My Take: Jesus was a dirty, dirty God
January 5th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

My Take: Jesus was a dirty, dirty God

Editor’s note: Johnnie Moore is the author of Dirty God (#DirtyGod). He is a professor of religion and vice president at Liberty University. Keep track of him @johnnieM .

By Johnnie Moore, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Jesus was a lot more like you than you think, and a lot less clean cut than this iconic image of him that floats around culture.

You know the image. It’s the one where Jesus is walking like he’s floating in robes of pristine white followed by birds singing some holy little ditty. He’s polished, manicured, and clearly – God.

But despite the Christian belief that Jesus was both fully God and fully man, Jesus was a rather dirty God.

He was the “earthly” son of a carpenter, and life in the first-century was both more lurid and unfinished than our collective religious memory seems to recall.

To that end, I suggested recently to several astounded colleagues of mine that Jesus actually had to go to the bathroom, perhaps even on the side of the road between Capernaum and Jerusalem.

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What tipped them over the edge was when I insinuated that Jesus, like almost every other human being living in the rural world in that time, might have even had dysentery on an occasion or two.

Someone said, “You mean that Jesus might have had severe diarrhea?”

“Yep,” I replied, “That’s exactly what I mean.”

It seems like an obvious statement if you believe that Jesus was “fully God” and “fully man” (as most evangelicals believe and call the Incarnation), but to some of us it seems in the least, inappropriate, and at the most, sacrilege, to imagine Jesus in this way. We might believe that God was also man, but we picture him with an ever-present halo over his head.

But, actually, the Jesus of the Bible was more human than most people are conditioned to think.

I call this the dirty side of Jesus. He was grittier, and a lot more like us than maybe we believe, and that’s one of the reasons why so many thousands of people followed him so quickly.

They could relate to him.

He was the teacher from a small town who knew and understood the economic insecurity that was common in the first century. Times must have been rather tough for Jesus at points in his life, for he even spoke of being homeless, having to sleep on the ground with no roof over his head.

He also knew what it was like to have his message rejected and how it felt to be misunderstood. Jesus was regarded with such little significance in his hometown that one of his critics once remarked sardonically, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” Jesus eventually had to move to different city (Capernaum) because his teachings so infuriated the people living in his hometown that they drove him out of Nazareth and even tried to throw him off a cliff.

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The real Jesus had dirt underneath his fingernails and calluses on his hands. He probably smelled badly from sweating profusely in the Judean sun on his long hikes to Jerusalem, and Jesus was, without a doubt, rumored to be a hypocrite or absolutely mad for all the time he spent with prostitutes and those afflicted with leprosy.

Not exactly have a clean-cut image.

He had a rather shady reputation.

Some people thought he was a revolutionary. The religious leaders called him a heretic, and others even accused him of being a drunkard and a glutton - in no small part because of the vagabond group of disciples he had with him. No serious religious leader of his day would have ever recruited such people.

For his core 12 disciples, Jesus included a tough-as-nails, bombastic fisherman (Peter), a chief tax collector named Matthew (the most hated popular figure of the time), an eventual traitor who was stealing money out of the offering bucket (Judas), a prolific doubter (Thomas), two jocks nicknamed the “Sons of Thunder” (James and John) and Simon the Zealot, a member of a radical political party which believed in using violence to kick out the Romans.

Jesus was sarcastic, too.

He often snapped back at the Pharisees with a tone fit for late-night television, and in a terribly embarrassing moment for all those around him, Jesus even called these respected religious teachers “snakes” that were probably sons of “Satan.”

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That’s not exactly the behavior of a sweet, self-help teacher with a halo over his head.

It’s the behavior of a frustrated man who might also be divine, but sure knows how it feels for annoying people to get under his skin.

Christians believe that Jesus chose to be born fully human, too, but why?

Lots of theologians have laid out opinions over the centuries, and in their opining they have tried once again to hijack Jesus’ humanity by defining it in philosophical terms. I believe it’s simpler than the philosophy and church councils and centuries of argument.

The brilliance of Christianity is the image of a God, named Jesus, arrived with dirty hands.

Jesus came in a time period when Greco-Roman gods were housed in gigantic temples and portrayed with superhuman powers and with superhuman physiques. Gods were believed to be far away from people on their mountains or hemmed up in their sanctuaries.

