been overcome buy your mothers mouth all over my crusty hairy turd cutter blowing hot wet fart gas in her face then throwing coins at her used up slit beat gash hatchet wound your crawled out of.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • Austin

      The above is a handle violation.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • fred

      Got it ! Stay strong in the Lord Austin and don't stay on these boards if your faith is weak. We are to be in the world but not of the world.
      As to your dreams I have a word of caution (I assume the drive thru the Church was the real Austin). I prayed for the dreams to stop because they were drifting into non biblical areas. They did and I have greater peace these days.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • Cherries

      Austin, do you think CNN cares? They enforce NOTHING.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • HotAirAce

      There is no more evidence for the claim by the most recent "Austin" than there is for any of his assertions about the existence of any god or a divine jesus.

      March 28, 2013 at 5:00 am |
    • Which God?

      @ capitalist. True, but if you grease it well, you can get it through the eye of a needle.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  11. R. Parker

    Yes, the evangelicals are worried about loosing their flock to fleece. It all about the money and power they get from the flock.

    March 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • Ping


      March 28, 2013 at 11:47 am |
  12. Hey CNN

    When is the next article by Mohler?

    March 27, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • We want! We want!


      March 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
  13. Liel

    Evangelicals Rebrand? No.
    But, definitely recharged,reenergized, revived and reinvigorated!!!

    March 27, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • saddleback

      Love pastor Warren for everything he has done in uplifting the people of Rwanda

      March 27, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      ....not to mention retarded

      March 28, 2013 at 5:24 am |
    • Ping

      Invigorated? Yeah, look at his 5 chins and see how much exercise Warren's "vigor" gets him. What a fat loser.

      He's a con artist like every other evangelical snake oil salesman. Buy this god/car. Don't look at the engine that's missing, or the worn out tires and brakes...

      March 28, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  14. TG

    Evangelical leaders look to rebrand because what they have presented is far from what the Bible teaches and what they do teach, Jesus likened it to "crumbs" at the hands of a "rich man", the religious leaders.(Luke 16:19-21) These have "sheared the sheep", both financially and spiritually. Televangelists have duped people for decades, telling sweet, candy-like stories to extract money from their audience, not as Jesus said: "You received free, give free."(Matt 10:8)

    On the other hand, Jesus genuine disciples do not need to "rebrand", but closely follow Jesus perfect example in teaching Bible truth "from house to house"(Acts 20:20), "journeying from city to city and village to village, preaching and declaring the good news of the kingdom" (Luke 8:1) as well as in the Christian congregation.(Heb 10:24)

    That the churches would lose their "flock" during these "last days" is seen that at Revelation 16, it says that the symbolic Euphrates River dried up (Rev 16:12), in which its "water" represents "people and crowds and nations and tongues."(Rev 17:15) Just as ancient Babylon lost most of its water that led to its downfall by the Medes and Persians on the night of October 5/6, 539 B.C.E, so likewise the churches of Christendom are losing their "waters" of support as well, drying up.

    March 27, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • Bob

      Well, really, those evangy preacher screachers don't go nearly far enough in what they do, given that the bible demands that you do horrid, violent sh!t like these choice quotes from both OT and NT present:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Austin

      Hey bob, I experienced spiritual revelation, and parrt of it, the part that wasn't revealing demonic reality, was a miraculous revealing of the word of God, dictated through dreams by the Holy .

      You really should pick a new hobby. If you don't understand and believe in the most high God, and the Lord of Lords, you probably still want to avoid slandering Him as a hobby, in case you are wrong. And you are wrong. And I am scared for you, by all means I am terrified for your cause.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • Zombie on a stick

      Austin thinks he has credibility. LOL!!!!

      March 27, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • sam stone

      wow, austin has gotten spiritual revelation. isn't that fvcking special?

      March 28, 2013 at 5:26 am |
  15. No matter how you repackage evangelical Christianity

    It will still smell just as bad

    March 27, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Bob

      Indeed, and you just know that a lot of the not so evangelical stuff will turn moldy that way too and start stinking before too long just like the evangelical. Time to clear it all out of the premises.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  16. A Conversation

    Ken.. you were nonresponsive. There is violence in the Bible. So what! That doesn't show a contradiction. You need to give verse "A" and verse "B" and show a contradiction.

