It is the cauldron of human shame, it is the best that the patriarchs can muster, it is but the faintest shadow of a lost treasure, it is water that cannot quench ones thirst, it is the mirage that never materializes, it is the hope that can never satisfy beyond one fleeting moment, it is the cause of the human dilemma; it is not the cure.
The clear window of the soul has become opaque because of it, the once sober man now languishes in a drunken stupor from drinking it, the sun of clear purpose that once shone on the human path has now become but the weakest of flickering flames because of its influence.
What is it that has contributed so much to the human drama of fear, strife, greed, insecurity, anxiety, suppression, and confusion? What is the greatest source of the mockery of the human spirit and the cesspool of human distress? It is nothing other than the fabricated damnation theology of patriarchal Christianity! Nothing has contributed more to the confusion of modern humans, the bewilderment that is the hallmark of their present landscape, or the stupefied morass of their current journey. There can be nothing worse than the cruel torment than comes to the human spirit from the theological words that label us as “wicked, shameful, lost, guilty” and deserving eternal punishment in fire because “God” hates what we are–sinful. Theology is not only the cauldron, it is the mirage in a hot desert, and the false hope for a humanity that has lost its way. Theology is the flaming torment of the soul.
Why? How can this be? Christianity’s theology claims to hold the promises of forgiveness, eternal life, peace, love, hope, and much more; yet it falls far short thereof. The Divine does not hold us guilty–we are part of the Divine, as Jesus taught. We need not acquire “eternal life,” for we are already eternal. Peace is available by learning to go within. Love is deep inside us if we but remember who we are and choose to be a source of love for others. Theology falls far short because it is the replacement of Jesus’ teachings. In theology, beliefs have become more important than practice. Theology cannot love; we must choose to be loving. Theology cannot heal; we are the healers. Theology cannot make peace; we are the peacemakers. Only a choice to practice what Jesus taught can make any of these a reality in our world. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the ones who will “save” ourselves from the drunkenness, as Jesus said. But for far too much of Christianity, Jesus’ words are only a distant memory amidst the ego-oriented preaching, the drama, the entertainment, the music, and the theology of separation and condemnation.
My question is this: why have the beliefs of Christianity become the cause of so much suffering, pain, struggle, perplexity, dilemma, the source of the human predicament, and the plight of humanity experienced therein. How has this happened? Ever since organized Christianity gained political power early in the 4th century, it has been the source of more slaughter and suppression of the human race than any other force on the planet. The invention of “heresy” by the Roman Catholic Church in the midst of its Council of Nicaea in 325 AD resulted in tens of thousands of people being burned at the stake just because they believed something different than the church suddenly demanded was now the only truth. Its following crusades, invasions, slaughter in southern France, inquisitions, witch hunts, the murder of the “heathen” by the Conquistadors of the Church, the slaughter of Native Americans (the heathen of the new world) here in America, and the direct or indirect slaughter of those who are not heterosexual, all stand out as testimony to the Christian Church’s refusal to follow and practice the teachings of Jesus–the one they call “lord” but ignore in favor of only wanting beliefs about him (theology). All this has developed a false authority in the minds of those who hold to the only “correct” belief system. Which of the many “only correct” systems, is the real question? This utterly crass hypocrisy has created most of the pain on the planet today. My point is this: what would the world be like today if Christians had truly followed Jesus for the last 1900 years and visibly loved their neighbors and their enemies like he taught? Christianity has never been the “hallmark” of love on the planet.
Had that happened, we would not have the hateful, unloving judgments of gay and lesbian people, there would be zero religious intolerance, out planet would not be decimated as it is today, most of the wars would never have happened, the super rich would never have been allowed to exercise the kind of greed that has elevated them to their ivory towers, right-wing extremism would have been thwarted long ago, and predatory capitalism would never have been allowed to destroy the working classes. Christians would be spending their time “being the truth” instead of defending what cannot be defended. Truth needs no defense. Jesus never defended his words or actions in any way. He just spoke the truth. A defensive attitude is proof that vulnerability is ones experience. Fear-based belief systems would never have been developed, the essence of Christianity would have been their seeking of deeper truths and the practice thereof instead of an easy-belief system based on fabricated theology. The personal experience of Divine Connection deep within would be the hallmark of those who truly followed/practiced Jesus’ words. Had Christianity embodied Jesus teaching we would not see churches fighting each other over different beliefs. Self-righteousness based on superior theology would be nonexistent. Condemnation of others would have been left to those who argue politics instead of “faith.” Denominations and sects would not be a reality. Theology would never have been invented.
