“What we cannot do (in my opinion) is disregard the “Jesus bits” we don’t like, simply under the method that we don’t like them. They ARE there.” (Dagoods)
I think Dagoods raises a good point – we cannot forget one piece of Jesus teachings when we look at the whole thing – agreed. I have looked through the gospels with my own eyes and I cannot find a single teaching – via Jesus – that seems all that bad. There is the Luke ‘hate‘ passage, I have seen Jesus calling out the ‘Pharisee’s‘, and even the lady called a ‘dog‘. I have actually went into various explanations about each verse on my own blog – hate, pharisee’s, and the dog passage (actually I never blogged on this – commented on another site about it).
I actually stand by something I said in other comments – find me one single place where Jesus actually teaches something horribly wrong (that will ruin society)? I have yet to see one single passage as of yet – I can look harder – but what’s the use – I have read those gospels at least 50 times each – and nothing about vices as virtues is ever supported. Now this may happen in current society (churches and religious groups) but the texts themselves do not support it.
Things I learned from Jesus’ teachings are: love my neighbor (even if he is someone who dislikes me), compassion, treat others how I want to be treated, problems start as thoughts, equality of men and women/everyone, the rich need to care for the poor, we are to be subject to the justice system, seek justice, don’t be a hypocrite, forgiveness & mercy, judging my own behavior (or don’t judge at all), being a peacemaker vs. a troublemaker, integrity, knowing about religious hypocrisy, freedom, sincerity, fake oaths & lying should not be done, doing something instead of merely believing something, wisdom tempered by peacefulness, charity, an outlook of hope, etc…this list can go on and on.
Just showing that the things Jesus actually taught are meant to result in good ends – peace, compassion, acceptance, forgiveness, honesty, and a belief system that has at it’s core value love. That can’t be all that bad?
“I agree that there is nothing wrong with borrowing from Jesus’ teaching. I say we can do better than Jesus teaching!” (Dagoods)
I think it is a hopeful outlook to hold onto – when looking at ‘we’ as ‘those involved in the conversation’ – but for one side of this convo (myself) – the place I honed my values was from the teachings of Jesus (from my teens even until now). I would like to think I can ‘do better’ (as you suggest) – but I would be quite mind-boggled to figure out how that might even look – or how I could actually teach a whole new innovative system that reflects values even shades higher than that of Jesus’? I have a tough time figuring out something higher than ‘love’?
Maybe it’s just me – but the bible’s values are quite alright and can help to shift someone’s life from a certain destructive pattern to one of peace – it can happen you know.