October 9, 1978

I think that Christianity is a myth. By Christianity, I mean the teachings of Paul: that Jesus was God; that he died as a sacrifice to God to redeem us in God's eyes, as if God were angry at man and ready to destroy him; and that he rose from the dead to prove these things. These ideas these Pau11ine ideas, which Jesus nowhere utters are what I call the Christian myth, and what I cannot believe. The teachings of Jesus himself, on the other hand, of universal and unconditional love and unlimited forgiveness; of non-injury and love of enemies and non-resistance to evil; of simple truth-telling and non-hypocrisy and straight-forwardness; of non-anxiety about food and shelter and possessions and of sharing all with each other, especially those in need; and of man's oneness with God and God's unlimited love for man, which most of us think of when we say "Christianity", can be found in nearly all of the world's great religions, and cannot be claimed by Christians as their exclusive teachings. I fully accept these teachings of Jesus, but I repudiate the teachings of Paul about Jesus, and I specifically deny that there is any virtue in worshipping Jesus and calling on his name; and I believe that Jesus would have repudiated this deification of himself. Does he not say, Not everyone that calls on me shall enter the kingdom of God, but rather he who does the will of God? Does he not say, Call no man your master or teacher, for one (meaning God) is your master and teacher? Does he not reply when addressed as "Good Master", Why do you call me good? for only God is good? Let us therefore follow these teachings of Jesus and not make him into a substitute for the godliness or divinity within each person.

(originally published under the name of John Fitz)