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Christianity vs. Jesus

Posted by Roberta Grimes • May 23, 2015 • 20 Comments
Afterlife Research, Jesus, The Teachings of Jesus

Not long ago while stopped in traffic I noticed that the driver of the truck Jesus is Comingahead had adamant religious views. His bumper stickers, plastered high on the back of the truck so they would not be missed, read, “If you’re living as if there is no God you had better hope you’re right!” And, “If It Ain’t James 1611 It Ain’t Bible.” And, “Are You Saved?” There was a fourth sticker that quoted Old Testament passages in tiny print that you could not make out. But that was just as well.

A recent Pew poll announcing the decline of Christianity has been much in the news. Christianity seems to be in particular trouble in Great Britain. A Yahoo study finds that Christianity is on the decline in the United States as well, and there are those who think that American Christianity is altogether doomed.

It’s hard to know what is going on, but that truck plastered with clinically insane bumper stickers might be a clue. The old-time Christianity of hellfire and damnation centered around a God so lacking in love that he needs to watch his Son’s murder before he can bring himself to forgive us may have been appealing in the nineteenth century, but fear does not feed the human spirit. More to the point, it turns out that old-time Christianity is wrong.

I have spent decades studying nearly two hundred years of abundant and consistent communications from the dead. Together they paint a detailed picture of what happens at and after death, and – more to the point – they show us what does not happen. Nowhere has anyone found evidence that any of these traditional Christian teachings is true:

  • There is no evidence that God or any religious figure ever has judged anyone
  • There is no evidence that the death of Jesus on the cross ever has “saved” anyone
  • There is no evidence for a separate devil, a fiery hell, or permanent damnation
  • There is no evidence that you’ve got to be a Christian to get into heaven
  • There isn’t even any evidence for an anthropomorphic God, with or without a throne

So Christianity is wrong. It’s wrong!

I was an ardent Christian for most of my life. I can sing so many hymns by heart! But Jesus on the Crosswhen I realized how wrong Christianity is, and how damaging to the human spirit and to the message of Jesus it continues to be, I left the Church without regret.

Although a tremendous body of afterlife evidence demonstrates that Christianity is wrong, at the same time the dead are proving to us that the Jesus of the Gospels is right. About ninety-five percent of what Jesus is quoted as saying in a modern translation of the Gospels is entirely consistent with what the dead are telling us, even in small details.

So now we can prove that Jesus is right! Unfortunately, however, none of the Christian teachings refuted above came from Jesus. And because that is true, Christians are reduced to insisting without evidence that the whole Bible is “the Inspired Word of God.”

What would Jesus say about that?

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (MT 5:17)

What does Jesus mean by whatever he says that has been translated as the word “fulfill”? Might he mean that since we have his teachings, we don’t need the Old Testament anymore? When asked about the most important commandments, Jesus is quoted repeatedly as saying some variant of:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (MT 22:37-40)

“The Law and the Prophets” was what the Jews of Jesus’s day called the Old Testament. Far from suggesting that the Old Testament is the Inspired Word of God, a reasonable interpretation of the Gospel words of Jesus is that his teachings supersede the Old Testament.

Those traditional Christian teachings that we now can demonstrate are not true come from that same Old Testament – arguably now superseded by Jesus – and from the Apostle Paul, who was a first-century man without the least understanding of the miracle his generation had witnessed. Yet modern Christianity asserts that its own traditions based in the Old Testament and in the teachings of Paul have to be the Inspired Word of God?

What might Jesus say about that?

“And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?…You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’” (MT 15:3-9)

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (LK 6:46)

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (JN 8:31-32)

From what is the truth going to set us free?

When you read the words of Jesus, you find that the only people this perfectly gentle and loving man could not stand were clergymen.

“Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.” (MK 12:38-40)

Jesus actually comes out and tells us that we don’t need religious traditions and we don’t need clergymen. We can relate to God as Spirit, without a religious middleman between:

“When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (MT 6:6)

I think that any unbiased person reading Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is going to come away as I have, with the strong suspicion that what Jesus came to set us free from was… religions.