Jesus arrived in defiance of this prevailing imagery.

Jesus didn’t come flinging lightning bolts from a mountaintop, or playing politics in Rome. He came to live in a typical Middle Eastern village called Nazareth that was home to a couple hundred typical people. He didn’t decide to brandish his power, but to spend most of his time with the powerless and disenfranchised. And when he started a religious movement that reshaped history, he did it in the most profound and anticlimatic way:

He let himself be killed, and then he busted open a tomb.

In Jesus we meet a Savior who understood the desire to sleep just a few more hours, and who had to control his temper sometimes. In Jesus we find a God we can relate to because he chose to relate to us.

He was the God who became dirty so that the world’s souls might be made clean.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Johnnie Moore.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Jesus

soundoff (7,741 Responses)
  1. Jake in Pittsburgh

    Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Your mercy.

    January 28, 2013 at 2:13 am |
    • Convo

      Sorry, Jesus does not speak, read or understand English... besides being dead.

      January 28, 2013 at 4:53 am |
    • sam stone

      sorry, jake, there is no reason to believe that either heaven or hell exist

      January 28, 2013 at 4:58 am |
  2. Minister Mike

    It ceases to amaze me that people think Jesus is God when Jesus clearly states that he is not his father. He doesn't indicate just once that he isn't his father (God) but several times.

    Doesn't anybody actually read the bible.

    January 28, 2013 at 1:48 am |
    • Richard Gomes

      Minister Mike, your statement proves that you haven't read the Bible and hence, we have a deluded Imam in a Christian comment page. Let me help you with some reference from the same Book you claim to read:
      Matthew 27:43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.'"
      John 10:31-33 [31] Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, [32] but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" [33] "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."
      Mark 14:61b-62 [61b] Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" [62] "I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."
      Luke 22:66-70 [66] At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. [67] "If you are the Christ, " they said, "tell us." Jesus answered, "If I tell you, you will not believe me, [68] and if I asked you, you would not answer. [69] But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God." [70] They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied, "You are right in saying I am."
      John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
      Need more????

      January 28, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • Bob

      Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
      Joh 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.
      Joh 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
      Joh 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
      Joh 1:5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
      Joh 1:6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John.
      Joh 1:7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.
      Joh 1:8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
      Joh 1:9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
      Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
      Joh 1:11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
      Joh 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
      Joh 1:13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
      Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
      Joh 1:15 John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'"
      Joh 1:16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
      Joh 1:17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

      January 28, 2013 at 4:23 am |
    • Bob

      Joh 10:30 "I and the Father are one."

      January 28, 2013 at 4:33 am |
    • Bob

      Minister Mike I hope you are only a trolling atheist because you are in no way a Christian. If indeed you are a minister you should not be one, What is the difference between a Christian and someone just reading a book you have just been shown. No one who is a Christian would say such a thing Jesus is God and Lord but there is still one Father and the Father still has His Spirit also.

      January 28, 2013 at 4:39 am |
  3. Buster


    The beauty of the offer is that is free of charge, so there is no need for a money back guarantee. If you accept this gift and let Christ enter into you heart, you'll never fall away.

    January 28, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • sam stone

      translation: " once you are an irrational moron, you remain an irrational moron"?

      January 28, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • Buster

      No, it means the price has already been paid. Now you apply the currency of the heart, and a commitment to follow Christ.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • sam stone

      There is no debt. No price to be paid, other than in your mind

      January 29, 2013 at 9:15 am |
  4. truth11-19-2012

    Sir do not call my LORD and Savoir a dirty GOD. The bible says flee all appearance of evil. I know what you are trying to say but JESUS is OUR FATHERS only BEGOTTEN SON.

    January 27, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • sam stone

      wow, putting drivel in caps sure gives it credibility in caps. congrats

      January 28, 2013 at 12:54 am |
  5. Just Bob

    Atheism collapses unto itself; you can not deny what does not exist

    January 27, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • Gasoline Alley

      So you believe in Odin?

      January 27, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • sam stone

      do you believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

      January 28, 2013 at 12:55 am |
  6. Buster

    It is time for me to leave the comment board, but before i go, I want to give all that do not know Jesus, and chance to get their life committed to Christ, and inherit eternal life. If you don't know him, please let me know, and I'll give you the basics of what is required to become a Christian, and transform your life. If you are suffering from divorce, troubled marriage, depression, loss of love one, work problems, family problems, drink addiction, drug addiction, etc... Jesus get transform you out of these situations and give a new life, and a living hope. Will you accept Him today? This is a limited time offer and expires when you draw you last breath on this earth.

