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My take: Why Christians are criticizing my Christian marriage and sex book
January 24th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

My take: Why Christians are criticizing my Christian marriage and sex book

Editor’s note: Mark Driscoll is founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington.

By Mark Driscoll, Special to CNN

You try to write a book on marriage and sex with your wife and next thing you know there are a lot of ants crashing your picnic.

My wife, Grace, and I recently published "Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, & Life Together," which quickly became a No. 1 New York Times best-seller.

In it, we’re brutally honest about our past struggles, share the lessons we learned along the way and talk frankly about sex. Criticism has ensued.

If you wish to find that criticism, just do a Google search. You’ll find plenty. My intent here is not to name names and pick a fight with my critics, but to provide context on why there is criticism.

We knew before we wrote the book that we’d catch a lot of flak, especially on the chapters dealing with sex. We also knew the criticism would come from every direction, as some people would think we went too far and others would think we didn’t go far enough.

But we wrote it anyway. Why? Simply put, we want to help marriages — and single people aspiring to marry — and we wanted to do so in a way that is practical, biblical and applicable to the reality of today’s culture.

If the book accomplishes that, we’ll take the criticism in exchange for helping people. We don’t think our book is perfect and we tell folks upfront (literally in the preface) to take what is helpful and leave the rest.

The book identifies three ways people tend to view sex: as gross, as a god and as a gift.

Sex as gross

Some people are very uncomfortable talking about sex, even with their spouses.

Many Christians, because of upbringing and past church experiences, view sex as gross and something that should not be talked about in public.

Unfortunately, this view is pervasive in the church. Many couples have honest questions about sex and various sexual acts but struggle to find a pastor willing to teach on these topics.

With nowhere else to turn, these couples find wrong and damaging answers in magazines, television, movies, porn and more.

The practical result is that couples divorce their sex from their spirituality, talking to their pastors about “spiritual” issues and ordering their love life around advice from “secular” sources.

Next time you’re in line at the grocery store, read the headlines on the women’s magazines that are shouting at little kids standing in line with their parents. Our culture has made the wrong answers about sex far easier to find than the church has made the right answers to find.

Those who view sex as gross criticize our book because we speak too openly and frankly about sex for their taste. The accusation is that the private counsel that pastors give to people in the church isn’t suitable to give in a public context.

But many critics tend to want to debate nuances of theology rather than engage head-on the practical realities that many people are facing.

I’ve written systematic theology books with hundreds of footnotes. "Real Marriage" is not that kind of book. It’s a practical book rooted in the Bible.

We call everything a sin that the Bible does and we give directives for married couples to use wisdom and conscience in discussing what they do and do not want to do sexually on matters to which the Bible doesn’t speak.

Because we believe the Bible is God’s perfect and sufficient word, we don’t want to add to it what we want or the archconservative Christian culture wants.

Conversely, we don’t want to remove anything from it just because some people find it uncomfortable.

People in our churches are dealing with the issues discussed in "Real Marriage," and to pretend these aren’t real issues and to avoid talking about them is akin to closing your eyes and declaring that you don’t see the need we are serving. If ministry leaders don’t address these issues in some way, we’re religious cowards who do a disservice to our church.

Before we get to the trickiest sexual questions, based upon what many people are already doing, our book deals with marriage in the context of friendship, men’s and women’s roles and responsibilities and how to deal with sin so that marriage gets better rather than bitter.

When we do get around to evaluating sex acts, we ask three simple questions, based upon 1 Corinthians 6:12 in the Bible: 1. Is it lawful? 2. Is it helpful? 3. Is it enslaving?

Each of these questions leaves room for couples to be grownups and to determine what works for them sexually by allowing them to examine their hearts and the scriptures – and to act according to their consciences on whether they wish to participate in sexual activities that the Bible neither forbids nor condones.

While it may be fun for bloggers and critics to discuss these things, our hope was that couples would instead be the ones having these conversations to build their marriages in ways that don’t pressure, abuse or use one another.

Sex as a god

There are some who think about almost nothing else but sex, treating it as a kind of god. This can happen in the form of addiction to sex or porn, severe promiscuity, adultery or participating in various sexual acts that the Bible speaks against, making personal preference and desire more important than what God says about sex.