Now, how about this:

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” (MT 7:15-20)

Many Christians would love to beat me over the head with that passage for having dared to write this post. But after two thousand years and more than ten thousand separate denominations, what really is the fruit of Christianity as the Apostle Paul designed it? Think about the “strict Christians” you know who are petty and judgmental and holier-than-thou. Speak to people who are living their lives according to their own consciences and are told by Christian family members that they are going straight to hell. Go into any hospice and hear from the volunteers how many Christians die in fear of God’s judgment.

By their fruit you will recognize them.

I have no doubt that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, miraculously born of a virgin. I am confident that he came to bring us God’s truth, that he performed miracles and healed the sick, and that he died a martyr and miraculously roseJesus in Contemplation from the dead. I love Jesus with everything that’s in me. What I altogether reject are the ten-thousand-plus Christian denominations that honor him with their lips while their hearts are far from him.

Jesus is right! And his prescription for how we must live our lives is such an essential message for all of us to hear as the world falls apart around us that if it takes the end of Christianity to force us to actually listen to Jesus, then I say, bring it on! The hour is late. Christianity’s false traditions have done nothing to elevate a fallen world, so it seems past time for us to cast aside the religion and listen to the Man.

 

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photo credit: <a href=”https://www:flickr.com/photos/beginasyouare/1045120420/”>Mike_tn</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

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Roberta Grimes

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20 thoughts on “Christianity vs. Jesus

  1. Paul was not all bad. Had a good idea of the most important thing, love.
    “If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn’t love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would be of no value whatsoever. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever!” 1 Corinthians 13:1-8, NLT.

    1. No indeed, Loren, Paul was “not all bad.” I read this passage at my beloved mother-in-law’s funeral; it may be the most beautiful thing that anyone ever has written. I love the Apostle Paul. BUT I LOVE JESUS MORE. Paul’s Source must become our Source now as well, and we must all become advocates for the Truth of Jesus AND NOTHING ELSE. If we don’t do this now, humanity as we know it will continue to circle the drain. On the other hand, if we can together introduce the genuine Son of God and his teachings to the world, then a new day truly can dawn. Jesus is calling us! Whether each of us answers is a personal decision, but each of us who loves Jesus is being called to share ONLY his truth. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (MT 9:36-38)

  2. Good thought! I’m a 71-year-old former Bible teacher, missionary, host of Christian talk shows, and have read the Bible through since 1952. We used to have these yearly challenges: “Read the Bible Through in 1952” and such.
    Only recently, after returning from several years in Cameroon teaching at a Bible school there, have I come to many of the same conclusions you have reached. By the way, I’ve bought a couple of you ebooks, and have recommended them to a friend. Thanks for being out there, and being willing to take some rather harsh hits!

    1. It’s wonderful to meet you, dear Loren! Wow, what a terrific history you have to do this work – don’t you feel that Jesus is calling you, too? I hear from so many people now who feel trapped in Christianity and are hungry to really know Jesus. You can serve as a perfect missionary for his truth right here, in the United States!

  3. I’m with you pretty much on all this, Roberta. I’m 68 and grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household in the 1950’s, though at that time most Christian churches in the U.S. were not involved in politics, unlike now. I left most of that teaching in the 1960’s, but still kept a love and respect for Jesus.

    Several things, though. In the first three gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus tells his disciples that to enter the kingdom of heaven one only has to do good works; feed the hungry, clothe the naked and house the homeless. Love towards others is the key. The only gospel with the “atonement” idea is John. “For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son, and who soever believes in him will have ever lasting life.”and some others. Of course, that can be interpreted in several ways.

    So, how is this explained? Possibly by these lines being inserted at one of Councils of Nicea, there were two(it’s well proven editing and “cut and paste” jobs when on all through the centuries) or it was mis-remembered by the original person who wrote it down. (None of the disciples named wrote those gospels. We only have copies of copies of copies, not the originals. The gospels were only named such by the Church Fathers). Anyway, what are your thoughts?

    Plus, myself and others often ask “why didn’t Jesus write down his teachings?” It would sure have saved an untold amount of suffering and arguments down through the centuries! Of course, maybe he did and they’re hidden away deep in a Vatican Library vault.

