I will begin today by saying, it truly breaks my heart to have to write this message, but I know no other way out. I must write what I know to be scientific and philosophical truth — so here goes.
Without doubt, most of you reading this paper have been inculcated with the idea that Jesus was sent by God to shed his blood so our sins could be forgiven by his Father. As a matter of record, I have scoured the bible and biblical commentary and can find no direct quote from Jesus to that effect.
Likewise, I can find no direct quote from any biblical writer stating explicitly why the Jews considered Jesus to be a traitor. What exactly was he teaching that infuriated them so? I can, however, find plenty of places where Jesus exhibits love and forgiveness, and I believe without doubt that single fact accounts for their hatred of him. Before we can interpret and understand that principle, we must consider the history of sin. Where and how did the basic concept of sin originate?
Of course, we know that Original Sin, by which we all have been impaled, was caused by Adam and Eve disobeying God in the Garden of Eden. And then there was Sodom and Gomorrah, Noah’s Arc and the Great Flood, and other such stories in the Old Testament, but they all represent ‘after the fact’ punishments handed out by God for disobedience. But the question then is ‘when were specific sins against God necessitating sacrifices of appeasement in lieu of great punishment recognized?’
If you recall, you will note that, as the Israelites were wandering helplessly and hopelessly in the desert after their escape from Egypt, they became rebellious against their God — they lost faith and confidence in him. Accordingly, they became hedonistic and even reverted to worshiping pagan gods. That angered Moses, their leader. So, attempting to restore order and good behavior, he presented them with ten principles of good civil existence — that drew laughter and scorn. Accordingly, Moses presented them with a second identical set of directives. Only this time, he labeled them as ‘God’s commands’– any breeches were ‘sins’ against God and would be punished directly by God. At that moment, ‘sin’ was institutionalized, and the Israelites immediately and thereafter became enshrouded ‘in a blanket of guilt’ generated by their sins.
It should be noted that human beings have the same animal instincts and natural drives, including selfishness, as all other animal life. Those instinctual drives were instilled in all animal life for one specific reason, propagation of the species. Attempting to control people by making those instincts immoral is as fruitless as trying to burn water. However, when that attempt includes threats of direct punishment from God himself, a continual state of guilt accompanied by an equal degree of anxiety and fear is established and unavoidable.
Eventually, as time progressed and the Israelites settled into the Promised land, a hierarchy was established with specific duties for each position. Of course, the Israelites, being human, were guilty of breaking God’s laws on a repetitive basis. That required two solutions: one; restitution — an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, and two; sacrificial appeasement of their offended God. Those sacrifices could only be made by the High Priest, and more importantly, had to, be ‘perfect’ sacrifices of ‘perfect specimens’. Just as importantly, only the High Priest could provide those perfect sacrificial specimens. Of course, the laity had to purchase those ‘perfect specimens’ from the High Priest at an extortionate price – very profitable, indeed – it still is.
By the time Jesus arrived on the scene, the Jews were under Roman domination but were allowed to continue their religious practices as well as most of their legal system. The only real things Rome cared about were their slave-like productivity and civility. Jesus observed how the temple had been turned into a literal ‘den of thieves’. The High priest was making a triple fortune by selling his perfect offering specimens to the peasants at an exorbitant price. Sin necessitating appeasement of God had become a gimmick which Jesus simply could not stomach. In addition, he could clearly see how the Law was so unfair to women.
I believe with my all that Jesus was the first human to recognize the presence of God’s spirit in everything. Recognizing the concept of sin to be a man-made concoction for profit, he knew that God could not possibly hate anything in which he dwelled — God knew no sin. Jesus’ God was perfect and could neither be please nor displeased. Neither could he be hurt or helped. God was/is All Love.
Accordingly, when questioned about the greater of the Commandments, Jesus replied forcefully; “I’ll give you two commandments. One, you shall love your God with your all. Two, you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (paraphrased).
