July 27th, 2013
08:33 AM ET

Why millennials are leaving the church

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, Special to CNN

(CNN) - At 32, I barely qualify as a millennial.

I wrote my first essay with a pen and paper, but by the time I graduated from college, I owned a cell phone and used Google as a verb.

I still remember the home phone numbers of my old high school friends, but don’t ask me to recite my husband’s without checking my contacts first.

I own mix tapes that include selections from Nirvana and Pearl Jam, but I’ve never planned a trip without Travelocity.

Despite having one foot in Generation X, I tend to identify most strongly with the attitudes and the ethos of the millennial generation, and because of this, I’m often asked to speak to my fellow evangelical leaders about why millennials are leaving the church.

Armed with the latest surveys, along with personal testimonies from friends and readers, I explain how young adults perceive evangelical Christianity to be too political, too exclusive, old-fashioned, unconcerned with social justice and hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

I point to research that shows young evangelicals often feel they have to choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith, between science and Christianity, between compassion and holiness.

I talk about how the evangelical obsession with sex can make Christian living seem like little more than sticking to a list of rules, and how millennials long for faith communities in which they are safe asking tough questions and wrestling with doubt.

Invariably, after I’ve finished my presentation and opened the floor to questions, a pastor raises his hand and says, “So what you’re saying is we need hipper worship bands. …”

And I proceed to bang my head against the podium.

Time and again, the assumption among Christian leaders, and evangelical leaders in particular, is that the key to drawing twenty-somethings back to church is simply to make a few style updates - edgier music, more casual services, a coffee shop in the fellowship hall, a pastor who wears skinny jeans, an updated Web site that includes online giving.

But here’s the thing: Having been advertised to our whole lives, we millennials have highly sensitive BS meters, and we’re not easily impressed with consumerism or performances.

In fact, I would argue that church-as-performance is just one more thing driving us away from the church, and evangelicalism in particular.

Many of us, myself included, are finding ourselves increasingly drawn to high church traditions - Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Episcopal Church, etc. - precisely because the ancient forms of liturgy seem so unpretentious, so unconcerned with being “cool,” and we find that refreshingly authentic.

What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance.

We want an end to the culture wars. We want a truce between science and faith. We want to be known for what we stand for, not what we are against.

We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers.

We want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation.

We want our LGBT friends to feel truly welcome in our faith communities.

We want to be challenged to live lives of holiness, not only when it comes to sex, but also when it comes to living simply, caring for the poor and oppressed, pursuing reconciliation, engaging in creation care and becoming peacemakers.

You can’t hand us a latte and then go about business as usual and expect us to stick around. We’re not leaving the church because we don’t find the cool factor there; we’re leaving the church because we don’t find Jesus there.

Like every generation before ours and every generation after, deep down, we long for Jesus.

Now these trends are obviously true not only for millennials but also for many folks from other generations. Whenever I write about this topic, I hear from forty-somethings and grandmothers, Generation Xers and retirees, who send me messages in all caps that read “ME TOO!” So I don’t want to portray the divide as wider than it is.

But I would encourage church leaders eager to win millennials back to sit down and really talk with them about what they’re looking for and what they would like to contribute to a faith community.

Their answers might surprise you.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Rachel Held Evans.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • evangelicals • Opinion

soundoff (9,864 Responses)
  1. Mary Burgess

    My problem with churches today is that they can be exclusive, ignoring some of their own congregationalists, even though they reach out – I have yet to find a church that has not done this. Nevertheless, I consider myself to be very spiritual with a strong belief in God!! My search for God led me to believe in God, and to do all I can while here on earth to act in love and kindness to all.

    September 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Stan

      Well then if you want love and kindness don't follow that Christian sky jerk who promotes slavery in his textbook.

      September 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
      • Richard Terrell

        That's stupid.

        September 6, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
  2. M.A.P.

    "We want to be known for what we stand for, not what we are against."

    So... what DO you stand for? As far as I can see you claim all the same morals that we atheists can also claim and only exclude people who dont fit your mould of "normal". People are leaving the church because people realize the whole faith thing is a scam.

    September 5, 2013 at 5:17 am |
    • Duane Brown

      Hi M AP, If you can explain the origin of the universe without God, I'll come over to your side. Duane

      September 5, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
      • Observer

        Duane Brown,

        Yes, the universe was created by Zeus. Or maybe a committee of zombies or maybe the Three Stooges or any of an INFINITE number of other possibilities.

        September 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
        • Analizer

          Did anyone make some claim(s) of those possibilities that you've mentioned?

          September 6, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
        • Observer


          Try a Google search on Zeus if you aren't familiar with him.

          September 8, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
      • sam stone

        duane: to your way of thinking, does a creator have to be synonymous with "God"?

        September 11, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
  3. Catwing

    Would it hurt Christians to remember Jesus took the Ten Commandments and named two as the pivotal points by which to live:
    LOVE God with all your heart, soul, and mind. LOVE your neighbor as yourself. He never said to love sins/issues/points of view – he loved the sinner. That is where we all need to be. Blessings on everyone.

    September 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
  4. highplainsparson

    Christ transcends both culture and science. He is greater than both. They are nothing compared to Him; and He is not beholden to them. He is Lord of both. Instead of engaging in petty little wars, the Church needs to get back to confessing Christ as King of the Universe, including all human behavior, culture, and knowledge.

    September 4, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • Me


      September 4, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
      • highplainsparson

        Why do the nations rage
        and the peoples plot in vain?
        The kings of the earth set themselves,
        and the rulers take counsel together,
        against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
        “Let us burst their bonds apart
        and cast away their cords from us.”
        He who sits in the heavens laughs;
        the Lord holds them in derision...
        "You shall break them with a rod of iron
        and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.”
        Psalm 2:1-9

        September 4, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
        • Observer

          The Bible shows that God seemed to be in favor of using rods to injure people like slaves and children. Seems sadistic.

          September 11, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          It's for their own good. Your mistake is that you are setting yourself as a judge over the Bible. The proper approach to the Bible is to let it judge you.

          September 12, 2013 at 8:57 am |
        • Seth

          The trouble is, you're being judged by an arbitrary metric. The central message of the Bible is, "trust me," rather than, "trust me, and here's a bunch of irrefutable reasons why."

          September 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          We're being judged by the Judge of all the earth, God, Who has spoken to us in the form of a book. The evidence for the authenticity of the Bible as God's word is to be seen in the text itself. Deductive apologetic arguments are not presented, but the text bears all the signs of Divine authorship. These may be seen by the objective reader.

          September 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • Anthony

          " The evidence for the authenticity of the Bible as God's word is to be seen in the text itself."

          You know all the religions say that about their books, right?

          September 17, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • sam stone

      christ is mythology

      September 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
      • highplainsparson

        On the contrary. He did not begin in the human mind. Humankind has its beginning in His mind.

        September 11, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
        • Forgetaboutatleast

          That's an opinion based on a fantasy.

          September 14, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          It's not a mere opinion. I have it on the Creator's authority. He told me.

