There is a post coming up by JD, at 11 a.m., in which he explores the afterlife in a different way to me.
Mine begins with a quote from Revolution Harry who wrote:
I find myself drawn ever closer to Christianity and the belief (as in really believing with true faith) in the resurrection has been something of a stumbling block of sorts. Your piece has helped enormously.
I’m about half way through a series of films, looking at the New World Order from a Biblical perspective, by a young man from Scotland. I’ve been very impressed so far.
He, like many, views Easter as a convenient sop by the Roman church to the pagans of Rome as the authorities attempted to establish their version of Christianity on the Empire.
The relevant [youtube] is below but I think the whole series is worth a look.
Here’s that piece on the problem of the resurrection.
Having now viewed the youtube below, it is excellent and I’ll start at the beginning and watch it all. This is the bit about the Roman Catholic Church and it is scathing:
I’ve had a constant battle with those who sweep in with generalizations such as:
1. “Religion” has caused all the troubles in the world. Or religion causes wars.
2. Christianity has been responsible for much of the bloodshed and suffering, e.g. the Crusades and the Inquisition.
As the young man in the youtube said, it is not Christianity at all which was operating here. It was the keeper of the mysteries who had appointed church leaders to places of power and privilege, precisely what Jesus of Nazareth had been so against, in the form of Pharisees and Saducees. Anyone who’s read the gospels knows how much time He devoted to the topic.
And there is Rome, three centuries later, doing precisely the same thing. Three centuries after that, along comes a bloodthirsty paedophile and a new “religion” is established at the point of a sword – hardly a recommendation, would you say?
And still many commenters insist that this is whitewashing Christianity and they go right back to the original statement: “religion causes wars”, as some sort of justification for their statement that “religion causes wars”. I’m sorry but that is pure Dawkins.
So then they take the tack that the Religious Right in America [and in the UK] is so intolerant, so devoid of any compassion, that they’re impossible to deal with. Even yesterday, as I went to work, three men in shirts and ties pushed a pamphlet into my hand – I think it was either Mormon or Seventh Day Adventist.
So yes, I agree – this sort of tactic has me running a mile. In the middle of the street, a gentleman of dark brown colour was attracting attention for his soapbox evangelizing and it was the old hellfire and brimstone. This has always been the worst PR Christianity could endure – to descend into dogmatic jargon and to speak in biblical verses, rather than to speak in English.
I spoke to him and the man was certainly zealous.
So, to the detractors – all that is true, what you say. The devotees are half the problem. Myself, having had an experience I shan’t dwell on here – I can understand their fervour and their absolute conviction that they have seen the light. I happen to agree that they have but to someone who hasn’t experienced this, then the sort of singleminded, iconoclastic intolerance they display does them no favours.
Whether Islam had a specific purpose in stamping out Christian belief or whether its dogmatism and oppression of women, not to mention the mad dog fervour of its knife wielding radicals turns so many off in the west that they will then heed the call for ALL religion to be suppressed, no matter what it advocates, one needs to recognize essential differences in message and thrust here.
And what makes it worse is that in real Christianity, meaning the belief, not the zealots or the Roman Church or the Religious Right, there is a central, uncompromising claim which cannot be airbrushed away at interfaith camps or in the Pope’s overtures to Islam.
That is the claim on which this morning is based – that He is the route through which you reach Heaven. The claim is so outrageous that if you were Pilate, hearing this, you’d have only three real choices – either to believe that the Man was stark raving mad, that he had a political agenda against Rome … or else what He said was true.
It’s near impossible for us to look at one of our contemporaries and accept that he might be the real deal, that he might actually be something most unusual and powerful. After all, he’s just one of our contemporaries, is he not?
For someone like me who likes stirring it up a bit and making my own outrageous statements, [having first researched them, I hastily add], this tickles the fancy. The apoplexy is considerable. 🙂
So what all the words come down to and despite anything which happened during His lifetime – healing the sick, giving the blind back their sight etc., the crux of the whole matter was whether He actually did rise from the dead or not. Because if so, then it would seem to vindicate Him and make Him the Son of G-d, as He claimed, something which no other belief system, including the modern atheistic [ir]rational school, could possibly countenance.
If He didn’t, then He was just head of an extreme Essene sect who married a redhead and went off to Kashmir with his wife and kids.
Yet the vehemence of the subsequent acceptance of His claim is on the historical record and not just the Christian record and the extant Christology which gripped so many had to have had a basis. True, the Irish IRA murderer and the Islamic murderer with the wild or dead eyes are just as fanatical for a cause but their cause is destructive, not subversive.
Whoever willingly died just for subversion?
This is not a blind faith Christian speaking to you here. This is a sinner with a healthy dose of scepticism but also a willingness to believe something, as Sherlock Holmes did, if, once having eliminated the impossible, one is left with the improbable.
In that case, says Holmes, it must be the truth.
This is the thing which mightily impresses your humble blogger. It’s what they suffered, the way they stuck to their story and the way they were able to persuade peoples who had no possible reason to believe a few weirdo Jews.
Not only that but it was all the effort to stamp it out, the sly manipulation of the key church figures by the gnostics, it was the miracle of the healing and more than that – the attempts by everyone from faith healers to satanists to emulate the feat since then which has the head shaking in wonder.
Bohemian Grove, with its cremation of dull care and the passing through the fire, is exactly that. The illuminati Phoenix, rising from the ashes is another example. They are all aping something which supposedly happened two thousand years ago. These enemies of Christianity stomp on it here, stomp on it there, mock and rant and yet they still try to emulate it.
Why does Kabbalist Madonna include a cross in her stage show? Why would anyone be interested?
