My Dream for You

God is the ultimate good, the Unconditional which humanity can image somewhat through offering forgiveness without conditions. Jesus told people about such an Unconditional Love at work through our offering of forgiveness. He spoke of the “kingdom of God,” which is among us here and now. It is in us, not out yonder somewhere. Our struggle to enter God’s unconditional realm in this life is a daily one. But we can begin. Offering God’s unconditional forgiveness to all is a real challenge for humans. It is living by paying forward, not asking for anything in return, no payback, no expectations to have the favor returned.

Unconditional forgiveness and unconditional love come from the same Source. Unconditional forgiveness makes it possible to forgive ourselves and then forgive others right here and right now. But unconditional love is not entirely realized or even entirely possible for humans in this life. It is only practiced. Some are better at it than others. But all improve as they practice.

This is God’s dream for all of humanity. It is like the “kingdom of God” is here, but the “kingdom of God” is also coming. Again, the great “I am…” lives within us as if we are his temple. God has promised to never leave us, not even as we pass through death. There is more love coming, more than we can even imagine right now.

The thoughts above were a present to me from the niece (Julia) of my dear friend (Robert) in Australia. She knows that the great “I am…,” the unconditionally loving, accepting, and forgiving One is near to my heart. There is no other Savior/Father to fill me with joy. The gift of such a Presence within me is the reason for all my celebration and giving these days and every day.

I implore you, please do not permit all the words and songs and images of the season to hide this Love, this Presence, from you. This Source’s dream is to make us the Light of the world!

My Canadian friend, Wendell, added: If you note carefully…. the point made was about the teaching of Jesus in contrast to the teaching of Paul – two very influential people in history and about the central ideas that they promoted.

The good news I shared above concerning the Unconditional love of our Father/God was the Galilean’s passion. He was enlightened by it and it became his hope for humanity. Jesus taught and lived his unconditionally humane love for all.

However, Paul’s news was his dream of a Savior/Christ. It was exactly the the opposite of Jesus’ passionate message, and with the help of the Roman government and church authorities, it finally became the message of Christianity as well. They succeeded in making a savior/god out of the Galilean peasant.

The core themes of these two historical figures (Jesus & Paul) have changed subsequent history. At this moment in time, Paul’s message only appears to have won, especially around the Christmas and Easter holidays. But Jesus’ message will finally prevail because it is God the Father’s dream for all who are oppressed by their own behavior, by their enemies, by their governing authorities, and by the hellish threats of their churches that are laid on the minds of all who refuse to accept Paul’s message of a Christ crucified for their sins.

May we learn to pray with David, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from old. According to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord.”


I respect all your thoughts and traditions on Christianity. Like me, they have provided some stability in the past, including the ritual sacraments. But my study of fear chose to recognize a development throughout history, one that the Hebrews, including the Galilean Sage, and then later Christians have participated in. Namely, a development of human civil and religious law! Not least of all an understanding of their sky-god(s).

Unfortunately, the Jews and then the Christians got stuck on the beliefs they had settled on after only a few centuries of haggling. Once decided, those doctrines were declared holy and inspired – like God’s Word is for them. And that was the final blow to further growth.

But the unconditional freedom offered by the Galilean encouraged further development, not stagnation. (I still think that his discovery of the Supreme’s Presence and unconditionality has been the greatest human discovery ever!) It so excited Jesus of Nazareth, a mere man as he repeatedly called himself, that he made it his brief life’s mission to teach and live it.

It was such a simple message. 1) The Fatherly Presence of the One and only Supreme lives in and among us, his sons and daughters whom he will never leave. 2) In the meantime, he is always accepting, unconditionally loving, and patiently forgiving each of us. 3) And finally, the Supreme’s dream is for us to finally love ourselves enough so that we can begin treating others likewise here-and-now.

His threefold simple message was meant to set people free so that they could finally love themselves enough to get about making things better for others; and, of course, to accept each other, respect, tolerate, and forgive each other.

