Was Jesus successful in his mission?

April 14, 2007 at 3:15 am 16 comments

JesusI struggled for a few years within Christianity to focus on compassion and tolerance. Even as a fundamentalist Christian, I did not support the religious right and campaigned for Christians to focus on what I considered to be the basic teachings of Christ. I was against intolerance, bigotry, misogyny, discrimination and using religion as a political weapon. I came up with a version of Christianity that fit within the scope of what I believed to be the the essence of Christianity – to love God and to love others.

Of course, I do not believe I was the first to try to reform my faith. There are many Christians who have walked this path over the centuries and many who still do so today (this is my shout out to liberal Christians). In fact, the very birth of Christianity centered around the very concept.

I believe that if Jesus really lived 2000 years ago, he and his followers set out to reform the religion of the day. They had their “religious right” groups who perverted what they viewed as the central message of their God. I know it’s near to impossible to determine what Jesus actually said and did since much of the narrative in the gospels came from the creative minds of the authors. However, personally I believe the passages where he defied the religion of the day were probably the most accurate. I say this because the authors tried to fit that message back into the framework of the Old Testament and would have not included a defiance of their foundations if there was not some reason to do so.

So here’s a possible scenario of what occurred 2000 years ago:

  1. Jesus and his companions set out to reform the religion of their day to be a kinder, gentler version.
  2. After their leader was killed, a cult was formed primarily made of this group of Jewish rebels.
  3. Paul took this basic message, added in his philosophical flair, embellished the reason for the death of Christ and took it to the non-Jews. In the process he wrote a few letters to his followers.
  4. Mark & possibly others took Paul’s letters, combined them with the legends of Jesus and created an account of the life of Christ adding in stories like the virgin birth, the teachings of hell, and the miracles he performed (many of these concepts were alien to the writings of Paul).
  5. Additional letters were written by early Christians using the names of Paul, the disciples, and others for credibility. These writings along with the previous mentioned ones now form the New Testament.

Why do I believe that Jesus failed in his mission? Well, because his followers tried to cast him as the fulfillment of Old Testament scripture, they simply recreated the very structure of the religion that he was trying to discard. They created a new set of rules and mysticism that were only a slight upgrade to what already existed in the culture.

Jesus supposedly said and did many things that would have caused him to be stoned (actually, it’s more likely that he was stoned to death than crucified as Paul, a Roman citizen, claimed).

Jesus defied the Sabbath. He contradicted the law of Moses:

You have heard that the law of Moses says, “If someone injures your eye, injure theirs in return. If a tooth gets knocked out, knock theirs out in return.” But I say, don’t resist an evil person! If you are slapped on the right cheek, turn the other, too.

He more or less said that the religious teachers of the day were evil.

The teachers of religious law crush you with impossible religious demands and never lift a finger to help ease the burden. They enjoy the attention.

A good summary for the message of Jesus can be found in this statement:

They need to learn the meaning of this Scripture, “I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices.”

However, Christianity validated the need for Abahamic sacrifices. In fact, ironically they made Jesus’ death the ultimate sacrifice. They created their own set of “impossible religious demands” for people to live by. In essence, everything Jesus tried to change was reverted back to the original form using his name.

Many ex-fundamentalist Christians are now picking up his mission and calling for people to live outside of the confines of the religions of today. It’s about mercy. It’s about compassion. It’s about making a positive impact on our world. Not about impossible religious demands or sacrifices. Can we succeed where Jesus failed?

- The de-Convert

Entry filed under: The de-Convert. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Reversing the damage caused by the Religious Right The Bible Myth ala Penn and Teller

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jonfeatherstone  |  April 14, 2007 at 3:28 am

    “I believe that if Jesus really lived 2000 years ago, he and his followers set out to reform the religion of the day”
    I think Jesus set out to do away with all religions, and to let us get on with life and getting on with God. In this regard, Christianity is just another religion.

  • 2. Jack Sparrow  |  April 14, 2007 at 3:41 am

    You are those kind of Assholes who have F-A-I-L-E-D TERRIBLE to know Jesus.

    Hay “AssHole” Jesus died for you! So that assholes like you could be saved and have life and life in abundance. For assholes like you, He paid for you, in full and plenty! For your sins, sickness, burden, and what not?

    You may be barking around, all these things about Jesus, but remember Jesus does not need any of us to protect Him. He is the Son of God Almighty!
    In a snap! He can bring 12 legions of powerful angelic armies (don’t you remember! you fool,) and then W-H-A-T?

    You are a fool, who does not know to look at the real picture. Let me make it clear-er to you. What I mean is, by doing all this you are only proving your Inability and! Inefficacy to understand the bigger picture (to know Jesus Christ.)

    Jesus can protect himself! Who will protect YOU!!? Bro. THIS IS THE MILLION-DOLOR QUESTION!

    Stop wasting your time. GO! get a Bible and start reading.
    Stop digging His grave, He is not there! He has Risen!

    Let the peace of Jesus be with you

  • 3. Linda  |  April 14, 2007 at 3:54 am

    Whats wrong with these guys. Don’t you go to church.
    Get a break.

  • 4. Ron Blain  |  April 14, 2007 at 4:03 am

    That’s the way…………. I like it……… Ahuh-ahuh.
    Learn it ass-hole

  • 5. agnosticatheist  |  April 14, 2007 at 7:44 am

    jon,

    I think Jesus set out to do away with all religions, and to let us get on with life and getting on with God. In this regard, Christianity is just another religion.

    Good point. However, Jesus’ followers simply re-created the very institution and “religion” that he set out to abolish.

  • 6. nullifidian  |  April 14, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    Hay “AssHole” Jesus died for you! So that assholes like you could be saved and have life and life in abundance. For assholes like you, He paid for you, in full and plenty! For your sins, sickness, burden, and what not?

    A few hours with nails in his hands knowing that he’d be resurrected (by himself) as a god? Doesn’t sound like much of a price to me. Prometheus had it much worse.

  • 7. Lyndy  |  April 14, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Wow Jack. Your comment here is quite a testimony. Can’t you just hear the scores of people coming to Christ after that rant of yours. Sounds like you are the one who is needed the peace of Christ.

  • 8. marymyk  |  April 15, 2007 at 9:21 am

    Jack, did you actually you read the entire post, not just the title? I have to say, I think a simple comparison between the last paragraph of this blog post and Jack’s comment illustrates the point perfectly. If you believe that Jesus will bring legions of angelic armies to crush us for saying that there should be more love in the world, I think it’s you who have failed to uderstand the message of Jesus.

    However I think it is the duty of everyone, not just atheists to show understanding towards people of of other beliefs. In the same way that Jack has leapt rather abusively to the defense of his God I have seen atheists act with just with just as little compassion towards Chrisitans and neither approach is right.

    The only point that I believe atheists can and must prove on their own is the goodness of human nature. Every good, thoughtful, kind and loving thing we do is an action that comes from our own desire to do good and is completely unaffected by the fear of hell or the hope of paradise. You can argue that the purest souls are those that achieve happiness in simply the action of doing good. I would argue that although not all, but most theist’s motivation is not the simple desire to do good, there’s more to it – beccause their holy book said they should/because their spiritual leader said they should/because they’ll have and afterlife/because they’ll be reincarnated.

    I can’t argree more with sentiments of the last paragraph of this blog post. Well done.

  • 9. Charl Smit  |  August 26, 2008 at 4:15 am

    Man I dont know what to say!!! BUT I tlak to Jesus everyday and once you have felt His love, compassion anf frogiveness, who cares about religion!!! And for me Jesus did succeed in His mission because I am saved and I know Him. Maybe if you dont know Him He is crying in Heaven for you saying. Father I failed that man!!!

  • 10. LeoPardus  |  August 26, 2008 at 11:00 am

    frogiveness??

    That must be what God had for the Egyptians when he sent that second plague.

  • 11. SnugglyBuffalo  |  August 26, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I thought it was when God created the French.

  • 12. john t.  |  August 26, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Snuggly

    Being that my wife is French Canadian I would use the term “Goddess” ;)

  • 13. mimi  |  November 20, 2008 at 1:53 am

    this is ridiculous people .

  • 14. kezia  |  November 28, 2008 at 1:27 am

    don’t take any part of the bible unless u already read it all…God bless us.

  • 15. Faruk  |  December 20, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    If only ‘we’ could see the world through the eyes of the Lord…If only ‘we’ could love each other with the heart of the Lord…If only ‘we’ would be Christians 100 penrect of the time…during the tough, unbearable, miserable, joyous, glamorous, overwhelming times…if only…It would be an amazing transformation for all Christians to stand up and say and show that they are willing and honored to: honor everyone, love the brotherhood, fear God and honor the king.We vow each and every week in church to abide by the laws and commands of the Lord…we pray each and every day to our God…we cry and ask why each and every day to our God…we ask so much of Him yet do so little on our own…I can picture the Lord sitting there and simply watching His children here on earth…What is He thinking? What must He be saying?Simply loving…Simply being…Heaven must be an amazing place…

  • 16. cag  |  December 20, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Faruk #15, Why do you come to a site designed for people who no longer drink from the poisoned well of religion. The people who belong here do not fear your imaginary lord, they laugh at the absurdity of the very idea of gods and devils. Your delusions are the polar opposite of rationality. You have accepted the lies of your parents and now wish to perpetuate those lies to the next generation. Fortunately there is now information available to everyone which destroys your silly myths and your pusillanimous gods.

    We know better, now go and learn how the world really works.

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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