This view of sex is pervasive, as many go to extraordinary lengths to fulfill their sexual desires, even when it’s not good for them physically, spiritually, mentally or emotionally.

Even worse, this view causes some to do unspeakable acts against others in the form of rape, assault, marital sexual assault, pedophilia, sex trafficking and more – making literal human sacrifices to their god of sex.

Those who view sex as a god criticize our book because it doesn’t go far enough for them. Because we teach that the Bible does call some sex acts sin, such as pornography, premarital sex, homosexuality, adultery and more, we are criticized for being judgmental, prudish, antiquated and fundamentalist.

We understand that not everyone will believe what we believe, but as Christians who view the Bible as our highest authority in life, we don’t write the mail, we simply deliver it.

In the end, for conservatives we’re too liberal, and for liberals we’re too conservative. We can’t win.

Thankfully, we’re not concerned with winning. We’re concerned with helping others build healthy, happy and holy, God-glorifying marriages.

Sex as a gift

What Grace and I have found in nearly 20 years of marriage and more than 15 years of ministry is that both the church and culture often get sex wrong.

So we went back to the scriptures to see what they have to say.

The Bible gives us a different way to think of sex. Instead of seeing it as gross or slavishly worshiping it as a god, the Bible teaches that sex is a powerful and exhilarating gift that God gives to married couples.

It is also a deeply spiritual act, bringing together a husband and a wife to be one flesh (Genesis 2:24), binding them together on a spiritual, mental, emotional, physical and neurological level.

As a deeply spiritual act, it’s important for people to understand what the Bible teaches (and doesn’t teach) about sex, to be able to speak openly and honestly with their ministry leaders regarding sex, and to find solid, biblical teaching on sex.

God has a plan for sex: that it is to be enjoyed between one man and one woman in the context of marriage. This means that there are certain types of sex acts that abuse and misuse the good gift of sex that God gave, and that we are to honor God with our bodies by living our sexual lives in a way that glorifies him and honors the scriptures.

In our book, we blow up some common misconceptions about sex (like that the Bible prohibits stripteases or oral sex). We help people understand that it’s God’s intent that we steward and enjoy the gift of sex, like every gift he gives, in such a way that is glorious to him, good for our marriages and a lot of fun.

It is our prayer that you and your spouse would move past any misconceptions of how you’ve seen sex and understand it to be a gift from God. A gift to be stewarded. A gift to be guarded. A gift to be enjoyed. And a gift to be shared together for God’s glory and your good as friends.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Driscoll.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Opinion • Sex

soundoff (750 Responses)
  1. diabloloco7

    Look People. You have two choices on this topic. Believe? Or Don't Believe?
    Are you not better off believing and living your life with morals.
    Hear me out.
    If you believe and adhere to the word, and it does not exist. No harm no foul.
    However if you do not believe and it is true; Have fun in that lake of fire!

    January 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Luigi

      I'm not convinced, from reading Revelations, that God doesn't give non-believers one last chance. One interpretation is that believers are spared and the non believers are left to endure until every tongue confesses. Now, if you find yourself in a situation where you are confessing, against your will, that Jesus is Lord, someone would have to be quite a fool to not reconsider and start believing that Jesus is Lord once confronted with such evidence.

      Of course, that's just one interpretation and it could be wrong. But can you be certain it's wrong? If you are certain, please explain.

      In any event, I don't see that Christians make any friends by threatening non believers with Hell. For starters, it's not our our call. God decides. Not us. Second, threats don't sound much like a method for loving one's enemies.

      I suggest that instead we cut Lake of Fire talk and just work on being a good example. The good example would include loving our neighbors, Christian or not. If not, perhaps the neighbor will at one point ask "why are you being so nice to me?" Then you can answer.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Luigi: yes, you are right to call out the "ringside seats in Hell" mentality so many of us Christians show. There is no reason to ever celebrate that sort of suffering.

      However, on your question about conversion after death, the Bible certainly appears to rule that out. A couple of examples: Jesus' parable of Lazarus & the rich man (Lk.16:19-31) & "every man is destined to die and then face judgment" (Heb.9:27).

