Continuing the Secular Jesus* Series …
*Why Secular Jesus?
The “Spiritual Jesus,” exalted Lord, Savior, Son of God, is the object of belief for millions. But is that really who he was and what he wanted us to do with his life and teachings? I don’t think so. I respect the basic teachings of the man, the human being, who lived and died in Palestine 2000 years ago. We do not have to worship him or join the band of believers who deified him in order for us to learn from his humanity and his concern for others.
Secular Jesus is my attempt to “resurrect” that Human Jesus, minus the supernatural Superman of the Church and the religion called by his name.
It seems to me we need his no-nonsense, humanistic message in our time more than ever. Especially with so many claiming to speak for him, who tell us what he thinks or feels, or who endlessly quote his more otherworldly sounding words to keep the eyes of the faithful looking up, away from the earth and human needs.
This Easter season, I wish all my Christian friends and family a happy celebration (even in this pandemic). Most may not understand what I’m doing with Secular Jesus, some may find it thoughtful or amusing. Others may act offended, as if they feel that Jesus is offended. To me, that’s a good reason we now have Secular Jesus. He’s big enough to take it, and has a good sense of humor.
Keep in mind that I am “humanizing” the earthly (the only) message of Jesus as I would imagine his voice speaking in our day and time. He’s a sensible voice for our moment in time.
Secular Jesus doesn’t care if you listen or not. He’s dead. He doesn’t need you to believe in him or his words (since I’m only imagining what he may say). But maybe, believe it or not, you’ll hear something to make you think. Great.
Keep a smile, and stay well.
I used that same picture a few months ago wondering if the real Jesus was presented, how many would still worship him? Check it out if you have a moment. Always enjoy your pieces here. Thanks Chris.
Good one, Jim. This seems an appropriate way to get the “good news” out there. To put a “real” face on the man who has been kidnapped and reframed by the institution that uses and abuses his name. Thanks.
I like Secular Jesus, but wonder how he would defend his claim to be the son of god and the son of man at the same time. Was he one to imbibe? Or was he merely misquoted by the fake scribe-press?
Ha, Jim, good point. I learned a-way-back in seminary days that there were many authors writing INTO these ancient texts (“inspired editors” perhaps?). In other words, he wasn’t so much “misquoted” as became a puppet for the pet theologies that people wanted him to espouse (for example, some who wanted to emphasize his humanity favored “Son of Humanity.” Others favored his divinity so “Son of God”). We don’t know and probably can’t know what he “actually” said. Therefore, Voila!, we have Secular Jesus to help us speculate what he “might have” said or might say today, filtered, of course, through the “inspired mind” of one freethinker!