Did you drink your blood

Letter to jesus

Gerd Lüdemann's homepage
Current interviews and press reports
Publications 2012

Letter to jesus. A confession (excerpt) 1

To the book

Dear Lord Jesus, this is how I have addressed you since I was a child and I have said it for years during grace ("Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest and bless us and what you have bestowed on us by grace!"). Another prayer ("Lord Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on me!") I repeated over and over again in the evening like a magical formula, although I no longer knew what I was actually doing. But just because of that I got

Your address as "Lord Jesus" impressed so deeply. This prayer to you as the Lord Jesus has continued in later times for reasons of habit, thoughtlessness and fear, although I have known for a long time that you were completely different from my parents, my teachers and my pastor was brought close.

As a person whom I can address, you have become completely alien to me. Because most of what you have said or done according to the Bible, you have not said or done at all. In addition, you are not at all who the Bible and church tradition portray you as. You were not without sin and you are not the Son of God. You didn't want to die for the sins of the world at all. And what was particularly painful for me: You did not use the Lord's Supper, which I celebrated every Sunday in your memory for years. The bread I ate wasn't your body, and the wine I drank wasn't your blood. It was just my longing that hoped for all of this. She completely relied on the servants of your church. But instead of taking seriously my doubts as to whether I should really eat your meat and really drink your blood, almost like a cannibal - as a Jew, you were strictly forbidden to enjoy blood - they referred me to Martin Luther's declaration: The Holy Communion » is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under which bread and wine Christ himself instituted to eat and drink ".

But they wrongly claimed you. Because you were completely different. Like a magician, you cast out demons and saw the coming of the kingdom of God. You had intimate contact with the devil and ended up seeing him fall from the sky like lightning. You expected the collapse of the whole world in the near future, which should finally give way to the new kingdom of God. In the meantime, you and your followers led an unsteady wandering life in the service of the kingdom of God and taught a code of conduct that interprets the Mosaic Law in the light of love and thus embodies the best traditions of Israel. This includes your ethical maxims, which also include the enemy in love, and your daring similes, which - genuinely human - show heroes on crooked paths.

But it doesn't help: You died too, in the prime of life. You too drank the goblet of death, yes, you had to drink it - unexpectedly. Despite deep experiences with your God, whom you confidently called Father and from whom you expected practically everything, your hopes for the future have also vanished. You have collided with the brutal reality.

At the latest on the cross you had to learn what it means to become a godforsaken sacrifice. And if your followers, who were understandably enthusiastic about you, had not proclaimed their belief in your resurrection, then all your words and deeds would have been blown with the wind like leaves. Furthermore, if they had not preached your imminent return to judgment and eternal salvation, the Christian thought structure would soon have collapsed.

But your second coming is canceled because your resurrection did not take place at all, but was only a pious wish. This is certain because your body is decayed in the grave, if it was put in the grave at all and not eaten up by vultures and jackals. Certainly, your followers needed the belief in the resurrection and your second coming in order not to despair after the shock of Good Friday, but today? Still - or again today - Christians cling to your resurrection, although many have long since left the original meaning of resurrection behind them. They admit that your corpse was not resuscitated and prefer to speak of your being with God. At the same time, bishops, educated church officials and Christian intellectuals, some of whom also include theology professors, attach importance to maintaining the profession of the resurrection, regardless of what it means.

But this intellectual confusion cannot go well in the long run and requires ruthless clarification. No real religion can be built on projections, wishes and visions, even if it appears as powerful as the Christian Church, which has even elevated you to the rulership of the world and the coming judge. But you are not the lord of the world, as your followers declared you to be as a result of your resurrection, and you did not want to be either. You announced the future kingdom of God, but the church has come. You were mistaken, and your message has been falsified by your followers in their own favor against historical truth. Your teaching was a mistake, because the messianic kingdom failed to materialize.

Please take a look at what has been committed in your name since your death until today! It already begins in the New Testament, where your countrymen are called sons of the devil just because they don't believe in you. The infamous thing about it is that these words of condemnation are put into your mouth as if you had spoken them. This anti-Semitism then continues throughout the history of the Church, not as a deviation from the original teachings of the Church, no: it had to develop because you had been elevated to the rulership of the world. From now on you punished the unbelieving Jews from heaven and on behalf of your almighty father for their unbelief, for their disobedience and for their crimes, which they are said to have committed against you and your communities.

