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My Take: Stop sugarcoating the Bible
The 17th century painting Judith Beheading Holofernes, by Artemisia Gentileschi, depicts a biblical scene.
February 25th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: Stop sugarcoating the Bible

Editor's note: Steven James is the author of more than 30 books, including "Flirting with the Forbidden," which explores forgiveness.

By Steven James, Special to CNN

(CNN) - The Bible is a gritty book. Very raw. Very real. It deals with people just like us, just as needy and screwed up as we are, encountering a God who would rather die than spend eternity without them.

Yet despite that, it seems like Christians are uncomfortable with how earthy the Bible really is. They feel the need to tidy up God.

For example, look in any modern translation of Isaiah 64:6, and you’ll find that, to a holy God, even our most righteous acts are like “filthy rags.” The original language doesn’t say “filthy rags”; it says “menstrual rags.” But that sounds a little too crass, so let’s just call them filthy instead.

And let’s not talk so much about Jesus being naked on the cross, and let’s pretend Paul said that he considered his good deeds “a pile of garbage” in Philippians 3:8 rather than a pile of crap, as the Greek would more accurately be translated.

And let’s definitely not mention the six times in the Old Testament that the Jewish writers referred to Gentile men as those who “pisseth against the wall.” (At least the King James Version got that one right.)

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The point?

God’s message was not meant to be run through some arbitrary, holier-than-thou politeness filter. He intended the Bible to speak to people where they’re at, caught up in the stark reality of life on a fractured planet.

Dozens of Psalms are complaints and heart-wrenching cries of despair to God, not holy-sounding, reverently worded soliloquies. Take Psalm 77:1-3: “I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help” (New Living Translation).

And rather than shy away from difficult and painful topics, the Old Testament includes vivid descriptions of murder, cannibalism, witchcraft, dismemberment, torture, rape, idolatry, erotic sex and animal sacrifice. According to St. Paul, those stories were written as examples and warnings for us (1 Corinthians 10:11). So obviously they were meant to be retold without editing out all the things we don’t consider nice or agreeable.

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I believe that Scripture includes such graphic material to show how far we, as a race, have fallen and how far God was willing to come to rescue us from ourselves.

God is much more interested in honesty than pietism.

And that’s what he gives us throughout Scripture, telling the stories of people who struggled with the same issues, questions and temptations we face today.

Peter struggled with doubt, and we hear all about it.

Elijah dealt with depression; Naomi raged with bitterness against God; Hannah struggled for years under the burden of her unanswered prayers.

David had an affair and then arranged to have his lover’s husband killed. Noah was a drunk, Abraham a liar, Moses a murderer. Job came to a place where he found it necessary to make a covenant with his eyes not to lust after young girls (Job 31:1).

It’s easy to make “Bible heroes” (as Protestants might say) or “saints” (as Catholics might refer to them) out to be bigger than life, immune from the temptations that everyone faces.

I find it encouraging that Jesus never came across as pietistic. In fact, he was never accused of being too religious; instead he partied so much that he was accused of being a drunkard and a glutton (Matthew 11:19).

Jesus never said, “The Kingdom of God is like a church service that goes on and on forever and never ends.” He said the kingdom was like a homecoming celebration, a wedding, a party, a feast to which all are invited.

This idea was too radical for the religious leaders of his day. They were more concerned about etiquette, manners, traditions and religious rituals than about partying with Jesus. And that’s why they missed out.

That’s why we miss out.

According to Jesus, the truly spiritual life is one marked by freedom rather than compulsion (John 8:36), love rather than ritual (Mark 12:30-33) and peace rather than guilt (John 14:27). Jesus saves us from the dry, dusty duties of religion and frees us to cut loose and celebrate.

I don’t believe we’ll ever recognize our need for the light until we’ve seen the depth of the darkness. So God wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty with us about life and temptation and forgiveness. And grace.

