Yes, that's the exoteric Christian perspective. I think you misstate it slightly when you say God wants us to follow Jesus’s moral teachings. The more precise rendition of the creed would include Paul’s point that we can’t save ourselves with works but only through faith in the power of Jesus’s sacrifice. So what God really wants us to realize is that we can’t possibly live up to his high moral standards; thus, he sent us his Son to show us how helpless we are in the face of divine judgment. We’re destined for hell unless we accept Jesus’s sacrifice and let the risen Jesus and the Holy Spirit live through us and guide us.

Now I take that creed to be empirically falsified by the substandard behaviour of most Christians over the last two thousand years. Christianity and the risen Jesus haven’t inspired even that religion’s practitioners to greatness. If Christianity brought us to historical enlightenment and to the ideal of individual human rights, for example, it did so guided not by God but by ancient Greco-Roman philosophy. Even the idea of a suffering godman comes from the Mystery religions (as Justin Martyr and Tertullian conceded) and from a humanization of the Logos (Philo, Heraclitus) and Wisdom (esoteric Judaism and Gnosticism).

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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