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While the article goes too far in its claims, it is still one of the
strongest attacks on the foundations of Christianity. Bottom line no
matter what; this article does not destroy the authenticity of the
Gospel of John nor the gospel of Thomas and the message of Jesus therein.
The Forged Origins of the New Testament
"Never judge the strength
of foundation by size of building." - Thomas Gold
Framework adopted from Judaism
The framework or paradigm of Christendom is one that has been adopted
from Judaism and that has been remodeled by the attempt to fit Jesus
into it. Jesus has been FRAMED BY:
- The spiritually retarded disciples, who were overwhelmingly Jews
- The Old Testament prophets
- The religion of the culture in which these were born and lived.
However, the fact that he
came into this culture does NOT permit us to put God's stamp of approval onto
this framework. It
should be abundantly clear that he came to deliver a different paradigm
because of his statements about new wine and new cloth, statements that are universally
interpreted in this way. Yet the old wine is preferred; the underlying old paradigm has been dragged
along faithfully, sometimes unwittingly. Has not the widespread idolatry of thinking that the Bible is the
word of God reinforced this whole approach?
Built on Disciples misunderstanding
A very good case is made on the site that only two of the twelve
disciples ever understood the message of Jesus, and that it took some time
for these two to sort out the proper understanding to the degree that they
did. Meanwhile—especially when Paul came along—the other confused disciples were laying the
groundwork for what would become "Christianity".
What is most egregiously wrong is that they retained so many aspects of
legalism. They made the foundation for theology to be the Old Testament
Scriptures, and they ignored Jesus' definition of
sin and proclaimed it to be transgression of the law. Once that is done,
there is no hope of getting much else right!
Some educated modern theologians give a more than tacit admission to the fact
that Christian theology is also built on the Apostles' MISUNDERSTANDING rather than on the words
and deeds of Jesus. Even though Christendom pays lip service to Jesus
being the revelation of God, it finds it seemingly impossible to recover the
historical (real) Jesus and thus it relies on the record and theology
of the Apostles. See:
The 12 Disciples
One significant aspect is that the post-resurrection followers falsely
assumed that they understood the message and meaning of Jesus. Thus they
expected Jesus to return to them imminently, so why write anything down?.
This early Christian community was so
ignorant of the real, material factors of what was needed for the salvation
of the human race that they long preferred oral
tradition to more responsibly documenting in writing the things that had
transpired. By the time the Gospels were compiled, this tradition had
suffered crucial losses and been significantly corrupted. The door had been
open for much uncertainty and confusion, and John's Gospel is an attempt to
correct the thinking and set the record straight. Reliable testimony about what
Jesus actually said and did now depends almost exclusively upon the Gospels
of John and Thomas being eyewitness accounts.
The one aspect of humanity that Jesus railed
against is hypocrisy,
which is the opposite of
being sensible, genuine or authentic.
The traditional Judeo-Christian belief system ought to be challenged,
if not condemned based on these simple verses alone:
- "If you had [real] belief as a grain of mustard seed, you would
say to this mountain, 'move from here to there,' and it will
move; and nothing will be impossible to you." Matthew 17:20,21;
21:21 & Mark 11:23
- "If two of you upon earth agree on everything that matters,
whatsoever you ask, it shall be done by my father in heaven."
- "When the son of man passes on, will he find [real] belief on
the earth? Obviously not!" Luke 18:8
It’s no secret that many young people stop attending church
their college years. In fact, according to a 2014 Lifeway
study, as many as 70 percent of young adults who
are regular church attenders in high school eventually “drop
out”—and while a small majority end up returning later in
life... - Daniel Darling, Christianity Today, 2016-10-18
Thus for Christianity it can be truly said: never has so much been promised and so little
delivered. Christianity, of course, has a plethora of variations, but
the list is long of the negative things that are generally true.
Christendom commonly or usually:
Actively teaches things that are untrue and evil in that they are
dangerous and superstitious. This is particularly true in terms of paradigm
as well as practical matters involving money—tithes
Willfully keeps its people in ignorance concerning the evolution of the
Old Testament and New Testament canons, and the reliability of the content..
