"Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
24-08-2011, 01:21 PM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

I prefer this one.

He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! -Brian's mum
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Cardinal Smurf's post
24-08-2011, 03:01 PM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(24-08-2011 01:21 PM)Cardinal Smurf Wrote:  http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

I prefer this one.

So do I. Where did you find that?

Behold the power of the force!
[Image: fgYtjtY.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-08-2011, 05:40 PM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
Most of us here (if I may be so bold as to presume) understand that the gospels were written much after the fact, are amalgamations of the works of various authors and cannot be trusted as accurate sources of who Jesus was (assuming he existed at all) or what his actual actions and teachings were. I suspect that the motivations of the authors of the Bible were at least partially responsible for what got written. Even if we assume that the gospels were faithfully recorded transcripts of the early Christian oral tradition however, that 250 year game of telephone must have affected the stories that did get passed down.

Given that, and without primary contemporaneous sources, we are all just shooting in the dark when it comes to interpreting who Jesus was and what he actually stood for. I think a theory that considers Jesus less of a "prophet" in the sense that term conjurers for the religious, and more of a political activist goes a long way to explaining a lot of the inconsistencies of the gospels. I have heard him described as espousing a "theocratic politics", which to me is an interesting idea and at least as credible as anything solely based on biblical writings.

Here's a site that dealves into this stuff more thoroughly if you are interested: http://www.jesusthezealot.com/
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes BadKnees's post
24-08-2011, 08:30 PM (This post was last modified: 24-08-2011 08:55 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(24-08-2011 05:40 PM)BadKnees Wrote:  Most of us here (if I may be so bold as to presume) understand that the gospels were written much after the fact, are amalgamations of the works of various authors and cannot be trusted as accurate sources of who Jesus was (assuming he existed at all) or what his actual actions and teachings were. I suspect that the motivations of the authors of the Bible were at least partially responsible for what got written. Even if we assume that the gospels were faithfully recorded transcripts of the early Christian oral tradition however, that 250 year game of telephone must have affected the stories that did get passed down.

Given that, and without primary contemporaneous sources, we are all just shooting in the dark when it comes to interpreting who Jesus was and what he actually stood for. I think a theory that considers Jesus less of a "prophet" in the sense that term conjurers for the religious, and more of a political activist goes a long way to explaining a lot of the inconsistencies of the gospels. I have heard him described as espousing a "theocratic politics", which to me is an interesting idea and at least as credible as anything solely based on biblical writings.

Here's a site that dealves into this stuff more thoroughly if you are interested: http://www.jesusthezealot.com/

Hi bad knees. I 100% agree with you we are "shooting in the dark" when discussing the alleged teachings of Jesus. Back to that in a minute.

What we are discussing here is "Christianity's " Jesus...the stuff that gets promoted as truth in churches and schools. So while it may have little connection with the real historical character it is still worth discussing because it affects our world in the here and now. I'm sure you agree with that.

As far as what the real historical character said and did...well....that's another really interesting story. The website you mention is excellent. I agree with 95% of what they say. It is only brief, and i recommend everyone read it.
I will throw my 2c worth in, however. In my opinion they are wrong about zealotry being "passive" during Jesus' lifetime. There were major, and organised, military uprisings against the Romans in 4 BCE and 6CE in Galilee. Over 5000 Jews were killed and many more taken as slaves. In my opinion there are also wrong trying to paint Jesus as a zealot (correct), yet someone who wasn't willing to physically fight (not correct). I firmly believe Jesus tried to start a war with Rome. I did have a post on this forum called "Jesus was a terrorist" and since that post have read a very well researched book called, would you believe, "Jesus was a terrorist" by Peter Cresswell. I REALLY WOULD LIKE the world to know about this real Jesus, because the story destroys the entire foundation of Christian belief, which in my opinion would be a good thing. The TRUTH always should be discussed.


(24-08-2011 07:06 AM)FSM_scot Wrote:  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".

Thanks FSM Scot. You don't need a bible. Just press Luke 19 on google and it will come up in whatever bible you choose. Same goes for any biblical reference.


(24-08-2011 08:41 AM)advancedatheist Wrote:  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.
Hey...your words have been sinking into me in last few hours. I feel for you. Are you in the USA? Here in Australia, I'm lucky because I don't have Jesus in my face all the time. He's definately around, and he does annoy me, and the fact he's in schools really annoys me, but I guess i have it much less than you.


(24-08-2011 09:53 AM)cufflink Wrote:  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.

