Sunday, May 07, 2006

The End of Christianity?

       14 comments


Oh, my God! It doesn't get much weirder than this.

The Vatican today announced that it plans to sue somebody — anybody! — over both the book and movie versions of The Da Vinci Code because, it claims, "both offend Christ and the Church he founded."

It's no secret neither Mary nor the Widow's Son have much good to say about organized religion. Look through the archives of the Burning Taper and Sacred Fems for dozens of blog entries about religion. Watching Christianity, both the Protestant and the Catholic versions, piss its pants over The Da Vinci Code is both sad and hilarious!

What are they so afraid of?

Maybe they don't like it that they're no longer in charge of the world. I mean, it hasn't been too many years since the Catholic Church's official Holy Inquisition ended. You know, the one where they slaughtered and tortured millions of innocent people because they didn't believe official doctrine.

What about revenue loss? People who are no longer afraid of the ruthless, jealous and vengeful God that most Christian churches demand we believe in don't make tithes and offerings to keep churches' coffers and clergymen's pockets full.

"This is one of the fundamental human rights: that we should be respected, our religious beliefs respected, and our founder Jesus Christ respected," Cardinal Francis Arinzehe, an also-ran in the race to be named the new Pope last year, whined. Respect is earned, Daddy-o, not given just because you want it.

Though the poll currently on SacredFems.com hasn't yet indicated that most everyone agrees, we tend to believe that this film is going to change the world, perhaps rather quickly. People don't buy this religion stuff quite like they did even just a generation ago. Young people today aren't dropped off at Sunday School like they used to be, to have the myths drilled into their nervous systems. Today, there are new myths, some that inspire us to greater heights, and sadly, many that seem to be taking us as a society down a long, dark tunnel towards oblivion.

We don't know where the future of humanity is going, spiritually or physically, but it simply cannot keep going on the path it has been and hope to survive.

A new paradigm of spirituality is called for. Yahweh-Jehovah neither inspires us nor instills fear in our hearts anymore. Jesus has been commercialized and caricatured, parodied and poked fun at, not just by Christmas and countless South Park episodes, but by the very churches that still promote Him. Which Jesus is the Real One, if any? The Catholic one, the Mormon one, the Jehovah's Witnesses one, the fundamentalist Southern Baptist one? The Jewish one? Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ Jesus? The one from Jesus Christ Superstar? The Prince of Peace or the one who "came not to bring peace but a sword"?

What's the future for Christianity? They've splintered themselves into a couple of thousand different sects, and in any small town in America, there are at least a dozen different Baptist churches that have split off from older churches because they congregants couldn't get along with each other. If they now have to threaten to cry alligator tears in a courtrom somewhere to force people stop "disrespecting" them, then obviously, it's over for the Bible-thumpers and Bible-wavers of whatever Protestant denomination or Catholic order. Christianity's time as Alpha Religion is passing.

Let's just pray to God that a new, higher spirituality prevails and propels mankind toward a Higher Plane of existence. We shudder at the other possibility, that we might fall into something even worse than we have now, devolving into a mind-numbing theocracy like those in Muslim countries.

To once again quote God, as recorded in A Conversation with God: The New Revelations:
There are five things you can chose now if changing your world, and the self-destructive direction in which it is moving, is what you wish to achieve.
  1. You can choose to acknowledge that some of your old beliefs about God and abotu Life are no longer working.

  2. You can choose to acknowledge that there is something you do not understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which will change everything.

  3. You can choose to be willing for a new understanding of God and Life to now be brought forth, an understanding that could produce a new way of life on your planet.

  4. You can choose to be courageous enought to explore and examine this new understanding, and, if ti aligns with your inner truth and knowing, to enlarge your belief system to include it.

  5. You can choose to live your lives as demonstrations of your highest and grandest beliefs, rather than as denials of them.
These are the Five Steps to Peace, and if you take them, you can shift everything on your planet.
This article is cross-posted on The Burning Taper.

