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My Take: The danger of calling behavior ‘biblical’
The author argues that there are many meanings of the adjective 'biblical.'
November 17th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: The danger of calling behavior ‘biblical’

Editor's Note: Rachel Held Evans is a popular blogger from Dayton, Tennessee, and author of “A Year of Biblical Womanhood.”

By Rachel Held Evans, Special to CNN

On "The Daily Show" recently, Jon Stewart grilled Mike Huckabee about a TV ad in which Huckabee urged voters to support “biblical values” at the voting box.

When Huckabee said that he supported the “biblical model of marriage,” Stewart shot back that “the biblical model of marriage is polygamy.”

And there’s a big problem, Stewart went on, with reducing “biblical values” to one or two social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, while ignoring issues such as poverty and immigration reform.

It may come as some surprise that as an evangelical Christian, I cheered Stewart on from my living room couch.

As someone who loves the Bible and believes it to be the inspired word of God, I hate seeing it reduced to an adjective like Huckabee did. I hate seeing my sacred text flattened out, edited down and used as a prop to support a select few political positions and platforms.

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And yet evangelicals have grown so accustomed to talking about the Bible this way that we hardly realize we’re doing it anymore. We talk about “biblical families,” “biblical marriage,” “biblical economics,” “biblical politics,” “biblical values,” “biblical stewardship,” “biblical voting,” “biblical manhood,” “biblical womanhood,” even “biblical dating” to create the impression that the Bible has just one thing to say on each of these topics - that it offers a single prescriptive formula for how people of faith ought to respond to them.

But the Bible is not a position paper. The Bible is an ancient collection of letters, laws, poetry, proverbs, histories, prophecies, philosophy and stories spanning multiple genres and assembled over thousands of years in cultures very different from our own.

When we turn the Bible into an adjective and stick it in front of another loaded word, we tend to ignore or downplay the parts of the Bible that don’t quite fit our preferences and presuppositions. In an attempt to simplify, we force the Bible’s cacophony of voices into a single tone and turn a complicated, beautiful, and diverse holy text into a list of bullet points we can put in a manifesto or creed. More often than not, we end up more committed to what we want the Bible to say than what it actually says.

Nowhere is this more evident than in conversations surrounding “biblical womanhood.”

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Growing up in the Bible Belt, I received a lot of mixed messages about the appropriate roles of women in the home, the church and society, each punctuated with the claim that this or that lifestyle represented true “biblical womanhood.”

In my faith community, popular women pastors such as Joyce Meyer were considered unbiblical for preaching from the pulpit in violation of the apostle Paul's restriction in 1 Timothy 2:12 ("I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent"), while Amish women were considered legalistic for covering their heads in compliance with his instructions in 1 Corinthians 11:5 ("Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head").

Pastors told wives to submit to their husbands as the apostle Peter instructed in 1 Peter 3:1, but rarely told them to avoid wearing nice jewelry as the apostle instructs them just one sentence later in 1 Peter 3:3. Despite the fact that being single was praised by both Jesus and Paul, I learned early on that marriage and motherhood were my highest callings, and that Proverbs 31 required I keep a home as tidy as June Cleaver's.

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This didn’t really trouble me until adulthood, when I found myself in a childless egalitarian marriage with a blossoming career and an interest in church leadership and biblical studies. As I wrestled with what it meant to be a woman of faith, I realized that, despite insistent claims that we don’t “pick and choose” from the Bible, any claim to a “biblical” lifestyle requires some serious selectivity.

After all, technically speaking, it is “biblical” for a woman to be sold by her father to pay off debt, “biblical” for a woman to be required to marry her rapist, “biblical” for her to be one of many wives.

So why are some Bible passages lifted out and declared “biblical,” while others are explained away or simply ignored? Does the Bible really present a single prescriptive lifestyle for all women?

These were the questions that inspired me to take a page from A.J. Jacobs, author of "The Year of Living Biblically", and try true biblical womanhood on for size—literally, no “picking and choosing."

This meant, among other things, growing out my hair, making my own clothes, covering my head whenever I prayed, abstaining from gossip, remaining silent in church (unless I was “prophesying,” of course), calling my husband "master,” even camping out in my front yard during my period to observe the Levitical purity laws that rendered me unclean.

During my yearlong experiment, I interviewed a variety of women practicing biblical womanhood in different ways — an Orthodox Jew, an Amish housewife, even a polygamist family - and I combed through every commentary I could find, reexamining the stories of biblical women such as Deborah, Ruth, Hagar, Tamar, Mary Magdalene, Priscilla and Junia.