    March 27, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      You'll just find some way to say they're not, and there's plenty more where these came from. Enjoy your rationalizations.

      War or Peace?

      EXO 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

      ROM 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
      Who is the father of Joseph?

      MAT 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

      LUK 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      I'm at work. So you'll have to give me a chance to reply. I said earlier I don't read fiction like the bible. I have been shown these quotes and heard them discussed on TV many times. I will never bother to remember them because I find no use for them.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      How many stalls and horsemen?

      1KI 4:26 And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.

      2CH 9:25 And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • Bob

      There are hundreds of contradictions in the bible. Just to consider a few, see what the bible says in different places re these questions:

      How many men did the chief of David's captains kill?

      Was Abraham justified by faith or by works?

      How many sons did Abraham have?

      Was Abiathar the father or the son of Ahimelech?

      Who was Abijam's mother?

      How were Abijam and Asa related?

      How long was the ark of the covenant at Abinadab's house?

      How old was Abram when Ishmael was born?

      How many sons did Absalom have?

      Who was Achan's father?

      How many of Adin's offspring returned from Babylon?

      How many of Adonikam's offspring returned from Babylon?

      How should adultery be punished?

      Is it wrong to commit adultery?

      Was Haman an Agagite?

      Was Ahaz buried with his fathers?

      When did Ahaziah begin to reign?

      How old was Ahaziah when he began to reign?

      Did the city of Ai exist after Joshua destroyed it?

      What tribe was Aijalon from?

      Does God want some to go to Hell?

      Did Jesus tell his disciples everything?

      Was David alone when asking for the holy bread at Nob?

      Who was Amasa's father?

      How long does God's anger last?

      From what were the animals created?

      What were the names of the apostles?

      Where did Jesus first appear to the eleven disciples after the resurrection?

      How many of Arah's offspring returned from Babylon?

      What was in the ark of the covenant?

      When did Jesus ascend into heaven?

      Did Peter ask Jesus where he was going?

      On what did Jesus ride into Jerusalem?

      Is the day of the Lord at hand?

      How many of Azgad's offspring returned from Babylon?

      When did Baasha die?

      How many languages were there before the Tower of Babel was built?

      How long was the Babylonian captivity?

      How many of Bani's offspring returned from Babylon?

      In whose name is baptism to be performed?

      Did Jesus baptize anyone?

      Did Jesus tell his apostles to go barefoot and without a staff?

      Who was to blame for original sin?

      What was the volume of the molten sea in Solomon's temple?

      How many of Bebai's offspring returned from Babylon?

      When did Saul become David's enemy?

      Who named Beersheba?

      Where did Joseph and Mary live before the birth of Jesus?

      Should we believe everything?

      How many believers were there at the time of the ascension?

      How old was Benjamin when his clan migrated to Egypt?

      Who were the sons of Benjamin?

      Were Naaman and Ard the sons or the grandsons of Benjamin?

      Who asked Jesus for the best seats in heaven?

      Where did Jesus cure the blind man?

      How many of Bezai's offspring returned from Babylon?

      Who is the most blessed woman?

      Who makes people deaf and blind?

      How many blind men were healed near Jericho?

      Does the blood of animal sacrifices take away sin?

      Should every man bear his own burden?

      Who buried Jesus?

      On what day did the temple burn?

      Who appeared to Moses in the burning bush?

      What became of Cain?

      Was Jesus taken to Caiaphas or Annas first?

      Will those who call on the Lord be delivered?

      Can God do anything?

      How long was the Egyptian Captivity?

      Is casting out devils a sign of a true Christian?

      Did God kill all the Egyptian cattle in the sixth plague?

      Is it OK to have a census?

      Did the Centurion ask Jesus directly to help his servant?

      What did the Centurion call Jesus when he died?

      How high was the chapiter?

      How many men did David kill?

      Is childbearing sinful?

      Is it a a good thing to be childish?

      How did Jesus respond when questioned by the high priest?

      To whom were the cities of Exhtaol and Zoreah given?

