An Atheist Sermon

This is dedicated to my grandfather George Adams,
              another backwoods carpenter with a radiant heart.


No hell below us, above us only sky.
- John Lennon


Jesus radical ideas are watered down
by society's churches.
But we can still learn what he taught
if we leave religion behind.

Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart

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

Because I believe our bad monkey behavior has no future. Many great teachers have taught this over the centuries, with the clearest message coming from Jesus.

What’s wrong with this picture? What’s wrong with us? Can we save ourselves from ourselves? If not, we are obviously not going to make it to the stars, perhaps not even to the end of this century !!

Religion is a problem, not a solution. Religion is designed to benefit society's wealthy and powerful. The trappings of religion - churches, Bibles, rituals, clergy - are for establishing credentials. In truth, there was no Noah, no Abraham, no Moses, no Exodus as described in the Bible. It was all made up. Similarly, there were no eyewitnesses recording the events of Jesus' life in the Gospels. It was all made up too, decades, even centuries later. 

Are Jesus' teachings lost? Not completely. Some treasures remain, but you will have to search for them. The teachings of Jesus challenge religion and society - yesterday and today.
     Why? Because Jesus taught an unpopular idea:


 Grow a Radiant Heart - Be one of the New Humans

There are 2 steps to this change:

1 - Guide yourself from within,
          instead of being channeled by the external forces of society and religion.
            We can change the world by changing the only thing under our control:
                the most difficult part - change ourselves

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 guide society you must also have the ability to separate from it. Some break free of society. Who has this kind of courage? Jesus, Buddha, Tolstoy, Gandhi, MLKjr, Dorothy Day, Rosa Parks, Rachel Carson - You? Me? 

     Isn't it amazing how one loving heart is powerful enough to change the world?


2 - Where you find evil, return good.  

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. Returning evil for evil, bad for bad, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, actually produces more evil in the world. As MLKjr pointed out“An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind,” but . . . 

      by replacing evil with good, we increase good in the world, and decrease evil.


Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart

We know this can be done. Jesus did it.
My grandfather George Adams, another backwoods carpenter did it.
So we can do it too.

Here Bahai Shadi and her mother sing the lesson in English and Persian:

The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh:

"O SON OF SPIRIT! My first counsel is this:
Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart,
that thine may be a sovereignty
ancient, imperishable and everlasting"

Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart

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

Jesus did this 2,000 years ago. My grandfather did this.    You can do this too.

Break out of the herd  . . . make a turn . . . Take the next exit,

    change - be one of the New Humans

then:   1 -  Guide yourself from within.

           2 - Be one of the New Humans 

                      who go beyond the golden rule, 

   replacing evil with good wherever you go.

Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart



Suggested reading:      Tolstoy: The Kingdom of God is Within You

 Book - Amazon , Commentary - Wikipedia

This is the book that launched Gandhi and MLKjr.
You will have to translate from the 1890s to today, but
It will challenge everything you were taught.

© Gareth Harris 2019                                      Email:                  See also: