Christians, Non-Christians, and the “Fully Man” Problem with Jesus

We Christians spend a lot of time thinking and talking about the divinity of Jesus, don’t we? We’re very comfortable with that aspect of His nature and experience.

It seems to me we’re not quite as comfortable, though, with Christ having been an Actual Human Guy. That part is a little … fuzzier, for us. We cringe, for example, at the idea of Jesus having had a sex drive.

We want our Christ to have been “fully man,” as we put it—but without the sex drive.

But isn’t that like bowling—but without the pins? There is no bowling without the pins. There’s just … goofy-looking shoes.

Anyway, how someone could be at once sinless and fully man is a mystery for theologians and Important Church Leaders to figure out and comment upon. What do I know? I’m just a lowly believer. (I equate having a sex drive with necessarily being sinful, by the way, only insofar as Jesus, in Matthew 5:27-28, says, “Do not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” And it just seems to me that virtually every man with a sex drive looks at a woman lustfully … oh, I don’t know … at least once a day? Maybe twice, if he’s had a good night’s sleep?)

I am, however (being a late-life convert and former Christianity disdainer) extremely familiar with the reasons non-Christians tend to shun Christians and Christianity. Take it from me: Chief among those reasons is that we Christians have a very distinct tendency to act like nothing whatsoever is wrong with us.

We do that because we want to be—or at least act as if we are—Christ-like. And there was certainly nothing wrong with Christ, is there? Therefore, there can or certainly should be nothing wrong with us, right? Righteously right.

But that there’s nothing wrong with us just doesn’t jibe with the truth about human life that all humans, including all non-Christians, know, which is that a whole bunch of stuff is always wrong with everybody.

Life hurts. Every mortal person is riddled with doubts about who they are, and how they’re doing, and whether they’re good enough, and whether anyone loves them. Those sorts of thoughts and doubts are in very large part what it means to be human.

Non-Christians feel like Christians are so busy trying to pretend they’re Christ-like that they too often refuse to acknowledge that, first and foremost, they’re human. They think we’re lying—that, in fact, we’re willfully self-deluded hypocrites—because we refuse to acknowledge our humanity. They don’t want to become Christians because they don’t (as they see it) want to spend their lives lying to themselves and others.

I know that we Christians aren’t self-deluded liars, of course. I’m just saying that it’s easy enough for us to sometimes come across that way. I have no idea what the solution to that might be. But I suspect it has something to do with our getting a lot more comfortable with the part our faith that holds that Christ was fully man.

I think that if we can allow Christ to appear more human to us, then maybe we can allow ourselves to appear more human to others. And I think that would go a very long way toward helping our relationships with non-Christians.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • Jill Kerman

    I loved the honesty of this blog, John!

    I love that because Jesus was fully man and didn't sin, he gave us an example of how to overcome general difficulties in our lives, character flaws within ourselves, and hardships we may face that are very specific.

    I try really hard not to appear as though I think I'm "above it all," and in fact, know that I have a lot of maturing to do as a grown woman. I think that the biggest insult a Christian can receive is "You're a hypocrite." And, unfortunately, I can relate to you having stayed away from the Christian faith because of your disdain for the Christians themselves. Although I was raised in the church, I saw a lot of things I didn't like (as far as unrepentant sinners, and those were usually the people who were very popular for being "very christian" in church), and it really made me aware of how non-Christians view Christians, because I was experiencing it myself….even though I WAS (and am) a Christian!

    I read a really great quote from Cicero: Of all villainly, hypocrisy is the most base. For at the moment a hypocrite is most false, he takes great care to appear most virtuous."

    Anyway, I'm off to lunch with a friend. Great blog!

  • http://marcys-musings.blogspot.com Marcy Muser

    Brian,

    I think that's EXACTLY what John's saying here (obviously he can correct me if it's not!). Many Christians seem to struggle with the idea that it's possible to have a sex drive and still be sinless. In my opinion, the fact that Jesus was fully human means exactly what you said. While Christians may have trouble with the idea, Jesus clearly didn't! He was fully human; doubtless He had a sex drive, since God created all humans to have one.

    I agree – I suspect Jesus was a lot more fun, a lot more REAL, than most Christians ever imagine. I picture Him laughing, running, mountain-climbing, sweating, getting sick, itching, having trouble sleeping. After all, if He'd been as pious as many Christian images of Him are, the religious leaders of His time wouldn't have crucified Him for blasphemy. It's precisely because He was such a real man that they got so angry with Him for claiming to be God.

    Thanks, John, for reminding us. And thanks, Brian and John, for encouraging us Christians to be REAL people, rather than fakes. :)

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    John,

    Do you have Derek Webb's album, Mockingbird. It is so you. The title alone is poetic. Its a rather humbling message for believers so its not terribly popular.

