Gordon Robinson | Best gifts come unwrapped
Christ's birth signalled a new era in world philosophy.
Was Christ's purpose in the world to 'save' us from sin? Nope. His purpose was to 'save sinners' (1 Timothy 1:15; Mark 2:17; Luke 19:10) and to teach us the TRUE purpose of life (Matthew 20:28; John 18:37; John 12:46).
Now, you can't save sinners if there are none. So you can easily see that sinners (and sin) are very much parts of God's divine plan for Earth. If nothing else, sinners' existence ensures the truly righteous (those who live Christ's word rather than preach it to others) are recognisable as such.
Did Jesus save sinners by dying on the cross, thus taking our punishment for us (a widely promulgated Church dogma)? Wrong again! Wouldn't it be nice if Christ (whose Father expressly refused to assist those who didn't help themselves) would (or could) make it so easy on us wretched sinners to be saved? That would be unfair and discriminatory, two unlikely traits in a perfect Supreme Being. If this daft dogma were true, why'd Christ waste time wandering around for three years teaching The Word? Why not go straight to crucifixion?
Here's a more realistic inference to be drawn from the New Testament. The crucifixion was deliberately provoked by Christ to be as bloody and horrendous as possible so that His death would draw attention to His life. Remember:
1. Including His brief appearances after Resurrection, Christ didn't comment on his death. He gave no hint at Gethsemane (where He unsuccessfully tried to convince God to abort His divine plan) what He was thinking. So this nonsense that Christ died to save us is concocted by the Church postmortem. The truth? Christ LIVED to save us;
2. In His time, there was no mass (or Mass) communication. The articulate minority was as yet unborn. His loud death was His social media. THAT was how He marketed The Word. Only in that limited context did His death save us.
The living Christ showed us the way to true righteousness and eternal life (John 11:25-26). Jesus taught love for ALL. "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22: 36-40). Seminal Jamaican songwriter Glenroy Michael Anthony Archangelo Smith ('Ernie') put it his way:
Jesus come today, for a poor, poor man like me.
Salvation come my way, my soul set free.
Jesus come for all, and we must hear His call
Open up your heart today, and let it be
Jesus confirms God's promise to man is: If man can perform these two 'Commandments', man won't sin. All we have to do is love our neighbour as ourselves. Nothing more. Do that and, for example, "Thou shalt not kill."
No matter if yu thief, or if yu dread
or if yu have a crown 'pon yu head
No matter if you have no heart at all
Jesus bring love for one and all
Jesus' sole charge to the world was to love. Church, however, created (years after Jesus' death), structured and operated by man, teaches us to fear. Fear is used to control our minds and prise open our wallets. Jesus has shown us that love is the way to avoid sin, but the Church wants us to believe that fear of sin's repercussions will produce the same result.
I for Jesus; you for Jesus;
All for Jesus; fall for Jesus;
Come to Jesus; Jesus come for one;
He come for all"
The Church's latest foray into fearmongering is a 30-minute documentary titled 'Cultural Imperialism: The Sexual Rights Agenda', produced by an organisation calling itself Family Watch International. It begins by showing a stereotypical shot of a rural African village, while the narrator immediately introduces fear: "The AIDS pandemic is one of the most serious crises the world has ever faced ... ."
The truth? Medical research is slowly winning the fight against AIDS which, instead of a death sentence, is now just a chronic disease. But this documentary is arbitrarily rooted in Africa, where cultural beliefs and resource limitations have caused the fight against AIDS to progress slowly.
"Narrator: Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than 60 million people have contracted HIV and nearly 30 million have died of HIV-related causes."
More than 60 million contracted HIV. NEARLY 30 million died. Doesn't that mean that OVER 30 million (more than 50 per cent) are still alive? Jeez!
You see, religious fearmongers can mount convincing arguments this disease is caused by homosexuality. Church members lap that crap up. If you can blame a disease on homosexuals AND show a geographical area ravaged by the disease, you've a perfect recipe to cook up Church's favourite stew: FEAR.
So the documentary tells sad stories of African AIDS orphans and documents every single African adversity linked to the disease. Then, the bombshell:
The narrator, in shock and horror, quotes the following:
1. Norman G Hearst MD, expert in AIDS prevention, research and Public Health: "Many of the people who got involved in AIDS prevention initially ... were gay man themselves or were working in that community. And it almost sorta grew out of the gay-rights movement."
2. Edward Green PhD, former director, AIDS prevention research project, Harvard: "Most Africans have conservative attitudes towards sex. My own personal attitude (sic) happens to be more of the liberal one. Most of the people who work in AIDS prevention adhere to a liberal attitude toward sexual behaviour."
3. Kevin Moody, PhD, gay-rights activist: "When we're talking about vulnerable populations, we're talking about, among others, gay men, injecting drug users and MSM."
THE narrator then makes a shocking revelation: "Dr Jonathan Mann, an American physician, is widely credited with organising UN's worldwide fight against AIDS. He placed the struggle to end discrimination against MSMs into the very foundation of global AIDS policies at the UN." Then, voice choking with emotion, she follows up by quoting Peter Piot (no relation to Pontius), former executive director, UNAIDS: "The historic significance of Jonathan is emphasis that we have to embed the response to it in a human-rights approach and not a classic quarantine approach ... ."
Finally, the narrator exposes her most famous co-conspirator, President Barack Obama: "President Obama issued a directive to all government agencies that engage in international activities to make advancing LGBT rights a top priority."
OMG! What's going on? We mustn't discriminate against gays? 'Gay rights' are touted as the way to reduce or eliminate AIDS? Gays must be treated EQUALLY? Harrumph! Not if Saint Shirley has anything to do with it.
Putting on her best self-righteous face, Saint Shirley played a leading role: "Recently, there was an announcement by David Cameron and President Obama that they're willing to cut off aid to countries who (sic) don't recognise LGBT rights. We object to that as just being manipulation. Downright manipulation! To get us to accept something, a lifestyle, that's proven to be scientifically unhealthy; a lifestyle that's contrary to the religion and cultures of most of our people. We take great objection to this type of manipulation ... ."
You go, Shirl! HOW DARE THEY decide where to hand out their own charity? They must be mad to believe they can force us to implement what they see as 'right' and we KNOW is 'wrong'. That'd be like imposing an embargo on Cuba because Cuba wouldn't turn capitalist. Or (gasp) imposing sanctions on South Africa because it discriminated against blacks. What a catastrophic manipulation that would've been!
The Jamaican church MUST be allowed to discriminate against who it wants and accept human rights (like to be married or even just to fall in love) for some humans but not others; without big countries interfering by withdrawing charity. WICKED!
It's sad that religious institutions man built in Jesus' name are so afraid of sex they try to restrict that most natural and Godlike act between a man and a woman after a church wedding; and instill the Church's fear of sex into its members to the extent that the act itself appears unclean. I have a dream that, one day, Christians will open their hearts to all, including gamblers, drunkards, adulterers, fornicators, LGBT and politicians and love each of them as much as they seem to love paedophiles. I have a dream that, one day, a heterosexual man and a gay man will walk together into Church without adverse comment or thought regarding how either expresses love. One day.
In the meantime, try to have a peaceful, loving and hate-free Christmas
Peace and Love.
- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.