DID IT HAPPEN OR DOES IT HAPPEN?
There is something much deeper hidden within the "Jesus Story" other than a presumed literal and historical event. Because the Jesus story is not a literal and historical event, does not mean that Christians should not believe what the Jesus Story teaches as spiritual allegory and metaphors, presented as myth to portray the descent, incarnation, and spiritual evolution/involution of the Soul in an Earthly Life which happens to be the original intent of all the Sun God Myths.
Just because it didn't "really" happen, doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. For example, the story of the Prodigal Son may not have been a true event, but the Truth contained in it's deeper spiritual message is truly a gift of Wisdom. When humanity speaks of these elaborate and esoteric parables, tales, fables, and myths as literal and historical narratives ... it does not mean that they do not contain golden nuggets of spiritual Truth. To understand something "spiritually" means literally from the original Greek "pneumatikos" and means that the lessons are to be taken as symbolic metaphor and not historical fact. The root word "pneuma" means Spirit or Breath. Remember, the letter kills, but the Spirit gives Life.
What if you were to ask me a question, and my response was "I told you a thousands times, no." Did I really tell you a thousand time literally, or does it simply mean that I have told you many times? Children's books are written at an elementary level so that their message can be understood at it's very basic level by young school aged children that do not have an elaborate education yet. In the times of the early writings, many people could not read or write, and instead exchanged stories by mouth to ear. They incorporated deeper lessons within the tale for two reasons. One, so that those who needed a simple basic understanding could participate, and so those who were deemed to be prime for further initiation could be chosen for the Mystery Schools and the deeper esoteric Truths. This is the scriptural reference to "milk and strong meat." Some got it, some didn't. Some wanted to know more, others didn't.
The Gospel of Mark warns in 12:24 "many people err because ye know not the scriptures, neither the Power of God." Herein lies the answer as to why it is not important for Christianity to spend time on "did it happen," but on "does it happen?" Apply the original intentions of the writers who created these texts as allegory and myth with deeper inner Truth, and you will find that these Truth teachings are as much applicable today, as they have been for thousands of years pre-dating Christianity and all the Abrahamic based faith systems. THIS ... is the Ancient Wisdom of the Ages. That the Kingdom of Heaven/God is within you ... not outside in some far off place. So as the title of this article implies, ask yourself "did it happen, or does it happen" and decide which is more important and of greater value in making a better life for yourself and for others.
Just a thought ...
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.