Re the Old Testament...hey...thanks for pointing that out. I hadn't thought of that.

Ah...Bertrand...if only i could be half as eloquent ! LOL
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-08-2011, 02:19 AM (This post was last modified: 25-08-2011 02:50 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(24-08-2011 11:10 AM)nontheocrat Wrote:  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.

Yeah, Confucius and Buddha said it 600 years before Jesus.

(24-08-2011 11:13 AM)theophilus Wrote:  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/

Oh! Hi Theo! I'm glad you joined this thread!

Re "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."

Wow! That must make you feel real good inside! Won't it be glorious! All those nasty Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, Scientologists, atheists and all the rest of the wicked scum who have rejected Jesus will finally get what they deserve...DEATH!
I think you've just revealed a rather nasty and unattractive aspect of your religion Theo. I hope you don't really wish this on all those people, or do you?

Re.."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."

So Jesus had to die first before he ( ? after he died ) decided that non Jewish people were important enough to get his message to? How do you know this Theo? Sounds to me like you're making it up, and it doesn't even make sense.

I can have a guess why "Jesus" said this, but my guess makes much more sense than yours. Jesus was a xenophobic Jewish fanatic who hated the gentile world with a passion. He had reason to, because the Romans had ravaged Galilee on a number of occasions in the previous few decades. That means he hated people like you and me Theo, because we're not Jews. That's got you thinking hasn't it? If he is, in fact, God, I wonder who he's really going to execute in the "end times?" I'd be scared if I were you Theo.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Mark Fulton's post
25-08-2011, 06:08 PM (This post was last modified: 25-08-2011 08:17 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(24-08-2011 01:01 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Ok girlyman, I'll start a new thread. I would live to hear about whether you seriously think jesus had some connection with Buddhism or just direct me to a good link. Thanks, Mark.

Let me preface this with I am not a religious scholar and gave up any serious interest I had some 3 decades ago when I realized all I needed was 3 commandments to live by:

Commandment #1: Don't be an asshole.
Commandment #2: Unless it's called for.
Commandment #3: See Commandment #1.

The fact that Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, Mohammed, Mother Teresa, fill in the blank with any other spiritual leader you can think of, were at one time or another assholes and pricks does not deter my belief that the philosophy of compassion and empathy and selflessness is the only one worth pursuing.

As far as Jesus' connection with Buddhism the evidence is obviously circumstantial and suspect. The Buddhists were among the first wandering evangelists. There is speculation that the Buddhists influenced the Essenes. There is further speculation that John the Baptist was an Essene (countered of course by equally speculative claims that he was not). So John the Baptist would be the presumptive link between Jesus and Buddhism.

Personally, I don't think Jesus believed any of the bullshit Christians believe today. I don't think he believed in a postmortem preservation of identity any more than I do. I think he may have been one of the first atheists. If you work from that premise, the interpretation of many of the passages ascribed to him take on an entirely different meaning.

"And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:2 KJV)

Christians interpret this as meaning the Kingdom of Heaven is imminent or nigh. A more literal (and natural) interpretation is the Kingdom of Heaven is immediate, at hand here and now. Hell too. It's up to us to make of it what we will.

So I'll give that gloriously blasphemous position a go on the quotes you laid you out.

“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).

Jesus being an arrogant psychopathic prick high on himself. Not much room there for other interpretations. Blatant violation of Girly's first commandment.

“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).
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (Matthew 15:24 NJB). "


There's little point in trying to convince the pagans that their gods are wrong and our one true god is right. It's futile. My contemporary interpretation is that there's little point in trying to convince Christians that they have completely missed the point. It's futile. Rather, speak to the atheists and others to believe in us (all of us collectively) and our capacity for compassion and empathy and selflessness.

“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).

They are sentenced to hell in the same sense that I see contemporary Christians as being damned. They have willingly blindfolded themselves from the beauty, wonder, and awe which is existence. They can never experience it until they take off the blindfold. That is hell.

"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),


These to me seem heavily influenced by the 4 noble truths of Buddhism. Life is suffering. Understanding that and letting go of it relieves the suffering.

“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).

Another Buddhist precept, we should remain as dispassionate as possible. The heaven you make for yourself here will be over far too soon. The hell you make for yourself here will seem like it lasts forever.

"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).
"Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven..." (Matthew 5:12 NJB).


Your reward is that you are trying to not be an asshole or a prick. If you are successful your reward is that the mark you left was not that of an asshole or a prick.