My goal was to playfully challenge this idea that the Bible prescribes a single lifestyle for how to be a woman of faith, and in so doing, playfully challenge our overuse of the term “biblical.” I did this not out of disdain for Scripture, but out of love for it, out of respect for the fact that interpreting and applying the Bible is a messy, imperfect and - at times - frustrating process that requires humility and grace as we wrestle the text together.

The fact of the matter is, we all pick and choose. We’re all selective in our interpretation and application of the biblical text. The better question to ask one another is why we pick and choose the way that we do, why we emphasis some passages and not others. This, I believe, will elevate the conversation so that we’re using the Bible, not as a blunt weapon, but as a starting point for dialogue.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Rachel Held Evans.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (4,657 Responses)
  1. Common Sense

    "I hate seeing my sacred text flattened out, edited down and used as a prop to support a select few political positions and platforms."
    This is ALL you religious people do with your "sacred" book" !!! It's a collection of mythical characters and parables just like the religious books that came before it. It's still being re-written by the Professional Corporate Clergy machine.
    Isn't it time to grow up?

    November 18, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  2. M.E.

    Well, your first problem is relying on a book of 2000 year old nonsense to tell you how to live. Imagine people 2000 years in the future using Harry Potter books as the be-all-end-all of their lives. Sounds silly doesn't it. What's the difference?

    November 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Evangelical

      I don't recall the Harry Potter books being the Word of God.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Why, when you read the Bible, are you not left in awe? Why doesn't a book written by an omniscient being leave you with a sense of wonder and amazement? If you are reading a book written by the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving creator of the universe, wouldn't you expect to be stunned by the brilliance, the clarity and the wisdom of the author? Would you not expect each new page to intoxicate you with its incredible prose and its spectacular insight? Wouldn't you expect the author to tell us things that scientists have not been able to discover yet?

      Yet, when we open the Bible and actually read it, we find it is nothing like that at all. Instead of leaving us in awe, it leaves us dumbfounded by all of the nonsense and backwardness that it contains. If you read what the Bible actually says, you find that the Bible is ridiculous. The Bible is a book written thousands of years ago by primitive men. A book that advocates senseless murder, slavery and the oppression of women.

      Why would anyone want to adopt this horrible book as a basis for a religion and a lifestyle?

      November 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • tony

      The only difference is that the Harry Potter author is still alive and admits they are fiction.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  3. Bostontola

    Arboreal, so you agree that man came from a common ape ancestor?

    November 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  4. Surthurfurd

    The Bible has both Tribal Law and God's Law. Sadly far too many people are focused on all the many Tribal Laws, which conflit with each other. Stick with the 10 Commandments and the words of Jesus and you will find no conflict.

    November 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • tony

      So Israel follows the "do not kill" edict when it deliberately seeks out and bombs the civilian homes and wives and tiny children of elected Palestinian government officials.?

      November 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Oh good! I'm heading to Canada to get some slaves. Thanks!

      November 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      Israeli's are not following the Commandments. Just because they believe they are, does not make it so.
      Owning slaves from another tribe is Levidical law and that is tribal law not God's law.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Edweird69

      @surthurfurd – really? In the following parable, Jesus clearly approves of beating slaves even if they didn't know they were doing anything wrong.
      The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. "But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given." (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)

      November 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Got it! The parts of the bible you don't like are Tribal Law and the parts you do like are god's law.

      November 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  5. lionlylamb

    The "human psyche" is translucently arboreal. We see as in our sights' eyes yet we dream without eyesight. Daydreamers are the ones who ascribe our civilization to venture forth into and upon the issues for and of lividness toward living. Ray Bradbury was such a daydreamer and I will miss his perceptions of life. May his psyche go ever on until God gives him a place to live deeply within the microcosm of spatialness where all celestial life goes after death beckons them to return to their atomic roots. God Bless Mr Bradbury!-God's Oldest Dreamer

    November 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Edith Bunker

      Archie why are you making such silly posts?

      November 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Is God plausibly real? I shall not speak about biblical terminologies and do not need to be reminded about manuscripted religious flaws. God is to me, beyond any mere human mortals' book-knowledge and God is found far away from "digitalized algebraic numeralities"! God creatively evolved us out of and from the very first single-celled creation thru His doing and slowly thru time did creatively evolve us into being what we now today are, which are human beings.

