What if we redefined what it means to be Christian?
31 October 1517, A devout german monk by the name of Martin Luther appaled by the corruption of the church who would sell redemption for a steep price(making it pretty much business of religious favors), posted on the door of his church 95 accusations against the practices of the christian establishment.
He then went on to write a whole bunch of essays expressing his opinion about how he believes the church should be as opposed to what it was. Urging individuals to come back to the essence of what christian faith should be about.
In other times, a humble monk’s opinion without the means of propagations would simply have been ignored but thanks to the newly available printing press, his writings spread all over Europe.
There are now 900 million protestants (or other branches derived from protestantism).
Good ideas well articulated can transform the world, and prove that age old institutions can be rightfully challenged for the benefit of many.
Thanks Martin, we appreciate your work.
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.
Jesus — Matthew 19:24
The pope’s net worth is estimated at $28 million.
It’s gonna be tough for you guys to get to heaven. Sorry to burst your bubble.
Do as I say, not as I do. Isn’t it?
Although the current pope Francis has done some real efforts to address this, notably by choosing to wear a silver papal ring as opposed to a gold one, we still have to notice this giant hypocrasy that the catholics are being served.
If you’re a believer, ask yourself: What would Jesus think?
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
The prevalence of Sexual abuse scandals and pedophilia amongst the catholic church shouldn’t be a surprise to you by now. And it’s by no mean a new thing. I don’t think I need to elaborate much.
Naturally if you want to camouflage your own trespassings, naive and innocent individuals are your best bet.
But one has to interrogate as to why that is?
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Perhaps considering the sexual act or even the mere fact of thinking about it as shameful and its expression as evil is a terrible idea. It’s pretty much impossible to enforce. It just isn’t.
It’s in complete contradiction with who we are as individuals. We’re highly sexual creatures. We share 99.8% genes with the promiscuous Bonobos. Proof in the pouding 35% of the internet traffic is porn…
There was a case to be made that 2000 years ago that the sexual act should be ‘controlled’ and repressed, as it would have the consequences of having new mouths to feed in a population that was already famished. But now we have contraception…
If One represses his own nature, One does not become holier, One becomes insane.
While this ideological madness is left to perdure, the problem fester, and the secret persist.
Sex should not be regarded as shameful, sinful or evil. It should be regarded for what it is: Natural.
If we were to reconsider it as such, we would indulge more in sex as a “beautiful expression of love and trust between 2 individuals” instead of regarding it as something “dirty”.
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men
According to the John-Jay-Report, 80.9% of the abuse victims in the United States by the church were male.
It has been even estimated that 45% of priests were homosexual. I mean if you’re not into girls and don’t want to be judged for it, maybe becoming a priest is a good career choice. Except that when you repress your own impulses, they come back with a vengeance in pretty ugly form.
Condemning homosexuality is a terrible idea. It is like rejecting a whole part of god’s children. And something that is part of the human experience. If one would want to work towards the higher ideals of god, I think one should pursue tolerance and acceptance.
Also, we have to discern in many teachings of the bible, what are the original teaching of Jesus, and what the apostles and those who created ideological franchises. Jesus might not have approved.
Why the hell is the cross the symbol of the christian church?
The symbol of the Christ is the very instrument of torture that brought about his death. One could think that Jesus would not be particularly keen on this particular idea has he been around to give his two cents.
Maybe an other cheerful or meaningful period of his life could have been put forward as symbol (Maybe the round eucharist or the sun?).
Why such an emphasis?
Because it is Drama.
It has schock value. It is the worst inflicted to the best. In term of storytelling, you can’t do better than that.
TEACHINGS = TEACHER?
Finally, why is there such idealization of the persona of Christ himself?
Christ was a teacher, no more no less, and one amongst others. A great one that is. But like any great teacher perhaps his intention was not for himself to be idealized as much as his teaching be heard.
Why do we put so much emphasis on the persona as opposed to his teachings?
Really it should be the teachings that should be emphasised.
What’s more important. Jesus or his message?
Gladly… the bible is far from being devoid of good ideas.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Now that’s something that seems more aligned with our common internal moral compasses and that can be universally recognized as a force for good in this world.
Perhaps, we could consider that the bible is not a work of divine perfection. But a collection of ideas, some are fantastic and a force for good, some are less so. But they tried their best given the circumstances of the time.
Like any teachers, Jesus might have been wrong in some areas.
Why can’t he have the right to make mistakes?
Why would he be immune to imperfection?
Can’t we just appreciate his word and qualities of being without trying to put him beyond humanity. We have star philosophers but we don’t all consider them holy sons of god. By indulging in our need for perfection we allowed fiction to take over reality.
And that’s where we have entered into a collective delusion for centuries. But we know better by now.
We could consider that Jesus was aiming at a more harmonious, giving and selfless society. And so, we shall put those teachings back in their context. The best way we could honor them would be to capture their essence and retranscribe them for our time so that the original intention would be preserved. We also have to understand that a lot of teachings come from disciples and some texts have been greatly edited for various purposes… So we have to understand the context for which they came to be and filter the good stuff from the bad stuff. Which are the ideas put forward with a desire for social control, which are plain bad ideas, and which are the essence which resonated in the heart of many so that they still touch our hearts today. Those are the one we should maintain. The others, reframed.
Different times, different rules.
It is the intention that matters. It is the most important.
Could a new healthier form of christianity accept a more down to earth reverence for an outstanding, yet mere mortal human being, with revolutionary ideas without deifying him? Much like we have for Socrates?
In PART II I’m gonna make propositions for how I believe we could adapt Christianity for our modern day and age.