Jesus’ message was a direct challenge to the need for a religion, a messiah, an atonement. a resurrection, and an apocalyptic end-time judgement. Religious leaders called this blasphemous and had him murdered for trying to start another insurrection.

While we are speculating on what we could be doing or becoming when unshackled with tyranny of thought and unjust laws, both civil and religious, we must really get our Fatherly Supreme excited.

Henry Hasse ~ March 2014

Published in: on March 29, 2014 at 10:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Fear – A Better Understanding

Surprise! Fear can be a good emotion. It can save your life by keeping you clear of dangerous situations, out of harm’s way. It can be the cause for wise and responsible decisions. And it can help to prepare one for unexpected lurking surprises. Training for such circumstances provides readiness for how to act when fear becomes a reality. No doubt many more worthy examples could be given, but I intend to concentrate on another choice.

Fear can also be used to control others. An unfortunate choice. A spouse, a child, a student, an employee, a group member, a citizen, and even a country can all be victims of tyranny. Leaders do not always lead to promised lands. Their position can easily turn against those who are being led. Power corrupts. Rules are set. And fear becomes their crafty weapon. The despot uses fear to make his threats sound real. Obedience is expected from his subjects or else – punishment is handed out for disobedience.

Can you see how fear can be used for good and for evil? Think about it in families, in neighborhoods, in organizations, in churches, in cities, in counties, in states, and in countries.

Fear has been used in these two ways for millennia. Families, tribes, nations, and empires used fear both ways.

Historically, natural disasters were the most difficult to avoid, and the tribal Shaman usually found what he thought was a reason for their violence. No doubt they surmised it was an angry sky-god who was punishing people for wrong-doing. Perhaps also for not bringing sufficient sacrifices and offerings. The ultimate punishment for disobedience was obviously death. This logic might be called a “religion.” No matter. It became the great influencer and explanation for natural disasters within the tribe.

Fortunately, science developed later and finally questioned these first claims.

The first written language was in a Sumerian cuneiform style. It developed during at least a millennia (3000 BCE – 2000 BCE). Hammurabi’s Code (1770 BCE) governed civil affairs. Zoroaster founded the first religion (around 1500 BCE). His explanation for the human condition was a Fall from a perfect creation which angered the sky-god and introduced the need for a sacrificial atonement plan to save mankind. The threat of an end-time apocalypse spread the fear to either believe the atonement work of the messiah figure provided or be destroyed by a hellish flame after an end-time judgment of the sky-god. Sounds familiar, huh?

These general themes ran through all the human religious myths as they developed among major civilizations. Each of the priestly mediators provided certain details to fit their needs. The civil laws of Hammurabi and the religion of Zoroaster that began in Mesopotamia spread into Egypt, into the Far East, and into Asia Minor over the following centuries.

Our most visible example is the development of the Hebrew civil laws and religion. Its oral history with its myths, traditions and rituals, were finally formulated and written by priests while under Babylonian and Persian captivity (about 600 BCE – 500 BCE). Remember that Zoroastrianism was the official religion of Babylon, just as it had been from the days of the Chaldeans when Abram left Ur between the two great rivers for Canaan on the Great Sea in the west. His growing family encountered similar civil law and religious traditions among the Canaanites and then more among the Egyptians while under captivity there. Although the Hebrew’s slavery released a yearning for freedom, they had also learned a further development of Hammurabi’s civil laws which had spread into Egypt almost five centuries earlier.

The Hebrew’s Exodus (about 1300 BCE) and the history of their kings were quite likely very different from recorded hearsay accounts finally made around 500 BCE. In the meantime, their sky-god had also changed from poly to mono, from Israel’s warlike avenger to a more universal compassionate forgiver as portrayed by the pre-captivity Prophets, from YHWH the Creator to Elohim the Endless and Everything One. Unfortunately, the life of acceptance, compassion, and forgiveness did not become so evident in Israel’s dreamland that had once held such promise for a better life. Although the Hebrew (Jewish) civil laws (Deut.) which required “an eye for an eye” punishment remained, their apocalyptic religious traditions (see their book of Daniel) soon returned while falling under Greek tyranny and then the Roman occupation. Several unsuccessful messiah-led rebellions expected YHWH’s vengeance but did not receive such aid. Oppressive fears of unjust treatment surrounded the Jews for the next five centuries. Not least of course was the fear of death itself.

During those days, a Galilean Sage began to echo the old message of the pre-captivity Prophets. He did not speak of a sky-god, but rather of an ever-present loving Fatherly Elohim. His acceptance, compassion, and forgiveness for all could change their lives from oppression into freedom. And they could easily imitate such an Elohim while spreading his “kingdom” on earth, right here-and-now, being unconditionally human, making things better for all. And since the consciousness of this Presence is always felt and will never leave or forsake us, not even in death, what is left to fear of death and/or an apocalyptic end -time judgment which will never come?

This is Elohim’s justice! It had always been his justice from the beginning. But only a few were enlightened by it and lived it by being unconditionally human. Most of humanity had been using a payback justice instead – and they still do! The Galilean was determined to teach how opposite these justice systems actually were. Unconditional Love vs. avenging payback punishment. He lived the first and challenged the latter.

Jewish religious leaders became furious over his “blasphemous” display of justice! And their kind of fearful justice finally had the Galilean murdered.

We cannot say much more about the Galilean called Jesus of Nazareth. Eyewitnesses of his life left no records of it. Some fifty years after his death, the Romans destroyed the Temple and most of Jerusalem, killing thousands of Jews after another failed rebellion. The first Jewish attempt to explain this disaster and link it to Jesus’ life was made by Mark about 75 CE to 80 CE. Since there were no eyewitnesses, Mark could only use hearsay and serve as a backup to Paul’s letters to the Gentiles written around 50 CE. Fortunately, Mark and Matthew did preserve a few of Jesus’ sayings and stories which illustrated his message of the Presence of an unconditional Love among us. See Matt 5: 38-48 and parables of the Prodigal Son, the Generous Landowner, and the Good Samaritan.

It should also be mentioned here that Paul was a Doctor of Jewish payback justice and grew up in an apocalyptic community. His background and his meditations finally saw the opportunity to find a “messiah’s” atonement in Jesus’ death. But Paul’s theology was totally opposite from the Galilean’s message, the one that early Jewish followers still lived and shared, that is, until they died or were either killed or scattered during the Roman destruction of Jerusalem (69-70 CE).

We need to note here that Paul’s letters to the Gentiles and Mark’s new narrative to the Jews were all that early “Christian” gatherings had to learn from. And both sources were apocalyptic to the core.

Just before the turn of the century and soon after it, three more narratives were written. And by comparing Matthew and Luke with Mark, it is easy to see that they had copied Mark’s narrative, and having rich imaginations of their own, they added several ideas to make the story fit the many OT “predictions” of a messiah coming near the end-time apocalyptic judgment. The fourth writer took another road altogether. John turned the Galilean into the “Word of God” that had become flesh among us. Later, he even painted a picture of this “Lord” returning as the judge in his Revelation vision of the end of the world.

Warning! Except for a very few sayings and stories that emphasize our Father’s unconditional love and presence among us, do not count on the accuracy of these narratives written 80-120 years after Jesus’ brief life and death. The Christian tradition was finally built on these New scriptures by 400 CE.

Compare Paul’s theology and the four narratives with the real good news of the Galilean Sage, hidden among all the weeds of the NT narratives. Which of the two messages sets you free with hope for your future, being unconditionally human? And which one means to control your life with the need for atonement and fill you with fear of an end-time judgment?

Henry Hasse ~ March 2014

Published in: on March 27, 2014 at 6:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Deity

My Canadian friend did so well with this, I had to share it here. -H Hasse


The Problem of Deity

Over history an interesting relationship has developed between humanity and deity. People have long taken human features and projected them out to define deity, to shape their understanding of greater reality. We see this in ancient mythology- gods that fight, punish, destroy, and often in the pettiest manner and over the pettiest things. Primitive gods that were very much like the primitive people that created them.

