Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Jesus 110905


Christopher Isherwood gave an interview to a magazine once. In this story, he observed that religion is about people, not about philosophy. It is the person who introduces you to a religion that "converts" you, not the teachings of this belief system. He said, if I had met a Catholic who impressed me like the person who drew me to Vedanta, I might have become a Catholic. Instead, this key person was a Hindu, and that is the path I was drawn to. ( I offer my apologies for the lack of a verbatim quote. This does get the essence of his message.)
While I can hear the " you don't understand" comments already, I do agree with Mr. Isherwood. And , there are a couple of corollaries to this theorem. Just as a person will lead you to a religion with a good experience, another person will lead you away from a religion with a bad experience. This is especially true of religions like jesus worship, where a premium is placed on the conversion of non-believers, because of ideas about life after death.

Experience is why I can NEVER be a jesus worshipper. While there are exceptions, my negative experiences with jesus worship have been so intense as to make it impossible for any positive experience to overcome.
I look back on an incident in May of 1999. I was working closely with a professional jesus worshipper. This man shouted me down and humiliated me for jesus. And when it was over, he picked up the phone and told his friend, " I never felt better in my life"
That is the truth about jesus.
I was shouted down and humiliated for jesus.
He did it for jesus.
And when the professional jesus worshipper was through humiliating me for jesus, he picked up the phone, and told his friend " I never felt better in my life".
That is what jesus means to me.
Aside from the nasty things I have learned about jesus through his believers, there are numerous philosophical issues. These include:
The idea that the bible is "the word of god".
The idea that concern over life after death justifies verbal abuse.
The idea that jesus is the "son of god".
What do we mean by "god"?
Is god separate from man?
Is jesus worship right, and all other religions wrong?
These are the main issues. The concept of "god in a book" is the foundation of much of jesus worship, and if you pull that cornerstone out the house comes tumbling down.
So what do I believe?
I am not interested in your ideas about god, the bible, jesus, and life after death.
My opinions about god, the bible, jesus, and life after death, are none of your business.

4 Comments:

Blogger Gaddabout said...

I am not interested in your ideas about god, the bible, jesus, and life after death.
My opinions about god, the bible, jesus, and life after death, are none of your business.


This is a really confusing statement considering I was brought here by a link you posted on a Christian blog.

11:33 PM  
Blogger John said...

I came to you via your post on Adrian Warnock's UK Evangelical Blog and I was wondering just what possessed you to imagine that we would find your agony entertaining!

8:39 AM  
Blogger Phil (Col 1:27-28) said...

I am sorry for your experience with that person in your life. I really am.

However in spite of the many stories like yours that could be and indeed have been told, and I have quite a few of my own that we could compare, the reality of Christ Jesus remains a living viable reality. This may not be true for you but for many of us it most certainly is.

There is another reality also and that is the kind of reality that you, I and too many others have experienced at the hands, mouths and actions of far too many professing believers. We can be and all too often are, our own worst enemy. For this there is no real excuse.

And for this I deeply apologize. Please, Forgive us.

Blessings!
Phil

10:03 AM  
Blogger eculeus said...

You seem angry and hurt by Christians. I'm genuinely sorry over what you went through with your friend.

Despite your anger, though, I hope you will consider that experience is a faulty way of evalutating truth.

Giving up on Christianity because of some, even a few, bad experiences is like giving up on computers altogether when it lost your document/crashed on you a few times.

Please also understand three other points:

1. All people, even Christians, are imperfect, sinful, and flawed. Even me. Even you. Your bad experience may not be a product of Christianity, but of the sinful Christian.

2. Many who call themselves Christians do not LIVE like Christians (and should *not* be considered Christians, despite what they say).

3. Evangelism, at its root, is an act of love. It would be easier not to evangelize and just get along with everybody. But that would be ultimately unloving, since you are not telling them what they need to know to get right with God. The alternative is ... hell for eternity. That's pretty unloving, isn't it?

I really hope that you will learn to look past your anger and hurt, and obtain for yourself the only true eternal treasure--Jesus Christ.

2:59 PM  

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