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Join Gab (@StFerdinandIII) Western Civilisation was and is superior to anything Islam has developed.  Islam has not aided in the development of the modern world; in fact civilisation has only been created in spite of Islam.  Raising the alarm about the fascism called Submission since 2000.  

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

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How Christ became a modern Christian – and why that is not necessarily a good news gospel.

Read Barrie Wilson and Reverend John Spong.

by Ferdinand III

The true historical story of Rabbi Joshua or Jesus, is far more interesting and relevant to our modern world, than the supernatural fantasy created by Paul and the early Pauline church. Christ was not divine. He was not 'the' son of God. He was most likely a fatherless son of a woman who had given birth to many children from different fathers. Christ was also probably one of the most influential teachers – along with his Jewish mentors John the Baptist and Rabbi Hillel – in the Near East during his life-time.

The historical Rabbi Christ is more relevant and fascinating than the Pauline divinity which has only covered and impaired Joshua's teaching and blinded rational intelligent people to the reality not only of Christ's message, but to the world and reality they live in. The Christian church has to mature and cast off its addiciton to supernaturality and fantasy. Otherwise it will become totally irrelevant.

Recent books by Reverend Spong [Jesus for the Non-Religious] and Barry Wilson [How Christ became a Christian], are excellent source material for those who want a non-academic insight into the life of the real Joshua or Jesus in Greek, and the real meaning of Jewish monotheism and ethical thought as taught by Christ and others. Both authors outline the historicity of Jesus and confirm that he was a man, a teacher and a promoter of Jewish ethics. Christ the historical figure was promoting a line of Jewish thought which could be traced back hundreds of years and which promoted respect for the poor, the sick and the female; hospitality and charity; meditation and spiritual contemplation; devotion to others; forgiveness, love and gratitude to 'God' for life, nature and our world.

Christ along with John the Baptist and Rabbi Hillel was a radical teacher – radical in that he was a teacher who challenged the social order of Jewish religion and the political order of Roman rule. Christ's program had nothing to do with an external 'heaven' and little to do with being the son of 'God'. Christ called himself the son of Man – or ben Adam in Hebrew – a common way of suggesting that he served humans. The son of God travesty was invented later after Christ was killed by his family and followers to escape punishment for proffering Joshua as a false prophet – punishable under Jewish law by death. Christ was most likely viewed quite mistakenly by the Romans as part of the radical 'Zealot' faction within Judaism, a group associated with the Essene or Dead Sea scroll community who believed in the necessity of spiritual purity and the separateness of Jewish culture.

Jewish history is a fascinating study and gives historicity to how Judaism could and did develop. Since 1400 B.C. and the first battle at the hill city of Megiddo with the Eyptians [which later becomes Armageddon or the hill of Megiddo in the Bible]; the Hebrews had been enslaved, at war or under foreign control. Freedom from the foreigner became linked to purity in faith and deed. In order to over throw repression Jews made a covenant with one God, a contract which was simple – follow the faith; the rules and the laws and you will be free. Over time this external God migrated to become an internal voice of conscience and around this concept Jewish belief developed a very strict set of rules and behaviors to govern society. In Christ's time the Roman occupation elicited widespread aggression and disenchantment from the Jews. The fear and loathing by the Jew for Roman and Greek pagan culture and urbanity was widespread.

Christ's message echoed that of Rabbi Hillel and other Jewish spiritual teachers and healers. Do unto others as you would like done to you; love even your enemies; and give to the state what is the state, and give to yourself and your faith what your faith and your God demans. Those were the three basic tenets which Christ taught. They were however, a rather radical program which challenged the existing Roman political order and the existing Jewish spiritual order. Christ's message was revolutionary for the following reasons:

1.He challenged the blind rituals, codes and animal sacrifices which permeated Jewish belief.
2.Christ viewed the enormous second Temple as an abomination – a place where a caste of arrogant and quite rich priests – the Sadduccees – controlled Jewish spiritual life making a great profit from the rituals and offerings associated with being a good Jew.
3.He challenged the Pharisees who controlled the teaching of the Torah and of Jewish religious belief and who wielded great power over the mass of illiterate peasants.
4.He wanted people to have an individual relationship with spiritual faith or 'God' and to practice simple but effective rules of living and to take responsibility for their own learning and spiritual practice.
5.He taught that the spiritual world [or 'Heaven' as it was named] was more important than the material meaning that the Kingdom of 'God' or spiritual understanding was greater than Rome.
6.Understanding one another, showing compassion and exercising love in a community would bring spiritual awareness and gratitude to those who practiced it.
7.No one human is superior to another. Females, the poor, the sick and the leprous are just as valuable as the wealthiest and more powerful of men.

Christ was in many ways a revolutionary teacher of ethics and living. He wanted a complete reformation of Judaism. Down with the temple and up with the liberation of men's minds and souls. It is clear if you read the teachings of Christ that 'God' is not some white figure peering through the clouds but 'goodness' and spiritual faith and strength. 'Heaven' is not some fluffy white paradise with angels playing the harp, but a state of mind that is balanced between the material and the more consequential world of mental awareness and insight. Christ challenged the entire religious-social environment and like John the Baptist and countless other 'radicals', was killed.

The 'divine' appeal of Christ was in his message and personality, not in some ridiculous concept of a virgin birth; stars aligning over Bethlehem [he was born in Nazareth], home to the blood lines of King David; nor in some fantastical ideas of healing people, casting out devils or rising to 'heaven' from a crucifixon. People were attracted to the 'divine' message that Christ offered, one of hope, equality and responsibility, a message which ignored convention and conventional hierarchies of power. His divinity was in his humanity.

The miracle stories of Christ were later inventions by Paul and others to justify the death of Christ [he died to save all of our sins]; to prove that he was a Jewish messiah in the messianic tradition of Moses, Elijah, Elisha and Jeremiah; and to generate irrational devotion to the new Church and its other-wordly orientation. Paul's appeal to divinity won over James – the brother of Jesus – and his church who taught 'the way' of Christ and based their teachings on the words, the thoughts and the preachings of Rabbi Jesus. Paul and the New Testament are oriented towards miracles and the ancient traditions of supernaturality and superstition. James and his church were focused on Christ, the human, the teacher, the moral guide. Paul won the PR campaign, but lost the message.

Christianity needs to lose the Pauline interpretation of fantasy and supernaturality. It needs updating for the 21rst century. It has to apply Rabbi Joshua's precepts to the real world. Rabbi Jesus had an important social and ethical message – one that is far more relevant than strange stories about rising from the dead; heaven and a Godly father figure talking to humans. When the Christian church turns from fantasty to reality and reconstructs the words and teachings of Rabbi Joshua than it will prove itself to be a formidable and practical guide to living in, building and defending civilisation.

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