They teach that we should all "bathe in the blood of Jesus" as we are granted "salvation" - being saved - simply by accepting that Jesus "died for my sins."
Sorry but Jesus did not die for our sins.
He never died at all
Yes, Jesus' physical body was gruesomely tortured. And yes, his body suffered greatly at the hands of the Jewish rabbis and Romans.
And yes, Jesus' physical body - though spiritualized from his relationship with God and thus not to be compared with our physical bodies - was murdered. But Jesus continued to live. Jesus never died. Only Jesus' physical body died.
It was murdered. This was a crime against God and a crime against the very relationship between Jesus and the Supreme Being. Jesus used this physical body in order to serve the Supreme Being. It was part of his relationship with God, and thus its harm by those responsible is a grave offense against both God and every person truly devoted to the Supreme Being.
So in what sense should this demoniac offense against God and God's representative, and the murder of his body be proclaimed as a vehicle for our self-centered blessed salvation?
Are we to rejoice as many ecclesiastical sectarians rejoice over the torture and murder of Jesus' physical body, in order to be freed from the responsibility of our self-centered activities?
Are we to wipe our sins upon Jesus' body and take advantage of his being tortured for hours and put to death on a cross as if he is some kind of doormat?
Is this what loving Jesus means?
Is this service to Jesus? Or service to God? Is this love at all?
No - it is simply a grotesque form of usury - that we should somehow be the happy benefactors of someone else's suffering - as if Jesus suffered so we don't have to suffer the consequences of our sinfulness any longer.
Furthermore, many of these same institutions who teach this also go to the extreme by proclaiming that Jesus was God - as if God died on the cross? As if God died?
As if God had to descend to the earth in order to sacrifice Himself so that we don't have to suffer the responsibilities of our self-centered activities?
This is a ridiculous, nonsensical teaching - one that has no basis outside of the teachings of those of ecclesiastical sectarian institutions driven by the goal of enticing followers so they could exert their quest for power and authority. Anyone can see that we each suffer the consequences of our self-centered activities.
A fanatical teaching
This nonsensical teaching began with the Roman government over 1500 years ago, as the Roman emperor Constantine sought to control the people of the Roman empire by creating an institution that gave the Roman government the authority over the religious lives of those within the empire.
So they commandeered and selected ecclesiastical religious leaders from around the empire and forced them to form an assembly (Synod of Nicene), and forced upon them a doctrine (Nicene Creed) that defined Jesus as God and died for our sins. Then they created a powerful hierarchy within this institution - now called the Roman Catholic Church. Then they forced people to follow that institution and its doctrine or face death - sometimes by burning at the stake.
Over the centuries, this same institution has maimed, tortured and imprisoned many, and wiped out entire cultures in the name of their so-called mission to save people in the name of Jesus' crucifixion.
So let's get this right. The Roman government, after instigation by the Jewish chief priest, tortured and murdered the person who came to teach us to love God and love others.
Then that same Roman government formed an institution based upon that torture and murder - claiming it now saves us from our sins - and tortures and murders millions of people over the centuries in order to enforce that doctrine onto people.
Of course this isn't the only fanatical religious institution that has murdered and tortured people. There are certainly others.
But isn't it ironic that the very empire that murdered Jesus' body then establishes a religious philosophy that turns around that very same murder into our saving grace?
Of course it is ironic, because both activities had the same purpose - power. Authority.
First the Roman government - by virtue of Pilate - condemned Jesus to death because his mission as governor of Jerusalem was to control the people. Pilate was afraid of losing his authority and power.
And the Jewish high priest - who wanted to maintain power and authority over others in the form of maintaining his title as chief priest (a title that Jesus' teachings threatened) - pushed Pilate's buttons, making him fear that the Jews would get "out of control." So he sentenced Jesus to be tortured and his body murdered.
Then for the next two centuries, the Romans slaughtered hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of Jews and Christians after Jesus left the planet prior to their organizing the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman government even hired spies to watch early Christians - and look for excuses to kill them.
Then the Roman government a few centuries later - decides that because the people have been following Jesus' teachings and the religion is growing - that they better get in on this before they lose power. They will better be able to control the people by creating a government-run church - the Roman Catholic Church. And to enforce this new control - they created laws forbidding other teachings - and enforced this for many centuries with violence and torture to anyone who did not follow their doctrine.
So now we want to believe that this same murderous Roman empire took over Christianity for some lofty reason? As though Constantine - one of the most murderous Roman emperors - suddenly had a change of heart and decided he wanted to follow Jesus' teachings?
Hardly. The Roman empire was a machine driven on the quest for power - and it simply utilized Christianity as a tool.
