Look, If Jesus Were Here, He Wouldn't Join Your Church Either

People are always trying to guess what-would-Jesus-do? Granted he was a remarkable figure in history, but lets not presume to know what he would say today. Having said that, I’m going to presume he wouldn’t join your church anytime soon. Nor mine. Because I figure he’d figure today’s faiths have his message all wrong…!

Perhaps that’s exactly what millions of former church-goers have decided as well. The number of attendees has plunged in the last 50 years. Churches in western Europe are largely empty; in the US, except for some Evangelical and Mega-churches, it’s often true too. People say they can believe in a divine creator without all the human liturgical paraphernalia.

If Jesus is your starting point, here’s a rough take on how we got from there to here:

* In Israel Christians were mostly a CAMARADERIE (circa 30-33 AD)
* Later in Greece it was mostly a PHILOSOPHY (circa 33-325 AD)
* Reaching Rome it grew into an INSTITUTION (circa 325-500 AD)
* Spreading through Europe it became a CULTURE (500-1600 AD)
* Reaching America it became an ENTERPRISE (1600-2012 AD)

In those earlier stages, a lot of serious asceticism with fellas like Benedict and Francis of Assisi. In these later stages, a lot of serious money-makers like our nightly passel of bellowing televangelists. Meanwhile back in the Vatican, so much pomp and circumstance you wonder if Jesus could get into the place without a pass!

So here’s an offer I hope you won’t refuse. However you remember the life of Jesus — preacher, prophet, redeemer, or all three — can we agree his message fits any faith: “Love one another as I have loved you…”

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  • What would Jesus think of this blog posting? Pretty dang good.

  • I figure he already knew it was coming even back then. But I'm not one of those who can "think like Jesus."

  • Jesus supposedly was against the moneychangers at the Temple gates, which would eliminate most modern churches, especially the one that claims that it can take government health care money, but not comply with the regulations (see right pane).*

    Also, dealing with the same hypocrite in the right pane, apparently Jesus told the deacons at the First Baptist Church of Hammond to turn in their pastor to the sheriff and fire him for adultery with a teenage girl. Apparently he didn't tell that to the hierarchy of the Catholic church or the Catholics at Penn State. Not to mention that while same sex marriage isn't any good, apparently taking a little boy without marriage doesn't violate "lieth with mankind" (Lev. 18:22).

    I'm sure that the 15th-16th Century Spanish weren't too motivated by Jesus, regardless of what they claimed.
    ______________
    *This reminds me of the Fr. Guido Sarducci exchange: "Jesus didn't have woman disciples." Heckler: "Jesus didn't have a collection plate, either." "But he did have a collection urn." Probably not.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack ~ I think we have an unfortunate right to be cynical about organized religion today. I gotta believe Jesus would feel the same way. So we keep trying.........

  • Jack, just a little note. according to the history of Jesus, he never really followed a religion he had followers. If he were to "come back" as many would think, they would be following him again not him following a religion don't you think?

  • In reply to Brandi Wall:

    Brandi ~ I think that's a great insight!!!

  • In reply to Brandi Wall:

    I don't know about that, but it gets in my craw the various "rabbis" with Jews for Jesus or The Jewish Jesus shows on channels 57.1 and 62.1-62.4. I'm waiting for a Christians for Muhammad program.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack ~ I'm waiting for another Joan of Arc or Francis of Assisi....

  • In reply to Jack Spatafora:

    At least in the first case, she is a bit smoky.

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