Humans create religions. Masters share. Jesus was a great living master who plausibly triggered the events leading to the resurrection in order to trigger the whole Jesus movement. Thus the correct role of the churches is to share his words and allow those to do their duty. Everything else is noise.
Those words or the WORD have now penetrated everywhere. GOD is TAO. The WORD shows us what is good. GOD asks what is good.
Jesus did one other thing. He was able to fully tap the INNER SUN and bring healing to thousands as a matter of course during his ministry. This was a huge blessing that supported his authority as a teachers as well.
All humanity needs to embark on this path and it all begins with meditation and asking him for his assistance..
PART 1: Introduction
Christianity has not been the religion of Jesus. It has been a religion about Jesus.
Time and money permitting, I might put that on billboards. I think it calls for it.
Consider the things Christians require as beliefs for church membership. Many of them are things that Jesus never said at all. For example, a belief in "the trinity" is required for membership in Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Lutheran, Baptist, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregational and Assembly of God churches, among many, many others. Indeed, nearly every church requires a belief in the trinity.
Jesus, on the other hand, never used the word. Nor did he ever use the concept. (If you're at all unsure about that, please look it up.) In this you can see the depth of the issue: More or less every Christian institution requires people to believe something that Jesus never endorsed at all. And yet, no one seems to bat an eye over it. The truth, you see, is that Christianity is primarily a religion about Jesus. (How it became this way will be something we address in another discourse.)
And then there is the likewise-mandatory belief in the virgin birth. And again, Jesus never mentioned it, or even hinted at it. In fact, he specifically undercut the idea that his mother was a terribly special person. Again, this belief is about Jesus, not of Jesus.
Likewise the concept of original sin; most churches major on it, but Jesus never said such a thing.
The conclusion here is inescapable: Jesus didn't consider the doctrines of the trinity, virgin birth and original sin to be of any importance. If he believed them at all, he didn't think they were important enough to teach. And yet, the Christian churches are devoted to these things, down to their cores.
[ Recall that the whole was created by conjoining elements of several extant religions in which these features were tried and true aspects and thus considered valuable. Sol Invictus, Mithra, and also Krishna all matter here. arclein ]
This distinction between what Jesus believed and what Christianity believes is so immense that many people, if confronted with it, will feel driven to eliminate the concept, no matter how much many excuses and how much "blanking out" may be required.
Others, however, will reluctantly accept reality. And because of them, Christianity will change, and the greater portion of the world with it.
This concept is only threatening, of course, if our allegiances are divided between Jesus and religious organizations. If we prefer Jesus, the creeds have to be pulled apart. If we prefer the churches, we must discount Jesus, as indeed has been done, consciously or otherwise.
Christianity has contained some thoughts from Jesus, of course, but they've been continuously surrounded by beliefs about Jesus that guided men and women away from the way Jesus lived.
(Which we might also call the religion he practiced.) That has been a problem, and one that will have to be dealt with if Christianity is to endure.
I am confident that Jesus would care far less about what we think about his divinity than doing the things he taught and practiced. In fact, we have a beautiful statement of that concept in two of our gospels. Here is Luke's version:
Why do you call me Lord, but don't do the things I say?
However we turn that statement, it clearly places doing as more important to Jesus than what we believe about him and say about him. As we might say, talk is cheap, doing is precious.
And while writing these discourses I stumbled upon another distinction: I found myself feeling a need to write "believe him" rather than "believe in him." I quickly realized it was the same issue. Do we believe (and thus do) the things Jesus said? Or do we merely believe in Jesus… that he is "the son of God," "born of a virgin," or whatever? This difference is the same as "do we do what he said, or merely call him Lord?" And according to Jesus, everything turns upon this difference.