We forget that Jesus was not a Christian. He was born Jewish and the cross on which he was sadistically murdered labeled him as “King of the Jews.” Perhaps that explains why so many Christians are not followers of Jesus. Instead, they boldly and consistently trample on what is said to be his core commandment: Love ye one another, as I have loved you.
That’s why describing ourselves as Christian merely tells others what we believe, including Bible scriptures that say that:
- God created us;
- We were created as innately evil;
- Unless we overcome our natural sinful nature, God will torment us forever and ever;
- Jesus was the only human conceived without human sperm fertilizing a human egg;
- God was Jesus’s father, but his fraternal genealogy could be traced to the house of David;
- God wouldn’t forgive His sinful children unless Jesus was brutally tortured to death;
- Jesus’s good news—which he was allowed to share for only three years and within a small radius, given the transportation limitations—was not that God is the unconditionally forgiving father of prodigals but that Jesus came to Earth to save us from God’s demonic and excessive punishment by agreeing to be sadistically murdered;
- If we don’t believe that Jesus came to save us from God’s demonic and excessive punishment, God will demonically and excessively punish us anyway;
- Jesus, who opposed organized religion, founded the Christian church—even though he was crucified more than 300 years before the church was established.
Do we choose to be Christians or followers of Jesus?
While calling ourselves Christian tells others what we believe, being Christlike—being followers of Jesus—doesn’t require a label. It is clearly demonstrated by the way they behave: In addition to loving one another, Jesus’s followers do not judge, do not condemn. They feed the hungry, care for the sick and the poor—even wash another’s feet. They accept others’ differences, whether it’s sexual orientation, mental or physical health, race or religion. Many Christians very loudly and proudly do not accept or value anyone who is different.
Make no mistake, followers of Jesus are not selfless. In fact, you might say that they’re selfish. Perhaps it’s because they believe that Jesus really did say that whatever we do for others, we also do for him. His message was that we are One. There is no difference between us: what I do for you, I do for myself.
Jesus’s values are shared by and live through his followers. Fittingly, these values can be practiced without practicing any of the world’s religions.
I was reminded of the secular nature of Jesus’s teachings today, when Facebook friend Burjkh Halinov posted this interview with renowned Canadian physician Gabor Maté. He draws a direct line between a society’s mental health and its materialism. I might add that this culture is very much in the spotlight today on the American political stage, where so many self-described Christians stand.
Dr. Gabor Maté explains how mental distress and pathology are largely a result of a materialist cultures that prioritize objects over people and well-being. [Interview by Crazywise]
Does being Christian solve this problem? That’s something else to think about—before believing.