You do know, don’t you, about the sign in the Dome on the Rock which tells the devout Muslim that Jesus is not the Christ. Why? Why not have an inscription about the Buddha? Or about the gnostic light-bearer?
Give unto Caesar
Christianity is subversion, not theocracy.
It is Rome and Islam which set up theocracies. It is Rome and the secular kings who send a “Christian” army, i.e. a regular army with white tunics over their armour with crosses on them, to slaughter the infidels and leave the city ankle deep in blood in the carte blanche fervour granted by those very authorities who pretended to be Christian in the first place.
Nowhere in the gospels is He quoted as saying that we should slaughter the unbeliever. It was always the PTB at any time in history who interpreted it that way. In fact, He is quoted as saying that we should give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. He doesn’t exhort His followers to set up an all-smothering theocracy, demanding prayer five times a day and washing oneself in a certain way. He doesn’t demand that everybody kneel in rows and bow the head to the floor.
It’s so difficult to separate the ritual from what was actually demanded by His own voice. Even the Sermon on the Mount was not “demanded”. It was stated matter-of-factly and left at that. If He knew the result His words would have, then that was indeed subversion.
The authorities were right in that.
What was demanded, in the form of a “commandment” was twofold. First He went along with the Ten Commandments as the way to live. Then He added the one about the “law and the prophets” – love the Lord your G-d etc. plus the one about loving thy neighbour as thyself.
That was essentially what He demanded. His followers were charged with spreading the Word. Fine. And if the Word were not to be believed, not accepted?
Well He obviously felt that if the Word were true, then it would be accepted by sufficient numbers to see it spread but at any one time, the issue would always be John 3:16. In other words, it is up to the individual, with his/her free will, to make up his/her mind.
Think about it – actually giving people, individuals, the power to decide something for themselves. Exactly what libertarians and freedom loving people the world over are now demanding. He never overstepped the mark. He made a statement of what the consequences were in the next life. Just that – speaking with a voice of authority, which is what had people amazed at the time.
He didn’t stand at a pulpit and harangue, threaten, bully. There is an almighty difference between me saying to a child, “Do not step onto that six lane highway because you will die,” and saying, “If you step onto that six lane highway, you will do penance, have to twiddle your rosary beads and give half your money to The Church to pour into golden ornaments and help give the Abbot a cushy lifestyle to which he has become accustomed.”
There are devout people in the Roman Church who are genuine. There are also paedophile priests. There’s also Opus Dei. When you have a massive system, you will always get a range of people. The ordinary people never get the media mention – only the Paisleys and paedophiles. Those turned off The Church don’t remember the common sense in the message, they remember the vicious, narrow-minded, unworldly nuns and priests, the Ian Paisleys of the world.
Again and again – it is the devotees who are the problem, not the solution. Why not just leave us a Gideon’s Bible and if we’re curious, we might start to read it?
That’s what Christianity is – free will to either accept what He said about the world and the world after this …
… or not to.
If you choose not to, then it’s no skin off my nose. I’ll still have a beer with you. Plus I won’t evangelize in the least, unless you ask me a specific question, which I’ll answer. There’s a time for everything. A time to go out and have a good time, a time to help set up centre-right/libertarian blogs, a time to have a wine or eight, a time to make love with reckless abandon and great devotion, a time to remember our Maker if we wish. If I choose to do the latter from time to time, then that’s my business.
For example, on Easter morning.
You do what you wish to do.
Coming back to that vindication again. Let’s suppose the stone was moved and He wasn’t inside. The implications are enormous.
For a start, there’s a good chance that the Jews are the Chosen People, after all and who am I to dispute that? On what basis do I dispute it? It means that unless you do follow the Commandments or try to, unless you do love thy neighbour, unless you do stick to one woman or man and not sleep around, you’re headed for a fiery place.
Oh, the apoplexy of those who don’t wish this to be so.
But what if it is? What if it just happens to be so?
You do see the implications, don’t you?
You see where it leaves the mystery religions, which spawned the Roman Church [watch that youtube again], you see what it says about paganism and its blood sacrifices, you see where it leaves Islam. And what of the Buddha? What if that is just a commentary on certain aspects of the metaphysical, quite valid, as far as it goes? What of astrology? Why can’t that be a description of the stars and planets, at the same time that the claim of resurrection happens to be true? Why can’t there be a mathematical precision to the universe?
Why must they be mutually exclusive? The answer is that devotees say it is so. It doesn’t say so itself.
Does it matter?
Well not if it is not so, the claim of the resurrection. But what if it is so? Do you definitively know it’s not? It turns everything on its head, doesn’t it? There are only a limited number of ways the human brain can handle this sort of thing. It can deny it outright, it can try to relativistically compromise, in order to “accommodate” people, e.g. the pagans.
It can turn savage and burn Christians alive, slaughter them in Indonesia, cut their throats. It can ignore them, while insisting , in the media, that the “superstition” is dying. It amuses me to see libertarians ceasing their libertarianism where Christianity starts.
And of course, no one is going to admit to irrationality or illogicality, are they?
Harry refers to the NWO. That doesn’t mean he’s a weirdo like Maurice Strong or Al Gore or an out-and-out communist like Barroso. It means the opposite – that he is against these bozos, as we’re discovering about for ourselves now.
I don’t think I’ve convinced any sceptics with this post, nor dissuaded any who accept its premise anyway. It doesn’t bother me one way or the other. So I wish you all a lovely lunch today, many Easter eggs and bunnies and don’t forget our new site launch at 12 noon tomorrow, Monday.
If you have some spare time, this is the url for Episode 1.