      January 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  2. Brian

    The phony author is setting up a straw man. He thinks this will increase sales of his "book." The funny part is he is probably correct – No body ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  3. DB

    I can't believe that Catholics even consider going to their clergy for advice about marriage. What the heck does someone who's taken a vow of celibacy know about how to build a successful marriage? He's the LAST person you should ask.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Ryan M.

      With the way that most of the married couples in this country proceed, you get the feeling that married people don't know much about marriage, either. Have you ever spoken to a Catholic priest about marriage?

      January 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • George

      They know the Bible.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Phil

      @ George

      Have you read the bible from cover to cover? Not just skipping around to find the versus you like...but the whole damn thing?

      Notice any inconsistencies...like hundreds of them? It's a contradiction...the entire thing contradicts itself.

      Plus, it's fictional.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Jaszbo Christus

      @ George

      So did the Pharisees know the Bible.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • George

      I read the Bible cover to cover at least twice. It's an amazing book how everything fits together. You can't help but to be in awe.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  4. goliah

    From the poem, Venus and Adonis by W. Shakespeare, who seemed to know better than most the difference between, biology and Spirit, what can be bought and sold on any street corner and what is priceless. A lesson Humanity has yet to grasp or learn!

    Call it not love for love to heaven is fled
    Since sweating lust on earth usurp'd His name.
    Under who simple semblance man hath fed
    upon fresh beauty blotting it with blame,
    which the hot tyrant stains and soon bereaves
    As caterpillars do the tender leaves.

    Love comforteth like sunshine after rain
    but lust effect is tempest after sun.
    Love's gentle spring doth always fresh remain.
    Lust's winter comes, ere summer half be done.
    Love surfeits not, lust like a glutton dies,
    Love is all truth, lust full of forged lies.

    http://www.energon.org.uk

    January 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  5. THE_REAL_SWAY

    Mark keep doing what u do.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  6. Scholar

    Read the book of Solomon in the Bible and the Song of songs there before you blush about present day morals.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • George

      Read St. Paul.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  7. Ral

    Atheism is a religion, they want everyone to believe and think as they do. They have billboards along the hwys just like many churches trying to convert people. Just another religion….

    January 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Phil

      Definition of Religion:

      "A collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe."

      As atheists - we have no symbols that relate to human spiritualization because we don't believe in spirits, souls, gods or anything else. Therefore, it is not a religion. We don't believe in religion.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • George

      Of course atheism is a religion.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Reverend Strategy Pony

      How can atheism, when defined means a lack of belief in the existence of god(s). The atheist billboards are a response to the over saturation of the X-tian billboards littered all over the damn highway.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • saopaco

      Go look up the word "Atheist"
      An atheist lacks a belief in gods. How then could you consider atheism to be a religion?

      Plenty of groups of people would like you to share their worldview, are they all religions, then? The GOP is a religion? AAA is a religion?

      January 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • George

      @Phil

      Funny, at Christmas time, you sure want to be treated as a religion under the First Amendment so you can put up your displays.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Jaszbo Christus

      Atheism cannot be a religion, as a religion is a set of beliefs and actions worked and carried out to revere a deity by definition.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Phil

      @ George

      They only get put up because my wife (who is Catholic) wants them up.

      My son an I are atheist. He used to be Catholic too... But I changed that.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • LOL

      Um, no it's not. Religion is adherence to a set of beliefs, athiests dont believe and therein lies the difference. There is no athiest code other than doubt.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • asdf

      "Atheism is a religion as much as not collecting stamps is a hobby."

      January 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • asdf

      @ George:

      I have never in my life seen an Atheist holiday display. Please describe one that you have actually seen or link to a site that has photos. I'm on the edge of my seat. Maybe the blank space between the christmas tree and the menorah is what you'd call an Atheist display.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Phil: good clarification, but as a materialist (strictly not believing in the spiritual), you do still build your life around symbol (see the American Atheists logo, for example, which conveys shared values in symbol) & ideology. You have strongly held beliefs about the deepest realities of the universe (though only material in your case), and a desire to exclude beliefs of other groups.

