Too many times, I have seen or heard this sarcastic remark, “He’s not a Christian.” These snide comments are meant to slander and besmirch the character of the other person. But do they? Do you care? I care because I love Jesus and his original Christianity. But I must speak about this.
Do these condescending judgments impugn someone’s reputation? Is being a “Christian” the gold standard today? Or should being a mature human being be the gold standard?
Today, these self-righteous accusations are meaningless outside the small group of deluded fundamentalists. They connive to control the entire world with their harsh ideology. Just because others do not exactly follow their idea of what a Christian should be, they say, “He’s not a Christian.” I say, “Thank you Jesus that most of your followers are more loving.”
Today- due to an abundance of Christianity’s sordid record – just claiming to be a Christian is not the gold standard anymore. Was it ever the world standard? Not for the Buddhists, for example, but they also engage in a childish ideology.
Let’s get back to basics. Jesus taught and practiced a very different way of living than most “Christians.” He taught a Complete Religion, so clear that it can create order and harmony on earth. But how is this possible? This holistic religion of Jesus is based upon three essential inseparable truths: love God, love Neighbor, love Self. Unfortunately these were later replaced with harsh dogmatic Christianity.
I have written extensively about this in my book, The Cosmic Religion: Love God, Love Neighbor, Love Self. I have pointed out that in eight religious traditions these three truths are embedded. Some are difficult to find, but in one religious tradition they are actually labeled 三寶 (the three treasures). Since these three treasures run through each tradition, I have defined them as Religion’s universal golden thread. This should be the starting point of interfaith dialogue.
Maybe I should have titled my first book, The Complete Religion. When each religion’s golden thread is found, it is full of life, growth, and joy by harmonizing the spiritual dimension, the social dimension, and the self dimension. When this is missing, people have no choice but to accept their religious fear dogma and their religious habit of tradition. We all seek for a purpose to our lives and to be happy, so we accept what is available.
Christianity was a golden gospel when Jesus revealed the three truths for his disciples to follow. However a replacement “gospel” was created which resembled very little the three truths of Jesus. His truths were replaced over the centuries with piles of convoluted dogma of harsh condemnation. This same “replacement” flaw occurred in all religions.
It is sad that the Christianity of today is why more people are leaving religion. It has been caused by not presenting the wonderful three truths of Jesus which people are searching for. It seems that Christianity is blind to the fact that these three clear truths must be reestablished. These are the truths that Jesus said will assure eternal life.
Some obstacles to reestablishing original Christianity are the ignorance of clerics and the indoctrination of religious authorities. They find it hard to actual see and understand the clear words of Jesus because of their historical mind-set. To help correct this wide-spread ignorance existing in all religions, I wrote my first book. In my next book, A Search for the Truth in Christianity, I will concentrate on clarifying the truth about the three truths of Jesus.
For example: In the expansiveness of the three interconnecting truths of Jesus, when a person accepts His “Love Neighbor truth”, they faithfully follow what Jesus says. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love, one to another.” Why is this compassion important for a Christian? Many reasons, one of which is Jesus said that for “my disciples” he would “go and prepare a place [heaven] for you, that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Yet some people who claim to be “his disciples” do not manifest love, one to another. They are hostile and resentful about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, or helping the sick. They demand that homeless individuals must fend for themselves, because Nature’s law is survival of the fittest. Yes, this inhuman law is for insects, reptiles and beasts of the jungle. Jesus’ supreme law of love is for humans beings made in the Divine’s image.
How do you prove to Jesus that you really care about others and not just yourself? In a sermon in 1878, C. H. Spurgeon, known as the prince of preachers, said, “If you withhold your hand from that which you are able to do for the good of your fellowman then you have broken the law of love.”
A mystic once said, “When there is so much wealth in the world, poverty is a crime against humanity.”
Finally, in a letter, dated August 6, 1816 Thomas Jefferson wrote to Mrs. Samuel H. Smith “It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.” In other words, one must live like a compassionate, loving Christian- not just pretend.
To summarize: Christianity will again become a gold standard when it is rebuilt on the golden truths of Jesus – love God, love Neighbor, love Self. These golden truths of Jesus are vital to reconstruct original Christianity. It will become once again a holistic religion – synchronizing our human head, human heart, and human hands. It has been a long time but this clear distinction must be made if the religion of Jesus is going to thrive and provide the answers for humanity’s future.
How the three truths of Jesus are relevant in three areas of religious exchanges is the theme in my forthcoming book: A Search for the Truth in Christianity.