Only when the Bible seems relevant to us (which it is), only when the characters seem real to us (which they were), only then will the message of redemption become personal for us (which it was always meant to be).

We don’t need to edit God. We need to let him be the author of our new lives.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Steven James.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (5,744 Responses)
  1. .

    And yet another CNN swipe at Christianity, thus allowing all the progressive hate-theists to vent their spleens and express the only form of bigotry that is not only accepted by the idiots who run CNN, but encouraged as well.

    CNN: They report and you decide not to watch.

    February 26, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • more smith

      you're the same self-righteous hypocrite who condemns people for "interpreting the Bible" but then you will turn around when someone brings up the nonsense like what's written in Leviticus, claiming that the Bible isn't meant to be taken at face value.

      fnck off hypocrite.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • FSM

      Religion is absolutely full of hatred and violence. Go read your Bible and then tell me that anything CNN wrote about in this article is untrue. You can't do it, because your religious texts are exactly as CNN says. God is not that god of your religious books who murders, is intolerant of others, and who favors one group of followers over another.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • .

      Thank you both for proving my point. And CNN thanks you for your bigotry and support.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • CarolSong

      Jesus loves you apparently but not me or CNN.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  2. Maranata

    2 Timothy 3 Vs,16,17.

    February 26, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  3. Doug

    I beleive there is a God and I am not it. A long time ago, a very spritual man told me that I was angry with God (he was right). He said why not beleive in a God of your own choosing? So I did. The God I choose to believe in loves me and wants me to be happy. I connected with this article becuase at the end of the day, the bible was written by mankind based upon thier interpretations. As we all know, mankind has many flaws, and follows many different agendas. I have a difficult time with organized religion in any form becuase of the hypocrosy perpetuated by those religions within those religions, and against each other (not to mention the hisotorical examples of violence against each other, all in the name of God). It seems that if one holds a belief, then they should be allowed to hold that belief. What disturbs me is when one tells me that my beliefs are wrong and thier's are right. I do not need a pastor, priest, reverend, or any other individual to tell me how I should pray and conduct my relationship with God. God already knows how I communicate, it is God after all right? God 'get's' me, and that is enough for us both.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • marcus1371

      Convince one more person to join into your philosophy and you've got yourself a cult.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Bonnie

      Truth be told. "For youi know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture springs from any private interpretation. For prophecy was at no time brought by man's will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit." 2nd Peter 1:20-21.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • more smith

      keep in mind that the bible was also written and rewritten and twisted and corrupted by power hungry kings and priests who wanted to have it reflect their ideals, their desires and their beliefs so that they can tell their followers it was divine right that they are king.

      Like everything else today, the Bible is an outdated text. people then were ignorant. Why else would some cultures believe that human sacrifice was a viable solution? the Bible was written during such times. are you so self-righteous as to claim that what they believed and what some king had written in the Bible to be so different?

      disgusting

      February 26, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • CarolSong

      Isn't it sumthin' that you have to put this in writing. Nevertheless I would prefer to live in harmony with someone like you that the Non-Christians are damned crowd.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Sarah

      Well-put Doug. I have the same beliefs.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  4. Bonnie

    Yes, Jesus was speaking about himself when he said, "But I tell you that something greater than the temple is here." -Matthew 12:6.Then Almighty God speaks through the Apostle Paul, revealing His perfect plan for our reconciliation to Him. "But is due to Him (God) that you are in union with Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God, also righteousness and sanctification and release by ransom." 1st Corinthians 1:30.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  5. steve505

    The bible is a work of fiction. It's littered with inklings of mankind's earliest Hollywood aspirations: love stories, giants, natural disasters, a central protagonist, a central antagonist, fanciful tales of beasts that do not exist, murder, action, suspense, etc etc.

    Imagine if somebody today took the Twilight books, combined them into one, and based a religion upon them. Then, a few thousand years later its a worldwide religion and people are dying and fighting wars and wasting resources over it. Wouldn't we call those people.... crazy?