  • http://shahrzaad.wordpress.com Shahrzad

    "Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to God."

    "That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of God.;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not"

    "O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of God aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of God, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in God and His apostles. Say not "Trinity" : desist: it will be better for you: for God is one God. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is God as a Disposer of affairs." (Quran)

    I just wanted to comment here as a non christian and show quality of our belief to Jesus (Peace be upon him) :)

    I think sexual feeling is not something that be ignored. If it wanted to be ignored, God would not creat it. It is in nature of human being and God wants us to satisfy it in its true way that is marriage. So Jesus also like other great prophets have kind of nature.

    God is God, one God, sacred and unseen. And Jesus is a great human and prophet. If he didnt have this feeling, nobody would accept his words. Prophets come from mainstream of people, but the most pure ones, so people make them as an example to live pure and truely for sake of God ;)

    I liked your blog.. Keep it up..

  • http://www.sheppardministries.com Greta Sheppard

    John… suffice it to say that "Jesus was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin!" Heb 4:15. That sort of settles it, in my mind! So what if he had sexual thoughts?!? He could not have been a total sacrifice for us humans if he didn't have them. The important thing is that while He may have thought them, he didn't perform the sin after thinking about it. The thing is, that God sees the sins of adultery, murder, and all other evil etc as beginning in 'the thoughts of the heart.' (Jesus said that). God no longer judges people based on their behaviour, like he did in the Old Testament. He judges them (us) by the thoughts of their (our) heart. God knows the derelict results of human thoughts and that is why we are urged to renew our minds so we can think on things lovely, pure, honest and of good report….

    Great discussion…thanks for sparking it!

    Greta

  • snowhite197

    Great post John!!!

  • http://jesusworshipculture.wordpress.com dsrtrosy

    Lovely. I’ve just stumbled upon your site and I’m looking forward to exploring.

    I recently saw a bumper sticker that said “Don’t be Hypocrites.” The T’s were Christian crosses. I laughed out loud! Unfortunately, as you point out, most non-believers don’t seem to understand one simple truth (and we believers probably don’t understand it either): believers are still human. And, contrary to popular opinion, humans are hypocrites.

    Whatever we were before meeting Jesus, we still are–people! I think you’re on the right track. I’ll be curious to see what else you conclude, if you continue to explore this idea.

  • http://www.whitenoisemetal.com Brian Shields

    Disclaimer: I’m John’s favorite non-believer (well, among his top 2.6 billion!)

    But the thing that struck me about this post was your jump from whether Jesus had a sex drive to his being “sinless”. Surely you’re not saying that having a sex drive, having sexual thoughts, is sinful behavior. You and I are free to disagree about whether sexual ACTS outside of marriage are sinful but surely having sexual thoughts is just part of being human. Why do Xians have such a hard time with that?

    So, it’s not so much that Xians refuse to acknowledge their doubts that turns me off. It’s the implication that in order to live a life in tune with the most loving power in the Universe, you have to be completely sexless unless you’re specifcally in baby making mode.

    Personally, I think the Jesus I read in the Sermon on the Mount would have be a helluva a guy to hang out with and party with. Why he doesn’t come through in the religion named for him, I dunno.

  • http://livingstonesministries.wordpress.com/ 4given

    Thank you for your perspective as a non- christian to a christian. I became a believer when I was very young so I didn't experience my youth or adult life with out knowing Christ personally. I do understand however, how others can see christians as hypocrites because I see many of them that way also. For some reason we began to think that if we pretended that our life was perfect that others would want to have what we have. That is so far from the truth, because others can see right through us. The life of a believer is not an easy life, but because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives our tragedy & adversties become opportunities to bring God the glory by trusting him for strength & wisdom. Others can see how you handle you hard stuff and that is what they want. They want the peace you live with and the joy you exude in spite of your life that is anything but joyful.

    I also love the fact that your blog has attracted those of other beliefs. What a great way to make them them think…and we christians too…about what we believe & why!

  • http://struggleswithfaith.wordpress.com curtismchale

    I have often not wanted to be associated with other Christians precisely for the fact that they don’t live authentic lives. They often seem to live lives that are all touched up with paint. Great post.

  • breezy

    John, because you started this blog with the concept of Christ being human and therefore having a sex drive, I mistakenly went on to read "Take it from me: Chief among those reasons is that we Christians have a very distinct tendency to act like nothing’s wrong with SEX "…

    I laughed a bit because many older Christian couples are very vocal about sex being a 'gift' from God and that even when faced with great challenges during marriage knowing they could submit to each other freely through sex made all other problems seem to disolve.

