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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. when my doG looks in the mirror he sees God

    The bible is incomplete. By the decision of man not all the writings of the history of Jesus are included in the bible. To fully understand this history all writings that can be found regarding the history of Jesus should be read. If this were done, we would have a totally different view of the bible's meaning, especially regarding the history of Jesus.

    November 19, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • FreeFromTheism

      it's time to move on anyway
      Secular philosophy provides better reason and basis than "god says.. or, do as I say" da da da

      November 19, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • Barbara Young

      If that is your state of being, then It would be best that you return to the animal world as a dog, as humans have a sentient Spirit within the biological body. In a lab. it has been proven there is about 20 years between death and your next life that your spirit is in symbiosis in a body, and unfortunately, is at the mercy of the stupidity of its consciousness that it must put up with in all future lives as integrated memory. The Spirit contains only material memory unless you enter the Divine Realm for an Objective conversation. And, obviously not for you. As at the beginning of this civilization there were no mortals, only Immortals who experienced a Living and Objective Contact. Good luck, perhaps you will come back as my poodle.

      November 19, 2012 at 2:14 am |
    • End Religion

      woo hoo hoo, lol, barbara I have got to see your source for this garbage... I can't type, I'm laughing so hard.

      November 19, 2012 at 3:22 am |
  2. Howard

    ,,,an adult commentary on people's simplistic view of the Bible. Well written.

    November 19, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Paul

      Agreed. A good message for the church today.

      November 19, 2012 at 4:32 am |
  3. Patrick (JC)

    Dear sister Evans
    I rejoice in your seeming devotion to the Word and your recounted attempts in search of the truth behind the Bible's teachings. There is an accent of genuineness in your text that appealed to my Spirit in compassion. So hoping that I'm not mistaken as I typically refrain from secular communication venues as such, I wanted to humbly offer a hint of light.
    Please reconsider that the Bible ("the inspired word of God" as you yourself know and write it) can never be cacophonic for that would suggest that our God is inconsistent or imperfect – leading us into blasphemy. Instead, may I suggest that you reach out to the Spirit of God which should be in you (if you are truly saved by Jesus' blood and born again as a new creation in Christ (John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17)) and understand that the Bible's separation of OT and NT should not be underestimated; mainly because Jesus in establishing the New Covenant of God with the world in the New Testament is essential for the quest that you are on or the doubts which your writing imply.
    So without being too wordy, I simply wish to submit to you that things like animal sacrifices, incest, polygamy, war and The Law which mark the Old Testament were all part of God's Plan to show us that 1) left to our own methods in this world which is under Satan's ruleship, we are constantly in sin with no exits 2) we cannot depart from sin or evil on our own 3) we needed a Savior who would provide a means/pathway for our reconciliation back to God (so HE made the ultimate sacrifice through Jesus for that purpose) (Gal 3:10-25) and 4) in order for us to move pass sin we must come to Christ by accepting Him as Lord and Savior and walking along His path (the New Covenant).
    Note that the OT is so much more than this to a Christian's life as it truly explains our story (humanity) and provides all the knowledge for us to understand ourselves, understand the nature of our God and what he wants from us (love, faith and obedience essentially). However, I believe that this can be a good foundation for the next step in your search (that is if indeed you still have the fire of the Spirit in you); because I am sure that you will quickly realize that there are no errors only tests of [our] faith. Therefore I pray Miss Evans that you will put down the pen, go back to your first love and let the Spirit of Jesus bless your heart with the answers you need. You do this by opening your heart in prayer for discernment BEFORE you open your Bible and take the time to meditate on your reading BEFORE you speak to your pastor or pick up a commentary or Bible study manual.

    We truly wish you a blessed walk forward in Christ!

    Patrick

    November 19, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • Oh boy

      Don't confuse that story book with the teachings of Christ, it's insulting...

