...because the Gospel of Thomas has no interest in the Hebrew
Bible or the Jewish Messianic expectation. -
Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitness, Wm B. Erdmans
Publishing Co. 2006, p. 237
Why I am NOT a Christian
The best place to start is to look at the very term itself. The concept
of a Christ is built right into the word!
The term "Christ" is the Greek word that stands in for the Hebrew
Messiah. Now that I know what Jesus is like and what a Messiah is, I find
that I don't want nor do I need God to be like a Messiah. I want God to be
like Jesus. I NEED God to be like Jesus!
Now that I can frame the life, actions, message and mission of Jesus
within the human condition and the ultimate issues rather than the ancient
scriptures, I see clearly that Jesus was NOT a Messiah nor THE Messiah. That
is probably a difficult claim for most people to accept until the whole
thinking behind the concept of the Messiah is closely examined.
"...Judaism has always preferred the celebration and sanctification
life in this world to eschatological promises. My guess
21st-century Christian thought will move back toward its
father and become increasingly Judaized, less focused on death
and the afterlife and more on life here
- David Gelernter, "The Closing of the Scientific Mind."
Central to the idea of a Messiah is that such a person is a powerful
sovereign destined to rule over the people. Granted that a Messiah does
great things, restoring law and order, reclaiming the geographical territory, rebuilding
the society, etc., these are accomplished through the use of force and the
direction of regnal power instead of inspiration and freedom. Messiahs and
democracies are actually antithetical to each other.
Here is what the online encyclopedia infogalactic.com has to say:
"The concept of
messianism originated in Judaism. According to Jewish tradition, the
Jewish Messiah, HaMashiach, "the Messiah", "the anointed
one"), often referred to as "King Messiah" (melekh mashiach), is plainly distinct from the concept
of a divine Christian Messiah or any other concept of a messiah in other
Abrahamic religions, especially the Islamic. The future Jewish Messiah to come is thought to be a human leader,
physically descended from the paternal Davidic line through King David
and King Solomon. He is thought to accomplish predetermined things in only one
future arrival, including the unification of the tribes of Israel,
the gathering in of all Jews to Eretz Israel, the
rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, the ushering in of a
Messianic Age of global universal peace, and the annunciation of the
World to Come."
So, it's easy enough for Christianity to dismiss most of this, but once
it does, it finds itself in a netherworld without sound bearings. Once you
accept that Jesus was not THAT messiah, you have lost the legitimate value
of the term "Christ", its cargo, and its implications. The Gospel
of John delineates how the Jews pointed out reasons for not accepting Jesus
as their Messiah, but clearly does NOT excuse them from accepting him as the
son of God. John, one time, has Jesus referring to himself as the Christ,
but he may have misremembered where Jesus used the term "coming one".
Outside of reporting what other people said,
John himself, one time, refers to Jesus as the Christ but may still have
been confused over the issue. Although his understanding was superior to all
the other disciples except Thomas, it was still not adequate or up to par,
and this is an example of where John was not able to completely cleanse
himself of his old religious concepts.
It's not just that the word "Christ" is incorporated into the title but
that the whole enterprise and thinking of Christianity is saturated with the
concept of God the Creator forever being the benevolent dictator and director, rather
than the good father of the family who sets the stage for his children to
blossom and thrive equality and personal sovereignty. If I tried to direct the life of my son, he would
be stunned, and shocked at such a betrayal of our relationship as peers. He
would rightfully think I had temporarily lost my spiritual balance, firmly put me in my place,
and wonder about the future of our relationship.
The very essence of being a sovereign over other people is contrary to
the character of the creator, who actually insists upon primarily taking the role of
the servant instead of the Master or Lord. This is what the religious people
willfully cannot see, and of course not seeing it is the essence of sin.
Christianity is often known as Judeo-Christianity because of its
incorporating as much of Judaism as it can into its doctrinal universe. All
the while being in denial that Judaism was ever and always the worship of
Saturn as God. Christendom is not open to cleansing itself from this
influence and content. Most of the many other errors, wrongs, failings,
misunderstandings, and shortcomings of Christendom have been addressed in
other places on this site. See
Christendom Analyzed, Christendom
Challenged, Christendom Condemned.
Given this and its foundation of the Bible being the word of God,
Christianity is a religion partly infused with false values. In the western
world via the Renaissance, the Reformation, the French Revolution, the
founding of America, etc. humanism has become the prevailing philosophy, and
Christianity has largely had to become more humanistic. With the exception
of those stated and implied by Jesus, The USA Declaration of Independence
and Constitution have truer and more legitimate values than those of the
two Canon Testaments. Western governments in general hew to a humanistic
standard rather than a Christian one.
The person that is in love with the real Jesus,
with the unmitigated respect he showed for us as his children, and with the
freedom that he opened up for us to reclaim, just does not want to be
identified with this package of false religion and its dogma, does not want to be
subjected to the vacuous sacraments, rites and liturgy, and can't possibly
fit in comfortably with the culture, values and expectations of Christendom any more than
with liberal Judaism or Islam. See:
Premise Regarding Christianity
By NOT being a Christian, I now miss and
lack NOTHING that is genuine EXCEPT numbers of fellow quasi-believers, but I will
take quality over quantity in this case.