"But when you give alms...your Father who sees in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:3-4 NJB).

Charity is the opposite of being an asshole or a prick. That should matter more to you than anyone else.

(24-08-2011 11:13 AM)theophilus Wrote:  This is a picture of what Jesus will do when he returns.

In my interpretation, the return of Christ occurs when we collectively realize that we are God and behave accordingly, driven by compassion, empathy, and selflessness.

(24-08-2011 01:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  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.

I suffered from major depressive disorder for some 3 decades with several suicidal episodes. Not out of despair but out of the rational realization that this is all bullshit and there is no good reason to continue to participate. I was on every antidepressant you can think of, but in the end restoring my testosterone levels to what they were when I formulated my nihilistic world view in my late teens is what made the difference. I ultimately realized that there is no good reason not to continue to participate either, it'll be over of its own accord soon enough.

... Geez, that was nowhere near as terse as I like to be.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes GirlyMan's post
26-08-2011, 02:02 AM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(25-08-2011 06:08 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(24-08-2011 01:01 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Ok girlyman, I'll start a new thread. I would live to hear about whether you seriously think jesus had some connection with Buddhism or just direct me to a good link. Thanks, Mark.

Let me preface this with I am not a religious scholar and gave up any serious interest I had some 3 decades ago when I realized all I needed was 3 commandments to live by:

Commandment #1: Don't be an asshole.
Commandment #2: Unless it's called for.
Commandment #3: See Commandment #1.

The fact that Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, Mohammed, Mother Teresa, fill in the blank with any other spiritual leader you can think of, were at one time or another assholes and pricks does not deter my belief that the philosophy of compassion and empathy and selflessness is the only one worth pursuing.

As far as Jesus' connection with Buddhism the evidence is obviously circumstantial and suspect. The Buddhists were among the first wandering evangelists. There is speculation that the Buddhists influenced the Essenes. There is further speculation that John the Baptist was an Essene (countered of course by equally speculative claims that he was not). So John the Baptist would be the presumptive link between Jesus and Buddhism.

Personally, I don't think Jesus believed any of the bullshit Christians believe today. I don't think he believed in a postmortem preservation of identity any more than I do. I think he may have been one of the first atheists. If you work from that premise, the interpretation of many of the passages ascribed to him take on an entirely different meaning.

"And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:2 KJV)

Christians interpret this as meaning the Kingdom of Heaven is imminent or nigh. A more literal (and natural) interpretation is the Kingdom of Heaven is immediate, at hand here and now. Hell too. It's up to us to make of it what we will.

So I'll give that gloriously blasphemous position a go on the quotes you laid you out.

“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).

Jesus being an arrogant psychopathic prick high on himself. Not much room there for other interpretations. Blatant violation of Girly's first commandment.

“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).
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (Matthew 15:24 NJB). "


There's little point in trying to convince the pagans that their gods are wrong and our one true god is right. It's futile. My contemporary interpretation is that there's little point in trying to convince Christians that they have completely missed the point. It's futile. Rather, speak to the atheists and others to believe in us (all of us collectively) and our capacity for compassion and empathy and selflessness.

“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).

They are sentenced to hell in the same sense that I see contemporary Christians as being damned. They have willingly blindfolded themselves from the beauty, wonder, and awe which is existence. They can never experience it until they take off the blindfold. That is hell.

"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),


These to me seem heavily influenced by the 4 noble truths of Buddhism. Life is suffering. Understanding that and letting go of it relieves the suffering.

“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).

Another Buddhist precept, we should remain as dispassionate as possible. The heaven you make for yourself here will be over far too soon. The hell you make for yourself here will seem like it lasts forever.

"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).
"Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven..." (Matthew 5:12 NJB).


Your reward is that you are trying to not be an asshole or a prick. If you are successful your reward is that the mark you left was not that of an asshole or a prick.

"But when you give alms...your Father who sees in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:3-4 NJB).

Charity is the opposite of being an asshole or a prick. That should matter more to you than anyone else.

(24-08-2011 11:13 AM)theophilus Wrote:  This is a picture of what Jesus will do when he returns.

In my interpretation, the return of Christ occurs when we collectively realize that we are God and behave accordingly, driven by compassion, empathy, and selflessness.

(24-08-2011 01:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  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.

