"Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
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24-08-2011, 01:49 AM
"Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
I often hear Christians talk of their love for Jesus. There is a public perception that he was a benign preacher of universal love, forgiveness, and humility. If one visits a Christian bookstore, one can find thousands of books that talk in glowing terms about his wonderful teachings. Most Christians believe Jesus was perfect, sinless and faultless.

Yet ever since I was a kid I've been unconvinced that the Jesus character in the gospels was all that impressive. What Jesus had to say revealed some serious errors and character faults. Most Christians fail to appreciate this because many of Jesus’ teachings have been reinterpreted, glossed over, or ignored in order to make him sound attractive.

I am a little perplexed as to why so many people feel affection for him. Even some atheists think that he was a decent chap who said a lot of great things. I accept that the parable of the good Samaritan is nice and well told and that parts of the Sermon on the Mount have merit, but what else? Surely this doesn't a great philosopher make!

Perhaps we could confine our discussion to what "he" allegedly said, and ignore the fact that much of it was pinched from other sources (for eg Buddhism, Hillel, Mithraism).

I don't think he was an impressive philosopher...in fact I think many of "his" teachings were immoral and unhealthy. I think Jesus was intolerant of non believers, xenophobic, and inconsistent. He made wild promises that never came true. He quite obviously had no or very little understanding of the philosophy of the Greek and Roman world. He had a jaundiced attitude towards natural libido. He bad mouthed entire sections of his own people. He praised the value of faith. He talked about splitting up families. He regularly threatened violence. He also taught people to be pathetically meek. He badmouthed the rich without saying why. He sometimes badmouthed gentiles. He talked about evil spirits. He threatened people with hell. I could go on.

All of this is seriously uncool....and it does matter......because people are reading his words as though they are the source of ultimate truth. Every week preachers spin some yarn based on these rather fucked up ideas.

I don't even like "Jesus," let alone love him. I'll start this thread by quoting some of his most unattractive teachings. I'll be very interested in what everyone thinks.

“But as for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence” (Luke 19:27 NJB). I have yet to find an explanation from a Christian that can justify these atrocious words.

“Do not turn your steps to pagan territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel” (Matthew 10:6 NJB).
When discussing his own mission, Jesus said,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (Matthew 15:24 NJB). Jesus definitively stated twice his message was only for Jews and no one else!

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!...woe to you, blind guides...You blind fools!...You blind men!...You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?” (Matthew 23:13-34 NJB).

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted" (Matthew 5:3-5 NKJV), and,
“Happy you who weep now; you shall laugh” (Luke 6:21 NJB), and,
“Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life” (John 12:25 NJB).
Jesus was wrong. There is nothing good to be said about being poor in spirit, weeping and hating one’s life, the modern term for which is depression. There are no people in today’s world who have not in some way been touched by depression. It is a miserable condition and the victim suffers terribly, as do their family and colleagues. It is the antithesis of happiness.

The Gospel authors gave the impression they were writing for someone who needed to be rewarded for understanding simple dogma.
"Love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. You will have great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked" (Luke 6:35 NJB).
"But when you give alms...your Father who sees in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:3-4 NJB).
"Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven..." (Matthew 5:12 NJB).
Handing out rewards for good behavior may be used to help teach a child, or to control the behavior of the family dog, but should not be used to bribe adults. An intelligent self-confident adult behaves well because it is to everyone’s mutual benefit. The Gospel authors tried to appeal to their simple second century audience, but have little appeal to today’s audience who can’t help but feel patronized.

Ok...this is enough for the moment. Everyone's thoughts?
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24-08-2011, 03:06 AM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(24-08-2011 01:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!...woe to you, blind guides...You blind fools!...You blind men!...You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?” (Matthew 23:13-34 NJB).

Later, in Luke 24:25, Jesus says that the disciples are "foolish".

So what then, do we make of Matthew 5:22 where Jesus warns that, "whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hellfire."

Does that mean Jesus is in hell? Or was he just making it all up as he went along?

Believe nothing you hear and only half what you see
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24-08-2011, 03:45 AM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
Good point Mark. I can't help but laugh when a Christian boasts how fantastic Jesus is. I can't help but ask "based on what?"

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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24-08-2011, 03:57 AM (This post was last modified: 24-08-2011 04:01 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(24-08-2011 03:06 AM)Joe Bloe Wrote:  
(24-08-2011 01:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!...woe to you, blind guides...You blind fools!...You blind men!...You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?” (Matthew 23:13-34 NJB).

Later, in Luke 24:25, Jesus says that the disciples are "foolish".

So what then, do we make of Matthew 5:22 where Jesus warns that, "whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hellfire."