    January 27, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • lucy

      Money back guarantee?

      January 27, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • sam stone

      i am sure you are not leaving for good. at a minimum, you will be back under another moniker, chard.

      your empty proxy warnings are nonsense, and you are nothing but a snivelling sycophant

      January 28, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      For $30, the Church of the Subgenius offers eternal salvation or TRIPLE YOUR MONEY BACK!
      Before committing yourself to the Christian afterlife, it pays to shop around.

      January 29, 2013 at 9:28 am |
  7. "I Believe in the word of God"

    🙂 This is profound stuff here . . . The reality of Christ! May I also add, that Jesus may have gone on a fart walk or two! Just saying . . . 🙁

    January 27, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  8. Roger

    If you atheists are all that you say you are then why are you not out on your own boards? Creating new boards pursuing people to follow you rather than pulling down Christians that do more for the world than all of you. Or is it that you would rather than build up, your choice is to tear down. Why is it that no one is flocking to all you offer rather than coming here to start trouble?

    January 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      It is a belief blog, everyone has beliefs.

      If You want to go preach to the choir, go right ahead.

      You say christians build up. I would put myself against any so called christians, at least I am not a hypocrit, like most christians I have dealt with.

      Build up....you would build on the weakest of foundations...the bible. Obvious inconsistancies, obvious logic flaws, and some flat out lies of stories, and you would build on that?

      January 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Todd

      Watch it Richard, pretty soon these Christians will be condemning you to hell. Walt...that's tearing down not building up right? 😉

      January 27, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Bet

      It's a public forum, bubba. You don't get to decide who comes here and who doesn't.

      January 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      it's a belief blog on a public forum.

      it is not a christian blog

      go fvck yourself, d-bag

      January 27, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Roger

      Then stay on topic low life's or go find the ones that atheists frequent that way at least you will have something to talk about since you are just a bunch of morons with nothing of any importance to add to the discussion. Public forum means you have something constructive to add to the topic, I figured I would explain it to you since your to stupid to understand. I doubt it will do any good since the atheist ones have all died out accordingly and with good reason. Because they have nothing to say.

      January 27, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Gasoline Alley

      How could you explain anything, you can barely write a sentence.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • Emmanuel Goldstein

      We are "to" stupid to understand? At least we are smart enough TO know the difference between TO and TOO.

      January 27, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • sam stone

      "you do not believe my weak argument, so i will throw a hissy fit and call you all stupid"

      sound about right, roger dodger?

      January 28, 2013 at 5:02 am |
  9. Roger

    I LOVE Apollo, and serve Him. What a mighty God we serve!!!

    January 27, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  10. Buster

    Please don't make a game out of false idol worship. It is really not funny at all.

    January 27, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • gary

      Chad thinks he knows what false or idol is. l o l

      January 27, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • sam stone

      "i have credibility, just ask me" – buster brown.

      you are a punk with no credibility

      go so-dom-ize yourself, punk

      January 27, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Worship of any gods is false.

      January 27, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Buster

      Only worship the true and living God. The God that created the universe and continues to sustain its existence.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      So Buster, you must have some independent, objective, factual and verifiable evidence that your god is the one triue god. If not, you are mentally ill or a liar. Please provide your evidence or admit that you are delusional or a liar.

      January 28, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • Buster

      @Hot air, yes, I do have independent, verifiable, factual evidence. No problem.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • mama k

      No you don't.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • sam stone

      If buster brown had this proof, he would post it. He is bloviating away

      January 29, 2013 at 9:16 am |
  11. Roger

    Actually of all the human groups with beliefs atheists have the worst track record for helping humanity. They have also brought the most destruction on society. Atheism is a religion so we will continue to classify it as such especially with the fervency that its proponents are here policing, thinking they have the answer and ability to do this job which is also a laugh. Any religion such as atheism that teaches its proponents that ridicule, belligerence, false ability to monitor, and a one sided extreme mindset should be shown for what it is a curse and destructive. Just as Jihad is murder so is atheism in this form.

    January 27, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      You are lying. Look at countries that have less people identifying themselves with religion and you will find higher acheiving education systems, better social services and lower crime rates.

