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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. SHAIARRA

    WOMAN'S/ "PAIS" RELATIONSHIPS FOR MARRIAGE/ HEALTH INSURANCE PROVISITIONS U.C.C.CONTRACTS ARE STATE BUSINESS, NOT RELIGIOUS LIBERTY,AS BOTH THE FOUNDING FATHERS OF BOTH THE DEMOCRATIC/ GOP PARTIES (THOMAS JEFFERSON AND JAMES MADISON) BELIEVED IN THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, ESTABLISHED THE PARTY (DEMOCRAT-REPUBLICAN PARTY)ON THOSE PRINCIPLES, SO FOR ANY IN EITHER OF THOSE PARTIES TO SUPPORT RELIGION IN THE GOVERNMENT, ARE AGAINST THE ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION ON WHICH THE DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN PARTY WAS FOUNDED ON (DEISM)

    February 26, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • BigSir

      Can you punctuate next time?

      February 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Someone

      ... and not capitalize every letter? It's kinda annoying...

      February 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      I think you may have accidentally left your caps lock on.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Dance This Mess Around

      I C A N Y E L L L O U D E R T H A N Y O U.

      M O R O N ! ! !

      February 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Some dude in Atlanta

      What?

      February 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  2. SHAIARRA

    TRANSFORMED TO APPEAR AS MINISTERS OF LIGHT, BUT ARE RAVENOUS WOLVES IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires..."

    Susan B. Anthony

    February 26, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  3. SHAIARRA

    THEREFORE IF ANY XTIAN STILL DENY AND MIS-USE THE BIBLE TO OPPRESS WOMAN/"PAIS", THEN THEY ARE OF THE SPIRIT OF ANTI-CHRIST AND ACCURSED, FOR IT IS AN ABOMINATION TO BOTH LIE ON THE HA-SHEM TETRAGRAMMATON (YHVH),AND NOT DO AS "JESUS" DID, FOR XTIANS ALWAYS SAY, "..WHAT WOULD JESUS DO....", WELL WE SEE WHAT "JESUS" DID IN "PAIS" AND WOMAN RIGHTS SITUATIONS, TO DO ANY OTHER WISE IS BY THE ACCURSED, THAT WILL BE PUT TO HIS LEFTS SIDE AND TOLD TO "...DEPART FROM ME INTO EVERLASTING DARKNESS YOU WORKERS OF INIQUITY, I NEVER KNEW YOU.." (INHUMANE BEATING/ KILLINGS OF ANYONE IS INIQUITY ie THE ADULTERESS INCIDENCE)THIS SAME "JESUS" PAYED TAXES ON HIS CHARITABLE NOT FOR PROFIT MIRACLES AND SPEECHES TO SECULAR ROME, THE "PAIS" ENCOUNTER BY "JESUS" OWN EXAMPLE SHOWS IT'S NOT A SIN PERIOD

    February 26, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  4. Nnox

    No doubt in evangelical churches this guy is considered "edgy," "intense," and "real." This guy's article is what passes for intellectual rigor among far to many Americans.

    February 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • kikigos

      How strange. When I read the article, I was convinced that the author is immersed in the doctrines of older, more established denominations such as Lutheran, Anglican, or Episcopalian. I can tell you haven't been to many evengelical services.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  5. SHAIARRA

    (REMEMBER: THOMAS JEFFERSON AND JAMES MADISON WERE DEIST/ SEPARATIST BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE/ THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT OF REASON,THE LIBERAL ARTS & SCIENCE, AND THE DORIC ICONIC AND CORINTHIAN COLUMNS SEEN IN THE WASHINGTON DC ARCHITECTURE BUILDING STRUCTURES THAT ALSO FOUNDED THE DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN PARTY ON THOSE PRINCIPLES ALSO PERIOD)

    February 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  6. Senor Ed

    Hansel and Gretel is a nice story too.

