Call yourself a Christian?

jc-prays

So you think you might be a Christian? Try this handy-dandy checklist to see if you’re a true follower of Jesus or just someone who’s paying lip-service. You’ll need to score big if you’re ever going to get into his exclusive club!

1) Have you relinquished all worldly goods as Jesus tells you to in Matt 19.21 & Luke 12.33?

If not, better get to it. It’s pretty important to him – he mentions it at least a dozen times in the gospels.

2) Have you forsaken your loved ones, taken to hating them even, the better to serve him and his Kingdom?

No? Than what are you thinking of? Not Luke 14. 26 & 33 that’s for sure.

3) Do you constantly go the extra mile, turn the other cheek, give to all who ask, love your enemies and forgive others repeatedly (Matthew 7.12; Luke 6.27 & 29; Matthew 6.14; Matthew 5.38 etc)? In short, are you perfect as he says you should be?

Some work to do here then, to come up to the expected standard?

4) Do you sacrificially serve others – the sick, the imprisoned, the homeless, the hungry, the naked (Matthew 25.34-46)?

Better get round to it as the only way to avoid Jesus’ blacklist.

5) Do you work tirelessly and exclusively to bring about God’s Kingdom on Earth (albeit in the first century) like Jesus commands in Matthew 6.33?

Why not? Get with the programme!

6) Have you stayed single, never marrying, and certainly never getting divorced?

You haven’t? Shame on you, because you can’t into the Kingdom with a spouse and definitely not with one you’ve discarded along the way (Luke 20.34-35).

7) Have you given up judging others?

If not, you can expect to be on the receiving end of a hell of a lot of judgement in return (Matthew 7.1-2).

8) When you throw a party do you invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind instead of your friends (Luke 14.12-14)?

I think we know the answer to this one.

9) Are you tireless in denigrating, campaigning against and ranting about same-sex relationships and marriage?

Well, good for you though this has nothing to do with being a follower of Jesus (see 7 above).

10) Do you believe in a magical incantation that is going to preserve the essential ‘you’ in Heaven forever?

Jesus didn’t.

So how did you do? Are you someone Jesus would say, ‘Well done you good and faithful servant’ to (Matthew 25.21), or would he insist he never knew you (Matthew 7.23)? –

0-2: Pathetic, especially if the two in question are 9 & 10.

3-7: You’re neither hot nor cold. Expect to be spewed out of his mouth (Revelation 3.16).

8-10: You’re getting there, but then, you didn’t really answer truthfully, did you? Your yes didn’t mean yes (Matthew 5.37).

Never mind, you can always get back to singing songs, waving your arms about and condemning others because they have a speck in their eye (Luke 6.42). Everybody knows that’s what being a Christian is really all about.

Christians’ Favourite Delusions 3: Jesus is Perfect

buddyjesus1Jesus – practically perfect in every way.

Or was that Mary Poppins?

Christians go to great lengths to present Jesus as perfect. They do this by ignoring the evidence, such as we have it in the gospels, and by believing blindly in a false version of the god-man perpetrated by those who’ve gone before them. They call it ‘faith’; the rest of us know it as cognitive dissonance. Step out from behind it, look at the Biblical record without preconceptions and what you will see is that Jesus was an unmitigated disaster.

His prophecies were wrong, his promises untrue, his morality, as his followers demonstrate to this day, impossible. His mission, to herald the arrival of the Kingdom of God for the Jewish people, was a failure that led, ultimately, to untold evil being committed in his name. He was responsible for the stultification of mankind’s cultural and intellectual development, and, still today, the suppression of reason, autonomy and equality. The world would have been a better place if he had never lived, or at least if those who followed him hadn’t made a religion out of his failure. He believed that the root cause of illness was sin and demonic possession: he was uneducated and unsophisticated. He was inconsistent, unpleasant to those who opposed him and dismissive of those outside his own circle. He was arrogant, abusive and divisive.

He was, in all of this, thoroughly human. He was not God, nor the Son of God, and he was not delivering any divine salvation plan. He was a charismatic, Jewish fanatic from a superstitious backwater of the first century. He has, or should have, no more relevance to the lives of people today than any of the other itinerant preachers of the time. I say this not because I’m choosing to ‘reject’ him; in spite of the name of this blog he can no more be ‘rejected’ than other ‘divine’ figures like Mithras, Krishna and Superman. Nor do I say it because I want to revel in my own ‘sin’, as Christians assert of those of us who really don’t see what all the fuss is about. I say it because this is what the evidence shows us.

Read the synoptic gospels for yourself, ignoring the interpretive gloss invented by Paul and later Christians, and this flawed individual is the Jesus you’ll see.