          September 14, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
        • Seth

          In what way do you believe that God speaks to you?

          September 14, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          In and through His word and self-revelation to mankind, the Bible.

          September 15, 2013 at 12:04 am |
        • Seth

          Parson, generally speaking, when we deal in facts we deal in things that we can reasonably prove to be the case. If I didn't know any better here, it's almost as though you're saying that you know that the Bible is true because God speaks to you through the Bible, which is itself a claim in the Bible.

          Where is the grounding beyond a reasonable doubt that an objective, skeptical outside observer will be able to recognize?

          September 15, 2013 at 12:54 am |
        • highplainsparson

          The evidence of Divine Authorship is to be found in the Scriptures themselves. I would like to direct you to my blog, to an old post which highlights some of the categories of evidence. It's not simply that the Bible claims to be from God, for other books make that same claim. The Bible has unique marks that no other can have, because they are not from God. Click on my name and go to the term "apologetics" in the cloud of topics on the right side.

          A skeptical outsider is able to recognize the evidence in Scripture. But he is not able to admit it to himself. He is bent on suppressing the truth because he finds it to be against his self interest. He is a sinner under God's judgment, and will be in a much worse situation than if this were not true. It takes a miraculous and direct work of grace on the heart by God to change this condition of the soul. Nevertheless, there is evidence in the Bible, and I have no problem pointing you to it. Although I also know that you will not acknowledge it if God does not open your eyes to see the glory of it.

          September 15, 2013 at 1:50 am |
        • Robert

          Perhaps you need to read your own scripture Parson as that was the most judgmental, self-righteous and sanctimonious drivel I have recently read. You should be ashamed.

          September 15, 2013 at 1:57 am |
        • Seth

          Robert, part of what makes ancient religious dogma so dangerous is that it gives people license to judge others. Parson, like many other psychoanalytical Christians, will believe the Bible before he believes the sort of person it calls out. He is the messenger. No admonishment you supply will change that, especially if he's in some way correct.

          September 15, 2013 at 5:47 am |
        • highplainsparson

          You sound very judgmental. General criticism without specifics is rarely constructive.

          September 15, 2013 at 7:41 am |
        • Seth

          I've read your blog post from March 29, 2012. Based on my knowledge and evaluation of the Bible at this point, I believe your arguments to be false. I was going to post a far lengthier response, but suffice it to say that a jury could not reasonably convict a person of malicious and *unreasonable* nonbelief even if the nonbelief were in the interest of the non-believer.

          This is critical because central to the "psychoanalytical Christian" mindset is the idea that man is without excuse and "suppresses the truth in unrighteousness." The problem is that this so-called "Biblical truth" is self-suppressing for any critical thinker, which like for many ideas and systems of thought is rejected not for whether the idea is liked, but rather because it is simply outlandish, untrue, or makes forgone conclusions based on patent lack of evaluation of alternatives to the arguments made. It lacks intellectual substance.

          I'm going to ask you one favor, parson. I want you to read Romans 1:20 again. And again and again, if you need to. I want you to analyze it to death, think about all the implications the verse has, and then approach it from the perspective of an outsider. When you're doing that last part, I want you to grasp and turn over every last thought you might have concerning the apparent origin of the world. Let me know what you come up with.

          September 15, 2013 at 5:29 am |
        • highplainsparson

          You can't just dismiss the Bible, which claims to be God's word, and is quite a remarkable book, out of hand without carefully examining it. Intellectual honesty would require that you read it carefully cover to cover, at least once, trying to understand its message on it own terms. I challenge you to do it.

          September 15, 2013 at 7:52 am |
        • Seth

          I have not read it cover to cover, but I have still examined it with a fair bit of scrutiny. I am aware of the historical and cultural context of the Hebrew Bible, which is the main reason I reject the whole thing.

          September 15, 2013 at 8:32 am |
        • highplainsparson

          You reject what you have not even read in its entirety? How beneath your intellect.

          September 15, 2013 at 8:51 am |
        • highplainsparson

          Why not actually acquaint yourself with the Bible's content and structure, instead of relying on what others have said about it? Surely you would like to know firsthand what it is all about.

          September 15, 2013 at 8:52 am |
        • Seth

          The Hebrew Bible is a collection of varying forms of literature written by the ancient Israelites before, during, and after the advent of ancient Israel. This literature depicts the laws, customs, histories, parables, poetry, and prophecies written during that time. Much of it carries the flavor of literary and cultural traditions held by other people of the time which, while not necessarily derivative, could still be fairly evaluated as such.

          Amazing, certainly, but it seems far more likely to have been written to civilize the Jews, centralize power through control of the written word, and propagandize for or against certain ideas. A foundation for the New Testament I do not think it makes.

          September 15, 2013 at 9:59 am |
        • Robert

          Let's not forget that almost all the populations at that time, in the time of the formation of the New Testament, during the writing/compilation of the Quran, etc., were illiterate. They had no ability to read these "texts", hence they were powerful pieces for those in control to exert control. They still are unfortunately as illiteracy has been replaced by indoctrination and fear ...... well by fear.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:11 am |
        • Dorothy

          Something the world does not understand, is this, to follow Christ you must believe that He exist and have a personal relationship with Him through His Word the Bible. Not only must you study the Bible, you must study World history, because the world has written down the events of the Bible also. Jesus told His Disciple, those that saw Him physically were blessed, but those that have never seen Him are Blessed also. The writer of this article has must have never encounter Jesus, because when you encounter Him, you will never be the same. Evidently there was no change in her life, so she walks away from God. Those of you should read in the Bible the Book of James Chapter 1 verses 26 and 27, it talks about what "religion" is and it is not what the world calls "religion". I Pray Ms. Evans will turn to God for what she needs in her life.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:57 am |
        • Seth

          Or you've lost your mind.

          September 15, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • Dorothy

          Seth, funny you should say that. So, you believe in what?

          September 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • Seth

          I believe in thoughtful inquiry, in no commitment to ideologies without experience, reason, and/or evidence. I am a rational skeptic. I believe in what can be demonstrated and tentatively disbelieve in what cannot be. What annoys me the most is peddling something as a fact without providing solid evidence to show that it is a fact.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
        • Robert

          On one hand I am happy for you that you have made a choice .... on the other, unhappy that your choice was based out of fear .... fear of the unknown.

          September 15, 2013 at 11:39 am |
        • Dorothy

          @Robert, My belief in God is not based on "fear", as you believe "fear" to be. I have something you don't have, I have a Personal Relationship with God The Father, The Son (Christ) and The Holy Spirit. So I fear no one, but God and that "fear" is reverence to Him as the Creator of All Things, that He Loves me and Cares for me, Provides for me, Protects me and even though I am not perfect, He still Loves me. He Loves every person that He has ever created, no matter what they have done, thought or said. To those of you, who want proof God exist, you want to "See" Him in order to believe He exist. But, the beauty is to "Believe" He exist without "Seeing" Him. But, one day, those of us who "Believe" in Him, will see Him as He really is. Amen1

          September 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
        • Robert

          A "personal relationship". Wow, more self-righteous and sanctimonious crap. Relationships are two way and I know that God does not talk to you. Hence you only have a relationship in your mind, sort of like the stalkers that fixate on their victims though in this case I guess the victim is imaginary. You actually pretty much admit he has never personally communicated with you so you do not have a relationship with him. Again, a relationship is by definition two ways.

