By Rudy Barnes, Jr., February 25, 2023
John’s Gospel is where ancient Greek philosophy intersects with the Christian religion. John 1:1 presents Jesus as the mystical Logos, or God’s Word, rather than a Trinitarian form of God. That symbolism is ignored by most Christians who cite John 14:6 literally to support their belief in Jesus Christ as the alter ego of God and the only means of salvation.
The irony is that Logos has no religious boundaries and promotes reason and unity over divisive religions. To reconcile Jews, Christians and Muslims, the church should shift its focus on divisive church doctrines that limit salvation to Christians and emphasize the universal moral teachings of Jesus that are summarized in the greatest commandment as a common word.
The moral imperative of the greatest commandment to love God and our neighbors of other races and religions as we love ourselves, and reconciliation with our adversaries, have never been popular; and popularity is the measure of success for the church. History affirms that opposing our adversaries will always be more popular than reconciling with them.
Exclusivist church doctrines that limit salvation to Christians were never taught by Jesus. Jesus was a maverick Jew who taught that all who did God’s will were his spiritual brothers and sisters. (Mark 3:33-35). His universal teachings on love over religious law so offended Jewish religious leaders that they convinced Roman leaders to crucify Jesus as an insurrectionist.
Jesus never taught that he was divine or that God favored one religion over others; but exclusivist church doctrines do just that, and are an obstacle to Logos as God’s universal truth. Church doctrines are man-made, and unprincipled politicians have distorted them to promote populist nationalist political policies in both the U.S. and Russia.
Christian nationalism began with the Crusades and Inquisitions. It has evolved into nationalistic forms of Christianity in America, where most white Christians voted for Donald Trump in 2016; and also in Russia, where most Russian Christians continue to support Putin’s unprovoked aggression in Ukraine. Christianity has lost its moral compass and its legitimacy.
The Logos is about reconciling divisive religious beliefs with the altruistic morality taught by Jesus. Evangelical charlatans promoted the egregious morality of Trump that’s the antithesis of that taught by Jesus; and the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church has promoted Putin’s targeting of civilians in Ukraine. Both nations have sacrificed Logos to corrupt Christianity.
The Logos is about shifting the focus of our faith from worshiping Jesus as a Trinitarian God to following his teachings as God’s will and universal standards of legitimacy. In John 14:6, Jesus says, I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). It’s the Logus speaking as the way, the truth and the life, calling Christians to follow Jesus as the Word of God, rather than believing in a god manipulated by corrupt politics.
This is a sequel to last week’s commentary on the Logos. See Musings of a Maverick Methodist on Jesus as the Logos in John’s Gospel at
On The Universalist Teachings of Jesus as a Remedy for Religious Exclusivism see http://www.religionlegitimacyandpolitics.com/2017/08/the-universalist-teachings-of-jesus-as.html.
On The Greatest Commandment as a Common Word of Faith, see http://www.religionlegitimacyandpolitics.com/2023/01/musings-on-reconciling-abrahamic.htm; see also lhttp://www.religionlegitimacyandpolitics.com/2015/01/the-greatest-commandment-common-word-of.html.
On Thomas Jefferson and Robin Myers, see Saving America from the Church see
http://www.religionlegitimacyandpolitics.com/2017/01/saving-america-from-church.html; see also Jefferson’s Jesus and Moral Standards in Religion and Politics at
On How the church can restore America’s moral compass, see Musings on Resurrecting a Universal Jesus to Restore America’s Moral Compass see
On Musings of a Maverick Methodist on the Church and the Greatest Commandment
See also, Musings of a Maverick Methodist on Jesus, the Church and Christian Nationalism at
On Conflicting versions of Christian nationalism in the U.S. and Russia, see
Musings on Civil Religion, Christian Nationalism, and Cancel Culture see
On Religion and Reason, see http://www.religionlegitimacyandpolitics.com/2014/12/religion-and-reason.html; see also, Religion and Reason Redux: Religion Is Ridiculous at http://www.religionlegitimacyandpolitics.com/2017/01/religion-and-reason-redux-religion-is.html; see also, Saving America from the Church at
The Relevance of Jesus and the Irrelevance of the Church in Today’s World at
Religious Exclusivity: Does It Matter? at http://www.religionlegitimacyandpolitics.com/2017/06/religious-exclusivity-does-it-matter.html.