Archive | October 2017

The Reformation must go on

The amount of damage done to Christian teaching by the pagan emperors of Rome is hard to imagine, but the reformation gives an idea of how bad. Christianity has become so fragmented with various amounts of original teachings and dogma in each of the sects which emerged from the reformation. Obviously, they all cannot be correct, so the reformation must continue with the help of the Teachers promised by Jesus. The story of its fragmentation is in my trilogy Torn Between Two Worlds.

A study of Origen will quickly show you how modern Christianity has become so confused, because people fail to recognize the three layers of meaning in scripture. Specifically, the spiritual meaning is lost in a material world and sometimes the moral meaning too. Let’s look at some examples of this difficulty. Jesus spent three days in Cana at the wedding where He performed His first miracle. After this, John says He went down to Capernaum, but Capernaum’s elevation is much higher than that of Cana. In addition, John says he did not stay long. Compare this to the time when He must go to Samaria and does not even enter the city. He stays by the well and talks to those who come out of the city.

Origen taught about the deeper spiritual meaning in John’s work. Whenever Jesus spent more time with people meant that He was closer to them spiritually. The people in Cana were family and they understood the deeper meaning of His teachings, it was complete, thus three days. Three comes up several times in John and it is a number defining completeness. Shorter periods of time thus signify further from Jesus. Samaria was a pagan city, so His teaching did not penetrate the city. People had to escape the city to receive Jesus. Altitude has a different meaning for John than purely material one. In going down to Capernaum, Jesus had to step down to them spiritually and they could not comprehend His teaching. The same problem still exits.

Rhetoric in modern Christianity

In my book, Torn Between Two Worlds: Wisdom and Rhetoric, I named three of the most harmful doctrines in Christianity, but refrained from discussing the grace dogma. It is something that I at first dismissed as one of the top three failures of Christianity, but I might have to reconsider it.

Grace dogma says that there is nothing that you can do to earn your way into the Kingdom of God, you need only to believe in Jesus before you die. It is only through God’s Grace, that we are allowed into heaven. As with other dogma, great lengths are used to reinforce this claim. When all we should do is look at the direct words to Jesus to see this is not true. The first case is when Jesus told Nicodemus, a Pharisee (John 3:1-21) that he must be born again. He goes on to say that we stop doing wrong and start doing good to move out of darkness into the light. He says specifically that we must work to move into the light before we become spiritual or of the spirit.

Secondly, Jesus clarifies some of the Old Testament laws, making them more apparent. He says that is not enough to just not kill, but you must reconcile all with your brother, repaying everything to the last farthing before becoming free. (Matt 5:21-26) Jesus spoke in parable and when you understand he was speaking to simple people who could not comprehend His Kingdom, you can see how His simple stories tells what Origen later explains in his simple excellence.

A corollary to the grace dogma says that Jesus died for all our sins, past present and future. The first time I heard this I could not believe it. This is where the paradoxes that make Christianity laughable come from. It says that billions of people, who have no access to Christian teaching, have no chance to go Heaven, but a mass murderer who repents in the electric chair can!

What is the harm in this dogma? It removes any personal responsibility for sin and therefore, creates no incentive to follow the footsteps of Jesus. It makes the religion unpalatable to reasonable people and gives non-Christians yet another illogical teaching to attack. Jesus said that he came to save the sinners and Origen taught that this process is an unperceivably slow reconciliation that lasts lifetimes. What Origen describes is exactly what Darwin observed in nature. The paleontological record shows a slow specialization and beatification of nature with more cooperation and symbioses. The God who created the nature, did not create the version of Christianity we live with today which is giving power to the right extremists.

The true good news which Jesus brought is that He died for all the Fallen, opened the gate to Heaven and will rejoice when the prodigal son (Lucifer) will finally come home. This is God’s Grace, fore we and Lucifer do not deserve to come home. But He did not say it was a free ride, He ends Matthew 5 telling us “But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” This work we must do in addition to God’s Grace.

Comforters, Teachers and Spirits of Truth

Jesus promised that His Word would never die, and knowing what happened to the prophets that came before Him, He knew the effort needed to keep it alive. Jesus also knew that He was unable to make his apostles understand Heaven and His Father in the three short years that He taught. So, Jesus promised to send the Comforters, Teachers and Spirits of Truth (John 14:17 15:26 16:13) to finish the jobs of explaining the Word and keeping the Word alive. He had delivered the important message that He was the Son of God and He demonstrated this to them.

In the second century AD a Teacher appeared named Origen of Alexandria. He did exactly what Jesus had promised. He painstakingly explained the New and Old Testaments in terms understandable for all. He was the most prolific biblical scholar that ever lived and bridged Judaism, Platonism and Christianity with beautiful clarity. His work was destroyed by the dark force which threw the West into the dark ages. True to His promise, Jesus sent other Teachers: Zwingli, Calvin and Luther to keep His word alive and to reverse the paganist teachings introduced by the likes of Constantine and Justinian. A great darkness again came down upon the world resulting in two world wars. But true to His word, Jesus sent more Teachers and Comforters.

Johannes Greber, Reverend G. Vale Owen and Beatrice Brunner re-delivered the Word during these times and continued to correct the dogma that plagues Christianity, furthering the work that Jesus promised. In this modern time, few can accept the consequences of the Word, and therefore, unable to relish in the enormous consolation that Jesus’ original teaching brings for all of mankind. The story of its fragmentation is in my trilogy Torn Between Two Worlds.

This entry was posted on October 17, 2017, in Religion.