I appreciate your sharing your religious views with me. I often do not reciprocate because I wish to avoid unnecessary conflict, but you seem so intense that I shall provide you with comments from my heart to yours.
Jesus’ life and teachings have such importance that we can lift them out of the bible altogether and they can stand on their own as the only primary religious truths on this world. We do not need any associated writings by prophets, seers, historians, philosophers, or epistleers.
Jesus spent over 4 years living and teaching the gospel of the
- The reality of the sovereignty and Fatherhood of God – the Father loves us as his children.
- The truth of the Brotherhood of Man – we must love and unselfishly serve others
- Faith in the effectiveness of the supreme human desire to do God’s will – to be like God
Through the faith-embrace of our eternal relationship with our Heavenly Father, following Jesus’ guidance and inspiration, we shall engage in eternal adventures with the Father’s individuated spirit presences within us as our constant companions, both here on earth, and in heaven.
We have the divinely endowed purpose here to learn to show the nature of our loving Heavenly Father to the others around us – to develop balanced and majestic personalities like that of Jesus.
To the extent Christianity or any other religion falls short of the above concepts, it fails the mission the Father set for Jesus on this world, and it fails the Great commission Jesus gave his apostles before he disappeared from view for the last time on the morning of Pentecost.
The above principles of the gospel sit in the Bible for all to read and heed, woven through Jesus’ life and teachings, both public and private. And yet, when I ask my Christian brothers to tell me the gospel in a nutshell, they usually tell me anything but the above, and add other things that never comprised the teachings or focus of Jesus’ religious life.
I believe Christianity contains more of Jesus’ teachings than any other religion, but that it fell grossly short of the above ambitions because of cult practices, denominationalism, dogmatizing, formalizing, polluting, and crystallizing the religion OF Jesus into a religion ABOUT Jesus.
That distraction retarded the spread of the gospel at least 1500 years, paving the way for the rise of Islam. Had early Christians remained loyal to the gospel of the
Some day, Christianity must reform itself and rejuvenate its interest, thrust, and focus on the gospel of the
The question: will YOU play a role in that reformation and refocus, or will you tune in only to fundamentalist dogma that distracts from the Great Commission?
As just one example of the wrong focus, people somehow mention how others are “bound for hell” because of not embracing Paul’s atonement doctrine. A person who embraces the religion of Jesus has no concern for hell. He does not enter his religion out of fear of burning, but out of desire to walk with God, accept the Father’s inner leading, feel Jesus’ personal spirit presence (the “comforter”), and show the nature of the Father to others. The truth-seeker cannot help feeling a craving for those things, and the gospel gratifies that craving.
Christianity focuses on Paul’s atonement doctrine: “Accept on faith that the death of Jesus constituted a human sacrifice that appeases God, atones for your sins, and allows you to have relationship with God, or you will burn in hell forever.”
That seems to ignore Luke 4:18, Luke 4:43, Matthew 6:14 and 15, Luke 10:25-28, Mark 12:29-31, and John 3:16, and to violate the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18:20 and Mark 16:15. In fact, Jesus started teaching the gospel before he ordained his apostles in the Sermon on the Mount, and he did not even mention his death till over 3 years into his public ministry. Therefore, neither his death nor any thing related to or derived from it had any role in the gospel teachings. Jesus’ gospel also did not concern his status as Messiah or a divine being, for he told his apostles to stay quiet about it. And yet, Jesus very clearly said he came here to teach the gospel of the
Upon dedicing to start his public mission. Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised…
After selecting the first apostles, but before ordaining them. Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
After ordaining his apostles. Luke 4:43 And he said unto them, I must preach the
Over 3 years into his public ministry. Matthew 16:20-21 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto
Just 8 months before his death. Mark 9:9-10 And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.
You see from the above chronology that the gospel could not possibly contain any element of the Atonement Doctrine.
On top of that, Jesus’ very clear teachings about Love and Forgiveness, and God’s father relationship to us as his children constitute the essence of his teachings, and they also make the Atonement Doctrine impossible.
You receive the Father’s forgiveness you if you forgive others, but not if you don’t. Matthew 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
He said to spread his commands, not Paul’s atonement doctrine. Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
So now I ask: why would you take Paul’s atonement doctrine to heart above the direct unequivocal teachings of Jesus, particularly when Paul never met Jesus in person and never listened to his teachings? Paul’s letters caused much mischief in the spread of Christianity. They corrupted the simple gospel of the
For that reason, I encourage you as follows: refocus on the Gospel of the
Thanks for allowing me to share my views with you.