    February 26, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • code0111

      Those crazy – archaeologist (scientist) have shown that results end the same way over and over.

      (Bible=Fact) in science, a fact must be proved through experimentation and that experiment must then be able to be repeated with the same result

      February 26, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  6. Maranata

    "All Scripture is God-Breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking,correcting and training in righteousness, so the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" 2Timothy Vs.16,17.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  7. john

    That article is way to easy on the bible. What about the scores of contradictions? The hateful God of the Old Testament? The gaping holes and eye popping omissions. The book is probably no more than an early attempt at historical fiction with a few fairy tales thrown in. We'd be better to believe in a spiritual force of good and love. Something that wants us to come close to heaven on Earth by our own accord. When was the last time someone was stressing about a bill and you paid it for them? See what I mean? We are in our own vortex of confusion and this book keeps it spinning.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Bonnie

      Please reveal one contradiction. Only those who have not studied God's word carfefully and thoroughly make such false statements.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Angel

      Why believe in good and love if you don't believe in the source that it comes from? People like u confuse me the most....Overall a good person but what does that matter when God comes and your on your knees begging for mercy because u never believed in him....Why not believe love and have a purpose for doing so or your no better than the evil people or atheists...the bible is to amazing to ever be made up humans can't even think that far ahead or tie events together the way God does...read it....really read it...you'll be amazed! Best book I have EVER read and I have no dubt its 100% true and historically acurate....God bless

      February 26, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • marcus1371

      For Bonnie:

      You really ought to look harder. When the decisions you make everyday are influenced by a book, and advocates of that book, you should be sure, on your own, that there are absolutely no unanswered questions about what how that book tells you to live your life. You agree that the book has been translated many times, as well as edited many times don't you? Are you that trusting?

      February 26, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Bonnie: You want contradictions listed...here goes:
      GE 1:3-5 On the first day, God created light, then separated light and darkness.
      GE 1:14-19 The sun (which separates night and day) wasn't created until the fourth day.

      GE 1:11-12, 26-27 Trees were created before man was created.
      GE 2:4-9 Man was created before trees were created.

      GE 1:20-21, 26-27 Birds were created before man was created.
      GE 2:7, 19 Man was created before birds were created.

      GE 1:24-27 Animals were created before man was created.
      GE 2:7, 19 Man was created before animals were created.

      GE 1:26-27 Man and woman were created at the same time.
      GE 2:7, 21-22 Man was created first, woman sometime later.

      GE 1:28 God encourages reproduction.
      LE 12:1-8 God requires purification rites following childbirth which, in effect, makes childbirth a sin. (Note: The period for purification following the birth of a daughter is twice that for a son.)

      GE 1:31 God was pleased with his creation.
      GE 6:5-6 God was not pleased with his creation.
      (Note: That God should be displeased is inconsistent with the concept of omniscience.)

      GE 2:4, 4:26, 12:8, 22:14-16, 26:25 God was already known as "the Lord" (Jahveh or Jehovah) much earlier than the time of Moses.
      EX 6:2-3 God was first known as "the Lord" (Jahveh or Jehovah) at the time of the Egyptian Bondage, during the life of Moses.

      GE 2:17 Adam was to die the very day that he ate the forbidden fruit.
      GE 5:5 Adam lived 930 years.

      GE 2:15-17, 3:4-6 It is wrong to want to be able to tell good from evil.
      HE 5:13-14 It is immature to be unable to tell good from evil.

      GE 4:4-5 God prefers Abel's offering and has no regard for Cain's.
      2CH 19:7, AC 10:34, RO 2:11 God shows no partiality. He treats all alike.

      GE 4:9 God asks Cain where his brother Able is.
      PR 15:3, JE 16:17, 23:24-25, HE 4:13 God is everywhere. He sees everything. Nothing is hidden from his view.

