The Bible Supports Science
Vol. 6; The Harm Done
By Preachers, Churches
The Harm Done By
Preachers And Churches:
1) Their Pride-ful Presumption that they,
or their “doctrines,” are all but “Perfect”;
2) Their False Promises of “Miracles”;
3) The “World”-Hating Over-Spirituality of Preachers;
Traditional Christianity, Promises of Miracles,
Is Not a “White” Lie,
Just “Santa Claus” For Adults;
Far Worse, It Was
The Foretold, Fatal Deception of
The Whole Earth
[CONTENTS: Author’s Draft; corrected by “Dr. Goodman”, to p 71 END, Dec. 1, 2010.. CONTENTS: Intro; then Sec. 1 Harm from Molesters, posing as “Perfect”; Sect. 2 More Harm from the “Perfect,” pp. 11; to 22; then Sec. 3 Harm From Promises of Miracles, p. 27; Section 4 Over-Spirit 39- ; Section 5 Apocalyptic Solution 59- END. God as Agriculture; “Mature” 93 END]
Preachers present themselves to us all, very, very proudly; they present themselves as the perfect, or true – or at least adequate – spokesmen for the Lord God himself. And in the name of holy truth, priests and ministers historically presented to millions, weekly, the image of a Christ, a Lord, that promises huge miracles to us all. But what happens when someone comes up to the preacher after a service, and complains that they are not getting all the wonderful miracles the preacher promised?
What happens when someone suggests the preachers’ promises are false? To defend their promises, our preachers have delivered dozens, hundreds of different alleged explanations for the lack of miracles. But in any case, among their many different defenses of their huge promises, is one partial, indirect admission of a problem: an apologetic that simply asks, what is the “harm done” by promises. This is a fairly common priestly justification for issuing promises of miracles continually, even when those promises don’t seem to come true. The idea behind it seems to be to acknowledge implicitly, that perhaps indeed promises of miracles are not reliable; even false; but when the preacher asks next, what after all, is the “harm done” by such promises? The preacher’s implication, is that such promises are a rather harmless, “white lie.” Promising people wonders in the future, whether those promises are true or not, at least gives people … “hope” for the future. (And such promises encourage the people to be quiet, and obedient; in expectation of future rewards.) Whether the promises are true or false, therefore, many allege they help people, either way. By giving them hope for the future; and quieting their anxieties.
This in fact, is the famous “white lie” theory of religion: even if promises of miracles are untrue, or even if they are a lie, many preachers will imply at times, that they are a “white” lie. Religion is exactly like the myth of Santa Claus: even if it is not quite true, it keeps the children – and unruly masses – quiet (indeed, is the story of St. Claus really a version of Christianity?). In the myth of Santa Claus, it is said there is an invisible man in the sky or North Pole, who “sees” us all the time, “knows whether we are naughty or nice” as they say; and who will reward or punish us for being good or bad, with presents … or punishments. There is evidence that this Santa myth, is derived from, and quite like, the Christian vision: of an invisible Lord in the sky, who always sees us, and knows whether we are good or bad; and who will eventually give us miracles, or punishments, based on our behavior.
Promises of a God in the sky, who gives us miracles, some imply therefore, might be a myth, or even a studied, deliberate deception. But if so, it still has a useful function. It works the same way, as the myth of St. Nicholas; it keeps the “children,” as the Apostle John even called them, quiet and obedient to their masters. The hope and threat, of an unseen God or Santa in the sky, that sees even their most hidden sins – and who will reward them or punish them in the future, for their deeds – keeps a normally unruly, rebellious people, quiet and obedient. Waiting for their Christmas presents. Or for future miracles, out of thin air.
This is what some preachers allude to, when they ask what is the “harm done” by promises of miracles, even if those promises are false: the “white lie” or St. Nick theory of Christianity (and note; St. Nick is a real saint of the Church?). But after all, we note here, that if our preachers were telling us a myth, a deliberate lie, finally, a) our religion was based on a lie. Even b) though deeper down, our religion said that lies were bad. And c) that lie was not so “white” after all; but was a very black one. And the damage or “harm done,” as we will be seeing here, was immense.
Billions of people have been assured by clerics, that there is an invisible god in the sky, who is watching us all the time; and who will give us presents, miracles, if we are good; or if we do everything our clerics tell us to do. But experience teaches many of us, that those promises were not quite true; even those who are very, very good, who do everything the clerics tell them, often do not get the presents, the miracles, that were promised. While indeed, we are about to show that some very considerable harm was done, when billions were trained to absolutely rely on behavior, and on promises which … turned out to be false. To not be materially productive. Rather than working for a living in practical ways, we were told to pray all day, waiting for the things we need to appear out of thin air; but when that clerical formula did not work, millions starved to death. For lack of food.
The fact is, just as the Bible warned, an evil illusion has long governed the entire world (Rev. 13, etc.). Billions of human beings had their mental development retarded, by in effect, “magic”: magical thinking, and “delusions.” They followed every little whim of the clerics … and yet our cleric’s ideas of what is good and right, in itself, turned out to be wrong, and time-consuming. So that finally, living a lie, living in unnecessary ignorance and superstition, lack of real “knowledge” of the right idea of God, following one dysfunctional protocal of priests, after another (praying continuously, rather than working for a living for example), finally, billions of people were lead by clerics into a dysfunctional life style. Into delusions, false ideas, that led the masses not to prosperity, but to ignorance, “mistakes,” confusion, superstition, ignorance; and out of that, dysfunctionality. Which in turn engendered disasters, and poverty. So that billions were in effect, guided by priests, into into 1) ignorance; 2) superstition; 3) and out of that, poverty. From which came 4) vulnerability to disease; and 4) premature death.
SOME QUOTES FROM THE BIBLE, WARNING ABOUT SINS IN HOLY MEN
“Who is blind but my servant” (Isa. 42.19).
“They are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit” (Mat. 15.14).
“For the sake of our tradition, you have made void the word of God… Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men” (Mat. 15.6, 9).
“Woe to my worthless shepherds” (Zech. 11.17).
“‘Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me, ‘ says the LORD of hosts” (Zech. 13.7).
“Prophesy against the shepherds of Israel” (Ezk. 34.2).
“For every shepherd is an abomination” (Gen. 46.34).
“Death shall be their shepherd” (Ps. 49.14).
“The shepherds are stupid” (Jer. 10.21).
“Behold, I am against the shepherds” (Ezk. 34.10; See 2-23).
“Their shepherds have led them astray” (Jer. 50.6).
“Put a stumbling block before the blind” (Lev. 19.14).
“Grope at noonday, as the blind grope in darkness” (Deut. 28.29).
“Woe to you, blind guides” (Mat. 23.16).
“You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel” (Mat. 23.24).
“Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. It comes as no surprise that his ministers disguise themselves as ministers of … God. [As “servants of righteousness” RSV] But their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Corin. 11.14-15 NAB).
The Massive Harm Done
Our preachers have often promised to us huge, amazing miracles from the Lord. If we just believe and trust and follow, whatever our clerics, our priests, tell us to do. And yet we have seen that there is some considerable evidence that their promises are not quite entirely true; especially their extravagant promises of “miracles.” Today, we look around us … and don’t see anyone at all, walking on water. No matter how good they are; no matter how many of the many rules of priests they follow, nobody at all is literally, walking on water.
So what should we think? Our preachers and churches have often told us that they, and/or their “doctrines,” their many promises to us, are absolutely “holy,” “sacred,” “inspired,” and “perfect.” So that we should have absolute “faith” in our holy men, or in their vision of God and good. Yet we will find here, that is not what the Bible itself said. Even many preachers secretly know that the book of James for example said, even of holy men and apostles like James himself, that “we all make many mistakes.” Some preachers even know that even St. Paul admitted, that he himself was not yet “perfect.” Some preachers know that the Bible told us that “all have sinned”; especially as it turns out, “priests”s and other hold men. Priests and their “tongues,” their sermons, their “word”s.
Today in fact, occasional priests will admit that they themselves are, in their personal behavior, not yet “perfect.” But they insist that though they, as imperfect human beings, occasionally make mistakes, they assert the doctrine of “inspiration”; claiming that even if they themselves are imperfect, at times however, fortunately, the Holy Spirit stands beside us, and enters us, and gives imperfect people a moment of protection, of “inspiration”; and guides us, in spite of our human weaknesses, to the Truth. And yet to be sure, we will have found here that here as usual, our priests have just made another mistake; the doctrine of “inspiration” is itself, false. The fact is, we will have found in our books here, earlier, that the Bible itself, often warned that about grave sins, in essentially each and every aspect of religion, Christianity – including “inspiration.” The Bible warning even of problems, in working with the Holy Spirit.
The Catholic Church in particular, has liked to admit that its own holy men can often err. But only in their personal behavior. While, it is claimed, the Church “itself,” and/or its liturgy and sacraments – and especially its “doctrines” or key ideas about God – at least, were protected from error, by the Holy Spirit entering into St. Peter and other founders of the Church, when they founded major ideas, doctrines of the Church..
Priests and even angels can err in their daily behavior, the Church often said; but the Church insisted that Biblical accounts say that we were promised a “paraclete” or “Holy Spirit,” that would at least temporarily protect and guide we fallible people, fallible Popes, to for once, “infallible” decisions and doctrines. But finally we will have begun to find out that even this extremely common doctrine, of “inspiration,” is itself, partially false.
The problem is that that we cannot even be quite sure, that anything at all is really protected by the Holy Spirit. Since the Bible warned, there are many “false spirits” out there; many of them posing as holy things. The Bible even telling us that Satan himself, often disguised himself as the “angel of light.” So that no one can ever be fully sure, that when a priest or holy man, thought the “Holy Spirit” was descending on him, that this spirit was not, really, the false spirit of Satan himself, descending on him; pretending to be the Holy Spirit.
How reliable therefore, are our holy men? And even their holiest, most allegedly “inspired” sayings, their most sacred “doctrines”? The fact is, we will have begun to see elsewhere, 1) the Bible itself said that “all have sinned”; and that all our preachers and religious leaders, priests and ministers, are themselves im-“perfect.” Furthermore, 2) we will have seen earlier, that there is no guarantee at all, that the Holy Spirit and its “inspiration,” will protect specifically, them. No doubt there is a spirit of truth out there trying to guide us all; but many of us, even priests, hear that spirit wrongly. While many millions of priests we suggest, have been fooled by “false spirits,” who present themselves as the Holy Spirit.
The Bible itself therefore warned constantly, that our holiest men and angels often made many “many mistakes” (James 3.2-13). The Bible in fact, warned constantly, about “false” things in every aspect of religion; even in apparent “Christ”ian religion. Warning of “false prophets,” “false spirits,” “false apostles,” “false gospels,” “churches,” false “worship,” “false” and “deceived” “hearts” … all ultimately leading the whole “world” to follow, “worship,” false spirits, false religious leaders, and a “false Christ” (Rev. 13).
So after all therefore, the Bible itself did not teach us to have nearly as much confidence or faith in our holy men, as our preachers often insisted. Here, we will have been seeing time after time, that even our holiest apostles themselves, often got even their “inspired” “doctrines” wrong too. As we look at our Bibles more closely here, it seems obvious that priests and holy men are often erring in many ways; in particular, their error was mostly in confusing their own thoughts, for Holy inspiration. Thinking that their own thoughts and sayings, their “doctrines” for example – were from God himself. While in fact, the Bible itself warned that, indeed, even “doctrines” can often be wrong. So that in the end, we are to find priests …
“Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men” Mat. 15.9, Mark 7.7;
“Carried about with every wind of doctrine” Eph. 4.14.
“According to human precepts and doctrines” Col. 2.22.
“Deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” 1 Tim 4.1.
Ultimately therefore, there is nothing all that entirely certain, in our human lives on earth; not even the most apparently “divine” or “inspired” “doctrines” and dogmas. It appears from these and hundreds of others of Biblical warnings about false things deep in our holiest man, that our holy men – and their most allegedly “inspired” doctrines – are not quite as infallibly good, as they so proudly insisted.
So that now, it is time to ask this next question: if our holy men, and their words, even “doctrines,” and other things said to be from God, can be wrong, then what is the danger, in preachers and churches today, still continuing to actively represent themselves – or even allow themselves passively to be perceived as – absolutely “sacred,” or “holy,” or “perfect”? If our holy men are not so reliable after all, then “what harm,” as they say, is done, when they continue to present themselves as the totally authoritative voicepieces of God? If our preachers make many mistakes, but continue to present themselves as the perfect – or even merely reliable – voices of God on earth, can anything bad happen, as a result of this?
Is there any special sin, any especially bad result, when an imperfect” person or church, continues to present itself, as “perfect? As reliable? As speaking for “God”? Or in other words: what are the specific dangers, when imperfect people, allow their words, sermons, to be presented as absolute truth?
As it turns out here, all kinds of massive evils have resulted, when imperfect priests and churches, presented themselves as infallibly good and reliable guides to all of life.
If your preachers and churches are not entirely reliable, but say they are? And if they occasionally issue orders, that are false, then what harm is done? As it turns out, our im-“perfect” priests and churches, in overemphasizing their own authority, calling themselves “sacred” and “holy,” have done an immense amount of heretofore-unnoticed but very real, physical damage. To billions of human beings.
In particular, we will see, imperfect churches presenting their promises of “miracles” as absolute holy truth, will have done an incredible amount of harm: crippling and killing millions of human beings. As we will begin to show, here and now.
“What harm” is done, many preachers ask, if our churches are not absolutely perfect, if their promises of miracles do not seem true? What harm has been done, when they make false promises … and still claim to be “perfect,” or “holy,” or “sacred”? Suppose we just here and now, at last answer that common rhetorical question.
1) First, the harm was, that the common claim that our churches are perfectly holy, is against the Bible, and God. As we will have found here, the Bible itself warned constantly that “all have sinned”; even our Christian churches and their “doctrines.”
2) Second, practical experience also confirms, that the claim that churches are perfect, was a lie; was false. Was a deception of the people. As we discover, when we look at promises of “miracles” and so forth.
3) Third: if our preachers and churches were not good, but claimed to be perfect, or holy, etc., thereby our priests and churches and holy men, committed the sins of “pride” and “vanity.” When our priests and churches declared themselves perfect, they advanced a higher opinion of themselves, than was true. So that we will need much more “humble” churches in the future.
4) Most seriously though, if our churches and preachers were often imperfect, and yet continue to present themselves as perfectly holy, sacred, or some such … then they are misleading not only themselves, but also the public. Since the churches speak to the whole world, then in effect, they have mislead, “deceived,” the whole world. Quite as foretold in Rev. 13, etc.
5) And then, what practical damage was done? When the whole world believed false things? When it mistakenly believes specifically, in “miracles” say? As it turns out, belief in miracles … subtly crippled and even physically killed, the millions of people that believed and trusted in them. As it turns out, the very priests that proudly presented themselves as the very voice of God, and as leading us to “prosperity” and “life,” all too often lead millions instead, into “false” ideas; to the foretold “delusions,” “illusions,” confusion; then out of that, dysfunctionality, disease, and premature death.
If there are few miracles, or our preaches are not as “perfect” or “holy” as they are perceived to be, then what harm didour priests do? When they thus deceived themselves, and/or the whole world? As it turns out, they have done a very, very great amount of massive, fatal “harm.”
“What Harm is There,” Many Ask,
When Churches Falsely Claim, Specifically,
Or Holy, Sacred?
The Priests Molesting Children Example
The Massive Material Harm Done,
When Priests, Churches, Claimed to Be Better
Than They Are
What kind of harm, massive damage, has the Vanity and Pride of preachers and churches done? Especially say, first of all, their claim they are even “perfect”?
Let’s look at our best, recent example. A famous disaster: the case where we discovered that Roman Catholic Priests, were sexually molesting many young boys. In this case, perhaps hundreds of priests were located; with thousands of victims, in the years c. 1999-2007 AD. And no doubt, if you project these figures back a few thousand years, the number of victims of priestly molestation, worldwide, must surely number in the hundreds of thousands. And so here we have the tip of the iceberg; the first hint of the kind of real damage done by the pride of churches and priests. (Though as it will turn out, even this figure, as it turns out, is only a tiny fragment – perhaps one millionth – of the total damage caused by priests. As we will eventually find here.)
Everyone today knows the story of course: hundreds of priests were found to have been having sexual relations with children; including especially, young boys. However, a) the moral of this story was often mis-told, or spin-doctored by our priests; as being in effect, say, b) about the need for people to follow the churches’ rule, even more strictly; that is, for priests not to sexually molest children.
Or often too, c) this story was framed, as a complaint about liberalizing churches; since it is said sexual liberation, gay liberation, is what lead to this. Thus, the conservative spin-doctors of the church, draw the moral here that what we need, is ever more authority, strictness, obedience, in the church.
d) But actually in fact, we will note now, all this can be seen as suggesting precisely the opposite of that; being a lesson in just exactly what is likely to happen, when ordinary churchgoers and children, are trained to follow their priests, all-too faithfully, all-too loyally, all-too-obediently; since, when priests told young boys that giving oral sex to priests was a good way to take holy communion and so forth … the boys, trained to obey and respect priests, simply … followed their likewise blind guides, all too faithfully; into the pit.
Too Much Faith;
The Case of the Child-Molesting Priests
What indeed, was the deeper cause of the molesting priest scandals? To be sure, here, some of the more direct, obvious damage and causes of the damage, is easy to see, and seems simple: it happened because priests were bad. Priests betrayed their sacred oaths … and sexually molested boys; who often suffered because of it.