      Religion is what holds back societies.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Roger", but your generalized assertions regarding atheists are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL".

      January 27, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  12. Phil

    I LOVE Zeus, and serve Him. What a mighty God we serve!!!

    January 27, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • JWT

      You can serve him all that you want to. I have no gods and would never serve one anyway,.

      January 27, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  13. Bob

    Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, an American imprisoned in Iran on charges of evangelizing, was sentenced this morning to eight years in prison.

    January 27, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • End Religion

      live by the sword, die by the sword.

      The God of Israel and Muhammad have the same traits as an abusive partner:
      • you have to fear him to receive his love
      • you are unworthy of his love
      • you are nothing without him
      • if you do not love him he will hurt you
      • he doesn't want to punish you – it's really your fault
      • he threatens you if he thinks you might break things off
      • at all times he needs to know where you are, what you're doing and thinking so he can control your thoughts and behavior
      • doesn't want you to get an education because you'll realize you don't need him anymore and break up
      • worst of all, you have to bring him beer and a sammich

      January 27, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Bob

      The God of Israel and Muhammad have the same traits as an abusive partner:
      actually No God loves us and calls us does not command us,
      • you have to fear him to receive his love
      NO actually you fear losing His love as a Christian but for the Muslim you are correct
      • you are unworthy of his love
      Christian or Muslim this is true
      you are nothing without him
      Christian not correct Muslim you are nothing with him either
      • if you do not love him he will hurt you
      NO for Christians, actually we hurt ourselves for Muslims either way
      • he doesn't want to punish you – it's really your fault
      The atheist cry I want my own decisions and yet Christianity based on making your own decisions is not good, cant have it both ways. Muslims Its true
      • he threatens you if he thinks you might break things off
      NO Christians get warned but it is their decision. God actually warns us of bad decisions we can make them but we will reap the consequences. Muslims correct
      • at all times he needs to know where you are, what you're doing and thinking so he can control your thoughts and behavior
      NO He knows where everyone is and knows their thoughts but we make the decisions.
      • doesn't want you to get an education because you'll realize you don't need him anymore and break up
      NO teaches us to learn about all things but that knowledge is not to be worshiped as the atheists do. Also the more your learn the more you appreciate Him as He reveals all truth to you and you wake up from a stupor and realize that man does not have answers. True for Muslims
      • worst of all, you have to bring him beer and a sammich
      Actually God says He will supply all your needs and does so as Jesus feed the five thousand not once but twice
      Your ignorance that the Muslim God is not the Christian God is showing, it is not I and other Christians that stick our head in the sand it is you who does not understand what he is talking about and making generalizations, now that is IGNORANT and akin to hating everyone out of ignorance. Why don't you go learn something first before your hate and bigotry gets spewed on this board like Archy Bunker.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • End Religion

      Hey, Meathead, your god never existed and your bible is a fraud. Basing your life on it makes you a 3rd rate clodhopper. But you know you're a rube, don't you? The whole religion story is so absurd that you must on some level want to be deceived.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Bob

      No actually I am really happy knowing that I took the time to research and learn and find God rather than being the thing that you say you really hate a azzhole. Wow it is really funny to sit and read and know that you have no knowledge of what you are talking about yet want to get out there and spout off your ideas. That is the classic definition of a moron and you don't even know you fit the bill which is even funnier. Let me sit you down for a second and give a bit of advice hate is never a good reason to jump into something and not know what you are talking about.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Wow

      Bob so dumb that the last post is full of sin, which only proves they don't know the bible.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • End Religion

      Dance, monkey, dance. Spin your superstitious medieval stories, witch doctor. It cracks me up to hear you speak about knowledge.

      January 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • sam stone

      he knew the law. he chose to violate it

      sort of the same argument christians make about those who violate the translated, edited hearsy from iron age sheep molesters

      January 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Roger

      To Sam and End The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds

      January 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • End Religion

      Your book is rubbish and the quotes hold no sway. The only appropriate use I have found for the bible is either kindling or as toilet paper when camping.

