These few words spoken by Jesus should be all the knowledge required to be able to discern between the false prophet and the ones who truly can lay claim to the title of Christian. There were no caveats to this statement, something that said unless you claim to be a leader of politics or religion. No exemptions to the teachings of Jesus were handed out, but yet, throughout history, men and women both have claimed some form of divine communication that others can not hear, seen visions of God that no one else has seen, and been given new and ever more twisted commandments to enforce on the followers of Christ, commandments and pronouncements that run contrary to the words spoken by Jesus Himself.
Many a fundamentalist will argue that Jesus never said that we should not kill by pointing out a verse in Matthew wherein Jesus says that He is not here to do away with the words of the Prophets, but to fulfill them. The argument is a transparent attempt to assuage any related guilt for going to war in the name of God. Or for killing a burglar that you catch in your home. But that argument falls flat on it's face when one considers that He also said to turn the other cheek, and to forgive one's debtor not seven times, but seventy times seven.
You hear them every time you turn on the television these days. They call themselves 'saints', and sit on red velvet covered thrones while suckering you out of your money. In the name of Jesus of course. When Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, I don't recall reading that it was ok to sell prayer wishes just so long as you called yourself a 'Christian.' Crosses and leather bound Bibles. A sliver of the Cross or DVD collections. Come on in! We've got the best selection! Just leave your wallet on the altar of greed as we siphon off all of your dough.
Justifications come forth from these purveyors of falsehoods, as to why they live in 10 bedroom mansions, with chauffeur driven limousines and maids at their beck and call. Why the golden idols we were ordered to not worship, have become the adornment for virtually every relic and icon used in the rituals Jesus Himself said not to do. "But when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think they will be heard by their many words."
Speaking openly of the rich, we are taught by Jesus to sell all of our riches and give it all to the poor. To take up the cross and follow him. We learn that it is so difficult for a rich person to get into heaven that it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. But yet, we have so called preachers of the Word openly standing in pulpits, telling of the need for millions upon millions of dollars to spread the Good News, while they travel by 'church' owned helicopter to the five star hotels and eat lavish meals that none of their followers could ever hope to enjoy.
Jesus spoke about the lending of money or things and the need to not charge usury or interest on the amount that was lent, but our entire world system has been hijacked by the very same money changers who hold hostage the planet's economies. You see them in church every Sunday, proclaiming their love for the Lord louder than all, but these bankers are also false prophets, because they do the opposite of what Jesus called for, and encourage all to follow their example, instead of the example of God Himself.
We swear in our political leaders, the oath of office it's called. Likewise, when you are to testify in court, you must be sworn in. The writers of these laws were themselves more false prophets, as Jesus said we were to swear by no one nor anything, but to tell the truth in all things. He even went so far as to say that the swearing of an oath was from the evil one, and by that alone we can judge what our system is based on.
The old saying of going the extra mile comes straight from the mouth of Jesus, as does His telling us to take care of the poor and the sick. Yet, today, we shun the poor and damn them for the ills that befall us, all due to the lies of evil leaders, who claim they bankrupt us, while they themselves fatten the bank accounts of their friends and relatives with the ill gotten gains of wars they started in the very name of Jesus. They tell us the 'Christian' thing to do is to let them fend for themselves, when the Lord Himself commanded we do nothing of the kind.
They wield the Bible as a weapon, twisting words and phrases, and cherry picking the parts that suit their need of the moment. Using the tried and true tactics of terror, they warn that unless we do as we are told by them, the only ones who know the heart of God, we will perish in fire from the hand of an angry and merciless God. Yet two minutes after your money goes into the collection plate, the hucksters are preaching of the ways of love and compassion, something they themselves know nothing about.
Building theme parks that charge profit driven admissions, and calling out the words of hatred of others, such as Muslims, gay people, and any and all who disagree with the death and destruction Crusader philosophy, the true false prophets and the anti-Christian 'Christians', reveal themselves for all the world to see. They call to the basest elements in all of us, laughing as they succeed in drawing the masses astray. Not only are these the false prophets among us, they are the wolves in sheep's clothing, the spawn of the devil, and when their time comes, they'll stand in judgment before One who will say "Depart from me! I never knew you". For the truth is that the Bible is but a guideline, not a set book of laws handed down by God. If this were the case, why are there so many Gospels hidden away from the eyes of those who follow the path of the righteous?
Gospels such as those of Thomas and of Mary, who said that the Kingdom of God is inside you, not in buildings of brick or stone. That the brick and the stone could shatter and fall, but the words of Jesus and the deeds that He did should be the same way that you conduct your own lives. That the Spirit lives within us all, and none may lay claim to exclusive communion with God. I guess the leaders of the time didn't like that part, and it suits today's leaders just fine also. The Bible tells us that God will judge us by the works that we do, not the claiming of permission to kill people on massive scales by calling on us to pray about the wars we perpetrate.
The next time you're in church, take a good hard look at the person behind the pulpit. Is he or she teaching of love, forgiveness, and kindness to others? Do you know if that person believes what he or she is saying? Or are they just there to collect your dollars, preaching the doctrine of hate and anger? Does your congregation give to the poor, or do the elders and priests turn away the homeless who come begging?
There really is no in between when it comes to following the teachings of Jesus. He said to love one another, not only those whom you agree with. He said to give to the poor, not store up massive amounts of wealth, or use all of your resources to build temples made of the finest marble and gold. He said to give up your coat if asked, not to turn away from a person in need. And what part of 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' do we not understand?
So it's very simple really. Who are the ones who are peacemakers, feeders of the hungry, caretakers of the sick? And who are the ones laying up riches beyond all reason, while allowing others to have none?
The ultimate in hypocrisy is the fact that although we call ourselves Christians awaiting the return of our Saviour, were He to show up right now, we'd arrest Him all over again as a 'terrorist' agitator, and send Him off to Gitmo for some enhanced interrogation. "Our Father, who art in Heaven......................."