TerHaar’s five doctrines are exactly the same five doctrines that millions of Persians and Romans believed who honored the Cult of Mithras. The Cult of Mithras predates and prefigured Christianity by more than a thousand years. Mithras was a god born of a virgin, who died for us and rose from the dead. He’ll return in glory some day, so you better be ready!
Christianity is a relatively recent religion. There have been thousands upon thousands of religions throughout man’s existence of a million years or more. People have killed for and died for many beliefs that nobody believes anymore. Today, suicide bombers die for Allah. Some “Christians” kill doctors who perform abortions or support those who do, and the KKK killed in the name of Jesus and the cross.
I think taking down the cross at C3 Exchange was a wonderful act of tolerance. To me, the cross that casts its shadow over Grand Haven from Dewey Hill every Sunday says: “We’re Christians here! Live by our rules and beliefs or get out!” That’s not a tolerant message, no matter how fervently one believes it. C3 accepts all beliefs, but doesn’t accept the kind of unchristian intolerance that TerHaar preaches.
TerHaar claims “Jesus did not need to die on the cross for our salvation if we can be saved in any other way.” Couldn’t God the Father simply say, “I forgive you for eating the apple?”
In his own narrow view, TerHaar claims that C3 is “anti-Christian.” He’s wrong. I don’t attend C3, but I know some Christians who do. I’m sure TerHaar would call them “heretics” and “cultists,” and if he had the power, would probably persecute those tolerant Christians. “Christians” with beliefs like TerHaar’s have done that throughout history when they had the power to torture or burn people at the stake.
I think Jesus was a great guy. I try to live by most of his teaching the same way I try to live by Socrates’, Gandhi’s and Mozi’s.
Shortly before the birth of Jesus, a Gentile claimed he would become a Jew if the great Pharisee Hillel the Elder could teach him the entire Bible while he stood on one foot. The rabbi asked him to stand on one foot and then said, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is but commentary; go and learn it.” Jesus simplified and restated the “greatest commandment.” Too many Christians amended it to “Love your neighbor as yourself unless they are gay, heretics, cultists, evil, women, sinners or anything else that doesn’t suit the mob or the people in power.”
Our Christian country spawned the Salem witch trials, the KKK, the McCarthy hearings, the Mountain Meadows massacre and other atrocities. Mike Huckabee even wants to rewrite our Constitution to be more in conformity with the Bible. An intolerant Bible-based theocracy would be unjust, unproductive and unbearable.
We don’t need a Taliban-like enforced Christian theocracy. We experienced that during the Dark Ages. I prefer Rodney King’s “Can’t we just all get along?” to TerHaar’s intolerance.
— Tom Donahue, Grand Haven