On the anti-theology of Jesus

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From what I’m learning, Jesus never really entered into any kind of philosophical/doctrinal western-style conversations or debates. He taught spiritual/metaphysical lessons and asked far more questions than he gave answers.

The doctrines, theologies, rules, and dogmas that make some of us cringe started flowing in after he dropped the mic and made his grand exit.

There’s nothing wrong with theology in and of itself, but to say that theology is Christianity would be false. Theology is the naval-gazing we do about Christianity. Theology came well after Jesus from men (yes, dudes) who couldn’t find the black-and-white answers they wanted in the Bible, and so they filled in the blanks themselves.

Jesus taught from the heart-level. His sayings make very little sense to the head. But scholars, lawyers, and politicians work from the neck-up.

I’m guilty of it, to a degree, by writing about it. I try my best to avoid deep theological debates and discussions because I know how distracting they are, but I definitely try to mold spirituality into daily models that makes sense to both myself and you, the reader. It’s just what we do as humans who are used to conceptualizing things with our brains.

Approach spirituality with your heart, soul, body, as well as conceptually with your mind.

You and I both know that life is deeper than what makes sense to the head.

When we start talking about the things that matter

The meaning of life and death…
Why we make mistakes…
Why we submit to temptation… 
Why it’s so funny when someone farts in public…
Why poverty happens…
How we grow old… 
How we can grow young… 
Why some have so much and others very little… 
Why we can have so much but feel like we have so little… 
The meaning of love… 
Why we treat perfect strangers better than our family…
Why we put ourselves through the torment of becoming parents… 
Why we love our kids so much…
Why we pretend to like other people’s kids… 
The nature of forgiveness…

— and the multitudes of other things that warrant a much more robust discussion than a secular explanation, we start talking in metaphor, parable, poem, and inquiry.

Like Jesus did.

However, as Emmet Fox explains in Sermon on the Mount, here’s what theology did to his message…

Glimpsing one tiny corner of the universe, and that with only half-opened eyes, and working from an exclusively anthropocentric and geocentric point of view, men built up absurd and very horrible fables about a limited and man-like God who conducted his universe very much as a rather ignorant and barbarous prince might conduct the affiars of a small kingdom. All sorts of human weaknesses, such as vanity, fickleness, and spite, were attributed to this being. Then a farfetched and very inconsistent legend was built up concerning original sin, vicarious blood atonement, infinite punishment for finite transgressions; and, in certain cases, an unutterably horrible doctrine of predestination to eternal torment, or eternal bliss, was added.

He goes on to say…

The “Plan of Salvation” which figured so prominently in the evangelical sermons of a past generation is as completely unknown to the Bible as it is to the Koran... What has happened is that certain obscure texts from Genesis, a few phrases taken here and there from Paul’s letters, and one or two isolated verses from other parts of the scriptures have been taken out and pieced together to produce the kind of teaching which it seemed to them ought to have been found in the Bible.

This is theology. This is what happens when the ego grabs control of spirituality.

When we consume ourselves in theology, we become obsessed with persuading others to see things the way we see it rather than living better lives ourselves.

If you happen to fall victim to such energy, this is my long-winded way of suggesting you step away from it.

There’s nothing to prove. 
There’s nothing to solve.

If someone says something that doesn’t mesh well with your version of the world… smile and live better.

If someone corners you with a deeply-researched chain of logic that attacks your very way of being in the world… smile and live better.

If someone attacks you for not going to church or interpreting some sacred text in just the way they do… smile and live better.

Smile and live better, friends. 
Sure beats theology, doesn’t it?


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