CBAS – Carrying Bibles Around School – The New Movement

CBAS – the New Movement

Interview by Stacey Tuttle

You may have heard of the planking movement that has been sweeping the globe where people take pictures of themselves in a plank position (lying straight like a plank of wood) in some unusual place—on top of buildings, monuments, etc.  There have even been several deaths as a result of people planking in dangerous places (made all the more dangerous if done while less than sober).  My friend even joined the movement and posted pictures of himself planking in his bed and on his couch (I know, way to go, right?!)   

Well, there is a new movement that is beginning to sweep the US called CBASing (pronounced sea-bass-ing).  The movement is growing and we want you to know about it.  It’s far more significant than planking.  Although, we should warn you, it’s potentially every bit as dangerous. 

CBAS stands for Carrying Bibles Around School and CBASing is doing just that:  Carrying your Bible around school.  CBASers don’t necessarily “do” anything else.  They don’t hand out tracts.  They don’t sit down and ask evangelism questions or surveys of their peers.  I mean, they might, but if they do it’s not technically part of CBASing.  CBASers simply have their Bibles visibly with them, on campus, throughout the day.  Why?  For one, it aligns them with Jesus, visually, to those around them.  For another, it helps remind them Whose they are and helps hold them accountable to conduct themselves in a way that honors Jesus.  It also helps them identify other Christians.  And finally, CBASing opens up a lot of easy opportunities for witnessing.  The Bible itself opens those doors. 

We invite you to watch the following video about the effect CBAS has already had on the lives of students and then, read the following interview with CBAS founder, David Tanner.  Then, whether you are a student or not, you can become a CBASer too—take the pledge!


The Five Pillars of CBAS: Act Consciously, Seek Accountability, Be in the Word, Strike up Conversation, and Unite Christian Students 

The CBAS pledge: I agree to carry my Bible, in my hand, in school, from class to class, all day, everyday, from this day forward. I will CBAS for the following reasons: to be in constant check of my words and actions, to seek accountability from fellow CBASers, to remember to be in the word and meditate on it constantly, to use it as a tool to open up conversation, and to unite Christian students. I will let the Lord use His word for His purposes, whether opened or closed, read or held. All glory to God! 

SPM:  How did CBAS start?  Was there one person or a group of people behind it?

David:  This is something I started myself.  I found that the Bible does a better job starting up conversation than I do, because it’s the Bible.  People see it and start conversation, even when I am too nervous to start up a conversation myself.  The Bible will do it for me.  So, I started carrying my Bible for my own sake, to help me be a better witness and to hold myself accountable.  That was in my high school in Douglas County, CO last semester, January of 2011.  

Then some of my friends ended up hearing what I was doing and decided to join me—some at my high school, some at other schools.  One of my friends actually named it CBAS (pronounced sea-bass).  That was last spring.  Now I’ve graduated and am in college at Colorado Christian University.  And I do it there, which is interesting, doing it at a Christian University because it’s not the same level of outward statement, but it still allows me to tell people about the ministry and opens doors.    But some of my friends went on to non-Christian universities and have started it at their colleges.  I know friends are doing it at Colorado State and various high schools in Colorado.  I don’t really know how many are committed CBASers but I think it’s grown to at least somewhere between 70-100 students that I know of in Colorado in one semester. 

SPM:  You have quite a passion for the Lord and for His WORD.  Is there a particular person or even in your life which you think really sparked that passion in your life?  (Of course, God is behind it all, but what do you think He used to make you so passionate about Him?) 

David: Passion for Christ will follow with a passion for the Word.  I’ve been to a Christian apologetics camp for years (Worldview Academy) and one of the faculty last year said the Bible was like God’s love letter for us.  If you think of a love relationship here on earth, if someone’s girlfriend sent them a love letter, they wouldn’t just stick it in a drawer, they would read it, sentence by sentence, and they would read it over and over and even glow in that love letter.  The Bible is God’s love letter to us – so how much more should we read it and love it and treasure it? 

So, worldview academy definitely sparked a practical sense of my desire to get into the Word of God, and sparked a desire for truth.  I also began to see the lost in my schools and how what they have called truth in their various false world views has mislead them.  I believe the Word of God is the only thing on this planet we know that is 100% truth.  It’s the one thing I know is true.  If I am able to have possession of that, I need to be constantly meditating on that like Ps. 1 says. 

Apart from that, my New Year’s resolution this year was to read the scripture cover to cover before graduation (in about 5 months time or less).  That helped me to see that it’s not some dull book that only old people read.  The Word of God is attainable, not just this big overwhelming thing only for pastors and super-smart people.  It’s for this generation.

