Apr 132011
 

Looking at the wide scope of flavours of Christianity that are available in the modern world, I can’t help coming to the conclusion that the original character (Jesus) was a very poor communicator. That isn’t an idea that is welcomed by the legions of faith, but allow me (if you will) to explore the possibilities that were available to the Son of God when spreading his message. Imagine what could have been achieved if I (or you) were in the same position.

Pretty high on my list of things to do would be to learn to read and write. It might seem like a small aspect of the requirements of a prophet, but if you’re the Son of God, it isn’t an unreasonable expectation that your earthly powers include the ability to write your ideas down. You can turn water into wine, raise people from the dead and feed the five thousand… I can do none of those things. But I can read and write.

So. In that position, quill and vellum in hand, I’d have written the following:-

The 1 Commandment
1. Thou shalt do unto others as thou shalt have them do unto you.
Now, of course, the Old Testament had 10 Commandments, but nearly all of them could be encapsulated into this one neat summary of moral behaviour. The one failure of this commandment is the lack of justice. People who don’t follow this one commandment should, really, be dealt with in a suitable manner. But, I’m the Son of God and I can attest that everyone who fails to comply with this simple condition of belonging in a social structure will be dealt with accordingly once they reach the Pearly Gates.
The New Testament
(The Book Of Christ)
1. God, the creator of the universe: of galaxies and stars, of countless things (all of which are bigger and more important than you) does not care what you do with your body. It is a lump of flesh. He cares only for your soul. If you want to put one part of your body into another part of someone else’s body, the only requirement is that they are happy, willing and able for that to happen. He created the universe. Do you seriously think that he cares about you having sex, or whether or not you masturbate? Oh, and an important note (because missing this out will seriously undermine my whole message about how humans should treat other humans) I like gay people. Anyone who dislikes them to the point of hatred and discrimination… they’re an abomination. And that’s the only time that I shall call anything an abomination, so pay attention.
2. Of course, I’m calling God “He”, but that’s just to adapt to your patriarchical belief-patterns. God has no gender. God has no genitals. If he was male, he’d have a penis. Other than having nowhere to put that penis (as God is the only god and has no “female” counterpart) what, exactly, would be the point? God has no gender. Please remember that when you’re engaging with your fellow man (and, more importantly, woman). See above about how to treat your fellow humans. Celibacy is a bad thing, by the way. If you deny your human desires, you will very likely end up applying them to people who don’t need (or want) them being applied to them.
3. An important point follows: I’m not a different aspect of God. I, like you, am the Son of God. I am here to spread God’s message. So don’t invent some silly “Trinity” idea to get around the idea of monotheism. Also, while I love my mother, don’t treat her like a deity. I can do that, as she’s my mother. You, on the other hand, will be completely missing my message if you look towards her for something you call salvation or redemption.
4. She won’t appear in a ghostly form before impressionably imaginative girls, so don’t go building stupid shrines seeking a healing property. Like, I don’t know, somewhere like Lourdes. Pay attention to what your doctor tells you and you will have a much better chance of getting better – if such a thing is possible. Take the money that the trip would have cost you… and give it to someone who needs it more than you do.
5. Don’t pray to God. I mean, seriously… really? You think that God’s infinite plan for the universe should be paused, edited and altered because you, on your hands and knees, ask really really hard for it to happen? Stop being so self-centred and self-important. Accept what life delivers to you and learn how to deal with it.
6. Accept and embrace what you, as an individual, manage to achieve in your life. If you’re an athlete and you win your event, don’t praise God for your success. That would suggest that the other people didn’t pray quite hard enough (see above about prayer) rather than (oh, I don’t know) train as hard as you did. Praising God for everything good that happens and refraining from disdain at God when something bad happens… that really isn’t healthy. Good things happen and bad things happen. Blame chance, cirumstance, geology… or other human beings (who didn’t pay attention to the 1 Commandment). Don’t praise God. God already knows how ultimately impressive he is. He doesn’t share your insecurities and he most certainly does not need to be told how good he is. He’s omniscient, after all.