I suffered from major depressive disorder for some 3 decades with several suicidal episodes. Not out of despair but out of the rational realization that this is all bullshit and there is no good reason to continue to participate. I was on every antidepressant you can think of, but in the end restoring my testosterone levels to what they were when I formulated my nihilistic world view in my late teens is what made the difference. I ultimately realized that there is no good reason not to continue to participate either, it'll be over of its own accord soon enough.

... Geez, that was nowhere near as terse as I like to be.

Hi Girlyman, I feel honoured that you have shared with me and others about your battle with depression. Thanks.

I hadn't read that Buddhists influenced the Essenes. Quite possible. I do believe John was an Essene, and so was Jesus. That's a whole other story LOL.

Re "Personally, I don't think Jesus believed any of the bullshit Christians believe today." YES I AGREE......but......don't forget the Christian connection with Judaism (for eg the idea of one god, the concept of sin, the idea a god cared about how you treated your neighbour....these were very Judaic ideas).

Re "I don't think he believed in a postmortem preservation of identity any more than I do." Um......dunno. Some Jews, by the time the 1st century came around, believed in an afterlife.

Re "I think he may have been one of the first atheists. If you work from that premise, the interpretation of many of the passages ascribed to him take on an entirely different meaning." I think you're saying this and subsequent comments "tongue in cheek" aren't you? I would say if you were born from David's line as a Jewish peasant in first century Galilee your chance to grow up to be an atheist would be NIL. It would be inconceivable that Yahweh wasn't real.

However, your interpretations of what "Jesus" said just may have some truth in them. An early very diverse bunch of Christians, the Gnostics, may have interpreted their version of Jesus to have made similar statements to yours. The gnostics were quite intelligent and knew that man had invented God. They believed that to discover "God" one discovered one's true self. (My 2c worth....I find it hard to imagine the Jewish peasant Jesus as a gnostic, it was a very "Greek" idea)

Re "In my interpretation, the return of Christ occurs when we collectively realize that we are God and behave accordingly, driven by compassion, empathy, and selflessness." ABSOLUTELY! WELL SAID!

Re your depression... What a shame you went so long without the right treatment. I have a particular interest in depression and anxiety and have treated over 1000 patients. The causes and treatments are many. You have been unlucky, but good thing is you are ok now.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-08-2011, 02:01 PM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(26-08-2011 02:02 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I think you're saying this and subsequent comments "tongue in cheek" aren't you?

Only partially. My larger point is how easily interpretations can change when premises change; that interpretations cannot be disentangled from the assumptions brought to the interpretation.

(26-08-2011 02:02 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I hadn't read that Buddhists influenced the Essenes. Quite possible. I do believe John was an Essene, and so was Jesus. That's a whole other story LOL.

There seem to be a least a few religious scholars who are looking for links between the Buddhists, the Essenes, and the Gnostics.

(26-08-2011 02:02 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Re your depression... What a shame you went so long without the right treatment. I have a particular interest in depression and anxiety and have treated over 1000 patients. The causes and treatments are many. You have been unlucky, but good thing is you are ok now.

It's only recently that psychiatry has started to look at manipulating sex hormones in addition to manipulating brain chemistry. In my case my depression was completely alleviated by bringing my sex hormones back up to youthful levels. No more SSRIs for me. Smile

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-08-2011, 03:59 PM
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(24-08-2011 01:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  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. .............
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.
Hmm. I could divide Christians into three groups: Fundamentalists, Spiritualizers (for example for C.S.Lewis), and Liberals (for example Don Cupitt) - or if you prefer 'poison', 'poison sweetened with sugar' and 'muddy water'. Most guys here seem to mainly come across the first group. You just present those guys with facts and logic and watch them squirm and wriggle, meanwhile the other two groups will accuse you of arguing against a strawman Christianity. If you come across a Liberal, you realize they are giving up on the notion of Truth in order to continue to lay claim to being a "Christian". I really have no time for those guys - they are not worthy opponents. However just having read "Mere Christianity" I am not sure what to make of the Spiritualizers - or at least if they make their case as well as C.S.Lewis. C.S.Lewis's Christianity is almost attractive and makes a lot of sense of Jesus' comments including all the hard stuff. I suggest you read "Mere Christianity" and then reread the gospels and then see what you think. Having completed the first part I intend to start on the second soon.

(24-08-2011 01:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  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 enjoyed the rest of the thread and the points Girlyman made especially. However the idea that the Essenes were influenced by Buddhism seems like a New Age fantasy to me. If there is some real evidence for it I would be fascinated.