5) But now let us look at the other major cause of this disaster. Let’s look at the even deeper damage done, the role played in this … by the Church’s frequent insistence, that it was itself Gods perfect, Holy Truth; that it was sacred and holy, and often “infallible.” That its priests must always be obeyed, followed, with great faith and “obedience.”
Think about this carefully. No doubt, there had been many warning “signs” of bad things in the church; no doubt some boys tried to tell their mothers about the abuse by priests. But no doubt, the mothers of young boys who were being molested, ignored the things they would normally had noticed; ignored “signs” of evil in the Church and priests. And they ignored them because, precisely, of their “faith”; these women were constantly assured by the Church, in numerous homilies and informal statements by priests after services, that the church was perfect, “holy” (“The Holy Catholic Church). And that, as some say, we should “do whatever father tells you to do.” So that the churchgoers were in effect, actively made blind to any sins in the Church.
The people were made blind, by their churches. Because the Church had insisted that it was totally good, the people were mentally unprepared to “see” the many signs of sin, that they would normally have noticed; in the church that had however, endlessly propagandized, brainwashed them unceasingly, to blind trust in preachers. The Church that convinced them that we should have total confidence or “faith” in it, and its idea of morality, and in its fathers. The Church that insisted that we should never question the church.
6) And yet here and now, at last, we are starting to see the great evil in such vanity; by the churches’ proud insistence on its own wonderfulness, the people were made “blind” to the sins of the church …and therefore, they were even more easily exploited by bad or false priests. Being convinced of the Church’s perfect holiness, made it much easier for bishops to “whitewash” over any evidence of sin in the church; and made it harder for Catholic mothers to see those sins on their own. And so, when sins occurred … they flourished. Being hidden away, and in effect, protected. (Even systematically; which is why the District Attorneys of several cities – like LA? – are considered criminal prosecution of the Church, for organized crime, racketeering: for systematically molesting children, and systematically hiding this from law enforcement; and therefore systematically … perpetuating crime. Perhaps with threats (of Hell for talking) as well. So that several criminal prosecutions are pending against the Church; as well as the many hundreds of civil lawsuits already settled by the Church, with hundreds of millions of dollars in payment to victims.)
So what largely caused the molestation problem, therefore, was not so much just lack of obedience to the church. Actually, just as much as that, extreme obedience to, confidence in, faith in, the church was actually … just as much, part of the problem; the sin. The problem was even having too much “faith.”
The problem was that faith in the authority of the church, has been fatally, radically over-emphasized; to the point that people followed priests “blind”ly – even when our priests and our church, were clearly wrong; even when they were clearly, “false shepherds,” false -priests. The problem actually, was not lack of faith, as much as all too much faith: Catholic boys and mothers, trusted and follow the church and its “fathers,” all-too-faithfully, all too obediently. To the point that when priests sinned – as they inevitably do – boys followed them, all too faithfully … even in their errors. Boys trained to total obedience, followed their priests … even as they were lead over a moral cliff. While then too by the way, those reporters and others, who might have exposed these abuses and ended them earlier on, were likewise deterred from discovering and exposing them … by being mentally unprepared to look for – or even see – the signs of such things.
Here therefore, is an actual recent example, of great “faith” in the authority of the church, and its fathers, causing a great deal of unnecessary suffering.
The moral of the priestly molesters scandal, therefore, was not that Catholics need more and more faith; it is really, just as much, this: a) because they had too much faith; and b) because of the sin of ignoring the science of God, and learning to read the “signs,” mothers and boys ignored, or were blind to, the many “signs” of sins in their “fathers”; and therefore, they followed their priests all-too-“faith”fully, all too “religiously”; all too “obediently.” In effect – just as we have often warned here – those who have too much faith, are prone to gullibly follow “false priests,” bad shepherds, all too obediently. To their own everlasting damnation and shame.
And so finally we note, among other sins, we now need to clearly outline, the sin of excessive faith. Which is not a harmless sin furthermore: but one with real life consequences. For that sin especially – the sin of too much faith in the Church, or in its ideas of Good – children and mothers suffered. Indeed, very faithful mothers paid a very, very high price: having their own children, sexually molested by priests and bishops.
More Sins to Come?
Are these sins of the Church over? Is the sexual abuse of hundreds of thousands of children, the end of abuses by the church? In fact, this example, shocking as it is, is only one tiny, tiny example, of a much, much bigger problem; a number of truly huge evils, a million times worse, in the churches. And also evils created by roughly, the same mechanism; the massive pride and vanity of the church, in insisting that they themselves are all but perfect authority; and therefore, demanding far too much faith and obedience them.
7) In fact, this example of the molesting priests, is only the first tiny example of a huge number of immense evils in our churches. As a next tiny hint of just how huge the evil in our churches really is – thanks in large part to their insistence on their own perfection – consider another, second aspect, of the abusive priest scandal: the fact that nearly every Bishop in America, knew about these cases; and yet, every Bishop concealed this; and worse, continued to stress the authority of the Church; assuring us that the Church was “holy,” “sacred,” or some other synonym of “perfect.” Which means, not only were the Bishops a) ignoring the Bible; which warned about vanity, and warned constantly of sin in holy men; and b) not only were the Bishops protecting criminals; but c) even more importantly – as we now note here – the Bishops in effect, lied to the entire public. The Bishops continuing to assure everyone the church was holy and sacred … even as they knew better. Even as they knew their priests were sexually molesting little boys (and girls, by the way). And this finally, leads to some really shocking facts: that in effect, all our Bishops can lie to all of us; and have lied to us. And of course, if they have lied to us about one thing … our religious leaders could have lied to us in the past, about … anything and everything. Shatteringly in fact, it now seems as if our a) whole Church, indeed even b) our whole religion, the Christianity that we have historically had until today, could be a lie.
Our present example, preachers, bishops, helping sexual molesters, was really, only one of the smaller sins of our Bishops, we now find here. Among many other things, incidentally: let us now consider more deeply, some of the more ominous sides of the molesting priests scandal; the cover-up. Remember that practically all our dioceses had at least one abusive priest in each of them, or transferred to them; so that every Bishop knew – or should have known – about this. Should have known about deep sins, in our Church. And yet, although probably almost every single Bishop in American knew about sins in the Church … none of our Bishops told anyone. Indeed, instead, essentially all our Bishops lied to (or played semantic word games with) the People. As they continued to tell everyone that they had a perfect or holy church; when they secretly knew better. And then consider the implications of … essentially every single Bishop lying constantly to the people: if they lied about one thing like that, they could lie about anything.
So that all our Bishops are, at least occasionally, essentially, all liars and deceivers.
8) And this means in effect … that an old, dire warning in the Bible, is now increasingly seen to be true, by those who can think, and “see”: “all have sinned,” even our highest saints and angels – and Bishops. And indeed, it seems as if many aspects of the Christianity that we have had until now – including say, among other things, its emphasis on authority of the churches – is a very, very serious lie; or “deceit,” or “illusion,” or a “delusion.”
Which was foretold though, after all. While those who can “see,” who can think for themselves, will begin to … actually, see our traditional heaven, beginning to – rightly; as foretold – crumble.
And so the old horrible end-time prophesy is now coming true, for many people. Though many others saw all this, long ago. And are available to guide you through it safely, today.
Indeed for many of us – like Paul – the Apocalyptic destruction of heaven started long, long ago. (See the Catechism; which said the same thing about the end times).
The Great Harm in Presenting Yourself
When You are Not
The stakes, the conclusion we may have to come to, from the molesting priests, and the cover-up, are high; even Apocalyptic; heaven-shattering.
So how did we get to this point? Ultimately, the reason is a simple sin or two in the heart of the Church, that no one noticed: no one noticed the Pride and Vanity, the lack of Humility, in a Church declaring itself to be, often, “infallible,” “sacred,” “holy,” or “perfect.” Or something like this.
The problem of Vanity in the very proclamation of yourself as “the One True Church,” is an interesting discussion in itself. And indeed, the ultimate sin here is Vanity and Pride; of the Church, and/or of individual priests and bishops. Consider first though, once again, the smaller, specific example of what disasters this vanity causes. Note that probably every bishop in America, knew about these molesters, or should have known;
nearly every diocese had at least one such molesters in it; either originally, or transferred to it. So that every diocese knew, or should have known, that their churches were not “perfect” or “holy”; that they had sexual predators in them. Yet … our bishops continued to assure us our churches were perfect or holy. Thus covering up, denying, “whitewash”ing the sins of the church … and making the sins of the church, of predatory priests, harder to see (cf. the Bible, on “wolves in sheeps’ clothing”).
In large part then, the whole problem was the fault of the Vanity of the Church; of apologists and defenders of the Church. Who were absolutely dedicated to the doctrine that the Church was “holy,” “sacred,” and “perfect.” And who therefore, could not “face” countless “signs” of sin in our holiest men and angels. Who in their zeal to protect the Church, desperately denied, or covered up, countless signs of problems, sins, in the members of the Church. Which had the effect of thereby, covering up, protecting, and perpetuating, evil priests.
And so what was the awful result of the Church’s faith in its mission? It’s Vanity and Pride? The result was … sins in the Church, evil priests, were protected. And in consequence, a) bad priests were given more time, to bring many more innocent people, into their web. While then too b) the people, the mothers and children too, having no warning, continued to trust their priests, ignoring countless signs of problems. So that many more fell into the trap.
In large part, it was the fault of apologists, defenders of the faith. Indeed, all those many millions of priests, apologists who constantly assured us that the church was perfect, sacred, or holy … are in effect really one of the main causes of all this; by constantly whitewashing the church, excusing and hiding its fundamental sins, the apologists made it harder for the people, to be prepared to see the sins in the church when they occurred. And therefore, they were all too trusting, all too vulnerable, when the church – indeed, inevitably – sinned.
But in any case, deep down, the real root sin of the Church, has always been … the sin of Vanity and Pride. That was the sin that lead it to see itself as being more perfect than it really was; and therefore, to deny, fail to address and correct, its many sins and errors.
But furthermore, how much damage might this Vanity and Pride have done to the church – and to all of humanity – over the years? Let’s take a look at this, for a while,
Consider indeed: what kind of harm, could be done, when our churches and holy men, typically, claim they are all but “perfect,” when they are not actually, perfect? When they actually, make mistakes? What harm might have indeed been done … when billions of people are trained to total, blind faith? When they therefore all too loyally, blindly, and faithfully followed … imperfect, flawed, “false shepherds”? “False prophets”?
When millions, billions of human beings are taught that this or that imperfect agency is absolutely holy, when they are trained to have absolutely “faith” in it, and to follow it with complete confidence? What happens, of course, is that millions, billions of people follow false religious leaders; the foretold “false shepherds.” Which is bad enough in itself. But then we will now begin to see what specifically is bad, when millions follow flawed prophets, false priests.
As it turns out, claiming that you are better, more “perfect” or “righteous” than you actually are, is not just a matter of violating some obscure morality or theology; as it turns out here, there are practical disasters that flow out of that, in turn. As it turns out, because they over-exaggerated their own virtues, many millions, billions all too trustingly, all too faithfully, all too blindly, followed their false shepherds blindly … even when their leaders erred. And that turns out not to be a good thing, at all. In fact, all this turns out to be a gigantic disaster, for you personally, and for all of mankind. And this is not just a mental or “spiritual” disaster; as it turns out, billions of human beings were undoubtedly literally, physically crippled, and physically killed, by following false shepherds, false priests, following false prophets.
Examples of Disasters Caused
When You Don’t Make Good on
To get at the nature of the specific sin, let’s look at a few general, hypothetical examples. In general, the sin of the Church, is a false Humility. Priests, churches, seem superficially humble before God; but under that, was a deeper, Pride and Vanity: the pride and vanity of after all, presenting oneself, as the reliable voicepiece of God.
But now, more specifically, what specific kind of damage or harm is done, in general, when we tell someone, that you are “perfect,” if you are not in fact perfect at all? Let’s look at a few general examples of what can happen.
What happens indeed, to people, when you present yourself as “perfect,” or merely authoritative? And then promise them firmly, authoritatively, that you will deliver something to them – that you however, do not deliver? The fact is – as contract lawyers well know – a great deal of “harm” occurs, when you firmly promise something to people, but you do not make good on your promises. What happens, for example, if you promise to pick up your wife from work, but do not arrive? Perhaps she has turned down other rides, relying on you; and even let the last bus drive away; since she is counting on you to pick her up. But then, when you do not arrive? She is stranded unnecessarily. Whereas, if only she had known you might not arrive reliably, she could have made other arrangements.
The fact is therefore, that false, unfulfilled promises, can even seriously damage and even kill others. The reason is, in part, that people often depend on what you say – and they make arrangements, they organize their lives, around what you promised. Consider briefly, another hypothetical example or two: suppose, say, you promise to give some sick person, your kidney, for a kidney operation; but then, after their old kidney is taken out, you chicken out, and run away? In such a case, because you did not deliver what you promised … the sick person, might well now not have a necessary kidney and will … simply die.
Another example? Of how people are actually, injured or killed, when you make big promises, but do not keep them? Suppose say, you are a jet tanker/refuler. And you agree to meet another airliner in mid-ocean, to refuel it – but you do not show up. In this case, an airliner has confidently, faithfully, flown into the middle of the sea, running out of fuel; because it is confident that it will meet you, the refueler. But when your tanker plane, your the refueler, do not show up? What happens? Their plane is out of gas … and crashes into the sea. For the lack of the fuel that you had promised.
Its should be easy enough to see, just from these few simple examples, that in general, promising people things that you don’t actually deliver, can actually kill other people. Because people depended on you. That is, they had faith in your promises. But since your promises were not true, you let them down. Causing them all to perish.
Consider say one more example: a car salesman sells you a car with
bad brakes. And yet tells you that the car is absolutely reliable, or “perfect.” And that the car therefore, can be absolutely, faithfully trusted and believed in. In this case, you might very well, develop a very, very great trust and have faith, in his statement, that the car is “perfect.” And so, so have very great confidence – enough to short-circuit or cancel out, your normal critical, cynical prudence. And so, armed with faith in confidence, you don’t even bother to test drive the car much; you just load up the whole family into the car, and confidently drive off … and find yourself unable to stop, in front of an oncoming 18-wheeler truck. In this case note, what could well happen, the “harm” that could come from telling people something is perfect when it is not, is significant: the car salesman’s little exaggeration, his moment of Pride,
ends up killing you and your entire family.
From this simple example, anyone can begin to see the problem with telling people that something is “perfect,” or reliable … if it is not perfect. The problem is that people will often trust and rely (and “have faith in”) your word. But if your word is not true, or if there is any mistake in it, then often, there can be disastrous, even literally fatal, consequences. Because people will follow you all too faithfully, all too loyally … even when you make a mistake.
The fact is therefore, telling people lies – especially, presenting yourself as better than you are – can cripple and even kill people. Specifically, proudly over-emphasizing your own authority and ability, your own alleged sacred “perfect”ion, causes people to over-ride the normal common sense, that might have warned them, and saved them, as they perceived the signs of an error in your directions, and corrected for them.
There are many such cases; where if your firmly promise people something, but don’t deliver it … you will do very, very serious damage to them. While soon we will therefore want to consider specifically, what happened to people, when priests promise them specifically, “miracle.” What happened if miracles are not absolutely reliable; not as absolutely reliable as something promised by God should be. Suppose for example, say, you tell everyone, that by a miracle, you or God will save someone trapped in a flood, by moving them miraculously out of their flooded house. And so the trapped flood victims, full of confidence and faith in your and your God, cancel plans for a boat? This would do no damage, so long as the miracle you promised shows up. But what happens though, if your promises and assurances, were false? What happens if the miracle you promised, does not arrive? The family might well drown. Though earlier, it could have saved itself, using a boat. So what harm is there, in promising miracles that are not reliable? Thus a family perishes once again. Drowned in part, because they depended on your promise, of a miracle.
Making false promises, promises you cannot keep, is a very evil thing. And if priests’ promise of miracles, were false promises? If they were not absolutely reliable? Then … it is easy to imagine the amount of massive damage, this huge failed promise, will have done, historically, to all of humanity.
These first few examples of course, are just small, hypothetical indications, of the massive amount of damage done to all of humanity, over the last 2,000 years, by false promises of miracles. As it turns out in fact, false promises of miracles have done an immense, massive amount of heretofore-unnoticed damage, to all of mankind. Making promises of miracles, was not just the “sin” of being false; it was not just making false statement without consequences. The fact is, such misrepresentations or lies, it seems probable from projections, likely literally, physically crippled and killed, hundreds of millions of people.
Making false promises to people, can lead to very serious consequences, and even death. And to the degree that the whole world, followed false promises of miracles? How many deaths would have been caused? The projected numbers, are staggering.
False Pretensions of Perfection, False “Hopes,” Are Not
It is often implied in religious circles, that promises of physical miracles might not be entirely true. But such promises are a “white” lie. In that such promises at least, give poor people a “dream,” a “hope” of future prosperity and rewards. Even if the material things promised do not arrive, at least people – it is claimed – get a pleasant mental or “spiritual” benefit; their minds or spirits are cheered up, by the “hope” of rewards. (Though cf. James 2.14 ff). And in fact, there is currently a school of thought in Christianity, that supports even false promises, on this grounds; a school that to be sure, is claiming something that no one would like to defend in public. Though the “code” word that it uses to discuss this term, is the word “hope.” The theory being after all, that even false promises, if faithfully believed, at least temporarily give us spiritual benefits, like “hope.” (While all this in turn is part of the theory of “spiritual”ity too).
Not too long ago in fact, a biography on Pope John Paul II was published, billing him as the Pope of “Hope,” in effect. And this biography is now worth considering, in passing.
The claim of the church that we examined earlier – of being “perfect” – once made by the Church, is in turn only part of a whole series of other similar, interrelated claims. In general, the whole aim of declaring the Church to be “perfect,” was part of one or two more general program: to stress the reliability of the Church. Or ultimately, stressing the perfection or authority of the Church and of preachers, was just part of a general program of bolstering our confidence, our “faith” in the church, but also Christianity itself. In part, therefore, the matter of the “perfect,” relates to is the Church’s relatively new theology of “hope.” (A term that showed up in John Paul II’s biography for example). The program in both, was to stress the authority of the Church; and its ability to deliver on its magnificent – if exaggerated – promises. And yet however, if asseverations of “perfection” are now being dropped, as being somewhat vain and proud, we might even find problems in “hope” as well.
9) What could possibly be wrong, with “hope”? At first, it seems impossible to say anything bad about it. And yet however, the Bible itself warned about “false hopes.”
And in fact, the whole recent semi-theological stress on “hope,” is not quite as white and pure, as it appears at first. The fact is, the concept is currently used by some, as a “code” word. [A bad code; do not confuse Biblical warnings of bad written “codes,” with all writing; or in Greek, “gramma.” Some writing is good; some is bad]. The fact is that the word “hope” is used today, to secretly signal in part, the “white lie” theory of religion. Which in this case, goes like this: many of our more intellectual priests seem to feel that traditional Christianity – especially say its promises of miracles – do not seem, from science and daily experience (or biblically, what “comes to pass”), to be completely true. Yet again, some people nevertheless have a defense, even for a religion that makes even false promises (of miracles). Many of the more intellectual members of the Church, who know that promises of miracles are likely false, still feel they are defensible; in that they say, false are a “white” lie. Some believing that religion in general makes many false promises; but those promises of miracles, assurances of our church’s perfection, at least makes people feel better. Or finally – to tie this to the word “hope” – they believe that even if many of the promises of religion – promises of miracles, say – are a lie, still, these promises at least given those who do not know they are a lie, a certain amount of “hope.” That is, the expectation of miracles gives them “hope” of wonders, in the future. Related to this, is “spirituality”: it is thought by some, even false promises by false churches, are said to have at least a mental or “spiritual” benefit; they lift our spirits. They give us faith and hope. Even if they are untrue.
Thus references to “hope,” are often veiled allusions to again, the white lie theory of Christianity. And the prevalence of this term, may be a clue that many major elements of Church leadership, hold something like this “white lie” theory of Religion, or at least of miracles. But if major elements of the church secretly believe this theory, believe in this spirituality, we have come today to of course note, that ultimately, there are huge and obvious problems, with any such “white” lie religion. Because a) not only is it a lie, but also b) it is bad for important practical reasons; it results in real disasters, in real life.
The fact is, as we have just shown above, there are real disasters, caused by “white” lies. And related to that, there is a deep evil, in any religion that concentrates just on a mental or spiritual sensation like “hope,” as if it was an end in itself. Part of the problem, is this: a) if you tell a lie, to give someone hope in something that is not true, then of course, you have given them after all, “lies.” Indeed, you have given them b) the foretold
“false hopes” and “false prophesies,” “delusions,” and so forth. While c) as we are showing here, these are not mere formal, abstract errors; but these are sins that do real damage, to real people, in real life.
Particularly, some lies or exaggerations, to be sure, look good in the short run. But now consider for example, the longer-term damage done to people. By giving them lies, giving them hope and expectations, of things that … don’t come true. For example: suppose a priest feels bad for someone who is poor, and living in a cheap, leaking mobile home by the highway; and so, to make the poor person feel better, and give him “hope,” the priest lies; and tells the poor man, that the priest is about to give the poor man, a huge, million-dollar mansion; in just one week. Does this really help the poor man? Over the short term, for a week or two to be sure, the preachers’ lie makes things better: when the priest tells the poor man that he is about to make him rich, the priest give him great “joy” and “hope.” To be sure. For a time. For a week or two. But now look, at what happens later.
How does the man to whom we have delivered false promises, white lies, a) feel a few weeks later? When I do not, actually, really, materially deliver a real, physical mansion? It may be that now his “hope” is gone … and in the long run, he has less hope than ever; knowing that priests often lie to you just to try to make you feel good. And feeling that therefore, likely, all religion is a lie.
Related to this, b) suppose for example, when the priest tells the man he is giving the poor person a mansion, the would-be recipient, immediately gives away his old, shabby home; in anticipation of the greater house promised? But this means that when the priest does not deliver the new home, the poor man now has no place to live at all. The poor man has put his trust and faith and hope in our perfect holy man, and arranged his affairs to absolutely depend on him. But this means that when those promises don’t work out? Then things are often going to be worse than ever. The poor man sells “everything he owns,” anticipating a real mansion soon … but then, he has nothing at all, when the promises fall through. (Or, if I explain to him that I was not really offering him just a spiritual house.)
So in the end, there are no “white” lies, we will see here. Almost every time, we will see, “white” lies designed to give us “hope,” backfire in the end, and make our lives worse than ever. The priest for example, is saying hopeful things to the poor man, to make him “feel better,” and to give him “hope,” as they say. And to be sure, for a while, his “little” “white” lie, helped the man felt better over the short run; and filled his “spirit” with “hope.” For a time. But in the longer run, the poor man, mislead by my false, empty promises, has even less than he had before; mislead by false promises, “false hopes” as the Bible called them, now he has no place to live. So perhaps indeed, the poor man stays outside in the cold, and freezes to death, in the winter.
The ways that while lies fail us all, are very complicated; but we can show in the end, all while lies make our lives worse, not better. The fact is though, that many “white” lies – or related to that, in our present case, “hopeful” projections – are actually very, very, very black in their ultimate results. Specifically, giving people mere “spirit,” and “hope,” and “dreams,” can make them feel better in their mind or spirit over the short run. But often such lies, are not so good … over the longer run. The exaggerated hope and confidence they give in all-too-false things, might make one feel good for a moment; but then often leads to literally, physically fatal results, in the end.
False promises, a) empty words, are after all, lies. That b) give people “hope”ful but false dreams. And in the end, that is not good, at all. Indeed, spreading c) false promises of miracles, we suggest, no doubt ruined millions, billions of human lives. While d) in Biblical terms, such false promises, are really the foretold deadly “illusions,” “delusions,” “lies” “false dreams,” “enchantments,” that God warned about, in the End Times especially.
A false promise, creates a false spirit in our mind; a false hope. And yet in the end, this false spirit misleads us, of course. So that white lies, are merely the foretold, “False spirits,” “false prophesies” that, as we were warned by God, would be given to us by bad, evil, false preachers and holy men. They are the false things, delusions that the Bible warned, would be spread by indeed, false holy men and magicians; to make us feel better over the short term … but ruin our lives, over the longer run. These indeed, are among the foretold false promises, that just as we were warned, deceived all of mankind … and did real material damage, to billions of real human persons. Crippling and even killing billions of human beings. All from mere “white” lies, leading to false “hope.” That trapped the people in opium dreams, and delusions.
Consider this example: your wife is wearing an ugly hat, and asks you if you like it; to spare her feelings, you tell her a “white” lie: telling your wife that her ugly hat, is actually, very pretty. Here, you lie to her to spare her feelings, and to make her feel good … which it does, over the short run. But what if your wife, thinking her hat is very pretty, then goes to an extremely important job interview, in that silly hat … and does not get the job? Because she looks ridiculous. Note here that once again, your ostensibly “white” lie ends up doing some real damage; even ruining your wife’s career.
Actually therefore, statements that are not true, are ultimately, extremely damaging. And in particular, all these various forms of exaggerating your own importance and ability and “perfect”ion, are extremely destructive in subtle but very real ways; to yourself and to others.
What happens, when a church, exaggerates its own virtues? First, the promulgator commits a simple, obvious sin: quickly falling into the sins of a) lying; and then too b) Pride and Vanity; failing to be really Humble. Then, next, c) the vain person eventually deceives himself; d) as well many others. So that the liars are unable to see their own sins … and are incapable of therefore, making them out, and effectively addressing, fixing them. Then too e) finally, this deception is not good. Eventually, the “white” lie, the false “hope,” will often lead others to depend on things that are not true. And as that happens, as when the “white” lie fails to come true, a whole fatal series of disasters, typically result.
The fact is therefore, the many various ways of currently, artificially pumping up people’s confidence in many old promises – pumping up their “hope” or “faith,” even their “spirituality” – by telling them a while lie, are not good. As we have suggested here by a few casual examples, even most “white” lies are not “white” in the end. Indeed in fact, biblically, they are the foretold “false promises” and “false hopes” and “empty consolations” the Bible warned about. And as foretold, they have already secretly undermined and ruined millions of people’s lives, unseen. (Especially women).
White lies are well loved by many; but they are often literally physically deadly, in ways that have however, not been adequately noticed before. But in ways that we can here and now at last, begin to describe.
Exaggerating your reputation, your “perfection,” calling yourself and all your promises “holy” and “sacred,” when you are a mere fallible human being, when the miracles you promise do not reliably come true, is in fact, is no small sin. Particularly if false promises are made to others, deliberately; even with the intention of making them feel better. Because in fact, “white” lies are still lies; and they trap people in a web of misinformation and confusion and false belief; a web or “illusion” or “delusion.” One that often, destroys their minds – and thereby, their lives. They create confusion; reliance on things that do not work. And the result is often literally, physically, fatal.
There is an extremely dark side to say, even the theology of “hope,” therefore. One that is very, very dark indeed. False hopes ultimately make lives far, far worse, rather than better.
The Sin of Blind or Strong “Faith”
10) After the alleged benefits of “hope,” consider the related subject, of “faith.” Whenever our preachers and churches tell us that they are “perfect” or “holy,” then even when promises of wonders seem to fail, or seem false, we are told that there is a positive side still, to even false promises of miracles; again, those promises, even if they are never made good on – or as preachers say euphemistically, “unfulfilled” – still make us feel better; they give us hope – or give us “faith.” Hearing our preachers assure us vociferously every week at church, that they and their promises are holy and good, makes us feel better; gives us hope – or faith.
Weekly assurances, promises that our churches are good, and that we are being good to follow them, promises of wonders, help give churchgoers faith; and faith in turn, is said to feel good in itself, in our “heart.” Indeed, faith is linked to “hope”; having faith that God will reward us one day, makes us feel better; it gives us hope, believing that if we just ignore any apparent failures in our religion, and just have more faith, we are being “good” after all; and we will get better things, sooner or later. Getting either miracles, or a happy death, and then a lifetime in heaven.
But remember that, just as we noted above in connection with “false hopes,” “white lies” above, note that hope, faith, or confidence, in the promises or assurances of our leaders, can often make our lives not better, but a whole lot worse. In general, the real lesson that everyone needs to know here, is that when our leaders overstate their actual abilities, when people become too trusting, and follow leaders too faithfully, the people become gullible. And they will trust false leaders, and false promises. And thereby, the people have often come to grief. Persons who are trained to blindly, faithfully follow their leaders, will often follow them, even when they are wrong. They will trust in false promises all too easily; and when their leaders cannot make good on their promises, the people who depended on them, will not only be disappointed; often, their lives will be ruined, and even lost.
To see what is wrong with faith, here recall our earlier example: the family who trusts and believed a car salesman, who assures them that the car with bad brakes, is “perfect,” came to grief, because they believed – or here, had faith in – a false leader.
Likewise of course, note that there is much practical evidence, that our churches are not entirely perfect; indeed, our churches today, sometimes even admit that, themselves. And yet our pastors still often insist that we should have very strong “faith” in them, or in their vision of God. But of course, if our church occasionally makes mistakes, then after all, even its vision of God and of the Good might be partially wrong, after all. So that if we follow the church faithfully, disaster might result. While in effect, essentially “all have sinned”; all churches and pastors are to some extent, flawed. So that finally, following any of them with very much faith, is a bad idea.
As a matter of fact, we suggest here, many millions of people no doubt, have been very seriously injured or even killed, by having too much faith. Most churches insist that it is only everyone else’s church that is false. But God tells us that “all have sinned”; including every single Church, pastor, and doctrine. While we can easily look in the newspapers, to see many examples of what kinds of disasters result, when people fall their churches, all-too-faithfully. For example, suppose your church tells you to have total “faith” and confidence, that your preacher and his God, “always” give us what we ask; and in this case, they have just miraculously healed you of an often fatal disease, which you were previously controlling with medication. What happens when you, confidently believing and trusting and having faith, that this word is true, you stop taking your medication. (Why indeed, continue to take medication, if you really believe that you are not sick any more?). In this case, all goes well, if the promised healing was true; but if it is not entirely, perfectly true? If you still have the fatal disease … and are now, not taking medication for it? Then you could simply, after all, die. From lack of competent medical care.
Such examples moreover, are not simply hypothetical. There are many historical examples of such cases; where individuals, and whole communities, followed this or that pastor, all too faithfully. And suffered greatly, when his promises turned out not to be true at all.
So that even “faith” is not necessarily, such a good thing; we should, as even St. Peter said, supplement our faith, with goodness, and “knowledge.” That is to say finally, we should learn about life and the world; and not entirely have faith in persons, churches, that have proven to be unreliable at times. In particular, we will be about to find out here, nearly all our churches, once supported prominently, as perhaps their main promise and doctrine, support for the Bible … including, as they read the Bible, its apparent promises of physical miracles; even “all” and “whatever” we “ask.” And yet, much hard experience and science eventually tells many of us, that – as some churches better read them – those promises were “hyperbole”; or a rhetorical, exaggerated way of talking. Those promises were not quite literal, factual. So that those who trust to them too literally, too faithfully, will often come to grief.
What if for example, trusting that the Lord would give you “all” and “whatever” you “ask,” you went out into the desert without any water; trusting that of course the Lord would give you water, as soon as you “ask”ed? All would go well, if water appears out of thin air by miracle; or you happen on some kind traveler with water. But what if the promises do not come true? Then you are in the middle of the desert with no water; and could easily die, of dehydration.
So finally, we will have seen elsewhere, actually, the Bible began to warn that there could be sins, even in “faith.” The main thing that can go wrong, is that we have too much faith, in unreliable leaders and false doctrines.
Almost each and every church once told us that it was, itself, absolutely holy and good; was the “one true church.” And so many are deceived into following their church all too faithfully. But here we will have begun to find that today, even the churches themselves, are warning that they are not quite as reliable or “perfect” as they once proclaimed. While hard practical experience, disasters caused by following their rules, proves these more modest pronouncements, to be true.
The Sin in Extreme “Obedience” To “Authority”:
Fatalities Caused by Priests, Churches,
What specifically is wrong therefore, when flawed institutions – like our churches – that occasionally make errors, tells us nevertheless, that they are holy and sacred and perfect? Or when, related to this, a church tells us that therefore, we must follow the church with total “faith”? Or “obedience”? What’s wrong with this picture? What harm can be done … if the church is not really, fully perfect at all? In fact, we are beginning to suggest that an immense amount of harm can be done, and has been done, by such institutions; by our churches. This we are beginning to see, by a few merely hypothetical examples, here. Before showing real, actual examples. (Though say, the medical example is already real enough; such examples can be found in the newspapers, over and over).
11) One of the larger problems here, is that when churches over-stressed their own “authority,” and demanded strong “faith” in themselves and their idea of God, they caused people to often, ignore their own better, common sense. To ignore their own better instincts, that might have saved them. Consider for example, the case of the sick man, who stops taking his medication, because the preacher assures him that he was cured, and had no disease any more.
Or consider now, one more example of how foolish someone would be, to actually follow anyone on earth, quite so faithfully – or as absolute authority. Suppose, for example, we have some – admittedly rather foolish – people, riding in truck over a mountain pass; a mountain pass with a steep fall-off on the right, but with a turnoff road, coming up in two miles. They are calling their boss – their leader – back in the office, asking him which turn-off road they are supposed to take. So the boss, back at the office, looks at his GPS, sees the next turnoff is the one to the right, coming up in two miles … and then the boss says, “you are supposed to turn right, right now!” “‘Right now?'” our workers ask their boss. “Yeah! Right now! Turn off right … this … very … second!” says your boss. And so, supposed the people in the truck say, have been trained to do exactly what your leader tells you … and so they immediately, that “very second,” turn the wheel hard right … and go over the mountain cliff. Since the turn-off is … still a half mile away.
a) This is another hypothetical example, of what kind of damage would be done, if anyone ever actually did follow, exactly, our leaders, with total, unthinking obedience. What b) in fact, we will find, occasionally does happen, when the people follow their leaders, with the kind of excessive, total “faith” that preachers often ask for.
c) What therefore happens, in Biblical terms, when our religious and other rulers, bosses, proudly exaggerate their own “authority”? Or tell others to follow them exactly? Especially, to the point that our rulers do not allow us to exercise independent judgement?
What happens is that when people are trained to too-total obedience, then whenever our rulers, our shepherds, inevitably issue some false or inexact directions … then silly people will, sometimes, actually obey and do what they are told; they will sometimes follow their rulers, all-too closely, all-too-“faith”fully; with bad or false faith. “Deceived” by “false spirits.” Even when their leaders’ directions are wrong. Or were misunderstood. So that such total obedience to authority … leads many to disaster.
d) Most churches are guilty of this; particularly they deliver sermons, that tell us that the Bible says that common sense, is of the “world,” and is wrong. Therefore, preachers often tell us, ignore common sense. But finally, we will have seen elsewhere, these all-too-common sermons misunderstand what the “world,” and “flesh,” stand for in the Bible; they refer not to all commonsensical ideas, or wisdom; but only for the bad ideas out there; not the good ideas. Many preachers speak as if the whole non-religious world – in which they include Science and common sense, say – was bad and evil; and many preachers tell us we should never listen to them. But there, our preachers are simply, wrong. As we will have begun to see here and elsewhere, many forms of what was thought to be “world”ly or “secular” wisdom, was actually from God; and should be listened to in fact, more than to preachers. Who have “all” sinned and erred, even according to their own holy book, the Bible itself.
Of course, the people in our examples above, who would obey preachers to such a high and fatal degree, seem to many of us, rightly, like very, very, unbelievably stupid people. And yet note that a) there are after all, many people this stupid in the world. And worse note that b) in effect, our priests train people to be stupid. Priests systematically train people to override their caution, their own common sense; priests reviling that as “worldly” “false knowledge” of “fool”s, etc.. Because of this, you will often find in real life, many, many people who have been so strongly taught /brainwashed /hypnotized /enchanted /captured by lies and “false “dreams,” to believe and trust, that they will follow priests, all too faithfully. And bad instructions from priests, are all too common; in part because many priests live an insulated existence. And they often know very little about practical life. So that priests especially – more than any other profession in fact – often issue very bad practical instructions. And worse, thanks to their conviction that they are the voice of God, they do that with absolute dictatorial insistence, too.
No doubt, ordinarily, in the above examples, one would expect that ordinarily, people would have enough independent judgement, enough common sense, to figure things out, and not follow a fallible leader’s bad directions, too exactly. But unfortunately, because our religious leaders often systematically attack common sense, as “worldly,” and because they insist on total obedience, often priests manage to get individuals to fatally override, their own better sense; and to follow bad religious ideas, all too faithfully; all too loyally. Even into disaster.
And our examples are not just entirely hypothetical; in future works others may like to uncover many real, practical examples of disasters, caused by people following their foolish priests and ministers all-too-faithfully. When their own common sense would have saved them; but where the priest had knocked their common sense out of them. One interesting, real case in point, might be the case of ascetics, and of especially, extreme fasting. Common sense would tell anyone, that if they don’t eat real material food regularly, they will be hungry, and perhaps starve to death. Yet many ascetics were encouraged, by all the talk of the wonders of “fast”ing, to override common sense; and many fasted until … they starved to death. (Indeed, some scientists believe that the reason some saints’ bodies are “incorruptible,” largely intact in tombs after hundreds of years, is not that they were so good … but that they starved to death; and having no food in their bowels, they did not rot from the inside, as most dead bodies do). See James 2.14-26, as a first hint of this great sin or flaw, in asceticism, over-spirituality … and we add here and now, too great faith in religious authority.
Can people really be that dumb? Indeed they can be. First no doubt, there are already, just naturally, many foolish people out there. But far more importantly, we noted above that many relatively intelligent people, are
actively made more foolish, by priests. Having been taught that practical sense “wisdom” is useless. Having been taught by priests that what appears “foolish,”is truly good. (Priests here following a common, mistaken idea of what Paul said on this subject).
Traditional, “Perfect,” “Holy” Preachers and Churches,
As the Agents of Hell, and Satan
Our preachers have often assured us that they, or their sermons, their picture, their “doctrines” of God, are all but absolutely true, sacred, holy, and even “perfect.” But lately, even the Roman Catholic Church, has been hinting that it itself, the Church on earth, is “not yet perfect” (CCC, 825). While a few simple thought-experiments here, a few hypothetical examples here, will perhaps have served well enough, to begin to suggest what kinds of numerous, and often fatal problems, have likely been caused, by our preachers’ secret, massive vanity and pride; by their insistence that they alone, or their doctrines, are absolutely holy and perfect.
Given the probable scale and nature of their sins and errors, in fact, traditional preachers here are found to be bad enough, to rather exactly match, the very “false” and bad priests, that the Bible warned about, over and over. The typical preachers who ruled Christianity – and who through Christianity’s empires, ruled the whole world finally, c. 1750-1945 – are so bad, that they resemble rather exactly, the very bad, “deceit”ful priests, foretold by the Bible over and over; they are bad people, following “false prophets,” “false spirits,” generating “illusions,” “delusions,” false “dreams,” and so forth. Offering teachings that believe they are following, presenting, absolute good, the true “Christ”; but who on second look, are now found to have been …acting rather more, for all the world, the foretold deluded followers of Satan. After all. Indeed, since our preachers stress “faith” so much, it might be worth recalling that it was oddly enough, perhaps originally, Satan himself who, in the Bible, strongly stressed faith. Satan himself proposing to God, that God abandon his covenant protection of Job; to apply a test of faith, to Job (in the Book of Job, Ch. 1).
This fact will be distressing to all those – except those who read their Bibles a little. Those who will have long since read passages like the following. That warned us all, so long ago, even about priests and “ministers.” Or for that matter, that warned us even about our holiest “angels”:
“From prophet to priest, every one deals falsely” (Jer. 6.13).
“Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. It comes as no surprise that his ministers disguise themselves as ministers of … God. [As “servants of righteousness” RSV] But their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Corin. 11.14-15 NAB).
“The chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth, and kill him” (Mark 14.1).
“Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law),’ what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizekek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well” (Heb. 7.12).
“He would not be a priest at all” (Heb. 8.4).
“With you is my contention, O priest…. I reject you from being a priest to me” (Hos. 4.4-6).
“And now, O priests, this command is for you” (Mal. 2.1).
“He leads priests away stripped” (Job 12.19).
No Miracles, Please:
Disasters Caused By Preachers …
Authoritatively Standing Behind, Having Faith in,
The Truth of Specifically …
How many heretofore-unnoticed but huge, fatal disasters, might have been caused by the vanity of the churches and priests? By their earlier, proud presumption of being “perfect”? By their inability to honestly address their own inadequacies, and especially the inadequacy of their own tradition? How much damage was subtly done, when the whole world followed magical delusions?
Aside from the priestly molestation scandal – which was in part caused by, enabled by, priestly insistence on proudly, vainly overstating their own authority, their own “holiness” and “sacred”ness? After that, it is easy to think of numerous other examples of what kind of damage can result, from the excessive self-assurance of holy men; and from unrealistic hope, and an excessive faith not tempered by knowledge (see Peter on “add”ing goodness to faith, and knowledge to goodness). Given a few hypothetical examples, it should be easy to imagine the damage that was done, by the inability of the Church to confess its own sins, and face – and fix – its own errors. To imagine what kind of damage results, when the Churches over-stated their own reliability … and when in consequence of that, all too many millions people followed their flawed religious and other leaders, all-too-“faith”fully; all-too-“religious”ly.
Let’s consider particularly, the kind of damage done by priests and churches, when our preachers stressed specifically, great, total faith in, the total holiness, of promises of … “miracles.”
12) We seem to have found already, from even the most casual application of the Science of God, that traditional promises of spectacular physical miracles, are not at all reliable or perfect. To be sure, many of us were often told solemnly, over and over in churches, that if we followed our preachers and had faith, we would have the power to walk on water, and make bread appear out of thin air; to do “all” the “works” that Jesus did, and “greater things than these”; to get “whatever” we “ask.” Yet practical experience, science, teaches us that today, no miracles of these exact types, are happening today: no one is specifically, literally, walking on water for example. So that clearly, most promises of miracles – and therefore many of the most solemn promises of our priests – are simply, clearly, false. (As we began to establish, in our writings on miracles; and as others have proven even better).
13) Even many preachers, by now, have noticed some problems with getting the huge, spectacular, physical miracles that their interpretative traditions read the Bible as promising. But in the past, priests told themselves no doubt, no doubt they thought, that they were commanded to believe in miracles anyway; because they were commanded to “have faith.” Thus, preachers seem to have felt that repeating the old promises loyally, was not a lie; but they thought and taught, was just being “faithful.” Preachers constantly told themselves and us, implicitly, that if it often does not seem that God is giving us the miracles that priests promised in the past in the name of God, still, we are commanded to ignore any and all signs that the old promises are working. We are commanded to continue to believe them, because they are the word of God, and we are commanded to follow God with total “faith,” even when it seems that sayings attributed to him, are false. So that most priests never quite thought of their repeating promises of miracles, as a lie; but as obedience to faith. Even though they were promising things over and over, that even most of they themselves knew deep down, were false.
Most preachers – priests and ministers, and religious leaders of every stripe and kind – have therefore, repeated promises of miracles therefore, or have not explicitly, repeatedly, publicly denounce them, as they should. Because they think – mistakenly – that the Bible and God issued these promises firmly; and that they commanded us all to believe, to “have faith in” them, even when they do not seem true. Yet note that in our series of volumes here, we will have worked hard to establish firmly, with seventy or a hundred or more biblical quotes, that actually, the Bible itself, God himself, did not stress the “perfect”ion of the churches and priestly traditions; or their reliability. Rather instead, the Bible warned constantly, that our preachers and their holiest traditions and “doctrines” – and indeed, their very “angels” – will have often sinned. So that the Bible itself, God himself, did not stress “faith” in the Churches, or in the various priestly traditions. Indeed the Bible often warned, that false priestly “interpretations” and simply, false priests following “false prophets” and “false spirits,” would mis-read the holy books; and misrepresent God to the whole world. So that we can simply surmise that the readings, the many various religious traditions that asserting “miracles,” were often simply, likely, wrong. We can assert this, particularly when we look closely at the Bible itself … and find that the Bible itself allows us to read “miracles” as being more natural/technological “wonders.”
Simply put: looking closely at the Bible itself, we found earlier that it, itself, didn’t unequivocally promise physical miracles. So that promises of “miracles” were actually, an invention of … unreliable priests. Most of whom were obviously rather primitive persons, among primitive folks; who simply projected false, local magical beliefs, magical thinking, on a document – the Bible – that, deep within itself was more properly scientific. among other things, the stress on faith, or on faith on any church’s idea of God, simply, disobeys the Bible.
When look at the idea of God billions of human beings have, we need to be aware, that the idea of God that most people have, comes mostly not from reading the Bible itself; because it is hard to read. But from listening to preachers’ sermons, trying to explain – or spin – the Bible for us. So that the idea that most people have of “Christ,” or “God,” was created in us, by preachers; not so much by the Bible itself. Most of what most people think they know about God, about the Bible, was relayed to them, by an intermediary “medium”; the medium of … preachers.
But we will have been showing here and elsewhere, that medium, the alleged “messengers” or even “angels” of God, the Bible actually said, are always unreliable. (Our biblical word “angel” by the way, coming from the Greek “angelos”; meaning “messenger.” So that when the Bible warned about “angels” of the Church, who did not find their works “perfect” (in Rev. 2-3)? It warned about … any and all messengers from God; including priests especially).
Preachers to this day, have wrongly, failed to repeatedly, explicitly denounce “miracles” to their congregations. Because preachers mistakenly believe that a) promises of “miracles” per se, are in the Bible itself. And so b) they are commanded by God to have “faith” in them. But both of these two beliefs, we find here, are false. “Miracles” were the invention, of an unreliable priestly tradition. More reliable, is the fuller science of God; which firmly finds that all alleged supernatural “miracles,” were actually natural and technological wonders, that can be explained today, in simple scientific terms.
So that there is no longer any need for priests to defend “miracles.” Indeed, such promises are mostly, false.
So that when essentially all our preachers taught “miracles” to the whole world? They deceived themselves … and the whole world. So that the whole world has been deceived, in its religion, in its Christianity. Just as Jesus foretold (Mat. 24.24; Mark 13.22; Rev. 13; 1 John 4, etc.; even in its “Christ”ian “worship”; by a “false Christ”).
14) The shattering, awful but powerful realization, that we are coming to here and elsewhere, is in part that the Bible itself, amazingly, did not stress the “perfect”ion
or reliability of churches, preachers, or any other allegedly holy things. Nor therefore did the Bible really urge such strong “faith” in preachers, and churches, and their ideas, “traditions,” about God. Rather than insisting we continue to have “faith” in the old traditions, instead, the Bible itself ultimately warned that those traditions were often adulterated by some of the worst “traditions of men” (Col. 2.8; vs. good traditions of men Mark 7.8). So that instead of following the traditions, doctrines of preachers, the Bible called for a critical, “science” review of all traditions, of all sayings alleged to have come from the Lord; to see if those sayings hold up, and match the things that we see actually do, or “do not come to pass” (Deut. 18.20-22) in the physical sphere.
The discovery that the Bible itself did not stress faith in holy men, or faith at all, is finally a heaven-shattering revelation. But we have begun to see even here, that God did not back the “perfect”ion of churches and preachers; nor obviously therefore, faith in them.
And so, what happens next? When the people at last hear and obey, not blind faith, but the better, fuller, Science of God? The masses will find that Science, quickly points to especially, one type of false statement or “doctrine,” from peachers churches: preachers’ promises of miracles were simply, a false idea, a false doctrine. A false tradition. A false idea of Christ.
Simply put, the Bible commanded us not to have too much confidence or faith, in part when he warned that our holy men and churches, and their “doctrine,” were not “perfect,” and so forth. Instead, the Bible itself warned us constantly, not to trust our holy men and even the angels; and told us to a critical science, to find out which things they said were true, and which were not; by looking to see which things they promised, were materially “fruit”ful. Which things they promised really, actually “come to pass” in the world around us. While when we do that? Of course, it should be immediately evident to even a 12-year-old child (if not to a 30-year old child), that of all the things promised by preachers in the “name” of the Lord, their promises of “miracles” are most definitely, obviously, simply, false. It should be clear to any person of normal intelligence – and even to many of well below average intelligence – that, just like protestations of their own “perfect”ion, churches are not really delivering all the miracles they promised, either (Q.v.).
Likewise too, if promises of miracles are not true, but are a delusion, a lie, and yet priests repeated it, all over the world? And the whole earth believed them? Then in effect, this merely fulfills, is confirmed by, and exactly matches, Biblical prophesy: exactly as foretold, the whole earth has been deceived.
Exactly as foretold, the whole earth was deceived, by a false worship (Rev. 13). But if so, then one “day” God is supposed to expose, uncover all this, and fix it. As we are beginning to expose and fix this; even here, and now.
Before more conclusively coming to that Apocalyptic conclusion however, lets look again, at the harm done to humanity … by priests leading us all to have too much confidence in the Church; into believing its priests, even when its priests are mistaken; even when priests are issuing false statements.
15) We have already seen three or four hypothetical examples, above, of what damage or “harm” is often done to people, when you vainly encourage them to have more confidence, in you and your ideas, than you deserve. Above, see the case of the salesman who tells you his car is perfect, and sells you are car with bad brakes, above. Or review the case of the children who delivered themselves over, all too confidently, all too faithfully, to child-molesting priests. Clearly, the People are often injured horribly, by having too much faith, too much confidence, in their religious and other leaders. Summarizing and recalling our earlier examples, and relating them specifically now to promises of miracles? We should ask readers to ponder especially, what specifically happens to people, when you promise them firmly that you will deliver something to them – but you do not deliver what you promised?
There is considerable evidence – conclusive evidence in fact – that the vast bulk of the sermons that dominated Judeo-Christianity for 2,000 years – the countless sermons that promised “miracles” – were simply, false. The fact is, obeying the Bible, and making even the most casual look around you, at what comes to pass or “does not come to pass,” around you, shows that nobody whatsoever, is getting “all” the “miracles” they “ask” for; much less “all” the “wonders” that Jesus did. Look around you: nobody whatsoever is really, actually, literally, walking on water; or making “bread and fishes” appear in empty baskets. Which means that in fact, our preachers have very, very firmly promised to us all, some wonderful things … which however, they have never actually reliably delivered. Not in 2,000 years. Not even to those who are very, very good. Indeed, even preachers themselves, are not really, physically, walking on water (unassisted by a technology).
So in fact, there is a massive case out there, of preachers promising something they did not deliver. And a) though our preachers have crazily felt they could do this, b) by now it is clear enough, that they should not have done so. While c) now it is time furthermore, to begin to look at the massive but heretofore-hidden disaster, that was caused … when the whole world was trained to absolutely rely on and trust, promises that never came true.
Earlier, we noted some general examples, of what really awful things can happen, when someone makes false promises; when someone does not deliver on the things they swore to deliver: in such cases, many people will trust in what you say – and even depend on it. Often, they will order their lives, in such a way, as to assume and then build, on what you promised. But then, if you do not come thru with what you promised … their lives can be ruined, or ended. Remember briefly, our hypothetical examples of this.
aa) Suppose, say, you promise to, say, give someone your kidney, for a kidney operation; but then, after their old kidney is taken out, you chicken out, and run away? In such a case, because you did not deliver what you promised … the sick person might well now not have a new kidney and will … simply die.
bb) Or another example of how people are actually, injured or killed, when you make promises, but do not keep them. Suppose say, you agree to meet an airliner in mid-ocean, to refuel it … but you do not show up. In this case, the airliner has flown into the middle of the sea, to meet a tanker plane, a refueler … but when the refueler does not show up, the plane is out of gas. And crashes into the sea, for lack of fuel.
