Missing Axioms X – Christ the Contemptible
I can’t stand Christianity. In the light of Christ everything else appears soiled. Humanity is a parody of what is godly, an earthly mutation dressed up in imitation. We are neither fallen nor rebel angels, merely rebels. Christ is so potent that capital had to invent the ritualistic Santa Clause so that children could forget him.
I find the Christ depicted in the gospels primarily contemptible. Who does this man think he is? This “son of God”: “O ye of little faith?”1. I don’t come to my position out of disbelief, however, but instead through an insight on the implications of a faith taken seriously. Christ gaslights those he knew and the wider humanity who he left behind, guilty of the very sins of self-importance that he preaches against. Christ appears in his explicit language as a figure disunified in authenticity.
Christ, as our one way to salvation, has faithful humanity afflicted with an existential Stockholm syndrome: “For the Son of man is come to save that which is lost”2. Even the apostles appear as battered wives, seeing no greater purpose than to suffer a beating for the sake of their spiritual captor:
“[…] and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”3
Christendom idolises, for it’s own sake, those who tie themselves to the cross in imitation of the ideal. Christendom itself having nothing to pay but a metaphysically theoretical debt. Conveniently, this comes at no earthly tangible cost. The Christian earth appearing to us as landscapes awash with suffering, crosses as far as the eyes can see bearing the corpses of the meekest in human potential: those “pure in heart”4. There is no cessation of the Christly-appetite for lost souls:
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”5
The sadist Christ is far more cunning than merely asking for death in his honour, self-mutilation is also desirable:
“And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”6
It is at this point that it would be fair to signpost the potential metaphorical meanings of this statement. Regardless, when Christ says “thee” here he clearly means himself, he decides what “offend” in the way that sends man to hell. Christ can state explicitly that he is here to liberate mankind, however what he is implicitly enacting is the re-erection of the walls of offense put in place by the controlling metaphysical God.
What we need, in this time more than ever, as we appear to have gone through nihilism and ended up somewhere else… is for critiques of Christianity to go beyond smarmy ‘New Atheism’. A critique that takes belief as it’s starting point. From this perspective Christ is the great hoarder of salvation: “[…] I have meat to eat that ye know not of.”7, in the knowledge we are in a fallen state, teases with that which is most important and that he, only he, has the privilege to toy with.
This man who explicitly speaks negatively of earthly things sees to it that he is rightly anointed with the richest of oils in preparation for his great implicit action:
“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment”8
Not content to take only rich privileges of material goods from the earthly poor Jesus accepts the loosening of Mary’s hair. Not so shocking to us ‘post-nihilists’ this was a sign of feminine self-abandonment in the time of Jesus. Christ doesn’t merely take pleasure in the humiliation of Mary, which she cannot perceive through the explicit and implicit euphoria of her faculties offered in service to Christ, but having her below him wiping the byproduct of his ‘glory’ with the feminine mark of temperance gives him a righteous pleasure.
Naturally, like his father, he is a vengeful Christ:
“The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Good where it for that man if he had never been born.”9
Jesus acts with implicit scorn, not his explicitly proclaimed forgiveness. Judas is the ultimate sinner, a man entrapped by fate. Not able to cast off what “offend”, to undo the ultimate mistake, it makes hairs stand on end to imagine the other-worldly torture which faces him at the hands of a vengeful Christ under careful watch of his experienced father. Christ consistently fractures the unity of his selfhood through the explicit focus on self-denial in service of the neighbour, while implicitly setting in motion the forces that cause humanity to dig it’s teeth into one another once his back is turned:
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”10
Christ, in his pomp and ‘glory’, knows that humanity is trapped in sin from birth. Monopoly rights on the escape of eternal torment are bestowed upon him nepotistically: “[…] I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”11. Christ reworks cosmological schemes of leaders being shielded by martyrs at their service, as the tokkōtai were to the emperor of Japan12, through inversion so that Christ is the shield which absolves man of his innate sin is a potent metaphysical intoxicant that is to carry out it’s influence millennia after his implicit act. Man is abandoned in his inherent fallen state with a missing messiah having to bare an inherent void of salvation, stripped of any agency, any ability or mental framework where humanity can overcome through itself alone. Faith takes any virtue of character from us and calls it “life”: “[…] Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.”13. A Christly-arrogance asserts that only his sacrifice gave this “life” to the world, imagining nothing possible outside of the dogmatic purity of the divine. A simple “bread”, certainly, but a bread crowned and anointed with all the attention that a pathetic humanity could muster:
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”14
In truth, it appears in the final moment when the mask slips, it is Christ himself who is lacking in faith:
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Some of them stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.”15
O Christ of little faith? Where does this leave us? Even if we have faith? If even the son cries out in pain for the father where does that leave us strangers when we languish in our own pain? “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”16, as Christ leaves us he abandons us in darkness. My Christ, My Christ, why hast thou forsaken us? In our own epoch we remain, long after the lights were turned-out, stumbling about in half-hearted imposter nihilism.
“A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it […]”17
- Matthew 6:30, King James Version
- Matthew 18:11
- Acts 5:40-41
- Matthew 5:8
- Matthew 16:25
- Matthew 5:30
- John 4:32
- John 12:3
- Mark 14:21
- Matthew 10:34-39
- John 14:6
- Ohnuki-Tierney, E., 2010. Kamikaze, cherry blossoms, and nationalisms: The militarization of aesthetics in Japanese history. University of Chicago Press, p.120
- John 6:53
- John 6:51
- Matthew 27:46-47
- John 9:5
- Matthew 16:4, I understand this is out of context but the remainder of the verse states the only sign we shall ever receive is that “of the prophet”. What are we to do in the knowledge that even he was “forsaken” by his father.