Jesus made plenty of promises. He talked of kingdoms and miracles to come, as well as heaven. He had to insist his flock had faith:
“Everything is possible for anyone who has faith” (Mark 9:24, NJB). Everything is possible if one is injected with heroin too, but that is an illusion. One comes back to a cold, harsh world. Faith, like heroin, will never reverse reality.
“I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3, NJB). Children have very active imaginations, which is natural, healthy, and does no harm. Adults, however, need to face real life. To have faith in Jesus is to avoid responsibility.
Jesus was demanding uncritical belief, threatening anyone who doubted by refusing them heaven. Resorting to ultimatums meant he had a weak argument. This illustrates that the Gospels were written for an uneducated audience, and what is more, how the authors hoped to keep them ignorant.
Uncritical belief, otherwise known as faith or superstition, is integral to Christian ideology. Without faith, Christianity completely disintegrates, which is why the Gospels have Jesus praising its value.
If a spiel is repetitively promoted as “truth,” a community can lose confidence in common sense. They become convinced the future is out of control, determined by the whim of an unpredictable God, so don’t direct their own destiny. That is tragic. Jesus, the puppet philosopher, asks people to do something we should never, ever do: surrender our sense of reason.
Europe failed to progress, and in fact declined, throughout the dark ages, largely because Christian churches discouraged logical thought. Any theories not focused on a church’s doctrine were seen as a threat to their power. This faith idea is still marketed today and it must stop.
There is a superior alternative to faith. We become happy, mature and well-balanced by being rational. Society too makes advances in science, education, and law by employing reasoned thought.