Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Christian Criterion: Lines of Division

Inevitably I am often asked (or questioned) whether I am a Christian or not.
I don't like that question and generally I don't answer it. (I don't self-identify as one, but that means little).

Give me your clear-cut definition of what a Christian is and I'll give you a clear-cut answer.

YouDo you believe in Jesus?

Me: Far too general. What do you mean?

  1. Do I believe Jesus existed historically?
  2. Do I believe Jesus was a great wisdom teacher?
  3. Do I believe Jesus was the incarnation of God?
  4. Do I believe Jesus was the unique incarnation of God?
  5. Am I part of a congregation?
  6. Do I regularly attend church every Sunday?
  7. Do I regularly tithe?

You: All those questions.
  1. Yes, I believe the heretical rabbi Yeshua of Nazareth existed historically.
  2. Yes, I believe he was a great wisdom teacher.
  3. Mu. This question is irrelevant. (You don't have to agree with me.) (See Above and Beyond Christianity: Hidden Worship)
  4. See above, or theoretically, no. (See "Most High God" Part IV: Incarnate State)
  5. No.
  6. No.
  7. Absolutely not. (See Repairing the Torn Veil).

Now, having said that, I think these questions are a little lacking. In short, they're asking the wrong questions.
I think one of the most important questions is number 2: Do I believe Jesus was a great wisdom teacher?, because there are 2 important questions that follow it. Far too often I am never asked these questions.

  1. What do I think his core message was?

The heretical Rabbi, Yeshua of Nazareth, spoke of a strange and elusive concept he called The Kingdom of God. Something that was yet to come, yet strangely present in the Here and Now; within ourselves (Luke 17:21). An unrealized potential.

Yeshua was an exemplar; he was a Revealer rather than a Redeemer. It is religion, religiosity itself, that keep us ignorant, captive, and slaves to Fear, Envy, and Delusion.

What I believe Yeshua truly taught wasn't the advent of new religion (Christianity), but a heightened awareness - a sort of freedom and enlightenment, rather than a salvation. Yeshua's Kingdom of God wasn't a new religion, but the end of all religion. The escape hatch from this Edenic Birdcage; emancipation from the Entrapment of Religiosity itself.

(And, yes I am aware of Lewis' Trilemma. See Lord, Liar, or Lunatic, or even C.S. Lewis and the Jesus Trilemma, by Austin Cline - although I am not interested in the argument of whether Jesus was or wasn't God).

     2. Do I try to follow the wisdom of this great teacher?

Well, that's really the question we're here to explore and put into reality, isn't it?
This is the position I hold and where I am on this topic. It matters little to me whether this makes me a "Christian" or not.

- continued on Misconceptions - 

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