By the time you get around to reading this I suspect you already know that I’m a Presbyterian Pastor serving in Reedsport, OR.  Therefore, it shouldn’t be any surprise to know that I am an ardent follower of Jesus—whole heartedly and without reservation.

Though Jesus is my hero, don’t think that I’m an ad hoc believer in Christianity as it has evolved, for I am not. First off, I do not believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. This does not take away from the supremacy of Jesus, or from who He was.  I fully believe He is the Son of the Creator who was made manifest on earth, as a human, to teach us how to live, not only on this earth, but in the hereafter.  If we had followed these teachings, we would not have any of the problems that plague this planet today, including global warming.

But we did not.

What we did was create a religion of rules and regulations rather than an assembly of followers of “The Way.” (That's what the original Christians called themselves. Pagans coined the term, "Christians.")

As a result, what has evolved as modern Christianity is a hodgepodge of beliefs and isms having very little or nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus. Jesus' teaching would fit nicely into almost any faith, because they are nothing more than the ideal way to live; a way in which earth would become as the mythical Eden once was.

The entire teachings of Jesus can be summed up briefly—and in His own words:

1.     Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

2.     Love your neighbor as yourself.

He added another just before His crucifixion—two wit…

3.     Love one another as I have loved you.


All His teaching revolve around those three.  If you can learn to live that way, you have mastered life. If the world lived that way, you can only imagine how much better it would be today.

Every denomination has added rules about what to do and what not to do and what is sin and what is not sin, most of which are pure hogwash.  Jesus didn’t teach that you must go to confession.  He taught love and respect of all people, which is why He said, “19. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20. and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28)  


Here are some belief fallacies:


“Original sin.”

There is no such thing.  This is supposedly due to Adam and Eve’s transgression in the Garden of Eden when Eve ate of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, and then persuaded Adam to do the Same. From that time on we're supposedly also guilty. See footnote 1


“Jesus died for our sins.”

 Jesus did not; he died because of our sins. No loving father would demand a sacrifice of their child. What He did was live a full earthly life, from birth to death.


“All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

That is actually contrary to what He said, which was, “Not all who say to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ (that’s calling on his name) will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but those who do the will of the Father in Heaven.”


“Believe in Jesus and be saved.”

This one is a little tricky because word meanings have changed. A believer was one who followed in the footsteps of the teacher. So to believe meant you followed the teachings and that you were a disciple. (For a more in depth understanding read Matthew 25:31-44. (See Footnote 2.)


  “The Bible is the inerrant word of God.”

 Again, hogwash.  Anyone who reads the Bible with a critical eye will find that there are many contradictions, beginning with the first two chapters of the Bible, where there are two different  stories of creation.  God does not contradict Himself. 

That’s probably enough, but there are many more—such as needing to go to confession and have a priest forgive you.  Nuts! A priest is no closer to God than you are.  If you truly repent in your heart, you are forgiven. You walk with God is close and personal; it is yours alone.


Footnote 1

Even Long before Jesus, Jeremiah the prophet spoke these words: 29. In those days they shall no longer say: "The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge." 30. But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge. (Back)


Footnote 2

31. "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33. and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, "Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35. for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36. I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.'  37. Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38. And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39. And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' 40. And the king will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'

41. Then he will say to those at his left hand, "You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42. for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43. I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 44. Then they also will answer, "Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?' 45. Then he will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' 46. And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Back)