      January 27, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • sam stone

      roger: your book is only valid to those who accept its validity. that being said, the real fools are those who purport to speak for god. now, boy, go fvck yourself

      January 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • The bigger picture

      Some people's desire to be God is just so great that they will hunt down any one who believes in something or someone greater than them. Simple as that guys, leave the 'atheists', they want to be 'gods' and hate the idea of someone thinking they are not. To suggest something more to them will always be stupidity. Christians want to believe in something greater and acknowledge that they are not the ultimate being. So now that's settled. Christians go serve and worship your God, and atheists go worship your photo's and mirrors, and till we die everyone is happy 🙂 And I guess after that the truth of who really is God will be revealed.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Roger, Don't you see he was imprisoned for contradicting their belief in their god which they have incorporated in their law. And the fundies want the same here – removal of separation of church and state and unless you believe in my god you'll be in trouble.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
  14. Kathy

    I love Mithra, and serve Him, the original son of God. What a mighty God we serve!!!

    January 27, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • Robert

      Yes WE DO!

      January 27, 2013 at 10:01 am |
  15. Patty Biller

    I LOVE Jesus, and serve Him. What a mighty God we serve!!!

    January 27, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • JWT

      we ?

      January 27, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • Bob

      YES, WE!!

      January 27, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Damocles

      Yep, ewe two certainly do.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • End Religion

      If we're talking might, Jesus is a pencil-necked geek compared to Gtuhanai, The Destroyer God of the Aartna.

      January 27, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • sam stone

      i think you confuse serve with service

      January 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  16. Myrko

    The Buddha

    1. “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”

    You become what you think about or in other words: what you focus on grows in your life and from what you take your focus away from diminishes.

    It means that the mind is directing our life in the way we manifest the life around us by the thoughts and directions we take with our mind. Since everything we created around us is first created in the mind, it is the tool or the interface between our self and the material world.

    Another quote of Buddha with a similar message here is “He is able who thinks he is able”. This also shows the creative power of the mind and if we are able to consciously use it in that way – avoiding negative thoughts and utilizing empowering thoughts – we use it in a supportive manner.

    2. “All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?”

    This is the core of personal development. It points towards the need to train and develop the mind and to free it from limits and negativity.

    The other quote “The mind is the source of happiness and unhappiness.” makes the same point with the special notion of happiness. The mind used correctly – i.e. constructive, empowering, solution- and action-oriented, positive, truth-seeking – can create happiness. But used poorly – i.e. blaming, egocentric, negative, blinded by ambition or separation – it will create unhappiness for us. Training the mind is the key here.

    The quote may also point to a transformation by awakening directly, where the mind becomes the servant of the self and not the creator of a self-image (the concept of the ego) as a replacement for the true self.

    3. “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

    This points to the abundant nature of reality. The abundance mentality says there is enough for everyone, we only have to realize and live by it. It is the opposite of a scarcity mentality, where you have the belief that you always have to fight for your part in a limited world.

    4. “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

    The essence of living in the present moment, the Now, is focusing the mind here and take attention away from thinking about past or future. The present moment is all there ever is to experience life directly. Past and future are only concepts of our mind and therefore are good for learning from the past or conceptual planning when it is useful, but after this there is no need for them. Especially not to dwell in them and get stuck there in the mind by constant thinking loops.

    5. “However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you If you do not act on upon them?”

    Action is what counts. It means to be action-oriented and to actually do what we think, to prove what we believe by applying it in reality. Only if we “walk our talk” we are authentic and truthful to ourselves.

    To apply yourself and your ideas in reality is like a proof-test for what we think is right and will work. If there is no action and therefore no testing in reality, the words or ideas themselves are of no real sustainable value.

    Another quote for this message is “A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.”

    6. “Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”

    This is the essence of Carpe Diem – to seize the day fully means living wisely. It means to live to the highest truth we know and to rise to our highest values and capabilities.

    Living wisely also means not to believe every thought that comes, but to live more from the space between thoughts, from our essence.
    7. “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

    The so-called Inside-Out approach means to look within oneself to find the inspiration and power to act from this place. It means not to look to the outside world for liberation or happiness, but to take the responsibility for oneself and become that what we are seeking.

    His second quote here “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” talks directly about this responsibility, response-ability we have inside.

    8. “In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”

    Any perspective we have on anything is only a relative truth. There are always both (or more) sides of any story. An objective perspective or an absolute truth is very hard or maybe impossible to see. But to be aware of this and to be interested to see another perspective from another person can be very mind-opening and valuable.

