Follow Jesus, not the Church: A message to Interfaith Couple

Jesus not churchJesus(1) was a progressive thinker and believed in adapting to time. Several points are raised to support this assertion.

The Second Commandment(2) describes the jealous and angry(3) God’s stern message against praying to “other” gods and warning to punish your innocent grandchildren to the third and fourth generations if this commandment is not followed. In contrast when asked, Jesus stated the Second Commandment as “love thy neighbor.”(4) How beautiful!

Jesus was inclusivist and accepted Jews and Gentiles alike. Jesus himself never used the words “idol gods” or “other gods.” His teachings were more concerned with being a good person rather than criticizing “other” gods as emphasized in the rest of Bible(5) or church sermons(6). Regarding tolerance of others, many churches teach that Jews, Muslims and the non-baptized Mahatma Gandhi(7) will not be saved. This certainly is not in line with the inclusivist and tolerant message that Jesus gave us.

Jesus was not dogmatic. There was an old tradition of not doing any work on the Sabbath day(8) Jesus clarified however, that it was lawful to do good on the Sabbath(9, 10). Similarly regarding the tradition of washing hands before eating bread, Jesus said(11) it is more important to be a good human being than to strictly follow certain traditions. God asked to make a covenant to circumcise all males(12). Jesus explained that circumcision was of no avail(13). It was said that God loved burned animal offerings and animal sacrifices(14). Jesus clarified “…to love one’s neighbor as oneself is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices(15).” Apparently Jesus was a reformist and more interested in karma, not dogmas.

For enemies, LORD said(16), “Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” Jesus gave exactly opposite message(17), “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

Jesus said, “Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him.”(18) The person of such a tolerant spirit would probably never endorse the Christian crusades where millions of innocent people were killed in His name. How is it logical that killing millions of innocent people is not sin, but a newborn child carries sin so as to require cleansing with baptism?

On the matter of baptism(19), John the Baptist baptized Jesus(20) but Jesus never baptized anyone(21). For an interfaith marriage, the church will insist on baptism of the intended spouse. It is interesting that a Catholic church will insist on re-baptism of already baptized Mormons or Protestant Christians (and vice a versa). Apparently baptism is not as much about Jesus but for the church.

Are the leaders of today’s churches progressive thinkers and believers of adapting to the times, as Jesus was in his time?

If a couple were looking for an interfaith marriage with equality, it would be easier to follow Jesus but not the church. If you love Jesus, have a Christmas tree in your home and follow His messages. In line with Jesus’ inclusive teachings, also respect your spouse’s faith and celebrate ALL holidays but do not agree to baptize the children as an obligation to the church. It is just fair to let an interfaith child decide his or her own faith as an adult—that is progressive thinking.

References:
1. Also read http://www.newsweek.com/andrew-sullivan-christianity-crisis-64025
2. God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai (around year 1593 BC). The Second commandment states, “You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God… punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.” (Exodus 20:4-5).
3. God is described as a “Jealous God” 31 times, as an “Angry God” 238 times and “fear” word is used 455 times in the Bible, many of these citations are by God Himself.
4. “And the Second (commandment) is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39). “There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)
5. http://www.interfaithshaadi.org/blog/?p=1066
6. Currently, no major Christian church holds pluralist theology (each person is saved by his or her own religion, independent of Christ) or liberal concept of salvation.
7. http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=5129
8. And LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.” (Exodus 31:12-15)
9. Matthew 12:12
10. Jesus said: “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out?” (Matthew 12:11) “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)
11. Not wash their hands when they eat bread is not that important as to transgress commandment of God. Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? (Matthew 15:2-3) For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man. (Matthew 15:19-20)
12. “There is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you and your descendants after you. Every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you,” God commands Abraham (Genesis 17:10-11), the Jewish patriarch. “Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” (Genesis 16:14)
13. For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God. (Romans 2:25-29)
14. Leviticus 6:25; I Kings 8:63; II Chronicles 7:5, II Chronicles 15:11-12, II Chronicles 29:32-33, Psalms 66:15, Ezekiel 43:19-25.
15. Mark 12:33
16. Samuel 15:3
17. Matthew 5:44
18. Matthew 5:39
19. Conversion to cleanse from former practices and later live with Christ forever.
20. Matthew 3:13
21. Father Kenneth Doyle: “The synoptic writers—Matthew, Mark and Luke—offer no clarity on this, because they are silent on the question of Jesus baptizing.” (http://catholicphilly.com/2013/03/think-tank/catholic-spirituality/did-jesus-baptize-anyone-lectors-and-the-shehe-problem/). This book’s author focused on Jesus’ direct messages (in Matthew, Mark and Luke) but acknowledges John’s (3:22) message, “After these things Jesus and His desciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and batized.”

