Saturday, October 3, 2009

A non-Christian take on Jesus

I am always leery when people ask whether I'm a Christian. I immediately feel defensive because I am convinced that their idea of Christian and mine are completely different. I assume (right or wrong) that they are referring to the accepted (narrow) way that Christians are defined. I never like definitions. I find them to be very limiting. I don't think that an idea as grand as the one that Jesus presented can be boxed and packaged the way that organized (loose term) religion has tried to do. His messages were expansive, transformative, thought provoking. They were then written down long after he walked the Earth and translated from several different languages to English. Then you add in the political and financial uses of his teachings to garner wealth, control the masses, and direct political change. Don't you think with all those factors in play that maybe the Bible should not be taken literally?

The messages of love, peace, community, mindfulness, thoughfulness, tolerance, compassion, charity are lost in rules that take away free will, ideas that condemn, and activities that exclude. I am particularly concerned when supposed religious authority assumes to hold special access to the divine and to Jesus. More and more we are uncovering text long buried that present a Jesus and a teaching far and away more liberating than what we see in churches and experience from their attendees. His message was always one of love in all its expressions.

Please don't misunderstand, I am not anti-Christian. I am against those that would use an idea as uplifting as a belief in something greater than oneself as a means to control, enslave, exclude and persecute. For the record, all books are divinely inspired even the ones we don't agree with. All stories are from the perspective of the storyteller. There are no absolutes. Don't let these illusions deter you from getting to know the greater parts of you. There is no need for an intercession with the divine. We are already connected to the divine. There is no separation.

By the way, I do believe in Jesus.


  1. Hello there! Nice to read you again!

    I believe that many (or perhaps most) who practice a particular faith regularly come to recognize the imperfections of doctrine, dogma, etc. For quite some time I struggled with the notion that by attending a church, I was inadvertently consenting to that denomination's "authority." But without a faith practice, that is, without the discipline of practice, I feel out of sorts.

    Faith, religion, spirituality are so personal, don't you think? It's impossible for any one organization (plagued with the imperfection of humanity) to get it exactly right.

    I agree with all that you've written except for the statement about the need for "intercession with the divine." I think we sometimes need to surrender our hurts and frustrations to SOMETHING when we ourselves find we're at a loss for coping. There have been too many times in my own life when I've absolutely needed to move my mind and heart into the presence of divinity in order to move forward.

    On the other hand, perhaps it is as you say. We're already connected to the divine...there is no separation. In that case, maybe at those times when we think we're putting ourselves in the hands of divinity, we are really only just realizing that we've been there all along.

    My, such complicated philosophies, faith and religion. When my head feels like it might explode from all this contemplation, I conclude the internal debate by remembering what you've just stated. It's all about love, peace, etc.


  2. From an early age I rejected the notion of one religion being better than another. When I hear that something is a "sin", I wonder if God intended for it to be sinful or if it is man-made which as you stated has to do with politics, controlling masses, etc.
    I am catholic because that is the religion given to me. To me, it is as good and as bad as any other, therefore, I won't change to a different one. My religion and my faith is in my heart

  3. Just ot clarify, I speak of intercession by a priest or minister or other religious leader on our behalf with the idea that they have some special access that we do not. I will submit that their focus has been on holy things so they may be more practiced. I do not believe that that should mean more worthy. I feel that we each have direct access to the divine. It's part of our DNA, part of our cells.

    Religion and faith are very personal until they are used to determine worth, define values, and garner political control. America was founded by those seeking escape from religious persecution and now we are the persecutor. We now are the ones deciding a person's value based on their religious beliefs. We are now the ones condemning those that are not like us in the name of the divine.