Tag: Jesus

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Christmas and Endless War

There is a profound contradiction for Christians who celebrate the “prince of peace” at Christmas and then return to the business of endless — and expanding — war the rest of the year, as the Rev. Howard Bess observes.

Pope Francis Takes On ‘Just War’ Theory

The Catholic Church, which over the centuries has blessed many dreadful wars, is shifting to an anti-war position favored by Pope Francis and more in line with Jesus’s teachings, writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

An Urgent Reassessment of Jesus

Many Christian churches opt for comforting their parishioners with reassuring ceremonies, banal sermons and even appeals to popular nationalistic sentiments rather than challenging them with the tough calls from Jesus for social justice, a grave failure, says Rev. Howard Bess.

Misunderstanding Jesus’s Execution

From the Archive: In Holy Week, many Christians celebrate what they regard as God’s sacrifice of his Son and the Resurrection. But some scholars see another narrative in which Jesus, a rural rebel, brings his critique of the Jewish-Roman power structure to Jerusalem and…

Jesus as Whistleblower

Christian churches typically present the religious mythology about Jesus, as the supernatural Son of God who was sacrificed on the cross as atonement for man’s sins. But there is a more historical Jesus who instructed the poor about the injustices they…

What Would Jesus Do at Christmas?

America’s widening gap between rich and poor is especially noticeable at Christmastime when the rich shower themselves with extravagant gifts and assuage their self-images by donating a few turkeys and a toy or two to the poor, a tradition that…

Learning the Lessons of Peace

Isaiah, one of the great Jewish prophets, was an advocate of peace whose words inspired Jesus’s non-violent teachings centuries later and continue to resonate to the present day, writes Rev. Howard Bess.

Should Christians Embrace Gay Marriage?

The issue of gay marriage appears headed back to the U.S. Supreme Court where the justices may finally decide if states can bar gay couples from marrying or not. Currently, 33 states and the District of Columbia recognize gay marriage,…

Christians Who Ignore the Real Jesus

Many American Christians see themselves as devout followers of the theological Jesus but don’t want to know much about the historical Jesus, the nonviolent radical who called on his followers to resist social injustice, writes Rev. Howard Bess.

Jesus Mandate: Peace and Stewardship

Modern biblical scholarship has enabled critically thinking Christians to understand what the historical Jesus actually said and what was tacked on later to serve the interests of Rome and early church leaders, but those original messages remain politically inconvenient today, writes…