Christ’s Numerous Moral Failings

christs-numerous-standardWhen examining the ethics of the biblical God, we must not arbitrarily separate the actions and teachings of Jesus in the gospels from the character of God illustrated throughout the Bible.  A vast percentage of believers and nonbelievers mistakenly think of him only related to his earthly ministry and onward and yet everything that God did in all 66 books of Scripture was in unison with the whole Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit. This includes the creation, management and sustenance of the universe. Christian doctrine has said this since the beginning. For example, see Colossians 1 and the Nicene Creed, two primary sources for the theology of every Christian denomination, including Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox and the thousands of Protestant groups:

Colossians 1:15-17 – “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Nicene Creed – Jesus is described here as “the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]”.

God in Jesus Christ (“on his own” during his human incarnation, at least apparently, or by means of his interdependent harmony with the Father and Holy Spirit), throughout the Old and New Testaments to varying degrees, commanded or supported these terrible things directly or indirectly (mostly directly): eternal hell based on a short earthly life, genocide, misogyny, slavery, polygamy, seasonal and colonial warfare, theocracy, capital punishments for moderate sins (such as a female lying about her virginity — which modern science has shown to be impossible to prove medically, or cursing one’s parents, or working on the Sabbath, or not keeping a known dangerous bull locked up if the bull later kills a person — but if a slave is killed the owner only has to pay a fine, or being the victim of rape if one is an engaged woman and the rape occurs in a city), animal sacrifice, excessive judgment on the vast majority of humans who did not have biblical revelation until the last few hundred years, and many other things.

These are things that Jesus never challenged because, as the New Testament and history of orthodox theology repeatedly states, he was the God of the Old Testament.  Even if a believer takes a more liberal viewpoint and downplays or denies the divinity of Jesus, the same basic argument remains in tact.  This teacher from ancient Galilee supports in full the God and writings of the Old Testament.  He innovates on the earlier scriptures, but doesn’t contradict them.  In fact, he says that he has come to fulfill the law, not abolish it.

See Matthew 5:17-19:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

These kinds of primitive values must be cast aside or humanity will forever be lost in a method of problem-solving that far too readily chooses violence instead of the harder road of intelligent and compassionate understanding and the construction of better, more effective cultural values and social structures.

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For references of these scriptural precedents, see here, here and here.

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3 comments

    • Have you checked out a new book called “The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics” by Hector Avalos?

      http://www.amazon.com/The-Bad-Jesus-Ethics-Testament/dp/1909697796

      Here’s the official description:

      “Did Jesus ever do anything wrong? Judging by the vast majority of books on New Testament ethics, the answer is a resounding No. Writers on New Testament ethics generally view Jesus as the paradigm of human standards and behaviour. But since the his-torical Jesus was a human being, must he not have had flaws, like everyone else? The notion of a flawless human Jesus is a paradoxical oddity in New Testament ethics. According to Avalos, it shows that New Testament ethics is still primarily an apologetic enterprise de-spite its claim to rest on critical and historical scholarship. The Bad Jesus is a powerful and challenging study, presenting de-tailed case studies of fundamental ethical principles enunciated or practised by Jesus but antithetical to what would be widely deemed ‘acceptable’ or ‘good’ today. Such topics include Jesus’ supposedly innovative teachings on love, along with his views on hate, violence, imperialism, animal rights, environmental ethics, Judaism, women, disabled persons and biblical hermeneutics. After closely examining arguments offered by those unwilling to find any fault with the Jesus depicted in the Gospels, Avalos concludes that current treatments of New Testament ethics are permeated by a religiocentric, ethnocentric and imperialistic orientation. But if it is to be a credible historical and critical dis-cipline in modern academia, New Testament ethics needs to discover both a Good and a Bad Jesus.”

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