    February 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • PEB

      Hansel and Gretel was a fairytale. The stories in the bible are fact. You may or may not believe that Jesus rose from the dead but the historical facts in the bible, and the people that are mentioned there and in this article are factual.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  7. T Cook

    Interesting article with many points to consider. Thanks for opening the discussion, God bless.

    February 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  8. NVRWRNG

    LAS please show me one scientifically proven fact that is in the book that was proven years later. If you do I will stop commenting.

    I swear to god.

    February 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Z

      If you're looking for scientific support for the Bible you're doing it wrong. It's not that kind of book.

      February 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      Well I know that. But LAS said he has factual evidence for me.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • kikigos

      The flood. There is a great deal of proof that it took place. And yes, it is mentioned in many other sources than the Bible. That doesn't mean that the Biblical account isn't true.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Sugarmama,, NC

      NONE OF US CAN PROVE THE BIBLE TO YOU. I KNOW THAT I AM FOREVER CHANGED BECAUSE OF MY ENLIGHTEN VIEW OF THE BIBLE( WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD-WRITTEN BY HUMAN HANDS BUT UNDER THE UPTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT). I TOO HAD MANY QUESTIONS OF THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF CHRISTIANITY AND MANY ACCOUNTS OF THE BIBLE ARE JUST SO HARD TO GRASP bUT I CHALLENGE YOU TO DO WHAT I DID.

      PRAY. IN MY HEART AND MIND AND OUT OF MY MOUTH I SIMPLY ASKED GOD TO REVEAL HIMSELF TO ME IF HE WAS REALLY REAL AND THIS WORDS WERE IN DEED FROM HIM. I ASKED TO GIVE ME UNDERSTANDING SO I WOULD KNOW FOR MYSELF NOT FROM WHAT I WAS TAUGHT OR TOLD BY MY REARING. I READ AND STUDIED AND RESEARCHED ALL ACCOUNTS OF THE BIBLE AND JESUS.

      I LEARNED A LOT TO SAY THE LEAST BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT I LEARNED WAS THAT GOD IS REAL AND JESUS IS ALIVE AND THE HOLY SPIRIT IS IN FULL AFFECT AND WILL HELP YOU BUT ONLY IF YOU WANT IT.

      GOD GIVES US EVERYTHING. AND MOST OF ALL HE GIVE EACH AND EVERYONE OF US FREE WILL TO CHOOSE WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG. HE WILL AND IS GOING TO GIVE EVERYONE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR AND FELL THE TRUTH FOR THEMSELVES. I KNOW THAT THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES THAT YOU HAVE FELT AN UNCOMFORTABLE TUGGING INSIDE OF YOUR SOUL (THAT'S YOUR CREATOR TAPPING YOU ON THE SHOULDER) HE DOES NOT MIND YOU GETTING MAD, HE DOES NOT MIND YOU ASKING QUESTIONS AND HE DOES NOT MIND IF YOU ARE RELUCTANT TO COME. ACTUALLY HE REQUIRES THAT YOU "COUNT THE COST BEFORE BECOMING A CHRISTIAN".

      MY FRIEND, LEARN FOR YOURSELF BECAUSE WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IT OR NOT ONE DAY YOU WILL FACE HIM AND GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF YOUR LIFE. GOD WANTS EVERYONE TO BE HAPPY AND LOVE HIM BUT HE WILL NOT MAKE YOU LOVE OR WANT TO BE HIS. YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE THAT CHOICE FOR YOURSELF.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      I believe you because you wrote in CAPS.

      Also, the flood is a moot point. I want evidence that was promised to me!

      February 26, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  9. Joe Gmaz

    Wow, a real Christian writting for CNN. How cool is that. Unless you have tasted the new life in Christ, these comments will have no real meaning. When you have, these comments are spot on! Great article Steve.

    February 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Some dude in Atlanta

      Joe, Amen!

      February 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • kikigos

      What you say is certainly true.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Brenda

      I wholeheartedly agree with you, Joe!