      GE 4:15, DT 32:19-27, IS 34:8 God is a vengeful god.
      EX 15:3, IS 42:13, HE 12:29 God is a warrior. God is a consuming fire.
      EX 20:5, 34:14, DT 4:24, 5:9, 6:15, 29:20, 32:21 God is a jealous god.
      LE 26:7-8, NU 31:17-18, DT 20:16-17, JS 10:40, JG 14:19, EZ 9:5-7 The Spirit of God is (sometimes) murder and killing.
      NU 25:3-4, DT 6:15, 9:7-8, 29:20, 32:21, PS 7:11, 78:49, JE 4:8, 17:4, 32:30-31, ZP 2:2 God is angry. His anger is sometimes fierce.
      2SA 22:7-8 (KJV) "I called to the Lord; ... he heard my voice; ... The earth trembled and quaked, ... because he was angry. Smoke came from his nostrils. Consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it."
      EZ 6:12, NA 1:2, 6 God is jealous and furious. He reserves wrath for, and takes revenge on, his enemies. "... who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and rocks are thrown down by him."
      2CO 13:11, 14, 1JN 4:8, 16 God is love.
      GA 5:22-23 The fruit of the Spirit of God is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

      GE 4:16 Cain went away (or out) from the presence of the Lord.
      JE 23:23-24 A man cannot hide from God. God fills heaven and earth.

      Maybe if you actually read your bronze age book instead of just listening from the pews, you'd have the ability to do the research yourself. More of these can be found at http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/inconsistencies.html

      February 26, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Bonnie

      TruthPrevails, right out of the start gate, you have twisted the Scripture found at Genesis 1:3-5 to fit your own spin.It says nothing about it being the "first" day....it says "in the beginning" speaking about the beginning of creation. When we compare the big bang info found at Nasa website to the first chapter of Genesis, we see God's truth PROVEN. "...in them(Scriiptures), however,are some things hard to understand,which the untaught and unsteady are twisting as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. YOU are an example.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  8. Johnson

    We all know the Old Testament is fiction written for the ages. It does have a lot of religious significance, particularly for Judeism and should be respected as such. Nevertheless, most Christians with a brain pay little attention to it. The New Testament is a more significant book for Christians, though Fundamentalist just like their Islamic brothers distort it by interpreting everything literally. Just shows a very limited intelligence level and in some parts of our country – inbreeding.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • marcus1371

      What about the prophetic scriptures the messiah was supposed to fulfill in the new testament?

      February 26, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  9. common_people

    The Bible like the Quran like the Torah like the Septaugint is a timeless guide for mankind from our elders. What we write from our hearts &publish thru our fingers will be pieced together @some point to guide whom we have laid ground to build upon as well;)

    February 26, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  10. marcus1371

    I grew up in a Christian household, went to church, etc. When I got to be about 30 years old, I read the bible cover to cover, twice. I don't think "sugarcoated" is an adequate way to describe how Christianity uses the bible for their purposes. Manipulated is more like it. It is a collection of incoherent ramblings of tribal nobility that makes no sense whatsoever. Watch any preacher on TV and write down every little excerpt from the bible they quote. Then go and read them in context with the story in which they are contained...and see if you can draw the same conclusion as the preacher.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • CarolSong

      Marcus, Marcus... you silly man. Apparently God cannot survive rational thought. I have heard sermons analyzing every single word of one verse of the Bible. i still can hear the minister's voice actually talking about the word "the". Not any, not some, but THE. Puleeze. It always bugs me that they stop with John 3:16 when if you keep reading it says, "And God sent NOT his son into the world to condemn the world... Surely there are some other books worth reading... right.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • QM

      LOL..I am with you. When I was a kid I got all the sanitized versions of the Bible as well. My favorite story was of Esther and it was YEARS before I realized that the "beauty pageant" she'd "won" was actually a harem. It has always amused me how Christians have to sanitize their own holy book. Apparently the Bible is not safe for kids to actually learn.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • jlfliberty