      So, one could say atheists have: doctrine (core beliefs), symbol & shared ideology at the exclusion of others with differing beliefs. Whether you're comfortable with the word 'religion' or not, I hope you recognize the parallels.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • George

      Every year they fight for the right to put up their propaganda along side Christian displays. If you want examples, go back on this very blog, and you will find them. I know I posted on article about it.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Just_a_girl

      I can't take any of you seriously with all the comma splices. You can't even form a complete sentence, and yet you want me to believe you've uncracked the hidden meaning of life?

      January 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  8. kk

    Great book and great article. I encourage all marrieds to read this book as a couple!

    January 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  9. Marcia

    Well if you want to talk religion, cult, myth ...Oh excuse me they are all words for the same thing, something that has no fact behind it.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Truth

      Wow you really blew the lid off that one! You showed them! You probably just converted the masses with that indisputable proof!

      January 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Marcia's right you are wrong

      And even though you were snide, you still get zero points.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  10. Phil

    I was a catholic for a long time. Now I'm very happy being an atheist. It's still feels the same. It's a wonderful thing and regardless of your religious views you should talk about it and do it often.

    Open up, talk about it - it's not scary, vile or gross. It's a natural desire. If you spend the time talking to your partner, finding out what he/she likes, doesn't like, what could be improved - you'll find it makes the experience so much better.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • George

      You post shows exactly why Christians think that atheists have no morals.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Phil

      @George

      Why? Because we're happy without believing in imaginary beings or because we think having s3x is good?

      January 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • George

      @Phil

      This statement of yours right here is why:

      "It's a wonderful thing and regardless of your religious views you should talk about it and do it often."

      S.ex is filthy and is reserved for marriage for procreative purposes only. Even the pope teaches that s.ex is for marriage and procreation only.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Phil

      @ George

      That's a pretty skewed view of sëx there, George. Fücking is not a bad thing.

      Oh, my bad, did I offend you?

      January 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • J.W

      George I am starting to think that maybe you are not serious. I am sure the pope is the one to talk to when it comes to s3x and marriage. He is probably an expert.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • George

      @J.W.

      I was a Catholic before I turned Evangelical in college. I know what the Catholic position on s.ex is.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Jaszbo Christus

      @ George...As a Christian of nearly 23 years, in my opinion, you're a condemning part of the problem and not the solution.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Phil

      @ George

      "I turned Evangelical in college."

      Well, there's your problem! You became an idiot! Seriously - you went from acceptable to totally stupid.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • George

      @Jaszbo Christus

      The problem with many Christian churches and many Christians today is that they don't focus on sin. You have to identify the problem and excise it before you are healed. I don't want it to be said that people went to hell because I didn't warn them. I will be called to answer for every person whom I failed to warn. Salvation requires repentance.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  11. Common Sense, Which You Clearly Don't Have

    Pretty sure a mental hospital would turn away people if their only reason for visiting was because they believe in God......Just sayin

    January 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  12. Mushy-headed college liberal, and proud of it

    Jesus was a liberal. Deal with that.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Dr. Martin Von Winklemeyer, certified PhD

      I noticed you missed your appointment earlier, was there a reason for that? One more time and I'm checking you back into rehab. See you tomorrow, please don't forget to bring your meds.

      Thanks,
      Dr. Von Winklemeyer, certified PhD in Astrophysical Nucleosis Science, and also a Psychiatrist.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Mennonknight

      No he wasn't a Liberal, and No he was not a conservative. He was neither. He was God.
      Oh and God does not vote Republican, nor Democrat.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  13. Dr. Kenneth J Noisewater III

    @ Huh? Please Go Read a History Book, To what history book are you referring to sir? Surely you cannot mean the Bible... for this is not a historical text, it is a religious manuscript, that has been altered and re written several times. not only that it has been proven to be inaccurate on several topics, ie the age of earth, classifying mental illness as demonic possesion. It allso contradicts its self on several occasions. Examlpe :Genesis 1:25-27
    (Humans were created after the other animals.)
    And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image.... So God created man in his own image. OR, :Genesis 2:18-19
    (Humans were created before the other animals.)
    And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
    I have never encountered a history text that has as many contradictions and inaccuracies. in it

    January 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Dr. Martin Von Winklemeyer, certified PhD

      Mr Noisewater,

      After studying in depth the neurosis schizoid reactors that affect each one of us, it's difficult to take your position. Countless decades have been spent studying these interesting nervical centers and little progress has been made. We are finally starting to break through the epicurious ceiling that has kept us stagnant for so long. Once we can determine the pathway of the illogical circuit promoters, and only then, can we devise a solution to the metaphysicist conundrum.