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22 Responses to “Follow Jesus, not the Church: A message to Interfaith Couple”

  1. Ashna says:

    Little knowledge is very dangerous.

    1)Jesus never opposed any commandment but elevated it.He said if one looks at a woman and commit adultery with her in mind has sinned.In old testament one has to keep his actions according to the law
    But…….
    Jesus told us not only to keep our actions pure but our mind as well.

    2)”Idols” is a word referred in Bible is not just a statue of a person or animal but an “idol” refers to anything that one keeps in place of God , be it their wealth, beauty or ego etc.
    And idol worshiping is not just praying to a statue but it refers to the state of heart.Eg.If u love your wealth more than God then Wealth is your idol.

    3)Lastly about the church.There are lot of churches each with different dogma and practices.And baptism is meant for ppl who want to be a part of church.If you don’t like baptism don’t marry with Christianity rituals.Its that simple.

    4)Many ppl think that Jesus is only a grace giving God.He is!!But not for long.When he becomes The Judge(which He certainly will!) then he will not see whether you are a christian or not or How many baptism have you taken.
    Baptism(ritual) is NOT a ticket to heaven
    i repeat
    *****Baptism(ritual) is NOT a ticket to heaven ******
    even though it is necessary for those who want to be a part of church.(Christians can understand this sentence better)
    Jesus made it very clear those of pure and obedient heart will go to heaven.
    Baptize not just your body but your spirit and soul as well.

    • admin says:

      Hi Ashna,

      Agree that little knowledge is dangerous. Can you help us? We are planning to include this article in our planned book; it would be nice to hear from a critic like you before it is too late. Here are our answers:

      1) We love Jesus and his messages, so we agree to you.
      2) We do not know who and where is the God, thus people create Godly things to help focus. For example, Muslims have Kaaba, Jews have stonewall and Hindus use murtis (statues). People are not praying to Kaaba, stonewall or murti but they use it as a medium of reaching to God. Explain us how two pieces of woods (Jesus cross) different that a murti?
      3) On your point, “If you don’t like baptism don’t marry with Christianity rituals,” is it okay to marry a Christian and not to Christian rituals? Actually that is what we are saying—follow Jesus but not the church. Jesus is important not church, agree?
      4) On your point, “Baptism(ritual) is NOT a ticket to heaven,” can we interpret it that baptism is not necessary to go to heaven? Are you saying… even Mahatma Gandhi was not baptized but Jesus will take him to heaven?
      On your point, “obedient heart,” can you clarify “obedient” to whom? Obedient to the Bible, the Koran, church, national laws, humanity, environmental sensitivitiy… which one or all?

      Back to interfaith marriages, if a Hindu in love with a Christian says, after marriage, he/she will have pure “spirit and soul” and “pure and obedient heart,” will have a big Jesus picture in his living room (along with Krishna’s photo), celebrate Christmas, take kids for Easter Egg-hunt and attend church (and mandir) BUT will NOT baptized. Should that be okay?

      • Ashna says:

        Sir/Ma’am admin,
        All the very best for your book!!!

        Now let me answer you:
        1.No body burns incense infornt cross or say prayers in front of cross.Its just for remembrance and not a tool of worship.
        2.ppl are chruch , not a building.You cannot go against chruch if you love Christ.
        3.what i meant is that after being baptize if you think u can do whatever you want and not obeying God then you are in trouble.
        Baptism is necessary but after that your works and deeds must be holy.Just Baptism is not enough one must work their salvation to reach the Kingdom.But overall it is needed.
        4. “”On your point, “obedient heart,” can you clarify “obedient” to whom? “”
        Obedient heart towards ***Lord,country and family***.
        5.How can be not baptized okay in any sense if you are marrying a christian?