But as we have become more humane so we have updated our conceptions of deity, making gods more humane also. We see this early on in the Pharaoh-gods beginning to exhibit kindness and mercy. We find it later in the Hebrews presenting God as compassionate. Over history we humanize our gods as we become more humane and as we come to understand better the core features of authentic humanity.

This human/god relationship has also worked in a feedback loop manner. People create their perceptions of gods and then use those gods to justify their own actions and existence. As anthropologists note, people have long appealed to the divine to validate their own lives and societies. This can be seen in the Israelites believing that God gave them detailed instructions on how to build their first temple, how to arrange their camps around that temple, and a vast array of other detailed instructions on things like clothing, diet, care and consumption of animals, sexuality, and more.

And there is a dark side to this appeal to deity, or ultimate authority, for validation. As the gods people created were often primitively violent, so those gods were then employed to validate similar violence among people. We see this even today where people appeal to their God to validate the killing of outsiders/unbelievers. People employ ultimate reality as an ultimate authority and then enslave themselves to replicate that ideal for good or evil.

This is why some have argued that the idea of God has been one of the most dangerous ideas ever conceived (Bob Brinsmead). Deity has far too often embodied the very worst of primitive humanity- things like tribal exclusion and opposition, domination, and destruction of others. In addition to this, far too often the engagement of deity has resulted in the abandonment of responsibility to improve the human condition here and now (i.e. time and resources wasted on appeasing and pleasing invisible reality). Because of this dark and debilitating side to deity, many have argued that we need to get rid of the concept of deity entirely. As one disgusted atheist blurted, “Let’s get rid of all this metaphysical bullshit”.

While I understand his concerns, that is not likely to ever happen. Consciousness has made us aware that we belong to something greater, that we are part of some greater ultimate reality. And our basic impulse for meaning and purpose pushes us to understand that reality more. We have always been intensely curious to understand and explain the greater forces that give rise to our existence. We want to explain our origins, our existence, and our destination in terms of a greater reality. This has to do with our most fundamental desires, questions, and curiosities. We want to understand how we should live and why, and we seek answers in relation to ultimate reality, meaning, and purpose. This is all foundational to being consciously human.

Also, because so much pathological inhumanity has already been projected onto deity, that needs to be countered properly with more humane alternatives. And, as noted above, the inhumanity already projected onto deity has caused much misery over history. Further, you cannot just cede explanatory ground to philosophies like materialism with its belief in essential meaninglessness. That definition of ultimate reality violates our most basic human impulses for meaning and purpose, and it answers none of our most basic questions and concerns.

There have been three general approaches to understanding ultimate realities. A dominant one over the past few centuries has been philosophical materialism. And of course for millennia we have had the mythical/religious approach. But now we have another alternative- the still developing approach that seeks to combine the discoveries of science with a new understanding of spiritual reality. This may prove to be the most fruitful yet in our quest for ultimate understanding and explanation.

And in one sense (tipping one’s hat just a bit to the materialists) we could all benefit from a good dose of atheism. I refer to the healthy atheism that Karen Armstrong spoke about, where over history people have always rejected gods that no longer work, for new ones more suited to the times- more humane gods. And fortunately, the gods have become more humane over history as we have come to understand what authentic human existence is about.

This trend of developing humanity in our understanding of deity is part of the greater historical process of humanizing all things. This is a core impulse of human consciousness. It includes our perceptions of ultimate realities. And this humanizing process culminates in the ultimate expression of authentic humanity- unconditional love. This feature/ideal takes us to the heights of ultimate meaning and purpose. We have now discovered that unconditional is the pinnacle of what it means to be authentically human or humane. And we correctly understand all other things in light of this core theme (Schillebeekx, “God is more human/humane than any human being”).

I would clarify here that ultimate reality/deity has always been unconditional love but it has just taken humanity a long time to fully recognize this truth. And unfortunately, while admirably humanizing our gods (our perceptions of deity), too many religious traditions still retain the features of the primitive deities and this results in a distortion of the new human features like unconditional love. Unconditional love then becomes limited by the conditional beliefs of religion (i.e. required atonement, required rituals and lifestyle to please some conditionally oriented deity). This is what Thomas Jefferson referred to as placing “diamonds in a dunghill”.

Further, in the process of humanizing our understanding of deity we need to recognize that there is no “Word from God” handed down from the heavens to tell us what deity is all about. That is the fallacy of Biblicism- the belief in some inspired holy book or Word of God that is an authority that tells us what to think/believe and how to live (i.e. inspired scriptures given to priestly elites to control the lives of others). Nonsense. We all know the divine as much as anyone else by understanding what is best in our own humanity. God is known primarily in all humanity and in all diverse human goodness. And each one of us holds the responsibility to know and explain ultimate reality according to the best features that we find in our humanity. We are all responsible for the greater humanizing project. There is no higher religious authority or mediating priesthood with superior insider knowledge of such things.

And it is unconditional love that now takes us to the absolute height of what it means to be authentically human or humane. This is a human discovery and not a “divine revelation”. We see its gradual development over history from early compassion and kindness to the great ideal of human love and then the further development of our understanding of love as unconditional. This takes love beyond limited tribal perceptions (love family, hate enemies) to an authentic universalism. The unconditional treatment of all people is our greatest insight and ideal (i.e. unconditional forgiveness, unconditional inclusion, and unconditional generosity).

Related to this- we need to purge ourselves of any sense of subservience to higher authorities, of any felt need to appease or serve some greater reality. Contrary to the claim of the ancients, we were not “created to serve the gods”. We are not obligated to subject ourselves to any higher authority, whether political, religious, or other. We have ultimate authority (and ultimate freedom) in our own human consciousness and our personal awareness of what it means to be human.

So there is no divinely-inspired obligation to serve or please some invisible deity, to re-establish or have a relationship with some invisible entity up in the heavens or in the future. The felt obligation to “get right with God” has always been founded on the distorting myth of some cosmic separation of humanity from deity at some time in the past. That never happened. There was no “Fall” of humanity into sin. There was never any fall from something originally better into something worse. To the contrary, the endlessly improving trajectory that is human emergence and development has always been a trajectory from something originally worse and toward something ever better.

Also, we live in the here and now and ought to be focused on loving and serving one another in real time and real life, and not focused on serving some invisible reality. And consider this: a God of authentic love would not be concerned about being praised and served but would ignore Godself to serve the other. Such is the nature of true love. Genuine love frees the other. It does not manipulate and control others with guilt, threat, or fear of punishment. It does not demand dehumanizing subservience. Love and freedom are tightly pair-bonded realities. You cannot have one without the other.

So yes, I am one with the critics on this point- worshipping some God up above in the heavens or up ahead in some future afterlife has long brought out the worst in humans: subservience, guilt, shame, fear, and worse.

We know better now. With the discovery of unconditional love it is no longer plausible to project any sort of inhumanity onto deity or ultimate reality of any kind. Unconditional eliminates all such projects. Unconditional takes us to the ultimate in human conception, ideals, and meaning. And understanding ultimate reality in terms of unconditional love liberates from all concerns about appeasing and pleasing some greater reality. It liberates humanity to embrace life fully in the here and now. It liberates from fear of death and whatever might follow (Near-Death Experience research affirms this outcome). The result is that it liberates from ultimate fears, anxieties, or concerns and orients us to humanity, and to improving the human condition here and now. It orients us to serving humanity and not something above humanity (again, this focus on serving something other than humanity has always led to neglect or abuse of real people). Unconditional love gives us the safest way to conceive of and handle the great reality and ideal of deity. Unconditional alone can properly respond to our most fundamental impulses and concerns.

Wendell Krossa, March 20, 2014

Published in: on March 20, 2014 at 5:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Better Than Bullying & Knock-Downs

Bullying and knock-downs are not much different. Delusional. Sick behavior. Low self-esteem. Attempts to build up self by harming others. Guaranteed to fail. Never works. Never will. Self-esteem only sinks lower each time such behavior is practiced. Loneliness finally assured.