— Mary and the Widow's Son

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Comments:
Excellent post! I used a signature on message forums for years that best sums up my opinion about the version of Christianity that is used to extort the general populace.

My signature read:

"I would burn in hell before I would believe in a God so vain, petty, insecure, and vindictive as to send me the hell for the crime of failing to believe in him."
This is classic Illuminati strategy and behaviour.

Since they're directing both forces into heightened strife and conflict, they stand to benefit.

Gnostic Consumerism v. the Egypto-Christian Church = More time to enact Alternative 3

And contains a hint of the salty smell of the Templar-Vatican Wars of the 15th, 16th & 17th Centuries.
To Widow’s Son and all who read his postings and his wife’s postings:

Those who claim the name of Christ should not be afraid of Dan Brown and his skeptical charade of Christianity. The theories of Brown are nothing more than warmed up heresy from years ago – and for some reason – people are paying him good money to simply reheat the old heresy of yesteryear.

DIVIDING LINE
The dividing line between Brown’s book and movie – The Da Vinci Code – and the true character of Christ should be evaluated. First of all, Brown’s claims find themselves founded upon the shifting sand of heretical writings called – Gnostic Gospels.

PROBLEMS WITH THE GNOSTIC GOSPELS
Several problems exist with the Gnostic writings. First of all, they were written by people claiming to be Apostles in order to get their writings noticed. These people knew if they made false claims about Christ and spread their writings across the regions – they would never get notoriety. Therefore, they wrote false claims about Christ, His character, and Christianity – and published them in the name of an Apostle. This would be like Mr. Widow’s Son writing a sermon that made horrendous claims about Christ – and publishing it in the name of John Calvin. It was an attempt to quench the Church of Christ and run the name of Christ in the mud.

Another serious problem is the unreliability of the Gnostic writings. Many of these writings are dated in or around 200-250 AD which is simply too far removed from the life of Christ to be taken seriously. The Gospel writings are written by those who knew Christ personally and who are writing from a first hand experience. When compared to the Gnostic writings – the validity is very clear and obvious to the eyes of the reader. Furthermore, the true author of the Gospel records is God Himself. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that “ALL SCRIPTURE” is given by inspiration of God! The reason the Holy Bible has stood the test of time is because of the inspiration of God. The reason the Gnostic writings failed in their era was due to their obvious flounders and lies. They failed in their day – and they will fail under the name of Dan Brown in our day.

Finally, another problem is the contradictory claims which violate Holy Scripture. Holy Scripture has stood through the era of the Gnostic writings and it will continue to stand the test of time. The warmed up heresy of Dan Brown will not affect or shake the true Church of Christ Jesus. It may add fuel to the flames of heresy mongers of our day for a short time, but in the end – when the cards are laid out on the table – Dan Brown will simply be labeled as another heretic who took a pop shot at Christ Jesus and failed miserably.

-----------
For more on the subject of – The Da Vinci Code – visit the following sites:

The John Ankerberg Show ---- http://www.ankerberg.org/Articles/historical-Jesus/DaVinci/HJ-Da-Vinci-Code-questions.htm

Albert Mohler's Blog ---- http://www.albertmohler.com/commentary_read.php?cdate=2006-04-12

Michael Youssef ---- http://www.leadingtheway.org/site/PageServer?pagename=bc_DebunkingDaVinci
-----------

Isaiah 40:8
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Josh Buice
To John:

I am sorry that you see God as vindictive and petty - I think you should take another look at the cross. For Christ to die on the cross is not petty or vain! He is a sacrificial God who loves people - just like you.

Will you trust him for salvation? Call upon him today!