        Dear admin Its reaally nice to know you are writing a book.
        But do not add any other meaning to the Word of God/Bible, lest you be judged and found guilty. I am saying this for your well being.
        ————————————————————————————————————————————–

        MESSAGE TO ALL MY CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS:
        It is a grave sin to marry someone of other faith. Because it brings generational curses in the family.Consult your Pastors and Parents and most importantly Lord Jesus before marrying anybody.
        Wait unto Lord.He will answer you miraculously.
        Do not fall into satan’s trap.
        These are the end times ppl.Please Do not let any one take away your crown.

        Regards

        • admin says:

          Dear Ashna,

          We have updated above article with latest that is in our book now. You appears to be well educated. Please review the article again and let us know what is presented is not right.

          We love Jesus! You said, “But do not add any other meaning to the Word of God/Bible, lest you be judged and found guilty,” we are concerned and has no intention of being guilty. Please correct us. If necessary, talk to your priest/pastor, thanks. We are waiting!

  2. mac says:

    Jesus believed in only one Allah ( John 17:3)—like muslims
    Jesus believed he was a messenger of Allah (John 17:3,, 7:28,, 8:42)—–like muslims
    Jesus submitted himself to Allah ( Mark 3:31,, Matt 7:21) like —-muslims
    Jesus circumcised ()Luke 2:21)—-like muslims
    Jesus never ate and despised pork like muslims

    Draw your own conclusion, who are muslims and who are christians, who are closer to jesus, muslims or christians

  3. mac says:

    Jesus believed in only one Allah ( John 17:3)
    Jesus believed he was a messenger of Allah (John 17:3,, 7:28,, 8:42)
    Jesus submitted himself to Allah ( Mark 3:31,, Matt 7:21)
    Jesus circumcised ()Luke 2:21)
    Jesus never ate and despised pork
    Lets analyse Jesus in the light of Bible not Quran

    Jesus taught to washes before prayed (John 13:10)—like muslims
    Jesus prayed with his face on ground ( Matthew 26:39)—like muslims
    Jesus used to greeting “”peace and taught his disciple to greet each other ( Luke 10:5,, John 20:19)–like muslims
    Jesus forbade interest (usury) (Exodus 22:25)—-like muslims
    Jesus fasted for more than a month (Matthew 4:2)— only muslims fast for 1 month, though jesus pbuh fasted more than 1 month
    Jesus preached Jihad ( Luke 22:35-36)– LOL, no need to mention who are jihadist
    Jesus said only the righteous deed the way to paradise ( Matthew 5:17 -20)— muslims beileve in it where as christians beileve if jesus died for your sin and if you accept jesus as a begotten son of god then only you get to paadise
    Jesus believed miracles due to Allah (John 5:30)–muslims beileve too
    Jesus never believed redemption by his blood ( Matt 5:17-20)

    • JESUS AND WINE BY STEVE FINNELL

      What are the facts about Jesus and wine?

      1. Did Jesus drink wine? Yes. Matthew 11:19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say , ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard…(NASB) Historians tell us that the alcohol content of Jewish wine in the first century was mostly 2.5% or less. Jesus was not a drunkard. He was sinless.

      2. Did Jesus turn water into wine for the marriage feast at Cana? Yes. (John 2:1-11) Did Jesus turn the water into red wine? No, He did not. Red wine has an alcohol content of between 10 and 15%.

      3. God forbids men from drinking red wine. Proverbs 23:31-34 Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup; When it goes down smoothly;…(NASB). Jesus did not turn water into wine that God has forbidden men to drink.

      Most wines today have an alcohol content between 8 and 22 %. Most beer today has an alcohol content between 3 and 10%.

      Does any honest Christian believe that Jesus and the apostles would be engaged in social drinking in today’s world? The Jews of the first century mostly drank alcohol wine of 2.5% or less.

      Tailgating for Jesus and the apostles, I doubt that would happen.

      YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

  4. mac says:

    follow Jesus(pbuh), Follow VEDAS and GITA not MANDIR,RSS,VHP, follow KUR`AN and Hadith don`t follow what every religious leaders say coz it might be his thinking and islam is not a preist(pujari) centered religion.

  5. mac says:

    we believe in God and in what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma’il: Isaac, Jacob and The Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another, among them, and to God do we bow our will (in Islam).”
    (Qur’an, Al-Imran 3:84)

  6. mac says:

    admin said follow jesus not church, so if any one follow Jesus(isa alaihis salam peace be upom him , which is actually his true name)

    then he/she will be a muslim, so how can a christians follow jesus not church.

