[image of poster is from here]
In this post I am bringing Jesus Home, from Those who Stole Him,
Misunderstood and Misused Him to Promote Their Homophobic, Patriarchal,
White Supremacist, and Corporate Capitalist Agendas of Atrocity.
It's time. Or past time. Perhaps it is centuries past time. Or perhaps someone ought to have had a good talking to with Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul, giving those Jewish men a heads up about how people who would come to call themselves "Christians" would almost completely misunderstand and misuse Jesus-the-person to promote their own patriarchal agendas and project their own needs for a Father-God who is also a Son.
A month or sometimes a week cannot go by without someone approaching me--a Jew who is neither atheist nor theist--with the idea that "You need Jesus". What they mean is "You need to believe in this cultish religion I've decided is The Truth because I've taken in the delusions and distortions human beings have spoken and written about Jesus and I MUST believe they are true--my faith in my cult depends on it." That's what they usually mean. Some are more good-hearted. Some approach me with a kind of condescending compassion that makes me want to vomit. Some with an arrogance that makes me want to spit in their faces.
Regardless of their reasons and anti-Jesus-while-"Christian" ambitions, they won't get away with it here at A.R.P. Jesus will be spoken about respectfully here as the Jewish person he was, not the Christian God he wasn't.
Let's begin with a few basic truthful facts, as opposed to the kind many Christians preach, promote, and proselytise.
Jews in the time and region of Jesus (while he walked the Earth) didn't tell history the way contemporary Western Christians often do--as a set of facts that are understood to have actually occurred in ways that are not open to interpretation and contradiction, discussion and disagreement.
Christian Fundamentalism is a deeply and dangerously anti-Jesus phenomenon.
What most Christians don't want you to know about Jesus: a top ten list.
1. Jesus was not ever a Christian, nor did he ever advocate that anyone be a Christian.
2. Jesus was not THE son of G-d. He was, as all of us are and each of us is, a child of G-d if we're going with the metaphor of G-d as parent.
3. Jesus used metaphors to make his beliefs and experiences more comprehensible to his audience. Making G-d a "Father" was not something Jesus believed a "truth". He used the language as a device to convey deeper meaning to his listeners. Jesus was a Jew, and while Jews frequently defaulted to various patriarchal metaphors, any rabbi who has studied and experienced G-d, knows that G-d does not have a gender, a sex, or a patriarchal personality.
4. Jesus was not pro-capitalist, and anyone who honors and respects capitalism as a social good that should be made sacred or should be worshiped is behaving in a way that is anti-Jesus.
5. Jesus was not a white supremacist or a racist. Jesus was also not ever white. (Whiteness didn't exist when he lived, for one thing. And Jesus was Semitic, or what would now be called a person of color.) Anyone who believes Jesus was white and behaves as though whiteness is better than any other politically constructed and enforced racial identity is not behaving in accordance with the teachings of Jesus.
6. Jesus was not homophobic and was not an anti-gay or anti-lesbian bigot. He didn't speak on the subject but he did stand with the oppressed, the marginalised, and the socially ostracised and disempowered, the castigated and degraded, and not with the corrupt power-brokers of society. If you are homophobic, heterosexist, and anti-lesbian or anti-gay, you are behaving in a way that is anti-Jesus.
7. Jesus was not anti-woman . He was pro-woman; he held Mary Magdalene as his closest disciple, an equal to him, not beneath him. He never said she was a prostitute. A comma in the New Testament has been ignored, as Jesus, according to that biblical story listed people he encountered including Mary Magdalene and a prostitute. He stood with women enslaved in systems of prostitution, not in patriarchal, misogynistic judgment of them. If you are anti-woman, including against women who are trapped in systems of prostitution, you are behaving against the teachings of Jesus.
8. Jesus was not born from the womb of a woman who was "a virgin" if by "virgin" we mean a woman who had never had sexual intercourse. She may not have had sexual intercourse willingly: she may well have been raped. Joseph, quite possibly, was not his biological father but was a man who took care of Jesus' mother, Mary, after she was raped. Regardless, Jesus had a biological father, not a heavenly one. A sperm and an egg combined and Jesus was born, like every other human being on Earth. The notion of Mary the Mother being a "virgin" is a misread and mistranslation of a term that more accurately means "maiden" or very young woman.
