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What if Jesus Doesn’t Endorse Christianity?
If you are still reading this after reading the title, you are both very brave and very gracious. Thank you for giving me the chance to speak. I promise you I am not a troll nor am I trying to take anything from anybody. I am simply trying to open up some much needed discussion about a topic I have been thinking on for quite some time. So, please, bare with me and consider what I have to say.
For preliminary explanation, it should be noted that I am a Deist. For those not familiar, here is a short explanation. I believe in God. And I believe that there are forces in the Universe we as humans cannot understand. But I no longer have any use for the man-made institution of organized religion and, yes, that includes Christianity. I do not read the Bible and I do not pray despite believing in God because I view these as things propagated by religious leaders throughout time to gain control over the masses with promises of pie-in-the-sky rewards of “blessings” and an afterlife. What this means is that I have separated the ideas of religion and God in order to re-affirm the idea of a Creator; God made more sense to me after I put down the Bible and after I stopped praying. This is so because God is God, but organized religion is full of so many hypocrisies and double-standards it’s hard to keep track. The Bible alone is enough to make my head spin. And the Founding Fathers agree with me, hence the First Amendment (but that‘s another essay all together). As Ben Franklin said, “A lighthouse is more useful than a church.”
Obviously, this is an astounding conclusion to come to and it in no way came easily. It involved putting my very faith on the line which is something I thought I’d never do. It is also something I task the readers of this article to do. But it did get me thinking (which is always a good thing), what did Jesus think about it all? Now that I was able to look at his story objectively for the first time, what would I find? This, my friends, is the nature of this piece.
You see, I have nothing against Jesus inherently. I don’t dislike him at all. He was an amazing prophet and we know for sure from several historical documents (that aren’t the Bible) that he was a real dude. Whether or not he performed the miracles he did is up to you and, honestly, it doesn’t matter in this context. What matters is what he was out to do. Half of the people in America don’t know that Judaism is older than Christianity. That means that they are reading a book labeled with the “OLD” and “NEW” Testaments and don’t know which came first. Let that sink in for a minute. My point here is that most people never talk about the totally true fact that Jesus was a JEW and NOT a Christian. This doesn’t mean that I agree outright with Judaism but it does finally bring us to the point of this article. What if everyone’s favorite Jew never wanted his own religion?
Okay, now let’s stop here. Because if your answer to this is a passage from the Bible, you can save your breath. I don’t want your only argument against me to be, “This isn‘t true because the Bible says so!” That’s circular logic and it has no room in this debate. If your only contention has to do with the “Word of God” you need to stop yourself. I’m using my own human logic and reasoning when I say, the disciples of Jesus were a big letdown. Forget the “lowly sinners saved by Christ” part. Forget the “Deny me three times” part. Forget the “One of you will betray me” part. Jesus became a martyr for his religion - Judaism. When he died, his disciples did what most followers do when their savior/leader dies. They canonized him. In this instance, they went full monty and gave Jesus his own religion.
Now, I’m not telling you what to believe here. As always I encourage people to form their own opinion. But let’s take a page from Anderson Cooper’s playbook: Keeping Them Honest, Jesus had pretty basic teachings. He taught us to live humbly; to love one another; to be nice to your neighbor. But personal dogma usually came second to being a righteous dude or dudette. When he died, his followers took his teachings and ran with them, putting words in his mouth and proclaiming their own teachings and bias to be his direct word. (Because, as Jesus once said about gays, “
”) This trend was to be rehashed time and again for centuries to come. And, contrary to popular belief, Jesus could not protest because HE WAS DEAD. Yes, count me as one of the few who don’t necessarily believe Jesus rose from the ground like a zombie.
Again, I’m not trying to take anything away from anyone. Nor am I trying to “tear down the establishment” of organized religion. If anything, I’m trying to help religion save itself from its own hypocrisy. Look at the numbers and you’ll see that most young people agree with me. Most of them believe in God, as I do, but they have no more reason to be involved with religion. Go into any church, especially a Catholic one, and you’ll see nothing but grey heads. Count me as someone trying to give Jesus his own voice after all these centuries. Because after enduring several re-writes of the Bible - which include text added by kings and royalties who sought to control the masses through fear - it’s past time for someone to take a long rake down the chalkboard of complacency and misinformation. Never question the fact that religion is responsible for more bloodshed than anything else in history. Jesus never told The Knights Templar to go on The Crusades. He was very much against violence if I do remember correctly.
To wrap up everything in a nice literary bow and bring all of this full circle, I am a Deist. I believe in God, but not in the same was as many of you. I believe God is busy making sure the Universe doesn’t fall apart at the seams and does not intervene as much as you would like to believe He does. (Seeing as we are a narcissistic society, I can understand why this is hard to grasp.) Nevermind what the Bible says, because after Two Millennia the original word, if there was one, has long since been lost to the corruption and fear of the Church. The entire reason Jesus did what he did in the first place was to reform Judaism. REFORM. I want to make that clear. He was never out to overthrow his own church and make his own religion. He was the first Reform Jew. Whose mission it was to take back his church from the fear-mongering leaders in charge who would have the masses believe that his God was an angry, desert sex-hating Deity who would strike you down with fiery rage for no reason. Ever since, his original teachings and will have been all but lost forever in the halls of time.
And this breaks my heart, because even if I hesitate to believe in the more extravagant portions of the story of Jesus, I do think his teachings mean something important. But it matters not, because this innocent man - who died for his beliefs - has been shoehorned into being the messiah of an entire people. Like most messiahs are, if you think about it. God Bless the man they called “Jesus”. The man who was tricked into being the Son of God.