    9. “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”

    This quote is perhaps the most difficult one to really understand. In the first place, it is not about the beautiful nature of the flower or beauty itself. What Buddha is talking about – in my humble opinion – is to see and get in touch with the life in a flower directly, without any interference by our mind by mental concepts and thoughts of the flower.

    10. “The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”

    If we are not authentic and truthful to ourselves, we build a wall around us that eventually we have to tear down again. It is then literally a resistance to the reality and our own nature where we can hide some time, but life has a way to show us our own faults in the end.

    To be true to the best one knows means to come from our own best knowledge and not buy into something outside ourselves blindly, always asking: is this really true to what I know?

    In resonance with this quote also is the final one by The Buddha;

    “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”

    January 27, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • Bob

      6. “Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”
      Answer if you can why should this be true??

      January 27, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  17. Bob

    Act 2:31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY.
    Act 2:32 "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.
    Act 2:33 "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.
    Act 2:34 "For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: 'THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
    Act 2:36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ–this Jesus whom you crucified."
    Act 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?"
    Act 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
    Act 2:39 "For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself."
    Act 2:40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation!"
    So as it was then it is today, and the promises still hold true Repent and accept and you WILL be saved for as many as the Lord has called to Himself.

    January 27, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • End Religion

      1) God is satisfied with his works – Gen 1:31
      God is dissatisfied with his works. – Gen 6:6
      2) God dwells in chosen temples – 2 Chron 7:12,16
      God dwells not in temples – Acts 7:48
      3) God dwells in light – Tim 6:16
      God dwells in darkness – 1 Kings 8:12/ Ps 18:11/ Ps 97:2
      4) God is seen and heard – Ex 33:23/ Ex 33:11/ Gen 3:9,10/ Gen 32:30/ Is 6:1/ Ex 24:9-11
      God is invisible and cannot be heard – John 1:18/ John 5:37/ Ex 33:20/ 1 Tim 6:16
      5) God is tired and rests – Ex 31:17
      God is never tired and never rests – Is 40:28

      January 27, 2013 at 10:52 am |
  18. john

    For Every Atheist who do not believe in GOD, there is an easiest way to prove that JESUS is GOD. You know when someone want to prove if a person is exist or not, is just try to looking for him.
    In now days we can try to search the name in the internet, and if he have phone number we can call him, or if he has email account we can send him email, or facebook or twitter.
    But is not that GOD thing, yeah maybe if GOD will, it can.
    So the easiest way to prove that GOD exist is just to Challenge Him, since HE is omnipotent, you all can challenge him with this "GOD, in Bible they said that you are Mighty so you also can hear me in every place and in every time, so now I challenge YOU to prove that YOU exist, if you real exist so dare YOURSELF to show YOURSELF to me. Now I'm standing here, if you didn't reveal YOURSELF now, its mean true that YOU never existed. Do YOU dare GOD against me?"

    And if HE didn't reveal HIMSELF to you all the atheist, its mean HE really never existed. And you atheist will have a prove that GOD didn't exist.

    But now, all the atheist never can prove if GOD didn't exists. Prove to me that GOD didn't exists.

    So, the question is "Do You Dare To Prove It In Such A Way As Challenging GOD ??"

    January 27, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • End Religion

      Your god never existed. There's no reason to spend time on your pointless and ill-conceived exercise, doofus.

      January 27, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      I have challenged your god countless times and all I hear is crickets. Simple reason...there are no gods.

      January 27, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  19. JPO

    All of this because someone named Mary got pregnant out of wedlock a long time ago.

    January 27, 2013 at 6:30 am |
    • Saraswati

      We live in an age of messiahs.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • sam stone

      if she would have just offered to do the lewinsky thing, this never would have happened

      January 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  20. roman2819

    This book, "Understanding prayer, Faith and God's WIl" is dedicated to All who believe, and to All who haven't.
    Chapters m:
    1. Inner Doubts
    2. What does the Bible mean?
    3. Prayer: What did Jesus Intend to tell us?
    4. "Why doesn't God answer more prayers?"
    5. To Pray Again
    6. Does Sin impede prayer?
    7. Faith in God
    8. How does God call people?
    9. Understanding God's Will
    10 Being in God's will
    11 Journey of the Bible
    12 Reading the Scripture Fruitfully

    January 27, 2013 at 12:48 am |
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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.