      February 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  10. kikigos

    One reason we should adhere as closely as possible to the ancient Bible texts is that the Bible is the word of God. That's always relevant, not only to us but to the whole world, and not in any facile, catchword way. God's grace lifts us out of the turmoil and confusion of life by saying, 'It's okay. You don't have to be perfect. My Son was perfect for you. Accept Him and you will never have to worry again, because He is "the way, the truth, and the life."

    i have an online friend who is not a Christian. I keep telling her about the wonderful parts of being a follower of Christ. Once during Advent, she wrote, a bit defensively, "Well, I love the little baby Jesus in the manger."

    I wrote back and told her I do too, but that without embracing the ministry of Christ, without believing in the Christ who died horribly to pay for our sins, loving the image of a newborn just doesn't give us what we need. She didn't write for a long time, and when she did, it was about her vacation.

    I'm not dismayed. We can't save other people; only God can. But if my friend attends a church that gives her only pretty pictures to take home in her head, it isn't presenting the scriptures adequately. You bet the Bible gets watered down, and it's a seemingly innocuous thing that in the end proves fatal.

    February 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • sybaris

      Uh, your alleged Jesus man died for himself which is actually for nothing. Think about it, your god impregnated another mans wife to recreate itself only to sacrifice itself to itself in order to atone for a "mistake" it made.

      Yeah, makes a lot of sense.

      February 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • BigSir

      Imagine I said, "I am so dissatisfied with the imperfections and evil of the people around me that I am going to
      kill my cat today". Someone asks, "but why?" I then say, "I love my cat so much BUT I'm so angry that these people deserve to die!. Better I kill my beloved cat than all of you in a massacre." Would I sound rational to you?

      February 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • kikigos

      sybaris: Jesus was both God and man when he walked the earth. He wasn't a God clone; He is God's son. Why did God do it this way? I am not privy to the mind of God, except as He revealed Himself in the scriptures.

      Big Sir: No.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • BigSir

      So, would you worship me or call the ASPCA?

      February 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  11. AOwens

    GREAT article. Some of the newer translations are EVEN more "tame" as opposed the original text/meaning of the Bible. The newer NIV is waaay to sugarcoated. Thank you Steven James,for telling the truth and saying what MANY Church leaders are afraid to say.

    February 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  12. RealityBites

    Only problem is there IS no God...

    February 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • BigSir

      Maybe...but Jesus said what people want to hear. If they can believe it, more power to them.

      February 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Some dude in Atlanta

      So why did you even bother to read the article and post?

      Oh! You didn't even bother to READ the article?
      Never mind.

      February 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  13. Rachelle

    As a christian I totally agree with this article... most of the bible's translations have sections that are very different from the original texts. Personally I plan on getting a bible that is more true to the original meanings.. just haven't gotten around to it yet haha 🙂 Great article!

    February 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  14. Brad

    I cannot understand;

    How can such a holy scripture such as the bible be the writings of something holy, or godly, when mere men were the ones who wrote it?

    Don't give me that "because god told them to" BS. People a lot of times told me "God told me to do it." God told me to kill my son, God told me to kill this person, God told me to kill gays, etc. I cannot fathom why people stomach such garbage, and to just neatly fall in line like sheep.

    February 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • mrrp25

      Tradition.

      February 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Some dude in Atlanta

      Brad, it's not that you can't understand. You chose not to understand.
      Maybe if you took the time to read the bible for understanding, your questions might be answered.
      I think that it frustrates you that anyone with a 10th grade education can read and comprehend the Bible, but many college graduates have been brainwashed to believe to refute it without even reading it.

      The people who are led like sheep to slaughter are those that stubbornly refute Gods word without even taking tome to hear him out. I pity you or rather I pity the choice you have made.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  15. Leucadia Bob

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPEr6NO-aRQ&w=640&h=390]

    February 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  16. SHAIARRA

    BEATING SLAVE AS $MONEY
    ,Exodus 21:20-21, Exodus 21:26-27,Emancipation of Slaves: Slaves in ancient Israel were automatically emancipated after 6 years of slavery, but only if they were Jewish. However, if the slave owner "gave" the slave a wife, the owner could keep the wife and any children as his property,Deuteronomy 15:12-18, Exodus 21:7, Leviticus 25:44-46:,Leviticus 25:48-53, Exodus 21:8,Leviticus 19:20-22

    February 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  17. Zoe

    The bible, and all other religious texts, were written by humans trying to understand the unknown. I studied King James cover to cover for 8 years after leaving one specific christian religion in an effort to "figure out" my faith. I also read all of the other major religions texts. Then I read books by people academically examining different faiths. They are all pretty similar. Actually reading the entire bible is what lead me to the conclusion that God is unknowable and all religions are human inventions based on the same handed-down stories throughout the world to both comfort and control humanity. Many Christians have never even read the bible that they pin their beliefs and morals to so fervently. If you need an organized religion to get by in life, fine, but taking the words written in any of the "sacred" books as literal and absolute truths is kind of insane. Humans have modified their so-called divine manuscripts to suit their needs from the beginning. Why do you think there are so many contradictions in the bible itself? If we can ever get past that some people are fine living faith-based lives, and others are fine with out religion (and no, you don't need religion to avoid running around like Pol Pot, Stalin or Hitler... such moronic arguments, more blood has been shed in the name of religion least we forget), then maybe we can move on to more productive ways to coexist and solve the worlds other problems. We're NEVER going to agree on which faith is the "right" one, which god is the "right" one, or if there is a god at all. Continuing to argue about faith is just a waste of time.

    February 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Sugarmama,, NC

      YOU CAN STUDY DAY AND NIGHT AND EVEN HAVE A PH-D IN THEOLOGY BUT IF YOU DO NOT PRAY FOR THE UNDERSTANDING THEN YOU WILL NOT HAVE IT. THE BIBLE IS A SUPERNATURAL BOOK( IT IS ACTUALLY ALIVE) IT CAN NOT BE STUDIED LIKE A NORMAL OR REGULAR TEXT. SPIRITUAL THINGS NEED A SPIRITUAL APPROACH WHEN IT COMES TO THE BIBLE YOU MUST PRAY AND READ.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  18. The Central Scrutinizer

    Fun with Bible Inconsistencies!

    Genesis
    God creates light and separates light from darkness, and day from night,
    on the first day. Yet he didn't make the light producing objects (the
    sun and the stars) until the fourth day (1:14-19). 1:3-5

    God spends one-sixth of his entire creative effort (the second day)
    working on a solid firmament. This strange structure, which God calls
    heaven, is intended to separate the higher waters from the lower waters.
    This firmament, if it existed, would have been quite an obstacle to our
    space program. 1:6-8

    Plants are made on the third day before there was a sun to drive their
    photosynthetic processes (1:14-19). 1:11

    "He made the stars also." God spends a day making light (before making
    the stars) and separating light from darkness; then, at the end of a
    hard day's work, and almost as an afterthought, he makes the trillions
    of stars. 1:16

    "And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the
    earth." Really? Then why are only a tiny fraction of stars visible from
    earth? Under the best conditions, no more than five thousand stars are
    visible from earth with the unaided eye, yet there are hundreds of
    billions of stars in our galaxy and a hundred billion or so galaxies.
    Yet this verse says that God put the stars in the firmament "to give
    light" to the earth. 1:17

    God commands us to "be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth,
    and subdue it: and have dominion over ... every living thing that moveth
    upon the earth." This verse is used to justify Christian opposition to
    birth control, to concern for the environment, and to animal rights. The
    earth was made for humans, and they can do as they damn well please with
    it. 1:28

    All animals were originally herbivores. Tapeworms, vampire bats,
    mosquitoes, and barracudas - all were strict vegetarians, as they were
    created by God. But, of course, we now know that there were carnivorous
    animals millions of years before humans existed. 1:30

    February 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • well

      Only the lowest level intellects read Genesis as a science textbook, either in belief or as proof of their own disbelief.