Its should be easy even for our very unrealistic and impractical preachers to see, just from these few simple examples, that in general, promising people things that you don’t actually deliver, is not just “bad” in some abstract ethical way; but furthermore, its physical consequences can be disasterous too; false promises, “false hopes,” false assverations of “perfect”ion, can actually kill other people. Because people depended on you; they had faith in your promises, and then often ordered their lives around … false assumptions. And your promises were not true, you let them down. Often, causing others to perish.
cc) These are not just hypotheticals, moreover; there are millions of such cases in real life; where our preachers have firmly promised people something, but don’t deliver it: specifically, our preachers promised “miracles” to us all. But what we are finding here and in real life, is that their promises were a lie. While now, we might well recall too, what probably happened, to those millions of people that you promised specifically, “miracles.” When those miracles did not arrive. When those miracles were not as totally reliable, as something promised by God, should be.
dd) Another example? Suppose for example, say, you tell everyone, that by a miracle, you will save someone trapped in a flood; and lift them miraculously out of their flooded house … and so, they cancel plans for a helicopter. What happens next, if then, the miracle you promised, does not arrive? The family might well drown; when earlier, it could have saved itself by helicopter. Drowned in part, because they depended on your promise of a miracle.
ee) Or, most importantly, in real life: what happened, when many our priests told millions of people, not to bother with “world”ly, practical, “secular” knowledge – like knowledge how to farm; how to develop medicines or pharmaecuticals? Telling us that such knowledge was “false knowledge” and so forth? Telling us that “all” we needed, would come to us just by praying, and waiting for our “bread” to appear out of thin air? This in fact, was the essential, rhetorical message of millions of sermons and homilies, no doubt for hundreds, thousands of years. But what undoubedly happened, to those who followed that advice? No doubt, many millions died of otherwise-preventable starvation and disease; from disasters that their own hard work and practical knowledge, would have prevented. Died because they were relying on, had faith in, magical ideas, that did not work. Because they were relying on, had faith in, preachers, and their promises especially, of “miracles.”
16) What can be done about this? Perhaps we should consider legal measures.
In part, we have simply a) begun to at last, raise consciousness of this problem; so that preachers and the people, can avoid it. But b) to be sure, our preachers are very, very vain persons, and resistant to change – and resistant to ever seeing, much less “confess”ing, their own sins, the sins of their own revered “traditions” and “doctrines.” So that finally, c) we should not expect that preachers will come easily to this humble moment, on their own. Rather instead, we should make provisions to … forcibly drag them into the light, kicking and screaming, if necessary.
We will have tried to be simply persuasive here; noting in general, “O priests,” the damage done you make promises that you cannot fulfill; particularly, speaking of the promises of miracles. Making promises of miracles is a very evil thing to do; because experience teaches us that miracles are not reliable at all; and therefore, teaching people to believe in them as the word of God, teaches them to …strong rely on things that will disastrously fail them. While the results of that, are often literally fatal. So that the more you believe in miracles and priests … the worse disasters the people will encounter.
These of course small, hypothetical examples might have some persuasive effect, on ordinary intelligent, open-minded, fair-minded, balanced persons. But often, in America, we are dealing with priests. Or far worse, the self-appointed “conservative” deacons, of religious TV and radio, who now in America, essentially dominate the body of Christ, and who have influenced even the bishops; the self-appointed Popes of EWTN/EWRN, and CBN. So that finally, appealing to subtle reason, will have no effect whatsoever. So that we will have to simply use biblical quotes. Or failing that? Legal measures.
d) Legal scholars know a lot about what we have been talking around, here and now; lawyers know that if you fail to provide things that you firmly promised – especially, promised contractually; by “covenant” – then aa) great harm can be done to people; people can even be killed. By your “nonperformance” of your promise, “covenant,” or “contract.” For that reason, in such cases, the law holds you liable, or responsible, for your false promises … and the damage caused, when you did not make good on your promises.
But because of “freedom of religion,” it may that criminal, not lawsuit/civil action, is more appropriate. Causing people’s deaths, by false promises, or even by actively withholding medical care, even on religious grounds, crosses governmental laws strongly enough, that criminal charges should be brought.
The Real “Harm Done”
17) Very real disasters, real “suffering,” happens to simple religious people, who believe in miracles, all the time; because they had great faith in our holy men; and especially, their promises of miracles. Consider for example, the fate of those people who believed in miracle-healings. There are many people, who have been told by their Churches, that a) the mere practical “work” of medical doctors and so forth, is useless; and that b) when they are sick, they should just pray for healing; and then of course, God himself will give them what they ask for. By a miracle.
But what happens if people really believe this? Consider this: if you were sick, and were really, actually, totally, faithfully confident that God “always answers our prayers,” always gives us “whatever” we “ask,” then after all … why would we even bother to go to a doctor? Since doctors are mere men, with their unreliable “work” and “arm” and “flesh”… and are therefore, allegedly, totally unreliable, according to a million sermons. So why would anyone go to a mere conventional doctor … while we are assured, that God is infinitely powerful, and sworn to help heal us by a miracle? Now and then in fact, sick people follow this logical train of logic … and do not go to a doctor when they are sick. But what then happens, then? If the promised miracle healing, does not arrive? Then after all, many people undoubtedly stay sick … or even die. From lack of competent medical attention. Because they were taught by preachers, to ignore the care of mere medical doctors, and “trust in the Lord.” For their “healing miracle.”
This might have seemed like a hypothetical example, above. But now we add here that in fact, the newspapers are full of actual accounts of people like this; people trained by their churches, to absolutely depend on promises of miracle-healings; who had diseases that doctors could cure, but neglected to take advantage of that; believing and trusting in their miracle. The newspapers are full of people refusing blood transfusions, or other medical care, … and then dying of diseases a doctor could have cured. Waiting for a miracle from God; which preachers often assured them in effect, would come.
The Massive Harm Done by Religion;
False Promises of Miracles
Here, we have developed many hypothetical situations, to illustrate just exactly how making false promises, even in “hope” and “faith,” can cause great suffering. Many of our first examples here, are hypotheticals; but we also began to sketch in a few common, real examples of such disasters, that can be found in the newspapers and real life. But now finally, we need to close with a reconstruction, of the really massive disaster, caused by our church’s false promises of “miracles.” A disaster as-yet largely (if not totally) unnoticed; but one that we can now begin to tentatively, outline at last.
The disaster has been a subtle one; it has not involved the many more obvious sorts of problems, caused by religion: like one religious country, Catholic countries, attacking others, and killing millions (in the Islamic invasions; in the Crusades; in Catholic Spain’s attack on South America, etc.). Rather, the really, really evil and deadly result of the false promises of religion, was all the more deadly … because it was far, far more “subtle.” Because it was so hard to spot. But in general, the disaster was this: when they were taught to believe in “miracle” conjuring, millions, billions of human beings, worldwide, for 2,000 years and more, were actually taught in effect, to believe in … essentially, magic; in magical thinking. And that destroyed much of the common sense, the practical knowledge and science and technology, that we know for certain do bring prosperity; and that would otherwise, have made their lives much, much better. If they had not been systematically taught by preachers, to despise the most fruitful and productive, practical ways of “secular” thinking.
The Theological Error
The great sin of our preachers, is that they attacked “worldly” and “secular” thinking too much; never realizing that many things they thought of as “secular” – like Science – were actually, dear to God himself.
And as a result of that, people relied too much on “faith” – and as for taking care of material things, on conjuring things out of thin air. And they suffered immensely, we will begin to show here, as a result of that false idea of God and Good.
No doubt, it seems impossible to believe that anyone could be so dumb, as to all but totally forget common sense, and rely so completely on religious things. And yet, many of those who are not naturally this foolish, have been in effect trained to be this silly … by priests. Who constantly told us all after all, that what seems “foolish” to us, is often “wise”; who told us to trust totally and have faith in our holy men; no matter how “foolish” what they told us is.
Specifically, we were often taught in church, not to value the mere practical – “worldly” “knowledge” of practical men – like doctors; not to count on our own mere human “arm” or “flesh” to take care of things. But instead, to always trust to God, and his “miracles.” And if we have any “doubts,” we were told to suppress them; and have great “faith.”
But now it is time for traditional preachers to note their errors: actually, aa) God warned that there have always been great sins in holy men, and priests; and bb) that we should watch out for them; examining them closely, even with “science” (Dan. 1.4-15 KJE; 1 Kings 18.20-39; Mal. 2-3; etc.). While cc) furthermore, as foretold, using just the most elementary science, a few thought-experiments, we are seeing some of the sins of our priests, even here and now.
Specifically, what have been the massive sins and errors of essentially “all”our priests, over the years? The first was aa) Pride and Vanity; presumptuously declaring themselves “first” with God in effect; and bb) assuring us that we must obey and trust our holy men and priests; and cc) have great faith if not in them personally, then in their sermons about God. Then too, dd) our preachers missed – or chose not to tell everyone about – the many warnings about false priests, following “false prophets.” Nor did they ee) tell us about the importance of using critical science, to examine priests, and find out which were good and which were false. And ee) in turn, out of those errors in turn? Our ff) priests felt free to make scientifically-impossible promises of miracles. Continually and without interruption or questioning. While finally gg) those false promise of miracles, and miraculous powers, in turn, hypnotized the masses; or more exactly, gave them misinformation that put them into a delusion, an illusion, a false dream, or a lie. A false mindset that … made them feel temporarily better; that gave them pleasant mental sensations like “hope” and “faith.” But that seriously incapacitated and even killed them, in the physical sphere. As we will see soon.
In particular, the great sin of priests, was Pride, or Vanity; imagining that they themselves, and/or their “doctrines” and sayings about God, were all but “perfect.” While ignoring, “twist”ing, or “whitewash”ing, the constant warnings in the Bible, that “all have sinned”; especially our holiest men and angels … and the preachers and churches, that followed them. So that the root sin of preachers, was Pride. But then … out of their Pride, they ceased being as fully self-critical as they should have been. Though they were superficially modest, “humble,” there was one aspect of their lives, their beliefs, that they failed to ever look at critically enough: their religious beliefs. While as a result of that? They neglected to really, fully, accurately read the Bible; and notice its warnings about priests and so forth. And they failed to learn to take a critical enough attitude, towards … various traditional doctrines. Like promises of miracles, especially. Or if they did this in private, they did not do it prominently, in public. They continued to teach a billion Christians, as if their old traditions – including implicitly, promises of miracles – were wholly true. Even when some knew better.
And then in turn, because of this, the great sin of priests, for many centuries, we have had a religion, a Christianity, that has never had to really face, a full critical review; that in spite of occasional trials and tribulations, had never really been scientifically “test”ed by God. And found so publicly wanting, that finally, it wants to change itself. To fix its own obvious sins and errors. Like especially, false promises of miracles.
The Edge of the Knife;
The Cutting Edge of the Massive Error
In Traditional Christianity
Until recently, the Church has for all practical purposes, overall, most maintained that it is “perfect.” Or it has not widely publicized the doctrine that only the ideal church – or God – in heaven is perfect; while the institution we have on earth, has at best a mysterious and imperfect tie or link to that perfect ideal. It is only in the latest Catechism, that it really has begun to publicize the fact that the Church on earth makes mistakes. Though to be sure, this more honest development, was not solely on its own initiative; the newspapers were already telling everyone on earth, about child-molesting priests, by the time the new “universal” or larger Catechism, came out (c. 1997-2000 AD). Still, any admission of fallibility at all, is a step in the right direction; while indeed, in response to these and other complaints, then-Cardinal Ratzinger, c. 1998, as head of the Vatican-related International Theological Commission, began to at least publicly regret the bad behavior of the Church, toward “minorities.” (In the Church’s work, entitled, if memory serves, as “Memory and Reconciliation,” c. 1998; ITC). This work was heralded by the press, as the Church beginning to “confess the sins of the Church.” While this work furthermore became even more important, when the Cardinal who headed this project – Cardinal Joe Ratzinger – became the Pope; Benedict XVI.
The Catholic Church therefore, to be sure, has been somewhat more honest; more prepared to at least allow the perception, that it is a) confessing its sins, publicly. Especially, confessing that it is not “perfect.” Though to be sure, it is time for b) the Church to … be a little more firm about that. And c) to move on, furthermore, to greater honesty, about its sins and errors; especially d) its neglect of real, objective (not its existing, edited, in-house, pseudo-) “science”; and e) its inability to openly confess the error in promising too many “miracles.” While relating to these errors, has been f) the Church’s surprising resistance to really seeing the importance, to God’s Plan, of our own practical “work” and “works.” (Surprising, since the Church fought for the emphasis precisely on works, in its wars with Protestantism).
The fatal error of the Chur that, or constantly speaking as if, if we need anything at all in the physical, material world, then the way we can take care of that best, is just to pray … and wait for miracles. Without the intervention of our own practical “work,” with our “hands,” with science and technology, farming and agriculture. The vision of the Church, in spite of sporadic and pratical embrace of “work,” remained essentially, influenced (syncretistically), by ancient magical beliefs … bolstered by the magical beliefs of the various technologically backward peoples, to whom it ministered. The essential, basic message of the Church – and of Christianity in general in fact, Catholic and Protestant both – the scenario that it actually as a matter of fact preached more than anything else, was this basic scenario: if you have problems, “pray”; and everything will be taken care of. Taken care of probably, by a “miracle.” Including things you need, appearing simply, out of thin air. (And not by “Charity,” etc.).
“Pray-and-get-miracles,” has been the root vision of the bulk of Christianity, as many more sophisticated theologians have lamented. But indeed, they lamented this mightily – because over the years, it has become apparent to even many religious persons, and even theologians, that … traditional, grass-roots promises of physical “miracles,” are just not reliable. Hard experience taught many – even many priests, and many children – that you can pray all day, for God to make a bicycle appear out of thin air for you. And you or others can pray a million times, for that bicycle. Yet, in spite of priests quoting the part of the Bible that God “always” gives us whatever we pray for, real experience taught most of us that most often, the miraculous thing you pray for, it still does not happen, in any timely way. We just don’t see anyone walking on water today: no matter how many times we pray; no matter how many different ways we pray; no matter how good we are. So that there is very reason to say, that, when we apply God’s science to our preachers’ promises of miracles … we find that simply, they are false.
Science – and practical experience – have already long since taught many of us, that praying for miracles, does not really work very reliably, at all. So that we might begin to now note that actually, what has been mischaracterized as our own “arm” and “works” are actually, a bit more useful, than our preachers’ prayers. To be sure, there is one line or two in the Bible, that let us know that of course, it almost doesn’t matter how hard we work, if God is against us. We are often told in sermons, that doesn’t matter how hard we till the ground – if God does not send rain. Yet to be sure, on the other hand, it is time to look at some neglected parts of the Bible; where God orders us to “do your work” 6/7 of the week. And where God tells those who do not work with their hands, that they have disobeyed God. And that such persons will be punished, greatly. Especially in the end.
Our preachers have taught the world a vision that was not really, fully, from the Bible; but was from their own false “interpretations” of it. A vision that was really, not from the Bible .. but from the many traditions of Magic found all around the world; from Egypt, to Africa, to South America especially. It was belief in magic that more than anything, molded our priests; and “taught” them or entranced them, with the vision of conjuring, of miracles: pray, and the things you need appear out of thin air.
But the problem with that vision, has been that it was a) not really in the Bible itself, properly understood. Furthermore indeed, b) that basic vision, was really borrowed syncretistically from the various traditions of magic, found throughout the entire “world.” While then too, c) furthermore, it was always bad magic, that did not even really work. Huge wonders prayed for, seldom really arrived. While, meanwhile, d) this false vision systematically doubted and weakened, our devotion to something that experience taught us, does work: learning practical knowledge of farming and fishing and medicine, and then using those … far more effectively, to get real results, real fruits.
Essentially all our preachers, sinned, in that they over-emphasized prayer, miracles; and radically under-estimated, the value – even to God; even to the 10 Commandments – of our own material “work.” (Perhaps in part, they confused all that, with Paul’s criticism of the specific “work” of circumcision). They often believed – or at least constantly spoke as if – the best way to deal with the material side of life, was this: if we just prayed or had faith or were “good” as priests defined good, then “whatever” we “ask” would as it were, appear out of thin air; without the intermediary effort of our own practical work. But the problem has been that according to actual experience, in the examination of what does and “does not come to pass,” most of us have found that the priests’ limited view of things, was just not true. And worse, we will now add in some detail, when our priests spread their false vision, to the entire world, they spread a kind of falsity, that caused a subtle but massive dysfunctionality, worldwide. While indeed, not only was the priests’ narrow “spiritual” faith-based theology false; it was false to the point of doing real material harm to billions of human beings.
How did the vision of priests, damage, “harm” millions, billions of human beings, in subtle ways that few have really yet seen? Let us now consider, how massive harm was done. In effect, it works this way: 1) if miracles are not real, 2) then those who were taught to absolutely rely on them, will suffer, when the things that were firmly promised, fail. But finally, far worse, 3) it is not just a few individuals that suffered; over two thousand years or so, likely, literally millions of preachers and churches, have taught billions of people – essentially, the whole earth – to absolutely rely on something that … did not work. That was not reliable. And as a result of that? 5) When, over the centuries, millions and even billions relied to one degree or another, on something that was false, something that failed them, many of people – met even fatal disasters. As described above. Though these disasters were often so subtly caused, and the churches were held in such high esteem, that few people finally traced these disasters, this suffering, to its real cause: false religious doctrines.
With the Church beginning to “confess the sins of the Church,” and to confess at last that it is not “perfect,” however, perhaps at last, we can now begin to publicize this heretofore neglected problem … and begin address it more effectively. And even, begin to fix it.
The Apocalyptic Problem – and its Solution
17) The great elephant in the living room, that our priests never talk about? It is that their historic promises of miracles, were false. But this is a problem that we should not just studiously ignore, or topspin; there was a massive sin or error in the heart of all that we were told is absolutely sacred and holy. The most traditional, holy promises of physical miracles, were a lie; a deceit. What is more, we are now making clear, all that was not just a harmless, “white” lie, but was an extremely dark, black lie; “faith” in those promises, we are beginning to show here, undoubtedly physically harmed and even killed, billions of human beings. As we will be seeing here.
Clearly, we will have begun to see here, we have not been well-served, by such strong “faith” in our clerics, or their vision of the “Lord.” So what aspect of the Bible, of life, now looks much better than clerics and their “faith”? It is the side of, the voice in, the level in the Bible, that did not emphasize faith. The side of, the voice or level of the Bible, that now appears much, much more useful, predominant, is not the level that seemed to support clerics and their simple faith; instead, the reading of the Bible that we now find more convincing, was the reading that hears God as he a) warned constantly about holy men and priests; and b) told us not to have too much “faith” therefore. As God c) emphasized, over faith, science and practical knowledge. Remember that we have seen elsewhere, that God told in the end, us to not consider respecting any form of “knowledge,” not to believe that any given saying or knowledge is really from God, unless it is materially “fruit”ful. Jesus himself, did not stress faith in religious leaders and institutions; indeed, just before the priests of his time, had Jesus arrested and executed on charges of heresy, Jesus warned that there would be many bad priests after Jesus, following “false prophets,” even under the name of “Christ,” the “Lord, Lord.” And to tell us how to spot these false elements of “Christ”ianity? Jesus told us to examine, “observe,” with our physical “eyes,” their material, physical, “fruits,” “works,” “signs,” “deeds,” and “proofs.”
God himself told us therefore, not to have very much faith in priests, ministers, or holy men and religious leaders; instead, God warned us all, in the Bible itself, that we should always be critically examining all our holy men and their claims, their doctrines; to see if they are true or “false,” and bad. While the method we are supposed to use to evaluate them, is classic science: looking to see if following their words, brings real, material, physical, empirically-verifiable results: “fruits,” “works,” “signs,” “deeds,” and “proofs.” While, if we find that our preachers and holy men, have not been fruitful in a physical way? Then, far from continuing to follow them endlessly, “faith” fully, instead, we are supposed to simply conclude that they were the foretold, false priests; that they were the “dead” “branches,” “tares,” “straw,” of religion; and we should cast them into the eternal “fire.” To be burned away forever. As false, dead things. Far from telling us to have eternal faith in alleged holy men and their doctrines – of miracles and faith – God himself, the Bible itself, told us to examine them to see if they, and their individual “inspired” doctrines and sayings about God, are physically, materially productive or not; and if they are not, then rather than continuing to follow them with total, blind “faith” forever, instead, we are supposed to simply, adamantly, reject them; as the foretold false holy men, false prophets, uttering false words in the name of God. (As we have seen in our earlier books on the Science of God).
So let’s at last hear and obey the Bible, more truly at last; and begin to look critically at its actual, material record. Among other things, over the years, experience and even the simplest science, have been enough to show us that our holiest priests and churches, have been largely, false; in their promises of “miracles”; in their stress on “faith.” Because hard empirical experience, has shown us that a) the physical miracles that priests promised, were anything but reliable; indeed, the word “miracle” became a synonym, for a wonderful but extremely rare event. Even though the Bible itself promised its “wonders,” in effect, whenever we “ask”ed. So that, by this important standard, the standard of the Bible and its attention to material “fruits,” our religious priests have been a gigantic failure, a gigantic falseness, in western civilization; whereas in contrast, practical knowledge – like knowledge of better agricultural techniques and so forth; many machines; modern medicine, and so forth – have been infinitely more fruitful; saving millions, billions of human lives. In spite of the occasional mis-use of technology, though technology has been used for bad purposes, overall, used with moral intent, practical knowledge, technology, and science … have been fantastically “fruit”ful. And show every sign therefore, of being from God.
Ironically therefore, we must now finally judge that science and practical knowledge have been more favored by God, than faith. That science and technology and common sense – the very things many priests reviled, as being from the “world” – were actually, far closer to God, and what God wanted, than our priests were. As we will have seen in our other books on the Science of God, God did not tell us to “blind”ly, “faith”fully follow our holy leaders; instead, God told us that we would know who was truly from God, and who was not, by their material, physical, timely, “fruits.” And so finally, we have come here today, to at last, explicitly contrast the even deadly material consequences of priestly ideas; and to consider them, to the far more positive material accomplishments – fruits – from science, and practical knowledge.
Let us indeed, compare the material accomplishments of priests, to those of practical knowledge, technology, and science. Until the development of the science of agriculture especially,
human beings were primitive savages, without technology. Human beings were living in cold huts, dying of cold, and disease, and starvation, by the millions. Ancient peoples hunted small animals … but often unsuccessfully. They had very primitive agriculture … but not good enough to prevent many, many famines; millions dying from starvation. Ancient people had plenty of Religion … but they had no advanced medicine, and few or no protections from disease (other than quarantine, and baths). And because of their lack of advanced practical “knowledge,” people died horribly, often, of starvation, or disease; to the point that in ancient America, the average age of a man at death, was about 35 years of age or less. While many women died in childbirth. And these problems persisted, even well into the Christian era, and Medieval times; during that time, so many people died from lack of material necessities, that some historians and anthropologists have estimated that the entire human population of the entire earth, barely totaled seven million, up until about 1100 AD. (As compared to roughly, one thousand times that, today; a world population today, of six billion souls). And furthermore, why was the human population of the earth, so small, even in the most religious, Medieval era? In spite of all the religion in the world? Medieval towns often had immense monasteries, and gigantic churches; and all the religion one could want. And yet the people who followed these churches, still died in massive numbers, in the Plagues, and in the wars. They had lots and lots of religion, of Christianity; and yet they still died, perished, of starvation, exposure, disease, and warfare.
Ancient, medieval people, had lots and lots of religion, of Christianity; and yet they also still had lots and lots of disease, starvation, and death. So that good at they might be relative to other parts of the world, still, Christian empires have never been quite entirely the ideal “kingdom” that the Bible had promised to those who were really following God; not at all. Indeed, the promises of holy men now seem clearly exaggerated. While today, even the Church itself begins to confess certain inadequacies; to confess that it is itself, not yet “perfect.” The Catholic Church even confessing that indeed, it will not be perfect, until the End.
But if the Church itself, has never been quite as good as its priests daily claimed, if it has not been favored by God with as much as had been promised by God, to those who truly understand and follow God? Then where should we look for Truth and Good and Good? Ultimately, we will have found earlier, God himself, the Bible itself, told us not to follow anyone, even alleged holy men and angels; unless, or to the degree that, their individual sayings, prove to guide us to short- and long-term, physical “prosperity.” But finally, if we, following God, now do that? If we evaluate people and traditions, by their material “Fruits,” “works,” “signs,” “deeds,” and “proofs”? Then what do we see? We see that a) our preachers, our priests and ministers, in spite of their many proud asseverating, were not really from God at all, really, or fully. If anything, in contrast the only thing that really, finally produced the prosperity and long life that God promised to those who truly understood him? The aspect of knowledge that showed the best signs of being favored by God, was not Religion at all; it was the growth of … practical knowledge, of science, technology; farming machinery and techniques, especially. So that amazingly, we here and elsewhere come to this ironic, heaven-shattering conclusion: God does not back “Religion,” or even much of “Christianity.” Instead, Science and practical knowledge, in spite of its own occasional agnosticism and even atheism, were far closer to God’s heart, than Religion.
Science, practical knowledge, were immensely fruitful, materially; far more than priests praying for things to appear out of thin air, science and practical work gave us the prosperity that God had promised, to those who truly understood and followed him.
So what about, in contrast, the very heart of tradition “Christ”isanity: praying for miracles? Remember that for centuries, the distinctive vision in Christianity, the most salient and striking feature, has been rightly called the “pray-and-get-miracles” theology. The basic idea here, the most common instruction from priests, was that if we were morally “good” or “righteous” – as defined by following our preachers, or their idea of God – and especially, if we “prayed,” then, as we were constantly assured, we would get huge, amazing miracles. For centuries, the core promise of ordinary sermons, and after-sermon talks, the common Christianity, was this simple message: if we follow our clerics or their idea of God, and pray … then the food, the bread we need, will appear, even out of thin air, literally; just like the “miracle of the loaves and fishes,” as it was called. Indeed the basic way to get through life, according to the clerical model, was to simply follow the rules; and it that didn’t work, then we are to pray: and that will give us the food we need. And even give us giant, magical powers: the power to move “mountains,” and so forth.
For centuries, in everyday life, whatever might be said in obscure scholarly tomes, the very heart of popular Christianity, popular homilies, was the pray-and-get-miracles sermon or homily. No matter what problems we have in life, even lack of food, simply praying was often “all” we needed to do, according to our priests and ministers. Furthermore, not only did our preachers stress this all-too-simple and even substantially false formula; preachers constantly asserted that it was all but “perfect” and “infallible,” that it was “holy,” and therefore, absolutely true; so that we were not allowed to deviate from this all-too-fatally simple formula; under pain of death, execution for heresy. This all-too-fatal formula, was what we were required to believe and have faith in; and furthermore, in contrast, priests constantly attacked, and reviled, practical knowledge. In effect, we were constantly assured b preachers, that practical knowledge, and its pursuit of mere material “possessions,” was useless, and even evil. That the aims of practical knowledge, were “evil,” “world”ly, “secular,” “works” of the “flesh”; of our mere human “arm.” Practical knowledge and our own hard “work,” it has often even been said from many pulpits and altars, were “useless” and “vain”; we were often told, by many individual priests, that these immensely fruitful things, were of no use whatsoever. Instead, our preachers firmly taught the people i- taught them as the absolutely reliable word of God – what was in effect, magical thinking. Our ascetic preachers often taught everyone, that probably the people did not need any material things at all; but only “spiritual” things; “fruits of the spirit.” Or, if the people needed anything practical, physical at all – like say, physical food – then, they should first “seek first the kingdom of God,” and learn priestly morality. And then, it seemed, wait for good things to appear, like bread out of thin air. Magically.
Finally in fact, we must find that
the religion that we were taught as “Christianity,” by priests, for thousands of years, was not really following the Bible, God, at all; but was following, really, Magic. It was following a vision of reality, gotten from magicians and sorcerers and enchanters. More specifically, the “Christianity” we were really taught to believe in, by most Catholic, Orthodox, and eventually even many Protestant priests, ministers, deacons, and religious leaders of all kinds, was not really belief in the Bible or God at all; but belief in Magic; it was belief in magical thinking. In effect, our preachers were not good ministers from God, but from the devil himself. And they were not preachers at all; but were magicians, sorcerers. Conjurers. The millions of priests who historically promised “miracles,” (and those who do not explicitly renounce miracles today) have actually been the foretold
“enchanters,” magicians; entrapping our minds and souls in false stories, “false promises”; in the foretold “illusions” and “delusions.”
And so, our conclusion? Our solution? We need our preachers to explicitly, publicly, repeatedly disavow, dissociate themselves from, this part of their “holy” tradition. Because – precisely as the Bible foretold – the whole world, including our churches, our ministers, were long since, even in the time of Jesus himself and certainly under the aegis of the disciples, simply, taken in, “deceived” by a “false Christ”; by a false idea of Jesus. The simple root formula, the basic vision of what was called Christianity even by most priests, was an all-too-simple and substantially false formula: follow the clerics, be “good” as they define it, pray … and then, miracles would happen. Even “whatever” we “ask” would appear, Often out of thin air, for us; by miracle. But after all, it is time for the world to discover, to remember, that the Bible itself warned us constantly, that “all have sinned”; and that there were always many “false,” bad things, even in holy men and angels especially. That our holy men, and their churches, their doctrines, were not “perfect.” So that therefore, rather than trust and have faith in them, we are supposed to critically examine everything that holy men claim. While, if we do that? If we at last really heart and follow this second, better vision of God? Then we find that ironically, devastatingly, it was not so much our many priests and their prayers and faith, that have proved good; instead, the “branches” of life that seem to have worked out far better than priests, were the branches that priests typically neglected and often even explicitly attacked: most favored by God, were … practical knowledge. And our own hard work. (If not our “arm”s?).
So that we now must say, that – exactly as the Bible foretold – essentially all our preachers, and their “worship,” were deceived, by false prophets; and then our preachers in turn, deceived all of us too. And in this was – exactly as the Bible foretold – a lie, a false idea of Christ and god, has long since, come to dominate our “worship,” and the whole earth (as foretold, Rev. 13 etc.). But will that is the case, then today after all, is the “day” to begin to dispel, dissolve all that. The solution to this problem, is simply for all our preachers today, to begin to at last, publicly, repeatedly, confess their sins; especially sins even in their holiest traditions; including especially, the confession of the falsity of the promise, of miracles.
And if this seems impossible? If this seems to destroy our Heaven itself? Then after all, we will be showing, the Bible itself allows that shattering event, itself. One “day” we will see, the Bible itself told us, we are a) supposed to notice at last, sins in our holiest men and churches; and related to that moment, that day, our traditional Heaven itself is supposed to “dissolve.” But all in order for God to show us, after all, a “second” and better Heaven.
Priests clearly, as we have been showing here, have taught an incomplete, rhetorically exaggerated, radically unbalanced theology, for centuries. One which a) culpably mis-read promises of miracles or wonders. And which b) criminally neglected the science of God; God’s emphasis on practical “work” (if not some specific “works”), and so forth. But c) now we can begin to estimate, just exactly how much damage or harm, our false, over-spiritual priests and churches, have probably caused the world; that they have caused all of humanity cumulatively. Beyond our few isolated, anecdotal examples. If we think of the fact that a) these false doctrines were taught or allowed to stand, for centuries; and b) were taught all over the entire world; and that c) these doctrines were not only false, but in physical effect debilitating, and even physically fatal? Then s it turns out, the amount of physical damage done by priests, must have been … massive.
Whatever the Bible itself may have said, our everyday priests have often asserted implicitly and explicitly, that a) their own sermons are adequate guides to God. While many of their own sermons have told us specifically, that b) the “only” way to get through life, is by prayer and faith; faith especially in miracles. Yet we will have been finding out here and elsewhere, that while parts of the Bible at times seemed to support that, ultimately, more fully read, the Bible itself finally a) warned that our priests and churches were not yet “perfect”; and that b) therefore, we should look critically at their promises, and have not have much faith in priests, or their idea of God. Priests make many errors; so we should have faith in God himself perhaps; but only God as he exists beyond all human, priestly characterizations of him.
Indeed, priests and churches are not “perfect”; or even often, good. So that God himself ordered us to always keep not a faithful, as much as a critical eye, on “all” alleged holy men (except Jesus himself? Though being aware even here, that a “Christ” can be false). And if we do that? If we maintain an objective sense, and look for errors in holy men? Then c) the first thing that strikes us, is the problem of miracles. And d) then priestly attacks on science and practical knowledge, as “world”ly. It was in these areas, that our priests were very, very far from “perfect” indeed. Where in fact, they misdirected the entire world. Over the centuries, experience has proven that the most “fruit”ful asset that mankind has had, was especially, practical knowledge and science. While they are found approved of moreover, even in the Bible itself. And yet however, our priesthoods not only ignored but even regularly attacked
that side of God, and the Bible, and life. So that now it is time for us all to consider how much damage, harm was undoubtedly done, when they did that.
How much damage has been done, when a) 80 generations of priests systematically attacked – and no doubt seriously weakened – the most productive, fruitful side of our lives? How much b) damage was done, when our preachers told us all to absolutely rely on promises of “miracles”? Consider the constant priestly stress on prayer for miracles, specifically. The problem this priestly mis-emphasis caused, was that no doubt, over the centuries, there will have been many millions of people, who were led by priests, to neglect “mere” practical knowledge and work. People who stayed home instead, to pray for miracles, for example; instead of plowing their fields. Or who devoting themselves to developing better agricultural techniques. (Cf. the status of women, especially).
As priests asserted that they themselves were all but “perfect,” they continually attacked the importance of our own practical “work” and “works” and practical “knowledge.” No doubt therefore, as priests spoke to tens, hundreds, thousands of millions of people, there were many followers – especially women – who gave up on trying to learn practical knowledge and science; who devoted themselves far too much to faith and prayer and spirituality … instead of practical jobs. Who gave up on the material side of life, to be “spiritual.” Or who, when they thought of the practical material side of life at all, they thought of it as coming to us, as if from Heaven; out of thin air. From the sky; conjuring. And not from being blessed in the “work” or “fruit of our hands,” as parts of the Bible more clearly stipulated. Essentially, about half the world was convinced that it should despise practical knowledge and work; and to trust and believe in conjuring; bread out of thin air. If we needed material things at all? It was asserted that we should just pray; and whatever we needed or even just “ask”ed for, would appear out of thin air. Priests led them to do this belief. But here and now finally, we are showing that this core belief of priests, was just simply, false. While furthermore, we should next ask ourselves … just how much damage did this false belief, cause the peoples of this earth? When a false theology, a false idea of Christ, a dysfunctional, magical belief, was taught to everyone, worldwide? What happens when we find that a) people actually do need material things; that man cannot live on spirit alone? And what if, b) practical knowledge often feeds us; but c) the priest has convinced us to one degree or another, to give up practical knowledge? To give up on science, technology, our own work; as being too much confidence in our own “arm,” and “world”ly “knowledge”?