Josh Buice
PROBLEMS WITH THE MAMALUJO

Several problems exist with the the canon Gospels of MaMaLuJo. First of all, they were written by people claiming to be Apostles in order to get their writings noticed. These people knew if they made false claims about Christ and spread their writings across the regions – they would get notoriety. Therefore, they wrote false claims about Christ, His character, and Christianity – and published them in the name of a few Apostles. This would be like Mr. Josh Buish writing a sermon that made outrageous claims about Christ – and publishing it in the name of MaMaLuJo. It was an attempt to control the Church of Christ and ruin the meaning of Christ's message.
ole grouchy gumby,

why don't you cheer up groucho gumby? If you truly have found such meaning and purpose in life - why not share your insight with others? If you have arrived, why not assist others on their journey?

The truth is mr. grouchy gumby - you have not arrived - and you are simply afraid of what you may find when you do arrive!

if only grouchy gumby could see the light of day - if only ........

Josh Buice - In response to ole grouchy gumby - who hides behind a photo and screen name because - like Mary's husband - he is afraid to take responsibility for his words!

Cheer up gumby -
Responding to Pastor Buice,

The issue of true authorship of the canonical gospels is still in question among some scholars. Jewish pseudopigripha was an accepted literary form. With the passage of time, the details regarding true authorship have become somewhat vague at best. Some scholars contend that some books exhibit differing historical expressions within the same book. That leads some to contend that some gospels may have been written by more than one person.
The general consensus is that the canonical gospels were written by the actual apostles to which they were ascribed to.

The gnostic writings were for the most part writings from different schools of Jewish/Christian/pagan traditions that were rivals for the style of Christianity that was embraced and promoted by force by Constantine and the Holy Roman Empire.
The decidedly "Pauline" slant to the Christianity that has come down to us was not the same that was promulgated by the surviving apostles in the early days of the Church. There are even evidences that some of the early Christians and Jews believed in a type of reincarnation. This belief is further carried on into modern times by the surviving "Nestorian Christians" who settled in Egypt and China after being harangued and persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church in AD 845.

I would like to point out to Rev. Buice that not all gnostic writings are heresies. Just because a book was not included in the canon does not mean it was damned as heresy. The Gospel of Thomas was not included because it paints a decidedly "eastern" interpretation of the nature of Christ's sayings and his divinity. The Protoevanglion of Mary paints a decidedly impish picture of a child Jesus using his powers for some less than divine purposes.
Regardless on what people believe,much remains veiled. Buice's truth may not be the truth for all. He refuses to even entertain the idea of any other interpretation of Christ's message and mission other than that which he holds as being correct. This is to his credit and should not be disdained. However; I am still skeptical and there are still loose ends that need to be tied up.
Does Mr. Brown contend that the DaVinci Code is gospel truth? Not necessarily. But what he does want to promote is the ability for people to question those loose ends and to find the truth, no matter what it may be.
It is mentioned in the Bible that those who seek God shall find him. Rev. Buice seems to have found his God. That's great. Yet he seems to believe that if you even question the loose ends or seek beyond the norm...then you are in a grievous state of sin and in danger of damnation. I don't believe damnation awaits all seekers and scientists. The DaVinci Code is a good story and does have some interesting points. If there is no truth to anything in the story...then why are the Catholic and some branches of the Protestant faiths so afraid? Freedom of speech goes hand in hand with freedom of conscience. Who knows...It may drive folks TO the Church. It may drive some away. It may just be perceived for what I believe it to be...A great story with an ingenious plot!

FRDS
To Rev. Buice & all who have ears...

The triumph of the doctrine of evolution has reconciled the more literate Christians to the non-historicity of Adam. As the historicity of Jesus, however, is now widely questioned, even the most liberal defenders of the faith find themselves in a very uncomfortable position, being belabored by both fundamentalists and ultra-rationalists alike. After surrendering the theological Christ, the liberal Christian apologist finds out, much to his chagrin, that practically nothing is known about the historical Jesus. Our chief sources of information concerning Jesus Christ are the so-called genuine Pauline Epistles and references to Jesus by Jewish and pagan writers, but most of these are of extremely doubtful authenticity.