    Well, re-reading (with my glasses on) changed the whole gist of this post for me. Substituting 'sex' for 'us' kinda changed the whole meaning of this piece. I can attest to the fact that many non-christians get very upset when I point out their falsely held view that the bible says sex is bad and only for procreation (as some of the posters above infered). We need only read 'Song of Solomon' to dispell that idea.

    When God said that it was not good for man to be alone, he didn't just snap Eve into Adams life, instead he brought the animals before him to be named and in so doing showed Adam the concept of male and female and exactly why it was not good for him to be alone (Gen2:18-20)

    Jesus had many definitive things to say about sex throughout the gospel because He knew how integral to living in the world sex is.

    I agree with 4asia that non-christians are offended not by our hypocrisy but by the very real fact that living outside of God's moral law bears witness to their hearts and convicts them of their sins

    He in His wisdom wrote His laws upon all mens hearts. When we stray into darkness for too long the bright light of truth is very painful to behold. Our eyes are better adjusted through God's grace and for this I am so thankful.

    I am fully human indeed, with all the messiness, problems and trials that entails yet I am blessed that I can look toward Christ for a 'perfect' example of how to live and love.

  • http://odgie.wordpress.com odgie

    John,

    It’s always good for long-time believers like myself to get the perspective of relatively new believers who know what it is like to live a life without faith. This was an informative post.

    I would offer as a partial solution to the dilemma that you discuss in this post is that we acknowledge and change the sometimes unctuous language of the Christian culture. We need to stop pretending that Jesus not only saves our souls, but can make us more popular, more financially secure, better-looking (although sometimes I still hold out hopes for that one), etc. We need to stop pretending that the walk of faith is nothing but peaks and admit that the peaks are scattered and sometimes the valleys are very long and very dark.

    Having said that, I still wouldn’t trade following Christ for anything else.

  • 4asia

    John as you stated, “Take it from me: Chief among those reasons is that we Christians have a very distinct tendency to act like nothing’s wrong with us.”

    Speaking for the majority of Christians is a risky thing to do. I’m not sure how one would go about finding why the “majority” people reject Christianity. I doubt that is even possible but I’m tend to believe what Dr. James Kennedy has stated in his teaching on apologetics, that it is a moral issue more than any hypocrisy they see in Believers. I am blessed to work with people who walk the walk and talk the talk and if they miss the mark it wouldn’t be the way the world sees them but they way they know Christ does. While all Believers fall short from time to time it doesn’t or shouldn’t be an every day occurance. Lord help me to represent You and be a witness for You today and keep me from sin and hypocrisy.

    Is this a prayer the Lord would not answer? I think not.

    Keep up the good work John, you are a blessed man.

  • http://shahrzaad.wordpress.com Shahrzad

    There are much more about Crist Jesus in Quran. Yet i just mentioned the quotes related to the subject.

    Ye, i read Quran everyday. I love it, for the words are very strong and the meaning shakes you up, talks about all aspects of humanity and as you said sit in heart. Arabic is strange language. In a sentence if you change the sound, the meaning will be changed completely. That's why we muslims believe (and as it is mentioned in Quran too) Quran can not be distorted.

    Im trying to improve my arabic speaking and listening. But about reading and writing i dont have any problem. Now i use Farsi (Persian) Translations.

    I also read all Gospels and Torah. And i read Saint Barnabas' Gospel. A copy of the Gospel is in Vatican library too.

    I personally am good with religions. I think our era is era of surrendering to God. Human beings are tired of material goals. They need to grow up spiritually and be aware of what happen around the world against humanity of humans. That's why i loved your approach here. But would be better your message be for "non-believers" and not "non-christians".

    There is much different between words. For there are people out there who are not christian, yet they believe all prophets, spc Crist Jesus.

    I like Qawali. Btw there are many kind of ways to read Quran. I personally like tajweed.

    There is a software you can easily download and enjoy listening to different kind of reading Quran: http://www.searchtruth.com/download.php

    And an english translation of Quran (best translation):
    http://shahrzaad.persiangig.com/Book/Quran-englishttp://www.harunyahya.com/Quran_translation/Quran

    It is good for us -people of different religions- know each other more. It helps us not to get confused and played by political games of governments. Maybe that's why i tried to learn enough about different religions. Even if i am an Iranian muslim :)

  • http://shahrzaad.wordpress.com Shahrzad

    i did write a very long comment here. But didnt appear! I think it is in moderation box. May you check?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Whoa. Many comments! Cool. Thanks to you all. They’re great. Lemme comment-back in order:

    dsrtyrosy: Great bumper sticker! Don’t be curious as to what else I’ll conclude if I keep down the track I’ve here started. I just ASK questions, see; I don’t answer them. ASKING questions is fun and engaging and innocent. ANSWERING questions gets you volumes of hate mail and people you don’t want to know trying to figure out where you live.