      November 19, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • zilarspassionpalace

      Patrick, in short I am sympathetic to what you wrote to Ms. Evans. However, you did not mention anything related to her main point. Her main point seemed to be that regardless of our understanding of the differences between OT and NT, we all tend to over emphasize certain passages and under emphasize others. I suspect that had she focused solely on the NT, she would have shown similar challenges to the phrase "living biblically."

      As an ordained chaplain, I get a little confused by people's use of the word "biblical." Like Ms. Evans, I can usually come up with some Bible verse which points out a person's error in thought, which they normally just brush aside.

      Christopher

      November 19, 2012 at 2:29 am |
  4. Bob

    The danger of being biblical is that it exposes your disconnection from reality.

    There is no God. Deal with it. The world because a lot more understandable when you accept this fact.

    November 19, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • jkeller

      If I accepted your reality, I would suddenly be unable to express myself in words correctly. No thanks!

      November 19, 2012 at 2:37 am |
  5. Jackie Jac

    Jehovah's Witnesses *blood transfusion confusion*.
    In 2012 God's will and scripture has little to do with the Jehovah's Witnesses position on use of blood products.
    The JW leadership is foremost concerned what will play out in a secular court of law as to the parent Watchtower being held liable for wrongful deaths.
    Most Jehovah's Witnesses rushed to the ER with massive blood loss will cry NO BLOOD right up to their last breath,The shocker is they can now have most of the blood components that will pull them through,but they are so indoctrinated that blood is forbidden that they can't comprehend the loopholes.
    The Watchtower has drilled and grilled us that our stand on blood is NON NEGOTIABLE.
    The loopholes that allow blood usage is to save the Watchtower corporation money from blood death liability suits.
    The New York city based Watchtower sect is concerned foremost with liability lawsuits for wrongful death.They know that if they repeal the ban on *whole* blood transfusion,that it will open the door for legal examination of all the thousands who have died since 1945.
    -
    Danny Haszard

    November 19, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Atheist all day

      they do allow for your own blood to be used if you had it stored up somewhere lol.. and for synthetic blood.. just not donor blood..

      November 19, 2012 at 2:11 am |
  6. phazon2010@hotmail.com

    I like Jon but that view is so one sided how to God create Adam and Eve one man and one woman the bible clearly states this is why a man will leave his family but he will remain with his wife. God did not create Adam to have multiple wives this was something that man chose to do after the flood if you notice Noah had one wife and so did his sons all one wife each. Not many of Gods followers had more than one wife either if you remember Sara gave a concubine to Abraham because she couldn't have any children so therefor he only had one wife also. Jesus also plainly states that a man should have one wife.

    November 19, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Bob

      Which bible? There are many versions, and they are all compilations of various other texts.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:26 am |
  7. Patrick (JC)

    Dear sister Evans
    I rejoice in your seeming devotion to the Word and your recounted attempts in search of the truth behind the Bible's teachings. There is an accent of genuineness in your text that appealed to my Spirit in compassion. So hoping that I'm not mistaken as I typically refrain from secular communication venues as such, I wanted to humbly offer a hint of light.
    Please reconsider that the Bible ("the inspired word of God" as you yourself know and write it) can never be cacophonic for that would suggest that our God is inconsistent or imperfect – leading us into blasphemy. Instead, may I suggest that you reach out to the Spirit of God which should be in you (if you are truly saved by Jesus' blood and born again as a new creation in Christ (John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17)) and understand that the Bible's separation of OT and NT should not be underestimated; mainly because Jesus in establishing the New Covenant of God with the world in the New Testament is essential for the quest that you are on or the doubts which your writing imply.
    So without being too wordy, I simply wish to submit to you that things like animal sacrifices, incest, polygamy, war and The Law which mark the Old Testament were all part of God's Plan to show us that 1) left to our own methods in this world which is under Satan's ruleship, we are constantly in sin with no exits 2) we cannot depart from sin or evil on our own 3) we needed a Savior who would provide a means/pathway for our reconciliation back to God (so HE made the ultimate sacrifice through Jesus for that purpose) (Gal 3:10-25) and 4) in order for us to move pass sin we must come to Christ by accepting Him as Lord and Savior and walking along His path (the New Covenant).
    Note that the OT is so much more than this to a Christian's life as it truly explains our story (humanity) and provides all the knowledge for us to understand ourselves, understand the nature of our God and what he wants from us (love, faith and obedience essentially). However, I believe that this can be a good foundation for the next step in your search (that is if indeed you still have the fire of the Spirit in you); because I am sure that you will quickly realize that there are no errors only tests of [our] faith. Therefore I pray Miss Evans that you will put down the pen, go back to your first love and let the Spirit of Jesus bless your heart with the the answers you need. You do this by opening your heart in prayer for discernment BEFORE you open your Bible and take the time to meditate on your readi BEFORE you speak to your pastor or pick up a commentary or Bible study manual.