      Is not this one Cosmos of which our universe is held in going thru its' own evolution of pre-determinations, yet viewed by most of us as randomized motions? That said then, could there honestly be a Creator of any and all Cosmological quagmires wherein;- a singular Cosmos is made up of many innumerable clusters of universes being randomly set in semi-intellectual motions each according to their own universally calculative vibrations?

      November 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Are you related to that "hinduism" freak? Your writing seems to be.

      November 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  6. scott

    the problem is that ppl read the bible thats been translated,if you realy want to know what was said youll need to study hebrew...every letter has a meaning....every word isnt a perfect fit for english,,theres nuances and cultural differences that youll find,,,its a whole new thing to go back and look at the bible through hebrew eyes,,,they arent required to look like us ,,,were supposed to look more like them,,,yashua was a jew,,,,all the apostles were jews,yashua was sent to the lost sheep of the house of israel,not the gentiles,paul took it to the gentiles,and he never stopped being and living as a jew,the laws are very viable today,but they dont give salvation,thats what yashua did....

    November 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      no thanks, Scott.. I'll stick with doing more productive things.
      If you really want to understand reality, let go of fairy tales.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Great! Even more sources of interpretation.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  7. Beth Blair

    The Old Testament was under law. Jesus Christ brought a new covenant of Grace. Therefore, the OT is still instructive and prophetic, but the New Testament is where one goes for doctrine and principles to follow now that we are under grace.

    November 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • tony

      Which one of the thousands of different evangelical US churches is the one under grace?

      November 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Get Real

      How evil a monster your mythical "God" is. Thank god God is imaginary, for the story of God is a story of a cruel mass murderer. Just think of how many innocent children he killed in the flood alone.

      If god is all powerful and all knowing and perfectly good, he would not bring people into the world knowing that they would go to hell and be tortured forever- a perfectly good being would never do such a thing.

      If god is all powerful and all knowing and perfectly EVIL, then god would create people knowing in advance they were going to burn in hell forever. Therefore God is pure EVIL, so fortunatley he imaginary too. For proof God Is Imaginary go to http://godisimaginary.com

      November 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Bostontola

      I'm afraid you are a bit out of date. The Mormons have even newer revelations. You should get the upgrade ASAP, no charge.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • GAW

      @ Tony What? Don't you like diversity. Do you expect complete uniformity? This is a free market system which applies to religion as well. Plus most Evangelicals have common ground.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Except that your very own Jesus said that all his daddies sick twisted rules and laws would remain in play until heaven and earth pass away. Is the earth still here? You nutters better get busy killing all the folks your god demands you kill.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Get Real

      Standard Christian hypocrisy- pick and choose- or ignore- selected verses from both the OT or NT whatever suits.

      The NT is totally whack and it portrays Jesus's as the jerk he is. Did not the jerk say he came to turn brother against brother? Only a jerk would do that.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  8. kendrick1

    “Everything that has been done for the aged, the sick, the weak in body and in mind, the
    animal, the child, the woman has been done under the inspiration of Christianity.”
    William Barclay

    November 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Get Real

      What a delusional lie

      November 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • tony

      Especially just last week, the catholic hospitals leaving than nice Irish lady to die, because she was pregnant

      November 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Observer

      kendrick1,

      Total nonsense. Get real.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  9. HONESTLY!

    In 1530, Nicolas Copernicus completed and bestowed to humanity the De Revolutionibus. Basically asserting that planet earth rotated once a day on its axis and traveled around the sun once a year – Gasp! A far out wacky concept for the times, and the Church no Likey Likey! Thus, he lived in exhile and kept all work and theories thereof to himself. (Was the earth still flat then?)

    November 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  10. edmundburkeson

    This is a better approach than the Stephen Prothero approach. Stephen cannot decide what "Biblical" means until he surveys the culture. Rachel at least recognizes that the "biblical" approach starts with axioms of the Bible. Culture cannot be ignored but it certainly cannot be used to dictate what "biblical" means. The experience of the Jewish people in the Bible is an example of choosing between syncretism – conformity to culture, and conformity to faith in Yahweh. Is the life of faith dangerous? You betcha! Consequences to conforming to culture? Without a doubt! This is the battle of the ages for those of faith. It is part of America's animated contest of faith, freedom, free speech vs enslavement to the government and silence – exclusion of faith speech from the public arena. Women have to decide this same issue. Is government the answer for them to find their voice, and fairness? One passage of the Bible has done more for women than all governments put together "In Christ there is neither male nor female." That single statement is the axiom for empowering women to stand in contrast to customs in the Bible and right here in our own culture. That is the power that comes through faith not government, not culture.

