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What is a God
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Why God not More Involved?
Determinism & Foreknowledge
The Question of Blame
The Judgment of God
Punishment of God
Personal Relationship with God
Awareness Level of "God"
The Case for Unity
The Issue of Brotherhood
Destiny of Man
What about Death?
The Gift of Miracles
Who WAS Jesus?
Sin and Evil
The Problem of Evil
Meaning of Word Sin
The Devil and Satan
Credibility of the Resurrection
The Issue of Physicality
Why God Waits
Waiting for Godot
The Issues of Belief
Contrast of Believers
Agonizing, Praying Jesus
A Look at Legalism
"Born Again" and Nicodemus
Comments on Nicene Creed
Christianity and Gnosticism
Empowerment vs Natural Law
Gospel of Thomas not Gnostic
Gradations of Grace
Humanism versus Jesus
Idealism, Value of
Meaning of Imminent
Rich Young Ruler Account
Something Meaningful Article
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The pathway to understanding involves asking the
right questions UNTIL we get the right answers.
Who WAS Jesus?
And what was/is Jesus?
The two violent branchings
Setting aside the Copts in Egypt
and other somewhat isolated pockets of adherents around the world, in terms of
"believers" in Jesus the first great branching produced Christians and
Gnostics. After Christianity grew in numbers, spread around the known
ancient world, and became institutionalized, entrenched and allied with
civil authority in Europe, it militarily wiped out by killing and heavily
persecuting most of that continent's Gnostic sects and believers under the
banner of the Pope. The next great branching, also a violent and military
one took place via the Reformation, and produced Protestants
alongside the established Catholics. Today, included in the world's most populous
religion, we have thousands of different denominations and sects that fall
under the labels of Protestant, Catholic, and Other.
don't believe historical Jesus
There are even a few people that call
themselves "Christian" that are unsure whether Jesus was even historical!
There are two important factors that help undergird this position. Although more
archeological snd historical evidence hss been uncovered as time goes on, one is
the lack of overwhelming evidence. But excepting for the historic impact on the
spiritual and religious world, we shouldn't expect much more than we have
of the normal kind of evidence for the historicity of Jesus.
For the second factor see the articles
Cult influence on Christianity,
The Immobile God,
Saturn & Christendom,
and Sanctuary was Moloch's Tent,
These among others detail the extremely large inclusion into
Christianity of ancient somewhat global Saturnian mythos, symbols, rites,
rituals and sacraments. Most of these are illegitimately imposed upon
the Gospel message and intent, and range from unnecessary to downright
ridiculous, counter productive. and idolatrous. It must be said that both
Jesus and John used some of the prevailing and prolific ancient mythos in
their conversation to draw a parallel and attention to make an important
point or claim, but you will find neither one endorsing an equation of Jesus
with the Saturnian god, nor encouraging the ongoing tradition.
Regardless, these above referenced people don't see that it matters because
they have a civilized set of values and a strong belief in the
merit of the primary teachings concerning a creator, love, equality, brotherhood,
forgiveness, etc., whatever their source. That is enough for them to identify with
"Christianity". Not only do they not get very excited about it, but this
position leaves them free to incorporate almost any other concept or
doctrine that suits their fancy, even ones that are outside of or contrary
to what Jesus espoused and that are anathema to the balance of Christians.
For acceptable identity in the Western world it doesn't hurt that Christianity is the most
prominent and influential religion.
Trinity or not
Essentially, excepting for those in this latter class, almost all
Christians accept that Jesus was the literal creator of all, even though they
confuse things by bringing in concepts of the Trinity, which leaves them
unacquainted, closed or repulsed at worst and
uncomfortable at best with the idea that Jesus preceded the created agency,
which was for his life on Earth his literal Father. Likewise, they do not
understand that he was the source of the Holy Spirit, the "God Spirit",
truth inspired attitude, or Inspirational Love Attitude, whatever your
favorite term is.
The Gospel writers John and Thomas make the most extreme claim, which is
that Jesus was the First, the original person, the Beginning; and so in
John's mind Jesus was The Originator. He makes that
clear in the first few verses of his Gospel while stipulating that Jesus
was THE Logos, the original source for all will, purpose, reason and wisdom..
Accordingly, Jesus made this claim about himself, that he was the first,
"before Abraham 'I AM'", the original life source, the primordial
intelligence and will before there was a physical cosmos, the fount of truth,
the ONE. Clear enough! On the other hand, he talks about his "Father"
and makes it clear that the Father is greater than he is, and that when necessary
he defers to the Father's will. How can this be? How can both of these constructs
be true and how is it possible to sort all this out so that it is clear,
reasonable, good and simply makes sense?
Apparently, many disciples
ultimately came to this conclusion of Jesus as creator after first thinking he was just the
Messiah, and Paul was in accord with it. In fact, there is no
argument in the New Testament against this foundational Christian tenet that he was
the creator. However, most Christians that are Trinitarian think that Jesus just
performed the role of the visible, active agent for the Trinity in the creation process.
