History Exposes Retribution Mindset

I would just like to add a few historical reminders to my previous emails and blog posts. Sort of supplemental material that I think is worth considering.

1) Original followers of Jesus were not well-educated writers, not even Peter. Someone else penned the 2 letters using his name.

2) Original followers passed on Jesus’ unconditional loving message orally.

3) Original followers were Jews and continued to follow Jewish customs which drew no special attention to them, neither from the Romans or from the Jewish Temple leadership.

4) Original followers, Jesus’ brother James and Peter, were the leaders in their Jerusalem synagog.

5) Some 20 years after Jesus’ death, James and Peter heard about the news of Paul’s work among the Gentiles, and Peter was sent to check it out among several Asian “church” groups where he learned that Jewish members had not been circumcised. Paul and Peter had a heated argument about that. It was only the beginning of trouble between them!

6) A year or so later, Paul was asked to come to Jerusalem for a first-time visit with Jesus’ followers to discuss his new vision of a salvation payment through his resurrected “Christ,” neither of which (salvation payment & resurrection) the original followers knew anything about. Remember that the gospel writer’s speculative accounts of Paul’s resurrection vision would not appear until about 30 years later. (For Paul, the resurrection idea was proof that God’s demand for a sacrificial blood payment was finally satisfied.)

7) The original followers sharply disagreed with Paul’s vision which did not match at all with what they had heard directly from Jesus, namely, a loving unconditional forgiving presence of the Father in and among us here and now who required no human blood sacrifice for sin and who promised to never leave us or forsake us, not even at our death.

8) We know little more about the debate, but keep in mind that Paul was a highly educated writer and speaker compared to the uneducated fishermen. And an off-handed remark in one his letters indicates that he had little respect for them.

9) The writer Luke, who admired Paul’s skills and message, wrote around the turn of the century about stories he had heard about the “Apostles,” and he tried to cover up the seriousness of this debate by simply mentioning the agreement that Jesus’ brother James and Peter made with Paul that he would service the Gentiles and Peter would be sent out to service the Jews.

10) Paul’s many letters and his “Christ” salvation message spread quickly throughout Asia and beyond because the Gentiles were tired of the old Greek and Roman myths and were hungry for a new, more recent myth that fit into their apocalyptic thinking of a godlike messiah figure who would open the way to a final retribution that would restore everything to paradise-like conditions. (Paul knew this Gentile mindset well, and he obviously rejected the message of Jesus and his followers and craftily formed his sacrificial payback message to satisfy that mindset.)

11) Some of the sayings of Jesus that were being passed on orally were finally recorded by scribes, those records had not been widely distributed. It may have been done before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D. And we are not sure what happened to them or to Jesus’ followers. During the persecutions and the very divisive Christian controversies over the next two centuries, Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, had ordered all “unacceptable” (anything that did not back up retribution justice) scriptures burned, but copies of Jesus’ sayings and other early writings were buried in Egypt and finally discovered in 1945. Many of them back up Jesus’ comforting message of a loving God.

12) 5 to 10 years after Jerusalem’s destruction, and about 30 years after Paul’s letters, or some 50 years after Jesus’ death, the writer, Mark, built a narrative around many hearsay accounts of Jesus’ life, using some of Jesus’ sayings and most of Paul’s claims concerning the “Messiah-Christ.” His story became popular among early churches.

13) Another 5 and 10 years after Mark’s narrative, Matthew and then Luke wrote their narratives using most of Mark’s account, but also adding their own distinct suppositions, including virgin birth, miracles, apocalyptic end time retribution, and conflicting resurrection accounts. However, thanks to Mark use, some of Jesus’ sayings were also included.

14) Finally, the theologian, John, wrote his account which claimed much more for Jesus’ identity than either of the previous three writers. He may also have written the horrible Revelation account of the apocalyptic final judgment when Christ supposedly returns to throw all unbelievers of Paul’s salvation message into everlasting hellfire.

15) Keep in mind three important facts. For 20 years after Jesus’ death, early followers only had the oral accounts of Jesus’ sayings to share, and that was done only locally for the most part. Then, for the next 30 years, the Gentile “church” groups only had Paul’s letters and his “Christ” message to share. And after that, the gospels, slanted by Paul’s message, began to trickle into the churches until the turn of the century.

16) To repeat and emphasize, the “Christians” faced untold persecutions from the Romans during the following 200 years and were scattered throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa. During those centuries, numerous arguments and divisions took place. They had only two things in common among them: FEAR of Roman tyranny and FEAR of Christ’s return in judgement, included in Paul’s apocalyptic message.

17) After 325 AD, Emperor Constantine stopped the persecutions and the divisions among the churches by forcing the Bishops to unite under their retribution salvation message concerning the “Christ” of Paul and the gospel writers. From that time forward, Jews and “other-minded” or questioning folks, had another FEAR to contend with: the church’s bloody sword, with full approval of Constantine and the coming rulers of Europe, Asia, and North Africa who were approved and controlled by the church.

18) All this history is important to know in order to understand why the unconditional loving message of the historical Jesus got buried by Paul’s message of punishment and retribution. Paul’s message fit into the same old controlling payback-punishing mindset that had been plaguing humanity since ancient times, only now it supposedly had a solution for humanity’s perilous predicament, that is IF humans believed it. In other words, it was still conditional!

19) But Jesus’ unconditional comforting message can still be discovered as pearls hidden among the weeds of the NT – thanks to the oral sayings used by Mark and copied by Matthew and Luke for their narratives. Those same pearls can also be discovered in some of the OT pre-captivity Prophet’s compassionate messages calling for mercy without sacrifice, and kind treatment of widows, orphans, strangers, and the needy who were unable to return the favor much less pay for it.

20) Probably the greatest error made by Paul and early Christianity was the claim that ALL scripture is God-inspired. That claim covers up a whole lot of BS by not allowing anyone to question it or compare its payback retribution to the comforting unconditional loving message of our Father-God which is promised to all humanity, the good and the bad alike. It’s God’s justice, unconditionally free to everyone.

21) Serious Christians want to have it both ways, trying to be like God, but leaving the “just” punishing up to God in the end. This creates a tension for them that cannot be reconciled. Either the Galilean Sage had it right or he was a liar. What do you think?

Henry Hasse – August 4, 2013

Published in: on August 4, 2013 at 12:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://infoguyhank.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/history-exposes-retribution-mindset/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Discovering Flashes of Unconditional Love Among Us

Irenic Publications

Discovering Flashes of Unconditional Love Among Us

The Unconditional Human Spirit

Discovering Flashes of Unconditional Love Among Us

Great New Story

Discovering Flashes of Unconditional Love Among Us


WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

%d bloggers like this: