Jesus' anti-Family Values

If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children
and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
-Jesus (Luke 14:26)

Introduction

The Christian family is as American as turkey and apple pie; a family who prays together stays together. Good Christians are obedient towards authority. A few decades ago you could tell a Catholic family by their size. They live within the law, vote regularly and dutifully pay their taxes. They are against pornography, gays, bad language, movie violence, free love and anything else that exceeds their capacity for fun and excitement. Sunday is the highlight of the week, when they get a chance to renew their faith with a sermon from their favorite pastor.

I haven't been to a church sermon in a long time, so my experience represents a tiny sampling. But I am almost positive that sermons on Jesus' family values are verboten for reasons that will be made clear.

Jesus' family was the opposite of the Christian model. His virgin birth earned him the title of bastard child. The Catholic doctrine of Immaculate Conception asserts Mary remained virgin; and for unknown reasons, his stepfather Joseph disappeared early in his life. If the doctrine of Immaculate Conception is to be believed, then he probably divorced her refusing to consummate the marriage.

Today, we would call Mary a single parent. She is of the type that upsets Christian political factions who complain about the breakdown of the American family. If that wasn't bad enough, Jesus was abusive towards his mother. She showed her love for him throughout his life, but he didn't return it. Despite this hokum about the angel Gabriel telling Mary she was to bear a savior, she acted like a worried mother when his infamy grew. Jesus held her unbelief against her until he broke off contact. Think about that again. His own mother, the epitome of Christian purity who met God in divine love, didn't believe he was a savior.

The best we can say about Jesus is that he preached what he practiced. His teachings were anti-sex, anti-family, and especially, they were inhuman.

Birth

The Gospels are so sloppily inconsistent that it is tempting to pick them apart. To keep on the subject, I'll just touch on the biggies that are relevant.

Mark says nothing about Jesus' birth. When John baptized Jesus for repentance and forgiveness of sins (1:4), we are given the impression that he had two human parents, though his father is unnamed.

John goes to the other extreme of having Jesus becoming flesh from the Word (1:1-3, 14), as if Jesus had no human parents.

The events leading up to Jesus' birth are covered in Matthew and Luke. Many other contradictions come to the surface, but the points of agreement are her divine conception and the parent's awareness of Jesus' divine mission.

In Matthew, when Joseph learned his future wife was pregnant, he first resolved to divorce her quietly until an angel told him she was impregnated by the Holy Spirit and that their son was destined to save his people from their sins.

18Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit;
19and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
20But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit;
21she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23"Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us).
24When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife,
25but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus. (Matt. 1:18-25)

In Luke, an angel came to Mary to tell her she will bear a son who will inherit the throne of David. Though she is unmarried, she will have a son by the Holy Spirit. Luke tells us nothing of Joseph's reaction, but since he married her, we have to assume he decided to accept the baby. Realistically, it is hardly conceivable that if a virgin told her fiancée she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit, he would believe her.

26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
27to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"
29But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
30And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
33and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."
34And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?"
35And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. (Luke 1:26-35)

The mystical significance of a virgin birth goes back to Genesis 1:2 where it says "the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters." The etymological root of Mary is "water." Spirit in Hebrew means "air." Thus her impregnation was by air moving over water. There was to be a new creation and a new Adam.

Despite the discrepancies with Mark and John, since Christian doctrine is founded on divine conception, we'll follow that line of reasoning.

Boyhood

All we can learn about his boyhood is told in Luke. When he was twelve years old his parents took him to the yearly Passover feast. When the feast was over, his parents went home, but he stayed behind without them knowing it-he must have lied. When they got home, they expected to find him with relatives or acquaintances. When they could not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, where after three days, they found him in the temple, listening to teachers and asking questions.

Upset at what he had put them through, Mary asked why he treated them this way. They could not understand his response about being in his Father's house (It was astrological.). So they went back home and he was obedient from then on. But it was a hurt his mother would not forget.

41Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.
42And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom;
43and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it,
44but supposing him to be in the company they went a day's journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances;
45and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions;
47and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
48And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously."
49And he said to them, "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"
50And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them.
51And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. (Luke 2:41-51)

We can gather that His parents were pious and cared for him. But we also learn that he did not always treat his parents with respect. That he lied in order to evade his parents wasn't because his parents objected to his spending time in the temple. He was showing an early tendency to drift away from his family because of his messianic interests. Luke was showing us an early tendency for Jesus to distance himself from his family.

Family Ties

By the logic of Jesus' divine conception, Joseph was his foster father and his siblings would be half brothers and sisters. Sorry Christians, but it also means Jesus was a bastard child. Mark clearly states that Jesus had brothers and sisters.

3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. (Mark 6:3)

The Catholic Church sees it differently. According to paragraphs 499-501 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Mary remained a perpetual virgin and produced no other children. The Bible strongly disagrees. Besides Mark, Luke 2:7 calls Jesus "her first-born son"; Matthew 1:24-25 tells us Joseph consummated the marriage; and James is described as Jesus' brother (Gal. 1:19). The Church's motives for elevating Mary were probably political. Certainly, they weren't honest.

24When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife,
25but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus. (Matt. 1:24-25)

According to Mark, Jesus was a carpenter. The legitimacy issue that gets sticky because Mark says nothing about Jesus' father. To smooth over Mark's embarrassing implication, Matthew has him called the son a carpenter. Wait a minute! Didn't Matthew also say he was the Son of God?

55Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?
56And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?" (Matt. 13:55-56)

The Gospel of John trips over the problem from the opposite direction. John bypasses any suggestion that Jesus had human parents. At least that is how Christians interpret the first few passages of John.

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2He was in the beginning with God;
3all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. (John 1:1-3, 14)

But further down, John tells us Jesus had a mother and a father.

45Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." (John 1:45)

42They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?" (John 6:42)

26When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" (John 19:27)

To weave these lies together, Jesus had either an illegitimate father or a divine Father or a legitimate father or no father or two fathers. His mother was a virgin or she wasn't a virgin or he had no mother. And the word of God is like the word of the Queen in Alice in Wonderland. A word means whatever she says it means, no more, no less.

Family Affairs

Remember when in Matthew and Luke, an angel announced Jesus' divine conception and his messianic mission. We would think that his parents would anticipate extraordinary behavior and be proud for having been chosen to raise him. It was not to be. Instead, the Gospel writers are so eager to cast Jesus as a misunderstood savior that even his family doesn't understand him.

According to Mark, Jesus' ability to exorcise demons had a lot of people upset, including his parents. Like the scribes, they thought he was possessed by the devil; so they tried to get him under control.

This is understandable. Exorcism defines what sorcerers do and is forbidden in the Old Testament (Deut. 18:10). His healing miracles did not prove he was empowered by God; they convinced his audience he was empowered by the devil. If Jesus was caught doing this during the Witch Mania, they would have burned him on the stake.

20and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat.
21And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for people were saying, "He is beside himself."
22And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons."(Mark 3:20-22)

At a wedding, Mary reminds Jesus that the guests have run out of wine. His response was a testy "O woman, what have you to do with me"" Mary shows confidence in her son when she tells the servants to do whatever he tells them.

1On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there;
2Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples.
3When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine."
4And Jesus said to her, "O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come."
5His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."(John 2:1-5)

His brothers did not believe in him any more than his mother did. Jesus was afraid for his life to go into Judea. His brothers were probably teasing him when they urged him to go to the people there to show off his works.

1After this Jesus went about in Galilee; he would not go about in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.
2Now the Jews' feast of Tabernacles was at hand.
3So his brothers said to him, "Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples may see the works you are doing.
4For no man works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world."
5For even his brothers did not believe in him. (John 7:3-5)

Jesus severed himself from his family. There is an occult meaning to Jesus' denying his family: Gods don't have human relationships; implying he didn't have a mother.

46While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.
48But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?"
49And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers!
50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother." (Matt. 12:46-50, Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21)

Mary got a blessing from a woman in a crowd for being his mother; but Jesus would have none of it.

27As he said this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!"
28But he said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" (Luke 11:27-28)

Like a loving mother, Mary appears at the foot of Jesus' cross.

25So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
26When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!"
27Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:25-27)

She appears one last time to pray for him following his Resurrection and Ascension.

14All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:14)

Let's do a subtotal. Mark tells a story about a man born of human parents who could not prove to his family he was the Messiah and the Son of God-it is a plausible construction. Matthew and Luke borrow from Mark and add the angel's message about the virgin birth. In these two gospels, his family's ignorance practically makes a lie out of the angel's message.

Through it all, his family didn't disavow him; it was Jesus who disavowed his family. Let us not think that this was a special case. Jesus was setting an example for believers. His teachings on family matters, makes that phrase, "Christian family values," a joke.

Teachings

Jesus' family values were consistent with his philosophy of totalitarianism and his belief in an imminent apocalypse. If he was running around loose today, we would regard him as a cult leader. Some others in recent history come to mind: Jim Jones of the Jonestown Massacre; David Koresh of the Branch Davidians; and Marshal Applewhite of Heaven's Gate. All three of these charismatic leaders had a following that exhibited the same traits as Jesus' disciples: they cut off external social relationships and followed their leader to the point where they were willing to die for him.

Jesus obsession for control was so absolute that he wanted assurance from his followers that they would remain with him in this life and the next. Christians, who believe they will see loved ones in the afterlife, would not find Jesus sympathetic.

Overall, his demands were calculated to reduce the quality of life. Sometimes he seems to be contradicting himself, but that could be intentional. For example, in one place he doesn't approve of divorce under any condition. In another he allows for an exception; but then he condemns remarriage altogether. While he seems to discourage divorce, elsewhere he says he came to break up families.

Given his sadism, Jesus could be calculating his campaign speeches to appeal to the weaknesses of his audience. If you wanted eternal life bad enough, the only way to prove you deserved it is by sacrificing whatever brought pleasure. The greater the sacrifice, the more you pleased Jesus.

Family

He denied a disciple time to bury his father.

21Another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
22But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead." (Matt. 8:21-22)

He came to break families apart. Whoever loves his parents more than him is not worthy of him.

35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36and a man's foes will be those of his own household.
37He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; (Matt. 10:35-37; Luke 12:51-53)

Whoever leaves their family will inherit everlasting life.

29And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.
30But many that are first will be last, and the last first. (Matt. 19:29-30)

You can call your father Dad, but don't call him Father.

9And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. (Matt: 23:9)

When the end of the age comes, family members will kill each other.

12And brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; (Mark 13:12)

He demanded that his disciples hate their family.

26"If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)

Marriage

Jesus was against singles getting married.

34And Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage;
35but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage,
36for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. (Luke 20:34-36)

Divorce

While he first appears to be against it for any reason, he makes an exception if the marriage is not consummated. Remarriage was out of the question.

Divorce is not legal for any reason. This is the only time Jesus infers Adam and Eve.

5But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.
6But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.'
7'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
8and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh.
9What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."
(Mark 10:5-9)

If the marriage is not consummated, a divorced wife becomes an adulteress for any reason. Whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. It is not clear what "ground of unchastity" foretells.

32But I say to you that every one who divorces his [chaste?] wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matt. 5:32; 19:9)

Children

Whosoever speaks evil of parents should die.

4For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die.' (Matt. 15:4)

Adultery

Remarriage defines adultery.

11And he said to them,"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her;
12and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery." (Mark 10:10-12; Luke 16:18)

To look at a woman lustfully, defines adultery. Jesus would support the Muslim idea of women covering their whole bodies. He wasn't kidding about cutting off offending body parts, as his philosophy on sex, below, bears out.

28But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell (Matt. 5:28-30)

Sex

He endorsed self-castration, if necessary to stop adulterous thoughts.

12For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it." (Matt. 19:12)

Final Thought

Jesus has a simple answer that will solve all your family and sex problems. Men should castrate themselves to stamp out sexual desire; and women should dress like their Muslim counterparts complete with masks.