      From one doctor to another, please research this matter further so we can discuss the inconsistencies between the schizoids and the nucleosis reactors, they are indeed a true intricacy that we can only hope to understand. PS, I'll be coming in for my physical tomorrow morning.

      Sincerely,
      Dr. Von Winklemeyer, certified PhD in Astrophysical Nucleosis Science

      January 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Brian Raney

      Mr. Noisewater,

      The text that you are referring to is not considered a chronological historical fact by Christians. It is a narrative on the creation of the world not a step by step manual. Age of the earth is up for debate and the scriptures do not make claim on the age of the earth only people outside of it. Also, Christians don't claim that all mental illnesses are demon possession. There are some characteristics that they may have in common though.

      I understand that Christianity is difficult to understand and appreciate considering some of the people who claim to represent it and some of the opinions that are shared as well. I would as that you not paint with such a broad brush.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Jake

      I don't know if one thing in your comment is factual. What are you talking about?

      January 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Silver Back

      Your a fraud, your mom my just called and said to put your daddys' lab coat back and quit pretending to be a doctor just to play w/sally!

      January 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Silver Back

      Oh, my last comment was to Von Winkel dinkel.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • College Kid reading the bible

      "Now the LORD God had formed...:" Genesis 2:18. "Now" is referring to the present time and 'had formed" implies past tense. No where in the verse does it say which came first, but that the animals "had [been] formed' prior to the statement.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  14. Why all the Excuses?

    What's up with aII the intellectual dishonesty on these comments? People's comebacks show absolutely no critical thinking or knowledge on these topics, yet they act like they are all knowing. The hypocrisy, willful ignorance, and vitriol is astounding.

    95% of the comments can be automatically dismissed because they are equivalent to the rants of 5 year olds and should be treated as such.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      Why are you doing nothing but posting the same thing multiple times under different usernames?

      I can understand boredom, but I'd probably choose masturbation over your choice.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Dr. Martin Von Winklemeyer, certified PhD

      @Sean

      You have just opened pandoras box, please schedule an apointment with me immediately so we can discuss this matter further. Please also bring a vile of you pseudohemoroidal cream.

      Sincerely,
      Dr. Von Winklemeyer, certified PhD in Astrophysical Nucleosis Science

      January 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Silver Back

      And what are you doing Ms. all excuses?

      January 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  15. Tripp

    "s5x is a powerful and exhilarating gift that God gives to married couples"

    Wrong....S3x is something that humans enjoy. Im straight so I enjoy s3x with a woman. You dont need to be married to have s3x. That is a myth.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • George

      You most certainly do need to be married or else you are putting your immortal soul in jeopardy.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • You Is Dumb

      I remembers when i dropped out of high skool too. i culdnt read good or understand basik comprahenshon. i did learn me this here compooter tho.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Tripp

      Oh George, please, there is no proof of a soul and Im certian that your imaginary friend could care less if me and my girlfriend have s3x. There is a mental hospital near you somewhere. I suggest you visit and take care of this delusion.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Brad

      George, that is so true. Last time I had s*ex I felt my immortal soul trying to leave my body.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Tripp

      @you is dumb-Its never to late to go back to school. I suggest you go immediately. You obviously are living the delusion also.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • George

      God cares about every feather on a bird and every hair on your head. Yes, he does care when you sin.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • LOL

      @George: Why would God, who allegedly can manifest universes at will, need to be a "he" or "she"? Gender is purely a means of procreating, so, why would a god need a gender when said god has no need to reproduce when it can manifest?

      January 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  16. Reality...Checked

    A few more points...everything Jesus said was actually contrary to the Greeks, Persians, Romans, etc. etc. believed and the way they lived. What he taught was considered extremely radical in his time – and really still it still is. John the Baptist himself proclaimed that Jesus was the Christ and God incarnate.

    Also, I agree that there are many things wrong with Christianity as a religion. Christians and people, in general, are imperfect – why else would we need Jesus? Study Christians, and you will find lots of faults. Carefully study Jesus, and you'll find none.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Truth

      Well said, amen and God bless!

