A true humanitarian first and foremost gives each person their dignity as a good person who deserves the best.  Doing good for the sake of others is not possible unless you give them dignity in the first place.  Otherwise the works are only vanity projects.

Jesus regarded all people as being totally depraved as in being unable to do good properly with a heart devoted to God. Obviously then it would be too much to expect him to like anybody! The adage to love the sinner and hate the sin at the same time fails to provide an escape route. Sin reflects the kind of person I am so sin cannot be separated from me. I sin because I am bad not just because my sin is bad. My sin is me in a real sense and to hate my sin is to hate me. To say John’s homework is terrible is to call John terrible indirectly. And its being indirect doesn’t make it any less real.

A man came up to Jesus calling him good teacher. Jesus said that nobody was good only God: “Why do you call me good for nobody is good but God?” (Mark 10:17,18). Christians say that the man thought Jesus was a good man and Jesus was telling him that he could only be good if he was God. If right their interpretation would mean that all are sinners and cannot stay out of it. And the same interpretation holds true if Jesus was just telling him that his idea of good was wrong and that only God knows what good is and lives that goodness.

The man called Jesus a good teacher. Yet Jesus rejected this. It was not flattery for Jesus was famous as a teacher. The man meant it. Jesus just didn’t like being called good by anybody human for he thought that humans have an unclear idea of what good is and don’t understand real goodness as represented by almighty God. He thought humans were too sinful to have a clue about what it meant to worship God as good.

There are other interpretations but they don’t fit the Christian faith. For example, we could hold that Jesus rejected the compliment for he was a sinner like everybody else. Some say Jesus only meant that the man was flattering him and didn’t mean it which was why he rejected the compliment. But there is no hint of that in the text. You don’t say, “Why do you call me good for nobody is good but God?” to somebody that is flattering you. You say, “You flatter me.” And besides the man asked him about how to inherit everlasting life and Jesus answered him thus acknowledging him as sincere not as a flatterer.

Anybody who says sinners go to suffer forever at death wants that belief to be true for they could believe something nicer. Jesus advocated belief in such torment and said he accepted it as true. What does that say about him? If you could condone a God letting that happen to somebody you could condone anything. When you condone the workings of your invisible God you should condone the workings of your visible neighbourhood tyrant too. Fairs fair. What you see comes first.

Jesus didn't say we are to respect our neighbour as ourselves but to love our neighbour as ourselves meaning we must adore our neighbour as much as ourselves. Respect our neighbour as ourselves means we can treat a person properly despite having bad feelings for them. The Christians say that Jesus in commanding such love of neighbour did not mean that we must be crazy about everybody but only that we must treat them as we wish to be treated. They lie for he said love not respect. By asking us to do the impossible and by threatening curses and Hell and eternal torment on those who naturally fail, Jesus was putting us on an eternal treadmill from which there would be no reprieve. We would be unable to think we can do anything right or to please him. And once we start thinking that about ourselves our relationships will rapidly break down. Jesus tries to force us to be good in an impossible way. His example will drive us to force our gospels and versions of them on others. And if we can't do it, that will not stop us wanting to do it.


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