      Keep reading and most of all STUDYING it. (Put it all together in context of what and why these things were done) You will eventually understand.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Jose

      I completely agree with you Marcus. Once you actually read the new or old testiment, or any other religion scripture, from cover to cover, it is impossible for the inquiring mind to contiue to believe in the stunning absurdity religion. It is so obviously convected, that it is apparent that God did not make us in his image, we made him (up) in ours. It makes you wonder wonderful the world would be if we did not indoctrinate children into religion, rather let them choose their when they reach the age of reason. In fact, this may be the best way to put this nonsense behind us and leave it in the catacombs of our prehistory where religion belongs.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • QM

      I don't need to keep reading to understand thank you. I understand that Christians are a bunch of flaming hypocrites who can't stand the harsh light of day actually be shone on their holy book because it reveals too many of the flaws.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Bonnie

      God explains. "But wicked men and imposters will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled." 2nd Timothy3:13. We must go directly to the source of wisdom, we can no longer trust our fellow money-hungry man. "If any one of you are lacking in wiisdom, let him keep on asking God, for He gives generously to ALL and without reproaching; and it WILL be given him." James 1:5. Marcus, you are insightful, and thank you for your post.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Visitor

      I also read it cover to cover a couple of times. You know how many times your basic holier-than-thou Catholic or Born Again Christian read it cover to cover? IAverage is much less than one.

      I stopped being appalled years ago at how ignorant the most devout are of the Bible. I mean VERY devout people. My conclusion is they find it boring.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Lindalou

      My feelings exactly! It's scary how the crazies twist verse after verse to make it acceptable.

      February 26, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  11. jlfliberty

    Well written, there is nothing bad or anti Christian in this article. I thought this would be an attack but if you read it and its simple truth. The Christian bible is a great source of understanding and decency of our Lord. Judge others by their fruits not by their mistakes. I now will wait for the onslaught of attacks.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Jifliberry..What did did the bible tell humanity that they did not already know. This book, we are lead to believe, was written by god but it is far from accurate and would appear to have been written in the culture of the day. Plus the stories in it appear to be a rehash of older religions so it is suspect..if stealing is a sin then it looks like it has committed one right off the get go.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  12. GavSalv

    The "Bible" we know has been repeatedly edited for content to ensure that it fulfills the desires of the leaders of the Church(es) that inherited the Jesus movement. Even the fact that we call ourselves "Christians" shows that the faith itself has been edited by the leadership of the inheritors.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • jlfliberty

      Interesting... That is exactly what the Muslims say about then Christian bible. Actually the Mormons do also. It justifies picking and choosing what parts a person or religion chooses to believe and allows them to discard what they do not want to believe or follow. Very convenient huh?

      February 26, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  13. Jim

    My whole problem with churches; no one has apparently read this book. It is full of war, greed, hatred, deceit, unholy acts, and killing for no reason. Anyone who preaches a religion of love, mercy, and the "do-gooder" mentality has either never read it, or does not believe in it, old or new testament. This is why religion is going away; people want answers, and when the normal person reads the Bible, they do not get the messages our churches are sending out, possibly because no one in the church has read it.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • FSM

      My thoughts exactly.

      February 26, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • jlfliberty

      It's Obvious you have not read it in context. Sad that you think you can speak with knowledge of it's substance.

      February 26, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Cechaz

      I've sat in churches whose sermons were based on episodes of wholesale genocide from the Old Testament, and the larger, more obvious questions of God's morality is never addressed inside or outside of church by the congregants. Instead, they all pretend to be edified or somehow enlightened by the sermon. Astonishing!

      February 26, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  14. CarolSong

    Here's a radical thought. I don't need anyone to interpret any gosh darn book for me. And if I never again hear "God meant this or said that." that would be swell. And I really don't get millions of people relying on one book that was written a couple of thousand years ago as the only contact from "Him" or Her or whatever. Don't bother quoting me any of the evangelical dogma. i was raised on it. My voices in my head were always saying, but wait, that is not consistent with the other things it says. What you believe, want to believe, choose to practice is your own damn business. No exceptions!

