A couple of days ago, passing by a church, I saw a sign (I wish I’d stopped and photographed it) that said something like: Try to be more like Jesus. My first thought was “Dude, it’s January; I’m NOT wearing sandals.” Which, I admit, is somewhat disrespectful.
For some reason that be-more-like-Jesus concept stuck in my mind. I can see some benefits from it.
- Spend time talking to strangers
- Tell stories
- Spend time chilling with sinners
- Drink wine (in moderation, of course)
- Ride donkeys
- Remind folks to be kind and gentle.
- Hang out in boats
- Piss off hypocrites
- Bake bread and share it
I seem to recall a lot of paintings showing Jesus playing with kids, and I don’t think that would work out so well these days. Besides, kids are noisy. So I think we could safely skip all that. Also, I’m not sure where Jesus stood on napping; I suspect he was a fan, but that might just be wishful thinking.
I’m not a Christian, but you can’t deny that the guy had some good ideas. Too bad so few Christians follow them. Seriously, the worst thing about Christianity is Christians.
EDITORIAL NOTE: The quotation in the photo is from the Gospel of The Wind in the Willows.
I don’t have access to rideable donkeys and I don’t bake. And, kids are sticky.
JC had a bad temper, and reminding people to be nice is just asking for trouble.
I think I’m doing okay.
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We need more donkeys in this world. Donkeys make everything better.
Jesus was a first century middle eastern Jew. People want to think they know something about the way Jesus treated those around him, but they have no real clue about how people in that time and place treated others. His actual culture included slavery and relegating women to subservient roles. The sign you saw was exhorting you to be like someone who never existed, a creation of this culture, not the actual historical Jesus.
Mayberry. I always think of Mayberry. That place never existed either.
The sign you saw was exhorting you to be like someone who never existed
Sure, but donkeys exist, and we can ride them. Bread exists, and we can bake it and eat it and share it. Boats exist, and we can mess about in them. I don’t need either a metaphorical or historical Jesus to enjoy the benefits of drinking wine and talking to strangers.
No, you don’t. But you miss the point. The Jesus you were exhorted to be more like did not exist. Jesus existed, I think so anyway, but the Jesus of 21st century Christianity did not. That was the point I was trying to make.
Here, try this. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Who did Jesus think was his neighbor? Was it simply the guy in the next house? Or was it a person in his social group, or a member of his country? (Palestinian?) And then what did Jesus mean by love? Did that mean to simply be congenial? Or to share bread to the point of discomfort, to take it from your own mouth?
Jesus was a short unwashed 1st century Palestinian Jew and was part of a society that condoned slavery and expected women to be subservient to men. The intent of his words may be quite different than we understand them. That said, I actually bake bread and make soup and give it to my neighbors because they can’t for themselves, and feed the wild cats that roam around our house. And I disagree with their politics and vaccine status. But they are hungry.
Speaking as an Atheist, go ahead and act according to what Jesus allegedly said. He was full of great ideas. Just remember he got nailed to a tree for causing trouble by the religious people.
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I’ve been a lackadaisical Buddhist for many years now, so I don’t think a belief in god is necessary or even beneficial. But a good idea is a good idea. If larking about in boats and being kind to strangers is being like Jesus, then I’ll be like Jesus. At least in that regard.