Representing a revolutionary approach to the study of Jesus, the history that produced him & his significance to America & Americans today, this work argues that the Jesus of Christianity IS NOT THE REAL Jesus AT ALL. When understood contextually, Jesus is revealed as offering a timeless message, representing an issue & its resolution that has plagued humanity as a whole, from the individual to all humanity. What is discovered is that Jesus' message actually was NOT A RELIGIOUS MESSAGE, BUT OFFERED IN A RELIGIOUSLY ORIENTED ENVIRONMENT. Remove the religion, Jesus becomes universally & globally significant. Addressing the one area of human prolonged failure, relationships, Jesus offers the ONLY solution that both history dictates we need, arguing for a degree of maturity & commitment to integration not yet a true human standard, but one desperately needed, as the news gives witness to daily. Today, Jewish history, interpreted as a religious narrative or one revealing a sociologically significant evolution, BOTH offer a social value in Jesus & the particular message he had to offer... in regards to the one area separating humanity from God & EACH OTHER. The values chosen to be employed in interpersonal relationships. Hence, an ATHEIST DEFENDS THAT HISTORY, WHETHER RELIGIOUSLY INTERPRETED OR AS A SOCIOLOGICAL PHENOMENA, AS IMPORTANT TO ALL HUMANITY, FROM ATHEIST TO HINDU, TO MUSLIM, TO JEW, TO CHRISTIAN, TO AGNOSTIC, OR ANY OTHER HUMAN DEFINING SOCIAL SYSTEM. Further, the analysis is then applied to America & 4 words that demanded the integration of the REAL Jesus into human history... 'ALL... ARE CREATED EQUAL'. Contextually we discover that America is placed in the very same quality of social position as Israel was at the time of Jesus... & that when understood for the TRUE message Jesus had to bear, America DEMANDED the values to guide the human heart & therefore behavior that Jesus offered the Jews. But America is failing... as we discover.
The 'True Parent' meme
An apostate atheist defends Jewish history as offering startling, unique & rationally accessible 'evidence' of God's existence, attendance to & integration with humanity
While some might try to accuse me of grandstanding to make a splash & garner unearned attention, I assure you this is not the case. As an apostate atheist, I offer a unique perspective merely on the face of it. That my long-time religious association was with one of the most controversial religious bodies in recent history only adds flavor, not a distraction.
One must of course ask by what hubris, what state of madness, by what pure arrogance, maliciousness & callousness can I, as an atheist, assume to act as the 'defender' of God? Then, in the same breath, argue Christianity is off course & needs a drastic reorganization of its values & their personal, public & political expressions. Simple logic at work here, actually. Personal integrity. Something actually seriously missing in the private, public & political spheres.& yet desperately needed these days.
Well, I'm your guy in this case.
My own commitment to love myself demands that I deny nothing that should not be denied, defend what should be defended, lift up what must be lifted, honor that which honors. Hence, in my research, into the Jesus of Jesus, not the Jesus of fickle & self-serving & self-satisfied men, I discovered Jewish history offered a pattern of such cultural & sociological significance that Jewish history now leapt at me from the pages. It took two years to decipher the 'hidden' evidence, its social meaning & its potential global significance. As a study in cultural anthropology, the 'psychology' of the pattern is now unmistakable to me. But for months, I wandered in a fog of discovery, unable to decipher its hidden code.
How I source the origin of the 'force' behind the external pattern that changed all human history is the challenge. God, social evolution, cosmic forces at work? IF one requires that ONLY one explanation be put forth as THE ONLY interpretation, I am at a loss. For as an 'evidentiary' dependent & rational person, due to my exposure to science, law & ideas on community, I had to admit that two equally plausible explanations emerged to me, in part out of my own experiences, but also because I have observed that the apparent divergence between them is merely that of paralleling, equally rationally accessible & potential interpretations.
Given the theistic paradigm that dominates the narrative of Jewish history, it was natural to assign such significance as a 'God' as the 'interloper' or 'social agent' acting in history. It actually fills out Jewish history in such fashion as to sociologically place it in the center of human global social evolution & maturing process.
Jewish history IS the story of family. Or more properly, Jewish history is the story of the development of the 'mature' human family, maturing.
Whether we attribute it to being 'God's' family, or a 'family' because we recognize the universal need & value of interpersonal relationships, Jewish history is HUMAN HISTORY.
From that history we will learn much about the 'nature' of this God, the intimacy offered that was the 'integration' of God directly into human affairs, but so as to guide humanity to one conclusion.
That conclusion is presented by one Jesus. But it is not the conclusion offered by Christians.
As an apostate atheist, I can still rationally appreciate that.
Together, Jesus & Jewish history offer a particular narrative.
There is none like it in the world, yet its implication for humanity is undeniable, global & timeless. This can be rationally defended using history itself.
