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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. Robert Monroe Turner

    sk, God sent Jesus & Mohammed as prophets??? Acording to the islamic writings on the dome of the rock "Praise be God who has not taken unto himself a son and who has no partner in sovereignty nor has He any protector on account of weakness." This is not in accordance with the teachings of Yeshua aka Jesus.

    Yeshua proclaimed himself as "the Light of the World" "the Good Shepard"

    Mohammed is a liar and a thief and slanders Yeshua. If Yeshua is a prophet of God then believe his words!

    February 27, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Anon

      Both are a complete farce.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • diabetichokie

      Really?? These are quotes from a book....that a human wrote.....to make you think something is true that really isn't.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  2. diabetichokie

    We are taught from birth what our parents want us to believe, one of those things being religion. All religions are fabrications of someone's mind from back in the day and are probably the greatest example of a business model. Here's an idea: Let's tell people how the world was created, how to act, and where they will end up if they disobey. And then let's ask them to donate money (which is tax deductible) to help the organization. In the mean time, we can forgive them of their sins if they make mistakes (regardless of the mistake....fibbing or murder) and everything is hunky dorry.

    It amazes me how much of our life it based on the burden of proof and physical evidence. But when it comes to a belief structure, it's ok that we don't need proof b/c we have faith. Religious books are great collections of stories on how to live life and should be told as such. It's when we take that to the next level, we start to see the hypocracy of all religions.

    Needless to say, stop lying to your kids and let them make their own decisions. Stop planting these biased one sided views in their heads.

    Former Catholic, now Agnostic.
    Diabetichokie

    February 27, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Eric

      But you show that you don't underestand the nuts and bolts of being a Christian. No person can forgive someone else's misdeeds. So I can't run around breaking laws, being profane, and satisfying all of my lusts, yet still claim to be a Christian. It just doesn't work that way.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  3. In His Service

    I am thankful for the insight you have shared and would like to add a comment of my own. I think it is imperative that people understand that God is looking for a relationship, that He sent Jesus to die in our place on a cross, and that the sins of the whole world (from the beginning to the end of time) were heaped on Him so that the world is completely forgiven. Can you imagine? The sins of the whole world have been forgiven! I believe people act the way they do because they don't know they've been forgiven. They are stuck in sinful lifestyles because they are under condemnation. This is a brutal trick of the enemy to keep people in bondage. People only need to receive Jesus' acts of obedience, even unto death on a cross, to be made Righteous in God's eyes. Religions say you must do this or do that! The way my Bible reads, it has been done, done, done! We (people) are not made righteous by our own obedience, or by works of our own wills. We are in right standing with God because Jesus lived a perfect life! This simple fact releases us from the pressure of performance and allows us to live a life of thanks and praise to the one who is altogether lovely! Life is a gift of God's Grace and is to be full of joy and happiness when released from the pressures of this world by trusting in His love for us... not in our love for Him (which fails from time to time)!

    February 27, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • diabetichokie

      How do you know God is a male?

      February 27, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • think for yourself

      You would think that a god who was looking for a relationship would leave some evidence of "his" existence. An ancient book written by people is not evidence of anything.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Joe T.

      Because it sounds better to say "him" than it does to say "Him/her" or "It". Good enough of an answer for you?

      February 27, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • diabetichokie

      Nope. Because the person who made all these fables up was probably a male and wanted to keep it that way, i.e. God is a dude.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Samwise

      "People only need to receive Jesus' acts of obedience, even unto death on a cross, to be made Righteous in God's eyes." Prisons are full of people who fit that description, and yet they've murdered and boogered little children. Some of them used to be called "Reverend" or "Father." Nice try, but christianity doesn't make you a good person.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • In His Service

      The Bible says that if you've been angry with someone you are guilty of murder. Or, if you've looked at someone with lust in your heart... you're already guilty of adultry. This means that the most perfect people we know are as guilty as the people who actually did these acts of atrocity. It means that no one is made perfect by their own efforts, that forgiveness of sin is a gift; not to be earned, lest any man should boast. Those people in prison can be right with God just as easily as you or I can. However, on this earth, there is a price to pay for mistakes. The next time you have a glass of wine with dinner and decide to finish the bottle before driving home, could earn you a DUI. Could be why the Bible also says to obey the laws of the land... just saying.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  4. nunya

    test

    February 27, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  5. Anon

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxEJHO8KIXY&w=640&h=390]

    February 27, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • sumday

      am I suppose to take santa clause seriously?