          September 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • dissidentfairy

          "Relationships are two ways" ? Yes they are! What have you done for God lately Robert? The fact that He provides the air that you breathe should be enough to convince you that God is doing His share!

          September 15, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Robert

          The same stupid logic that theist keep using. I say it is true, therefore it is true. No god provides the air I breath. None, not one.

          September 15, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • dissidentfairy

          If He were to suddenly cut it off I think you would be changing your tune real fast.

          September 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • Robert

          Except HE or SHE or IT never ever will. And hence I will never change my "tune". What a stupid thing for you to say really. Now man, on his own, may perhaps pollute that air enough that I can't breath it, but that will be the work of man, not god. Perhaps an asteroid impact will strip the atmosphere, but that is not god's "Hand" either ... I mean really, why would a so called god do something so petty.

          September 15, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • Paul Ortiz

          I have read all the comments of practically everyone here ... If you are an atheist ...well ...I feel for you. I am not here to judge but to tell you that God does love you and wants you to have a relationship with Him. That includes you Robert. I'm sorry you all feel so much hate against us christians. I understand that some of that is because of some outlandish things that you've seen in the media. However that represents a miniscule amount of "christians". If any of you ever want to have a discussion about Christ..I'm here for you. God Bless you...


          September 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • dissidentfairy

          Sorry I misquoted you...."two way."

          September 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • Robert

          Misquoting was the least of the issues with your reply. Two way implies true two way interaction ... Not, "I don't know where this comes from, so this must be god's work". The original poster does not have a personal relationship with god. That would imply that god actively communicates and interacts with him personally. Sorry, that only happens in his mind and that is schizophrenia, not a personal relationship.

          September 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • dissidentfairy

          I can't really respond to this right now because I'm leaving but I would only agree with you in the sense that I do not believe that God is personally speaking to people but actually that is the point. He has been testing us now for 2000 years. To him it's only 2 days because the Bible says that "a day to God is like a thousand years." This makes perfect sense to me. If He had been communicating with us all along of course we would believe, even if He had directly communicated with our parents, or our grandparents we would believe. He is purposely doing this as the final test. I wish more of you could see that.

          September 15, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • Robert

          I am sorry, but even if there was a "god", if we was giving us such a test, I would be giving him the middle finger. Your motivation to me to "follow god" to me just seems to be the fear mongering of religion. Trying to pass some test you feel is being given to you out of fear of the consequences if you do not pass. Sad, sad really.

          September 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • Dorothy

          I never said God does not communicate with me. You imagined that in "Your" mind, didn't you?

          September 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          Yes, the Hebrew Bible is a collection of varying forms of literature from different authors at different times, stretching over vast periods of time. That does not hinder that it is God's Word for mankind, given in human language, form, and idiom. In the Bible, God condescends to man, speaking in ways he can understand, even drawing upon human culture. There are certainly many, many similarities found comparing the Hebrew Bible to the ancient customs, practices, and forms of other Ancient Near Eastern peoples. Yet the differences are key, striking, and meant to teach us something about God. This is how God communicates in human terms. He takes common cultural forms and turns them on their heads with little twists that teach us about Him. Anyone who says that the Old Testament is not a foundation for the New Testament cannot understand either. Please get back to me after you've read both in their entirety, and without commentary, including those portions you've already read.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • Seth


          In spite of the similarities, there were many unique teachings in the Hebrew Bible that set itself apart from the writing of other cultures. That was the point. Why would you want your citizenry to have solidarity with your enemies? The God of the Israelites needed to be set separate and apart from the others. Whoever invented him could do just that.

          When I was a kid, there was this game console called the Sega Genesis. Was a favorite of mine; I spent countless hours ADHDing my way through Sonic and Knuckles. About a year or two after my parents got one for me, Sega came out with this thing called the 32x, which you could sort of clumsily latch onto the Genesis after some fiddling with metal connectors. The 32X was intended as an addon to the system, to upgrade it and allow for more advanced games to be played.

          It worked, but it was sort of clumsy, frequently crashed, and now makes me wonder if the Genesis was ever intended to have an addon produced in that way. You can design around a pre-existing piece of equipment rather readily, but it doesn't mean your results will be perfect.

          I have to wonder why you believe the entire Bible has to be read before any serious discussion can be had about it. If you want to get verse specific, that's one thing, but if you want to talk about central messages or general reasoning then it isn't necessary.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          Because the Bible adheres as a whole. It is not simply a collection of books. It is a collection which has one unified message. Besides that, it is very unscientific to sit and spew out bits that you've read or learned from secondary sources. The Bible must be experienced on its on terms. In the light of its glory and perspecuity experienced firsthand, all the tired, standard, scholarly criticisms fade into oblivion.

          September 15, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          There is nothing more common than skeptics casting aspersions or attempting to "debunk" the Bible based on a lazy and superficial reading. They misunderstand it because they are not doing their homework, and it is painfully obvious in their critique. We would not accept argument based on lazy and superficial reading of other texts, so it should not be accepted with the Bible. I'm trying to get you to actually know what you're talking about to be at least informed about the subject about which we are speaking before you start forming opinions on it. Not having even read it one time is not an indicator of a very serious approach to understanding it.

          September 15, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
        • Seth

          Please explain where and how exactly my reasoning and understanding are flawed up to this point and I will be glad to take up your challenge.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          Yourconcluding from similarities with other ANE cultures that somehow the Bible is not a coherent unit or not to be trusted betrays a jaundiced or prejudiced approach to the Bible. You're seeing it that way because you're presuming its not what it claims to be before you ever read any of it. Actually, many of the things to which you allude profoundly demonstrate the Bible's divine origin, as His word intended for a human audience.

          September 15, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
        • Robert

          Intended for a human audience at a time when 99% of the population could not read. Do you see a disconnect there?

          It was written by man ... like virtually every other holy text ... and hence encompasses the fallacies, fears, subterfuge and other issues of man.

          September 15, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          It could be read aloud to them. Men were appointed to do so. And, beyond that, the Bible has been historically one of the greatest motivators and impetus to literacy. Generations learned to read in order to read the Bible. This is why, for example, literacy in colonial America was above 90%.

          And, as far as your last comment, do you intend that stating what the Bible relates and retells about man's fallacies, fears, and subterfuge somehow impugns its credibility? That would be counter-intuitive.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:10 am |
        • Robert

          No I mean it is not the word of god, it is the word of man ... all his fallacies, his fears, his need to control his surroundings to control that fear, his need to form conclusions and explanations for things he does not understand ... out of fear. Now compound that by when it was written and how little we knew and understood.