7. God doesn’t need your money. He doesn’t need your land. Stop building churches and temples and most definitely don’t send money to preachers who tell you that they need it. If it takes you some effort to grasp the 1 Commandment, take a moment from your day to sit and contemplate that idea. Don’t go to a building where someone (who thinks they’re closer to God than you are) tells you how to live your life. I mean, the buildings are pretty, but… they’re a little pointless. Unless they have a spire. And then they do have a point. See? Your prophet has a sense of humour. Humour is good. Seek it, embrace it and share it. Don’t be all miserable about life. Your life is short and, ultimately, you should lead your life so that you are as happy as possible. So long as your happiness doesn’t stop other people from doing the same.
8. Swearing is good. No. Honestly. It really is. If you meet someone who travels through life without ever surrendering to the occasional “fuck!” then you’ve met someone who has their gasket screwed on a little too tightly. Self-expression is a good thing… and swearing can release those pent-up frustrations. It is much better to expel that frustration in words than it is to expel that frustration physically. Or breaking the 1 Commandment. I mean, don’t add the word “fuck” to every sentence, as repetition is tiring and unimaginative. Just, y’know, don’t judge others for the occasional use. I mean, if you stub your toe on a hard surface, then explore your vocabulary. Don’t kick the cat. I like cats.
9. And don’t keep going on about faith as if it were some anti-science panacea. I’ve read the old books about God more than once. His existence was never an issue. He interacted with the other characters on a regular basis. At no point whatsoever were those characters seen as being closer to God, because they actually believed in him. His existence was a given.
10. Faith increases as knowledge increases. Accept that knowledge – and don’t seek to fill it with nonsense. If science explains the world better than it did before, don’t look for the remaining gaps of knowledge in order to emphasise something that you call faith. Here’s a little bit of information that will prove my status as the Son of God. It will mean nothing to you, my fellow Bronze Age contemporaries, but repeat my words unchanged so that in about 2000 years, no doubt will remain. The language of biology is written with an alphabet of only 4 letters. There you go. A long time from now, people will actually acknowledge that I do, indeed, share the omniscience of God.
11. As for leaving my words unchanged, this is an important addition. If someone has a moment of awakening (on, for instance, the road to Damascus) do not (and this is important) believe that his “awakening” is delivered from God. The devil works in mysterious ways and can deliver “awakenings” to all sorts of people who will then claim to have an understanding of me, God and the wider universe as a whole. Ignore any bit of writing by such people. This here is my message, delivered (in writing) by me. Embrace these words, rather than the words of people who never met me, and certainly never knew my mind better than I did.
12. And yes, theologians, I said “I did” and not “I do”. I have no intention of coming back to explain myself all over again. My message is a simple one (see the 1 Commandment) and, if it didn’t sink in the first time, I see no reason for returning to spell it out again. Don’t look for a return. Don’t seek the “end times” (and completely ignore anything written that has the title of “Revelations” as that guy chewed on some seriously mouldy bread) and find a way to accelerate such a thing. You have one life. It is short. Use it wisely.
13. That, my friends, is the end of the New Testament. I know that it is very short, but the message really is a short one. You can keep it in your pocket at all times and never lose sight of the simplest of messages that it contains. Oh, and whatever you do, make sure that you don’t add it to the end of the Old Testament in one big volume. That was the old message, this is the new. It applied to the settling nation of my forefathers and shouldn’t be applied to you, in your life. Oh, and it contains a lot of stories as metaphors, not to be taken literally. As I write this, the universe is roughly 13.75 billion years old. Oh, and life evolved.

That’s what I’d have written. Or as good as.

If I, a non-prophet, am a better communicator than Jesus then ask yourself, seriously, was he actually who his followers claimed him to be? Or was he one of many desert-dwellers who some people took a little more seriously than was necessary? His knowledge (if he ever existed, and there are genuine doubts) was no more detailed than that of every other Bronze Age inhabitant.