There are so many Christian denominations world wide - at least 38,000 that we are aware of, each one with differing doctrines, rituals, “beliefs” that are supposedly essential to and in place for the salvation of mankind. This isn't brand names of tires we're dealing with, it is the supposed and instructional "Word of God." A God that the Bible says is "not a God of confusion." If two billion Christians can’t agree on "basic doctrine" and "beliefs," then what hope does the Christian world have to get it right?
Many of the world's fundamentalist practitioners are passionate about their beliefs. As for me, I was raised Greek Orthodox, was an Alter Boy, went to Catholic school. I bounced around from non-denominational churches to bible based churches, spiritual centres, etc. All throughout the years, I was always studying, researching, looking back into the origins of all world religions and Ancient Wisdom systems. The more I would dig, the deeper I would go, the more I found an international and ancient connection to the Divine spark within mankind. What was always called "The Christ."
During my research, I stayed with what I had been taught since childhood as best i could, even though I had many unanswered questions, and no one within the established church system had any acceptable answers. The best answer I could evert get was "well my son, no one knows the ways of God." But I forged on, sounding just like the average Christian in my defense of what I thought was “the” gospel message. I cited the same passages and scriptural references, labeled many people that did not believe like me, used the scriptures as not only a foundation for how to live my life, but I really believed the Bible to be the word of God ... the message to us all somehow having been captured by man and translated to words, images, events, and stories. I believed it to be literal and historical - even though I later found it all to be myth, allegory, parables, and metaphors. Stories that weren't about the stories, but about the lessons contained within them that were to be learned.
At the end of the day my religious experiences did not have much connection with the actual teachings of this man we called Jesus, so I decided to go back to the basics. After all, if I did not believe that a dead man could rise from the grave, then what was I doing here? I'm a Truth Seeker, Philosopher, Scientist, and a realist. Dead flesh cannot be re-animated 3 days later - even by this God. It goes against the very Laws that God/Source/Absolute/Universal Law had placed into effect. The Universal Laws that are immutable and unchangeable. Dead, is dead. I also spent a lot of time researching outside of the Bible ... simply because you can't use the Bible to defend the Bible if there is no other historical evidence that any of it really happened literally and historically outside of using just the Bible itself.
Too many Christians today have formed doctrine unsoundly, basing their foundation upon what has been filtered down through the early Roman Catholic Church as literal history, but mainly through modern fundamentalist movements. The Roman Catholic Crusades and Inquisition said "believe like we do; convert or die." And many did. Millions perished under the orders of the church. And in horrible unimaginable ways. Today, the Christian Fundamentalist says; believe in Jesus, convert because you're a sinner, or you will burn in eternal hell fire instead of Heaven. All this ... from a loving God who keeps no records of wrong according to scripture?
Much of fundamentalism is horribly stained with doctrines and dogmas and is definitely not the true ancient teachings of the original Jesus myths, parables, and allegories learned from the Ancient Pagan Mystery Schools, Gnosticism, Kabbalah, and the Egyptian, Persian, and Greek Myths. I encourage all fundamentalist Christians to return to the “red letters” and first begin there as their foundation. This is what President Jefferson did. It's even called "The Jefferson Bible." They will see the dramatic departure that organized and control based religion has embarked upon for centuries, dragging human consciousness through darkness, helplessness, guilt, fear, despair, and death. It was called the Dark Ages for a reason.
It doesn't take much effort to just take a look at history to see the influence and domination that the early Roman church enforced and the need for the subsequent reformation movements to adjust the damage done by the heavy hand of control. But even they used the same book and the same stories. The oldest Bible in existence today dates to the 1100's and is called the Sinai Bible. 500 years later, we received the King James Bible. There are more than 18,000 discrepancies between the two. Back to the forcing of Roman Christianity onto the general populous, Pope John Paul II in the year 2000 actually openly apologized for the atrocities the church had committed over the years in the name of God.
Today, there are many remnants of fear-based and guilt-based theology alive and well within the ranks of modern day Christianity. It is this fear and its systems of belief that are once again being purged from human consciousness as the teaching of the "Christ" - the Divine Cosmic Consciousness of God/Source - and are coming front and center. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library along with archaeological digs and research have sent shockwaves into the Vatican and most other forms of Christianity but it seems no one has paid much attention. At the heart of the message of this Jesus was, and is love, tolerance, non-judgement, and a unified Kingdom of Heave/God right here and right now. This was not something reserved for the afterlife. It was to be experienced here and now ... and WITHIN all of us. We would know the Truth, and the Truth would make us free.
Unfortunately, at the center of the principle for Christian fundamentalism is instead, fear, intolerance, entitlement, judgement, separation, non-unity, condemnation, guilt, and no personal empowerment whatsoever. With this fundamentalist view, we might ask ourselves, which system is anti-Christ?
The Christ, Karest, KRST, Krishna, Khrestos, Christos, principle has been in the belief system of multiple civilizations, from Egypt to Greece, Persia to Asia, South America to North America, Africa to Britain, and everywhere else in between for more than 10,000 years. Ask yourself, this higher power that can simply provide the air we breath, has made itself known since pre-documented history. Call it Nature, call is Astrotheology, call it Consciousness, Call it God, Allah, Source, The All, The I AM, El, YHWH, The Almighty, or simply call it Life Principle.
Everything began in one place at one time. And from the Source of all that is, remains within all of it, an essence of all that is. Within each and every "person, place, or thing" ... is the Divine spark of where it all came from. And we are the ones with the reasoning, and consciousness, and science, to bring it all together and keep digging through all the layers of sediment for the Truth. Because the very foundation of all things, is the Truth. It is the default that keeps the universe running better and more precise than any Swiss watchmaker could ever dream of. The Truth that God lives in us, through us, with us, and as us. The Ultimate Reality experiences all of creation and the advancement and evolution of the universe as our partner and Source of Life.
Just a thought ...
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.