    • admin says:

      We don’t know what are you talking about for “if any one follow Jesus….. then he/she will be a muslim”. You are making many senseless statements and that is turning us off continuing discussion with you. Grow up man!

      • mac says:

        so this is how one can be actually muslim if he/she follows Jesus(Peace be upon him)

        1. Jesus(pbuh) said to have circumsization coz he was circumsized and all prohpets was also circumsized starting from ADAM(pbuh) to MOHAMMAD(pbuh), most of the muslims are circumsized but most of the christians aren`t. So in that case we are following our beloved isa(pbuh).

        2. Jesus(pbuh) said you shouldn`t have POKE, most of christians have poke but most have muslims donot have poke. So in that way we are following teachings of jesus(pbuh)

        3. Jesus(pbuh) said not have alchohol, most of christians have alchohol but most of muslims donot have alchohol.

        4. Jesus never said he is god bur most of christians beleve him as god but still they donot follow his teachings, we muslims(jews also) do not say jesus is god but we believe he was messenger of god and will come back again in this world to unite muslims and christians to a common religion.

        5. jesus(pbuh) said donot make image of god or any symbols but christians have symbols of cross and they made statues of jesus and even inside churches also, we muslims donot make statue, we muslims don`t have statues of mohammad(pbuh), so in that way also we are following teachings of jesus(pbuh) by not making any idols.

        And finally the most important point is

        In the Gospel of John CH-16 verse no.11-14 ” I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.…” jesus was taking about another prohpet to follow until he comes back and he was saying about mohammad(pbuh), but christians do not follow the teachings of mohammad(pbuh) but we muslims do so in that way also we are following jesus(pbuh) and that mohammad(pbuh) is now found in old hebrew(original language of bible). when ever we say jesus we attribute peace be upon him but most of the christians do not do.

        So if christians follow strictly the teachings of jesus(pbuh) then they must have to follow the teachings of mohammad(pbuh) and they have to be strictly monothestic. And this is the reason why most convert to islam are christians(more than 90%), every year 5200 white british converts to islam, 4000 france, and whats more 2 Sydney women in australia convert to islam in every week,20,000 americans convert to islam every year despite having strong islamophobia in those countries.

  7. mac says:

    We know that even the biggest enemy of Islam, Abu Lahab, spread such lies about the Prophet peace be upon him which lead to an old woman becoming so afraid that she decided to leave Makah. However when she was leaving Makah a young man offered to carry her belongings and he listened to story about why she was running away from Makah. Who was this young man. He was the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and when he told her who he was. She realized he was a good man and the people were lying against him. She realized he was the Prophet of God and thus converted to Islam.

    So for sure people will spread lies about Muslims and Islam and others will believe them. Yet just like the old woman there will be people who will convert to Islam when they realize what Islam says.

  8. mac says:

    allah said kill those who compare me with created things. if u r a hindu then u worship creations but we muslims,jews worship creator not creations

    • admin says:

      When did you started associating with Jews? Jews should be your enemies because Allah told….”Believers, take neither Jews nor the Christians for your friends.” (5:51). How can this be Allah’s message?

      • mac says:

        my dear foolish admin, i said jews donot associate god with others they are also monothestic, and about friends of jews and christians i have given answer in another topic, plz apply some sense!!!

  9. mac says:

    my dear foolish admin,
    ur cmnt”How about Follow Allah, not Muhammad?”
    allah in kur`an said follow mohammad not satans, mohammad said us to be tolerant of each others religion but allah didn`t saaid that, admin plz study islam b4 cmnting anything about it, plz plz plz

  10. Pakhi Begum says:

    Admin,
    ALLAH HAS SAID TO FOLLOW MUHAMMED (S.W.A). No use to follow ALLAH unless a person obeys and follows HAZRAT MUHAMMED MUSTASFA (S.W.A.)
    Pakhi Begum

  11. mac says:

    yes cent percent true

  12. admin says:

    Above we said we love Jesus’ messages. However, there are many statements by Jesus that an interfaith couple should evaluate carefully:

    But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. (Matthew 5:32)
    Who ever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:33)
    Do not think that I came to bring peach on earth. I did not come to bring peace. but sword (Matthew 10:34)
    He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. (Matthew 10:37)
    He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. (Matthew 12:30)
    Assuredly I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)
    He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:16)
    Do not suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. (Luke 12:51)
    But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me. (Luke 19:27)
    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

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