SPM:  How have you (or others) been socially criticized or persecuted for CBAS?  And what has your response to that been?

David: I personally haven’t received too much criticism for CBAS.  I think that the reason is that I already kind of had a reputation and a respect—not to take pride in that—but I had a respect from my peers that people wouldn’t come up and make fun in my face.  I don’t know what they did behind my back, but…  However, a lot of others were made fun of, teased, etc.  

But the greatest story I know if through this is that there was a youth group of students where CBAS was brought up in their youth group and they all decided to bring their Bibles to school.  The faculty of the school took their Bibles and held them saying that they weren’t allowed to do that in school, that they were pushing their religion on others.  I did some research and found out that it IS our right to carry a book around.  For the most part, CBASers don’t generally say those evangelism questions you hear or hand out tracts, etc.  Instead, they find that because of the Bible, people bring their questions to them. They don’t have to “push” or even work hard to initiate conversations – people come to them instead.  

But it’s OK that the faculty took their Bibles.  I am excited by this story – I feel that that means that people see Christians as a threat to society.  I believe that’s a great compliment – to say that we have the ability through God to impact the world.  I am very encouraged by that! 

SPM:  I’m sure there have been some amazing stories that have come as a result of students CBAS – can you share a few of your favorites?

David: This is on the video, but I’ll tell it again because I think it’s such a great story.  My friend Nate, on the second day of school which was just a few weeks ago, was carrying his Bible around school and came into one of his teachers to ask if he could help.  The teacher was in a bad mood and snapped at him and said something like, “Aren’t I supposed to be serving you?”  But God gave him that verse in Mark 10 about how Jesus came to serve and not be served and became a ransom for many (which, I think it’s really cool that he gave Nate a verse to say in that situation!)  So, he told her that verse, and through that, the teacher responded and she told him that she would like for him to go into her class and tell the entire class why he was doing this.  So, he did that.  He walked in and talked about why he was carrying his Bible around. After he did that, one of the girls in class said, “We need to talk.”   Later, as they talked, she started asking him where he got this love, and how does he have so much love inside of him.  He explained it was from Jesus and she accepted Jesus. 

There is a kid at another high school who started doing CBAS and he got into a conversation with a guy named Parker.  Parker accepted Christ and is now leading with CBAS and being an influence in his school just after he accepted Christ with his life.  It’s exciting to see how quickly lives are being changed and people aren’t just coming to know Jesus, but they are going on to stand up for him and become leaders for him.  They are truly changing and becoming LIKE Christ. 

SPM:  Has there been anything that has really surprised you as a result of CBAS? 

David:  CBAS isn’t just an evangelism tool, but it also holding us accountable.  It is helping US – just by holding our Bible.  It’s like Neil Armstrong said, “Such a small step, but such a big leap.”  Just that alone, God has used to build US up.  It’s encouraging because I want high school students to go away from high school and have a faith.  I don’t want them to have to be relying on their parent’s faith and when they walk out of graduation, they don’t have a faith anymore.  But holding their Bible helps them to hold their faith—their own faith.  When they hold it—literally, physically— it becomes their own.  

I’m also a little surprised by the practical side of the ministry and just how God has been growing that so rapidly.  And at how God is using my small skills in the video realm, etc. to change people.  It’s exciting to see!

 Another shocker was, the first shocker about the video was, that it made my pops cry.  He’s not a cryer, and that surprised me.  But it touched him, and it’s touching other people too.  And then I have been shocked by how God has taken this off and things are just growing so quickly.  A student (that I don’t know) in California emailed and told me that on August 20 (2011) the video I made was shown to 250 youth and young adults at a church in California!  This is within one week of me posting the video on the web!  Amazing!  

The Bible needs to be in the schools and this is something I am seeing.  What we are being taught (in the public schools, at least) is not truth.  We need to put truth back in schools through God.  I can literally say only by the hand of God is anything happening. 

Want to be a part of the CBAS movement?  You can follow CBAS on Facebook and help spread the word.  You can also share the video of what God is doing through student who chose to CBAS, to carry their Bibles with them around school.  Most importantly, you too can take the CBAS pledge and carry your own Bible around with you.  See what God will do through this simple act of aligning with Him!

Deuteronomy 11:18-21

18(A)You shall therefore [a]impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as [b]frontals [c]on your forehead. 19 (B)You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. 20 (C)You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 so that (D)your days and the days of your sons may be multiplied on the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as [d](E)long as the heavens remain above the earth.