By Carl S ~
Sometimes when I’m trying to get to sleep, or wake up during the night thinking about something, I’m compelled to write it down. Opportunities don’t come that often. Just try and sleep! While the river flows, I think, go with the flow, even if it’s in the dead of night. (I now realize this particular “sudden insight “ came after years of observations.) But before this begins, let me clarify one thing: What follows is not a judgement of individual Christians, but of Evangelical Christianity.
“Evangelists” are the gospel writers. Contrary to the evangelists, “Evangelicals” are not swayed by their gospel messages of compassion and forgiveness, except as these apply to their own members. They judge gays, liberals, those who oppose prayer in schools, the “uppity” women who demand control over their own bodies, any scientist with evidence contradicting their scriptures, etc., as deserving O.T. punishments. The Evangelicals/Fundamentalists are continually plotting to deny the rights of those who disturb their comfortable world. I wondered how a gospel Jesus fits these attitudes.
So, the question that woke me and kept me awake was: Just why do Evangelicals ignore the gospel Jesus? They leap over Jesus by choosing to retain Old Testament judgmental, punitive, morality and its promises of earthly rewards, then bound straight into the epistles of St. Paul. By following his visions, they believe they have an exclusive relationship with his Savior Christ. This includes embracing Revelations, when they alone are raptured into heaven and the rest of mankind is damned.
Jesus is not taken seriously, except when clergy want to use him as an example of love, or teachers cite him as an example for children to emulate. Evangelical adults obediently follow Paul’s savior- vision, and his emphasis on the O.T. system of punishing ourselves and others for “sins.” This “new” testament adds new sins and fears, while still justifying vengeance on “God’s enemies.” It reassigns the O.T. authorized seal of approval of God to his “new chosen people,” Christians, to set the rules for all. For them, if Jesus didn’t say, “Whatsoever you do in my name is justified,” he might as well have.
For Paul, Jesus only exists as Christ Jesus, the ultimate fulfillment of god-man redeemer prophesies in his time. Only “Christ’s” death matters. His followers latched onto Paul’s vision. Gospel Jesus is a dreamer, not a realist; he’s a fool who tells us not to resist injustice, to react to hatred and violence with love. In the real world, this seldom works, and only if the perpetrator has a conscience one can appeal to. To follow this Jesus is to be useless when it comes to protesting against tyranny, or behaving as parents, the defenders of families, and as onward-marching soldiers. And lest we forget: his bishops knew you can’t gain political power with the unpolitical Jesus attitude.
To be fair, we might consider one belief Paul shared with a first century Christian: They both believed the world would end soon. A Christian who wanted to reconcile a belief in Paul’s Christ with a gospel Jesus would likely embrace both, believing it best to cover all the bases and behave well. Obviously, it would only be a short term commitment. One does want to be on the winning side when the end comes.
Evangelical Christianity is touted as gospel-supported-peaceful, as the ideal of personal mercy and compassion. But it just can’t stop being O.T. worldly, judgmental, and militant. This faith founded by Paul, is members-only, non-negotiable, and inflexible, with exclusive rights to a “new” contract of conditional forgiveness with Their God. It’s a revised version of another reward/punishment contract Yahweh had with his “chosen” Israelites, whose consciences he also enslaved and controlled by fear.
Evangelical Christianity leapfrogs over its own gospels. It keeps ping-ponging between digging up Jesus to use whenever it needs to be seen as compassionate, while it continues to maintain a cold hard line of moral superiority. To quote Professor Shadia Drury, “Christian evangelicals are determined to rob others of the liberty to live according to their consciences.”
Evangelical Christianity wants dominion, wants domination of governments and laws for its own purposes, wants those O.T. rewards God promised, not only later, but now.Let’s get real. Evangelical Christianity wants dominion, wants domination of governments and laws for its own purposes, wants those O.T. rewards God promised, not only later, but now. Compassionate gospel Jesus can kiss their ass. They must hate it whenever the humanitarian messages of the gospels are brought into the spotlight and their use of the O.T. / St. Paul’s righteous attitudes are challenged.
We can see how this religion will always be, on a believer’s personal level and generally, in conflict with itself. Christianity extols a jailed conscience. It explains why it has to vent its caged frustrations and envy by focusing on those who have the liberty to live according to their consciences.
Evangelicals in every country know that in order to overcome, they must vote. They and the Christians they deceive do go out and vote, en masse. So, if you agree with them, don’t vote, and things will get worse for everyone else. In order for them to succeed, good people will do nothing to oppose them.
Of course, everything all Christians haul out for rationalizing their decisions is referenced to their bible. And everyone, including all non-Christians, are told they should bow down before this book. Why is this so, we might ask? “Why – well, because it’s “the Word of God, that’s why!” Oh? Says who? Who decided that? Now those are questions that ought to keep them awake nights, but they won’t. To quote Bill Maher, “Faith makes a virtue out of not thinking.” I much prefer to have my sleep disturbed by such questions.