Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Jesus was Not a Christian
There are lots of atheist video clips on YouTube. Most of them just argue angrily against religion, especially the Christian one, its ethics and cosmology. Some are more talented than others – I remember in particular Dendrophilian, a Norwegian teenager with a sharp mind and an absurd sense of humor. Unfortunately, he closed his YouTube account.
It's evident that the atheists are angered by the intolerance and fanaticism of Christian fundamentalists, who have become increasingly visible in society, even influencing it here and there, in spite of their very outdated standpoints on just about everything. The atheist reaction is understandable.
But it's a pity if they blame Christian fundamentalism on Jesus, and discard him as well. I'm not a Christian, but I have always been impressed by the message of Jesus as it is presented in the four Gospels. He advocated loving and forgiving, and the world is in dire need of that. The only other thinker I have come across with an equally compassionate message is Lao Tzu, the writer of the Tao Te Ching.
Such thinkers need to be read and praised, whatever absurd congregations have misinterpreted them and twisted their messages unrecognizably. I am convinced that if the Christian fundamentalists were to meet Jesus, they would ban him as a non-Christian. If they had the chance they would probably crucify him, too.
Time for a quote, to prove my point. This is from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5, its lines vibrant of warm compassion, but also of sweet poetry:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”