Jewish history reveals the true Philosopher's Stone, humanity the 'lead' needing transformation. But in doing so, offers the true means to create 'gold' out of the lead we have been for 6000 plus years.
As an atheist, the interpretation in its native social meaning, as a human narrative, rather than a religious one, still reveals Jewish history as potentially the most significant single history in all of human history. The Jesus that emerges out of that history is still the man 'who got it' & tried to bring it home.
The culminating point?
Jewish history pointedly makes the argument that Jesus did NOT COME TO DIE, BUT to TEACH HUMANITY THE VALUES NEEDED TO PROPERLY LIVE WITH ONE ANOTHER, thus, to LIVE WITH GOD. The pattern of development initiated by God through Abraham, then Moses & culminating with & in Jesus was specifically directed & the ONLY rational response to the unmet challenge of human history, that which is exposed in the values we employ in interpersonal relationships. The values that produce the divided nature that then inhibits our relationships with God. The values that we employ that then harm human interpersonal relationships as a social norm.
Further, Jewish history is the revelation of the direct intervention & integration of God into human affairs, in such fashion that any reasonable & rational person will be persuaded the pattern is there. If NOT God, then how? That is the question that will remain unanswered except as each answers it for themselves. This will also be the question that cultural anthropologists, sociologists, historians, theologians & others will be straddled with answering.
I offer both viewpoints, equally vigorously. Without bias, favoring neither religious interpretation nor secular. The reason is simple. In the end, they converge & become one community. Globally. So simple in the complexity of the solutions it offers.
Those values Jesus offered as the conclusion to history are HUMAN APPLICABLE values, intended for human consumption, not religious solutions, that address the one lingering problem of human history; relationships created from immature emotionally held impulses, rationally justified & acted upon in real time, creating interpersonal & sustained harm.
This is a global-phenomena, spanning all human history. Hence, it is the one flaw in the notion that the human species is truly yet mature in its instinctual nature. The challenge remaining created in the very asset most abused; the freedom to choose the values we live by, to integrate into community with. This is a human problem faced by EVERY parent as they try to instruct their children on the 'best way to live', to offer prosperity & some measure of happiness.
Today, when considered contextually, Jewish history has something quite wonderful to offer the global conversation on peace, family, commitment, citizenship & civility & the ultimate meaning & value of patriotism, not as an exercise in flag waving as a celebration of nationalism, but rather what distinguishes a global patriot over their nationalistic citizen counterpart. When we understand Jewish history as the revelation of a 'true parent's heart', as they seek their children through the corridors of time, planting the seed of generations, we encounter the deeper meaning of conviction & commitment; in the God/parent of Jewish history we meet the true, ultimate Johnny "Appleseed" of spirituality.
Further, in light of that history & the overall thrust of human history, the narrative now points to America as the 2nd Israel & why America today, in spite of its citizens, still offers the promise that was meant to be a light upon the world; yet today we shamefacedly stand as some self-entitled spoiled child, demanding more than its share & always of the best.
The connection between the Israel of Jesus' time & America in its founding was the inclusion of '4' words. "ALL. ARE CREATED EQUAL".
Jesus, as 'the correction' to the direction humanity was headed, the concluding 'prophet', was, in the totality of his message, the ultimate fruit of Jewish history; as such, Jesus emerges NOT AS A CHRISTIAN, but as a completely different figure. He does prove, IF God exists, why he was the 1st true son of Israel. He also proves, if God DOESN'T exist, that Jesus had the formula needed to reverse the pattern of human created harm in human history. it just requires a little growing up on the part of everyone, not the least of which are those who assume to label themselves 'Christian' or leaders.
Today, Jewish history challenges Christianity as to its authenticity, both in its understanding of Jesus & its behavioral witness to that person.
Because the Jesus of Jewish history wanted to live, to have a family. But more to the point, Jesus wanted to share HOW to live with one another, that we might all share a full life with God. The keys to the 'kingdom' were in the principles of life, in HOW TO LIVE, that God offered through Jesus unconditionally. The one proviso? When we re-examine Jesus' OWN words, we are proactively confronted with the challenge that faith 'in' Jesus was to 'do as Jesus'. Nothing less.
The words so often cited as a 'nice' platitude, that 'we do onto others as we would be treated', emerge as the actual totality of all he sought to inspire & that Jewish law demanded. Jesus merely extended the intended audience to include our enemy.
Jesus sought to bring a revolution in one generation: a revolution of the heart, rationally informed, once the people truly grasped the true 'heart of God'. Jewish history is the revelation of that heart, initiated with the 'father of faith', Abraham, secured with Moses & the covenant completed with the living revelation that was Jesus.
Today, that Jesus is emerging out of history, to claim back that which has...