    Jill: Bless your heart. You say, though, “Jesus was fully man and didn’t sin…”. But don’t those seem like contradictory statements? Can someone be fully man AND not sin? Doesn’t that make him … NOT fully man? Since it’s impossible to be a man and not sin? Anyway, sweet Cicero quote! Awesome. Your whole comment was great. Thank you for it.

    Brian: Leftist media hippy! Whew. Now that we’ve got that out of the way … Yeah, I did too quickly make the jump-equation between sex and sin. I kind of had to: I try to keep these things as short as possible. But for the record, I don’t think Xtians have the problem you think they do with sex. In my experience, Xtians are, in fact, as comfortable with their sexuality as anyone else. More so, actually. Christians are surprisingly … well, at ease with their Innate Horniness. It was refreshing to learn that. I thought they were all Church Ladies. Wrong again!)

    curtismichael: “All touched up with paint.” That’s a really evocative phrase. I’m so going to steal it. Thanks!

    odgie: Perfectly said. The whole thing. Wondereful. Everyone: go read comment #8! That’s it!

    Ric: I DON’T have that album. I’ll see if I can’t give it a listen sometime? I’ve been singing the SONG “Mockingbird” to myself all my life, but … well … so what, I know? But no. Don’t know that album OR that singer. Lame of me, I suspect. Since I used to write about music for a LIVING, and all…

    4asia: I wasn’t speaking for Christians where you say I was: I was speaking for NON-Christians. Oh–which I see is probably what you meant to type. Anyway, I’m comfortable with what I said there, for sure. You said, “While all Believers fall short from time to time it doesn’t or shouldn’t be an every day occurance.” If you AREN’T “falling short” about … oh, I don’t know … about 100 times a day, then … um … then good for you.

    Shahrzad: What a rich comment! You bring us quotes from the Quaran! The passages are so … dense! Quite regal sounding–as any good book of its kind should be, right? Do you know the Quaran intimately? It’s famous, of course, for how it sounds when read in Arabic. I’d love to hear that sometime; it’s supposed to strike any ear as the most sublime music. I’ve actually lately been listening to the great Qawwali singer Fatah Ali Khan, whom I find heartbreakingly beautiful. I’m a huge fan of his. So. Apropos of nothing, I guess…Anyway, thanks for stopping in. Hope to “see” you again sometime.

    Greta: We’re getting judged for the thoughts in our hearts and heads??!! Are you SURE??? Crap. I’m screwed.

    Snow: See, now THAT’S a comment! Thank you.

    4given: WOW!! Outstanding. What a thoughtful, perfectly expressed, extremely encouraging comment. Amazing. Thank you. I couldn’t have said it better. I DIDN’T say it better. Everyone: Read comment #14!

    Breezy: Wow. You covered a lot of ground there. Wonderful. I’m afraid I’m too … typed out, just now, to respond–but what you wrote doesn’t seem to really need or want a response.

    And neither did any of the others, really, did they? I hope you guys don’t mind my responding to your comments anyway. It’s such a lovely, diverse dialogue. It’s a real honor and pleasure for me to host it.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Windy: You said,"I do not believe Jesus had any kind of sexual desire at all." So you must not believe that Jesus was "fully man," then. Windy! You radical!! (Joking! But do you at all struggle with this apparent inconsistency?)

  • http://themorsecode.blogspot.com Morse

    I'm sorry for coming into this discussion late, but I really need to ask this.

    When did hanging out in a bar become evil? And drinking? Wasn't it Jesus who was supposedly at a wedding and turned water into wine when they ran out?

    If only I was able to do that, I'd get invited to more parties.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Oh, Morse, you … drunken heathen. Yes, being able to change water into wine, ala Jesus' First Big Miracle, would get you invited to more parties. But wouldn't you eventually feel so used? And wouldn't it be only a matter of time before people were asking you to change their glass of water into their particular drink of choice? Pretty soon you'd just be … the Magical Bartender. Forget it. Now, what I find as the best way to get invited to lots of parties is to, as a rule, show up at a party, and straight away drink as much booze as humanly possible. I find that people really appreciate my drinking up all the alcohol, because that allows them to stay sober at the party, and thus have a better, more pleasant, more edifying social experience. I think people really appreciate that. I have lots of vague memories of being at parties, with people rigorously and appreciatively pounding me on my back.

  • http://themorsecode.blogspot.com Morse

    Very nice.

    What's funny is that I've only been drunk once in my young life, and it was my grandfather who facilitated it. Go figure.

