(Originally posted on Perspectives on Sept. 29, 2006)
Long before Christians started ostracizing family members who fell away from the faith or condemning apostates and others who did not toe the line, Christ taught that his followers should do the same. I am frankly frustrated by people always praising Christ, that he was full of love and the world would be a better place if everyone were like him, blah, blah. Sure he taught some great things and showed some examples of charity, but he by no means was the first or the last to do that. (I of course am assuming that he even existed and that he said and did the things credited to him; contrary to popular belief the Gospels are not first hand accounts and much of his story seems to be borrowed from the stories surrounding the pagan gods before him.)
Anyway, here is a sampling of his teachings that promote hatred and intolerance and leaving one's family if they don't believe the same as you.
Topic: Leave family members who are not of your faith
Matt 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
Matt 10:34-37: 34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Matt 8:21-22: And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
22But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Topic: Curse those that don't believe as you do
Matt 10:14-15 14And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
15Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. (So, if we don't believe you are god, you are going to send destruction upon us; see also Matt 11:20-24).
Matt 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. (Wonderful black and white thinking that makes enemies of anyone who does not become your follower).
Matt 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (What loving language; I am sure that will endear you in people's hearts.)
Matt 13:41-42: 41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (So, if we offend you by not doing what you want us to do, you promise to burn us. Does that remind you of evil King of Babylon?)
Matt 22:12-13: 12And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (So, if I don't have the right clothes on you'll cast me into outer darkness. Your love overwhelms me.)
Matt 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (God, you are so nice, if we don't help every single person in need, you'll burn us.)
Those are just the teachings of Jesus. Now, if we look at what Jesus did as Jehovah of the Old Testament... (the following is reused from another thread) His Love for us explains why he killed every living creature except for a few during the Flood he caused, why he commanded the Israelites to needlessly slaughter helpless animals as sacrifices, why he killed children and infants in Sodom, why he killed the Egyptian first borns, why he orders the death penalty for adultery and treats women as inferior and unclean, why God sent two bears to rip up 42 children for making fun of Elisha's bald head, why he threatens hellfire to anyone who refuses to kiss his ass, etc.
He expects us to give of our love freely to God. Well, I am sorry, but love cannot be freely given in an environment in which we are threatened with hell if we don't love and worship him. I have no fear because the God of Abraham does not exist. I don't doubt that one bit. But, if he did exist I would not want anything to do with him. He just seems like a big bully who is full of himself. The whole idea of sin was invented to keep us in bondage and "gratitude" to a god that does not even exist. Sorry, but I will get my instructions on the virtue of love from someone who doesn't have so much hate for those who don't buy his bull.
Yeah, Love is behind everything God does. So, when Christians ostracize their family members for no longer believing or when they damn apostates to hell, we must remember that they are only following their Master.