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“If you are looking for verses with which to support slavery, you will find them. If you are looking for verses with which to abolish slavery, you will find them. If you are looking for verses with which to oppress women, you will find them. If you are looking for for verses with which to liberate or honor women, you will find them. If you are looking for reasons to wage war, you will find them. If you are looking for reasons to promote peace, you will find them. If you are looking for an out-dated, irrelevant ancient text, you will find it. If you are looking for truth, believe me, you will find it. This is why there are times when the most instructive question to bring to the text is not "what does it say?", but "what am I looking for?" I suspect Jesus knew this when he said, "ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened." If you want to do violence in this world, you will always find the weapons. If you want to heal, you will always find the balm.”
Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood
“I have come to regard with some suspicion those who claim that the Bible never troubles them. I can only assume this means they haven’t actually read it.”
Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood
“My interpretation can only be as inerrant as I am, and that's good to keep in mind.”
Rachel Held Evans, Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions
“I told them we’re tired of the culture wars, tired of Christianity getting entangled with party politics and power. Millennials want to be known by what we’re for, I said, not just what we’re against. We don’t want to choose between science and religion or between our intellectual integrity and our faith. Instead, we long for our churches to be safe places to doubt, to ask questions, and to tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable. We want to talk about the tough stuff—biblical interpretation, religious pluralism, sexuality, racial reconciliation, and social justice—but without predetermined conclusions or simplistic answers. We want to bring our whole selves through the church doors, without leaving our hearts and minds behind, without wearing a mask.”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
“...faith isn't about having everything figured out ahead of time; faith is about following the quiet voice of God without having everything figured out ahead of time.”
Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood
tags: faith, god
“Imagine if every church became a place where everyone is safe, but no one is comfortable. Imagine if every church became a place where we told one another the truth. We might just create sanctuary.”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
“I explained that when our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender friends aren’t welcome at the table, then we don’t feel welcome either, and that not every young adult gets married or has children, so we need to stop building our churches around categories and start building them around people.”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
“God's ways are higher than our ways not because he is less compassionate than we are but because he is more compassionate than we can ever imagine.”
Rachel Held Evans, Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions
“What I love about the ministry of Jesus is that he identified the poor as blessed and the rich as needy...and then he went and ministered to them both. This, I think, is the difference between charity and justice. Justice means moving beyond the dichotomy between those who need and those who supply and confronting the frightening and beautiful reality that we desperately need one another.”
Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood
“As a Christian, my highest calling is not motherhood; my highest calling is to follow Christ.”
Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood
“Some rabbis say that, at birth, we are each tied to God with a string, and that every time we sin, the string breaks. To those who repent of their sins, especially in the days of Rosh Hashanah, God sends the angel Gabriel to make knots in the string, so that the humble and contrite are once again tied to God. Because each one of us fails, because we all lose our way on the path to righteousness from time to time, our strings are full of knots. But, the rabbis like to say, a string with many knots is shorter than one without knots. So the person with many sins but a humble heart is closer to God.”
Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood
“What a comfort to know that God is a poet.”
Rachel Held Evans, Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions
“So what did God say to me in the silence that morning? I’m not sure, but I think God said something like, Don’t try so hard, little child, and, Hey, check out this cool turtle I made.”
Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood
“I’ve watched congregations devote years and years to heated arguments about whether a female missionary should be allowed to share about her ministry on a Sunday morning, whether students older than ten should have female Sunday school teachers, whether girls should be encouraged to attend seminary, whether women should be permitted to collect the offering or write the church newsletter or make an announcement . . . all while thirty thousand children die every day from preventable disease. If that’s not an adventure in missing the point, I don’t know what is.”
Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood
“When we refer to 'the biblical approach to economics' or the biblical response to politics' or 'biblical womanhood,' we're using the Bible as a weapon disguised as an adjective.”
Rachel Held Evans, Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions
“But there is a difference between curing and healing, and I believe the church is called to the slow and difficult work of healing. We are called to enter into one another’s pain, anoint it as holy, and stick around no matter the outcome.”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
“The church is God saying: 'I'm throwing a banquet, and all these mismatched, messed-up people are invited. Here, have some wine.”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
“I am writing because sometimes we are closer to the truth in our vulnerability than in our safe certainties,”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
“As Brené Brown puts it, “I went to church thinking it would be like an epidural, that it would take the pain away . . . But church isn’t like an epidural; it’s like a midwife . . . I thought faith would say, ‘I’ll take away the pain and discomfort, but what it ended up saying was, ‘I’ll sit with you in it.”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
“The great struggle of the Christian life is to take God’s name for us, to believe we are beloved and to believe that is enough.”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
“The Proverbs 31 woman is a star not because of what she does but how she does it—with valor. So do your thing. If it’s refurbishing old furniture—do it with valor. If it’s keeping up with your two-year-old—do it with valor. If it’s fighting against human trafficking . . . leading a company . . . or getting other people to do your work for you—do it with valor. Take risks. Work hard. Make mistakes. Get up the next morning. And surround yourself with people who will cheer you on.”
Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood
“My friend Adele describes fundamentalism as holding so tightly to your beliefs that your fingernails leave imprints on the palm of your hand... I think she's right. I was a fundamentalist not because of the beliefs I held but because of how I held them: with a death grip. It would take God himself to finally pry them out of my hands. (p.17-18)”
Rachel Held Evans, Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions
“We could not become like God, so God became like us. God showed us how to heal instead of kill, how to mend instead of destroy, how to love instead of hate, how to live instead of long for more. When we nailed God to a tree, God forgave. And when we buried God in the ground, Got got up.”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
“They reminded me that Christianity isn’t meant to simply be believed; it’s meant to be lived, shared, eaten, spoken, and enacted in the presence of other people. They reminded me that, try as I may, I can’t be a Christian on my own. I need a community. I need the church.”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
“I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security . . . More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us, “Give them something to eat.” —Pope Francis1”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
“But the modern-day church doesn’t like to wander or wait. The modern-day church likes results. Convinced the gospel is a product we’ve got to sell to an increasingly shrinking market, we like our people to function as walking advertisements: happy, put-together, finished—proof that this Jesus stuff WORKS! At its best, such a culture generates pews of Stepford Wife–style robots with painted smiles and programmed moves. At its worst, it creates environments where abuse and corruption get covered up to protect reputations and preserve image. “The world is watching,” Christians like to say, “so let’s be on our best behavior and quickly hide the mess. Let’s throw up some before-and-after shots and roll that flashy footage of our miracle product blanching out every sign of dirt, hiding every sign of disease.” But if the world is watching, we might as well tell the truth. And the truth is, the church doesn’t offer a cure. It doesn’t offer a quick fix. The church offers death and resurrection. The church offers the messy, inconvenient, gut-wrenching, never-ending work of healing and reconciliation. The church offers grace. Anything else we try to peddle is snake oil. It’s not the real thing.”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
“In the company of these friends, questions and doubts were met with sympathy, not fear. No one felt the need to correct or understand or approve. We just listened, and it was sacred.”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
“I think maybe God was trying to tell me that gentleness begins with strength, quietness with security. A great tree is both moved and unmoved, for it changes with the seasons, but its roots keep it anchored in the ground. Mastering a gentle and quiet spirit didn’t mean changing my personality, just regaining control of it, growing strong enough to hold back and secure enough to soften.”
Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood
“The Christian versions of the household codes were clearly progressive for their time, but does that mean they have the last word, that Christians in changing places and times cannot progress further?”
Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood
“This is what God's kingdom is like: a bunch of outcasts and oddballs gathered at a table, not because they are rich or worthy or good, but because they are hungry, because they said yes. And there's always room for more.”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church

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