    That being said…there are worse gigs in the world than being a Magical Bartender. I smell a sitcom idea!!!

    But seriously, I was responding to Windy's implication that going to a bar, in and of itself, was a bad thing. I hope that's not what she actually meant. I hope she meant that the behavior that one might associate with people who spend an inordinate amount of time at bars is a bad thing.

    Associating people who do 'bad' things with non-Christians is the wrong way to look at the world. Certainly many atheists do things that one might think of as immoral. But so do many Christians (or people who say they are Christian…and I tend to take peoples' word on that). And there is the occasional non-believer, like yours truly, who live an essentially straight-edge life, and do so without Jesus.

    (The above was mostly for Windy, as I know how you feel about we silly infidels, John.)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    You're a straight-edger? Good for you. That's awesome. It's DEFINITELY wise to avoid drinking, which is just … toxic, and nasty bad for you.

    Yeah, as you say: Morality is universal. Knowing someone's a "Christian" tells you no more about their actual moral consciousness or practices than does knowing someone is a trucker. Sad, but true.

    That said, Christians DO have, always before them, a very specific and inspiring reason to BE as moral as humanly possible. And that is a wonderful, blessed thing for everybody.

  • http://themorsecode.blogspot.com Morse

    Which is why my favorite bible story is Luke 10: 25-37. (That's right, the atheist has a favorite bible verse!)

    The parable of a man with no knowledge of Jesus who acts morally, because it's the human thing to do.

    At least that's what I always took from it.

    Oh, and John, just to clarify, I'm ALMOST straight-edge. I do occasionally enjoy a beer, a glass of wine or an alcoholic beverage. But never, with the exception of drinking with my grandfather that one occasion, to excess.

  • dain bramaged

    Interesting post.

    Here are my two cents on it.

    Would it be bad if Jesus had a sex drive or if he actually had sex in his life ? ( I know I am getting blasphemic now but hey this is the internet ;) )

    For me and every other atheist it's not bad at all on the contrary

    it invokes more sympathy for him. And that's the point :

    As long as the message that religion gives the world is :

    "Try to be perfect like Jesus, he had no sex and never ever commited a sin, opr you will burn in hell " the more difficult it will be for it to reach modern critical people.

    But if somehow religious leaders would try and modernize the message so it becomes something like :

    "Hey forget what we told you that sex is a sin, it's ok to "sin" a little as long as you don't harm anyone (too much) but try to find the golden measure in things and make our world a better place"

    with a short memo saying : "Hey maybe even Jesus sinned a little in his life we don't really know so don't think bad of yourself

    if you are not so perfect like we told you he was. Just take him as a good example of a person who sacrificed himself for the well of others"

    Well if that would be the message coming from Christianity then I would think twice before rejecting it. Of course many other things would have to change but I don't want this post getting to long.

    PS: My favorite book on Jesus is the comic book of Gerhard Haderer "The Life of Jesus" , don't read it if you are easily offended ;)

  • Dukeydog

    We say alot on this "Chat room" thingy or whatever you call it here.

    Yes, we sure don't know really what a person's motive is for saying their "thing" because we don't read their face or body language.

    So, I think we should keep our comments on the subject of "What if Jesus had a sex drive?. John, do you mean "sex appeal" as in being aroused to partake of physical, emotional, or intellectual attractiveness which we perceive from another person of the opposite gender? Or are you talking about the key to release our passions in the final physical result? I see this question in 2 elements sexual appeal vs sexual arousal to action.

    But Jesus was the "manufacturer" of our human bodies and I beleive he wrote the book on how human are made and should act in respect of one another. There ain't nothing wrong with sexual arousal…it depends on which "oven" you're cooking your thoughts in…What's the final result of your thinking?. And christians are human just like those who can't accept Jesus beyond his physical form and their rejection of him being God Amighty. The Pharisees hung Jesus up on a Cross because He claimed to be God and not just a man. He knows what we're all going through as human beings but He also knows how to fix our goofy thinking at time. I love Him!

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com Skerrib

    Well, as far as feeling better about not being perfect, I guess it might help if we thought Jesus sinned a little bit…but then the whole thing about him also being fully God goes down the drain. And then the dying on the cross to save us from our sin (which we really can't do on our own, contrary to what a lot of 'religion' says to the world) didn't do squat, and then we're REALLY up a creek.

    In my mind it sort of dismantles Christianity altogether. He has to be sinless to be God, and he has to be God for me to trust that his death really did provide a way for me to know God, be saved, and all that…and to believe with any sort of real conviction and rationality that this is all more than just a pipe dream. Hope that makes sense.