Willfully keeps its people in ignorance concerning the extent, magnitude
and significance of the difference between the theology of Jesus and
that of the other authors selected to be in the New Testament.
Willfully keeps its people in ignorance concerning the extent,
magnitude and significance of theological differences within the Gospels, and
between the conversational and factual differences in various Gospel accounts.
Willfully keeps its people in ignorance concerning the evolution and
tenuous basis of its
Violates Jesus' clear instruction against hierarchies and authority
figures by its across the board authoritarian and hierarchal structures.
Commonly and blatantly violates its own teachings, and furiously covers
up its mistakes. There is a long list of fervently held teachings that
time has laid to rest.
Produces more martyrs from other belief systems than it suffers.
When faced with unsavory behavior by leaders or members, the sidestep
response usually is "don't look at the church", and the offending priests
or pastors are discreetly relocated.
Indulges in moral and social tyranny in that it arbitrarily tells people
what they can and cannot do on pain of being disfellowshipped,
excommunicated, or shunned.
Fosters hypocrisy, paranoia, ignorance, defeatism, moral weakness, narrow
mindedness, superstition, etc.
Indulges in guilt and fear mongering to keep its “flock” in line.
Indulges in emotional and psychological manipulation to milk its people for money.
set of ridiculous and sometimes horrible doctrines primarily based on
ancient catastrophism and the New Testament book of Revelation.
Has a long history of both teaching and fostering legalism.
Conflates ethics and morals, and many times has pedestrian, juvenile and petty concepts of morality, purpose
Commonly frontally attacks our significant human dimensions; those of passion, romance and
sensuality, as well as rationality, logic and reason.
Is generally willing to politically and socially sacrifice individuals "for the good
of the organization".
Fosters megalomaniacal and arrogant organizations that think they are God's
special formal denominations or sects.
Actively teaches a dark and sinister theology concerning the wrath of God that is based in
misunderstandings from the Old Testament mythology and planet worship.
If left unchecked by more moderate humanitarian forces, produces social,
political and military tyranny backed up by fear, force and violence.
Accepts second, third, and fourth hand accounts of what Jesus said and meant, written by
biased professional writers, as being on a footing equal with or greater than eyewitness accounts.
Is significantly based on the foolishness of an ignorant, thick-headed
fisherman who never listened closely with understanding nor learned any
significant thing from his association with Jesus.
Is based secondarily on a fanatical Pharisee they claim to be a prophet
and spokesman for God, whose basis for "conversion" was a private,
unverifiable supernatural visit from Jesus, who was not initially nor
ever completely accepted even by the Disciples, who allied himself with
the existing power structure and put his stamp of approval on their new
rules, who for over 22 years roamed the world proselytizing and arguing
with the Jews in violation of the specific advice of Jesus, who allowed
other people to manipulate him into observing the old sacraments when he
"knew" better, who listened to people give one side of a dispute and
then pronounced judgments without hearing the other side, who took upon
himself the authority to excommunicate a man because of who he was
living with, whose theology is still based on wrong concepts from the
OT, whose concept of righteousness is based on pretension, who became an
apologist for and fostered hierarchal and authoritarian organization,
who had the audacity to suggest that other people emulate him, who could
not get along even with those close to him, who apparently never came into unity
with anyone, and who needlessly died as a self condemned martyr, cold, alone and
complaining about it in prison.
Breeds fanatics and cultic leaders with extremely unsavory and unreasonable ideas and interpretations.
Builds some of its doctrines on clearly mistranslated verses in the bible.
Fails to make a clear distinction between revelation and inspiration for its people.
Fosters denominations that indulge in power politics and resort to legal means
to enforce their ownership of facilities and control of congregations and members.
Trivializes the spirit of the last supper service by Jesus by making it
sacrament and holding formal "communion" services periodically to eat a
little wafer and drink a little grape juice or wine, and sometimes meet
down in a classroom to wash each other's clean feet.
Produces somewhat learned theologians who teach side by side with
other theologians in the seminaries, but who are afraid to say and share
what they really think and believe.