      February 27, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  6. taahpe

    I don't believe the author is saying he lives a miserable religious life or that he wants the dark ages to come again. Although I was also amused at the claim for what God wants. The message I got was to lighten up about spirituality and stop smoothing out the bumps of the bible. If the bible was written to be rough and provocative to your morals, why edit it out? God never said life was meant to be easy.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Anon

      Life would be more easier if religious folks didn't make it hard.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Horus

      How do you know what God said? and which God said it? And to whom did this God say something?

      February 27, 2012 at 11:16 am |
      • taahpe

        Dude, I am an athiest. I am going from what is written in the bible. It is my understanding that God said lots of things to those who wrote it.

        February 27, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  7. Loren

    Excellent article. The author is correct that the Bible should not be changed to sugarcoat reality, otherwise it leads to false expectations of our relationship with God.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Samwise

      "false expectations of our relationship with God." I believe in a God who says I can do anything I want and there will be a verse to back me up.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  8. Bob Thomas

    It is hard for people to get their minds around the idea of justice and grace actively, harmoniously co-existing in one eternal being. Throw into that mix the idea of personal freedom and responsibility on the human side and things get pretty dicy in a hurry. When people read scripture with a bitter, critical spirit they usually find exactly what they seek....likewise those who read as believers or even honest investigators need to think deeply about the text and work hard to wrestle with the tough questions. With out arrogance or shame, I believe in Jesus Christ...and the Bible.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Anon

      You're basically saying, I'm ignorant about reality and I don't care.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Think Instead

      "honest investigators" – that's pretty funny.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Samwise

      "hose who read as believers or even honest investigators need to think deeply about the text and work hard to wrestle with the tough questions" like why 'honest investigators' who don't decide it's all true are treated like invading enemies. I guess it's that love and peace in your heart that makes you all so bitter and snarly.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  9. no nothing

    Oh great here comes all the bible nuts

    February 27, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • A Theist

      Yes, you know nothing...about God.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  10. In My Opinon

    That is the problem with society today. We try to change the Bible to fit our lifestyles instead of changing our lifestyles to fit the Bible. The Bible teaches of love, patience, obedience and that the only way to Heaven is by the son of the living God. All of those who do not accept Christ as their personal savior will spend eternity in a burning hell. For those who believe it to be untrue and outdated I feel sorry for the day you face reality and find yourselves lifting up your eyes in hell.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • think for yourself

      What is the difference between

      "All of those who do not accept Christ as their personal savior will spend eternity in a burning hell"

      and

      "You better be good or else Santa won't bring you any presents this year!"

      February 27, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Samwise

      "I feel sorry for the day you face reality and find yourselves lifting up your eyes in hell." I think that you look forward with sadistic glee to watching your god burn your friends and enemies over a fire. As long as it's not you, right?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  11. Anon

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28PjVaW4kKI&w=640&h=390]

    February 27, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  12. Sue Hutson

    You are assuming that god is a real living being.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Sally

      And you are assuming that He's not!! If we are wrong, we have nothing to lose, but if we are right you have everything to lose! Think about that!

      February 27, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Anon

      Pascal's Wager is utterly retarded.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Dave

      Sally,

      But what if you're worshipping the wrong god? Or in the wrong way? The bet you're making is something called "Pascal's Wager".

      February 27, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • sumday

      yes and your point is? You on the other hand are assuming that there is no other intelligent life in this universe capable of creating life. Which is more likely- no life in this universe capable enough of creating humans, or other intelligent life out there far smarter than a 3.5 human brain? Do we not experiment right now with tweaking existing life, and do we not fantasize about terra-forming other planets? Yet you want us to believe that no other living being in this universe is capable of thinking or doing that- nope humans are the only one (who sounds simple minded now?)

      February 27, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Eric

      Sumday, you are simple minded to assume that there must be other inteliigent life in our universe. What evidence exists to date to support such an assumption? UFO sightings? Carl Sagan's show? Stick to the available data and the logical conclusion is that we simply do not know if there is any other intellligent life on other planets. Do not give in to the temptation to extend science fiction into the realm of real science.

      I hold in my possession more evidence to support God exisiting than for life existing on other planets.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • JT

      Sally,, your bet was misplaced. Turns out the Jews are correct and you've been duped by a false messiah. Enjoy hell.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • alcoholiday

      Yeah Sally, that's what faith is all about – I'd better believe this incase I'm wrong. Wake up.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • MarcTTF

      @Eric

      "I hold in my possession more evidence to support God exisiting than for life existing on other planets."