      Did the cock crow before or after Peter's denial?

      What color was Jesus' robe?

      Did Jesus forewarn the apostles of his death and resurrection?

      and so on. Look it up. Source: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/contra/by_name.html

      March 27, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Moby...context is everything. The verse is Exodus refers to the destruction of the Egyptian army after they came after the Hebrew slaves having been released (or so it seemed). There is no contradiction for God to be both the Lord who battles unrighteousness and also loves peace.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Bob...brilliant cut and paste job!

      March 27, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I predicted that you would find a way to rationalize the contradictions and you have and will. You'll do it every time, because you must. Why does the bible say that rabbits chew their cud when they obviously don't? There's no good answer, except the one you claim is "good enough" for you. It doesn't matter to me, because whatever it is, it'll be good enough for you, and that's all that matters---to you. And that's the point isn't it? Not that other people have issues with the bible and it's false statements, but that YOU have found a way to feel better about what you want to feel good about. The muslims do the same thing.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Moby...respectfully, there simply isn't enough time to discuss your accusations, particularly on this limited-ability forum. I strongly disagree with you, but respect that that is what you believe (even if I believe you are wrong). I don't see us coming to any resolution here.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Just curious. How did you manage to make yourself okay with the falsehood in the bible about rabbits chewing their cud? Did you give god a pass on that one?

      March 27, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      Have you read that entire list and its sources or were you just satisfied finding the list? Can you be more specific with your examples, because its not reasonable to expect me to research your arguement.

      As for rabbits chewing cud. Rabbits do eat their dung mixed with undigested material. This is a different process than rumination where catel regurgitate clumps of cud. It's likely they just didn't have seperate words distinguishing one undigested clump from the next.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • Bob

      To take the one case that you've bothered to apply your lazy ass too, if you are claiming that the bible is the word of god, then why can't god help find a more general description of cud chewing etc. or more accurate wording? And for that matter, if there's a god, and he's perfect, then why do we or any other creature need to cr@p out solid waste containing diseases and such, and needing treatment to prevent disease propagation in our case?

      Oh, yours is one of those less than perfect goods. Just more contradictions and absurdities from your horrid Christian myth book for you.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Bob

      To take the one case that you've bothered to apply your lazy ass to, if you are claiming that the bible is the word of god, then why can't god help find a more general description of cud chewing etc. or more accurate wording? And for that matter, if there's a god, and he's perfect, then why do we or any other creature need to cr@p out solid waste containing diseases and such, and needing treatment to prevent disease propagation in our case?

      Oh, yours is one of those less than perfect goods. Just more contradictions and absurdities from your horrid Christian myth book for you.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Bob

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      HAHAHA Bob wants a simpler way to communicate than body and blood.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Bob

      Wow, that's funny, Bill Deacon. Really funny. No, I mean that. Really funny. Not.

      P!ss off, ass hole.

      March 29, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
  17. A Conversation

    Ken...there is violence mentioned in the Bible?????? (Hardly a contradiction wouldn't you say?) Why don't you give me a purported contradiction (you're the one that made the accusation) and I'll respond.

    March 27, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • Contradiction

      JESUS IN EGYPT – Matthew 2:13-15 (NIV)
      When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."
      JESUS NOT IN EGYPT – Luke 2:39 (NIV)
      When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • A Conversation

      @Contradiction....you're going to have to explain how you believe this a contradiction, because I don't see one. Are you saying that John says that Joseph did not, in fact, take Jesus to Egypt. How do you get that interpretation?

      March 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • A Conversation

      sorry...meant Luke, not John.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      I guess I touched a nerve. Maybe I wasn't clear and I'll take responsibility for writing that. THERE IS VIOLENCE IN THE BIBLE. Just as there is love and peace in the bible. That is the contradiction I was referring to. It's all in the same book. Some see the violence in it. (like the Koran) Some see the peace in it (like the Koran) It all depends on one's view. You CANNOT absolve the bible from blame if a person sees the violence in it. You have to take the good with the bad.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • ..

      Probably because Luke doesn't mention Egypt, a glaring omission, but you will rationalize it as "When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord", conveniently glossing over that the Lord never made any such law that people had to travel to Egypt to begin with.....

