Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

Christianly

January 19, 2009

Christianly – I just saw this adjective used to advertise a talk by one of the more bigoted, opportunistic Christian celebrities in Australia.

I am stubborn enough to think that being a Christian is about becoming Christ-like, not Christianly; like the man, not the contemporary, idolised social identity of ‘Christian’.

The web site for the bigot’s talk is superbly garish and its language consumeristic. We even get a picture of the bigot taking the posture of a Greek god.

The event offers to its participants “extended time in God’s Word.” What hokey trash. You cannot spend time dwelling in Christ, living the life of Christ, at a fucking convention. I can’t find any mentions of ‘Christianly conventions’ in the records of Jesus’ life – want to know why? Because they aren’t there.

But let us not be fooled. To these Pollyanna Pagans, God’s Word isn’t the unenviable life of Jesus Christ, but an interpretation of a text that supports a sense of privilege and self-righteousness. God’s Word is a consumer product to enhance one’s modern lifestyle, as the language of the web site famously demonstrates.

I will obviously pass on this Christianly lifestyle event. Such inauthentic, pretentious idolatry of the self just doesn’t do it for me.

Nietzsche on free will

January 14, 2009

From Twilight of the idols:

The error of free will. Today we no longer have any tolerance for the idea of “free will”: we see it only too clearly for what it really is — the foulest of all theological fictions, intended to make mankind “responsible” in a religious sense — that is, dependent upon priests. Here I simply analyze the psychological assumptions behind any attempt at “making responsible.”
Whenever responsibility is assigned, it is usually so that judgment and punishment may follow. Becoming has been deprived of its innocence when any acting-the-way-you-did is traced back to will, to motives, to responsible choices: the doctrine of the will has been invented essentially to justify punishment through the pretext of assigning guilt. All primitive psychology, the psychology of will, arises from the fact that its interpreters, the priests at the head of ancient communities, wanted to create for themselves the right to punish — or wanted to create this right for their God. Men were considered “free” only so that they might be considered guilty — could be judged and punished: consequently, every act had to be considered as willed, and the origin of every act had to be considered as lying within the consciousness (and thus the most fundamental psychological deception was made the principle of psychology itself).
Today, we immoralists have embarked on a counter movement and are trying with all our strength to take the concepts of guilt and punishment out of the world — to cleanse psychology, history, nature, and social institutions and sanctions of these ideas. And there is in our eyes no more radical opposition than that of the theologians, who continue to infect the innocence of becoming by means of the concepts of a “moral world-order,” “guilt,” and “punishment.” Christianity is religion for the executioner.

Although Jesus’ death was meant to cleanse the world of guilt and punishment these concepts remain stubbornly persistent, especially amongst Christians. The innocent sheep being completely determined by the direction of the shepherd is not a vision they have of mankind. Instead, we are the ‘evil’ wolves with the ‘free will’ only to ‘sin’. Indeed, someone profits from the Christian’s ideology, but it is not mankind.

Two types of Christians

December 23, 2008

There are two types of Christians:

  • The fraud, who doesn’t believe in the Christian God, but has believed authority figures when they have spoken of this God.
  • The real Christian, who believes in the Christian God on no authority, against rationality, in the face of absurdity, alone, with a leap of faith.

Kierkegaard and perhaps a handful of others can be counted as real Christians. The rest, the bulk of all Christians who have ever lived, are frauds.

Non-Platonic Christianity: is there hope for it yet?

November 2, 2008

I think so. Theologians preaching a less other-worldly Christianity are becoming quite popular these days.

e.g. P.A.N.T Wright: Christians Wrong About Heaven, Says Bishop

This was also encouraging to see: Weekly Digest — The God of the living

and Heaven; who needs it?

Nietzsche and Marx would be a little less disturbed considering these developments.

P.A: Pretentiously abbreviated

Who is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world?

October 4, 2008

Is it the Jesus of popular Christianity? No, apparently not, because most Christians still live with sin and guilt as though it were still in the world. They live as though sins were not forgiven, as though Jesus’ death on the cross really did jack.

The lamb of God is… drumroll please.. da dadada… Friedrich Nietzsche – who railed against draconian Christian notions of sin and guilt, and directly and indirectly (through Freud, Heidegger, Franz Overbeck and others) influenced many leading theologians of the 20th century (Barth, Bultmann, Moltmann, Tillich to name a few). These theologians rejected oppressive notions of God as a vindictive tyrant and presented him as essentially loving and accepting. They did not ignore sin and guilt altogether, but their thrust was that God was no longer interested in sin as a metaphysical reality – that when Jesus gave up his spirit, that which was written actually occurred:

the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent

The death of Christ was a once for all, cosmic victory over sin. Sin is dead. Sin remains dead. And Christ killed it.

But Christianity mostly rejected this notion. Through flagellation, confession and hellfire preaching, Christendom has done its best to keep the beast alive and keep people in chains with guilt. Christians honestly believe sin is still in the world and that they must think about it and go through the motions weekly at church in order to satisfy a wrathful God. We ought to pity these knights of infinite resignation.

For Christians, Christ’s death was not sufficient for the forgiveness of sins. Thus another sacrifice was needed in order to rid  the world of the notion of sin.  That came in the form of The Antichrist. Nietzsche had a significant influence on theologians of the 20th century in rejecting the traditional Christian God as a spiteful, vengeful despot. They took their cue from Nietzsche in proclaiming a Gospel of human liberation, an eternal* Yes! to life – as it was always meant to be.

*eternal in terms of magnitude, not time

Further reading: Nietzsche on the Origin of Sin

Christianity as holier-than-thou social club

September 29, 2008

One of the primary motivations for people joining and staying in groups is status.

Is Christianity a social club for the mutual self-righteousness and self-aggrandisement of its members? Certainly for the more pious sects of Christianity, such as the Calvinists, this would seem to be the case. But what about Christianity at large?

Consider a typical Christian church service – in roughly the usual order (some variations from sect to sect):

  • introductory sentimental platitudes
  • endorphin-rush singing
  • navel-gazing confession
  • endorphin-rush singing
  • Mithras segment
  • Preacherman show – topic: why you’re so lucky not to be one of those scum not here today
  • cute kids segment (occasionally)
  • endorphin-rush singing
  • self-righteous, feel-good offering
  • more sentimental platitudes, happy-go-lucky benediction
  • tea and scones

Then everyone goes home buzzing with goo-goo feelings, happy to have caught up with friends, and mightily pleased with the play which had them at the centre as stars. They can’t wait for next week.

It is all very clubbish and pretentious. Not much of the life of Jesus to be found.

Jesus and Buddhism: A Christian View

September 13, 2008

Jesus and Buddhism: A Christian View by Marcus Borg.

Of obvious interest to a blog such as this. I will discuss similarities and differences between Christianity and Buddhism in later posts. For now, I will say that both religions present a ‘way’ of coming to being of truth and ultimate reality, variously called ‘salvation’ or ‘enlightenment’.

Christian ethics redux

September 13, 2008

An interesting piece by Brother William SSF: Heavenly Judgement

Certainly not the method of ethical decision-making you hear from many/most Christians.