Thoughts on Jesus

The name “Jesus” makes me cringe. There’s a long history behind that, but it started with the church of my youth, the Worldwide Church of God.

“Jesus” was Protestant, fluffy, feel-good nonsense. It was always to be pronounced with the “e” stretched out almost a half second and was the name of a long-haired weakling. The WCG put its emphasis on the Old Testament God, who would soon return and set up a totalitarian regime known as the Kingdom of God. If Jesus was mentioned, his title had to be affixed: it was Jesus Christ to us, never just plain, Protestant Jesus.

As an atheist, “Jesus” was a crutch. A sign of weakness. An indication that whoever had the name on his/her lips couldn’t handle the rigors of life.

And so with all that baggage, I have a hard time even with the thought of Jesus playing a role — any role — in my life. “God” is fine; “Christ” doesn’t bother me so much. “Jesus” gets me.

It’s a gut reaction that will continue for some time, I imagine.

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7 thoughts on “Thoughts on Jesus

  1. Jared Olar says:

    It did with me too — that old WCG baggage can linger quite a while. But my learned aversion to the sound of the name “Jesus” eventually disappeared altogether. Granted, I still think that, as sounds go, “Yeshua” and “Iesu” are mellifluous and “Jesus” is a little grating on the ear, but that additional emotional, spiritual resistance is gone now.

  2. The Itch says:

    We certainly aren’t the only ones to experience this. It amazes me, though, how those encrusted associations linger over the fifteen years since I last attended the WCG.

  3. tastybrain says:

    Poetry is inevitably incorporated into a religion if it takes at all. The beauty of poetry can be appreciated whether deluded or enlightened. As an ex-believer it is difficult to let go of the training wheels of faith and ride down the streets of reason. Why put the training wheels back on after you’ve already learned how to ride like a grown up?

    Admit it. Faith has no valid epistemological relevance to understanding anything. How does it improve our understanding of something to just actively believe it is valid? Faith is the placebo we feed ourselves when we feel scared or insecure.

    Do you still believe in belief? If so, why? I’d be interested to hear.

  4. The Itch says:

    “Faith has no valid epistemological relevance to understanding anything.”

    It’s all science, right? Only scientific knowledge is valid knowledge. The problem is, there’s no way to prove that proposition scientifically, is there?

    Regarding my belief or lack thereof, I don’t know what I believe, but it’s fairly safe to say that I’m no longer an atheist.

  5. Jared Olar says:

    As an ex-believer it is difficult to let go of the training wheels of faith and ride down the streets of reason. Why put the training wheels back on after you’ve already learned how to ride like a grown up?

    Unspoken and unproven assumption: that faith and reason are in conflict or mutually exclusive — that you can’t have both at the same time.

    In fact it’s impossible for any human mind not to have both at the same time. Faith builds on reason, and reason assists and strengthens faith.

    Faith has no valid epistemological relevance to understanding anything.

    On the contrary, we could understand preciously little without faith.

    How does it improve our understanding of something to just actively believe it is valid? Faith is the placebo we feed ourselves when we feel scared or insecure.

    A caricature and straw man.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_15101998_fides-et-ratio_en.html

  6. […] always had certain associations with the name “Jesus.” “The name “Jesus” makes me cringe,” I began, explaining my […]

  7. […] always had certain associations with the name “Jesus.” “The name “Jesus” makes me cringe,” I began, explaining my […]

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