A Gospel for Liberals
Considering the historical     Jesus in light of today’s most controversial social Issues

The Gospel According to Todd

The Secret to Happiness

6 Sometimes Jesus spoke more directly to those who came out to hear him, like when he taught them about happiness:

     2  “To be happy you should to stop clinging to possessions, for those who let go, possess everything.

     3  “To be happy you should first learn to grieve, for those who do will eventually find peace.

      4  “To be happy you should walk gently, for those who leave few footprints will preserve the earth.

     5  “To be happy you should crave the just distribution of wealth, for those who do, know that this is more than enough.

     6  “To be happy you should forgive others, for those who do will be forgiven by others.

     7  “To be happy you should keep things simple, for those who are simple comprehend much.

   8  “To be happy you should be a peacemaker, for those who practice nonviolence act just like God.

     9  “To be happy you should risk taking a stand when necessary, for those who do help create Heaven on Earth.

     10  “To be happy you should expect lots of trouble from those who represent the status quo. 11 This is a good sign; it means your making a difference, and can consider yourself in good company.

More than Enough for Everyone

12   Once when he was among a crowd of people that hadn’t eaten for days, Jesus said to his students, 2Such suffering makes me sick to my stomach. Isn’t there anything we can do to help? 3What good are my teachings if I have to send them away hungry? 4Some of them are likely to die before they get very far.5His students replied, “What can we possibly do out here in the desert?” Jesus asked, “What do we have?6After they had counted seven loaves, Jesus asked the people to sit down, gave thanks, then began dispersing what little resources he and his followers had of their own among the crowd. 7Some in the crowd had a few small fish and began sharing those too. 8Before it was over everyone had more than enough to eat with plenty of leftovers.

The Stoning of a Man

     67  Jesus often said, “Judge not, unless you want to be judged.68Once, after he and his students had entered Jerusalem for the Passover festival, they encountered an angry mob about to stone a man they had already nearly beaten to death. 69Nearby was the corpse of another man who they had thrown from the temple. 70What have they done?” Jesus asked. 71Someone answered, “We found them defiling the Temple; laying with one another in the same way a man lays with a woman.” 72When some literalists recognized who it was, they said to Jesus, “The Law says both of them should be put to death.  What do you say holy man?” 73Jesus looked at the frightened man, then at the dead man, then said to the crowd, 74Let the one among you who is perfect when it comes to strictly keeping all our laws cast the first stone.75The crowd stood silent for a few moments, then slowly dispersed.

     76    Finding himself left alone with the frightened humiliated fellow, Jesus said, “It’s okay now. 77Those who would condemn you are gone, and I’m certainly nobody to judge you. 78Leave here and be careful, for there are many who do not understand that God’s love is universal.

Parable of Growing

     13  Sometimes he told this one: “A Godly community works like someone who simply throws seed on the ground, then goes about life, rising and sleeping, trusting them to sprout and grow on their own. 14For the earth produces this miracle all by itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the head full of grain. 15Then, at the proper time, all one has to do is go out and harvest it.

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