There is a famous passage in The Antiquities of the Jews, by Flavius Jesephus,1 in which reference is made to Jesus Christ, but it is generally regarded as a forgery, even by Christian scholars. The passage is not mentioned by any Christian writer before Eusebius, in the early part of the fourth century.

Cornelius Tacitus, the Roman historian, in his celebrated Annals,2 refers to the burning of Rome in 64 A.D. and the Neroian persecution of the Christians. He describes them as a "vast multitude" and says that the cult was founded by Christus, who was punished as a criminal by the Procurator Pontius Pilate. Eusebius3 made a list of Jewish and pagan references to Christianity, but Tactus is not mentioned by him. In fact, the passage in question was not quoted by any Christian writer before the fifteenth century. Pliny the younger, proconsul of Bithynia, wrote a letter to the Roman Emperor Tragan (early second century), in which he reported the presence in his province of a group of people who gathered before daybreak on a certain day and sang hymns to Christ as a god. There is no evidence that this Christ was the Jesus of the Gospels. The Emperor Hadrian in a letter to the Consul Servianus (A.D. 134), asserts that the worshippers of the sun-god Serapis, in Egypt, were Christians, and that these sun-worshippers called themselves "Bishops of Christ." The worship of Serapis was imported into Egypt from Pontus, a province bordering on Bithynia. The Christians mentioned by Pliny the Younger4 were in all probability worshippers of Serapis.

Suetonius5 in his "Life of Claudius" relates that "He (Claudius) drove the Jews, who at the instigation of Christas were constantly rioting, out of Rome." This is said to have taken place about fifteen years after the crucifixion of Jesus. So Chistas could hardly have been Jesus Christ. Philo, an eminent Jewish philosopher and historian, was a contemporary of Christ, but makes no mention of Jesus. Philo developed the doctrine of the Logos, and although according to Christian theology Jesus Christ was the Logos, he was not aware of the identity. Justus of Tiberias, a native of Galilee, wrote a history covering the period in which Justus is said to have lived, but does not in any instance call the name of the Christ. The works of Justus have now all perished, but they were read by Photius, a Christian bishop and scholar, of Constantinople (ninth century). Says Photius: "He (Justus) makes not the least mention of the appearance of Christ, of what things happened to him, or of the wonderful work that he did.6 The paucity of our information concerning the Christian savior is concisely expressed by Mr. Robert Keable, in his work, The Great Galilean:

No man knows sufficient of the early life of Jesus to write a biography of him. For that matter, no one knows enough for the normal Times obituary notice of a great man. If regard were had to what we should call, in correct speech, definitely historical facts, scarcely three lines could be filled. Moreover, if newspapers had been in existence, and if that obituary notice had had to be written in the year of his death, no editor could have found in the literature of his day so much as his name. Yet few periods of the ancient world were so well documented as the period of Augustus and Tiberius. But no contemporary knew of his existence. Even a generation later, a spurious passage in Josephus, a questionable reference in Suetonius, and the mention of a name that may be his by Tacitus—that is all. His first mention in any surviving document, secular or religious, is twenty years after.

The so-called genuine Pauline Epistles, in the New Testament, are Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Galatians. The other letters attributed to St. Paul are regarded as spurious. The genuine Epistles were written from about A.D. 52 to 64.

The dates of origin of the Four Gospels have been estimated as follows: Mark—A.D. 70 to 100; Luke—about A.D. 100; Matthew—A.D. 100 to 110; John—sometime between A.D. 100 and 160. That these Gospels stories are replete with inaccuracies and contradictions is obvious to all who read with a discerning eye. In Mathew 2:1, we are told that Jesus Christ was born "in the days of Herod." But in Luke 2:2, were are told that the Christ child first saw the light of day, "when Cyrenious was governor of Syria." There is here a discrepancy of at least ten years, for Herod died in the year 4. B.C. while Cyrenius, or Quirinius, as he is known in Roman history, did not become governor of Syria until the year A.D. 7. According to the Rev. Dr. Giles, in his Hebrew and Christian Records: "We have no clue to either the day or the time of year, or even the year itself, in which Christ was born." Matthew 1:6–16 lists twenty-eight generations from David to Jesus while Luke 3:23–38 tabulates forty-three. According to John, Jesus visited Jerusalem at least four times, but the Synoptics (Mark, Luke and Matthew) assure us that he journeyed to that city only once. As to the length of the Jesus' ministry the Synoptics say one year, but John says at least three years. From the Synoptical account, we gather that the savior carried out his work chiefly in Galilee, but John informs us that Judea was the principal theater of the ministry of Christ.

