Jesus Was Dirty

In a post today,  “Jesus was a dirty, dirty God,” on CNN’s Belief Blog, the author (Johnnie Moore) writes that Jesus was a lot like you and me. He went to the bathroom, he ate, he slept, he got sick. He was smelly and dirty and sarcastic. He had a shady reputation.

Jesus was born into a time of super-human gods. So how did he go from the average Joe to Jesus?

The average man could relate to him. And the time was right. In a time when Gods were housed in temples and they had powers that humans did not, Jesus was a guy who talked to the poor, the hungry, the disenfranchised. He was in the right place at the right time.

This is a true story: My great-grandfather was very sick when he was a child. After a long illness, he fell into a coma. When he was six years old, his relatives declared him dead. He was prepared for burial (in Italy, in those days, there was a viewing in the home). His family came to say their good-byes. An aunt bent down to kiss him on his bed. She felt a faint breath on her cheek. My great-grandfather lived. It was a miracle.

Of course, you and I know that someone had declared him dead when he was not really dead. But the folks of that time believed it to be nothing short of a miracle. Maybe he would have been declared a god had Jesus not already been declared a god nearly two-thousand years before.

Not everyone believed that Jesus was the son of God. Johnnie Moore writes that,

He [Jesus] also knew what it was like to have his message rejected and how it felt to be misunderstood. Jesus was regarded with such little significance in his hometown that one of his critics once remarked sardonically, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” Jesus eventually had to move to different city (Capernaum) because his teachings so infuriated the people living in his hometown that they drove him out of Nazareth and even tried to throw him off a cliff.

So, some people thought Jesus was a visionary, and some people thought he was a fake. How many times has that happened throughout history? Isn’t that how the Mormon religion was born? Isn’t that how psychics and mediums get their followers?

Humans are hard-wired with a desire to live. Grasping for God gives us hope that, when circumstances are out of our control, we will still carry on. There is no proof that Jesus was divine. Yes, we have stories, fables, that we hold as “truth.” Yet history has given us many fables, some of which we choose to label as “fairy tales.” The difference is that Jesus was relatable, and people needed a deity they could understand, one they could talk to, one that they did not fear.

They still do.

Jesus happened to come along at the right time, with the right message. His life became legend. The reality of the man is no doubt different from the legend. Many people needed a Jesus.

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13 responses to “Jesus Was Dirty

  1. Great post. The interactions I’ve had with anti-theists over the past year have always led to them simply discounting that Jesus (the man) even existed. So I appreciate the fact that you look at Jesus in the context of a man first. Many Christians overlook that part of his personality and existence and therefore skew their view of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus in the first place. I’ll check back in to see your other thoughts as I continue on my journey as well.

    • Hi Ben, Thanks for commenting. I really appreciate that, although we have different views, you were willing to read and keep an open mind.

  2. Alena@TheHomemadeCreative

    I found your post on iReport, and popped over here to see what else you have to say. I am a Christian, and will raise my children with those beliefs, but I understand the perspective you shared in your article. I would be lying to say that some of those issues have not made me examine my own beliefs (but that is another story). I am commenting here because I have a question for you: Reading through several posts, I can’t help but wonder – if you are raising your children without religion – why you seem to spend so much time (at least lately, I haven’t looked back farther than early December) talking about why Jesus is not God, and why Christianity offers false hope? I ask sincerely, and not to be contentious. I am confident in my faith, and do not feel the need to attack opposing beliefs. I simply ask because I see this frequently, where someone who is not a Christian, and claims to be perfectly content living apart from religion, spends a lot of time and effort trying to debunk those beliefs. It just doesn’t make sense to me. I do not believe in Allah or in the Mormon version of Christianity, or in the non-existence of God and all of the things that go with different forms of that, but I do not spend inordinate amounts of time talking or writing about why those other beliefs are bogus, either. So I am curious: Why so much attention to something you don’t believe in? And how is that raising kids without religion? Is it not simply raising them with a great deal of prejudice against religion, rather than a healthy focus on what you deem good and wholesome apart from religion?

    • Hi Alena, The Homemade Creative. I hear you. First, I have been blogging for more than 8 years on this topic, and my writing and thoughts have been somewhat discursive. Obviously, I did not know CNN would pick up my piece and put it on their homepage. Second, of course I see a TON of Jesus-pushing here, and naturally, this is a good, safe place to get out my frustrations. I welcome other opinions, and that is why you’ll see your commments along with others who disagree or who just have different views. I should put a tagline that I am also raising my kids without god, not just religion. With my kids, we just spend a lot of time talking about the history of religion, different religions, the concept of god, why some people need god, etc. etc. It’s healthy, wholesome conversation that gives them a chance to rationalize and communicate their ideas. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      • Alena@TheHomemadeCreative

        Thank you for replying! I guess one question I have (again, asking sincerely), is do you accept the possibility that your kids may choose another path, perhaps one that embraces a faith in something beyond themselves?

  3. The “I raise my kids without God” is a New Ager.

  4. Sad to say, but you and your kids will one day take the Mark of the Beast. One who mocks God, as you do on a daily basis, I can only pity – and pray for. Yes, I know. You probably cringe at the sound of that; nevertheless, I will pray for you. Jesus Christ is the only hope you and your kids have. You’re one breath away from losing your soul. Sad, very sad.

  5. Cool post. I’m really enjoying your stuff!

  6. I am thrilled to find your blog. For the first time in my life, I life in a neighborhood where, not only am I not the only atheist, but I can relatively freely and openly discuss it beyond the confines of my immediate neighborhood. What a great feeling! After a lifetime of avoiding the topic altogether, it’s a relief to find spaces where it’s acceptable to be me.

    I can’t speak for the blogger, but to Alena@TheHomemadeCreative, I personally try to expose my kids to all different beliefs, and explain to them the history of religion. I suspect my daughter will want to join a church, and I’m fine with that. I will try to guide her to the extent possible to a kinder, gentler church. If she wants to have a religion, I am pulling for Buddhism, but would also be okay with maybe Quakers. Ultimately it’s their choice, which the one thing my parents allowed me: the right to make up my own mind what I believe

    For my daughter, I find what she is drawn to is not the actual religion or faith, but the community and ritual (and the singing!) If there were a Secular Humanist meeting once a week with singing and getting dressed up, I’m sure it would satisfy her “need for religion”.

  7. Christians have always had a difficult time conceptualizing the God-Man combination. Early Christianity struggled with the exact time Jesus (man) became God (Christ). For example, there was a theory in the ancient church that it wasn’t until Jesus got baptized that he became God. On the other hand, there were (and still are — the Jehovah Witnesses) Christians who completely disagree with the idea that Jesus was of the same substance as God the Father.

  8. Why not take it further and ask yourself if there’s any proof that Jesus ever existed? Messiah fables existed centuries before his supposed life, and he was only written about decades after his supposed death.

    Logic says that Jesus was a fabrication of convenience to solidify the Messiah myth. Many other things in the Bible are illogical, so why not its very underpinnings?

    P.S. The horizon in that river photo is tilted.

    • @A. Sevins From what I read JC was based on an actual man. Of course, all this info is hearsay at this point since we never actually knew the guy. LOL. OK. Thanks for telling me about the photo. Maybe it was the photgrapher (ahem).

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