What I Don’t Like about Christianity and Don’t Think Jesus Would Either

What I Don’t Like about Christianity and Don’t Think Jesus Would Either

What I don't like about Christianity and think Jesus wouldn't either

I don’t want to argue with folks, but I’m feeling a need to differentiate myself from things I do not accept or believe. And in these things, I think Jesus would agree with me.

1) I don’t like that people associate Jesus with religion, theology, and politics, rather than what his example came to show us.

2) I don’t like that the Council of Nicea voted under threat of death to decide that Jesus was God, rather than the Son on God. This abruptly ended a controversy in a way that was perfect for Constantine, who was ruling at the time and strong-handed the vote. This twist of theology kept followers more powerless, which was convenient for those in power. If Jesus is God, it puts him out of reach, and makes people think that the things he did they wouldn’t be able to do, since they are not God. This is hugely unfortunate, because Jesus came to show us that we are also empowered by the same Spirit he was, and can do what he did. I feel this was the whole point of his ministry.

3) I don’t like that Christianity formed into a religion to worship Jesus, when he came to empower us to accept and further his message. With all reverence to the great Teacher, it is really about whether the students learn and go on to use what they are taught. Literally, if we did that, it would bring about world peace. Many Christians act like there is potency in just uttering his name, when they should be imbibing his character. Worse, many are waiting for Jesus to return to end suffering, instead of taking on the responsibility he bestowed on them to follow his example, and do as he did, which in itself would save the world.

4) I also don’t like that Jesus’ vision for an empowered and transformed society got twisted into a story about jockeying about for a future in heaven. Jesus proclaimed that the kingdom of heaven is “here” and at “hand.” He exhorted us to express the qualities and attributes of the Christ– following his example– and then anyone can experience heaven right now.

5) I do not agree, as many mainline Christians espouse, that we are born condemned to sin, and deserving of God’s wrath and judgement, and that we required Jesus’ death to fix it. No, I believe God is Love, and Love would not make offspring as sinners, and then judge them and vent wrath on them for it. I believe instead what the first chapter of Genesis states, that God made us in God’s image and likeness, as “very good.” I believe the story of Adam and Eve is a cautionary allegory to prevent us from straying from our high estate. I believe that Jesus’ resurrection serves to uplift faith and prove that life continues after what looks like death. I don’t like that Christians often assume Jesus’ death solves the problem of our separation from God, when the very point of his life was to exemplify the truth that we are not, nor never can be, separated from God.

6) I know Paul meant well, but I don’t like that Christianity puts so much weight on Paul’s theories and doctrines, instead of the truths Jesus lived and demonstrated. I particularly don’t like Paul’s gender stereotyping, which is so rampant, unfair, and detrimental; it is not sourced in Jesus.  Also, I don’t like the Christian jargon in general, which differentiates members of the “in crowd” from all others. It is entrenched in old thinking, as well as confusing and off-putting to newcomers. Talk normally, please. And while Father/Mother can serve as names for God, I also understand God as Life, Truth, and Love itself, which have no he/she pronouns. I feel dropping many of the gender pronouns for God is going to become increasingly important, if Christianity is to continue to thrive.

7) I don’t like that Christianity teaches that it is the only legitimate way. The Christ is defined in many ways, including as the promised Messiah. The Christ is exemplified as the sum total of the ideal qualities and attributes that Jesus completely and perfectly expressed. We should strive to exemplify those too. Then yes, it is those qualities and attributes that are the only way to be whole, and save yourself or the world. But Christians don’t have a lock on all those qualities and attributes; atheists and folks of all other religions and cultures are equally blessed by expressing them as well, without necessarily identifying them with Christ.

I may be in the minority with these contrary views, but I still consider myself a Christian, if that still means following Jesus’ teaching and emulating his character and deeds.

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.

10 Comments

  1. Diane W 6 months ago

    WELL SAID POLLY!!! I totally agree!

  2. Sherri 6 months ago

    Well said. I agree, especially with the fact that the Council of Nicea voted under threat of death to decide that Jesus was God, rather than the Son on God. The acceptance of this fact is transformative. It is unethical that religious organizations employ so many to continue to misrepresent what is plainly stated in the Bible. Makes one wonder who at this point is threating death to anyone who disagrees. Love that you included the larger point that the qualities of the Christ are not limited to so called religious individuals. Pretty sure I am in the minority too!

  3. Christi 6 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your ideas! I agree but am not able to express it quite like you. 🙏🏽Merry Christmas to you and your family! I’m grateful for CS and for the many avenues and ideas that we have to immerse ourselves in it- including your daily blog. You are a shining example for others to catch fire.🔥

  4. Joseph D Herring 6 months ago

    A rabbi once said to me , “Jesus I don’t mind. It’s Paul I can’t stand.”While it’s not my job to defend Paul,I think that more people should read his letter to the Romans. A fair reading of Romans is likely to produce an awareness that imitating Jesus usually results in an imitation Christianity.

    • Polly Castor 6 months ago
  5. Isabel Allen 6 months ago

    I’m glad to see you have the courage to state your beliefs/facts. Bart Ehrman and Rubinstein wrote books by similar titles How Jesus Became God relating to the two Councils of Nicea. Yes, the big picture for mainstream Christians is love one another. Not to be cafeteria Christians who pick and choose certain verses to believe and others to discard. What a different world it would be! Thank you!!! Merry Christmas, here’s hoping more people catch on . . .

  6. Lilian Sly 6 months ago

    Brilliantly reasoned through, Polly! Thank you !!

  7. Gretchen Thompson 6 months ago

    Amen to those thoughts you have expressed very well Peace and joy to you and warm regards from Gracie, Sterling, Jeff and Gretchen

    Hope your area was spared from wrath of this windy and rainy storm today on the East coast

  8. Diane Tarantino 6 months ago

    100%! 👏🙏❤️😊

  9. Joy Herta Wiederkehr 6 months ago

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I agree 100 %

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