    I think I need a beer… ;)

  • dain bramaged

    Well Skerrib you actually address the issues which make me not to be a Christian. For you, Jesus must be divine, hence must be perfect and without sin, and he must have resurrected. But these are exactly the attributes which make Jesus a figure with which I can't really identify and which makes it very hard to believe that he was that way. I am not perfect, I do sin and when I die I 'll become power food for worms.

    The problem you have is that you for you the message of Jesus and the myth build around him go hand in hand. You can't have the former without the later. But I don't think that the message of Christianity which summed all up is : love compassion and altruism , helping the week and poor and having no fear of authority, is less valuable if you take that Jesus was mortal and human like us. And it really doesn't matter if he had sex or not (for the message to be good I mean) .

    So what is more important ? The message or the myth ?

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    When we say Jesus was fully God and fully man, do we mean fallen man as we know him today or do we mean a pre-fallen, complete human as God originally intended/designed?

  • windyblue

    Non christians are lost, letting Satan lead them. And Christians are led by God. God Changes us when we accept him as Our savior.

    And our old ways of doing things changes, we no longer like the things we use to do, ( examples hanging out in a bar, drinking, swearing, cursing, the list goes on and on.) For a non Christian they see a change in Us, and they do not like it. They do not understand why we do not want to do as we did before. They begin to hate us.

    God was very human, but our minds find that hard to grasp.

    I do not believe Jesus had any kind of sexual desire at all.

  • http://blog.360.yahoo.com/skerrib Kerri B.

    DB (can I call you DB?), you're right, that's where we will disagree. For me Christianity isn't about the message Jesus brought (although I'm all for love God and love your neighbor)…it is about Jesus. Himself. So you could modernize the message, make Jesus fallible, totally human and not God, and it would make a nice message really…but it wouldn't be Christianity.

    As for asking God to reveal himself…that's a tough platitude to swallow. I do know those who have heard God audibly, but personally I haven't. My experience of him is, admittedly, a bit more subjective as to his revealing himself to me. So I definitely hear you there.

  • http://www.sheppardministries.com Greta Sheppard

    John . . . I love the way you think in print….. which of course indicates in many ways the way you think in private. No problem! Let him that is without sin cast the first stone! I myself have often pondered the thought as to whether Jesus might have experienced sex or ever desired it.

    (oh, dear…I can hear my peers tongues wagging!)

    Such thoughts stemmed from my sexually abused childhood. If He suffered for everything that I have suffered then could it be that he was offended as a child like I was? Jesus cautioned the disciples as he was holding a child in his arms and blessing it: "Woe to him who offends one of these little ones, for he shall have a millstone hung about his neck and be cast into the sea". Those are pretty harsh words coming from the mouth of the Saviour…the Prince of Peace! It wasn't a parable either!

    Which brings me to a question that I know changes the course of this conversation. But shouldn't all child molesters, pedophiles and rapists be castrated? They bring a very dark and dirty side to sex. Many child/adults suffer horribly all their life because of the evil offences these people commit. Jesus didn't mince words when it came to wrong sex.

    Let's face it….we are not a clean society, christian or non christian!

    You gotta admit that Hollywood doesn't do a lot of clean stuff these days either.

    John, I wasn't meaning to sound legalistic re 'our thoughts' being judged. But here's the Bible verse that came to mind when I said what I did:…1Cor 4:5: The Message says it like this:

    "So don't get ahead of the Master and jump to conclusions with your judgments before all the evidence is in. When he comes, he will bring out in the open and place in evidence all kinds of things we never even dreamed of–inner motives and purposes and prayers. Only then will any one of us get to hear the "Well done!" of God

    Every thought will be revealed? Brought into the open?

    YIKES! How embarrassing! I'm a dead duck…but for the grace of God! …… Greta

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    So you’re straight-edgeY. Got it. You’re a straight, hypertense guy who gets drunk with old men. Well. Everyone’s got a lifestyle.

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com Skerrib

    Oh, and the resurrection. That’s important too, that he didn’t stay dead.

  • Billy B

    dain bramaged, Try to be perfect like Jesus, he had no sex and never ever comited a sin, or you will burn in hell ”

    That is not the message, you missed it. It is, we all were born with a “sin virus” and unless you receive the antidote of Christ you will perish.

    If the message was modernized then it would be a lie.

  • http://themorsecode.blogspot.com Morse

    “If the message was modernized then it would be a lie.”

    Unless it was a lie to begin with…

    (Sorry…this is me, causing trouble again…)

  • Billy B

    Questioning the divinity of Christ and His message is not causing trouble . Simple prayer to try, if you so desire, “God reveal Yourself to me. I’m not sure if You are real or not.” This prayer hinges on your honesty. If you sincerely want to know, God will answer that prayer.

  • dain bramaged

    Billy B ,

    you shouldn’t take that literally instead with a grain of salt Ok ? One could write books with what the message that the church has send to mankind over the last 2000 years was and is I oversimplified intentionally there.

    Anyway you version of the message is also not very appealing at least to me. The thing with the “sin virus” is such an just a trick to get people actually join religion. If you think you are sick you will search a cure and Christianity kindly offers you the best one.

    We are not born sinners. We are born to survive. We have developed strategies to do that which are often violent. And in the course of thousands of years some people apply violence not only as protection but because they find pleasure in doing so. But that doesn’t mean that it is inherent to all of us it is something that evolved. Now there are various ways to treat violent behavior without taking the “antidote of Christ”.

    Also Billy B if the message was modernized it would not be lie instead it would become something closer to reality than the fairy (or horror) tail it is now.

  • Billy B

    dain bramaged,

    Have a pleasant day.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ Nephi

      Wait, I cannot fathom it being so starightfowarrd.

  • dain bramaged

    Billy B I just saw you message #33

    How do you know that I haven’t prayed for hours and hours to God to give me some sign of his existence ? Actually some years ago I did. I also have tried various kinds of meditation. And I have spend much time pondering of there is any scientific evidence of God’s existence. So Guess what ? God did not appear to me , I have not attained satori and there is (objectively) no evidence at all for God’s existence. Now I am fine with that no problem really.

    But what about other people who really suffer and pray to God ?

    People with Aids , cancer children who have lost their families and are abused. They would all be glad if God would give them an answer but he doesn’t (I know that from personal accounts of such people). So I m sorry but your cute little recipe to find God just doesn’t work.

  • http://themorsecode.blogspot.com Morse

    “Simple prayer to try, if you so desire, “God reveal Yourself to me. I’m not sure if You are real or not.” This prayer hinges on your honesty. If you sincerely want to know, God will answer that prayer.”

    Have done this multiple times in the past. But for you, I’ll give it another try.

    If I happen to get a response, I’ll let you know.

  • Craig

    threw out this blog and expesially the comments I have heard so far it seems to me that, me being an atheist, that Jesus and his dieing i merely a coping mechanism of some sort. Such as, “I feel bad for what i did, and just saying sorry is not enough” so in conclusion they have a guy who died to forgive what ever they might do wrong. Tell me what you think about this John.

  • Pastor leo

    Jesus was fully man without the SIN NATURE.

  • http://shahrzaad.wordpress.com Shahrzad

    But sexual feeling is not sin nature. That’s part of humanity. To give birth the next generation.. With this feeling the race of human being is continued.

    Sexual feeling is the only feeling that if it gets controled and satisfied by marriage, makes faith more strong. Mean it has proximately its influence on faith. The first step to make them away from loving ego to love other one. And it is for both, woman and man.

    God created this feeling for both husband and wife live in love and enjoy each other and have good children, and in this way story of creation get continued.

    “It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might live with her in love. When they are united, she bears a light burden and carries it about unnoticed. When she grows heavy, they both pray to Allah their Lord, saying: “If you give us a goodly child, we vow we shall ever be grateful.” (Quran)

    As long as Jesus (peace be upon him) was a fully human being, he had this nature..

  • http://shahrzaad.wordpress.com Shahrzad

    Oh John. Your blog always eats my long comments! lol

    Plz approve second one. Thank you! :)

  • Michele

    Second Michele posting again.

    I feel like I talked out of school on my first post, (Under Men.Don’t. Change.) Now I know the verse I quoted has been talked about for at least two blog posts. (see embarressed look.)

    Okay, I see another issue going on here, underneath the whole sex issue. First, let me clarify that I go under the “screws up at least 100 times a day” catagory. I’m not claiming sinless perfectionism.

    But if you’ll permit me delve into a dicey subject here?

    Jesus said, Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect.

    The Bible also says “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

    Romans 8 says “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who DO NOT walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

    It goes on to say that Christ came so that the “righteous requirements of the law might be fullfilled in us.” I believe this refers to not only forgiveness of sin, but enabling us to walk in obedience to righteousness.

    Romans 6:

    “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.”

    As this is not my blog, and I really shouldn’t take up so much space with my posts, I’ll only ask that people take a quick look at what Romans 6 says about being slaves to sin vs. being slaves to righteousness.

    See, while the Bible does teach clearly that we are all hopelessly depraved sinners, it seems to have this funny notion that the power of Christ is enough to help us actually overcome sin. Not just justify us before God, but actually get the sin out of our lives. For good.

    Without Christ, we sin because we have to sin. No question there.

    With Christ, we don’t HAVE to sin.