    We truly wish you a blessed walk forward in Christ!

    Patrick

    November 19, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • noodles doodles and toodles

      Ah yes. More unsolicited advice. Why do they HAVE to preach all the time ? How annoying.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • phazon2010@hotmail.com

      Interesting I hope you are part of the discreet slave class.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • Dick Izinya

      Could you elaborate further?

      November 19, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Observer

      Patrick,

      Since we have a New Covenant, why are so many Christians ignorant enough to pick on gays based on the Old Testament?

      November 19, 2012 at 1:30 am |
  8. Sidewinder

    After the Myans push the reset button next month, all of this will be a moot conversation.

    November 19, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • sam

      I kind of wish that would happen. It's crap nonsense, but, hey.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:21 am |
  9. phazon2010@hotmail.com

    I believe that God exists and the bible is his word because nothing else explains the state the world we live in today.

    November 19, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • sam

      Well...there are plenty of things that do explain it, actually. It's just that it's harder to face and deal with those things. Sorry.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • Athy

      Nothing else can explain it? You need to pull your head out of the sand.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • John

      Because there are so many wars and so much strife in the world you take this as a sign that your God is real? Doesn't sound like a nice guy to me.

      November 19, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  10. End Religion

    The answer to all the world's problems:
    John 1:52 – "Watch ye walking dead of AMC for the visions of goodness."

    November 19, 2012 at 1:04 am |
  11. Sam

    The writer must have missed a lot of sunday school classes while she grew up in the bible belt. Jesus and all his followers thought a man should marry only one woman and vise versa. Polygamy was never allowed in the bible, even in the Old Testament days. People practiced polygamy out of their own lustful desires. Read Mathew 19:4-9

    November 19, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • End Religion

      why do we have to keep posting this over and over again. The bible not only condoned it, god EXPECTS you to have multiple wives, abused wives, silent wives. Read the comments, its all been posted before. Why do non-believers know the bible better than you???

      November 19, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • sam

      Oh look....a one-trick pony. How special.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • the AnViL

      you are wonderfully incorrect, sam. congratulations - you are an exemplary xian! hooray you!

      November 19, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • noodles doodles and toodles

      Sammy wammy,
      Salomon had 300 wives, and 900 concubines. All the patriarchs has more than one wife.
      You obviously have never read your Babble.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Susanne Johnson

      Sam, it's entirely possible to show up at Sunday School every week, and still walk away misinformed-–which you are.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • USDude

      Sam – good post – keep fighting the good fight. I'm just out here sowing seeds – just seems to be that many of my seeds are falling on the hard path :-)

      November 19, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • John

      Jesus' followers left their wives to follow Jesus. Paul said that Christians really shouldn't get married if they weren't already. That's also what the New Testament says about marriage. So, tell me, why do Christians bother with marriage at all?

      November 19, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  12. dangeroustalk

    You aren't exactly making your case. A simpler way of life would be to reject the Bible as divine and stop trying to use it as a guide book for life. It clearly isn't. Sleep in on Sundays and get your moral guide from the ongoing study of philosophy and science. Think about it. Be rational!