(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).
Oh yes. Oh yes. Oh yes. I am sure if Jesus were alive today he would be saying this about the oh so holy religious folk all round the world. Oh yeah!
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-08-2011, 05:30 PM (This post was last modified: 26-08-2011 05:34 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: "Jesus" really wasn't such a great guy!
(26-08-2011 03:59 PM)angry_liberal Wrote:  
(24-08-2011 01:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  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. .............
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.
Hmm. I could divide Christians into three groups: Fundamentalists, Spiritualizers (for example for C.S.Lewis), and Liberals (for example Don Cupitt) - or if you prefer 'poison', 'poison sweetened with sugar' and 'muddy water'. Most guys here seem to mainly come across the first group. You just present those guys with facts and logic and watch them squirm and wriggle, meanwhile the other two groups will accuse you of arguing against a strawman Christianity. If you come across a Liberal, you realize they are giving up on the notion of Truth in order to continue to lay claim to being a "Christian". I really have no time for those guys - they are not worthy opponents. However just having read "Mere Christianity" I am not sure what to make of the Spiritualizers - or at least if they make their case as well as C.S.Lewis. C.S.Lewis's Christianity is almost attractive and makes a lot of sense of Jesus' comments including all the hard stuff. I suggest you read "Mere Christianity" and then reread the gospels and then see what you think. Having completed the first part I intend to start on the second soon.

(24-08-2011 01:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  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 enjoyed the rest of the thread and the points Girlyman made especially. However the idea that the Essenes were influenced by Buddhism seems like a New Age fantasy to me. If there is some real evidence for it I would be fascinated.

(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).
Oh yes. Oh yes. Oh yes. I am sure if Jesus were alive today he would be saying this about the oh so holy religious folk all round the world. Oh yeah!

Hi, thanks for your input. I hadn't heard or read about these 3 categories.

I think one of the reasons there are so many different interpretations of "Jesus'" teachings is "he" expressed "himself" so poorly. Also, the teachings are often inconsistent. Compare "Jesus" to a modern philosopher. You won't find poorly expressed and inconsistent teachings from the Dalai Lama. Nor will you find grossly immoral statements from the Dalai Lama.

The sayings of Jesus are what they are, and taken as a whole, they are rather pathetic. I admit I haven't read C S Lewis' book (only exerts). I'm sure he's only putting a spin on "Jesus" ie looking at him through rose coloured glasses.

I'll post a few more unhealthy Jesus teachings.


Jesus said,
“How happy are you who are poor; yours is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6:20 NJB), and,
“But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now” (Luke 6:24 NJB).
In Mark, Jesus’ advice to a wealthy man is the following,
“Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me” (Mark 10:21 NJB).

Jesus stated the real riches were in heaven and you wouldn’t get them if you had wealth on earth. He said poverty itself was a virtue and being poor will make you happy. He commanded his followers to give up material possessions to follow an ideology. This advice was contrary to human nature and to common sense.

To give away all one’s possessions compromises a person’s security, occupation, health, and self-esteem. It compromises the family unit too. People from all cultures and in all ages have known money is something that adds quality to life. Nearly all of us like money, and Christians are no different.

Most poor people are just unfortunate, but some of them have squandered opportunities or don’t have the life skills to help themselves. To give all one’s money to them may not be in their best interest. If too many people gave all their money to the poor the very structure of society would crumble. Society would end up in some kind of cyclical communism. The poor would cease to be poor and therefore give to the former-rich, then the cycle would repeat. If everyone stopped working to follow an ideology money would be valueless as there would be no commodities or services to buy.

To dream about a rich existence in the afterlife encourages people to be content with their lot in life. Many Christians have accepted poverty and oppression, meekly imagining they will be rewarded with paradise in heaven, because of Jesus’ words.

I think I know why these words have been put in Jesus’ mouth. Churches have always encouraged people to be poor because poor people are easier to control. Also, the poorer someone is, the easier it is for churches to take what money they do have off them.


Consider the following:
“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone it wanders through waterless country looking for a place to rest, and not finding one it says, "I will go back to the home I came from." But on arrival, finding it swept and tidied, it then goes off and brings seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and set up house there, and so that person ends up worse off than before” (Luke 11:24-27 NJB).

Today we successfully treat “evil spirits” with epileptic and anti-psychotic medications that change the biochemistry of the brain. The presence of “evil spirits” is recognized as a superstitious and ignorant delusion, and is not seriously thought of as fact, except in the lunatic religious fringe. If Jesus had been God he would not have been superstitious or ignorant.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: