The commenter below made a comment on the post, “Is God Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?” that needs highlighting:
I think that the very root of the problem being analysed is the very history of the religion itself! What the world knows and calls “Christianity” has very little to do with the historical personage known as Jesus who some called “Christ”. What has been sold to the world is a Western creation/corruption of the message brought by the prophets (including Jesus) to mankind for the purpose of power and control over the masses in the name of white supremacy. This is historical fact, not fiction such as much of what the so-called Christian churches are teaching the masses of people. Study the HISTORY of christianity and how it came to be – the Eastern versus the Western Churches and the very, very different views. Especially the history of the Roman Catholic church and why all of these breakaway sects that now compose the worlds of chrisitianity. Maybe, just maybe you’ll learn something that even your own preachers don’t know! Peace!”
I have been trying to express this idea and struggling to find the words. My brother inspired me, named for me the frustration that I have with black people who are addicted to Jesus – the version of Jesus that we have been sold.
I was reading a fantastic book called “Accessories After The Fact.” It is a classic deconstruction of the Warren Report, which purported to prove that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin in the murder of President Kennedy. It didn’t and the author, very methodically, dismantled it, demonstrating the lies, distortions and agenda of the Report’s authors.
Ms. Meagher made it plain that the new President and several government agencies had decided from the moment the shots rang out, what the outcome of any investigation would be – damn the facts!
I mention this because the Bible is like the Warren Report: it is a document that must be taken on faith alone. No rational thought, that points out contradictions, unholy or authoritarian attitudes in the Great Book, etc, is allowed. Or at least acknowledged.
There is a masterful book by a black woman, Marimba Ani, “Yurugu,” that to my mind destroys the Bible and Christianity and Islam for that matter, just as thoroughly as “Accessories” dynamites the Warren Report.
The history of and the imperial project that is Christianity, how it rose in the white West, how it eliminated the “competition” – the other minor sects and folk religions with imperialistic efficiency. The language used in the religion itself which essentially boils down to:
“IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN ME – YOU WILL DIE!!!”
How spiritual is that?!
No, I struggle reading here the repeated references on this blog to folks needing to “turn to GAWD, turn to Jesus.” Where has that gotten us after 400 years?
How do Jesus or the Bible help us see reality when too many of us, like the Warren Commission members, are bent on bending facts or reality to fit a preconceived notion, rather than seeing what the facts are and going where they lead – no matter WHAT?!
No, the brain is turned off a bit too much with this religion stuff for my liking. When we have to return over and over and over again to a book, one book of uncertain origin; and when one man, one path, one way is promoted as not a way but the way, which if not believed in or followed, will result in eternal, fiery damnation.
In order to move from blind faith to spiritual rationality, we must ask questions:
Who taught us this religion? And why?
Does this religion tend to make us more or less critical thinkers?
What is the history, the real history of Christianity? What was the purpose of its authors? Was it to rule the world?
Who is Jesus? Did he exist – or is he a composite figure, borrowed, created, tailored, stolen – and used to enslave rather than liberate?
The conflagration that kills first is the one that scorches the gray matter.
Anna Renee said:
To repeat a portion of Furqan’s answer:
“I think that the very root of the problem being analysed is the very history of the religion itself! What the world knows and calls “Christianity” has very little to do with the historical personage known as Jesus who some called “Christ”. What has been sold to the world is a Western creation/corruption of the message brought by the prophets (including Jesus) to mankind for the purpose of power and control over the masses in the name of white supremacy…”
It’s hard to separate the Spirit of God revealed as Jesus, from all the religiosity of man, including “Christianity”. Jesus was never a Christian, but the Spirit of God incarnate. But that didn’t stop man from converging Him with their construct of “Christianity” and calling the two, One.
What I got from what Furqan was conveying is that we should study how man has done this, while remembering that the two actually don’t converge. As Furqan states, “What has been sold to the world is a Western creation/corruption of the message brought by the prophets (including Jesus) to mankind…”
It is so difficult, I believe, because we see all the horrors that have been done “in the name of Jesus”. When we have our minds clicked to the “on” position, we know damn well that all this shit is just wrong!! Period!
But what we can’t do is turn our minds off and then just attribute it all to the Spirit of God, Jesus! (It’s your fault God for giving man the power of free will) which some chose to use to do evil for their greedy gain.
Would it be better if God hadn’t given us free will? But made us as automatons, programmed to “do good”?
IMHO I feel it’s better that we are fallen, broken humans, who learn from our mistakes, or go down because of them.
God has given us the playbook. It’s an open book test. I remember when I was in school, how I kinda hated open book tests. Because then I would choose not to read the chapters, then at the time of the test, I’d be searching all over the damn book trying to find the answers! Even with an open book test, you still have to read the book.
The answers are all there. But many of us simply choose to accept someone else’s interpretation of the answers and won’t open up the book to find the answers ourselves.
This is what Jesus, Himself had to say to the religious Pharisees and Saducees, those who have misled so many and have taken them off the course to the Lord based on what wicked deeds they have done over the annals of time:
13But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces; for you neither enter yourselves, nor do you allow those who are about to go in to do so.
14[e]Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you swallow up widows’ houses and for a pretense to cover it up make long prayers; therefore you will receive the greater condemnation and the heavier sentence.
15Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes one [a proselyte], you make him doubly as much a child of hell (Gehenna) as you are.
16Woe to you, blind guides, who say, If anyone swears by the [f]sanctuary of the temple, it is nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the [g]sanctuary, he is a debtor [bound by his oath].
17You blind fools! For which is greater: the gold, or the [h]sanctuary of the temple that has made the gold sacred?(B)