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Atheists For Jesus


Knightley
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I've heard it expressed often even from non-Christians that Jesus was a great and moral teacher. I expected to read about a man of profound wisdom and moral purity when I read the Gospels. Needless to say, I was disappointed. Far from being such a paragon of virtue and a role model for all ages, Jesus is actually a pretty mixed bag at best.

 

Part of the time, Jesus actually behaved as an ignorant spoiled child might. He cursed a fig tree (Mark 11:12) because it wouldn't bear fruit out of season and threw tantrums when he was rejected by certain cities (Matt 11:21).

 

Part of the time, Jesus was a violent, ill-tempered and hateful leader. He promised torture and destruction for all who would not follow him (Matt 13:41) and once asked that those who would not follow him be brought before him and killed (Luke 19:27).

 

Far from being a family man, Jesus wouldn't even let a man bury his own relatives (Matt 8:21) and proclaimed loyalty to him was more important than to family memebers (Luke 14:26). Jesus promised to set family members against one another (Matt 10:34). Christianity is not a source of family values.

 

Jesus was fond of telling others to have compassion for the poor but apparently didn't apply the same standards to himself, at one point essentially saying, "screw the poor, live it up while I'm here" (Matt 26:6).

 

And then there's the truly horrific analogies that he made on the much vaunted "Sermon on the Mount" where he uses self-mutilation parables (Mark 9:43). Many of Jesus' other pithy moral teachings are illogical and impractical (such as give your belongings away to those who steal from you, etc). Had Christians actually followed his advice, Christianity would have been quickly extinguished. (In my opinion, this is probably for the best as I consider Islam even worse).

 

All that said, yes, you can cherry-pick some very nice sayings by Jesus (my favorite is the one about tossing the first stone). In fact, you can make any Jesus you like. Liberals love the Jesus who cared for the poor and preached peace. Conservatives love the Jesus who tells us to get right with the Biblegod. Most likely, the character was written to be so flexible. Jesus is the ultimate politician: all things to all people.

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I've heard it expressed often even from non-Christians that Jesus was a great and moral teacher. I expected to read about a man of profound wisdom and moral purity when I read the Gospels. Needless to say, I was disappointed. Far from being such a paragon of virtue and a role model for all ages, Jesus is actually a pretty mixed bag at best. ...

 

Damn straight, Noble Savage! That was a good post.

 

Of course, there's a lot of good stuff about Jesus in the bible -- if you cherry-pick and skip over all the negatives. But what the Jesus supporters (yes, even those who do not believe in the fairy tale stories of the virgin birth, miracles and resurrection) fail to realize is that NONE of the good stuff -- not one word of it -- originated with Gawd Jr., and none of it is unique to christianity.

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I think it is a good idea. Maybe it can be discovered that Jesus was misunderstood and words were put into his mouth. A teacher that was turned into a god by the people. Maybe the biblical message is a distortion of what he meant based on ignorance of what he was saying. If the embelishments can be removed, maybe literalism will die sooner. That would definately be a good thing.

 

This is from that website:

 

"As my work continued, however, I came across information on a group known as the Ebionites. These Ebionites claimed to be the followers of the original Apostles that had traveled with and learned directly from Jesus. They described a doctrinal battle between themselves and the self-appointed apostle Paul (who never met Jesus, but rather claimed to have had a vision while on the road to Damascus to arrest followers of Jesus). From their writings, I slowly became aware of a hidden message that differed greatly from the message that had been passed on by Paul and his followers. As I peeled back the layers of Paulist thought that have been piled on top of the teachings of Jesus for so long, I began to see a simple and beautiful kernel of truth resting back at the very earliest levels of the history of Christianity. That truth is the message taught by Jesus of Nazareth. A person has to dig deeply in order to allow this message to fight its way through the layers of misinformation and misunderstanding that religious leaders from "Saint" Paul right on to the Religious Right of today have utilized for their own benefit. But it is there for anyone with the determination to find it."

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That truth is the message taught by Jesus of Nazareth. A person has to dig deeply in order to allow this message to fight its way through the layers of misinformation and misunderstanding that religious leaders from "Saint" Paul right on to the Religious Right of today have utilized for their own benefit. But it is there for anyone with the determination to find it."

 

That makes him sound as if he is one step and a skip away from xianity.

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I don't think that Jesus was any more special than any other person that had insights into how to live a good life. His message was just given to a group of people that were already very superstitious. Buddha's message was not so far off from what Jesus was teaching, but the audience wasn't a group of people that viewed God as an external reality that dwelled in a temple created for 'Him'.

 

Christians would view this discovery of who Jesus was as a demotion of sorts, IMO. But, I would view it as a progression. All the BS attributed to him would become known as just that...BS. Then people like us could actually gain insight from what he was saying instead of looking at him like he was a lunatic. Kill the superstition, I say. :D

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I think it is a good idea. Maybe it can be discovered that Jesus was misunderstood and words were put into his mouth. A teacher that was turned into a god by the people. Maybe the biblical message is a distortion of what he meant based on ignorance of what he was saying. If the embelishments can be removed, maybe literalism will die sooner. That would definately be a good thing.

 

This is from that website:

 

" That truth is the message taught by Jesus of Nazareth. A person has to dig deeply in order to allow this message to fight its way through the layers of misinformation and misunderstanding that religious leaders from "Saint" Paul right on to the Religious Right of today have utilized for their own benefit. But it is there for anyone with the determination to find it."

 

Well, why try so hard to find something good in the teachings of Jesus? When the human race has evolved enough already to have "the precious teachings" available from contemporary philosophies that make the stuff a lot easier to understand. And the modern teachers don't require worship, or that we die for them, or that we go around brainwashing others. Also, modern teachers don't tell us that we will go to hell if we don't believe in them.

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I don't see why people need teachers, can't people figure things out on their own? I used to be really into self-help books, but in the end I always just did what needed to be done to solve my own problems. I did what worked for me and I don't buy self-help books anymore.

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I don't see why people need teachers, can't people figure things out on their own? I used to be really into self-help books, but in the end I always just did what needed to be done to solve my own problems. I did what worked for me and I don't buy self-help books anymore.

 

Whatever works for you, Knightley!

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I not against christianity and feel that it is good for some. Especially inner city youths. As long as their little asses are getting dragged to church they won't be out there getting drugs or joining gangs.

 

Of course religion is not the only option. I believe anything that is a distraction from the negative influences of the world is a good thing. They could be doing sports instead of going to church. but the main point is that I'd rather have a kid sit through bible study or playing ball rather than hanging out with thugs.

 

So I guess I'm an atheist for Jesus :shrug:

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Ha, ha... after all, you are only a "part-time atheist."

You do have a point, Taylor. Even if I disagree with it.

Just curious in what way do you disagree.

 

-EDIT-

I'm not saying that I am completely for Jesus. But as long as christianity distracts kids from wanting to do drugs or join gangs then it is slightly useful.

 

:) Yeah I'm a part time atheist. I switch between strong agnostic, weak atheism and strong atheism.

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Also if christianity can help reform people in prison then I support it being used. I mean if teaching from a book that says santa clause is real would help keep people from returning to prison then I'd be for that.

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Ha, ha... after all, you are only a "part-time atheist."

You do have a point, Taylor. Even if I disagree with it.

Just curious in what way do you disagree.

 

-EDIT-

I'm not saying that I am completely for Jesus. But as long as christianity distracts kids from wanting to do drugs or join gangs then it is slightly useful.

 

:) Yeah I'm a part time atheist. I switch between strong agnostic, weak atheism and strong atheism.

 

Well, I was kept away from drugs and teenage sex because my family was strict and religious. But I now find myself screwed up emotionally from the brainwashing I received. I do not wish what I am going through on anyone.

 

I think there must be better ways to keep the kids away from that stuff, like loving them and spending time with them.

 

As for prisoners, I know of people who have taught them to meditate and have taught them to love, forgive, and respect themselves. I would give these helpers a donation if I had money to spare. Because christianity teaches that you are a worm unworthy of anything, and it is pretty darn hard to be successful in life when you have that mindset.

 

Just my two cents.

 

P.S. I switch between spiritualist and agnostic--I am not sure I will ever be an atheist, but it could happen. :unsure:

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I always felt the Buddha was the greater moral teacher, anyway. And a lot more straight-forward, as well.

 

Besides, he was cooler. :grin:

 

 

You may have a point. Siddhartha Gautama, the buddha, was supposedly a prince who left everything to find englightment. While Jesus was the son of a carpenter. He, apparently, did not have to give up as much.

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I thin. Also, modern teachers don't tell us that we will go to hell if we don't believe in them.

 

 

I thin. Also, modern teachers don't tell us that we will go to hell if we don't believe in them.

 

 

Thats right.He loves us so fuckinmuch but if you step out of line you'll burn in fuckin hell foever! Bring on the fuckin flames! Who wouldn't worship out of fear? Well, not this guy!

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