An Atheist Sermon

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

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

Jesus_mac


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

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Why does a modern atheist like me apprentice himself to a Jewish preacher from 2,000 years ago? [ Apprentice:  someone who attaches themselves to and learns from a skilled master.]

Because I believe our bad monkey behavior has no future. Jesus perceived our human situation with a clarity that reaches across two thousand years to today. He saw through his stone age worldview with gods and goddesses, angels and demons, heavens and hells, magic and superstition to see what was needed to save humanity - new humans.

Two thousand years later, our problem still remains. Today we see a world beyond the stone age worldview of Jesus’ time, beyond gods in the clouds to trilions of planets, stars and galaxies. And we see beneath our skins to life based on living cells, tiny but alive. But still, our bad monkey behavior remains and with billions of us now, our behavior even threatens life on this planet.

Are Jesus' teachings lost? No, not completely.
Some treasures remain, but you will have really dig and search to find them.
Churches and society try to obscure Jesus because the teachings of Jesus threaten religion and society - yesterday and today.      Why? Because Jesus taught an unpopular idea, a challenge :

Change

 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:

                change 
ourselves. Jesus called it being reborn - born again.

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 change 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, including yours or mine,
 is powerful enough to change the whole world?

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2 - Where you find evil, return good.
            Go beyond the Golden Rule.
                Forget the balance of eye for eye, tooth for tooth.
                    You turn the other cheek,  walk the extra mile.
                        Let your good fall on everyone, everywhere, 
                              like rain falls on the good Earth

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.
In eternity, every drop, every step counts and adds.
“The arc of the moral universe is long, 
but it bends toward justice.” 
— MLKjr

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So the messsage is simple:      Break out of the herd.

1 - Guide yourself from within

2 - Where you find evil, return good.

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Imagine:

Imagine there's no heaven

It's easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people living for today ...


Imagine there's no countries

It isn't hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people living life in peace ...


You may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope some day you'll join us

And the world will be as one


Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people sharing all the world ...


You may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope some day you'll join us

And the world will live as one

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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: garethharris@mac.com                  See also: ThinkingTalkingComputing.com