As much as I have tried it has been impossible to eliminate the Christian mindset that was programmed into me. Logically, I know the non-existence of God, however, illogically, the idea of God persists. With the suggestion of a famous atheist I have compartmentalized the God meme but at times of distress (like the herpes virus) an outbreak occurs and there I go again believing in something greater than anything and everything.
Well, that’s all for now. I’m ready to forum!
Radically yours, pbdq
Not to worry, PBDQ. What is your faith background? Have you heard of the CANADIAN (and American) PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY (CPC) movement? Many members of the United Church of Canada (UCC), and of its clergy, are members of CPC. The UCC and CPC welcomes people who do not want to leave their brains at home when they attend gatherings, including Sunday church services.
My interest in the ideas now advocated by the CPC started years ago (1947-1951), when I did my basic studies for the UCC ministry, at Mount Allison University http://www.mta.ca (Affiliated with the UCC) I, along with most of my fellow students at the time, became convinced that Jesus was born a Jew; that he lived a life devoted to promoting justice and peace rooted in agape-love, for all, and died as a truly human being. No doubt he lived, and advocated that we all live, a very HUMANE kind of life guided by the principle we call the Golden Rule. What was later called Christianity came into being under the leadership of Paul (Acts 11:26) much later. As indicated above, a minority of my fellow students were very conservative. Some of them even campaigned to get the Geology Department closed because it did not teach creationism. Their campaign failed, thank all that is G-0-D. Unless you have already read what I write about it in another thread, remind me to tell you why I use this acronym rather that the noun ‘God’, later.
FOR DETAILS ABOUT THE CPC, CHECK OUT
From the book
HOW JESUS BECAME A CHRISTIAN
Interestingly, a former Christian who married a Jew, over 30 years ago, and became one, Professor Emeritus, Barry Wilson of York University, Toronto
shows that the most significant development in this synthesis occurred 60 years after both James and Paul died and was accomplished by the unknown author of the Book of Acts (part of the Gospel of Luke).
This new “take” on Jesus was so credible that, as Wilson puts it, “we tend to think of Paul’s Movement as just another form of early Christianity. It wasn’t. It was a brand-new religion entirely.” It was thus what Wilson terms “Paulinity” – “a Hellenized religion about a Gentile Christ [and] a cosmic redeemer” – rather than the Jewish-inspired religion of Jesus, which was embraced by the Gentiles of the Roman world in the period from the second to the fourth centuries.
The New Testament is not a neutral document. The Gospels and other writings are arranged in a particular order to give weight to Paul’s interpretation of the link between the Jesus and the Christ Movements. Moreover, it was not sufficient for authors of several Gospels to distance Christianity from Judaism, they had to vilify it: Jews became equated with Satan. According to Wilson, this made the cover-up complete. The devastating result was religious anti-Semitism and the perpetuation of the accusation that the Jews killed Christ.
In fact, it was only one Jewish sect, the Sadducees, who turned against Jesus. They wanted to maintain the status quo with the Romans and feared that Jesus’s preaching about a Kingdom of God and altering the world was dangerous. Once the Romans accepted Christianity, it was not possible to blame them for Jesus’s death, so the Jews were identified in the Gospels and later Church decrees as the true evil murderers of the Son of God. Centuries of persecution followed.
One major reason, Wilson notes, for the hostile reaction to The Da Vinci Code was “its suggestion that Jesus was human.” And that criticism was leveled at a novel. Wilson’s firm belief that Christianity must refocus on the human and Jewish Jesus and accept the truth of the cover-up is sure to generate an even greater controversy.
In my opinion, Jesus got into trouble with the authorities, not just because he asked people to love one another, but because he was seen as a political and economic threat to corrupt power held by the rich and powerful—Romans and the Jews, especially the Sadducees, who collaborated with them.
FOLLOW THE MONEY AND THINK ABOUT THE ROLE OF THE MONEYCHANGERS—not readily understood
Pay close attention to the story of the moneychangers—they were really money debasers—and the “cleansing of the Temple”—John 2:13 (at the start of his three-year ministry); Matt. 21:12; Mark 11:15 and Luke 19:45. (all at the end of his three-year ministry).