9. Jesus was opposed to the worship of Man, of Mankind, of Men and of Patriarchal societies, particularly and outspokenly against the one he lived in that was governed and ruled by the Roman Empire, which, as all ought to know by now, was lethally anti-Jesus. The Roman Empire was coercive and corrupting of some of his people, the Jews. If your values and practices are pro-man-worshiping, believe in the man as the only appropriate head of household, or head of state, or if you are in any other ways pro-patriarchal, you are anti-Jesus.
10. Jesus was not resurrected in any way that is different than any other human being. In other words, he was not uniquely resurrected. The Resurrection spoken about in the New Testament is metaphorical, and a device to communicate something about our spiritual nature, not only Jesus'. He was not a kind of human being metaphysically different than others but he has been made into one who is metaphorically different. He was a human being, like me and like you, who noted that we are not just animals as "animals" were understood in that anti-Indigenist framework and culture: all beings are and all being is divine. All of Life is Divine. He welcomed people to know and experience this. If you believe Jesus was qualitatively different in his humanness; if you believe he was a fundamentally more metaphysical being than anyone else; if you believe he was "more spirit" than any Indigenous, Wiccan, Taoist, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindi, Jewish, agnostic, atheistic, or pagan person, you don't know Jesus.
Now spread THAT word.
Peace to us all, collectively, when we realise we are not entirely separate beings who need warfare, social hierarchies, rape, racism, and civilisation. When we join with revolutionary feminist women and revolutionary Indigenous warriors in the effort to radically transform all patriarchal and genocidal societies, we may begin to collectively know peace on Earth--if Earth survives what industrial and corporate patriarchal civilisation has done to it.
We may know peace, love, and joy in the mean time as well, in a way that is sometimes termed "individually" by those who may limit our being to the distortions of a kind of living-experience not promoted by Jesus. We may know peace, love, and joy by reminding our apparently individual selves who we really are: waves on the sea of non-separate Being that are simultaneously and paradoxically Many and One.
We may know peace, love, and joy when we accept and experience, against much Christian mis-teaching, that G-d, which is not male and is not a man; which doesn't live only in (as) the sky--which lives equally as Earth; which doesn't look down upon us as a patronising father might; which is not in us, or outside us, or above us, or beyond us.
G-d is not a being who is fixed in some sort of sacred portion of outer space. G-d is Being and Becoming. In this sense, G-d is not theistic and theists are wrong about G-d. G-d is non-theistic, not atheistic as that term is commonly used by that arrogant bunch who call themselves atheists.
G-d is us--all of us, and is all that is not us' G-d always has been and always will be becoming this in ways that our limited human minds register as paradoxical and perplexing.
G-d is not Giant Ego that cares one bit whether G-d is referred to as Jesus or "Christ" or Buddha or Krishna or Abraham, or "Allah" or "God" or "Great Spirit", or Goddess, or G-d or any other name that humans can speak or write. For G-d is authentically unspeakable and ultimately unknowable by humans who believe they are not part of all Being as a wave is part of the sea.
To promote one name for G-d, including the term G-d, or Christ, is to not understand AT ALL what Jesus was preaching about and experiencing. It is, rather, to be egotistical and arrogant, lost in one's own private being and ego while often pretending one is doing what Jesus spoke about as seeing and knowing G-d. Delusions about G-d, or about Jesus, or about other human beings, or other Life, will not serve us in our collective quest to find peace, love, and joy on and with Earth and its Biosphere, which is, metaphorically and not-so-metaphorically speaking, our parent.
There is no heavenly Father. There is "us" living in a nightmare of our own making, in part by not understanding what Jesus and Buddha and Indigenous Spiritual Guides were, are, and said.
Wake up from the nightmare. Now.
Know yourself as Being. Sit humbly in the knowledge that G-d is not absolutely or objectively knowable to you, and that you have no moral business going door to door or nation to nation to proclaim that you, and your people uniquely know what G-d is and wants better than any other people who know G-d or Buddha-nature, Goddess or Great Spirit.