      January 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Truth

      I wouldn't expect many comments however, all legitmate and truthful posts are typically ignored by atheists.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • fred

      Thank you, I have yet to find faut in Christ.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Thank you, I have yet to find faut in Christ."

      Well, DUH, they left those parts out. You know the writing that stated Jesus killed another as a young boy. You can't have the son of a god have any faults it wouldn't be believable, so they left it out. DUH!

      January 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Reality...Checked:

      "John the Baptist himself proclaimed that Jesus was the Christ and God incarnate."

      So what? What makes you think that John the Baptist knew anything special? Or if such a person actually even said that?

      _________________________________

      "Carefully study Jesus, and you'll find none [faults]."

      The only place where you can 'study' Jesus is in the writings of 5 first century evangelists, who in promoting their new deity, would certainly have included no faults.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • bobcat

      Jesus has nothing to do with the Nicean religion, his intent was to reform judaism not to establish a new faith like the Imperials did. The pre-nicean christians were history's only recorded true communist people they had no uneven wealth and no social higherarchy, no prejudices, all contributed equally to work. They were exterminated by the Niceans as they rewrote Jesus's teachings to fit their needs. Yes I am an athiest

      January 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Dan

      How about him insulting his mother (Luke 11:27-28)? Is that how you are supposed to respect your parents? Isn't it one of BIG 10?

      January 24, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • fred

      Dan
      The term "woman" was the common way to address a female in public under this circu-mstance

      January 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • fred

      Bizarre
      bobcat
      If it was re written and they were so smart why did they not make the story more believable, God dead on a cross because he tried to represent himself instead of getting a good lawer familiar with criminal cases?
      Then Jesus said let Christianity sweep the earth, reset the clocks to refect my birthday as the starting point for the New Testament, let my book be the best seller of all times 100 fold. How about a simple dare; I dare anyone to find God without the faith of a child. Well keep looking and 2,000 years later God only reveals himself to whom He chooses.
      Oops, did someone find some Dead Sea scrolls that prove Jesus was quoting scripture from 200 years before he was born. I guess those Niceans went back to 650 BC to scratch some new stuff into the stone

      January 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Dan

      @fred, you do realize that "certain woman" is Mary. That's not the insult. And, yes, I did read the comments from catholics about bad translation etc.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • fred

      YeahRight
      You are amazing in that you claim the entire Bible a tale yet claim as fact some obscure writing no one considers credible with the exception of David Johnson who claims Jesus never existed yet also holds to your obscure writing.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Dan

      @fred
      "... let my book be the best seller of all times 100 fold".... emphasis on "seller", and somehow it is not most read. Look at catholics – they read the bulletin.

      "Well keep looking and 2,000 years later God only reveals himself to whom He chooses." – yes, and only those who have been introduced to the concept, name, imagery, dogma, etc. by parents.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • LOL

      So, him cursing the fig tree for not producing fruit in the off season isn't a fault, lol?

      January 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • fred

      Dan
      Sorry, my bad I never looked to see you were in Luke 11:27-28 and assumed you were pulling the standard line.
      Thanks by the way for bringing up the verse, as Jesus was in the midst of warnings about how evil can attach itself and I never before picked up on your verse. The woman interrupted Jesus as he was teaching about demons returning to a heart that is clean but not filled with Christ. We must guard against not constantly filling our hearts and minds with the things of God. When the women interrupted Jesus wanted to make a point that belief in Christ was the blessing that keeps you from falling away not your gene pool (i.e. being born a Jew). That's my take what do you think.

      January 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Reality

      Jesus was fault free??

      Hmmmm??

      JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

      Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

      Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

      January 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • ......

      when encountering reality posts hit report abuse on all of them

      January 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • fred

      lol
      Oh no, say it ain't so ! That was a clear warning to anyone that would reject God. The tree had purpose which was to produce fruit at that time of year it did not. We are to produce the fruit of the spirit in all that we do. Time is always limited in that we never know when the master will show up and if you reject God it is all over for you like the tree. Christs judgment is perfect and we will be without excuse. You do not want to fall into the hands of God when judged and not in Christ

      January 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Dan

      "when encountering reality posts"

      – oh wow, compare it to the first posts

      "...all legitmate and truthful posts are typically ignored by atheists". Can't face reality? Keep living in delusion, it certainly is easier...