      February 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Liberals Are Stupid

      Is there a question in there, or are you just babbling nonsense as a final sentiment. Millions of years ago? Hmmm. I guess it never occurred to you that God created an aged world. Things didn't just spring up and take millions of years to evolve like we would envision it. When God spoke things into existence, like the trees for example, they were aged trees that would have taken years to grow. Likewise, food sources were spoken into existence and ready to eat. Our ways aren't God's ways.

      February 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Liberals Are Stupid

      To well: According to you, I guess only lower level intellects would believe that Jesus rose from the dead and then walked amongst hundreds for 40 days? We cannot fathom God's miraculous ways and power. To discount things we can't fathom in our everyday lives is narrow-minded, indeed.

      February 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      LAS actually that is what he's saying. You mean to tell me only one person in 6 billion years has died and come back to life. Damn he's one lucky SOB

      February 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Nnox

      "Liberals are Stupid" is probably a Bible College student. Apparent age! Ta da! That clears everything up! Funny how how he/she never answers any of the "babbling nonsense" in Scrutinizer's post. Liberals are Stupid would likely tell us, with complete sincerity, that Great White Sharks and Boa Constrictors and Polar Bears were created in their present form and that they consumed vegetation before "The Fall." So umm...who's stupid?

      February 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Dance This Mess Around

      *** Liberals Are Stupid

      To discount things we can't fathom in our everyday lives is narrow-minded, indeed.

      Boy you have me confused.
      Your handle is "liberals are stupid"
      and you call liberals narrow minded ?
      Wow.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  19. Brian

    Religion is a mental illness that you can be cured of. Learn to use critical thinking and reason while reading all you can about the history of the earth and its people. The more you learn about the different mythologies of the earth and how similar many of them are you will come the the realization that what you once so strongly believed in wasn't even that original. Instead of thinking of some wild ideas like what you just learned was a test from god or stumbling block put there by the devil (as many religious people do when they start to learn), just get over it. Get over yourself. You just learned something valuable. I felt like I was freed from religion. I felt a weight lifted when I lost my religion. Instead of constantly wondering about why good or bad things happens or what you think god wants you to do with your life, just realize that sometimes bad things happen and sometimes you need to take control of your own life instead of being confused about the wishes of your imaginary friend. All that time you were wondering about what god wants, worrying about being wrong, or praying to your imaginary friend, you could have been spending solving problems and taking care of yourself and the people you care about.

    February 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      You are allowed to preach sure. If only they could see your wisdom.

      February 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • well

      So you are saying the commonality of all religions proves there is a factual source for them all? At first I thought you were some kind of atheist, saying that he had proof there is no God. That would be silly.

      February 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @well – there is more proof that there isn't god than there is evidence supporting it. FACT.

      February 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • wrong side of the bed

      Bottom line IMO..Christian=Really clean living,good person going to live forever in bliss...Atheist=Confused,bad person going to hell.If you grew up with this belief hammered into you week after week you would have NO chance to think freely.Sad but true!Any religious folks I've spoken to Just cannot listen to anything that could question their faith.Fingers in ears,Say LALALA.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  20. Samuel

    Reading the article of the writer that started this message board. I just thought few days ago about the never ending war in Syria or the world at large. Why the world are at war? Starting since the time of Adam and Eve. If only the people of the world respect each other you be a Muslim, Christian, Jews or any other belief, war will never end it will always go on and on, unless we change our ways in life, because the source of all this conflict. I think the problem is on our strong belief and devotion in the name of religion. Peace will only be achieve if we learn how to love one another respect each other. TO PRACTICE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JUSTICE IS MORE ACCEPTABLE IN THE LORD THAN SACRIFICE.

    February 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • John

      "Love one another". That is EXACTLY the message that Jesus preached.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.