I’m reading Tolstoy’s “My Religion” and I’m thinking this is great! Tolstoy figured out the contradictions in the New Testament and distilled Jesus’ philosophy into 5 Commandments. And they’re simple. If everyone followed them, there would be harmony in our communities and peace on Earth. Makes perfect sense.
Then I get to thinking, what if Jesus was just some guy. If he was around today, he’d have a blog and he’d explain his 5 simple rules for living and no one would give a shit. The only thing that gives his rules any weight is that people believed that Jesus spoke as God. If you don’t believe in God, they’re just 5 rules that some guy made up. They’re good rules, and I actually do follow them in my life, but there’s no proof that they are “Divine Law” as Tolstoy asserts. There is only faith.
Can we live a Christian life without believing in God? If Jesus was just some guy with a brilliant philosophy, can we follow that philosophy without subscribing to the superstitious beliefs of his time? I think that we can, and we should. Even if Jesus was just some guy, he was a guy who saw truth through all the bullshit, spoke that truth to power, and was killed for questioning authority. He was truly heroic. We don’t have to agree with his religion to see that his insights changed the character of millions of his followers for the better. The true Christian philosophy holds great value, with or without a God to promote it.