Over the centuries vacillates between Adventism and some other eschatological system.
"Old Testament-based" doctrines on its people that even the writer Paul clearly denied.
Indulges in intellectual tyranny by "protecting" its students and
members from hearing both sides of important issues and disputes.
Claims to have superior wisdom for living but does not have a member life-span
or divorce rate significantly different from a comparable socio-economic
Seldom if ever follows the instructions given by Jesus in Matthew
18 regarding the settlement of disputes between members.
Was actively and viciously in competition with Gnosticism, the other
religion spawned by the Jesus incident, and slaughtered most of them with the
sword between 1350 AD and 1400 AD.
Claims that the Bible is the word of God in spite of the fact that the most
authentic book in the Bible (Gospel of John) denies it.
Fosters sexism, and marriage relationships based on ownership and sexist,
Fosters living and personal interaction based on obligation rather than inspiration.
Adopts the mundane, trivial, and materialistic Judeo concept of the Kingdom of
the heavens refuted by Jesus, and only moves it in space and postpones
it in time.
Teaches that God has a chronological agenda that is more important than His people,
and that He is willing to sacrifice them for that agenda.
Has adopted the concept of the ultimate Lord of Light (Jesus) and Lord of darkness
(Devil) dualism from Persian Mazdaism and Zoroastrianism.
Actively teaches concepts about God/reality which are mutually exclusive
and create unbearable psychological tension, such as, infinite grace vs.
immutable spiritual law and infinite mercy versus literal eternal punishment by burning.
Generally indulges in obfuscation and obscurantism in its doctrines and
explanations by making things mystical and impossible to understand.
Pressures people including children to make a "decision" or take a “stand” for "Christ",
which is always really a decision for, and a commitment to, that
particular brand of Christianity.
Is guilty of trying to solve universal problems by mundane methods,
problems insoluble by this approach.
Is guilty of producing superficial or misguided definitions for life,
spirit, soul, good and evil, love, freedom, etc.
Is guilty of fostering worship of the "apostles" and their personal ideas.
Is guilty of denying the two clearest and most meaningful aspects of the message of Jesus.
Promulgates the idea that the Bible is inerrant, when even the most
important books for the Bible (Gospels) have significant irreconcilable
Is theologically stagnant and is wandering around in a spiritual wilderness.
Despite the meaning of the Greek word "amartia", that Jesus used
for sin, being missing the mark in concept or understanding,
Christianity instead resolutely teaches that sin is breaking the law
or is a broken relationship.
Despite the parables that teach the Kingship of the heavens
growing exponentially—working like leaven to leaven the whole loaf and
the smallest of all seeds growing into the largest of all plants
sheltering all the creatures—,this has never happened.
Despite the verses in John which says the role of the Holy Spirit
is to teach us all things, and to lead us into all the truth,
Christianity resolutely teaches that we can never realize these ends and
can never understand God.
Many times teaches that we are owned by God and are his property to do
with as he likes, including being burned at the stake for his glory!
Fails to make an important distinction between the meaning of the words "god"
Teaches that we are transcendentally different from God, and focuses on these
differences instead of inspiring us by the sameness.
Defines God as the center of power and control, instead of being
the ideal loving human person, with the ideal character, purpose, values and plan.
Fosters the Old Testament "romantic" paradigm—a
touching one but an inadequate one—of God as the male lover and his
"bride" of his special
people versus the humanist paradigm presented by Jesus.
Blithely assumes that when Jesus says, "It is written" that he is always
endorsing the concept or doctrine rather than just making a point or
portraying how the religious leaders were violating their own standard.
"The most obvious effect of the Reformation —which celebrates its 500th
anniversary this year —is division. It is estimated that more than 33,000
different Christian denominations now exist throughout the world, and much of
this is blamed on the Reformation. While some are making the case that
difference does not necessarily constitute division in Protestantism and the
global church, the plethora of denominations is a source of concern for
Protestants, who are the heirs of Martin Luther's movement that has tended to
create new churches rather than reform existing ones." - Caleb Lindgren,
"Protestants: The Most 'Catholic' of Christians",
Christianity Today, 2017-09-15