An Atheist Sermon

Jesus taught a new Prime Directive: Go beyond the golden rule,

Where you find evil, return good.

jesus teaching on mountain

My Heart Shall Not Fear - Randy Edelman

Why is a modern atheist like me a student of a Jewish preacher from 2,000 years ago?

Because I believe our current bad monkey behavior has no future. It  would be heartbreaking to wipe ourselves out while we stand at the threshhold to the stars. But: Now that there are over 8 billion of us, we consume everything in sight and threaten not only ourselves but most of the life on this planet. What’s wrong with this picture? Can we be rescued from ourselves?

Religions are part of the problem, not the solution. They endorse and promote what the rulers of society want for their own benefit - wealth and wars - even at everybody elses expense. Every time religion has been put to the test - countering poverty and greed, racism or militarism, it has failed. Religion will always kiss the ruler's ass. .

BTW, churchianity avoids what Jesus taught. Several events led to this: Paul diverted Jesus' small Jewish sect into a full blown greek mystery religion, with tricks like magic and miracles, including raising the dead. Then the Romans demolished Jerusalem in the year 70AD, opening the way for greek pauline christianity. Then, with Constantine's help, it became the Imperial state religion of the Roman Empire about 312 AD. 

All the doctrines and creeds, bibles, hymnals and prayerbooks, bishops, priests and deacons; churches and cathedrals - all this was fabricated decades and even centuries after Jesus. Jesus taught none of that, never even said that he was god - in fact said distinctly said he was not god. Instead, he taught the lessons we repeat here.

Paul taught:
 - be a good citizen of the empire, make no waves, be a regular guy, you women be quiet.
But Jesus taught:
 - separate yourself from society, go beyond the golden rule: where you find evil, return good.

I agree with Jesus that we need a new start, both as a society and as individuals.
- In his time, Jesus called his new society
the Kingdom of God and our individual change being reborn.
   He saw the end of the current world order and re-establishment of Israel. Not exactly the way it happened.
- Today, we can still use some of the teachings of Jesus, but now to rescue humanity - from ourselves. 

 - There are 2 steps:

1 - Guide yourself from within,
           instead of being channeled by the external forces of society and religion

Yes, We created society. It took us to the Moon. BUT it also teaches greed and racism, war and militarism, mostly to benefit the wealthy. We are all part of society, but to be effective and objective you must sometimes have the ability to separate from society. There have been some before - that broke free of society. Who has this kind of courage? -  Jesus, Buddha, Francis, Becket, Tolstoy, Gandhi, MLKjr, Dorothy Day, Oscar Romero, Paul Robeson, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandella, You? Me? 
       Isn’t it amazing how one loving heart is powerful enough to change the whole world?

2 - Where you find evil, return good.  or as Tolstoy said it:
            There is only one way to put an end to evil, and that is to do good for evil.

From nature, we know that like produces like. Figs produce figs. Grapes produce grapes. Apples produce apples. Similarly, Evil produces evil. War produces war. Hate produces hate. So, returning evil for evil, bad for bad, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, produces more evil in the world. As MLKjr pointed out“An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind..” 

But returning good for evil diminishes evil, and increases the amount of good in the world.

Again: we can rescue humanity. It only takes two steps:

1 - Guide yourself from within.

 don’t be channeled by society and religion

2 - Where you find evil, return good.

Be new humans with new behavior,
go beyond the golden rule.

___________________________________________

You can do this:
        Guide yourself from within.
            Break out of the herd,
                Take the next exit and:

be one of the new humans, replacing evil with good wherever you go.

Yes, most of religion is bogus bull.
Even the actual teachings of Jesus are hard to find in all the clutter.
But there is also treasure here 
 - maybe there is hope for humanity yet.

  _________________________

NEXT >>>>> Jesus, A Master Teacher

_________________________________________

© Gareth Harris 2017       --------        Contact email: garethharris@mac.com        --------         see also: GarethHarris.com