    November 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • tony

      "In Christ there is neither male nor female." Or anything else.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  11. DPEDERSEN

    I WILL BET THE FUTURE OF OUR NATION ON THE FAMILY UNIT AND CHOICES FOR LIFE VERSUS CHOICES OF PERVERSION. EVEN YOUR POLLS TELL US THAT 83% DISAPPROVE OF THE DIRECTION OF THE COUNTRY. THE PROBLEM ID THAT THE UNEDUCATED ELECTORATE IS BLIND AS TO WHY.I WILL PUT MY MONEY ON JESUS VS. JOHN STUART ANY DAY.I WILL PRAY FOR YOU!

    November 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • tony

      And I a lot more than the "43%" will bet the other way.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      actually, I don't see why anyone should even care why it is that you bet on Jesus instead of Jon Stewart...

      November 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Ray

      All those caps really got your point across. Believe what you will. Just allow me the same right.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Mayson

      Recent polls also say that caps lock is annoying.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  12. lionlylamb

    What I spiritually believe in is that the Families of God including God Himself lives upon the very first created Cosmos which is the inner Cosmos. Our being but upon this celestial cosmos is due our being cast out of the Inner Cosmos for many reasons. Some were cast out of this Inner Cosmos for faultering and some for continuing to do the Lord's Will here upon this celestial realm of gigantic life forms whereupon their insides are living many families of God's members. We live upon this realm doing what we want while many of us unify ourselves in the communal. My way is not your way and yet when we cross paths we receive each other and walk on.Therefore, walk placidly amid the noise and waste ever being mindful of the peace one finds in finding peace there about.

    1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.
    Every 'generation' from the beginning of mankind onwards was built a church for God and of the building of God's churches, the body of a solitary man is to be found being the generationed churches of God within each geneerationed Time and will forever so be until the very end of the unpassable Age of sound reasonings.

    The absoluteness of the Holy Sea of Godly Nothingness cannot be denied by profuse regularisms hellbent upon wantings of denying the beneficiaries their reasoned convictions to join this Sea of Nothingness, the Holy Spirit of God. Those who yet wish to find wisdom upon material needs related to wanton materialistic ventures will so have their wishes granted. Either ways, God will be the controller of all things material and materially-found-out gainings. For God so loved this world He saw fit to send His first born of the 'elementals',(Being God's Sons) to give hope where little hopefulness was found.

    November 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • tony

      Or as in "harry potter", just point and yell "~ridickerous"!

      November 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      I think I sort of understood some things that you wrote, but it seemed mostly like nonsense..
      Please, don't worry about explaining anything, it's ok.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  13. Bill Richardson

    Augustin is credited for saying, "Learn to distinguish the ages and the Bible becomes clear. I find it very interesting that Rachel Evans claims that she, "Loves the Bible," but she does not seem to realize that polygamy, marrying your rapist, etc. comes from the Old Testament Law. Christ FULFILLED the law and we, in this Age of Grace, are not under it's strict rules. Paul was sent by God as the apostle to the gentiles. It is in his teaching that we find the model for christian living. All of the Bible is FOR us, but not all of the Bible is TO us. Augustin knew this sixteen hundred years ago.

    November 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Jon

      That's called "picking and choosing." Everyone is quick to abandon the thousands of horrible things in the Old Testament, giving the same reason you did, but you wouldn't think of abandoning the 10 Commandments, Moses, The Genesis story, etc. Why is that ok? Also what about the bad stuff (there's more than what she mentioned) in the New Testament? Why even include the horrible stuff (or the OT all together) if it's irrelevant now because of Christ's fulfillment? As a kid who went to church every day I can't tell you the number of times the daily readings said something really strange and perverse; why even keep it around?

      It's picking and choosing, plain and sample. BTW there's nothing wrong with that, it's the smartest way to live by choosing what works for you in your time and place....unless you're an atheist making their own choices, apparently, then suddenly it's "amoral and devoid of the ONE truth" religion offers. H y p o c r i s y ...

      November 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • All Thumbs

      Evangelical Rule of Thumb:

      If a Bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally.

      If a Bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical or metaphorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is an ancient cultural anomaly; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; is a mystery of god or not discernible by humans; or is just plain magic.

      November 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  14. Galaxy Prime

    Religion was created by the aristocracy to control the people that they ruled. The bible is nothing but a sales manual for the catholic church – there is absolutely nothing in it that can be substantiated. It's always amusing to me how people read the bible and then interpret it to give credence to their own personal agendas and prejudicial beliefs. Most of the people who believe in god are a bunch of lying hypocrites – if you disagree with that, then you're one of them.