    As for St. Paul, it’s acknowledged by most scholars that he didn’t write many of those epistles attributed to him. But, his named was put on them all for convenience sake. Yes, those passages on Love quoted above are true and beautiful and certainly divinely inspired. Many others passages,though, attributed to him have caused much confusion, misery and contradiction(because of multiple authors?). His promotion of the “atonement” idea for one, is a mistake.

    Also, in line with your astute comments, the current gay marriage and LGBT rights issues are an example. The Right Wing fundamentalist Christians can only quote from the Old Testament, not from Jesus.

    Lastly, as for the resurrection of Jesus, I was open minded, but unsure, on that for a long time. But, my investigation into the Should of Turin has somewhat turned me around. Skeptical at first, but a look at the evidence seems to point that it is genuine. What do you think, Roberta?

    For a real expanded take on Jesus, you might enjoy Tricia McCannon’s book “Jesus: The Explosive Story of the Lost 30 Years and the Ancient Mystery Religions” 2010. It’s on Amazon and well documented with extensive footnotes. (She could make an interesting interview guest)

    Thanks!

    1. Wow, Michael, what a thoughtful comment – thank you! A thorough response from me would be another whole blog post, but I’ll give you some thoughts here:

      1) The fundamentalist distinction between faith and works isn’t really how Jesus saw things, and it’s not how the dead do, either. Remember that earth-life is a school! And it’s one that is not pass-fail, since there is no damnation. For Jesus, it’s all about learning to love and forgive ever more perfectly. The dead stress that everything we do must come from love – we can do literally anything here and have it raise our spiritual vibration if love alone is our motivation.

      2) Your talk of the tenuous way the Gospels were written and edited is right, and for me would throw the words of Jesus into question if we didn’t have the amazing correspondence between those words as they have been preserved and what the dead are telling us. We now have absolute validation that if Jesus didn’t say exactly what he is quoted as saying in the Gospels, for nearly all of it the Gospels probably are very close! It’s a miracle, quite literally.

      3) Remember that the words of Jesus in the English Gospels have been through two translations. And remember that his whole emphasis is his teachings! So wherever Jesus says “I” or “me,” simply replace those words with “my teachings” and you can fix most Gospel passages (e.g. “No one comes to the Father except through my teachings is entirely true!).

      4) To me, authorship of Paul’s letters and of each Gospel book doesn’t much matter. I take the Bible within its four corners, since that is the foundation of Christianity. We have ample justification now for concluding that (a) Jesus is exactly who he says he is, a genuine messenger teaching God’s truth; (b) he replaces the OT and would not have approved of a lot of the NT; and (c) he probably actually did intend to wean us away from religions and all other superstitions and teach us to relate to God individually. So we throw away the OT and all of the NT except the Gospels, and we live as best we can by those red letters! After 2000 years, the dead have confirmed that the words of Jesus still are the best prescription for living our lives ever written.

      5) I think Jesus did rise from the dead, and he did it to prove to us that death is not real. A friend wishes I hadn’t affirmed the virgin birth, but my point in both cases is that it doesn’t matter. People’s opinions can differ, since none of that affects the truth of what Jesus taught. I’d yield to someone’s insistence that he came to earth on a flaming space ship if my acceptance of that belief helped my listener to accept and live by those perfect teachings!

      We’ve got to do now what Jesus tried to get us to do 2000 years ago, and throw away all superstitions. God’s truth is not a matter of “faith” anymore! It’s a matter of fact.

      Thank you, Michael!

          1. Yes, an excellent reply, Roberta.

            While we’re on the subject, I’ve thought for awhile that some of the “Lost Gospels” should have been included in the New Testament “canon.” Particularly the Gospel of Thomas.

            Also, Jesus’s statement “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” (John 14:2) is quite important. I interpret it to refer to both the modern “many worlds” theory and the numerous levels of “heaven” or the transcendent realms.

            What do you think?

