I stumbled across your website [Radical Christianity] while looking for alternative Christian views upon the internet. I just wanted to thank you for addressing some core concerns I have with many strands of "mainstream" Christianity. Thank you for pointing out that Jesus was a man of peace, preached pacificism, and would be horrified by the war mongers that have appeared from the pulpit of Christianity and politics. I've even heard someone tell me that it is okay to go to war with Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries as well as bomb them because they have rejected the US (which some Christians view as a magical Christian/Church/body of Christ). One guy told me that the violence is okay because the Jesus told the apostles that if any town or city rejects your message, then you should
shake the dust of your feet towards them or something!
Similarly, it is clear in the gospels that Jesus clearly told people to re-distribute their wealth to the poor and the first church had a communal structure with all property held in common so that those in need were taken care of. This is again in opposition to the majority of christians, especially those who follow certain hyper conservative political policies which help the
rich, not poor.
Third, many times throughout the gospels Jesus presents "counter-cultural" and "radical" views, admonishing the bondage of empty tradition people of his time were in, which completely has parallels today. Similarly, he told people not to worry about what they wore or the future, or money. This has applications for a focus on money, careers, being well dressed, "professional," and many of things our society focuses on. Basically, I have found out time and time again that the vast majority of Christians, and other religions, not only do not follow any of these things, but also have will argue with me that this is not the message in part of Jesus' ethics or the spiritual part of religion.
It is humorous to me that many people I know who are not Christians at all but are hippies or total free-spirits often embody the ethics described far more than those who follow the man who explicated them. For example, many of my "hippie" or counter culture friends are pacifists, dedicate their education and careers to social justice, civil rights, and helping others, do not focus on "looking good" or stylish, and try to live in the present moment! It is a strange paradox and one that has serious implications because I believe it shows that the "organized" church as it stands does not always effect by itself the transformation of consciousness that is outlined in the bible, meaning that something is missing. Instead, it seems that individuals inside and outside the church realize these truths from within or from god.