      Would you care to share that with us? I'd love to know to hear about it.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Samwise

      "Pascal's Wager is utterly retarded."
      I love how these dropouts invent it themselves and are so righteous. So, why don't they all believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster? If He is not real, what have they lost? If He is real, then they get to go to Pastafarian Heaven! If not, then there's no god anyway, right?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Anon

      The Flying Spaghetti Monster and Pastafarianism are just satire.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  13. Robert Monroe Turner

    Mr. James, regarding "Philippians 3:8" Paul did not write that his righteous deeds were a "pile of crap" he wrote that he lost all to follow Yeshua, he gave up his previous life but in comparison to knowing the Messiah what he left behind is"a pile of crap".

    February 27, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  14. sk

    Every time humanity deviated from the right path, God sent down His of prophets (Noah, Ibrahim, Mosses Jesus and Mohammed were among thousands) who carried this single message to the whole humanity (And they all had the highest moral standards). That is the message of Islam.

    God speaks to the whole humanity through His book Quran..

    “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    “…anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people....." Qur'an [5:32]

    Most exalted is the One in whose hands is all kingship, and He is Omnipotent.The One who created death and life for the purpose of distinguishing those among you who would do better. Quran [67.2]

    Subsequent to them, we sent Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the previous scripture, the Torah. We gave him the Gospel, containing guidance and light, and confirming the previous scriptures, the Torah, and augmenting its guidance and light, and to enlighten the righteous. Quran [5:46]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.

    O people of the scripture, do not transgress the limits of your religion, and do not say about GOD except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was a messenger of GOD, and His word that He had sent to Mary, and a revelation from Him. Therefore, you shall believe in GOD and His messengers. You shall not say, "Trinity." You shall refrain from this for your own good. GOD is only one god. Be He glorified; He is much too glorious to have a son. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. GOD suffices as Lord and Master. Quran [4:171]

    (Jesus) As a messenger to the Children of Israel: "I come to you with a sign from your Lord – I create for you from clay the shape of a bird, then I blow into it, and it becomes a live bird by God's leave. I restore vision to the blind, heal the leprous, and I revive the dead by God's leave. I can tell you what you eat, and what you store in your homes. This should be a proof for you, if you are believers. [3:49]

    February 27, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • think for yourself

      Your ancient book doesn't fit in with reality any more than the babble does.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • no nothing

      Keep it to yourself

      February 27, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Tom

      Jesus was not a prophet.Stop blaspheming against the Lord.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • John

      The koran has some good in it, mainly stolen from the bible and the torah, but all in all it's a mess.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Anon

      You can polish a turd to make it pretty, but it still stinks.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Samwise

      "I restore vision to the blind, heal the leprous, and I revive the dead by God's leave." I missed it. Can you do it again where we can all see it? Didn't think so. Bye.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  15. JC

    Christ is the man, there are three that bear witnesses in Heaven, the Father, the Word and Spirit-John 5:7. Before Christ to the earth, He was the Word of God. 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made, 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.

    Christ the Word of God in the flesh,

    Everybody else that claims to be a prophet is nothing, just human. Jesus Christ was God and the only one that can Judge man according to His Holiness!

    February 27, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • no nothing

      that's what you think

      February 27, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • MarcTTF

      @JC

      And you know this because the bible tells you so?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  16. Nik BaDee

    One of my biggest pet peeves is the cutesy-fying and marketing of the story of Noah and the ark–to the point I don't let my one-year-old daughter play with ark-themed toys/books/etc. The story is much too tragic and disturbing.

    Check out my ark rant at http://tarnishedblog.com/2011/09/20/arky/.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Horus

      You do realize it's just made up, right?