Do not say that all of this was a aberration and a falsification of your message! Rather, as is evident from its two thousand year history, the Christian Church is necessarily so; otherwise it would not have formed at all, and its very existence would have been impossible and superfluous at all. Therefore, we really can no longer go back to the order of the day and preach your true message from now on, as if the last 2000 years had not happened.

I feel great sympathy for your compatriots, who in our time have been able to rediscover you as their own brother through the results of historical research, without adopting the Church's teaching about your resurrection and your second coming. But at the same time I see no reason myself to convert to the Jewish religion. I myself am still too appalled by the jealous God Yahweh of the Old Testament, who knows no tolerance at all and which the Christians then used to chase the Jews out of God's vineyard. This Yahweh knows no equality of all peoples and also no rights that are accorded to all people in the world in the same way. Therefore I am firmly convinced that our Basic Law with the articles on the protection of human dignity, the rights of freedom, equality before the law, freedom of belief, conscience and opinion protects the life of all people more than the Bible of the Jews (the Old Testament), but also the Christian Bible (the Old and New Testament). Church leaders and theologians nowadays emphasize that the basic rights of our Basic Law just mentioned are of biblical origin, but I ask myself why the Church and theology did not develop basic rights corresponding to the Basic Law, which apply to all, and why these together with The idea of ​​tolerance only had to be enforced by the Enlightenment in the sometimes bitter struggle against the Church.

You have my deep sympathy, Lord Jesus, but you cannot understand me and we cannot understand you because the time in which you lived and the time in which we live today are so different. Perhaps you would have become thoughtful if you had found out that the sky is not above you at all, that the earth is a sphere and not the center of the whole universe. And you would probably have been very surprised to learn that humans and monkeys have common ancestors, yes, that all existing types of living beings are in a process of development that began with primitive unicellular organisms. But you would certainly have panicked if you had known that even 2000 years after you your God has not brought about the end of time. And not only this: Your God did not create the world at all, as you, as a pious Jew, had to assume in your day. Rather, the universe was created through an evolution that, according to today's knowledge, began with a big bang. Your and your contemporaries' image of God the Creator was formed far too much from a human perspective, and this applies to a greater extent to the servants of your church today, who ought to know better, but nevertheless confess your God every Sunday as the Creator of heaven and earth. On the other hand, I would prefer to say: What holds our cosmos together and limits it is a great secret that we will not reveal, but which is worth exploring. I consider such an open view of things to be incompatible with the assumption of a biblical creator God who created everything from nothing. ...

So, Lord Jesus, put an end to all of this. I can no longer stand the totally confused situation of theology, the church and the Bible. Stay where you are in the first century Galilee. Then you are again much more credible as a charismatic exorcist and teacher of high standing, and we can then return to a normal relationship with you, as we have with other important people of antiquity, such as Buddha, Confucius and Socrates. Your exaggeration beyond all human possibilities was too much and arises from immortal fantasies and longings of immortality, which now have to be brought back to the bottom of reality.

But if you should really come back on the clouds of heaven, I am already looking forward to finally getting to know you. And I am convinced, even if I no longer pray to you and no longer believe in you, to have your sympathy and not to be destroyed by you because of my unbelief, as it should actually happen according to the Bible and Confession. Until then, however, there must be a religious end to both of us for the reasons I have given you - for good.

I will continue to research your proclamation and the subsequent Christian interpretations - with the aim of enlightening contemporary contemporaries in understandable language about the real origin of our western culture. Because the enlightenment founded in reason, including its criticism of disclosure claims and cognitive privileges of any kind, remains an integral part of the modern world. Enlightenment alone enables a constructive dialogue between members of different nationalities and cultures, and alone would be able to initiate peace between people of the most diverse ideologies and religions in the coming millennium.

Gerd Lüdemann

FOOTNOTES 1. A complete version of the "Letter to Jesus" can be found in my book "The great deceit. And what Jesus really said and did", Jump: zu Klampen Verlag, 5th edition, 2011, in which the reasons for find the theses set out in the "Letter to Jesus".

The big scam. And what Jesus really said and did