In response to an article in the Guardian arguing that Jesus was anti-religion.


One text it uses to "prove" that is the following from the Old Testament:
The multitude of your sacrifices – what are they to me? says the Lord.

I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. Stop bringing meaningless offerings!

Your incense is detestable to me. New moons, sabbaths and convocations – I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
The texts are from the prophet Isaiah who in context condemns insincere worship/religion not religion.
If Jesus was anti-religion, does that mean he wants us to avoid organised religion? But if we have faith and we eschew organised religion, then each of us is her or his own religion!

Those who say that Jesus was anti-religion overlook the fact that he said that he did not come to reject the Law of Moses (which claims to be authored ultimately by God) but to perfect it which implies approval that it established a religion of rites and priests and sacrifices and rules. The Law demands in the name of God that heretics and homosexuals and adulterers be put to death. Jesus if he claimed to be God was taking responsibility for commanding these things. Even if he changed these rules (debatable) he still regarded them as right up until then probably on the basis that as God owns our lives he has the right to order people to kill.

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