Your Own Personal Jesus

Star Foster has had just about enough, and she lays down the law in a post titled I Reject Jesus Christ:

I reject Jesus Christ and his teachings. I reject Yahweh/Jehovah/El and his laws. I reject the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost and any other magical instruments of the Christian faith. I reject the angels and the archangels and the cherubim and seraphim. I reject Satan and the concept of demons that tempt me to sin. I reject heaven and hell. I reject the notion of Original Sin. I reject the concept of the creation. I reject the concept of sin entirely. I reject that the Bible is anything more than an anthology of Middle Eastern wisdom texts and mythology. I reject the Christian notion of forgiveness. I reject the idea that the Jewish Messiah has come. I reject Christian eschatology. I reject my baptisms heartily.

Of course, this is a cue for folks to step forward and explain how the Jesus that Star is rejecting isn’t the REAL Jesus.

Early on in the quest for the real, historical Jesus, Albert Schweitzer suggested that many scholars were looking for Jesus down a well. The distorted image they saw at the bottom was actually their own reflection – or perhaps a reflection of their own desires – looking back at them.

That was early on. Nowadays, with so much competing scholarship readily available, it’s like going to a Build-a-Jesus workshop and constructing your own messiah.

Start with a stock model: political revolutionary, Jewish sage, miracle worker, apocalyptic prophet. Many more models available, with more arriving daily.

Dress him appropriately: would your Rabbi look nice in the simple robes of cynic philosophy, or would you prefer him garbed in light as the only begotten Son of God?

Accessorize him with the few quotes from the Gospels or your favorite non-cannonical source, then chuck the rest in the box and close the lid.

Finally, stuff him full of all of your subconscious desires. Do you want a failed apocalyptic prophet that you can laugh at, do you want a wise philosopher you can nod along with as he agrees with all of your views, or do you want a warm humanistic holy man that you can snuggle with on a cold night?

Remember to display your plush Jesus in the appropriate setting. A one-dimensional caricature of 1st-century Judaism works to accentuate his liberalism, if that’s what you desire.

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