Try the opposite. Find something cool about others. Something really cool! Thank someone for common decency. Praise someone. Thank others for anything. Even simple things. Lift someone up. Surprise others with kindness. Be generous with smiles and encouragement. Make someone’s day. Be caring and helpful. Forgive bad behavior. Listen. Make things better. The results will surprise YOU.

Henry Hasse ~ March 2014

Published in: on March 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Be Free!

I am currently reading John Shelby Spong’s Jesus for the Non-Religious. It was written in 2007. I remember reading somewhere else that “When you are ready, a light will appear.” I must not have been ready for this seven years ago. Spong and I seem to share several conclusions concerning Jesus, the Galilean from Nazareth. And his opening chapters have inspired me to give another account of my recent discoveries.

Most of the good people who attend their Christian churches today are completely unaware of the historical facts that follow. Today, I can freely write that theology is mythology, and, therefore, Christianity is mythology. Not very many years ago I may not have been quite so ready to write that. But today I understand that truth only offends a closed mind, a mind trapped within the tyranny of ancient explanations for unsolved mysteries. My mission is to set people free from religion.

For the best example I can think of, think of how theology changed the Jewish Jesus (bar Nasha) from an everyday human into a divine being. Apparently, he was known in Nazareth as the bastard that Joseph, the local carpenter, had adopted as his own son. (It was not unusual for soldiers of conquering armies to take advantage of local girls.) But Joseph provided protection and care for both Jesus and his mother.

“The hysterical claims of infallibility of theology (authority) and the inerrancy of sacred scriptures” are the cornerstones of Christian orthodoxy (the right way). Without those cornerstones there is no theology.

Christianity’s core stories of the Fall, a promised Messiah/Savior, an incarnation via virgin birth, an atonement, a resurrection of the body, an ascension to the sky-god as a triumphant and worthy payment for humanity’s sins, a return for an end-time judgement, and handing out a hellish punishment for unbelief in their salvation plan, are nothing but myths – all of them are complete nonsense concocted by tyrannical theologians wishing to explain the malady of human suffering and death.

Over scores of centuries, “theologians” had already developed a divinity, a sky-god. Finally, out of many ancient writings dating back to the Sumerians, the first civilization to leave written records of their existence in Mesopotamia, religion was officially born. Their sky-god became upset with humanity’s choices, chased them out of a paradise garden home, and finally decided to drown humanity in a flood. These myths became part of Zoroaster’s religion, the official religion of the Chaldeans and Babylonians. It told of a Messiah/Savior persona of the sky-god who would take on human form to sacrifice himself as an atonement for humanity’s choices that had continued to separate them from the sky-god. There was much more – a resurrection, an ascension, a return in judgement, and a hellish apocryphal punishment for unbelief in the holy salvation plan. Most of this religion was adapted by Hebrew priests who freely used it while under captivity to rewrite the Hebrew’s oral history (not much prior to their Exodus out of tyranny). And they craftily incorporated Zoroaster’s threat of an apocalyptic end for sinful humanity as a wedge to enforce compliance to their many rituals and laws.

But even before the captivity, there were always those who saw their lives and surroundings as a gift from a benevolent, unthreatening, and loving God whose mysterious presence among them became such a part of themselves that they could not help but share such ways with others. Abraham, Ruth, and David come to mind. Although their lives lacked perfection, their basic consciousness of a loving inner Presence still guided their ways. There were Hebrew pre-captivity Prophets who challenged the laws and rituals of the ruling priests and tried to comfort people with the news of a God who provided good things to all and was unconditionally forgiving and accepting in life and in death. Their message was quickly called “heresy” by the theologians, and they faced horrible deaths as punishment for challenging “sacred authority.”

The Hebrews experienced Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and then Roman invasions and rule during the eight centuries BCE. Just as before their oral history that spoke of a family moving out of Ur of the Chaldeans, their idea of a “god” continued to develop with their outside influences. (e.g. Like the Chaldean “god,” Abraham’s “god” required the sacrifice of the firstborn son. And like the sex “gods” of Canaan, there was always space in the Temple for prostitutes.) Even their concept of “Elohim” slowly changed from an indiscriminate god of war to a more personal god of protection and one that provides for daily needs.

