The premise of my first ‘Jesus’ book* is that while Christians profess to believe in Jesus, they choose to ignore most of what he taught while he was alive. While they claim a vapid super-hero Christ as personal saviour, they replace what the human Jesus had to say with words of their own choosing. In reality, they have about as much time for Jesus’ ‘eternal words’ as the average non-believer or atheist. You don’t have to look very far to see how much his words have already ‘passed away’:
Jesus said, ‘Don’t judge so that you won’t be judged’ (Matthew 7.1). Our representative Christian says, ‘LGBT people are filthy and wrong.’
Jesus said ‘Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you’ (Matthew 5.44). Our representative Christian says, ‘I’m gonna pray a transgender person dies and goes to Hell.’
Jesus said, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mark 12.31). The Christian says, ‘The way to show love is to tell other people they’re going to Hell.’
Jesus said, ‘sell all you have and give to the poor’ (Mark 10.21). The Christian is concerned about where to buy jewellery: ‘…somewhere other than Tiffany’s, because Tiffany’s is gay friendly.’
Jesus said, ‘Forgive those who sin against you so you can be forgiven yourself’ (Matthew 6.14). Our believer rants, ‘LGBT people should be executed.’
Jesus said, ‘Don’t commit adultery and don’t get divorced’ (Matthew 5.27-28 and 19.9). Significant numbers of Christians , including our own Stephen Green, say, ‘that doesn’t apply to me.’
See what I mean? Christians regard the words of their saviour, not as having everlasting value, but as if they’re nothing more than worthless bits of fluff. Even if God were real, every word of the Bible true, every aspect of the Great Salvation Plan genuine, it wouldn’t change the fact that believers treat as optional almost everything Jesus commanded and live as if he never had.
* Why Christians Don’t Do What Jesus Tells Them To …And What They Believe Instead is available from Amazon worldwide (UK here, US here) but not, alas, from Tiffany’s.
The picture shows the deplorable Pastor Steven Anderson (linked above). He knows better than Jesus ever did.
I just wanted to leave a response to your post. It’s unfortunate that the ‘representative Christian’ that you chose to quote hasn’t done a very good job of re-presenting Jesus at all. It’s interesting – Ghandi said, “I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians, because they are so unlike your Christ.” But the sad truth is, there are many people who call themselves Christians but in reality haven’t surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ and His teachings. Jesus Himself said that all people would know we were genuine Christians by our LOVE. Love, acceptance and forgiveness, that’s Christianity! Anyway, just wanted to let you know that there are people out here who believe in the teachings of Jesus, and although I don’t profess to follow them perfectly, I do strive to be more loving, accepting and forgiving – just like Jesus – every day.
Thank you, Chris. You’re right, I know, that there are good Christians – I know several myself and this blog must irritate them greatly. I’m glad you’re of their number (good as opposed to irritated!) My theory, which is entirely unscientific and untested, is that good Christians are good people anyway and would pretty much be loving, kind and forgiving even without their faith. Equally, those believers who are more vociferous and aggressive and think they represent believers as a whole, are among the more naturally mean-spirited. In a previous post (https://rejectingjesus.com/2013/09/18/what-use-is-religion/) I suggested faith is like alcohol – taking on either amplifies a person’s true nature, whether that’s loving and accepting or judgemental and unkind. You probably don’t agree with this theory, but it’s good to know you’re one of the good guys!
Hey, wanted to say thanks for approving my comment, posting it, and also replying to it. Unfortunately, my experience with atheists in the past has been that most of them are not open to opinions that differ from their own, and on those few sites that actual post my comments, their responses are mean-spirited and full of name-calling, rather than responding to what I have written. So please know I appreciate your response!
Your theory is an interesting one, saying that people have a certain bent or nature regardless of their faith commitment, and would be so even if it wasn’t for ‘God’. Although that may be true for some people, I know for myself that faith in God made a radical difference in my life. My dad was an alcoholic, womanizing promise-breaker, who abandoned my mom and my younger sisters and I. I came from a broken home, and didn’t go to church or believe in God. When I became a teenager, my lifestyle was very much becoming like my dad’s – drinking, getting drunk, dating girls, lying, deceiving, cheating on girls, etc. However, after finding faith in Christ at the age of 18, everything changed for me. I gave up a lifestyle of selfishness, drunkenness, and deceit, and began living a life trying to help others, living soberly, and doing my best to walk in honesty and integrity. Would that change have happened in my life apart from a very real relationship with Christ? I don’t know, but I don’t think so.
Anyway, looking forward to dialoguing more with you in the days to come! Although I know you don’t believe in God, I’m going to pray that He would bless you today, anyway… 🙂
No problem, Chris. I can cope with dissenting voices – not that yours was particularly. I know what you’re saying about what Christianity has done for you and I wouldn’t want to dispute it. My childhood was difficult too, for very similar reasons to yours. It made me shy and withdrawn, and left me feeling to blame for practically everything, together with a great sense of inadequacy. When I became a Christian in my teens it seemed to offer some escape from these difficulties and from what I’d become. Over time though I ended up adding ‘God’ to the list of those I thought I let down.
I have to say the only way I overcame these issues was to embrace them and work with them. When eventually I did, I found great happiness. Along the way though, and as you can probably tell, I took my leave of Christianity, which was dragging me down. I had to know, however, what it was I had believed for so long and so began lots of researching and reading, leading eventually to a book and this blog.
I’m sorry some atheists have been mean-spirited (I’ve found the same from some on Christian sites, I’m afraid.) I’ll try not to be!