Saturday, July 6, 2019

The Religion of Jesus

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..

The Religion of Jesus 

PART 1: Introduction

I’ve recently completed a book I never particularly expected to write. It covers subjects we’ve touched upon in some of the columns, but my guess was that the book would wait for quite some time. It’s called Discourses on Judaism, Jesus & Christianity, and it rather forced its way out of me, regardless of what I had in mind. (Writing can be a very odd exercise at times.)

And so I’d like to run through one of the more important chapters in our public articles. The full book (106 pages) is available on Kindle for those who want it.

In this first installment we’ll include the table of contents and the preface. After that we’ll go through Discourse 6, one section at a time. I think you’ll find this interesting and probably surprising.


Discourse One                     The Progress of Judaism  
Discourse Two                      Whose Religion?                            
Discourse Three                  The Judeo-Christian Principles
Discourse Four                    What Really Did Jesus Teach?
Discourse Five                    The Sayings of Jesus
Discourse Six                      The Religion of Jesus
Discourse Seven                 How The Way Became Christianity
Discourse Eight                   The Kingdom of God          
Discourse Nine                    The Son of Man                  
Discourse Ten                     The Crisis of Christianity               
Discourse Eleven                The Progress of Judaism, Part Two
Coda                                     Yeah, We’re Better

I expect my books to move from one subject to the next smoothly. And so when I decided to write this one, I presumed that my collection of “terribly important but almost entirely overlooked” concepts would form themselves into some kind of logical and naturally-flowing unit.
The book, however, wouldn’t come together that way. And so, after some struggle, I decided to let it be what it naturally was, a collection of generally- but not directly-related thoughts.
Soon after that I finally understood the importance of specifically not turning these discourses into a single unit.
Nearly every set of religious or spiritual ideas is quickly turned into a full-spectrum answer to all of humanity’s deep questions: Where did we come from? What will happen to the world? What will happen to me once I die? And so on. Anyone who puts forth new religious ideas faces tremendous pressures to answer all the questions and to extend their findings into a complete set of answers and/or a complete ruleset for living. Yielding to that pressure, however, is a grave error.
So, not only am I not attempting an answer to every question, I’m advising you that we’re in no position to do such a thing. I think we humans carry immense potential; in time we will become wonderfully advanced creatures. At present, however, we have a long way to go. I think all healthy humans carry the potential to be stunning creatures and to understand just about anything that can be understood in this universe. But we’re not there yet, and we probably won’t be for a while. Ultimate rulesets and fixed determinations are not for us.
All that said, I would very much like for this set of discourses to turn our eyes toward better vistas, and I thank you for taking the time to read and absorb it.
Paul Rosenberg

 June, 2019

The Religion of Jesus PART 2: The Big Issue

Written by

I've already said "it would be hard to over-state this," or words to that effect, several times in these discourses. Now I'm going to say it again, because its importance in this case is truly immense. In fact, what I'm about to write is such a powerful concept that it might, merely by being mentioned often enough, change the beliefs of billions of people. And so, please consider this statement carefully:

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.

1 comment:

Ken Sutter said...

From Bushby's The Forged Origins of the New Testament":
Constantine's intention at Nicaea was to create an entirely new god for his empire who would unite all religious factions under one deity. Presbyters were asked to debate and decide who their new god would be. Delegates argued among themselves, expressing personal motives for inclusion of particular writings that promoted the finer traits of their own special deity. Throughout the meeting, howling factions were immersed in heated debates, and the names of 53 gods were tabled for discussion. "As yet, no God had been selected by the council, and so they balloted in order to determine that matter... For one year and five months the balloting lasted..." (God's Book of Eskra, Prof. S. L. MacGuire's translation, At the end of that time, Constantine returned to the gathering to discover that the presbyters had not agreed on a new deity but had balloted down to a Salisbury, 1922, chapter xlviii, paragraphs 36, 41).
shortlist of five prospects: Caesar, Krishna, Mithra, Horus and Zeus (Historia Ecclesiastica, Eusebius, c. 325). Constantine was the ruling spirit at Nicaea and he ultimately decided upon a new god for them. To involve British factions, he ruled that the name of the great Druid god, Hesus, be joined with the Eastern Saviour-god, Krishna (Krishna is Sanskrit for Christ), and thus Hesus Krishna would be the official name of the new Roman god. A vote was taken and it was with a majority show of hands (161 votes to 157) that both divinities became one God. Following longstanding heathen custom, Constantine used the official gathering and the Roman apotheosis decree to legally deify two deities as one, and did so by democratic consent. A new god was proclaimed and "officially" ratified by Constantine (Acta Concilii Nicaeni, 1618). That purely political act of deification effectively and legally placed Hesus and Krishna among the Roman gods as one individual composite. That abstraction lent Earthly existence to amalgamated doctrines for the Empire's new religion; and because there was no letter "J" in alphabets until around the ninth century, the name subsequently evolved into "Jesus Christ".