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There’s probably no one in history who needs more saving than the Palestinian Jewish Rabbi of Nazareth who was not, and would never be, a Christian.

I’m not sure why I’ve been “chosen” and “called” but I guess it has something to do with the fact that secular people are the most reasonable, natural voices to “save Religion” from itself and from any who have a mission to end Religion.  The reason?  Reason, Freethought, Human Rights (the best reference for this is the U.S. Constitution firmly based on secular principles which protect religious freedom in the first lines of the First Amendment).

Saving Jesus, again:

Jesus was not the founder of the Church or the Religion that calls itself by his name

He overturned the religious community and continually challenged and contradicted religious leaders.  Why does the Church think he was only concerned about Jewish leadership and not all religious authorities? 

Peter’s “confession of faith” as “the rock” upon which Jesus will “build my ecclesia” has nothing to do with the institution or the religion built in his name (those who think so have to explain why they do not “give up all your possessions,” esteem the poor and powerless (“theirs is the kingdom of heaven”) above all religious authorities, and why they worship someone who insisted people worship God alone)

We don’t know exactly what he said or did, but the writings we do have do not support the “Religion of Christ”

What we have in the gospels and the writings of Paul are apocalyptic stories and teachings that demanded listeners give up their lives and die with their radical rabbi.  Those who choose to do that are 2000 years too late

Preaching “the End” and the imminent “Kingdom” does not correlate with creating a religious community that grew to power over centuries through ignoring or denying the most basic teachings of Jesus

Most of the Bible is either ignored or misused by those who say it is “God’s Holy Word”

No one in my experience has ever been a “follower of Jesus”

Any follower of the life and lessons of this man would not last long, living a short and painful life, especially in a “Christian culture” where “believing” is central and creeds and theologies are the tests of correct believing

Jesus was blunt and harsh, as apocalyptic prophets are.  He said he did not come to bring peace and unity but a sword of division.  He instructed any serious disciples to “hate” (turn away, detach and be set against … in other words, to hate) family and any attachments to people or possessions

My sense is that if Jesus wandered back, he would be deeply disappointed that his message was lost, along with him

So, it seems the appropriate time for secular freethinkers to Save Jesus (those who actually want to “follow” him can help).  We might even save him from himself, comforting him while helping him see what happened to his whole life’s message:

“Jesus, do you know that what you said and did has been essentially ignored by the majority of people in history who made faith all about worshipping YOU and dreaming of heaven?”

“Jesus, much of what you said doesn’t seem to work out too well in the real world, even Your People are divided, and that’s probably because you thought the end was coming.  Don’t you think it’s time to have a do-over, to update the message for today?  We can all work on that together.  You’re not alone.  We’re here for you.”

He may even “call” us, “commission” us, and “choose” us to save him, and anything salvageable from his life and teachings.  This might begin with placing the bibles in museums, opening sanctuaries for … sanctuary … and for educational discussions about what Religion (and Life itself) could be, following its salvation, and the salvation–the healing and recovery– of the human being once known as Christ.

For heaven’s sake, let’s save Jesus!

 

4 thoughts

  1. Chris one of your best articles to date. In seminary decades ago I de-converted trying to point out that rigorous study of the life of Jesus as an apocalyptical prophet showed he was wrong out the end days so what else could be wrong about. And on top of that saying I am a follower of Christ was like a Rorschach Test with each person reading into the scripture what they needed to cope and explain their view of life and its meaning. I am not sure I want to save Jesus but study of his life shows that for 2000 years most have strayed so far from his alleged message it is unrecognizable.

    1. Very good, and good to hear from you, Marty. Yes, I wouldn’t want to save him except to recover any meaningful wisdom buried in the tomb of theology! Thank you for your honest response.

  2. “Worshipping” and “dreaming of heaven”, two wonderful ways to completely miss the meaning of would have been a simple teaching of love had it not been promoted by supernaturalism and promises of immortality.

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