      January 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  17. Howie76

    This guy is a perverted and should go on and open a p0rn shop.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  18. Honestuck

    If the book is as boring as the CNN article he wrote then I am not sure how it became a best seller..

    January 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • TXJim

      If Sarah Palin can write a bestseller... anybody can..

      January 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  19. Steve

    Why is it that every religion blog bashes Christianity on CNN? Last week's athiest Christian video etc. We get it. You don't like Christianity CNN.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      Because there are more christians in this country then anything else so it is the most relevant..... duh

      January 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • bobcat

      Christianity is the religion most americans can relate to. Why is it that any article that is critical of Christianity hate? Feedback is essiental to the evolution of any ideology, if the thelogy of chiristianty adapts to it as it did to the nature and status of women on the mid-1880's christianity will grow stronger.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      This CNN belief blog is good for studying the "rational" behaviour of atheists. They actively log into a belief blog where they know they'll find Christians and scripture. Then they get mad that they've found Christians and scripture. Next, they actively smear anger inside our computer screens. Then they claim that someone is forcing religion down their throats. We can only conclude that on Sundays, atheists dress up, drive to church, park, sit in the front pew, and demand that the preacher stop forcing his views on them.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • edge

      catholic engineer, I'm not speaking for every atheist here, but I'm willing to have a rational discussion about your man in the sky as long as you are willing to remain rational and not tell me your beliefs automatically win the argument before we have even argued. So, I'm sorry many of my faithless brethren take that assumption as a given... but.... well... you DO want to have a discussion about the man in the sky. Where is a rational mind supposed to go with that?

      January 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • George

      @Catholic Engineer

      Well said!

      January 24, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • It's all sad

      Catholic Engeneer, we have your beliefs shoved down our throats with all the christian laws in force in our country. Gay people cannot live a happy, loving life with the same rights as strait people because of Christian beliefs. Woman's rights are limited and constantly threatened because of Christian beliefs. In God we Trust and One Nation Under God were forced into practice in the '50s because of the Christian faith. Presidential hopefulls are put through intensive faith-based questions and judgement for their commitment to the Christian faith.

      If you kept your Jesus and your bigotry in the churches, we would leave you alone.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Matt

      Catholic Engineer,

      You nailed it. Well done, sir.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • YeahRight

      “Then they get mad that they've found Christians and scripture.”

      That’s a lie, I don’t get mad in the least, I actually chuckle most of the time since you confirm how delusional you have to be to follow your religion.

      “Next, they actively smear anger inside our computer screens.”

      You could read that as being angry too, it’s all about how you are reading the words, you sir are reading anger into what is being posted, doesn’t make it true.

      “ We can only conclude that on Sundays, atheists dress up, drive to church, park, sit in the front pew, and demand that the preacher stop forcing his views on them.”

      Another LIE – hey wait that’s a major SIN!!!!!!!!!

      January 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Truth

      @catholic engineer,

      That was absolutely hysterical and you couldn't have said it any better. Hahahahahahahahahaha.
      God bless and thanks for the laugh 🙂

      January 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      @Edge "your man in the sky ." With that caracature, you've already demonstrated your existing prejudice. Rational dialog is now impossible. Thanks, though.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Silver Back

      Where's the bashing?

      January 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  20. Ral

    The opposite of love is not hate, but to use someone. Just thought I would throw that in.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Liberal Conservative........Conservative Liberal

      Ummm no pretty sure the opposite of love is hate. Just throwin that out there.

      Btw the opposite of noise is silence
      the opposite of yes is no
      the opposite of smart if dumb

      Cheers 🙂

      January 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Jaszbo Christus

      It is said that the opposite of love is not hate, but rather indifference.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Timothy

      No "Liberal Conservative.....Conservative Liberal"... the Opposite of Love is Selfishness. God is "Love", God so "Loved" the world he sent his only son..(you can read the rest in John 3:16 of the Bible. It was an act of UNselfishness)

      Selfishness is the root of hate, indifference, prejudice, etc.

      January 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
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About this blog

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.