Enter the Galilean Sage. His message was very similar to the message of the pre-captivity Prophets. He discovered the presence of a generous “Fatherly” God whose unconditional love, caring, kindness, and forgiveness yearned to be shared with all humanity, especially with those oppressed by tyranny, whether political or religious. His mission became to set them free with this good news of our Father’s real justice, scandalous as it was when compared to humanity’s ancient retaliation type of justice. In fact, he was murdered for this message because it threatened the Jewish standard of justice, “an eye for an eye,” and that murder was arranged by falsely accusing him before the Roman court for starting another Jewish rebellion. Since there had already been several messiah-led rebellions, the Romans were on the lookout for others and ready to “nip it in the bud.”

Jesus’ life and message had been simple and comforting to ordinary people. After his unjust death (30CE), his followers often gathered in homes to share the comforting words which they had heard him teach, and they practiced his kindness and caring toward those in need. Their testimony to what they remembered from Jesus was generally kept private and local. Those who did go public with Jesus’ message were arrested and jailed or stoned to death. Only a few of Jesus’ words were finally recorded by local scribes, and after the Romans had destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple (70CE), following yet another rebellion attempt, some of those words turned up in a narrative written by Mark (80CE). Unfortunately, the source he used was either lost or hidden during those troubling times for the Jews.

An intellectual graduate of the Jewish Torah (apocalyptic Jewish Law), Saul, who had grown up in Tarsus, the home of Mithraism (the apocalyptic religion of many Roman soldiers), volunteered to impress the Jewish Sanhedrin by rounding up scattered followers of the hieratic, Jesus, who had been arrested and crucified twenty years earlier. Those arrested were then either jailed or stoned to death under his watch. While performing this duty under cover of Jewish Law, he had time to meditate on higher ideals. He dreamed to use his expertise and knowledge of Greek and Roman mythology to help spread Jewish Messianic apocalyptic theology among the Gentiles. All he needed was a “Christ/Messiah” as the centerpiece of his new religion.

A trip into the desert of Arabia to practice his meditations resulted in visions on how to change the crucified Galilean into the “Christ” he needed to spread his own myth. He changed his name to Paul and began doing exactly that among the synagogs of Asia Minor and drew in many converts because, he said, the sacrifice of this “Christ” would save them from the soon-to-come end-time apocalypse. He also added the “Christ’s” (Zoroaster’s) supposed resurrection of the body as proof that the sacrificial payment was acceptable before the God of the universe.

When Peter, James heard what Paul was teaching and that he no longer required Jews to follow the laws of the Torah because his “Christ” had fulfilled them all, they went ballistic! Even worse, they worried Paul’s salvation message was completely contradicting Jesus’ message of our Father’s presence and real unconditional forgiving justice. Then there was the supposed resurrection tale, another big myth that writers later used from Paul and attempted to expand upon with various conflicting stories. Peter and James demanded that Paul should return to Jerusalem to discuss these matters, especially using Jesus and his death in such a way that totally reversed Jesus’ simple teaching that had challenged a payback or retaliation type of justice in favor of an unconditional loving/forgiving justice. Paul finally did come to meet them in their synagogue, but he later ridiculed them as “uneducated super-apostles.” Paul continued to teach his “new gospel” and anticipated the end-time apocalyptic judgement to come on any day. He even told his converts to give away all their property because they would no longer need it.

Paul’s letters, written between 50-55CE, became the first “inspired sacred authority” concerning salvation as taught among the early gatherings of his churches. Only fifteen years later, after Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, Jews were either killed, or dispersed throughout the Empire and took his message with them.

A decade later (80CE), a writer well-versed in Paul’s letters and new religion took a common pen name, Mark, and began to gather together hearsay stories about Jesus (better known by then as Paul’s “Christ”), and any scripts still available of Jesus’ words. He put them into a narrative that would quickly become well-known among the churches. By the end of the century, two other writers, Matthew and Luke, theologians in their own churches, used most of Mark’s narrative to write their own narratives. They, of course, personalized their story with suppositions of their own, some of which they also connected to their better knowledge of the Torah, Jewish history, and the Psalms.

