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Jesusism

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Jesusism is an evolving new religion based on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Now, you might be saying, "whoa, isn't there already a big old religion like that, called Christianity?" People who claim a need for Jesusism say no! -- that Christianity is not about what Jesus taught, but about worship of Jesus despite whatever Jesus taught. This is not to say that Christians do not observe the teachings of Jesus, but that Jesusists believe that Christianity is so focused on things external to those teachings -- such as the biography of Jesus, and Bible musings by persons other than Jesus, followers of Jesus perhaps but clearly lacking in the generosity of character expressed by Jesus himself.

Jesusism is itself not a form of Christianity. A common thread among Christian sects is that to be a Christian you have to believe that God exists, and that Jesus is the son of God, and that the crucifixion was an act of self sacrifice through which Jesus assumed the sins of mankind in order to give man the chance to get atonement largely by believing the part about Jesus being the son of God. Thus, Jesusism rejects a central tenet of Christianity, saying that it is not necessary to believe anything in particular about Jesus so long as people live right by others, in the manner of which Jesus spoke. While Jesusists are not atheists or agnostics in particular, they say that it just doesn't matter whether that is the case. Whether God exists or not, whether Jesus was truly holy or not, his teaching about how we ought to live our lives and treat one another mark a worthwhile path to follow. And, in any event, if the sacrifice of Jesus is the truth, any God who would make such a sacrifice is good enough to reward good people, ie people who live the kind of life Jesus spoke of.

And what kind of life is that? What are the rules of Jesusism?

1. Love your neighbor. Even love your enemies. Love everyone. Look out for each other. Take care of each other.

2. Don't judge. Judging isn't loving, now, is it? Jesus led by example on this one, when his adversaries brought an adultress before him, clamoring for her to be stoned. What did Jesus say? Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. Here's the rub: wanting to cast that stone, thinking you have the right to deem someone else worth having the stone cast at them, that's the biggest sin there is.

3. Don't get caught up in material possessions. Render unto Caesar -- what did that mean? That money isn't our property in the first place. The government makes it, and so it is the government that owns it.

And that, as a top Rabbi once said, is the whole of the law.

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