The hour of the crucifixion is likewise uncertain. One account fixes the time at the third hour (9 A.M.).7 Another account says it occurred at about the sixth hour (Noon).8 It is alleged that Jesus predicted that he would sojourn in the tomb for three days and three nights.9 But in the Synoptic accounts of the event, as it is said to have actually happened, the time is given as two nights and one day, i.e., one day and a half.

Should we inquire as to who visited the tomb first, we receive four different answers. John says one woman; Mathew, two women; Mark, three women; and Luke, a crowd of women. When we ask whom did the women meet at the tomb, we again receive four replies. Matthew asserts that they saw one angel, whereas Mark declares it was one young man. According to Luke, the women saw two men. And John says that they saw two angels. These women also saw Jesus, if we believe Matthew (chapter 28). If we give credence to Like (chapter 24), the women did not see Jesus.

Nor do these inspired scribes display unanimity regarding the number of days between the resurrection and the ascension. The elapsed time was only one day, if we follow Luke, and at least ten days if we take the work of John. The Book of Acts extends the period to forty days. Since both the Gospel according to Luke and the Book of Acts are said to have been written by the Author, these discrepancies are very puzzling, to say the least. According to Holy Writ, Jesus the Christ terminated his earthy pilgrimage by ascending to heaven. The exact location of his departure, it seems, it unknown. The ascension took place in Jerusalem, if Mark wrote correctly. Not so, if Luke knew whereof he spoke, for he relates that it was at Bethany. Acts (1:12) gives Mt. Olivet as the scene of the momentous event. Let it be noted that Matthew and John make no mention of the ascension; that it occurs in Mark in the Spurious Addendum (the last twelve verses, which were not in the original manuscript), and that Luke's version does not appear in the Codes Sinaiticus, a fourth-century manuscript now in the British Museum. The Gospel writers advance three views as to the nature of Jesus. Mark regards him as the Son of Man. Matthew and Luke hail him as the Son of God, while John recognizes him as God himself.

A consideration of pagan parallels will put the Gospel records in a clearer light. Let us become as little children, and travel backwards in time, with a venerable bishop as our guide:

Suppose you had been a child living in Rome 1940 years ago; that is, a few years before Jesus is supposed to have been born. About a week before December twenty-fifth, you could have found everybody preparing for a great feast, just as they do in Europe today. To those Romans December twenty-fifth was the birthday of the sun. They wrote that in gold letters in their calendar. Every year about that time, the middle of winter, the sun was born once more and it was going to put an end to the darkness and misery of winter. So they had a great feast, with presents and dolls for everybody, and the best day of all was December twenty-fifth. That feast, they would tell you, was thousands of years old—before Christ was ever heard of. …

Just outside Rome there was an underground temple of the Persian God Mithra. Well, at midnight, the first minute of December twenty-fifth, you would have seen that temple all lit up with candles, and priests in white garments at the altar, and boys burning incense; exactly as you will see in a Roman Catholic church at midnight on December twenty-fourth in our own time. And the worshippers of Mithra would have told you that Mithra was a good God who had come from heaven to be born as a man and redeem men from their sins; and he was born in a dark cave or stable on December twenty-fifth.

