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Good News or Fake News

By Carl S ~

Article originally published on 12.19.2019 in the author's local newspaper.

Every December, clergy take center-stage. Every time they preach of Jesus, I'm reminded of a fact: any man who does not write down his own thoughts and words gives up control of what is attributed to him after he has died. In the case of Jesus, this seems to be puzzling, since, as a rabbi, he was literate, and had at least more than 20 years available in which to write before he began his mission. There are various gospels, all by unknown authors, written decades after he died. From them, early Church bishops chose merely four. We are presented with only what those men allege Jesus said and did. Some people claim their words are fake news of the times, and there is no way to deny this. What we're told to take on faith means to believe and trust hearsay, handed down by those writers and their echoers. This tradition has created terrible problems for mankind; any faith of exclusion is unworkable on a universal scale.

Who was Jesus? Did he create a cult? Jewish, Greek and Roman historians at the time he allegedly lived, make no mention of him. This is enigmatic. Surely, a rumor of a man feeding five thousand men with only five loaves and two fishes, with leftovers, would have spread like wildfire throughout the empire. That alone would have gotten everyone's attention!

Their words are fake news of the timesJesus must have been an enigma to all those gospel writers, both “authorized” and not. According to them, he said he had come, not to destroy, but to absolutely fulfill the laws of God written in the O.T., but then he preached, “you have heard it said.... but I say...” He comes as the Jewish messiah, but not the one Yahweh promised in scriptures, one bringing a kingdom of Israel on Earth. Instead, Jesus promises an otherworldly one. He tells them the meek will inherit the world, but - also says the world will be ending “soon.” He says, “blessed are the peacemakers,” yet he himself has come not to bring peace, but a sword, dividing family members against one another. He openly rebukes and rejects his mother, contrary to the commandment to honor her. These are not family values. Jesus asks, “Why do you call me good, when no one is good but God?”

According to these gospel writers, Jesus was criticized for choosing the company of “sinners.” He would have been found among those who fundamentalists consider flaunters of God's will, such as LGBT individuals. He said in order to be forgiven, we must forgive as his father forgives us, yet insists his father will not forgive us unconditionally. He tells us to be “perfect” even as his father is perfect, but that's impossible for humans. He preaches with parables, and when his chosen disciples can't figure them out, he calls them dolts. He prays to his father for all who follow him, that “they be as one, even as we are one.” That prayer still hasn't been answered; there are thousands of Christian sects.

It's obvious when reading these four gospels: the writers did not proof-read what they wrote. Add to this the writings of a St. Paul, who prior to them, preached a savior Christ, and not a later, gospel Jesus, of miracles, teachings, or example, and we are left with even more enigmas.

Each December brings a birthday celebration of one who brought the message of a New Testament of mercy, compassion, and non-judgementalism to replace the Old. Unfortunately, it has been set aside by some who call themselves Christians, who still use the Old Testament guidelines of judgement and punishment to make their decisions. It's an enigma that a virtuous man would allow others to speak for him, thus leaving a legacy of confusion, causing so many conflicts in human relationships, in his name. Personally, I prefer celebrating the birthday of Mr. Fred Rogers.