Peoplese

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Jesus۔ism

 

 Core Statement

            Jesus۔ism is a religion based on the life and teaching of Jesus.
 

Clarification

            Jesus-ism holds awesome respect for all the great religions.

            However, Jesus۔ism has nothing to do with:
                        What the Vedic scriptures of Hinduism said.
                        What Gautama, the Buddha, said.
                        What Mohammad, God rest his soul, said.
                        What numerous other holy men and women, prophets, and spiritual messengers said.
                        What science said and says.

            In the same way, Jesus۔ism has nothing to do with:
                        What the Tanakh (Christian Bible’s Old Testament) said.
                        What Saul of Tarsus (Christian Saint Paul) said.
                        What the Roman popes (Christian Catholicism) said.
                        What Martin Luther (Christian Protestantism) said.
                        What the European theologians (Christian theology) said.
 
            Jesus۔ism has utmost respect for the above sources, and does not disbelieve in any of their beliefs.  The focus of Jesus۔ism is on what Jesus said and did.  Jesus۔ism is divested of additions from Judaism and Christianity.
 
            What exactly did Jesus teach?  After two millenniums, not everybody agrees.  But they approximately agree.  Jesus taught us about the kingdom of God, and about the importance of the siblinghood of people.
 
            What Jesus is or is not, what he did or did not teach, people continue to debate.
                       
All opinions are welcome within Jesus-ism.
                        Is Jesus divine, or is he, as Islam teaches, mere۔ly a great prophet?  Should we worship him, or merely extend to him enormous respect?  Jesus۔ism takes no position.
                        Is Jesus the only son of God, or are there other sons, and maybe daughters?  Or maybe all people are children of God.  Jesus۔ism takes no position.
                        Did Jesus perform all the miracles ascribed to him?  Or only some?  Or none?  Or more than we know about?  Jesus۔ism takes no position.
                        Did Jesus, after his crucifixion, reincarnate for three days?  Or for one day?  Or not at all?  Jesus۔ism takes no position.
                        Was Mary, the mother of Jesus, a virgin?  None of Jesus۔ism’s business.

             Jesus۔ism has nothing to do with so-called “Jesusanity”, which differs from Christianity by insist۔ing that Jesus was not divine.

             Gautama may have been raised within Hinduism, but he was not, ultimately, a reformer of that great religion; his message was so new, that it became the basis of a new religion.  Jesus was raised within Judaism, but he was not, ultimately, a reformer of that great religion; his message was so new, that it became the basis of a new religion.  Yet whereas Buddhism separated from Hinduism, Christianity never separated from Judaism.

             What we know about Jesus and his teaching is broadening.  The bedrock of our traditional knowledge about Jesus’ life and teaching is the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  But there are additional sources.  During the 20th century, important new manuscripts were discovered.  More can be expected to be found.  Scholars and scientific techniques increase our undestanding of existing manuscripts.  New revelations about Jesus have been revealed.

             There is no contradiction between Jesus۔ism and science.  Jesus’ teaching focused on the spiritual.  Scientists, as they strive to explain our universe, focus exclusively on the material.

             Jesus۔ism is a grassroots religion.  Jesus۔ism has no doctrines, no rituals, no founder, no leaders, no authorities, no hierarchy, no staff, no headquarters, no membership, no buildings, no property, no money.  It does not accept donations.  Its adherents – Jesus۔ists – communicate mainly via Internet, in small neighborhood gatherings, and by word of mouth.

             Following the example of Jesus, Jesus۔ism does not specify moral imperatives.  Morals cannot be extracted from cultures and sub-cultures, which differ from place to place and change with the flow of time.  A conscientious follower of Jesus’ teaching is expected to act morally, in accordance with her or his sincere moral beliefs. As a world religion, Jesus۔ism does not say, Do this, Don’t do that.

            Jesus۔ists feel enormous respect, gratitude, and even reverence toward all other religions – each in it’s own way urge۔ing a portion of humanity spiritually upward.  Jesus-ism takes no position on any of their tenets.

             Like a Buddhist, a Jesus۔ist can also be a follower of any other religion.

             Without Christianity, the message of Jesus (who leaved no writings) would have been forever lost.  That service is worth more than words can express.  Certainly without Christianity, there would be no Jesus۔ism.  Yet, in the humble opinion of Jesus۔ists, Christianity’s priceless service to humanity does not mean that Christian doctrine – which was created not by Jesus but by men, lacking significant input from the more sensitive gender – is infallable.

            Why doesn’t Jesus۔ism treat Christianity as absolute truth?
                        (Reminder:  Jesus۔ism does not opinion that Christianity is not absolute truth. Jesus۔ism takes no position on that or any other issue.)
                       
Followers of the Torah (Jews) were complicit with Romans in torturing Jesus to death.  Jews have subsequently remained loyal to their own religion Judaism.
                        Saul of Tarsus (a Roman citizen whose letters dominate the Bible to the extent that he could be considered the founder of Christianity) hate۔d Jesus, who he had never met, although they lived in the same region at the same time.  Saul loathed Jesus’ teaching so much that he was leading a militia en route to Damascus to hunt Jesus’ followers and slaughter them, when he had a revelation.  Saul’s subsequent opinions may all be correct, but they are not Jesus’.
                        Romans, after torturing Jesus to death, persecuted Christians for centurys, publically burning them alive at stakes and feeding them alive to lions, before – at a time when their political empire was in steep decline – declaring themselfs the sole authority of Christian religion, and insisting, as they still do to this day, that Roman popes were and are the sole link between God and people.  Jesus designated no such authority.
                        European Christian intellectuals, by adamantly insisting on the literal correctness of Judaism scripture, significantly impeded the development of science – which ultimately, when science proved wrong their cosmology, resulted in a crisis of doubt among Christians, with effects lingering to this day.  Jesus, as far as we know, made no scientific pronouncements.
                        North American Christians, by insisting that homosexuality is a sin, caused, and continue to cause, untold suffering by a signficant subset of humanity.  Jesus made no statements condemning homosexuality; he made many statements encouraging tolerance.
                        Christianity has done little or nothing to prevent wars – mankind at it’s evilest.  Statistically, Christians have killed more people (most of them fellow-Christians) than any other grouping of humanity.  During World War II, Christian men killed more than fifty million people, including millions of helpless women and children.  That historical record flies in the face of Jesus’ insistence on love and brotherhood.

             Europeans took Jesus’ message westward, modifying it to increase its appeal.  Greece, Rome, the Renaissance, theologians, popes, kings – each left their imprint on Jesus’ core message.  Christianity is essentially a European religion (institutionalized, intellectualized) – by and for Europeans, including European descendants in the Americas.  (Exceptions are the spread of Christianity by European missionaries to Africa south of the Sahara desert, where it is sometimes blended with ancient folk religions, and by European Spanish colonists to Philippines islands.) 

            The Europeanization of Jesus’ message has rendered his message less palatable to some other ethnicities.

            Yet Jesus was not European. 

            Jesus’ message devoid of Europeanization may be more acceptable eastward, in Asia, where the bulk of humanity resides.

             Jesus۔ism is a 21st century religion.  It’s maiden language is Peoplese, www.peoplese.org.  Jesus۔ism does not insist on this or that.  Jesus۔ists admit they may be wrong – or, perhaps more plausibly, may be merely another stepping stone to something more apropos to the emerging era of oneness of humanity.

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