Then suppose you asked somebody where the Egyptians who lived in Rome had their temple. You would have found these also celebrating the birth of their saviour-god Horus who was born of a virgin in a stable on December twenty-fifth. In the temple you would find a statue of figure of the infant-god Horus lying in a manger, and a statue of his virgin-mother Isis standing beside it; just as in a Roman Catholic church on Christmas day you will find a stable or cave rigged up and the infant Jesus in a manger and a figure of Mary beside it.

Then you might go to the Greek temple, and find them paying respect to the figure of their saviour-god in a manger or cradle. And if you found the quarters of the gladiators, the war-captives from Germany, you would have found these also holding a feast, and they would explain that December twenty-fifth (or mid-winter) was, all over Europe, the great feast of Yule, or the Wheel, which means that the sun had turned back, like a wheel, and was going once more to redeem men from the hell of winter to the heaven of summer.
"The Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth" by John G. Jackson (Originally published in 1941)

FRDS
Originally posted on Modern Freemasonic Journal... Reprinted here for your perusal.
FRDS,

Your liberal rant about Jesus Christ makes me laugh out loud. For years people like yourself have suggested that Christ never lived, never died, never rose from the dead, but --- they have never been able to prove what they purport.

Furthermore, it should be noted that great evidence does exist concerning the birth of Christ - death of Christ - and resurrection of Christ. You mentioned the Josepheus account, but there are many other accounts from early church history and writings that were clearly connected to the 1st century.

Finally, it should also be pointed out that the men named - Paul, James, Peter.....etc... all lived upon earth and they all died for the cause of Christ. Why would men die and leave behind families for an imaginary friend? Furthermore, why would they die for a lie? I think the evidence mounted up in the Word of God (which is more than enough) and in the lives of these men - along with church history - it is very clear that the account of Christ in the Holy Bible is FACT rather than FICTION.

And concerning Adam - if you are willing to buy into evolution theories vs. creationism - that is your own fault. Many scientists are backing down from evolution today because of the large problems with the theory. How could something so complex as the internal organs of a human being just pop together out of a cosmic crash or explosion - or just evolve into being over billions of years? Furthermore, how do some planets have moons that spin in opposite direction than the other moons? That would not be possible through a BIG BANG! It just does not happen in that manner! God created - just accept the fact that a much higher and much more powerful being exists than yourself - His name is GOD.

Josh Buice
To Rev. Buice,

No "rant" exists other than in your own mind. It matters not to me whether I prove or disprove Christ's existence...I am simply querrying the supposition. As for apostles going to the grave for imaginary friends... Christians and Jews were not particularly liked by the Roman Empire. It would have been very easy to be killed for "anything" in those days.
I see the deaf and blindness of a great number of people created by God. Like I was told some time ago driving on a parking lot against the traffic; you are going the wrong way. I'm not sure if there is anything I can say or do to help anyone see or hear reason and truth.

What Cardinal Arinze says is true and we should do something about this outrage and constant attack to Jesus and the Church. We can clearly see where all of this is going; to the lost of many, many souls.

Christianity will never end no matter how much the Devil would like to see it happen. Fortunately, Christ is stronger than he is.
God loves all of you.
Goddess loves you more!

Hail Eris!
Hail Discordia!
Clary,

What exactly is it about "The Da Vinci Code" movie that is an "outrage and constant attack to Jesus and the Church"?

What, exactly, bothers you so much?

Widow's Son
The Burning Taper
Widow's Son and Apologia...

The idea that is so abhorrent is simply that Jesus had a thing going with Mary Magdalene and they produced a kid. But to do that...they would have had to have sex...which to many fundamentalist Christians is a sin unto itself. They don't want to picture Jesus doing the old ba-bing-a-da-bing-a-da with any human because they cling to the old Augustinian hang-up about sex being sin. This is an incorrect assumption even by Church standards. Even if the Magdalene story is proven correct, the only thing that will end will be the Pauline philosophy of Christ and his ideas about the ressurection. I don't believe Christianity will end...I do believe it will become a minor world religion within the next few centuries; with or without The DaVinci Code's help. Either that or that derned old comet will wipes us all out.
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