          2. Thank you, Michael! It’s wonderful how all of us together are beginning to find a truer way forward.

            To answer your questions:

            1) I have come to believe that the canonical Gospels so perfectly sum up the teachings of Jesus after having suffered two translations (Aramaic to Greek to English) that I think the inclusion of just those four in the Book that all Christians revere is quite literally an act of God. As people begin actually to listen to Jesus, they can find and read the other Gospels as well; but for now, we have four simple books that all of us can agree are true. That is a genuine miracle!

            2) To be frank, I’m not sure what Jesus means by the “many mansions” comment. He may well mean what you suggest, but when I take that whole quotation in context I see it more as a practical explanation that he was going to the Summerland ahead of these close friends, his disciples, to build each a house there, as our loved ones still do today.
            “In my father’s house are many rooms (or mansions); if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (JN 14:2-4) This is an exact description of the death process as we now understand it: he’ll prepare a house for each and come and get him when he dies and bring him to that house. And “the way to the place where I am going” is to follow his Gospel teachings. I think this passage is remarkable! And I see the whole of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as beginners’ texts for people just learning God’s eternal truths. But – again – you may be right!

    1. Hello dear Mary! You’re right: many of the world’s great religions are beautiful. Their sounds and images speak to us, no matter what the language. I would be more reluctant to say that we must turn away from all religions and live only by the perfect words of Jesus if it were not becoming clear that our doing that now is God’s perfect will. It may be quite literally necessary if we are to survive as a species.

  4. One of my favorite books… ‘Christ Hates Religion’ written by Witness Lee
    available from The Living Stream Ministry, online.

    1. Thank you for the suggestion, Jeffrey! The first time it occurred to me, decades ago, that, you know, this guy REALLY is down on religions, I winced. Was it possible that my beloved Christianity had gotten its Lord so altogether wrong? Well, yes, it was. I am confident now that Jesus’s core intention in coming to us was to get us past religions, which are mere superstitions by their very nature, and teach us to relate to God directly. It is only when we are free of religious dogmas that we even CAN relate meaningfully to God. Until then, for us to fully develop spiritually – to learn and practice perfect love and forgiveness – is likely impossible. When I read just after her death that Mother Theresa, of all people, had spent most of her life in a terrible crisis of faith but had continued to go through the motions, that sealed it for me. Mere faith is thin gruel for our spirits. What really feeds the soul is knowing!

  5. great comments all the way through– as we are all going through phase 1 of our learning experience here on the planet – I believe God sees our heart intentions and what they are based on. The intellect can not be but the heart is accountable – Love reigns supreme -God is love- blessings Danny

    1. Thank you, Danny! You’re right – the comments to this one are especially terrific. What I enjoy most about doing this blog is the wonderful, thoughtful comments and messages from readers!

    1. I understand how you feel, Frank, but I hope you’ll agree that having been misled by religious leaders is not the same as being evil. Once we help them understand that to be a follower of Jesus means LISTENING to him and LIVING his teachings, we will begin to find that many of these people are wonderfully prepared to choose Jesus. And don’t you share the thought that when that happens we will welcome them into his true service with joy?

  6. Hi Roberta

    I am very grateful that you through your guides and especially Thomas has ventured into important territory about Christ and the gospels.
    Just a thought, I wonder if Christ had been alive today, if he would have been accepted into the jesus Saves movement that is so narrow, fundamentalist and unforgiving sometimes.

    I am a gay man who has walked a difficult path here in Africa just to be myself. My biggest critics are many Christians who regard my existence as sinful and needing to be changed or altered.

    i believe in Gods love for us all regardless. That to me is the gospel in a nutshell. i have a degree in Theology and went to a Baptist Bible school when I was younger. I walked away from it and feel much more in tune and aligned with myself.

    So Roberta, You are NOT alone. And thank you for your service to us.

    1. Thank you, dear Martin! I’m so sorry that your situation is so difficult. What traditional Christianity does to gay folks is the most anti-Jesus aspect of the entire religion! You are right in all that you say about the Gospels, and right in saying that Jesus was not anti-gay on any level. Love truly is every bit of what matters. I’m sending you a tremendous hug!

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