          The bible, the quran, etc. have not stood the test of time. If someone tried to push them today without the history associated, they would be laughed at like so many other street preachers.

          If god wanted his word spread, there is no better time to do it with mass communication. Why do it with millenia old books that are obviously so fictional in so many spaces

          Perhaps it is because god does not exist.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:14 am |
        • highplainsparson

          On the contrary, the Bible (not to be confused with the Qur'an or other imposters) is still moving many thousands of souls, hearts and minds, causing new conversions among people who have no knowledge or appreciation of its history. It is free of all the taint you mention, and its doctrine of salvation is something that would be utterly impossible for a human to dream up. The grass withers, the flower fades. But the Word of our God will stand forever.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:50 am |
        • Robert

          How incredibly arrogant to consider the bible the real word but to dismiss the Quran as an imposter. We already know the bible is a compilation put together centuries after Jesus died and it was by committee of man what went into it, not some divine inspiration. It's doctrine of salvation is EXACTLY what a man would dream up if he was trying to control his fellow man through both inciting fear and offer a method to allay those fears. It is EXACTLY what a man would write. A GOD would have no need to be worshipped, or to care for the matters of such insignificant beings. Perhaps in large overall sense, but certainly not remotely in an individual sense. What a crazy man made notion.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:58 am |
        • highplainsparson

          Here we go again with lazy and superficial readings. And he starts it off with an ad hominem attack. By what logic should I make the assumption that the Qur'an or any other book is divine, just because it makes that claim? I don't accept the Bible's claim on face value, so why should I accept the Qur'an's? And, for anyone who has read both, the Qur'an is no Bible. It's hard to even know where to begin in the contrast.

          September 16, 2013 at 1:06 am |
        • Robert

          I have read both. The writing styles are different but to say that one has more validity than the other is simple arrogance. That is not an attack, simple reality. You have no more proof the bible is the word to follow than any muslim has that the quran is the world to follow. Both were written in times of extreme ignorance with a general goal of defining how people should live to no ones benefit but those who wrote it for the most part.

          September 16, 2013 at 1:19 am |
        • highplainsparson

          Talk about a predetermined conclusion!

          September 16, 2013 at 1:45 am |
        • Robert

          I think logical people would agree yours is the more predetermined conclusion.

          September 16, 2013 at 2:00 am |
        • highplainsparson

          I've just put a new post on my blog "The Atheist Challenge (and for other skeptics)" May the Triune God richly bless you!

          September 16, 2013 at 2:16 am |
        • Robert

          Yes great that you advertise that you have published more illogical drivel. You logic as usual is full of holes, for one:

          "The Bible claims to be God’s word for man." NO IT DOES NOT. THE BIBLE DOES NOT CLAIM TO BE ANYTHING. CERTAIN MEN CLAIM THE BIBLE TO BE GOD'S WORD FOR MAN. There is a big difference. I would hope you understand that an inanimate object cannot proclaim anything.

          Two, " Bible is intended not only to be read privately, but to be preached amid an assembly" NO, NO, NO. The Bible was never meant to be read privately! Never ever ever. It was created at a time when the printing press did not exist and when people could not read. It was ONLY intended to be preached to people of no knowledge, those easily lead, those easily put in fear, with a message OF FEAR such that they would be easily controlled. THAT is the message of the bible.

          September 16, 2013 at 8:00 am |
        • highplainsparson

          Don't just hurl stones. Take the challenge! 🙂

          September 16, 2013 at 9:16 am |
        • Robert

          Challenge? What challenge. You make up stuff at will. You misinterpret your own "bible".

          I have read the bible cover to cover. I have also spent time in churches. I am sorry, I cannot just turn my brain off and suddenly believe fiction is not fiction. It does not working that way for intelligent people who don't fear the unknown.

          September 16, 2013 at 10:58 am |
        • highplainsparson

          How recently did you read it? What version? Was it for a class? Did you read along with any notes or commentary? What church did you attend, for how long, and how recently?

          September 16, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • Robert

          Church up to a teen and Catholic.

          WHY WHY WHY ... would I need a bible with foot notes? ... or commentary. That is ridiculous. What you are telling me is that I am not qualified to interpret what I read in the bible. That would make you a hypocrite as just recently you told me the bible was written for man, YET you are telling me that a very intelligent and articular "man" is not smart enough to interpret the bible. Care to get your story straight?

          Bible (new and old testament) .. 15 years ago most recently, Quran, 10 years ago, Verdas and Sutras .. 5 years ago ... all approximate of course. Your point?

          September 16, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          You misunderstood. I wrote, read the Bible WITHOUT notes or commentary. The church you attended is one which sadly, but officially, places tradition on an equal level of authority with Scripture. It is not taking the Bible seriously. And you have not read the Bible recently enough. Try the challenge. I will be happy to recommend a church for you, if you like. Then I'd be happy to talk with you about the Bible. Until then, it's a waste of my time. I wish you all the best.

          September 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
        • dissidentfairy

          "All scripture is inspired of God..." 2 Timothy 3:18 "And this is the way to have eternal life–to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth." John 17:3

          September 16, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • Robert

          While you are at it, how about some references from which you took pictures on your web-site. The artists of those photos would no doubt like to be credited for their work ...

          September 16, 2013 at 8:06 am |
        • highplainsparson

          I would suggest that you go back and read the Bible again, on its own terms. And at the same time, listen to it proclaimed in a church which takes it seriously.

          September 16, 2013 at 1:46 am |
        • Robert

          The old crap argument ... you have to believe it to believe it. Sorry, but that is circular logic which has no value of place. It is the fallacy the theists use on those of weak minds. On it's own terms .... it is a book, not a living thing. The terms were what was known in 300AD. Sorry, but I cannot unlearn 2 millenia of knowledge. It is not going to happen.

          Why should I need it proclaimed in a church. How does that possibly change the meaning of the words? All that will do is provide a biased interpretation. What value is there in that?

          September 16, 2013 at 1:59 am |
        • highplainsparson

          That's where its power lies. It was intended to be proclaimed in an assembly, not merely read privately.

          September 16, 2013 at 2:16 am |
        • Robert

          POWER? WHAT POWER? The power to enslave?

          September 16, 2013 at 8:06 am |
        • highplainsparson

          Divine power. Power to liberate the oppressed and set free those in slavery.

          September 16, 2013 at 9:00 am |
        • Robert

          No, in reality religion is likely the biggest enslaving power the world has ever known.

          September 16, 2013 at 10:59 am |
        • highplainsparson

          The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a slave master. Sin is.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • Robert

          That is your interpretation ... but you have already fallen prey to the indoctrination. You seem to have lost the ability to be objective. You call that faith, I call it indoctrination.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • highplainsparson

          Do you honestly believe you're being objective?