    November 19, 2012 at 1:01 am |
  13. Leonid Brezhnev

    There is no god. The bible is just a collection of fairy tales to keep control over the sheeple. Get a life.

    November 19, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • John Q Public

      Typical comment coming from a communist

      November 19, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • Athy

      Actually, John Q, it's true. You'd realize it if you could think clearly.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:26 am |
  14. JL

    I really liked this piece, and it seems like there is the typical vitriol in the comment section that, as usual, fixates on details and doesnt embrace the last sentence of this opinion. The pick and choose issue i think sticks with what the interpretation for "inspired" biblical text. The transmission of God's word and how it happened is the big question, one that will never be conclusively determined.

    November 19, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  15. angryoldguy

    In a free society, you are allowed to believe anything you wish. You are allowed to believe in the existence or non-existence of whatever you like. The one thing you cannot do is pass laws that force others to believe what you believe to be the ultimate truth. The moment you do that, you no longer are living in a free society. The only laws worth creating or living under are those laws that respect your personal freedom or protect you from others who do not respect your freedom, your life or your property.

    November 19, 2012 at 12:42 am |
  16. johnh1625

    Alpha you r s_mart

    November 19, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  17. JM7

    If I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible that main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: 'Men had forgotten God; that is why all this has happened.' – Alexander Solzhenitsyn

    Now that I am a Christian I do not have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable. – C.S. Lewis

    If God does not exist, everything is permissible. – Fyodor Dostoevsky

    November 19, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • J2

      Corrected

      "Now that I am a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable."

      November 19, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Sue

      The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church.
      Ferdinand Magellan

      An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.
      John Buchan

      It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.
      Mark Twain

      The moment you shift the conversation to God ... you can pretend to know things you absolutely and obviously cannot know.
      Sam Harris

      A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows.
      Mark Twain

      November 19, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • End Religion

      One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.
      Black fish, blue fish, old fish, new fish.
      This one has a little star.
      This one has a little car.
      Say! What a lot of fish there are.

      November 19, 2012 at 12:49 am |
  18. chris

    lol you guys are all foolish virgins you never realized that Jesus's real message in the gospel of john was that the lord god of the OT was the devil pretending to be god and that the 2nd coming the churches have preached to you is not jesus coming back but the devil. watch verysoon11 on youtube for the bible verses and listen to in the air tonight by phil collins in it he reveals that the lord god was all a pack of lies its all in his song.

    November 19, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  19. J2

    If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

    November 19, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • PaulB

      Is there a point to all this?

      November 19, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Dippy

      Wow. Somebody found out how to copy and paste. Congratulations.

      November 19, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • USDude

      Yes – the point is that the WORD OF GOD IS ALIVE AND ACTIVE!

      November 19, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Sue

      USDude
      So are the words of Shakespeare, the Dali Lama, and Oprah. What's your point?

      November 19, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • allanhowls

      USDude
      So is yogurt. Words in a book written by 3,000-year-old shepherds are not alive.

      November 19, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • USDude

      Sue – Thanks for asking – My point is that Shakespeare, the Dali Lama, and Oprah can't save you – only Jesus Christ can save you. The Word of God is "life giving". Shakespeare, the Dali Lama, and Oprah may be brilliant writers or speakers; however, their words cannot change your life or save your life – only Jesus can. p.s. see my earlier post of the "Roman Road" – the most important road you will ever travel.

      November 19, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • End Religion

      Yes – the point is that the WORD OF SUESS IS ALIVE AND ACTIVE!

      November 19, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • USDude

      allanhowls – let's correct a few things – First, let's focus on the New Testament – a few years short of 2000 years old ;-) Next, Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament was a tent maker, not a shepard. OK – since we got that cleared up – let's get to the main point – the Word of God being alive. I challenge you to find the Bible on audio – it's available for free streaming at http://www.biblegateway.com. Just have it on in the background as you do your work on your pc/laptop – at first, you will feel agitated and not know why – it's the Word of God working. This might last for a few weeks. Then, begin to listen and hear the message – your life will be changed forever because there is LIFE in the Word of God. How simple is that?!?! Very simple – give it a try – it's zero effort and a life changing experiment. God's word will NOT return void.