After the turn of the century, a fourth writer/theologian, John, obviously disturbed by current deteriorating events between the Romans and the followers of the new “Christian” religion, took an entirely different slant for his narrative and did more than just hint of Jesus’ divinity (similar to Roman gods) and told of his actual existence before coming to earth as a man on a mission to save humanity from the eminent apocalypse to come. John was later exiled to a remote island in the Mediterranean Sea where he supposedly composed his vision, a Revelation of the returning Jesus/Christ as Lord and Judge of all the risen and all the humans still alive. He will then separate the faithful from the unbelieving damned. The destruction of the damned is painted as blood running as deep as a horse’s bridle. Then the faithful saved will be taken to heaven and the damned thrown into the everlasting fiery furnace of hell.

What a change! From bar Nasha to Lord and Judge in only a century. This, then, is what the theologians of Paul’s new religion had made of the human, Jesus of Nazareth, whose simple message was, “Do not retaliate. Be like our Father is among us. Be kind, caring, generous, loving, and forgiving, even toward our enemies.”

Romans began to mistrust the new “Christian” religion (a mix of various ethnic groups, converted pagans, Jews, and Romans) because they were now meeting in secret and were said to be eating and drinking human flesh and blood during regular festive meals. Severe persecutions of Christians began. Many were arrested and made sport of in the arena while being killed by lions or gladiators. Others were enslaved around the Empire. But the new religion continued to appeal to oppressed common people looking for an end-time relief. And they had grown tired of Roman gods and emperors who claimed their own divinity. The Empire became deeply divided over the next three centuries. As a political move, Emperor Diocletian had split it up between three opposing Caesars. Early into the third century, after several conflicts between them, Emperor Constantine emerged and saw an opportunity to reunite the Empire by using the power of the Christian Bishops. He was able to do exactly that by claiming his own conversion to Christianity and by “encouraging” the Bishops to meet in council to form a confession of unification at Nicaea in 325CE.

The Jews, of course, who professed only One God, were first to refuse to accept the confession’s Triune God and atonement claim. They also became the first to be put to the sword for their unbelief. In fact, Christianity spread through Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa because of the Roman sword which was held up to look like Christ’s cross. The Crusades followed next. They were an attempt to take back the holy places in Jerusalem from the Muslims. But thousands died in the name of the Triune God and for believing the myth concerning God’s Savior-Son’s cross.

There is much more that followed during European and Asian history. The expansion of the Arabian Muslim religion of Muhammad was related to Judaism through Ishmael and having the One God, Allah. It also opposed the Triune God of Christianity. The expansion of Buddhism in India and the Brahman of Hinduism related only to kindness and lack of violence. Many other religions developed in China, Japan, and Indonesia. The power of the Christian Church over civil governments continued to grow. The Reformation movements made only minor changes among the many hallowed doctrines of theology. New confessions and catechisms only promoted old myths and helped to bury the Galilean’s message even deeper. Many Protestant religions divided over minor theological differences but still left Jesus’ comforting message of an ever-present, loving, unconditionally accepting, and forgiving Father buried under their atonement myth.

To repeat, bar Nasha’s message brings true comfort and relief to humanity – the real good news of the presence of an unconditionally loving and forgiving Father/God among us yearning to be discovered and imitated throughout the human race – a God who is with us to bring us through life’s challenges (learning experiences) – a God who promises to never leave us or forsake us – a God whose arms are open wide and welcoming as each of us passes through death. Here, a reading of a few simple near death experiences does more to explain what follows next than any theological mythology ever could. Jesus’ message is controversial to say the least, especially because it does not retaliate for wrong. And it obviously challenges the need for all theology and religions.

So, for here-and-now, be free! Pursue happiness! Love one another.

Henry Hasse ~ March 2014

Published in: on March 3, 2014 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

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