Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Martin LeFevre: Jesus Was a Man

Meditations - From Martin LeFevre in California

Jesus Was a Man

The silly season is upon us. Silly not because of the celebrations of Jesus’ birth, as anachronistic as that seems in a world devoid of innocence and peace, but because ‘X-mas’ has become synonymous with the mindlessness of consumerism.

It’s also the time of year when the nostalgic sentimentality for the unexamined things of childhood rages to the surface, often literally. In America, where citizens live in a paralysis of superficiality all year long, one hears echoes of last year’s raging issue: Should greeters at Wal-Mart say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays?”

Of course, anyone who questions the lunacy of the Christmas season is labeled a ‘grinch,’ not unlike, ironically, anyone who questions Israeli policies is called an anti-Semite. Jimmy Carter has been on the receiving end of that calumny this season, with the publication of his controversial book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid."

But I digress. The greatest heresy in the history of humanity is the idea that Jesus was God. Jesus was a man, and God (that is, intrinsic, immanent cosmic intelligence) abhors the notion that a man can be called God. Christianity is therefore based on a monumental lie.

Why was this falsehood invented and propagated? By making Jesus into God, people from his time on have been able to distance themselves from the responsibility not only for crucifying the believed Messiah, but also for living what Jesus taught. After all, if even Jesus failed to change humanity, how can we possibly succeed?

Deifying Jesus denies accountability on a fundamental level. For if Jesus was God, then our own ‘sinfulness’ is excused, or at least ‘forgiven.’ It’s a small step from there to the idea that ‘he was born to die on the cross for our sins!’ What rubbish.

The murder (or martyrdom) of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a fierce critic of the war in Chechnya, provides a compelling modern day counterpoint. Not long before her death, she and her editor at the hard-hitting newspaper Novaya Gazeta talked about whether they were willing to die for their work. He said no; she said yes.

Anna Politkovskaya was a passionate person who radiated an inner beauty. Did she die for nothing? She certainly knew the risks, and consciously decided she had to pursue the truth about Putin’s government and its Chechnyan puppet Kadyrov all the way. Of course, one can never know her motivations, but the larger question posed by her death is: Is the world worth dying for? No, but is humanity still worth dying for?

Jesus tried to radically change the human heart, and paid with his life. He obviously failed to bring about a revolution in human consciousness, and so Christians have been doing an even worse thing than the people who crucified him: They're deifying him.

(No, I’m not implying that ‘the Jews crucified Jesus.’ That’s absurd, since Jesus was a Jew, and there was no Christian division yet.)

Jesus was not sent or meant to die on the cross, but to light and ignite the human heart. His death might have meaning if people understood him as a human being, albeit an exceptional one. But Christians pound another nail into him every time they worship him as God. They miss the whole point of his life, make a mockery of his message, and provide a clever kind of comfort and spiritual escape from ever having to actually live his way.

Deifying Jesus also provided the foundational premises for the Roman Catholic Church, with its hierarchical power and entrenchment of the idea of intermediation by priests between the individual and God. Of course all religions maintain the false necessity of the intermediation of a priestly class, since there would be no organized religion without it. But the Catholic Church, with its extraordinary power, wealth, and influence over the centuries, has succeeded in keeping office while keeping Jesus at arm’s length.

Jesus was a man; Christ never existed. If humankind is to have any chance for ‘peace on earth,’ insight must be ignited within the individual, you and I. Then perhaps the birth and death of Jesus will have a new meaning, and Christ will be more than a fiction.

************

- Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He has been publishing in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Europe (and now New Zealand) for 20 years. Email: martinlefevre@sbcglobal.net. The author welcomes comments.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Keith Rankin: Liberal Democracy In The New Neonationalist Era: The Three 'O's
The proposed ‘New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme’ (‘the scheme’) has attracted strong debate among the more left-wing and liberal groupings, within New Zealand-Aotearoa. This debate should be seen as a positive rather than negative tension because of the opportunity to consider and learn from the implications and sharpen advocacy... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Words Matter, Prime Minister
Words matter, especially when uttered by politicians. History is littered with examples of careless or injudicious words uttered by politicians coming back to haunt them, often at the most awkward of times. During the 1987 election campaign, when electoral reform was a hot issue, Prime Minister David Lange promised to have a referendum on the electoral system... More>>



Dunne Speaks: New Zealanders' Ongoing Quest For Security

In many ways, the essential story of New Zealand over the last hundred years or so has been our search for security. Whether it be security from want, or unemployment, homelessness, or cultural alienation, it has always been a constant theme which has occupied the minds of successive governments over the years... More>>



Digitl: Infrastructure Commission wants digital strategy
Earlier this month Te Waihanga, New Zealand’s infrastructure commission, tabled its first Infrastructure Strategy: Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa. Te Waihanga describes its document as a road map for a thriving New Zealand... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Leaking For Roe V Wade
The US Supreme Court Chief Justice was furious. For the first time in history, the raw judicial process of one of the most powerful, and opaque arms of government, had been exposed via media – at least in preliminary form. It resembled, in no negligible way, the publication by WikiLeaks of various drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership... More>>




The Conversation: Cheaper food comes with other costs – why cutting GST isn't the answer

As New Zealand considers the removal of the goods and services tax (GST) from food to reduce costs for low income households, advocates need to consider the impact cheap food has on the environment and whether there are better options to help struggling families... More>>