Does that mean Jesus is in hell? Or was he just making it all up as he went along?

Exactly! I haven't started on the numerous contradictions in Jesus' teachings. We all say or write something sometimes that we later realise is incorrect or that we could have worded better, but "Jesus" makes a full time habit of it!


(24-08-2011 03:45 AM)nontheocrat Wrote:  Good point Mark. I can't help but laugh when a Christian boasts how fantastic Jesus is. I can't help but ask "based on what?"

Thanks nontheocrat! Maybe Theo or HBAF or little lawyer could enlighten us on what they find so attractive about Jesus?
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24-08-2011, 07:06 AM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
Great post mark.
I've seen the “But as for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence” (Luke 19:27 NJB) quote explained before on yahoo answers. It was claimed that if you read the rest of the passage Jesus was quoting someone else.

I don't have a bible anywhere near me( I thought I'd found one but it turned out to be a Harry potter book) so I can't varify this claim.

It will be interesting to see what the resident theists Have to say since it's a stark contrast from the peaceful loving jesus image that Christians push. Since it's in the bible it can't be called "lies".

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24-08-2011, 08:41 AM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
I don't have the words to express how off-putting I find the whole Jesus business in our culture. I see nothing "redeeming" in the guy on any level, and I wish I never had to learn about him, apart from the nuisance aspects of becoming "culturally literate."

In fact, I signed up for cryonic suspension in part because I'd like to survive to the coming "Jesus who?" era.
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24-08-2011, 09:53 AM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
Good thread, Mark.

The bullshit about Jesus being such a great example of morality, and that modern Christians have abandoned the purist teaching in the world (you even hear that from Bill Maher, who should know better), has always chafed me. Judging from the Gospels, some of what Jesus preached was among the worst religious teaching ever foisted on gullible people.

Take the business about "adultery in your heart"--if you look on a woman lustfully, you've already committed adultery in your heart. This is, as he acknowledges, a radical departure from the OT injunction--but hardly an improvement. One thing you have to say about the OT: the commandments, crazy as many of them are, at least relate to ACTION: What matters is what you do, not what you think or believe. (That's largely true of modern Judaism as well.) But Jesus brings something new: the Thought Police. It's not enough to refrain from bad actions. Now you can't even have bad thoughts. If you even THINK about screwing around, it's as if you've done the deed. So if you have the thought, you might as well go ahead and act on it, since you're already guilty. What a system.

By far the worst thing he preached, however, is the new notion of eternal torment. That's another innovation humanity could have done without. Needless to say, the OT listed brutal punishment for violations of the Mosaic code, things that make our blood curdle. But cruel as they were, those punishments were finite. You suffered for a while, and then you died. Punishment over. It was Jesus who brought us the lovely idea of burning in hell forever. How many lives have been ruined because people believed that crap?

Bertrand Russell's classic essay "Why I Am Not a Christian" holds up beautifully after nearly a century; I'd especially recommend it to anyone who thinks Jesus was such a great guy.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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24-08-2011, 11:10 AM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
The only positive thing I can think of in the entire teachings of Jesus is the golden rule, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Of course that was not in any way an original idea.

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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24-08-2011, 11:13 AM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
There are two many things in your post for me to try to answer all of them at once but I will deal with two of them.

(24-08-2011 01:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  “But as for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence” (Luke 19:27 NJB). I have yet to find an explanation from a Christian that can justify these atrocious words.
This is a picture of what Jesus will do when he returns. You can read about it in Revelation 19. He came to earth to die for our sins but when he returns it will be to judge those who have rejected the salvation he has made available.

Quote:“Do not turn your steps to pagan territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel” (Matthew 10:6 NJB).
When discussing his own mission, Jesus said,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (Matthew 15:24 NJB). Jesus definitively stated twice his message was only for Jews and no one else!
During his time on earth Jesus came to the Jews as their king. The time hadn't yet come to carry his message to the whole world because he first had to carry out his work of redemption.

(24-08-2011 07:06 AM)FSM_scot Wrote:  I don't have a bible anywhere near me( I thought I'd found one but it turned out to be a Harry potter book) so I can't varify this claim.
If you don't have a Bible with you here are two places you can read it online.

http://www.esvbible.org/Genesis+1/

http://www.blueletterbible.org/

The information in ancient libraries came from real minds of real people. The far more complex information in cells came from the far more intelligent mind of God.
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24-08-2011, 11:19 AM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(24-08-2011 11:13 AM)theophilus Wrote:  If you don't have a Bible with you here are two places you can read it online.

http://www.esvbible.org/Genesis+1/

http://www.blueletterbible.org/

thanks for the links.

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