          September 16, 2013 at 11:25 am |
        • Robert

          I do not equate objective with "accepting" of fairy tales as reality so there is likely little point for me to answer that question to you. Yes, I am completely objective w.r.t. real evidence.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • highplainsparson

          Methinks thou dost protest too much.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Robert

          I have no reply therefore I will run away .... typical. You may consider it offensive ... and so be it.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:58 am |
        • domal

          The work of the gospel is to liberate, but that doesn't mean people have used what is meant to be good in a destructive manner. Thats why its important to follow the bible and make up your own mind instead of letting others, or letting others tell you what to believe or how things are.

          James 1:25
          But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives (freedom), and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

          Luke 4:18
          “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, (to set the oppressed free,)

          September 16, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • highplainsparson

          You are obviously much too intelligent to be enslaved by mere doctrine. What you have to lose? Take up the challenge.

          September 16, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
        • highplainsparson

          Perhaps you could start by elucidating what the Bible's doctrine of salvation is, so that I can get an idea of whether you are speaking out of ignorance, or have a somewhat-informed conclusion. How many times have you read the Bible all the way through without commentary?

          September 16, 2013 at 1:08 am |
        • Robert

          I believe it was you who discussed the doctrine of salvation so perhaps you should be expanding on that. I do have an informed opinion. My parents tried to indoctrinate me from a very early age (it never ever stuck) and I have studied religion.

          I think we both know what the promise of the bible is so there is not need to debate it. However, you have to admit if one was going to try to subjugate the population, a population who would believe practically anything you told them out of ignorance, then the bible is for the most part well written to accomplish that. The quran assumes the average person is even stupider and allow much less room for interpretation.

          September 16, 2013 at 1:16 am |
        • Seth


          "Yourconcluding from similarities with other ANE cultures that somehow the Bible is not a coherent unit or not to be trusted betrays a jaundiced or prejudiced approach to the Bible. "

          Quite misunderstood. My aim isn't to prove that the Bible is untrustworthy, merely that it's insufficient evidence for its own central messages, depicted supernatural events, or for any purported divine origin.

          I aim to show the weaknesses in the evidences that it provides as well as those that Christians supply in favor of it. This becomes critical when you reach the passage in Paul's writings that I referenced earlier, as if rational skepticism can provide alternatives to the conclusion that Paul draws, then he has made a grievous error in his judgment.

          I also made no claim as to its coherence, but more toward the insignificance of any coherence perceived. The writings of the Bible were written and compiled over millennia, each work building on the last, on extant traditions, before canon selections for what Christians today know to be the Bible were made during the First Council of Nicaea. In other words, the consistency of messages shouldn't be a surprise at all because it was, up until that compilation, a continuing work.

          "Actually, many of the things to which you allude profoundly demonstrate the Bible’s divine origin, as His word intended for a human audience. "

          Is this the part where you talk about the so-called scientific miracles in the Bible? The Israelite Law? The prophecies? I've been through all these. Anyone who studies the contexts of these verses and/or gives them sufficient thought should understand that there are probably more reasonable explanations for their origin than having to add things unobserved to one's reality lexicon.

          That's the central theme of my argument here, not "The Bible is definitely false," but rather "it makes more sense to dismiss the Bible than accept its central claims."

          September 16, 2013 at 4:25 am |
        • JR

          Robert –

          Well done, nice arguments. It always amazes me when people say that if you don't believe what the Bible says it's because you haven't properly and exhaustively read and studied it. Really? That's what it takes? How arrogantly, then, they dismiss the plight of those less fortunate than they, those who are illiterate, for example, or who don't have the resources needed or the luxury of leisure time. Do they really think that's what it should take to believe? And how many texts of other religions have they properly studied in order to determine if they are true?

          September 19, 2013 at 8:30 am |
  5. Brett J

    Millennials are leaving the church because it is much easier now then ever before to comprehend there is no God. Easier access to information educates us that religion is created by man and makes the ignorance of a "Personal God" clear.

    September 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Paul

      Brett J,
      I am curious to know where you get that information from and what information you would be talking about.

      September 11, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
  6. Al

    Millennials think that it could be the non-stop war against the church? Here in the USA as pro jews are known to exaggerate, put on the the firs page every single even about the Catholic church so that fewer like it
    Why don't we do the same about all these other "religions" that clearly help nobody and dedicate their time to tint "other churches" 🙂

    September 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
  7. postedbygeorge

    Millennials are leaving churches, because they realize that they are more American than Middle Eastern. Middle Eastern religions preach and practice inequality, while here in America we understand that we are Endowed equally by our Creator and not sent out to convert people to worship a Middle Eastern religious god.

    September 4, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
  8. sarahdoggerblogger

    I really don't understand how people are having such a hard time with this positive article. She's not saying to change Jesus... She wants to get back to worshipping an authentic Jesus. That's exactly what she said. It's easy to see what she is talking about with people's defenses up so high and ready to criticize anything that might cause critical thinking about the church. Since when is being to question and have doubts "having it your way?" And you think Jesus wants the church overly involved in politics and aligned with political parties? And to shun our LGBT brothers and sisters instead of welcoming them like he did with many groups of people to show them love? This is why Christians have such a bad rap. Open your eyes. If you aren't focusing on the redemption and loving aspects and grace of Jesus, you're missing it.

    September 2, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • photografr7

      This board has been taken over by the LGBT cult. I'm outta here....BYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      September 2, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • sarahdoggerblogger

        It that's what you gathered from these posts, it seems like it's you who is focusing on the LGBT stuff, when it's only one point out of many in my comment. And it kind of relates, because, you know, the blog that these comments are in response discusses this exact topic.

        September 2, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • dissidentfairy

      I absolutely agree with you regarding politics and religion but where does one draw the line on morality? Does anything go? If so, then what would make a Christian any different from a non believer? If they both can do their own thing and live by their own rules? The fact that they claim to believe in God? Does that make the believer more righteous? If that is the case then how arrogantly presumptuous for a Christian to feel as if God is looking favorably on them over a non believer, that would be the epitome of hypocrisy. I actually believe He would have more respect for the non believer at that point, at least the non believer doesn't claim to believe. The devil believes in God too. He just doesn't choose to follow him! So what would make a so called Christian who breaks all the rules any different from him?

      September 2, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
      • sarahdoggerblogger

        My understanding was that it was the job of Christians to show ANYBODY who sought him the love Christ has to offer. We all sin. Everyday. We're all messed up little sinners. We welcome anyone who expresses a sincere desire to know Christ. It's not our job to try to judge who is too sinful for the church or who isn't being honest in their sincerity to know Jesus. That's God's job. I think everyone is working on shortcomings (sin), and I'm not willing to be the one to reject anyone or throw stones. I may kick them out right before the miracle happens for them and God's love is revealed. We can't isolate ourselves- we love and love and lead by example and let God do the rest. We tell our opinions when asked. We don't have to support something in order to love the person. We all struggle. I hope a church never starts setting standards on who is ok and who isn't. Making clear opinions on sin is one thing, assuming we can judge and reject a person is another. Recovered drug addicts, murderers, adulterers- many have found redemption. What if we weren't there to show them the infinite possibilities of God's love. Thatt would be heartbreaking to reject them and not give them a chance.

