So I'm thinking that when I have kids, I would really like to teach them about Jesus, not as the Messiah or as the Son of God, but as a moral teacher who taught lessons that I cherish such as pacifism, charity, compassion, and love. Of course, I would probably not teach them to worship or pray to him(I'd have to discuss it with my other half), but I think that Jesus ranks up there when talking about virtuous figures for children to model themselves after.

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"Hey, here's an idea, how about "in addition to" rather than "instead?" If you wish to claim you are the bigger person, then rather than say he's not looking at evidence, ask him what evidence he's looking at."

That would be fine too. But I've still not attacked him personally, I've only scorned him, as he rightfully deserves. After calling me "fucking stupid", saying that I have brain damage and trying to imply that I'm an apologist, what kind of reply do you think I should have given him? One accompanied with flowers and chocolate? Please get real.
I've said that numerous times already: the evidence does.
--- @ JstN - No, you've mentioned 2 theologians as your evidence and that's like proving god because the bible says so....I posted the bios of your"non" theologians and got no response

Ummm, you got a lot of response from Matt to your two bios. I too am confused how he insists they are not experts in theology (religion, religious studies). Both men sound pretty well versed in Christianity and Christian history to me. But Matt did respond.
Yeah, I'm also wondering in what alternative universe I did not respond to you, JstN? Because it sure as hell wasn't in any universe I am part of, I assure you.

I've told you numerous times: these guys are non-Christians and are not practising or studying theology by any more than the extent they have to in order to do their job (which is, after all, investigating the origins of a religion, remember?). And the same goes for Paula Frederiksen and a host of others.

Also, who are these non-theologian scholars you were talking about? Why don't you give us some names there: we're still waiting with breathless anticipation.
There is nothing moral in Jesus teachings. Be kind to your enemies - even when they seek to destroy you, turn the other cheek? All of his afterlife and social teachings were supposing that the world was going to end.

YouTube 'Hitchens Jesus morality' for an excellent summary.
I agree 100%
I don't see any reason to teach about Jesus specifically. All of the good lessons Jesus supposedly taught were espoused by earlier belief systems. Why not just teach them those good traits individually without attaching a religious figure to them?
Someone mentioned John Lennon, before. For one, his music is far better to listen to than any reading of the bible, and he demonstrated pacifism, compassion, and directed activism far better than any historical figure *I* can think of.
I am a mother and I think your own belief systems are far more influential than any historical figures. My husband and I have taught our children about a number of honorable historical figures (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Ben Franklin, Abe Lincoln, etc) without deifying any of them. We have tried to teach them that morals exist beyond religion.

Although, I do not believe in his religious power, the Dali Lama has a lot of good things to say about moral behavior as well. If you want to teach your children about Jesus, that's fine, but there are others who espoused (and lived) the same beliefs that do not claim to be a deity.
Hi Matthew (fellow Belgian! And we share our first name, in fact!),

Teaching your kids about compassion and love is of course great, but as others have pointed out, there's probably better role models for that than Jesus. A lot better role models. Jesus certainly wasn't the cool, mellow hippy a lot of people try to pretend he was. Does this sound like a cool, mellow hippy who simply went around saying we should, like, be cool to each other?:

. . . the rich man also died, and was buried;
And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

(Luke 16:22-24)

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where" 'the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.' Everyone will be salted with fire.
(Mark 9: 43-49)

For the time will come when you will say, 'Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!' Then " 'they will say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!" '
(Luke 23: 29-30)

"When you see 'the abomination that causes desolation' standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down or enter the house to take anything out. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that this will not take place in winter, because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again. .... "But in those days, following that distress, " 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky,and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'
(Mark 13: 14-25)

Jesus was a blood and thunder preacher who banged on endlessly about the coming end of the world and the hellfire and torment that would follow for anyone who didn't listen to him and believe. He was not a mellow hippy who taught pacifism and compassion. He was a ranting nutter.
Bonjour! Je ne suis pas le Belge, je suis American. But I just moved to Belgium a few months ago, and I'm loving it so far.

But on topic. That's kind of the whole point of evangelizing isn't it? I can't really fault the Biblical Jesus for preaching what the rest of the Bible was building up to. Sure it's a little dishonest, selectively choosing what to teach, but isn't that we do for all things? In America, we can't get enough of George Washington. And next to him, we love Abraham Lincoln for freeing the slaves. We often like to imagine that the two of them would sit in the White House patio,drinking a nice pint of Sam Adams talking about the joys of freedom and equality. Fact remains the Washington enacted the first major US legislation against slaves in 1790, and Lincoln had no intention of freeing the slaves. I admit, my Catholic upbringing has softened my views towards Jesus,and though I no longer follow Christianity I am still touched by several stories from the Bible. Regardless, Christianity is the biggest religion in the world. I'd be remiss if I didn't teach my children about it in the same way I was read Aesop's fables and stories from Greek mythology.
Ah, that's great, I hope you enjoy your stay here :) We still share our first name though, sort of. Mine is Mathieu, but I figure translating it to the English Matthew is pretty accurate :)

Now, of course I wasn't saying that you shouldn't teach your kids about Christianity or about Jesus; of course you should do so, if not for the mythology itself, then at least to make sure they fit in our western culture (which is, in many ways, post-Christian).
My objection was mainly to your statement that he was one of the most virtuous figures to have ever lived. I don't think that's true: I don't think he was particularly virtuous at all, not even for his own time. For all the nice things he said and the non-violence he promoted, that all has to be seen in the apocalyptic context: he didn't preach non-violence because he thought it was virtuous, he preached non-violence because he believed that God would soon his angels to Earth to do the violence for him.

Anyway, my main point is simply that we ought to look at historical figures in their context and in their specific timeframe. If that timeframe and perspective is awkard or immoral to us, then so be it: not making value judgements on the past is one of the requirements of being able to study history objectively.




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