Do as Jesus Says, Not as He Does?

Do as Jesus Says, Not as He Does? September 5, 2015


Bruce Gerencser shared the above graphic, which another blogger made from a quote of his. Bruce writes, “for any Christian who happens to stumble upon my deep, dark, evil corner of the blogosphere, I’d love to hear your explanation of Jesus saying, love your enemies, while God, the alter-ego of Jesus, tortures his enemies in hell. It seems the words of Jesus don’t match the actions of Jesus.”

I’ve suggested before (taking my cue from Rabbi Harold Kushner) that there are principles in the Bible – such as treating others as we want to be treated – which are so lofty that even the Bible’s authors fall short of them. Those of us who take the humanity of Jesus completely seriously can add Jesus alongside them. But those who aren’t prepared to do that can console themselves through the fact that there is teaching attributed to Jesus in the New Testament which stems from other people. But whoever is responsible for it, whether Jesus or his earlier followers, Bruce is clearly correct: it is indeed inconsistent to say that God and/or Jesus wants us to love and forgive our enemies, but is unwilling or unable to do the same.

For this reason, I once suggested that the final judgment – for those who think there will be such a thing – ought to be envisaged as Jesus gathering his (self-)righteous followers before him, surveying the rest of humankind, and saying to the Christians, “Whichever of you is without sin, let him or her be the first person to cast someone into eternal torment.”

When no one does so, presumably he would say, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, enter into my rest.”


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