This is not a radical theory
Nearly every scholar and historian can and has accepted this reality.
But most of those within the daughters of the Roman Catholic Church - namely all the Christian ecclesiastical sects that base their teachings in one way or another upon the Nicene Creed organized by the Romans - that is, practically every popular ecclesiastical sect out there today - who pay their teachers salaries to teach the same mind-numbing, nonsensical teaching that the torture and murder of Jesus' body is supposed to relieve us of the consequences of our sinful lives - have simply inherited the same power-hungry motives of their Roman predecessors.
They might as well just call themselves Romans. These paid leaders of these institutions seek power and authority over others in the form of their respective clergy titles and followers. This is why so many priests of the Roman Catholic Church have been found molesting young followers: This is simply one symptom of the culture of power-seeking that has pervaded through these institutions over the centuries.
Yes, there have truly been those who have sought to change these organizations from their power-hungry ambitions. And we can certainly give these folks credit for trying to change these institutions "from within."
But the big issue - the issue presented here - is that this power-hungry institution and its lineage of power-brokers have manipulated Jesus' teachings. They may have retained a few of the sayings of Jesus within the Biblical texts (God made sure of that) - but they manipulated the texts through transcription, translation and interpretation in such a way that presents an altogether false picture of Jesus' life and teachings.
And this is what is being put forth by these institutions and their professional teachers: manipulated jargon that makes no practical or real sense - far removed from Jesus' teachings.
This includes the notion of bathing in the blood of Jesus. And the nonsense that after we die we will lie in our graves in some purgatory state until Jesus comes riding through the sky and takes us all to heaven - as long as we joined their church and pledged that we are saved - regardless of whether we followed his teachings. Jesus spoke specifically about this:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matt. 7:21-23)
God is not an old man with white hair
Even the concept of heaven - as mentioned here - is misinterpreted by these sectarian teachers. According to their teachings it is either a bunch of clouds with people playing harps. Where is God in their scenario? If He is considered at all, God is thought of as an old man with long grey/white hair and beard - floating over them watching or sitting on a big throne.
Some sectarian philosophies picture heaven as people relaxing in their lawn chairs with a lion sitting next to them - enjoying life sipping lemonade in the shade with God nowhere in sight.
These are fictitious speculations created by those who simply want to entice us to join their club. Some of these groups will say that there is a book and we have to get our names written into this book and if we don't then we will go to hell when Jesus comes back. So we'd better join their church so we can get our names written into their book.
These teachings have nothing to do with what Jesus taught. They have nothing to do with love of God and serving God - the essence of Jesus' teachings.
Just consider the meaning of Jesus' primary teaching:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)What does wanting to have Jesus die for my sins to be saved have to do with "love the Lord your God with all your heart"?
What does not wanting to go to hell have to do with loving God?
Those goals - not wanting to go to hell and wanting Jesus to die for my sins - are not founded upon love at all.
They are founded upon self-centeredness. Greed. What is good for me.
Love means caring about someone else. Love means wanting to please my beloved.
Jesus, in fact, went to hell - in order to serve God. He came down to this hellish place - yes I'm sorry but this is hell - in order to serve God. In order to please God he came here and was subjected to torture by demons in order to serve the One he loved.
Jesus, in fact, didn't care about himself at all. In fact, the day before he was to be persecuted, he prayed to God:
“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for You. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:36)Jesus didn't care about whether he would be saved or not. He didn't care about whether he wouldn't have to suffer for his sins. He was willing to do whatever pleased the Supreme Being. Even if it meant his body being tortured and gruesomely murdered.
In order to really follow Jesus - not just try to use him to pretend to be saved - we need to understand his mission and his motives. We need to see that Jesus allowed his physical body to be murdered because he was wanting, at all costs, to please the Person he loved: The Supreme Being.
Jesus didn't die for our sins: He gave his physical body - spiritualized due to his relationship with the Supreme Being - in order to stand up for his teachings: His service to the Supreme Being and his love for God.
And if we learn this lesson, and strive to follow Jesus by worshiping God, coming to know and love the Supreme Being and then trying to please God with our lives - then yes, we will be saved. Then being saved will then simply be a byproduct of what we really need.
What do we really need? We need a best friend. Someone who will love us for who we are. Someone who will care for us always. Someone we can share our lives with - our Soulmate. Someone we can give our lives to. Someone we can love and work to please. This is what we really need - or rather, who we need.
Yes, we each need our relationship with the Supreme Being - our Soulmate. And loving and serving the Supreme Being is the only way we can accomplish this. Screw being saved.