Jesus, a message of tolerance, forgiveness,redemption and salvation:
Burton Mack, a former professor of the New Testament at the School of Theology at Claremont, California, says of the original followers of Jesus. "The original members of this following did not view Jesus as a Jesus or a Messiah, and definitely not as the celestially begotten Son of God. These humans saw Jesus as a very wise teacher. A cynic/sage, teaching a morality and practicality that suited the humans of that day." Over time, as we all know, everything decays or becomes corrupt. This would have been the case with the original writings about Jesus. The written texts that now exist were not written by apostles of Jesus but rather were copies of texts of Jesus' teaching.We have no way of knowing exactly what changes were made and what was added to the original texts dealing with Jesus but research suggests that the original texts were simply the statements and sermons of Jesus which were later elaborated upon.
Many, many men spent their entire lives REFINING? the religion which we now call Christianity.There was much debate about who wrote what and what was true as opposed to what was heretical even in the first century after the birth of Jesus. The process of selection and status gradually evolved, and even the Bible itself tells us that what we currently have is not the full story or a complete image.Within a century, at least one generation removed from the living Jesus, the first great challenge arose with the groundswell of gnostic thought threatening to undermine the still-entrenching Roman ‘orthodox' church. Gnosticism is ultimately a religion of redemption that came through knowledge.Clement of Alexandria used the term ‘gnostic' to describe anyone who had penetrated deeper into the mysteries of Truth. The gnostics universally heralded Jesus as the one who brought this knowledge of the Truth.============Even within what is now the Catholic Church there has always been dissension.The Synoptic Gospels, Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of Mark and Gospel of Luke, order of creation was debated and revised.The Gospel of John was considered heretical and was added later.Revelation was considered heretical and then added later.The first commentary made on the Gospel of John was by the gnostics Ptolemy and Heracleon, as quoted by Irenaeus and Origen. The Gospel of John is a highly intellectual account of Jesus' life which would have required a good level of education and was penned by John the Presbyter (priest) as opposed to John the Apostle who was an uneducated fisherman. John the Presbyter penned Revelation as well.
Christian writers before 150 years after the birth of Jesus do not generally refer to any document (including the canonical gospels) as their source for Jesus' sayings.The Synoptics were originally anonymous, and decisions of authorship came about in the 2nd century based on legend.
In conclusion, most of the books of modern New Testament, that most ‘Christians' subscribe too, where chosen by the Roman Catholics to be the ‘word' of God and any writing that did not fall within the dogma of the Holy Roman Catholic Church was destroyed. Historical texts that could have shed light on what actually occurred during Jesus tenure on Earth and what Jesus actually said was destroyed for the sole purpose of elevating the Holy Roman Catholic Church to the position as intercessor to God.It is extremely amazing that ‘Christian fundamentalists' have ‘faith' and ‘believe' that the books of the New Testament are pure as the driven snow, have never been edited, corrected, redacted, combined, added to, re-edited, re-corrected and corrupted by the very group that Protestants condemn as a cult, the Holy Roman Catholic Church of scribes/priests/monks, management and of course the chief executive officer, the Pope. The truth is this: If we look at the New Testament as a literal accurate account (like network news?) of what actually occurred when Jesus walked the Earth then we will fail to ‘see' the truth within the text.
Jesus's original works were in words not in writing.Many different men, with many different opinions, wrote down the oral accounts of the works, the words and the life of Jesus embellishing and refining as they saw fit according to their own belief system, a system unique to the individual believer.
If we understand the corruption as real we can learn to walk with God by understanding the Bible as a metaphorical art work: a guide for living.With this understanding we can respect every living thing that God has brought into creation for what it is: the breath of God breathed into inanimate matter, life.If you see life as a horrible, ugly thing then you have entirely missed the message, Jesus' word, that Jesus gave his life to bring to you. Jesus told us that the attitude we have when living our lives is what saddles us with our own personal hell or showers us with our own personal heaven in this life on Earth. Redemption comes from understanding one's own fallibility and working to correct that fallibility the correction of which frees the soul in this life, right now, as opposed to some mythical afterlife that has never been shown to actually exist in reality.In this way we learn to walk with God, we learn to feel ourselves holding the divine spark of God's love, life, as a precious thing never to be taken except as required for basic sustenance.==============All humans have had universally shared emotions, like love, anger, jealousy, embarrassment, happiness and experiences since the dawn of time.One universal emotional experience has been the emotion of spirituality or a ‘feeling' of communion with God.The ‘feeling' of communion with God is a common human experience that can not be fully explained by logic and reason because the object, God, is impossible for the human mind to fully conceptualize.Although God may very well be impossible to fully conceptualize and define it does not follow that God does not exist.=============If religion worked as our perspective of reality works then religion would be inherently democratic rather then authoritarian.Martin Luther and countless others have claimed that humans do not need an intercessor to commune with God and yet religious leaders tell their flocks that they must believe as the religious leader says - because that is what God wants them to do.Religious leaders that claim a 'special' relationship with God fall into the sin of pride at this point - and once they have they are no longer in communion with God which means they have no authority or right to speak for God.At this point religion then becomes a way to get humans to live as commanded, accept hardships and even sacrifice for the religious leaders beliefs. A set of laws are set in place that must be obeyed to please the deity.Religious adherents are ‘told' what to believe by these corrupt religious leaders as opposed to having to work out for themselves the reality of God. Religious dogma has no place for critical thinkers. Religious dogma demands blind adherence to professed conceptualization as opposed to communion with God.Religious leaders fear and discourage direct communion with God as, once this occurs, they can no longer serve as intercessors..../....Many humans know deep down inside that religious dogma is a sham. They are told endlessly by corrupt religious leaders that the only way for their children to grow up to be moral is for them to practice religion as if they believed the dogma to be true. This perpetuates a false understanding of God and of humanities relation to God.A loving God could never demand an individual fallible human to conceptualize and ‘believe' in Him in the exact same manner in which corruptible religious leaders instruct an individual to conceptualize Him. In other words, to fail to conceptualize God correctly, as religious leaders profess, a loving God would not condemn an individual to hell. This is exactly what Jesus was trying to get humanity to understand. If you read the words of Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) you see Jesus condemn ritual practices, flowing robes and gowns or special priestly clothing, public prayer, vain repetitive utterances, and the religious leaders of his time which he branded as insincere.back to stacks contents===============
Get your Rapture hats ready, kiddies! The sky is falling, and our wise gift of nuclear winter will propel us all into the loving arms of the all-knowing and all-everywhere G-d.
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