That singular teaching negated literally all the Jewish law and, simultaneously, made Jesus a traitor. Jesus knew he would be crucified for his teaching, but he was determined to pull that terrible, persecuting blanket of ‘guilt’ off his fellow man and ‘liberate’ him once and for all from that psychological oppression of sin— such zeal has seldom if ever been witnessed before nor since. Jesus’ singular purpose was to be our liberator from the oppressive guilt-driving Jewish religion, not our savior from God’s wrath. Church history after his death shows clearly how miserably he failed.
The Roman Catholic Church which Constantine commissioned in the year 325 totally ignored Jesus’ teaching in its formation. In Fact, it would be another eight hundred years before the concept that Jesus came to this earth to die in appeasement of the Father for mankind’s sin neared finalization. But even then, that appeasement was insufficient to ensure heaven— most certainly, we must ‘work our way into heaven’. More importantly, despite all that work, few would escape the cleansing fires of Purgatory. However, the Church had a plan to shorten that time — indulgences. In fact, at one point in time, Rome was selling ‘indulgences’ to those rich people who could afford them. They eagerly accepted — remember; “It is harder for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to get into heaven” — another money-making gimmick.
Given the definition of God’s essence as, ‘God is a Perfect Rational Being’, I believe the following pertain:
Every event of any kind in this universe is perfect in both form and function.
Every event represents ‘God’s Perfection in action.
Physical miracles are an impossibility — God cannot possibly change his own nature.
Jesus was a genius but was a mere mortal man, born of natural parents, likely married, and with siblings.
Jesus recognized ‘sin’ as a man-made concoction aimed at control and extorsion.
Jesus recognized God’s presence and perfection in all things.
Jesus recognized God’s Perfect Love (acceptance) of all his creation with no possibility of rejection of anyone or anything.
Jesus recognized the hoax in the Jewish religion of ‘guilt and appeasement’ for financial gain.
Jesus never said he came to die for the forgiveness if our sins.
Jesus’ only teaching of note was ‘Love of God and love of neighbor’.
The only purpose of Jesus’ teaching of God’s Love was to liberate humanity from the shroud of guilt. Only in that sense was he our savior. He died trying but he failed miserably because the Church which eventuated 300 years later totally ignored his teaching and went straight back to a Church of sacrificial appeasement of an angry God. Because it ignored Jesus’ foundational teaching of Love, that Church has since fragmented into 33,000 cults – little wonder.
There has never been a power-generating, all-controlling, money-making machine as huge and successful as religion. It was that way in Jesus’ time, and it persists today. The irony is this; the one teaching of Jesus that got him killed, love of God and neighbor, has been totally ignored by Christianity which labors and expounds about God’s mercy which, of course, is distributed by religion in one way or another but always for a ‘pretty penny’ and always for the direct benefit of the distributors.
Come to think of it, I have not heard the words Purgatory or Indulgences mentioned in any pulpit in many years. I think I know why. The Church has recognized such teaching to be tantamount to witchcraft, and at its best, to be both totally scientifically and philosophically untenable. The Concept of Purgatory completely defies the concept of eternity in two spheres— time and change. Eternity is a state of being in which there is no time and therefore, no change, which is measured in increments of time, can occur. In addition, the concept of ‘buying your way into heaven is ludicrous — one can pay God for a spot in heaven? Really? I think not — my God is perfect, and no change is possible.
If you would like to put order into this tangled mess of religion, you must read my book, Wilderness Cry. After reading it once, it is likely you will immediately want to read it again. Then, you will have a mandatory urge to delve into Peace in Spirituality and Provocative Catholic.
If you then have any curiosity about the author who was raised in a %100 Roman Catholic community of Fancy Farm, Kentucky and educated in Saint Jerome Elementary and High Schools, you certainly will want to read the author’s Growing Up in Fancy Farm Kentucky. All are available Amazon-Kindle and from me email@example.com.
If, after reading any or all, you have questions or comments, they are welcomed, will be addressed, and answered promptly.
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