      March 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • james

      I really want to see how you smart people answer Ken's reasoning. I think he has you all scratching your ears or something.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @James.......................I did a pi'ss poor job making my point in the beginning. A Conversation had no problem with my other 3 points so I'll accept 3 out of 4 anytime. If he or anyone else can add to that. Great.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
  18. Bootyfunk

    GOP looks to rebrand, lol. "but how can we get the darkies and h.omos to vote for us?" not gonna happen.

    March 27, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      The GOP needs the scotus to make gay marriage const'itutional in all 50 states. So It will no longer be an issue in the future.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
  19. Ken Margo

    The Only ways the church can change is:

    Stop getting involved in politics. (Separation of church and state)
    Stop trying to decide what behavior will get you in heaven and which wont. (Since you haven't been to heaven, how could you know)
    Stop referring to the bible because it is full of contradictions. (Some passages are violent is one example)
    Be consistent with the message. (Ex. Stop with Newt Gingrich being a good christian, yet call Obama a bad christian despite the fact Newt has had 3 wives, cheated on 2 and divorced twice.)

    March 27, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • capitalist

      Remember how Mormon doctrines 'evolved' ? No more polygamy and a 'miraculous revelation' in the 70s that blacks are now admittable to the cult ?

      March 27, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Ken...give me one contradiction (you can post more if you want, but I'm only going to respond to the first one you put up-don't want to spend all day on the subject)...so make it a good one.

      March 27, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • james

      sounds like ken has been seriously misled. want to know what the Bible really teaches go to jw.org or give them your sincere questions when they stop by.

      March 27, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Ken...another point (on which I think you are right) is the good christian / bad christian argument. I would add that there is no such thing as a good christian and a bad christian-either you are follower of Christ or you aren't.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @A conv.........................I cannot quote word for word. (I try not to read fiction) There are references for violence in the bible. Just like there are references to violence in the Koran. I have been shown these passages and they have been repeated on TV by commentators .

      March 27, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Ken...there is violence mentioned in the Bible?????? (Hardly a contradiction wouldn't you say?) Why don't you give me a purported contradiction (you're the one that made the accusation) and I'll respond.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Ken.. you were nonresponsive. There is violence in the Bible. So what! That doesn't show a contradiction. You need to give verse "A" and verse "B" and show a contradiction.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @A conv...................I used Google to get this quote.

      Exodus 31:15 " . . . whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death."

      There are others found on many websites.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Ken...I'm at a loss for words. Do you know what a contradiction is?

      March 27, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @ Conv...............My Idea of a contradiction is that the bible is supposed to be a book of peace and love (like the Koran) Yet it has violent verses in it. But really you don't need the bible to see the contradiction. Look at the wesboro baptist church that pickets soldiers funerals saying thank god for IED's that kill soldiers because the US has gay rights.

      What about those that kill abortion providers because they are pro life? Those are the contradictions that i speak of.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Ken, you're the one that started this conversation with your accusation: "Stop referring to the bible because it is full of contradictions." It is apparent that you have simply no idea what you are saying. For instance...Jesus calls us to love our neighbor. Now if the Bible gives an example of a murder–that isn't a contradiction of Christ's statement–it is merely an example of people not living according to his word...in other words, its not the Bible that has the contradiction, it is, rather, a man's heart. You don't get to malign the message because a listener rejects it.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • ..

      Sorta kinda like followers of the Bible are supposedly peaceful, and then the Bible calls for mass quanities of people being put to death for not following God's rules? Dashing babies heads against rocks? Kinda like that? Or are you going to say that the OT is irrelevant to Christ's ministry?

      March 27, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Like bible believers, koran believers will find a way to explain a reason for every contradiction and false account. Like rabbits chewing their cud and stars being "lesser lights." The contradictions and untruths don't matter to the faithful be they muslim or christian.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Sorta...again, where is internal the Biblical contradiction? Why is this so hard for you guys? Can't you come with with two verses that appear to say opposite things?