What happened, indeed? What surely happened, when millions of people were even ordered by churches, to give up all practical thinking, practical knowledge, practical “work,” farming? What happens when we finally do exactly what our preachers tell us to do … and give up “mere” practical “work,” and instead just pray? And wait from bread to appear out of thin air? What undoubtedly happened to millions of human beings, was that millions, billions no doubt … suffered and starved. Often to death. Because millions absolutely relied and depended … on false promises; false prophesies. No doubt, in particular, hundreds of millions, billions have died … of things that their own practical work, would have solved.
What have our preachers done to us? What they did, was they in effect, taught us false, ineffectual, magical thinking; illusions and delusions, false ideas. That mislead all of humanity … to the point that … in spite of whatever good they did, finally, undoubtedly, they lead billions of human beings to various degrees of ignorance, dysfunctionality, then out of that poverty, and finally, death. (Indeed, there is an anthropological study of some abandoned colonies somewhere in NE North America/Greenland, that note that there is a great church there, but no people. Anthropologists speculate that likely the colonies died … from expending so much effort building churches, Religion. And too little effort, learning to farm and hunt. As seen on PBS? From the work of an Anthropologist at New Mexico?).
So what happened, in biblical terms? Actually, a) our priests were often, obviously, false priests, following false prophets, false churches. And b) they taught an unbalanced, one-sided, and false theology. By which they c) mislead themselves … and then, in effect, d) they mislead the entire world. With their false theology. Or in effect, a e) false vision of Christ; or a False Christ, a false Christianity. An over-spiritual, under-practical Religion. One f) that was not only false; but worse than that, literally crippling. And then g) fatal. Here h) our preachers lead millions of human beings, to impracticality, delusions … and out of that, literal, actual, physical death. (As St. James began to see, in James 2.14 ff). While in contrast, i) our own practical hard “work,” farming and so forth, would (very often) have worked far better.”
For centuries, priests diverted many millions, to some degree or another, from more practical, far more effective methods of dealing with life. In teaching “miracles,” they really taught Magic; and the results of that in turn, were literally fatal. They were not priests; they were magicians. And the amount of “harm” they did by teaching false dreams, illusions, was surely, immense. People were sucked into false dreams … and neglected material realities and practical duties. To the point that no doubt, many millions of people died from neglect of practical material actions and duties.
What therefore, should we now finally say, in Biblical language, about eighty generations and more, of our holy men and priests? Finally, there is nothing in the Bible that matches what we have just come to see … except one dire set of apocalyptic prophesies, in the Bible. Prophesies which we should now say, are coming true.
So what should we say finally? We should now say, that ancient Biblical prophesies, have already been fulfilled. Finally, we should say that a) as foretold, “all” our of our priests and ministers, “have sinned.” In fact, b) priests were among the foretold “deceived” persons, “under a strong delusion”; following “false prophets,” false prophesies; teaching a false idea of Christ, a “False Christ.” Specifically, their support of conjuring, their promises of “miracles,” were a false reading of the wonders of the Bible. These c) false doctrines of false priests, mislead the whole world, as foretold, with a false dream (Rev. 13). While d) their im-“perfect,” even false doctrines – especially their attacks on practical knowledge and hard work – eventually held back much of world’s population, from learning to take care of the material side of life, using practical technology. In this way, e) whatever the marginal benefits of teaching meakness and mildness might have been, still f) overall, this religion was nearly as destructive as it was helpful. No doubt, we estimate informally here, hundreds of millions, even billions of human beings, were made dysfunctional, and were even lead to unnecessary and premature physical deaths. Due to their neglect of practical sense. While g) in biblical terms? The Apocalypse, was fulfilled in effect: a third of the earth or more, was killed, from having followed false prophets, supporting magic, and a False Christ.
But if so, then after all, we have come today to expose all that; and move on to a second and better, fuller vision of Christ and God.
Before spelling out our literally Apolcalyptic conclusion more clearly and finally, though, let’s just phrase all this, in terms of another religious scenario. One more familiar, and more easily acceptable, to preachers.
Religious people, preachers, have often wondered and pondered, why “suffering” happens to them. Why suffering and evil, happens to them – even though they follow the preachers, and earlier holy men and prophets. Indeed, one of the major, classic problems in traditional theology, is this one: why do, as they say, “bad things happen to good people“? To be sure, as usual, our preachers have hundreds of explanations for this … except the right one. But after all, we have noted problems with, sins in, twenty or thirty of their most common, sermons and homilies and apologetics; their attempts to explain for example, why the promised miracles do not come (see in our section on Sermons). And we will have found that all such sermons, are basically, false. They quote misleading parts of the Bible, in misleading and incomplete ways; they do not look at the “full”er message of the Bible, and its critical Science. In particular, here, we have noted biblical (and for that matter, Catechetical) problems with their pretense of “perfect”ion; especially in their “inspired” “doctrines.”
Many, many Christians themselves have in effect, in fact, noted a massive amount of suffering, even among Christians. And they have wondered over and over – and pondered, famously, in theology – why and how it is, that they should be following their holy men so much better than non-believers; and yet still somehow, they suffer.
So indeed, there has been a vast amount of suffering, dysfunction, out there; in and among, precisely, Christians. Problems famous noted by Christianity itself. But finally, we have come today to finally foreground and present, the one good Biblical explanation for their situation, that they seem never to have adequately considered; the series of prophesies in the Bible, that would begin to really, finally, explain their situation: which is simply, the Apocalyptic solution. Which is to simply suggest that what was being fulfilled in the history of “Christianity,” was the situation warned about by Christ himself, over and over. And throughout the entire Bible, over and over: what happened, was that the whole world was simply, following a false, rather magical Christ. A false idea of Jesus. And in consequence of that, they have suffered far more than what had been promised, to those who followed the real Christ.
The problem has always been this: that the preachers’ own beliefs about God, were partially false. And they themselves are not really therefore, following God at all; but a False Christ. While those who follow the priests in turn, are similarly, just going down the wrong path. The blind following the blind. Following one of the foretold “false shepherds.” Note that what we have begun to find here, in effect, is that the people are suffering, often, not because they are not following their preachers with great faith, but because they are following them.
We were warned over and over in the Bible, that this often happens. That a) our highest prophets and angels, were often misleading. And that b) therefore when our preachers faithfully, followed them, they too were mislead, and became misleading in their own turn. So that c) finally, when the people followed their preachers, the whole world was mislead.
The Bible told us this had often happened in the past. While these warnings of past disasters, were always rightly taken as forewarnings of what could happen in the future, as well. So let’s look at these warnings, at last:
” ‘Shall I not punish them for these things? says the LORD, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?’ An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction: my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?‘ (Jer. 5.29-31. “Yet I will not make a full end. For this the earth shall mourn, and the heavens above be black…’ At the noise of horseman and archer every city takes to flight” Jer. 4.27).
God warned constantly in fact, that our holiest men and angels often sinned – and mislead themselves, and the world. (As we will have shown over and over, in our many chapters and books). The Bible warned that this happened in the past – and would happen in the time of Jesus and afterwards, as well. Even in his own lifetime, Jesus was warning of that there would be many “false prophets” and even “false Christs”; and that therefore, we should carefully, critically examine them, for their material “fruits.” To see if they were really good, and really from God … or from a false idea of Christ and God, after all (quotes? See a concordance on the words in quotes, here).
To be sure, unfortunately, even from the very earliest days of Christianity it now seems, even in the time of Jesus himself, his own disciples were often failing him, abandoning him, and “rebuking” him: telling Jesus that he, Jesus, was wrong. As Peter “rebuked” Jesus himself in person, in Matthew 16.23. So that that Jesus himself, no less, rebuked or told off, St. Peter himself, no less; Jesus in fact thereby, finally revoking any and all confidence in the “rock” of Peter, and any confidence or endorsement of the future church that would call itself the Christian church. As Jesus himself finally, definitively, called St. Peter, the first Pope, “Satan”:
“From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer.… Peter took him and began to rebuke him.… But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God'” (Mat. 16.21-23)
Many dozens, hundreds of slyly apologetic arguments have been developed by preachers over the centuries, to try to explain this core problem in Christianity: that “good” people a) did not get “full”y “all” the miracles that they were promised; and that indeed, b) often those who followed the prophets and saints, very, very carefully, found “suffering” and misery, instead of the promised huge miraculous benefits. To try to explain, resolve this fundamental problem in historical Christianity, our priests and ministers, as we will see, generated dozens, hundreds, thousands of sermons, lectures, homilies, apologetics. But finally, we will simply suggest here, that the one biblically-based explanation for this, that really fits all the Bible, and all the facts, is really, finally, this one: that Christians have often suffered more that seemed right, because … they were simply … following a false idea of Christ.
Particularly, their vision of Christ as promising “miracles” was their major error. The major false element, in their vision of God.
Such things happened (or were thought to be about to happen) in the past in the Bible, are often used to predict similar things happening in the future, too; as prophesy. So that such warnings of course are relevant today too. Indeed note, the above warning, warned that this particular situation was to persist in some way, until “the end.”
This therefore, is the great truth of the matter: that priests and believers are suffering not because they failed to follow the prophets, as everyone tells them; but because they are following them. The world and Christianity have suffered more than is necessary, because they have followed … a false prophet; a false idea of Christ. The whole world in fact, has for centuries, followed a False Christ.
The very “Jesus Christ” that your preachers have traditionally presented to you, in one homily or sermon after another, was finally, actually, the false Christ that Jesus warned about. But while this is so, we are about to come to see the right vision, the second coming of Christ, after all. As we begin to see a Christ even here and now; who does not over-stress “faith”; but who instead, will teach a critical, better, Science of God. And a second and fuller vision of Christ.
The Harm Done
Judaism, Christianity, Suffer Massive Material Defeats;
Promises of physical miracles therefore, we have said, were simply part of the foretold great and fatal sins, “false promises,” “false prophesies,” of holy men and priests. But indeed, it could be said that as early as the time of Jesus and Paul especially – c. 53 AD – promises of physical miracles especially were already in question. The a) apostle St. Paul, for example, while he did not directly deny miracles, he did indirectly question them: “Do all work miracles?” Paul asked:
“God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers…. Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong…. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge , it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child ….; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully…. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corin. 12.28-31, 13.1, 8-13; Paul criticizing “our” religious, “Christ”ian knowledge and prophesy it seems?).
Paul confirmed that not all people in the church were miracle workers, or workers of powerful deeds, or healers either. But b) still, what could the New Testament do, with all those promises, seemingly issued by God himself, of seemingly gigantic wonders for even “all” or “whoever” “asks”? If not everyone who asked was getting miracles, then? It would seem obvious that a major part of Judaism and Christianity were simply, indeed, false.
This is a conclusion that many can face; but some cannot. Particularly those who were raised to absolutely trust and believe and have faith in holy men – and holy men themselves, in their endless vanity – cannot indeed, “bear” to “face.” Since indeed, the real face of God, is frightening, withering. And since this involves sins in all that we vainly thought was absolutely perfect and holy.
But indeed, faced with this problem, Paul and others began to rather frankly admit that there might be problems with even “our” own Christian “prophesy” and “knowledge“; and to suggest that many Christians see the truth only in “part,” and in an “imperfect” way. So that Paul suggested that yet another, less “child”ish way of looking at things, would be needed. Eventually, much of Christianity settles on the idea that God, Christ, will have to come to earth a “second” time; to at last, give us the better, fuller vision of God and Truth. But to be sure, for a time, figures like Paul, began to suggest that getting beyond asking for physical miracles, and getting into a more “priest”ly, “spiritual” way of looking at things, might be better. As Paul began to note that not everyone gets material miracles and healings after all (1 Corin. 12.27-30, above). So that perhaps, Paul hints, it would be better to try to get more mental, “spiritual” goods; like “love,” above. Though after much discussion on this, begins to conclude that our “labor” or work however, is “not in vain” (1 Corin. 13-14.1- 15.58. See also our book-length treatment of the faith of Paul … vs. his better science).
Whenever there were problems getting all the physical things our clerics promised, our clerics generated dozens, hundreds of excuses or explanations; which were then delivered as homilies and sermons, all over, to millions. As we have seen earlier, there were dozens, hundreds of these apologetic arguments; some of which have since come to form the very core pillars of what we have called Christianity, for millennia. Among other apologetics for the lack of miracles, for example, was the whole stress on “faith”: it was said that God was temporarily withholding his promised benefits … in order to “test our faith,” as they say. But to be sure, we will have begun to show here and elsewhere, that there were logical and empirical problems with, even biblical sins in, essentially all our preachers’ apologetics and sermons. As it turned out, our preachers read “part”s of their Bibles … but did not real all of them, carefully enough. In this case for example, though the whole stress on “faith” is seemingly in the Bible, read more carefully, we find that the whole stress on faith was presented there first or most dramatically, not by God himself; but rather, the stress on faith was presented literally, by Satan himself. In The Book of Job, ch. 1. Where it is Satan in person, who suggests that God should withhold his promised benefits; in order to test Job’s faith.
There are many sermons and popular ideas therefore, that have been advanced, to try to explain and excuse any apparent lack of material benefits and miracles, from our preachers. And some of these ideas, have in the years since, come to be the very core of current Christianity. But we will begin to see, not only were a) there problems, with the original promises of miracles; b) there were also sins and errors, in most the various “better,” “higher,” and more “spiritual” attempts to explain that away, as well.
Many preachers today, seem to vaguely believe that especially, the new stress on “spirit” and “spirituality” of Paul and others, was in effect, the promised answer to all our problems. That Paul had intended to say that material, physical things, were unimportant and delusory; since all physical things get old and wither and die. Whereas, Paul seemed to be saying (from Plato or the Egyptians?) that however, we all have an invisible “spirit” in us; one that can be immortal or “imperishable” (1 Corin. 15.53; see however the imperishable finding a “body” or our perishable nature to live in). And it came to be thought (Christianity here following earlier ascetic monks, like Buddhists?), that asking for physical, material things, like physical food or bread, and physical miracles, therefore, was just small-minded, and too materialistic. That we should concentrate on our minds, or spirits; which were good in themselves; and which might even be somehow, immortal; “imperishable.”
The whole idea that we should be “spiritual,” rather than say materialistic, was massively successful. So that today, to be religious, to be good, and to be “spiritual,” are thought to be one and the same. But originally, as some have recently rightly suggested, these mainsprings of current religion, originated as attempts to explain, apologize for, the lack of material miracles. In this case, the whole New Testament, or especially Pauline stress on “spirituality” – in say 1 Corin. 12-15 – was in part advanced, to explain away or excuse, any lack of real material fruitfulness, even in our very earliest Christian priests. (Paul writing, as many now suppose, c. 53-60 AD?).
Here is how it worked: many people were complaining that the physical promises of Judaism and Christianity, were not working out. Much “prosperity” and even an ideal “kingdom” on earth had been promised by our prophets and by Jesus it was thought; but a) Jesus himself had been arrested, and physically executed; b) Israel remained in the hands of the Romans, like Pontius Pilate; and c) for that matter, just a very few years, in 70 AD, the Romans would burn Jerusalem and its “Second Temple” to the ground. While d) instead of the promised miracles and “prosperity,” many Jews and Christians were getting death by torture; martyrdom. So that the physical promises of religion, would have been more than ever, in doubt.
Could religion, Christianity, really deliver on its physical promises? Miracles? Even a normal prosperity? At the time, it probably seemed to many, that it could not. But rather than simply deduce that their religion was false, early believers began instead, to generate various possible explanations, apologetics sermons. And the whole stress on “spiritual”ity, was one of the major apologetics, in effect. In part, Philo and others, began to hint that perhaps, all those apparent promises of material things, miracles, were better read as being … symbolic stories; a) “allegories” or b) “figures” of speech, or metaphors or c) “parables” really. Those apparent promises of physical miracles, might not be taken d) “literally,” but as “spiritual” Rom. 2.29). And indeed, some of the speeches of Jesus, have him delivering phrases that seem to open the Bible up, to reading it and its miracles, as a “parable.” And even just an allegory for mental or “spiritual” things, only. For example: if at times
Jesus seemed to a) promise us real, physical, material, actual “bread” to eat for our meals, b) other times, Jesus and others began to issue statements, that would read those promises, as mere metaphors, or as Jesus himself said, “parables,” or “figures” (q.v., Bible). Especially, metaphors for spiritual things. To be sure, Jesus did not quite entirely negate old physical promises. Jesus in fact at times to promise followers regular, physical “bread” to eat for our meals, and even to give them to us out of thin air – in the miracle of the “loves and fishes,” as it has often been called. But other times, Jesus began to suggest that his own moral code and “spirit,” were “bread indeed.” Suggesting too that “man does not live by bread alone,” but also by the spirit or “word” of God too.