      November 19, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • End Religion

      USDude, you realize what you're describing is a method of torture, right?

      November 19, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • USDude

      End religion – How so?

      November 19, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • End Religion

      http://www.themarknews.com/articles/music-as-a-weapon-of-war/#.UKnZf4Xxgy4
      It doesn't have to be music...

      November 19, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • End Religion

      USDude, what you're describing is a technique in psychological warfare to break people down and re-condition them. It's no surprise you find it useful for programming religious zombies.

      November 19, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • sam stone

      US Dude: You that claiming the Jesus can "save your life" don't make it so

      November 19, 2012 at 5:38 am |
    • Sue

      USDude
      "only Jesus Christ can save you."
      That's a matter of personal opinion. Plenty of people have been "saved" by things other than that.

      November 19, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  20. USDude

    This post is for someone out there who is wrestling with the existence of God – you are just not sure. Please follow this road of scriptures below – it will be the most important and life changing road you can ever take. If you don't have a bible, google the references in the order below – Jesus loves you this I know!
    Step 1 – Romans 3:10
    Step 2 – Romans 3:23
    Step 3 – Romans 5:8
    Step 4 – Romans 5:12
    Step 5 – Romans 6:23
    Step 6 – Romans 10:9-11
    Step 7 – Romans 10:13

    November 19, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • John

      And for those who do not believe in The Force
      Step 1 – Watch Star Wars IV
      Step 2 – Watch Star Wars V
      Step 3 – Watch Star Wars VI
      Step 4 – Watch Star Wars I
      Step 5 – Watch Star Wars II
      Step 6 – Watch Star Wars III
      Step 7 – Watch Star Wars, The Clone Wars

      November 19, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • noodles doodles and toodles

      Thanks for reminding us that the religion you practice is really Paulianity.

      November 19, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Athy

      But the 2000-year-old bible cannot be considered an authority.

      November 19, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • USDude

      Noodles – 1 Cor 12 states... One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas[b]”; still another, “I follow Christ.” For the record, I don't follow Paul – I follow Christ Jesus my Lord and Savior.

      November 19, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • Kling

      US Dude,

      This is fantastic, thank you.

      November 19, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • USDude

      John, Noodles, and Athy – obviously, this post was not intended for any of you – It seems as if you have all the answers. I pray that each of you finds the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Please save the list of scriptures for future reference – I hope one day each of you will realize how much God loves you :-)

      November 19, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • noodles doodles and toodles

      Well since Paul made up all his stuff, most of which Jesus never talked about, (dying for sins) etc...you are deluded.

      November 19, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • noodles doodles and toodles

      Why would one possibly need a "personal savior". Is that like a "personal shopper" ?
      The idea that an ancient pi.ss.ed-off deity required his son to die so he could be appeased is patently ridiculous.

      November 19, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • Jeff

      Noodles ... I think the reason God sent Jesus was not to be appeased but to illustrate how evil mankind is, and how much mankind needs his purity/righteousness/etc. It's a beautiful point, really: "What would my creation do to an innocent and harmless newcomer who just so happened to claim divinity?" Oh yeah ... brutally murder him, humiliate him, mock him. As an agnostic, I don't concur with this viewpoint, but I think that is the big-picture point made by the Bible. You simplified it unfairly.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • USDude

      Jeff – think you really missed the big point of the Bible... Jesus was brutally murdered, humiliated, and mocked in my place and your place – so we wouldn't have to undergo punishment for sin.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • nik2536

      USDude: Yes, your post was meant for John, Noodles and Andy. They will have no excuse and say they'd never heard of Him on Judment day. They will even remember you as the "USDude" Blessing my Brother.

      November 19, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • John

      USDude
      No, it seems that it's YOU who is claiming to have all the answers.

      November 19, 2012 at 10:06 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.