    February 26, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Sean Webb

      I agree that the most important question is really whether a supernatural being created and interacts with the natural world. Is there purpose in nature? There is no evidence to support the claim. However, it is interesting to look at religion and their texts from a historical perspective and examine the original works. We live in a world where theists do attempt to bring scripture into the public sphere to influence public policy. From an academic point studying the translations is very interesting. If we study them the same way we study Greek and Egyptian mythology. Of course I don't think there is a Zeus or a sea god.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • miamihurricane

      I sure hope you can make the same statement when your time comes to checkout. Please don't bother answering that now, it's easy to answer now. Let's wait til you, or one of your family members is in the hospital after a terrible accident unable to even break wind then you can answer . As Ernie Pyle said during WW11 "There are no atheist in foxholes.
      ,

      February 26, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  15. JB

    The caption under the painting claims that Judith beheading Holofernes is a biblical scene. It is not. This episode is from the book of Judith, which is not part of the Bible (at least not the Protestant bible). It would have been good to say this. Otherwise it gives the appearance that the person who wrote this is ignorant of the Bible, which is an unfortunate thing when writing a journalistic article about the Bible.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • JMissal

      Wait, so there are different bibles for different sects of christianity? Wouldn't the "word of god" be universal regardless?

      Apparently not....

      February 26, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Sean Webb

      It can be a very simple mistake somewhere between the editor and the webmaster.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  16. Ruthanne Merrett

    Yeah. Great. But where's the balance? There is good and beauty in there too. Be sure to tell the whole story. However, how refreshing for someone to try to speak about content rather than the supposed effect the bible has had on people, or how people have abused it, or used it to abuse others.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  17. code0111

    Steven James you are a scholar. I have read the Bible 4 times over. Started with NIV, then NAS, but I stick with KJV. i liked the KJV because it did not pull punches.
    Having read it so much I believe archaeologist (scientist) have shown that results end the same way over and over.

    (Bible=Fact) in science, a fact must be proved through experimentation and that experiment must then be able to be repeated with the same result

    February 26, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • GavSalv

      Things that cannot be repeated experimentally:

      The Big Bang

      Evolution

      February 26, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • FSM

      Apparently, you don't read the right books, and you don't read on a scholarly level. Otherwise, you'd change your tune.

      February 26, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • JMissal

      Every time I read "Little Red Riding Hood", it always ends the same too. I guess that fairy tale is "fact" as well! Who knew??

      February 26, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • FSM

      I believe that there is a God, and the god of the Bible, Torah, and Quran isn't it. Who could worship someone who behaves like a spoiled, murderous, intolerant child? If people would get rid of all of those vile texts, the world would be a much better place and we might all get along much better.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  18. In Reason I Trust

    The god of the old testament is no different than the Greek gods. He is vain, jealous, and violent. How anyone can actually read the bible and think that god is good is beyond me. People are so afraid of death they will believe any story no matter how ridiculous.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  19. Dennis

    People who chose to follow Christ have to admit that they are flawed. The amazing part is that Jesus doesn't say, "Get your stuff together and straightened out and then come to me." He simply says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." While the main point about John 3:16 is the gift of Jesus, believing in Jesus, and having eternal life, it is very important that it says, "God so loved the world..." it doesn't say, God so loved the Jews, the Christians, the Muslims, the whatever... It says that God so loved the world. God doesn't want to see people perish. A great part of knowing where we are is knowing where we have been. I do not consider myself better than others, I've just chosen to seek God.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  20. Kenjitheman

    @ joel palmer......... shut up. You posted so many times on others saying the same thing over and over again. No matter how many times you put it, people won't stop believing, so get over it. Of all the posts, only your dumb replies seem to annoy me. Freaking moron

    February 26, 2012 at 9:53 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.