Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jesus was Not a Christian

The rage of atheists on YouTube and elsewhere is understandable. They react to the increasing nonsense from Christian fundamentalists, mainly in the USA. But Jesus is not really to blame.

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who have become increasingly visible in society, even influencing it here and there, in spite of their very outdated standpoints on just about everything.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.”

5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. To a certain degree there is a possibility that Jesus -at a very young age- went to the Himalaya and probably confronted himself with forms of Buddhism and other far eastern cults. This possibility opens a door to a considerable merger between eastern and early christian creeds.

    If the results of this thesis are sustained in time by the academy, this would mean two things: First, the so dearly emphasized gap between the "world-leading-religions" suddenly will be closed, since there will be substantial evidence for a mayor overlap and mutual influence between formerly "competing religions" (to call them somehow). Now, if proof is given, on the one hand the formal ground for atheist criticism or religious fanaticism (even the choleric fundamentalist one) on the other one is removed from the world-stage of “exclusive messianic adoration”. And secondly, all over sudden, mankind will turn to the original sources witch once inspired the Nazarene on his trip to the top of the world.
    For now one question remains unanswered: With witch specific sources did the young future martyr got in touch with? - It seams he stayed for a considerable time at a buddhist convent and participated willingly at the daily working-routines between prolonged periods of sitting meditation (za-zen), as well as at traditional conversations between master and student (dokusan) on the search of enlightenment (satori).
    Maybe one day we will be able to sustain: “The Lord Jesus was a practicing Buddhist!” If so, that would explain without room for doubt the considerable amount of buddhist methodology and even common syntax in Jesus' speeches and the lectures of the fundamental teachings of Zen. Especially his parables reveal amazing analogies with the mayor Koan (scriptures) of Zen-Buddhism. These parallels could mean that at the ground of all human belief there is a common base, witch got lost with time going by and was deeply affected by successive interpretation by whom it pleased to ad his/her opinion to the matter (let us not start a list, we all know very well!).

    If I remember rightly, Jesus had a least common denominator under witch he summed up all human existence: Love. If this achievement results the common and lost element that holds together time and space, than there have been uncountable prophets, wise-men and women, saints, blessed-ones, martyrs and mystics, that have postulated just that. Almost all of them ended smashed, burned, decapitated, crucified, hung, quartered etc. They also shared ONE belief, the one in peaceful mankind. And they definitively have another thing in common: It is the price they had to pay or still pay even now, for a manifest opposition to hatred and destruction as a fundamental characteristic of all man. So, no wonder if Jesus -as one of them- gets used and abused nowadays from one side or another to instigate new war and anger resulting from infinite ego and arrogance.
    But let us be confident that one day the issue will be clarified once an for all. That day lots of people will find their way to the practice of Aikido, since they will comprehend that Master Ueshiba Morihei in his wisdom found the conjunction between the expressions of physical and spiritual love in the sublime way of a path of universal energy put to peace and harmony. He was Jesus' brother in spirit and heart. Well, and now I wonder: Could Master Jesus have been a practicing aikidoist already?

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  3. Henryk, I remember that my former aikido teacher Ichimura claimed, when teaching kototama, that Jesus in his youth had traveled to Japan and learned the secret of kototama, the Shinto cosmology of sounds.
    Later, Ichimura became Christian. He also dropped the above idea, I guess.

    I think that brilliant ideas can appear anywhere in the world, and not just once. There does not have to be one originator of profound thought. Human beings are pretty much alike, so it's natural that they come up with similar ideas.

    But it is indeed interesting to see how these ideas connect, and what they have in common.

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  4. I am a Christian and would like to comment on the above. The Christian religions are man made based on the teachings of Christ and his mission of salvation. Anything man made has error as we all know. From a personal point God has given each one of us his eternal salvation through Christ. Satan wants to separate man from God through sin and he is doing a good job dividing and conquering and most of the world is deceived forgetting God's laws. Read Matthew 24 and look at the world.

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  5. Anonymous, what I tried to say was that even to a non-Christian, the words of Jesus are worth studying.

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