        September 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        • dissidentfairy

          I agree with everything you said and it certainly isn't up to any of us to judge. It's just that Christian's must live by certain standards that God has outlined, if not, then what makes them any different from a non believer? Nothing! Yes we all sin. I might have just said something that offended you or someone else on this forum today. The difference is those who willfully sin assume that God will always forgive them, regardless of what they do. Yes, God will abundantly forgive, but not indefinitely. When it becomes apparent the act is willful, and there is no real remorse, He will eventually turn his back on that person.

          I actually had this discussion with an Evangelical Christian a couple of years ago. His big quote was "stop trying to be good." He claimed that we are forgiven and have been redeemed so we can stop trying to be good. I made the argument (which he rejected) that if we stop "trying to be good" we will automatically gravitate toward something that's bad. He told me I was wrong! At that time he was married to a really nice person and they had an infant daughter. Since then he has divorced his wife and re-married. Now him and his new wife ( a more flashy version of his Ex) whom he met at a school for ministers, call themselves Apostles and Prophets of the Lord. They travel the US and abroad telling everyone else how to live. I consider them to be hypocrites, posing as "wolves in sheep's" clothing. He shouldn't have stopped trying to be good!

          September 2, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • Ahem

          "Now him and his new wife ... call themselves Apostles..."

          Him calls himself...? You talk funny.

          Fun Fact: Your sect's founder, Charles Taze Russell, was divorced by his wife on the grounds of mental cruelty.

          September 5, 2013 at 5:06 am |
        • dissidentfairy

          You make a lot of assumptions as I'm not affiliated with a religious sect. Also, why do you keep changing your user name and posing as someone your not?

          September 5, 2013 at 10:05 am |
        • dissidentfairy

          I guess I'd better hurry and change my typo before you go on the attack Again....okay it should have been (you're) not your at the end of my sentence. Certainly you must have something better to do in life than be so preoccupied with typos!

          September 5, 2013 at 10:17 am |
      • sarahdoggerblogger

        I know what you mean, but haven't you ever known anyone with an addiction? You can love God so much and still keep letting yourself down. Your actions would suggest otherwise. Until you get clarity, your actions don't reflect your intentions whatsoever. God knows whose intentions are true and who is really seeking him. I believe everyone does the best they can at that time. If a person continually uses God's forgiveness as an "excuse" to do what they please, they obviously haven't truly accepted the faith. But it isn't linear either- the journey of faith can be like a roller coaster. As long as people keep expressing the desire, I'm happy taking that and doing the best I can to help them on their journey. If they don't mean it at the time, you never know when God will change their heart.

        September 2, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • dissidentfairy

          That's true. He did tell one of his brother's that he has a "weakness for woman," but I'm sure every straight guy on the planet could say the same thing. The difference is some will crumble and fall at every turn and others will use their strength to ward off temptation because they love God and their wives more than themselves. God always makes a way out when we are tempted. It's up to us to be strong enough to make the right choices. Joseph is a good example of a faithful man who fled the scene when the Kings wife tried to seduce him, so not all men melt under temptation.

          "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13

          September 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
        • Dippy

          It's "brothers," not "brother's."

          September 3, 2013 at 12:57 am |
        • dissidentfairy

          Okay Dippy...I also said, "woman" instead of women...maybe if you look hard enough you'll find even more...have fun:)

          September 3, 2013 at 2:22 am |
      • spockmonster

        As Jesus said, judge not. It doesn't matter what others do, you shouldn't be worried about it. You worry about what YOU do. You don't get active in government and try to put what you think god wants into law. God lets us each make our own choices, and he will judge in the end. It is not up to the church or any church goers to judge others. So yes, when it comes to mrality, anything goes. God will judge in the end, you keep your nose out of mine and everyone else's lives.

        Kinda takes the fun out of being a Christian for most christians, I suspect, as they all seem to be control freaks.

        September 4, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
        • dissidentfairy

          You seem rather opinionated maybe you should take your own advise:)

          September 4, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • art trahan

      Thank you

      September 4, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
  9. In His love and service

    I'm sorry for all of you that treat the wisdom of others as an opportunity for you to spew judgment and hatred just because it doesn't make sense to you.

    This article wasn't for you, just as the message of Jesus wasn't for you. This article was written by a believer for the benefit of believers to build up the church.

    JESUS accepted all EXCEPT self righteous church leaders. ANYONE who desired to be near Him was welcomed with love and compassion. I'm sick of Christians spreading condemnation and hatred for LBGT thinking they can hide behind Jesus to do it. And I'm sick of you people who think it great sport to ridicule Christians because you can't wrap your heads around our faith in God and the Son He sent to redeem us from the likes of YOU.

    You're free to join our church and you're free to not. But for the love of God use your energy to clean up your own heart and mind.

    The church has a LOT of room for improvement and Rachel I commend you for your respectful critique and extremely valuable insight. As you said It's necessary for us to change and grow in our understanding of the scriptures NOT rewrite them or throw them over as meaningless.

    It's time for the church to let go of everything except Jesus so we can hear what He's trying to teach us. We don't know nearly as much as we think we do. We've made a mess of His church and besmirched the reputation of our Lord and Savior before a world of people who need Him but reject Him because US. It's time for change. On that I think we can agree.

    September 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • sarahdoggerblogger

      Exactly. Couldn't agree more.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
      • photografr7

        Honesty, who cares what you believe. You are just repeating the other blatherings of others who probably know less than you do.

        September 2, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • photografr7

      "Wisdom of others"? You must be joking. They are nothing more than the ignorant blabbering of fools who have fallen for a story told and repeated for their own selfish reasons.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • just_a_warner

      well i completely agree with what you said, and i believe there is ONLY ONE TRUE god, just like Jesus said, so i believe there is only one RELIGION and the rest are completely FALSE. so the question is WHICH ONE? i would say its for you to find out, because when you die you will be made accountable for your actions, JESUS DIDN'T DIE FOR ANYONE SINS,(THAT'S UNJUST OF GOD).
      IF god exists, his religion must be perfect and never changing, but always forgiving.
      so what do we know about the bible
      the bible has been changed and modified, and its a FACT AND if you don't believe me you are crazy(do a research).
      about JUDAISM,
      WELL we know Jesus existed, that answers that questions (Judaism is False).

      what about ISLAM
      it believes all the prophets (including Jesus).
      believes one true god and only one RELIGION.
      it believes MOHAMED was prophet after Jesus thus Christians,jew,polyniest denied him just like the Jews denied Jesus Message (if the Jews did it the christian can too).
      PROPHET MOHAMED IS NOT a god but a messenger and received the Qur'an through revelation via angel from GOD

      it rejects EVERYTHING THAT prophet Mohamed and Jesus rejects/prohibited.
      Mohamed knew things that has been recently scientifically discovered(so he must be really smart==better than rest of the people among his nation or because he has been told by angel and from god) DO A RESEARCH

      Note: god's religion does not conform to our desires but we conform its rules(god) even if we don't like it.

      well you can become Muslim because i believe its the only true religion, but don't DO A RESEARCH about all 3 religions and KNOW your chose can put you in hell or heaven (no pressure)


      September 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
      • Bob

        I highly recommend that you google Pascal's Wager and read about it to understand the fallacy that you have presented, and further, that you stop SHOUTING at us about your harmful, violent superstition AKA Islam.