      February 27, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Cindy

      The story of Noah offers hope though. The rainbow is God's covenant with the people that He will never again destroy theworld by the flood like He did. The young kid stories are a great way for kids to learn the basics and when they get older, they will understand more. As a Sunday School teacher it's a great way for kids to learn and you'd be amazed at how smart todays kids are.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Horus

      Cindy, the story of Noah provides insight into man's creation of God. A loving God would not destroy innocent creations to punish a few (what did the animals do to deserve to die?) Also, if God is so bright, why does he/she/it need a rainbow to remind them not to murder their creation (again). But wait, what about the Sumerian tablets which depict a creation myth and similar storyline, that are dated several thousand years earliar? Ans: because it was borrowed from the Sumerians; just like most of the content in the Bible was borrowed.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Mom of 4

      Teaching my children those myths and legends hastened my departure from belief. I just couldn't lie to them, and myself, anymore. I don't know how anyone can say that stuff out loud to kids and not feel strange.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • SeilnoigileR

      I love the whole 'rainbow' bit. As though the laws of physics regarding light changed somehow after the purported flood. Had there really been no rainbows before this? Not only did the entire planet flood (when there's not even enought water to pull that off), but then the very nature of light changed afterwards. One more ludicrous story. Not to mention Noah's daughters getting him drunk to sleep with him and then the curse on Noah's son who just happened to see him naked after the fact. It's a delightful tale.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • MarcTTF

      @Mom of 4

      We need more moms (and dads) like you.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  17. Mscaleb

    This is one of the best of any of the articles that's been seen in this religious section of cnn.com. The Bible is what it is – a collection of true stories, parables, songs, and so much more, that was divinely inspired to be relevant at any point in history or in the future for all peoples. It is the revelation of God to man and the way of restoration of man to God. I commend CNN for publishing the article. I suggest that folks read the Bible for yourself with a mind open to finding the truth. I believe that truth lies in God and His speaking to you, but it is up to you as to whether or not you accept that or not. Good reading!

    February 27, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Cindy

      Well put and definately agree.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • TheNewWyatt

      What makes you think the bible is "the truth". Not knocking it, but just wondering?

      February 27, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • SeilnoigileR

      The bible is filled with so much violence, incest, genocide and other wonderful things, that most christians today would want it banned, were it written today. Ironic, no?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • MarcTTF

      You lsot me at "a collection of true stories"

      February 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  18. Horus

    It amazes me how many people "know" what "God" wants. Take the author for example: "God is much more interested in honesty than pietism"....ok....how do you know what a "God" is interested in? Hint: Because men created Gods to reflect themsleves, or how they see themselves, or the perfect version of themselves. As soon as someone starts telling me about what their God does or doesn't think, do, etc.... or what I need to be doing to make this particular God happy I ask the same question, "how do you know?". Apparently some folks are just seem (to think) they know.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Cindy

      And some people have no clue. The more you read the Bible the more you know what God wants. It's there in black and white.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Horus

      Cindy, I grew up force fed Christianity. I've read more scripture then I care to admit. You assume that the content of the bible was divinely inspired, and therefore conveys what your version of God wants. I believe (based on evidence) that the content of the bible is born of human conjecture. Using a reference to support itself is called circular logic, and not a legit argument.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • MarcTTF

      @Cindy

      "It's there in black and white."

      With so many different interpretations of the bible, I'd say it's more gray, than black and white.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  19. pastmorm

    It's frightening that christians want to go back to the days of Exodus and Leviticus where they could randomly stone and kill someone for the smallest reason. It's also frightening that the author of this article is promoting the dark ages yet again.
    Moves like this will lead to the extinction of chrstianity. In our modern world today, nobody wants extremes and nobody is going to subscribe to this kind of hatred anymore. If they do want this type of nasty, evil hatred, then all they psycho's (like the author) will have a great club to join. Good luck with that.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Cindy

      Laws like that are not what the NT says. A lot of the OT is history. The NT tells a person how God wants them to live. I fyou say things like that you need to study what things really are and mean before you speak.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Eric

      I am glad that you have actually read those sections of the Bible! Not! Nothing was random about it. Besides, you have completely missed what the author was pointing out: the Old Testament was given to us as a textbook of how not to act, how not to treat others, of how to approach God, and of what to expect God's reactions to be when we sin. If you choose to live your life according to everything that Jesus said in the New Testament, and do it exactly as He said to, then you will discover that it is accurate and true. But it means that your life will change. And people are scared to death of changing themselves.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • MarcTTF

      @Eric

      Are you saying that we're supposed to ignore the OT?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  20. demosthenes

    Wow, this poor guy must live a miserable religious life is that's what he gets out of the Bible.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Nik BaDee

      I think anyone who lives a "religious" life is miserable. It's not about the rules; it's about communion with God.

      "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. " 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

      February 27, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • David O. McCall

      I think you missed his whole point! Try reading it again . . .

      February 27, 2012 at 11:07 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.