Given that we are directed to pray to the Father, and that any immediate personal
contact is restricted to some mystical infusion with the Holy Spirit to guide our lives, the effect
is one of reducing Jesus to third place in practical importance.
Although the founder of Islam
accepted that Jesus was a great and holy man, a prophet, the current Islamic spiritual leaders
pay little or no further attention to him. Canvass the many Christian books,
magazines, journals and materials and see that the articles are about the
"church", its issues and problems, about the challenges that Pastors
confront, that individuals face in a daunting world, about the role of the
Holy Spirit in our lives, issues concerning the Bible, etc., and not about Jesus and who
he was in terms of a concrete conceptual relationship with the Father, and
how the "Holy Spirit" is HIS attitude.
Why care about this issue?
Well, SO WHAT? While looking at an
incredibly troubled world of woe, 1300 years[*] of nothing much out of
Christendom except unfulfilled expectations, the global cacophony of confusion,
the ongoing fragmentation and lack of unity, the increasing welter of diverse
doctrines, the myriad reasons to question and not accept the Bible or other ancient scriptures as
being the word of God, the growing conviction that there is no God (at least
one that cares enough to get meaningfully involved), the
assault of evolutionary science, the endless disconfirmations of traditional
beliefs, etc., ad nauseam, why should an educated, reasonable man
care about these issues of who and what Jesus was or is? How can these
legitimately have any relevance in his life, and so
what is the point of trying to sort them out? There is no strong voice out
there demanding that we understand these deep issues. On the contrary, this
sentiment prevails: "Who can know thy ways?" describing an enigmatic God.
Why not leave these issues in the arcane domain of the professional theologians?
The answer to these latter questions is that without
understanding who or what Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are, and their
actual relationship, we CANNOT get the fullest sense of the magnitude of the
passion play demonstration, the incredible faith that Jesus had in his own creation of
the human family—of which we are a part—that he started. The full impact of
the Gospel is left hollow, fallow and unappreciated.
If we understand that the "Father"
is the corpus of all unfallen human beings in the universe with a collective
consciousness, all those that began life because of and subsequent to the
Originator, and if we understand that Jesus as the Originator of all things put
his very existence into the hands of this created agency; then we can see the
magnificence of HIS faith in his creation, his family, his sons and
daughters. Only then can we fully see that his character is purposed to
serve and he has not retained any special
privilege, power or sovereignty over his family and the universe. He has chosen
equality rather than to be ordinate, and to have ONE vote in a non-theocratic democracy,
which he doesn't use! "The first shall become the last, and the last first."
This has never really been fully appreciated before.
A Risky Mission
Think about it! If you were pre-existent, pre-eminent, immortal with
ultimate power, personally impervious to evil except through your feelings,
why would you ever irrevocably turn it over to someone else, some other
agency? What could possibly motivate you to even CONSIDER doing that? Why would
you not only do that, but then go even further and put your very existence into its hands,
willingly allow it to take your life away and trust it to start your life over as a zygote in
the womb of a woman in a hardened idolatrous culture of a
fallen and evil world? How could you trust that agency to care for you, nurture
you, and to infuse you with all your previous aspects and dimensions,
everything that you had before so that nothing was lost in the process? Why
would you willingly subject yourself to the limitations and evils of this world, including a life
directed not at usual human goals and success nor social, romantic, sexual fulfillment,
but for a "risky" mission, an ordeal of being unappreciated, one of intense
frustration, the chance of mission failure resulting in humiliation, shame,
torture and a denigrating death among other failed revolutionaries?
What short of lunacy could motivate one to risk a naked crucifixion hanging
on the great Saturnian symbol of the cross, an exacerbating venture
resulting in a death that actually transpired? What is worth risking this
kind of mission failure that temporarily yet to this point in time actually
prevails and seems—without the application of heavenly intervention and
force, which will NEVER happen—, insurmountable in such a perverse, insane world!
This may all be very hard to
fathom, and yet this is truly what happened! Only unalloyed and otherwise
unfathomable love and trust could foster or even ALLOW such a development,
and maybe only this series of events could fully demonstrate that such nobility, love and
trust actually exist as more than just an ideal. Is it only this development
that gives the complete answer and cure once
doubt has entered the arena and Sin and evil have arisen? Yes, only this vision can
inspire us to triumph all the way and ensure that Sin—mistrust in the
character, motives and efficacy of the Originator—will never again arise
throughout all eternity, even in a growing yet completely free universe!
Only this reality can make the
"five trees of paradise"—the five scars on the head, wrists and feet of
Jesus—into the five most beautiful features in the entire universe forever.
[*] In the revised Chronology, approximately 730
years gets subtracted from the first millennium, thus having Jesus living
about 1300 years ago.