    We simply choose not to take advantage of the power that has been offered us.

    Hey, we’ve all looked at our own lives and said “Man, I screwed up. and I keep screwing up.” And we look at the lives of others and see the same thing. So it seems logical to say: “We all commit this sin, and we’ll all keep commiting this sin, so let’s just accept that about ourselves and move on.”

    (Unless the sin is somethng like murder. Then we tend to insist that the person “Get the Victory” immediately.)

    But if we say that Christians HAVE to lust or commit any other sin aren’t we casting doubt upon what God has promised to do for us?

    By the way, getting victory over sin would NOT violate the principle of “Anyone who says they have no sin is a liar.” Even if you never sinned another day in your life, you would still not be without sin – because you’ve already sinned, are a sinner, and of yourself can do nothing. If you stopped sinning, it would just be the power of the Holy Spirit, not your will power and NOT you earning your own salvation. (You’d have to have been perfect all your life to qualitfy for **that**)

    I admit these texts are hard for me to understand because I don’t know anyone personally who just stopped sinning. And because I am no where within a million miles of sinless.

    But I have to stop myself from saying “I’ll never change. I’ll always be this way. I’ll always commit this sin.” Because I don’t want to deny the ability of Holy Spirit to change me.

    That’s what I have taken up all this space on John’s blog to say. :-)

    (Hi, John. Nice blog. I’ll try to read more and post less.)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    No, no–don’t post less! Why? What you’ve said here is interesting!

  • Roger Johnson

    This is in response to something from a week or so ago:

    Of course Jesus was and is Man, how else could He be relevant for these two millennia? And any other definition would involve magic and the supernatural, and that has always been a weak theological line.

    And yes, anything other than God is blasphemy, that is the definition of blasphemy; what Jesus did and does is enable us to transcend the mundane, to assist us in joining the Spirit.

    The whole point of the spiritual journey is to become one again, to become more than we were, to get as close to the ineffable as possible.

    And, as a last note: The bible becomes holy only when it assists us in going to where we ought to be. If it is just a recipe book to be memorized and followed mindlessly, it remains merely a book.

  • http://here.com ica

    fun experiment. mention in any bible study near you that Jesus may have had a sex drive. then, insist that to be "fully man" he would have to. he may have even been attracted to Mary M.! then listen to how many people grumble and groan and give all kinds of wacky reasons that it cannot be true. you may even be asked to leave!

    im no troll, but it would be a better topic than most bible studies that just repeat the same thing over and over while ignoring great insights like this one. people can debate the divinity of Christ until they are blue in the face but the gospel is utterly destroyed if Jesus is not completely man. if he had the "God cannot sin" super power then what was the point of the exercise? might as well assume the cross was painless also, maybe even pleasant. ridiculous.

    in case i lost you, i believe Jesus is King, and church people are usually dumb. Mary M. had to have been hot, but that just makes me all the more in Love with Jesus. no sex scandals there. nope, there is one amazing dude that walked away from pleasure and chose suffering to heal us all! it really is better to see it this way.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    ica: perfectly said. i agree. thanks!!

  • Kelly

    John, I am new to your blogs but appreciate your transparency and that you insist on "keeping it real." I often find myself a "disdainer of Christians" and I am one! This is something that I am working on.

    I think that the reason that Jesus was sinless is because He was not in bondage to His flesh. He (God) set an example for us knowing full well that we were not capable of being sinless (or sexless) but demonstrating to us what it means to live in the spirit vs. the flesh.

  • http://markedbyfaith.blogspot.com yipeng

    Good stuff, keeping it real.

  • http://markedbyfaith.blogspot.com yipeng

    Ric Booth's comment is well worth a second look. ;)

  • Mark

    Well as an atheist I can say I find all of this very interesting…the idea that some people find sex a "sin" is puzzling to me. I can say that I'm a moral person ( I'm often told by my christian brothers that this is not possible without god) I would have to say that there is no greater expression of love between two people then when it includes sex. It is the strongest instinct that we have, just as the expression of love is the strongest emotion we have as humans. Why would a god make us this way and make it a wrong ? These to things tie together naturally….This is why many studies have proven that being a believer or a non believer doesn't make you more or less likely to "sin". If everyone was able to control themselves and not "sin" we would not survive as a species.

  • Soulmentor

    I have a problem with the apparent disconnect between the use of the word “adultery” in those words of Jesus and the current modern definition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adultery

    By that definition, one cannot commit adultery unless one is married. Period. BIG period. So is it possible that this particular reference to Jesus has been misinterpreted?

    Adultery, like Sodomy seems to be a word that is used remarkably irresponsibly carelessly in these types of discussions.


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