        September 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • What IF

        "Mohamed knew things that has been recently scientifically discovered(so he must be really smart==better than rest of the people among his nation or because he has been told by angel and from god) DO A RESEARCH"

        No, he didn't know anything special. YOU DO A RESEARCH... in a REAL manner, not a Muslim biased one.

        September 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • just_A_warner

          well Firstly ,he was the first person to recite the QURAN people wrote it down
          therefore, he was the first one to utter the words in the quran, as a result he was the first one to know things in the quran.

          SECOND there is no denying he was the first person to know the quran (HE KNEW THINGS IN THE QURAN BEFORE THE OTHERS)

          behaviours of; embryology,orbit,sun and moon, sea and waters.

          any educated person should know MOHAMED SHOULDN'T KNOW things like embryology,unless he was smarter than the rest or because of revaluation(i am happy if you come to conclusion he was smarter than the rest because its the only two option so the choose is yours)



          THE QURAN talks about atomic number of iron and its the importance to mankind

          THE ORBIT
          And We have decreed set phases for the moon, until it ends up looking like an old date branch. It is not for the sun to overtake the moon nor for the night to outstrip the day; each one is swimming in a sphere. (Qur'an, 36:39-40)

          (read this page)http://miraclesofthequran.com/mathematical_17.html

          September 3, 2013 at 12:52 am |
        • Biochemie

          The writer of the Quran knew the atomic number of Iron? Did your prophet state that the atomic number of iron is 26 or did some numerologist create a scheme to prove that the atomic number of iron is 26?
          A wise man explains his results using his perceptions; a fool explains his perceptions using his conclusion.

          September 3, 2013 at 10:15 am |
        • What IF

          behaviours of; embryology,orbit,sun and moon, sea and waters."

          Baloney. The things in there were nothing new - they had been observed, discussed and pondered upon for many hundreds of years by the ancient scientists... Greek, Egyptian, Phoenician, etc. As a merchant, Mohammad had access to concepts from all over the place. And, for one, his embryology is primitive and is not at all precise. You certainly have not read the scientific information of today which debunks many of his statements. Get off of Muslim sites and look in the real world.

          September 3, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
        • ME II

          The atomic number of Iron is 26, which is not stated in the Koran. The Koranic verse "The Iron" is in Surat 57 verse 25.

          This site, http://www.quranwonders.com/2009/03/28/id/9, goes through many contortions to get to 26, but why not put "The Iron" in Surat 56 (the most abundant isotope of Fe), verse 26 (the atomic number of Fe)?

          September 3, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
        • ME II

          Better yet, why not just state that Iron is made up of smaller paces numbering most often, 26 and 30? simple words and numbers, no jargon or technical terms and yet it would be pretty clear.
          Although admittedly it would be so confusing to the people back then, that it would be edited out as a misunderstanding or something, I'm sure, despite any faithful adherence to the word of God/Allah.

          September 3, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
        • ME II

          "Search Results
          Page(s):« Previous12Next »Results 1 – 20 of 28 for Qamar‎ (0.076 seconds)"


          September 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
        • What IF


          I apologize for using the rather harsh word "baloney" in my post regarding your beliefs. I'm sure that you are sincere and are quite attached to them. Perhaps I should have just said "incorrect", but I have seen these erroneous claims so often that sometimes I get exasperated with them.

          September 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
        • JUST_A_WARNER

          i accept your apology WHATIF but i want offended because i was anticipating similar sentiments from people,none the less i am programmer by profesion so i dont read lot of stories regarding that matter, but if you can sent a reliable source that i could read saying ancients scientist knew these things with same amount of details(i even though not very detailed in the quran) i will be happy to read it.


          September 3, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • Biochemie

      This is so right on.
      A question for all of the churches out there with their "praise bands": how can we listen to what God wants with all of this noise in our ears?

      September 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  10. Tracey

    This is not Burger King you cannot have it your way. Its the New Testament's way or be take your chances with YOUR OWN WAY

    September 2, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • dissidentfairy

      I agree. Those who don't wish to conform to God's rules are sealing their own fates. I wish they would see that the few short years they have in this life just isn't worth throwing away an eternity for. Ironically most of the things people see as things they can't live without eventually cause them the most grief.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • sarahdoggerblogger

      Is that what you got from this article? Really? You believe that Jesus wishes for us to be more political? And to alienate our LGBT brothers and sisters? Glad I don't go to your church.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  11. TR2001

    Well, this is an informative article. One must consider the existence of Jesus a given here since those interested probably are indeed interested because they want to be religious. So I will assume that everyone here believes in the Redeemer of the world. That said, let's begin. A God is perfect, correct? He does not change, as is said in His word. Jesus was found preaching among the guilty, the sinners, and in addition among those who would listen, those willing to conform to His law as given in the New and Old Testaments. We cannot redefine Jesus, or change His mind. We must change our minds in order to achieve the true form of happiness, eternal life. If he were walking the earth today, I believe he would be found, at times among the LGBT group. Not to join them and make them feel happy about their manner of life, but to persuade them that there is a better way. I am saying this because that is exactly what he did as written in His holy word. He loves them, and yearns for them to come back to the true form of life. He would not deny His word or he would be a changeable god, someone that would be impossible to put faith in. Why do people think He would agree with them when He has already told them in His word that he wants them to be happy in doing His will. It is a law and commandment, not for the sake of trying to make them suffer, but to make them happy. Just like the well known law of gravity, don't jump off a cliff if you want to be healthy. Just like the fact that smoking makes you unhealthy therefore don't do it! It would be unjust for Him to say something against the truth. He would never do it, never has as spoken in His word. Why do people try to redefine the truth? I'll tell you why, because they are doing the same thing sinners have done all along, try to find happiness in doing iniquity. Sorry folks, I sincerely hope you see the truth and decide to live it. You feel guilty for a reason, so you'll change and find happiness. This saying isn't hateful, it is actually loving because I hate to see people unhappy. If we all conformed to justifying your manner of living you would still feel guilty and unhappy, there is no way out except for repentance. I say this with all the love of my heart.

    September 2, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      If it were truth, that would be nice, but there is no reason, nor logic that can show it to be true. There is quite a bit of the bible that has been proven false, many of the stories were stolen from previous religions and myths, and much of the character christs teachings come straight from the Buddha, who taught those things over 400 years prior to the christ characters appearance.