      March 27, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • A Conversation

      o.k. Moby, I'll put you to the test just as I have put Ken and .. to the test...give me two verses showing a contradiction.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @A Con.............Noticed I changed your name to the correct spelling. I believe MOBY answered your question for me. (Thanks MOBY) You talk about a man's heart but you cannot excuse the bible if you tell someone to read it and that's their interpretation of it. If that is the position the individual takes when reading the bible, It does prove my point of the violent verses in it. Yet individuals like yourself like to promote the bible as the greatest love of all.

      March 27, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Ken...be fair...I was only responding to your accusation that the bible was internally inconsistent. You've said nothing to prove your point and have, instead, skirted the issue. You are placing your soul in the hands of others without, apparently, any thought, reflection or study...are you prepared for an eternal response to your self-imposed ignorance?

      March 27, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @A CON...........Continue to duck and dive. You did admit their is violence in the bible. Which is really all I wanted to prove. THX

      See your quote below.

      A Conversation

      Ken.. you were nonresponsive. There is violence in the Bible. So what! That doesn't show a contradiction. You need to give verse "A" and verse "B" and show a contradiction.

      Like YOU said, there is violence in the bible.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Ken...you accuse me of a duck and dive...I haven't it...I agree that there are examples of violence in the Bible...but you most certainly have avoided my question based on your accusation. If you don't see that, you are a fool.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Ken...remember...you started this line of argument...not me.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I gave you two verses that showed a contradiction, and you begged off. Why?

      March 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @A CON.........................I answered your question. You don't like the answer. (You didn't like MOBY'S either) which is ok. You did agree with the other points because you had no criticism of them. 3 out of 4 aint bad.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "are you prepared for an eternal response to your self-imposed ignorance?"

      If you have not personally read the complete mythologies of the Kickapoo People, then I respectfully pose the same question to you.

      March 27, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      HAHAHA Ken doesn't read fiction but he gets his Bible instruction from TV

      March 28, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • Bob

      Both the TV and the bible host a lot of fiction, and Bill Deacon has fallen for his particularly bloody blood cult of fictions.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Bob, you act like I made an intellectual choice like one would a car, microwave or something to read. Nothing could be further from the truth. Christianity is experiential. You'll never get it until you are immersed in it.

      March 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  20. David JJ

    Hmmmm. Funny how human behavior in history repeats. What were God's comments in the past? Malachi 3:6,7 “For I the LORD do not change; From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them." Why do the people not change? (Jeremiah 5:31) "The prophets themselves actually prophesy in falsehood; and as for the priests, they go subduing according to their powers. And my own people have loved [it] that way;"

    March 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • capitalist

      Malachi 3:6,7 those were comments made by a group of men for their own benefit . If God had said it, we all would know it without reading it.

      March 27, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • A Conversation

      @Capitalist...o.k., assume David JJ did not just post this...would you know right now that you have not kept all of God's commandments or would if be news to you just now? Because if you know that you have not kept all of his commandments, which any reasonable person would suspect, you have just confessed God's existence and what he has said.

      March 27, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • james

      not bad AC but cap sounds like the Jews that were sent prophets but did not listen and often had them killed.

      March 27, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Empathy, and treating others as you would want to be treated is simply logical. There's no god required. Surprisingly, god has no problem with people owning other people, but he doesn't want you to think certain things about your neighbors farm animals. Good call, god. Way to address the real issues.

      March 27, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Moby Schtick
      Empathy and treating others as you would have them do unto you is not loving your neighbor as yourself.
      This is emotional involvement higher than motherly love. Learn this and you will know true xtianity or judaism or whatever u practise. Christ will manifest to you.
      I love you as myself.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:36 am |
    • .

      It has been my experience that I have never encountered a person that truly loves his neighbor as himself. Please give us examples on how you accomplish this, Atheist, me. Lip service doesn't count. Actions speak louder than words. Examples, please.

      March 28, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Atheists Anonymous

      Simple really Mr Dot.
      I really make sure that as much as possible all I think is
      I love my neighbor as myself.
      That thought seems to be creating a much gentler, loving personality within me.
      Lip service doesn't have to count but it seems telling people that you love them in a measured way helps their feelings a whole lot rather than the phony I love you.

      March 28, 2013 at 1:22 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.