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Jesus Christ


This is the final article in our series on doctrinal differences between ourselves and The Family. Other articles in this series are entitled "Simple Salvation", "Eternal Salvation", "Living by Faith", and "The Bible".

We call ourselves Jesus Christians. Our commitment is to Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. The Christ we are talking about is not the effeminate, system-worshipping Christ of the churches. It is the One whose teachings are found in the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It is the one who so angered the religious institution with his fearless stand for the truth that they executed him for it. It is the one who rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and will soon be returning to judge the earth. There is nothing we want to do more than to point people to this very real, very personal, very powerful Saviour.

We have had many church friends who question our association with The Family, on the basis that their teachings are heretical. Perhaps by reading this series of articles, they have realised that in our examination of the differences between The Family and ourselves, we have actually been examining the differences between ourselves and the entire institutional church. Differences between us and The Family mirror the differences between us and traditional Christianity.

There are sincere people in the church; but they are extremely rare. Church leadership is primarily there to promote itself and its empires; and the laity generally has more faith in the leaders than in Jesus. At best the church is a replication of the religious institution at the time of Jesus... the same one that crucified him!

In earlier articles we touched on a number of areas where The Family seems to have deviated from the teachings of Jesus. Most of the deviations are just echoes of what has been taught and practised in the church for many years. We will summarise a few below:

(1) Jesus said, "Unless you forsake everything you own, you cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:33) The church teaches that "disciples" and Christians are two different things (See Acts 11:26 to discover what the Bible says about that.), and that you need only say a prayer asking Jesus into your heart to be a Christian. Jesus never taught this.

(2) Jesus said that anyone who puts his hand to the plough and then looks back is not fit for the kingdom of heaven (Luke 9:62). The churches, in general, say that once you have said the little prayer, you can never be kicked out of the kingdom of heaven, no matter how much you turn back to the sins of your past life.

(3) Jesus said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel." (Mark 16:15) The church says that only certain Christians are called to full-time service; most are called to be financial supporters.

(4) Jesus said not to use titles of respect for religious leaders (Matthew 23:8-10). The church says that it is good to call leaders Father, Mister, Doctor, Rabbi, Reverend, etc.

There are arguments in defence of all the above teachings, and we don't want to be unfair in our criticisms. But if we are to bend over backwards to tolerate teachings which at least appear to contradict the teachings of Jesus, then it seems only fair to ask that others show more tolerance for our desire to take these and other teachings of Jesus more seriously.

A few other teachings of Jesus seem to be contradicted by The Family/church teachings:

(1) Justifications for war seem to contradict Christ's teachings about loving our enemies. Sure, there are Old Testament instructions to kill in the name of Yahweh; and when Jesus returns, he will punish the nations for their rebellion. But justifications for the wars being fought by today's selfish, materialistic nations seem contrary to the teachings of Jesus.

(2) Racist comments about African Americans, Aborigines, Indians and other Asians are cruel and unloving when we consider that these people have largely been plundered by the Western nations. They suffer today because we have taken their best land and used it for luxury crops (tea, coffee, sugar cane, tobacco, rubber trees, wood-pulp etc.) and we have taken their best leaders and experts to work in our schools and factories. Jesus said that the nations will be judged when he returns, and it will be the nations who did not help the needy that will be sent to eternal punishment (Matthew 25:41-46). On this basis, it is the so-called "Christian" nations which will receive the greatest punishment when he returns.

(3) Jesus said to pray and help the poor secretly. Promotional material which gives the impression that more is being done for the poor than is actually being done seems to be a contradiction of this.

At the very least, there needs to be a forum where people can say something in defence of the teachings of Jesus, and be able to discuss how his teachings should affect the lives of all those who profess to be following him. If there appears to be a contradiction between what Jesus says and what Paul or Solomon or Billy Graham or the Pope or Moses David says, then we would feel that it is our duty to point people to Jesus and away from all other fallible subordinates in those areas where they might be seen to contradict Jesus.

(See also So Who ARE They Following?)

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