      September 2, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • just_a_warner

      well i completely agree with what you said, and i believe there is ONLY ONE TRUE god, just like Jesus said, so i believe there is only one god and the rest are completely FALSE. so the question is WHICH ONE? i would say its for you to find out because when you die you will be made accountable for your actions, JESUS DIDN'T DIE FOR ANYONE SINS (THAT'S UNJUST OF GOD).
      IF god exists, his religion must be perfect and never changing, but always forgiving,
      so what do we know about the bible
      the bible has been changed and modified to and its a FACT AND if you don't believe me you crazy(do research)
      about JUDAISM
      WELL we know Jesus exists that answers that questions (Judaism is False)

      what about ISLAM
      it believes all the prophets (including Jesus)
      believes one true god and only one RELIGION
      it believes MOHAMED was prophet after Jesus thus Christians,jew,polyniest denied him just like the Jews denied Jesus Message (if the Jews did it the christian can too)
      PROPHET MOHAMED IS NOT a god but a messenger and received the Qur'an through revelation via angel

      it rejects EVERYTHING THAT prophet Mohamed and Jesus rejects/prohibited.
      Mohamed knew things that has been recently scientifically discovered(so he must be really smart==better than rest of the people among his nation or because he has been told by angel and from god) DO RESEARCH

      Note: god's religion does not conform to our desires but we conform its rules(god) even if we don't like it.

      well you can become Muslim because i believe its the only true religion, but don't DO A RESEARCH about all 3 religions and KNOW your chose can put you in hell or heaven (no pressure)


      September 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Seth

      Here is the problem with your kind of faith. You think your book gives you license to understand how others think and feel solely because it is written down, not because you have ay real-world evidence. YOU CLAIM that people feel bad, feel guilty, are less happy because they practice what YOU see as iniquity – rather than ask them how they think or feel, you believe you are listening to God Himself, that a book knows these people better than they themselves do. You completely disregard the usual mechanisms of human understanding and lean on faith to approach your way of perceiving and communicating with other people.

      THIS is the sort of Christianity- no, religion – that the world hates. It is pompous, full of rote assumptions; its central messages have absolutely nothing outside of blind faith to back them up. The authors knew this, which is exactly why they wrote that it would be hated.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
      • just_a_warner

        ok, i think your opinion of islam could be justified,BECAUSE OF THE MUSLIMS YOU SEE ON TV, but i dare you to read ONE CHAPTER (SURAH BAQARAH CHAPTER 2)


        September 2, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  12. An Experiment with the Well-Educated Mind

    So what you WANT is a church that makes up a Jesus that you can be comfortable with, who will not judge or condemn you for your own personal beliefs or how you want to live or want others to live. Sure. That's idolatry, and there are plenty of churches that practice that kind of idolatry. But remember, it is not a church that will save you; having the RIGHT Jesus will.

    September 2, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  13. An Experiment with the Well-Educated Mind

    What you are saying is: you want a church that will make up a Jesus that you will be comfortable with, who will not judge you or condemn you for what you want to believe and accept and how you want to live. Sure. That's idolatry, and there are plenty churches out there that practice idolatry. But remember, belonging to a church won't save you. Having the RIGHT Jesus will.

    September 2, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • sarahdoggerblogger

      It's unfortunate and sad that this is what you gathered from the article. I didn't know aligning yourself with a certain political party and turning away your LGBT brothers and sisters was the "right" way to the "right" Jesus.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
      • An Experiment with the Well-Educated Mind

        In what way do you get anything about me aligning myself with a political party and turning away LGBT from my comment?

        September 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • sarahdoggerblogger

          It seemed like you were being critical of the author saying she was trying to change Jesus to suit her own needs. And I meant all she was saying is she wants a return to Jesus and to move away from being overly political, exclusive, and involved in things not essential to faith. If I misunderstood you, what is your comment trying to say about her article? It seemed like IOU were saying that you thought the "right" Jesus and church would be aligned with a political party and actively shunning LGBT Christians. If I misinterpreted you, I'd love clarification.

          September 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  14. random

    When will people in the US learn to stop putting people in boxes jesus stereotyping! Millenials Xrs Blacks White as it said on the story is not only this generation but many.

    September 1, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  15. 7

    Hello folks. Everyone is invited to receive a newly released "free" downloadable song at... thetreasureofzion.com

    September 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • photografr7

      Does everyone get a free virus, too? Oh boy! Oh boy!

      September 1, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        That's par for the course with proselytizing in the real world – only fair that it applies online.

        September 2, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  16. Kevin Quail

    "If you want to get together in any exclusive situation and have people love you, fine- but to hang all this desperate sociology on the idea of The Cloud-Guy who has The Big Book, who knows if you've been bad or good- and CARES about any of it- to hang it all on that, folks, is the chimpanzee part of the brain working. "

    -Frank Zappa, American musician

    September 1, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • jp0

      I think chimpanzees are smarter than that.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  17. Universe

    Verses regarding Mary in Quran (Islamic Scripture)

    “Mention in the scripture Mary. She isolated herself from her family, into an eastern location.” [19:16]

    “While a barrier separated her from them, we sent to her our Spirit. He went to her in the form of a human being.”

    She said, "I seek refuge in the Most Gracious, that you may be righteous."

    He said, "I am the messenger of your Lord, to grant you a pure son."

    She said, "How can I have a son, when no man has touched me; I have never been unchaste."

    He said, "Thus said your Lord, `It is easy for Me. We will render him a sign for the people, and mercy from us. This is a predestined matter.' "

    When she bore him, she isolated herself to a faraway place.

    The birth process came to her by the trunk of a palm tree. She said, "(I am so ashamed;) I wish I were dead before this happened, and completely forgotten."

    (The infant) called her from beneath her, saying, "Do not grieve. Your Lord has provided you with a stream.

    "If you shake the trunk of this palm tree, it will drop ripe dates for you.*

    "Eat and drink, and be happy. When you see anyone, say, `I have made a vow of silence, [to the Most Gracious]*; I am not talking today to anyone.' "

    She came to her family, carrying him. They said, "O Mary, you have committed something that is totally unexpected.

    "O descendant of Aaron, your father was not a bad man, nor was your mother unchaste."

    She pointed to him. They said, "How can we talk with an infant in the crib?"

    (The infant spoke and) said, "I am a servant of God. He has given me the scripture, and has appointed me a prophet.

    "He made me blessed wherever I go, and enjoined me to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and the obligatory charity (Zakat) for as long as I live.

    "I am to honor my mother; He did not make me a disobedient rebel.

    "And peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I get resurrected."

    “That was Jesus, the son of Mary, and this is the truth of this matter, about which they continue to doubt.”

    “It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is.”

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    September 1, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Just Call Me Lucifer

      Why Islam? Are you running out of suicide bombers? So many infidels to kill and not enough idiots to do it?

      September 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  18. Kathy - Glendale, AZ

    They've finally taken into account the atrocities that have been committed to billions of people,over thousands of years, in the name of God.-- They see that "religion" wasn't created by a God, but by Man, in an attempt to control & kill other humans.----

    Ending religion could be a way to REAL PEACE throughout the world. Now, if we could only end the class warfare of greed, wealth & power too, we'd be well on our way to PEACE ON EARTH.

    September 1, 2013 at 10:54 am |
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About this blog

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