After reading about a Christian minister who intended to burn the Quran in response to a controversy surrounding the building of a mosque a couple of blocks away from Ground Zero, I could not help but wonder: Which Jesus do most Christians believe in?
Every Christian believes in Jesus as the Messiah. Yet, according to mainstream Christianity, not everybody who believes in Jesus as the Messiah is a Christian. Why the distinction? Which Jesus does mainstream Christianity believe in?
According to the canonical Gospels, there was only one person who came with the mission to save the world, defeat the devil, and build God’s Kingdom. That person was none other than Jesus of Nazareth who was born in Bethlehem. This one Jesus was the Messiah. This is the Jesus who proclaimed the Kingdom. He taught people to forgive one another, love their enemies (if they had any), love their neighbors as they love themselves, give to the poor, forgive those who have offended them, etc.
Given that the above paragraph itemizes, somewhat, the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, how can one explain the fact that most mainstream Christians create enemies? They sometimes even have trouble loving their neighbors!
Seeing the reality of the world with all the wars, divisions, and conflicts of all sorts, it leads me to wonder: Which Jesus do most Christians believe in? Do they believe in the Jesus who walked the streets of Israel almost two thousand years ago? Do they believe in the Jesus who taught people to love, give, and forgive?
It is without a doubt that practicing the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, should not lead one to hate, or to say the least dislike, a fellow human being simply because that person believes differently.
According to mainstream Christianity, is a Christian one who believes, among other things, that: (1) Jesus came as the Messiah to die for our sins, (2) he resurrected physically, (3) he fulfilled his mission including all of the Old Testament prophecies, (4) he was God the Creator, and (5) God is three distinct persons existing as one. Mainstream Christianity qualifies anyone who does not believe in any one of these statements as non-Christian. For instance, as far as mainstream Christianity is concerned, anybody or denomination that believes that Jesus resurrected spiritually rather than physically is no Christian.
It hence goes without saying that the Jesus that the mainstream Christianity believes in is not the Jesus of compassion, love, and forgiveness. It is rather a Jesus of hate, division, and conflict. Now, was Jesus of Nazareth a proponent of hate, division, and conflict? Which Jesus do most Christians believe in?
When considering the world as it is today, almost two thousand years after the earthly of Jesus Christ, and being that it is a world mostly dominated and led by Christianity, it is more than rational to wonder: What happened to the teachings of Jesus Christ? How can a religion that believes in the Messiah promote and spread division, violence, and hate around the world for centuries? Who is leading Christianity—Jesus or the devil?
In the hope of keeping the dignity of Jesus intact, it probably would be wise to conclude that there are two Jesus—the real Jesus and the conventional Jesus. The real Jesus is the Jesus who came to fulfill the mission of the Messiah two thousand years ago. The conventional Jesus, however, is the Jesus introduced to us by some people and their institutions. It seems as if mainstream Christians have established a relationship with the conventional Jesus rather than the real Jesus. The real Jesus leads his believers to love one another, forgive their enemies (if any), love their neighbors, etc. The conventional Jesus, on the other hand, leads his believers to be violent, create division based on gender, religious affiliation, race, nationality, ethnicity, etc.
When people embody all these things—hate, violence, division, and the like—it benefits neither God Almighty nor Jesus Christ. It rather benefits Satan. It is without a doubt that God and Jesus would rather see a peaceful world rather than a divided world in which brothers and sisters become enemy rather than siblings.
Which Jesus do most Christians believe in? Which Jesus do you believe in?