Instead of all these negatives, that are a very real part of our society, we would have seen a real, loving, nurturing, and healing community built and maintained over all other priorities–had only Christians chosen to walk their talk. Gentleness, kindness, peace, delight, patience, love, and self control as seen in choosing the good of others as much as our own good, would have prevailed. This world would be vastly different had the Christian patriarchs chosen to practice what they have preached to others instead.
Jesus said, “I have come to bear witness to the truth.” Then, in his Aramaic language went about revealing the deepest truths the planet has ever known. “The kingdom of heaven is within you,” he boldly proclaimed. He taught that we are one with The Divine, that birthing a new self continuously is the way to grow into deeper truths rather than thinking you have arrived. The Aramaic is far, far deeper than the English or Greek has ever revealed. See what this is like in my book, Liberating Jesus From Christianity, available on Amazon. Here is but one endorsement:
“Liberating Jesus From Christianity”, by Jim Stacey is a must-read for anyone who has felt wounded or betrayed by evangelical Christianity–or anyone who would like to explore the deeper roots of traditional Christian mythology. Jim’s uncanny grasp of Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus, profoundly transforms the four gospels, resulting in both a revelation and a revolution. The revelation occurs when we are able to penetrate theological obfuscations and capture the freshness and vitality of the original words of Jesus. The invariable byproduct is then a revolution in our thinking about Jesus and his mission–and about ourselves. In revealing the Aramaic Jesus, Jim has taken us not only to the crux of Jesus’ message, but the core of our being which the Aramaic Jesus reveres and seeks to liberate from dogma, hierarchy, and institutionalized patriarchy. Once you experience “Liberating Jesus From Christianity”, you will never again be content with the theological Jesus because you will have discovered Jesus the man and spiritual teacher, and perhaps, another dimension of your own soul.
I boldly declare that there is no “hell.” There is no word for “hell” in the Aramaic language or the Hebrew language. Jesus never said that word. I tell the story of how the Bible became a book chosen because it agreed with the Roman Catholic Church’s predetermined theology. It is not “the word of God.” Jesus is not returning to the earth on a literal “white horse” to take out the Christians who have not been obeying him anyway for over 1900 years. Patriarchal control replaced both Jesus and the love he embodied.
Christianity’s disobedience is the cause of the crises in our world, not the cure for them. Love is still the acid test that determines whether one is connected to Divine energy or not. “God is Love.” Only when Christianity melts its sectarianism and denominationalism will it begin to have credibility. When it cleanses itself of all dualism and separation, it will be on a solid footing for the very first time.
I bow with respect to all the individual Christians who have done their best to embody Jesus’ words. Bless you my friends. Thank you for your courage.
As a former ordained Christian minister, I had to change much of my thinking from eight years of formal study of the theology of the church. I had to learn to ask not what the church could do for me, but rather what I can become without it. I had felt separation from God. I had to ask myself why I had believed that lie. I had to turn from seeking answers from those who would damn my soul and instead seek the power of the “kingdom of heaven within.” I turned from knocking on the door of patriarchal structures and knocked rather on the door to my own spiritual path as Jesus encouraged his followers to do. And in all this, I recovered from the path of theological drunkenness and the resulting disorientation I experienced for over 50 years. I am truly alive today. Beauty has become visible each day. The practice of forgiveness beyond the “70 times 7” is very difficult at times, yet I work hard every day to practice Jesus’ words. And, my frequent remark is, “Jesus, you are not easy to follow!”
–Jim Stacey, All Rights Reserved