    November 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • BOB

      Finally someone with a brain that thinks!

      November 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • kendrick1

      What is the basis for your personal determination of right and wrong?

      “Everything that has been done for the aged, the sick, the weak in body and in mind, the
      animal, the child, the woman has been done under the inspiration of Christianity.”
      William Barclay

      November 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Professor

      You are an idiot. Nothing in the Bible can be substantiated. How about the most accurate ancient text that has never been proven wrong by any archeological finding. Most who believe in God are lying SOB's? Maybe- but how are they different than any other person? Yes people read selectively and this article was an intelligent rebuff.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  15. Get Real

    So many gods to choose from. Choose unwisely and you will burn in hell forever! Bra ha ha ha

    There are literally thousands of religions being practiced today. Here are 20 of the most popular, along with an estimate of the number of followers:

    Christianity: 2.1 billion
    Islam: 1.3 billion
    Hinduism: 900 million
    Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
    Buddhism: 376 million
    African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
    Sikhism: 23 million
    Juche: 19 million
    Spiritism: 15 million
    Judaism: 14 million
    Baha'i: 7 million
    Jainism: 4.2 million
    Shinto: 4 million
    Cao Dai: 4 million
    Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
    Tenrikyo: 2 million
    Neo-Paganism: 1 million
    Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
    Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
    Scientology: 500 thousand
    [Source: Encyclopedia Britannica]
    If you believe in God, you have chosen to reject Allah, Vishnu, Budda, Waheguru and all of the thousands of other gods that other people worship today. It is quite likely that you rejected these other gods without ever looking into their religions or reading their books. You simply absorbed the dominant faith in your home or in the society you grew up in.

    In the same way, the followers of all these other religions have chosen to reject God. You think their gods are imaginary, and they think your God is imaginary.

    In other words, each religious person on earth today arbitrarily rejects thousands of gods as imaginary, many of which he/she has never even heard of, and arbitrarily chooses to "believe" in one of them.

    The following quote from Stephen F. Roberts sums up the situation very nicely:

    "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

    November 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Darrell

      ---------–
      The following quote from Stephen F. Roberts sums up the situation very nicely:

      "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
      ---------–

      Right on!

      November 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
  16. js1689

    God doesn't exist so don't worry about it.

    November 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  17. Apple Bush

    The Christians are dropping like flies today.

    November 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      well, considering that most of 'em don't agree with their interpretation of the bible, it is understandable that they can't argue about an objective understanding of it
      hey... I get it, this is a very difficult topic. I mean, we're not talking about Harry Potter or the Da Vinci Code here, this is the bible, man. Nobody can make sense of it.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  18. billmosby

    My favorite bible saying:

    "I will be your dog and you will be my people."

    November 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • brian

      My favorite is the part that allows slavery

      However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

      November 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • BOB

      Brian are you sure this isn't the GOP motto?

      November 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  19. Bostontola

    I don't care what anyone believes. Many religious people are equally tolerant of others' beliefs. Unfortunately, too many believers want to impress their beliefs on others and are willing to kill/die to do so. This article shows that there is no quality control for beliefs, so why kill for it?

    November 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  20. Rev. Dr. Ken Winter

    Great observations, and fun "experiment in Biblical womanhood"! All that is missing is "listening to God now as I read", for the BIble itself is not the Word of God. The BIble, when interpreted by the Holy Spirit (and all our best efforts to hear the texts as the original hearers would have understood them), is the Word of God. Blessings to all!

    November 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      What is the "holy spirit"? Is it an enti.ty or is a concept?

      November 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • TyronePalmer

      Actually the scriptures that are contained in the bible are the written words or testimony of God. Jesus is the Living Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14)

      The Holy Spirit is one of the three manifestations of the One True God. The Spirit of God is sent by Jesus to indwell the hearts of those who believe in Him and have been born from above. He is the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Truth, the Wonderful Counselor, the Power of God, the Convictor of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and the Helper of those who follow and obey the teachings of Jesus Christ.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      ok, whatever TyronePalmer. I guess your 'one true god' can't just make himself an empirically testable enti.ty or told us about viruses or other cool stuff back in the day.
      It's funny when people say 'if you want to know god, let him in' or some other bs. Basically what they're saying is, if you haven't deluded yourself enough, you can't be crazy like us.
      I can live with that.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
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