So that in effect, the text of the Bible at times hints – though it does here not firmly say – that the old promises of miracles, at least had a metaphorical, spiritual equivalent. While some would even take all this a step further – and say that the Bible never really promised anything physical at all; all those ancient, apparently physical promises, were in effect canceled, or turned into metaphors for spiritual things. Perhaps by Jesus himself. (So that indeed, it has probably been thought by many priests, this metaphorical or mental or spirit kingdom, the kingdom of the imagination, might even be the second coming, and the real kingdom promised. Though we here find it definitely was not).
There it is therefore: if we are not getting physical things – like bread out of thin air – then it does not even matter, this apologetic said in effect. Because the increasingly popular philosophy or theology of the “spiritual,” even said that physical, material things do not matter, or are just illusions. The true, immortal reality, was not this physical “world” around us; but was the spirit; which was immortal, or linked to immortal forms, models, in heaven. Therefore, it does not matter if we don’t get real physical miracles; indeed, those things were only metaphors anyway. For spiritual things. While only the spirit is important. Thus, the real “bread” that Jesus and our priests need to give us, is not real, actual, eatable food at all; but only say a) the Euchraistic host, the thin bread wafter in communion; or b) even less, all religion has to give us are kind words, thoughts; good ideas and spirit. As many, many sermons have said. (In spite of some Biblical warnings about that kind of religion; in crucially, James 2.14- 17). Even if Christianity leads us to physical death, or disregard for the body, Paul was to say that “for me, to die is gain”; suggesting that since this physical life is not good, to either a) mentally die to this physical life, or even d) literally die, is all right; since that frees our immortal soul to go to heaven (q.v.).
Spirituality of course became massively popular in Religion. Christianity itself, in fact, could be said to be essentially, the updated – and specifically, clerical-ized, even more specifically, spiritualized – version, of Judaism. It was pleasant in itself, in some ways; and it served as a useful apologetic, if our clerics did not deliver material things. The real purpose of Christianity, it was claimed, was to be Religion; a spiritual one. Not concerned much with physical things. All a priest really had to concern himself with, was not physical life at all; indeed, the old apparent promises of physical benefits, miracles, many Christians concluded, was not about physical material help, or real actual food or bread; rather instead, those apparent promises of physical wonders, miracles, an ideal kingdom, were best read as being mere symbols, allegories, metaphors. Metaphors for mental or “spiritual” states; for learning “love” and “faith” and other alleged mental or spiritual wonders.
So if our priests never delivered on the material wonders they promised? That doesn’t matter, our cleriks told us. Because a) material things are unimportant; and b) probably the Lord never really promised them to us anyway; c) those old apparent promises were just metaphors for spiritual things. And for the new, spiritual kingdom, of our spiritual, ascetic priests. (While if God had promised any material things at all? They could wait for “heaven,” or “kingdom” come).
Many people had no doubt, often complained to the executed Lord’s cleriks or apostles, about the lack of real, physical results from following the Lord’s commands. The fact is, a) many people in the Old Testament complained about lack of the promised physical wonders. And God at first at least, did not object mightily, but simply heard their requests and fulfilled them. But b) especially, the people of Jerusalem no doubt began to especially question whether our priests ever really delivered on their promises … when Rome took over Jerusalem., c. 64 BC. Or even more, when c) Jesus himself was physically executed, in particular. Or slightly later when, d) early Christians did not get the promised “prosperity,” but instead were executed, as martyrs. While e) the promised second coming Jesus was not substantially present. Or when f) as history recounts, d) Jerusalem itself – which was supposed to be the head of the promised ideal kingdom of God on earth – was physically attacked, and burned to the ground, by Rome, in 70 AD.
By the time of Jesus, and especially, slightly after – in the time when the Bible was being written – the physical promises, the material miracles promised by Judaism and Christianity, would have been very much in doubt, it seems likely. Not just doubted by Romans, but by everyone; would-be believers included. Rather than simply abandon their old traditions, as simply false however, even our very earliest clerics began to generate many possible explanations, apologies, for these apparent material shortfalls and disasters. And prominent among their explanations, it now seems clear, was the idea that … the old promises of material things, should not be taken literally. That they should be taken in part (and even solely?) as “figures” of speech, “allegories,” or metaphors, symbols, “parables.” We should take the old promises of miracles, not as promises any more or real, tangeable, physical goods; but almost solely as allegories, for mental or “spiritual benefits.” It was in effect thought that if Jesus did not reliably deliver real actual “bread” to everyone, after he was executed, at least he left behind a mental, religious code of behavior; the encouragement for us to develop good mental, “spiritual” things; like faith and love, as they said. Therefore, generations of preachers can to say that if Jesus did not quite leave behind the ideal physical, material “kingdom” on “earth” that was promised, still, as many generations of preachers assured us, the Church was a good enough kingdom. Or if not, then maybe Jesus left us with a mental, spiritual consolation; a sort of imaginary “kingdom” in our mind or spirit, at least. Thus, if the physical side of religion was not working out – if Jerusalem was destroyed, and Christians were being physically tortured to death; if there were fewer miracles, and instead of walking on the water, people were drowning? Then that didn’t matter, and did not prove that traditional Judaism and Christianity were false, it was claimed. Rather, it ws al a massive triumph of the spirit.
This was in fact, a massively popular idea. One that has even come to be, the defining essence of the priesthood, and its Christianity; for most priests, to be religious, and to be “spiritual,” are nearly one and the same. But as massively popular as this “spiritual”ity has been, especially among priests – indeed, it became the second major element or pillar of traditional Christianity – ultimately we will show here, that while there were a) biblical, and even physically fatal problems with, sins in, priestly promises of miracles, as it turns out, there are b) even bigger, even greater, even more physically fatal sins, in priestly “spiritualty.”
If priests’ promises of miracles were physically deadly, as it turns out, spirituality has been even more so.
Fatal Problems in Christian Spirituality
As noted above, not just the Jews, not just Judaism, but also the Old Testament, and also the gospels, and especially institutional Christianity, often made many huge promises of wonderful, material benefits. If we just followed our priests or their idea of God then we were told, then we would get many material wonders, miracles: a long and prosperous life; even “riches,” and an ideal “kingdom.” Even bread out of thin air; even “all” and “whatever” we “ask.” Yet the truthfulness or accuracy of our priests’ promises, was often questioned, as Judaism and Christianity suffered one material defeat after another. Judaism, the Old Testament, had a) often promised that God or his chosen representative, would come to earth, often “soon,” to punish all of Israel’s enemies; and to deliver an ideal Jewish, godly “kingdom,” extending the all-too-brief kingdom of David and Solomon. But though the Jewish or Old Testament prophets had often promised many such things, what actually “came to pass” in real life, was quite different than what was promised. Instead of setting up an ideal and “eternal” kingdom for example, Israel was actually overrun by dozens of larger empires, over and over; including the empires of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and eventually even the Turks and English. In spite of some very grand promises, for most of the past three thousand years, Israel was the vassal, the territory, of one or more of the dozens of other, larger empires all around it. Israel’s people were often under the rule of foreign kings; paying tribute, or even at times even being taken up into slavery; and even lapsing into cannibalism (Lam. 4.2-14, etc.). (Cf. various summaries of the “kingdom,” likeWalter Pannenberg’s The Kingdom of God; which might summed up, by saying that the prophets had promised an ideal earthly kingdom – but Israel delivered only a church, instead?). In the time of Jesus specifically in fact, Jerusalem was occupied by Rome; under the command of a Roman governor, Pontius Pilate; working with a half-Jewish collaborator king, Herod.
So, in spite of an alleged occasional “miracle,” the larger material promises of Judaism, of the Old Testament, and even Christianity – the a) “kingdom” for example – often seem to have failed, to many people, historically. Israel had really been an independent kingdom of “God” or Jehovah, for only short periods of time; notably in the reign of David and Solomon; while the kingdom began to collapse immediately thereafter, with one of Solomon’s wayward sons. Eventually Judah, the northern kingdom, disappeared under waves of invasions; and Israel/Jerusalem did not do quite as well as hoped or promised; for most of its history it was dwarfed by the much larger – and more durable – nations and empires around it. To be sure, the old announcements of a triumphant “kingdom” or two remained; and were converted into expectations of a future empire again. It was expected that Jesus would fulfill those promises; and yet then b) Jesus himself was physically killed. And though he was said to have been resurrected for 40 days, then he did not stay, but disappeared/when to heaven. So that he did not start any obvious, visible, fully Jewish kingdom at all. Many expected that Jesus would return, and things would be better; but c) many early Christians did not experience the promised “prosperity,” but instead experienced physical death, and martyrdom. So that soon many people no doubt, began to doubt the material promises of Judaism, Christianity, and their God, their “LORD.” Even d) by the time of Paul, a full generation later, Jesus had apparently not returned to earth much; c. 55 AD, Jesus was said to have been “heard” by Paul on the road to Damascus. But still, Jesus was not fully in charge of Jerusalem or the world; but was only being reported in random sighting (like Elvis). So that it took much “faith” to continue to believe in the old material promises of Judaism, and Christianity. While indeed, f) Jerusalem itself was burned to the ground by Rome, in 70 AD. Thus seeming to prove that somehow, God’s protection for Jews or Christians or Israel, was not quite as good or sure, as priests told us. While indeed, after Rome burned Jerusalem, Jews were long forbidden from living in that city at all (by Hadrian?). And so effectively, Judah and Israel ended, for almost two thousand years; until 1947.
In the time of Jesus, many miracles were still expected by some (though the Pharisees did not believe in resurrection it seems, specifically?); and it was hoped by many, that Jesus was to bring in the promised kingdom of the Jewish “God.” But in fact, throughout Jewish history, many Jews doubted the effectiveness and ability of their Lord’s and God, to deliver on their promises; Moses himself was not allowed to enter the promised land; while the promised land was often taken away later, in any case. Even many around Jesus, actually began to question promises of material perfection. And especially, promises of physical, material miracles. Including the promise of an ideal material kingdom. Among many people, the tradition persisted, of the theology of pray-and-get physical miracles. And a material “kingdom” for example, was being a) partially supported and continued. But at the same time, b) with Jerusalem, Israel, and Judah, being overrun by one foreign empire after another (more than a dozen empires, some count), the whole promise of an ideal kingdom of God on earth, was also partially already under attack, and modification. Even by Jesus, and his apostles. By about 30 AD or so, Jesus himself at times appearing to promise real material things – wonders, miracles. And a material kingdom. But other times, Jesus and his disciples began to apparently shift his promises to promises of spiritual things; hope and love. And Jesus’ apostles at times, began to speak as if just the mental or spiritual “hope” for or faith in a future kingdom, and the reforming or “salvation” of our spirits or souls, was a complete-enough fulfillment of the promised “kingdom” (1 Peter 1.3-2.9?). Indeed, since Judaism and Christianity had so much trouble making good on physical miracles, and an ideal kingdom, it seems our apostles and church Fathers just began … converting the old physical promises, into metaphors for spiritual things. So that many were to suggest that the imaginary “kingdom” of the spirit, or the “hope” and “faith” in a future kingdom of God on earth, was almost complete fulfillment of the old promises. Though in recent years, most theologians have noted conflicting accounts, between elements of the Bible that seem to announce the full kingdom “already,” in the time of Jesus; vs. other parts of the Bible, that seem to suggest the full kingdom is “not yet.” Indeed, with Jesus himself physically dead, Christians martyred, and Jerusalem in ashes, it would be hard to argue that the “full” physical kingdom had fully arrived. And though many later generations of Christians were to announce this or that church, as the promised kingdom, still, life in these kingdoms, was never quite fully as good as promised in the Bible; where we were promised no more “death,” no more “tears,” etc. (Rev. 21.1-22.12).
It was increasingly hard to argue for many physical, material wonders, in fact. While then too, technology and engineering were advanced enough in the Roman Empire, to call most promises of miracles, into question. By the time of the Roman Empire, the time of Jesus and Paul, civilization was advanced enough, had enough technology and early science and trades knowledge, to build rather large aqueducts and coliseums. So Greco-Roman civilization (which probably always dwarfed Jerusalem and Israel by the way) had a good idea, by the time of Jesus, of what worked in nature, what really “came to pass,” in real life; what actually worked, what actually produced “fruits”… and what did not. What got material results … and what did not. And though even the Romans had religion, and gods, for many in this era, no doubt, many of the old gods no longer seemed all that effective; especially when compared to the knowledge and fruits of civilization. Though many Romans believed in the gods, and wonders, still, most Romans were also practical enough not just to pray for water. But to simply set out, building aqueducts, and water pipelines. Even in Roman times, it probably appeared to some, that important as the gods were, still, combining that with building aqueducts was far more effective, than just praying for water, alone.
Greece had founded a kind of rationality, with Socrates and Aristotle. And all that had been spread around, when Alexander the Great conquered the Mediterranean basin. Then when Rome took this tradition over, and added to it Roman engineers – and then when Rome and Pompey took over Jerusalem, c. 64 BC; just before the time of Jesus – there would have been a large infusion of very practical Greco-Roman knowledge, even into Israel. Practical knowledge which would have been conflicting with, but at times becoming integrated into, Jewish culture. To be sure, this infusion of foreign powers, and their knowledge, might have been resisted for a while by many. But it was so successful, so fruitful materially – and indeed, it had conquered Israel. And as many Jews began to make alliances with Rome, much of Israel would have come to take on more and more Roman practicality; and to doubt the old promises of supernatural miracles. To rely more and more, on practical knowledge, and engineering. Quite possibly, with Roman occupation of Jerusalem would have come – for many, if not all; not the Jewish zealots – an increasing conviction that the old supernatural “miracles,” were implausible, or unreliable. That the best way to get running water, was not to pray for a miracle, and wait; but by way of practical knowledge, and engineering; building water systems.
No doubt therefore, the increasing infusion – and obvious material success – of Greco-Roman knowledge, in Israel (as well as the diffusion of Jewish people, into Greco-Roman territories, and Greek communities, as in Alexandria Egypt), as well as the defeat of Israel by Rome, the occupation of Jerusalem by Rome, led at least some Jewish thinkers and tradesmen, to begin to notice some shortfalls in their own traditional thoughts and promises. And to want to somehow add practical, effective, fruitful Greco-Roman ideas to their own culture. Even, to reject or revise their old Jewish holy books; to update them.
No doubt there was much pressure in Jerusalem, to change, update, old Jewish books; the Old Testament. To either make the old books more scientific and rational (as the inter- or intra-testamental documents at times toyed with). Or say, to began to separate “Religion” away from material lie and material promises entirely; to make it a more “spiritual” entity. Concerned no longer with ineffective promises of material rewards; but only with creating effects in our mind or spirit. While leaving more material things, to the engineering traditions, that were manifestly, doing so much better than praying for miracles.
By the time of the rather educated Paul especially, all the above – especially the material success and fruitfulness of Roman engineering – would have been impacting Jewish intellectuals, especially. Roman practicality was not only working wonders; it had effectively and rather prominently defeated Israel as well. So that all this probably motivated Jewish thinkers – like Philo and Jesus and Paul – to try to revise Judaism somewhat. In part, Jesus had spent time speaking to a Roman Centurion, or captain of a small guard. And Paul especially spoke about the goodness of “Gentiles” or non-Jews; and especially “Greek”s; and Paul even claimed to be a member, a citizen, of the Roman Empire. While a close look at Paul’s language, finds him borrowing the whole basic vocabulary of Plato’s famous Theory of Forms; Paul speaking of things here on earth, being “perishable”; as being mere perishable “shadows,” compared to the idea “forms” or “models” or “paradigms,” in “heaven.” Thus Paul began merging elements of apparently more “fruit”ful Greco-Roman thought, with Jewish religion. To in effect, as this is called, “Hellenize” Jewish religion. By adding to Jewish culture, Greek and Roman ideas; like the ideas of Plato (of “eternal” life, with perfect “forms” or “patterns” in “heaven,” etc.).
No doubt, as one empire or kingdom invaded another, time after time, throughout history, however, a problem presented itself: often the two cultures were quite different; and thought of each other as enemies; and even, as “evil.” So that for example, when Romans took over Israel, many Jews thought of Romans as the enemy; even as evil. So that a problem presented itself: how could Roman ideas be presented in such a way, as to be acceptable to Jews? How could Greeks be admitted into Jewish holy places, as many in the New Testament complained of Paul and his friends? Even harder to imagine: how could and such “new” ideas – or any ideas at all – be added to the old Jewish holy books, especially? Many Jews in the Old Testament especially of course, absolutely resisted the idea of changing their old culture, or compromising, collaborating, with foreigners, like Greeks. And they resisted any apparent modifications or violations of their old holy traditions, especially. Indeed, they killed Jesus for presuming – or appearing – to do that; for appearing to violate the Old Testament, Ten Commandments law on honoring the Sabbath … and doing no work at all on that day; not even healing; not even collecting food or corn, or collecting “sticks” of firewood for a meal (Num. 15.32-36). Or then, Peter seemed to later change the food laws, forbidding pork (Deut. 14.7-8; vs. Peter’s dream allowing him to “eat” anything) .
It would seem impossible, for the Jews to compromise with any foreign ideas. But Jerusalem was changing, under a Roman governorship; and eventually, the church in Jerusalem authorized Paul, to carry his own “gospel,” to at least the “Gentiles”; or Jews outside Jerusalem, it appeared. And though the Jews executed Jesus as a heretic against their tradition, the followers of Jesus argued strenuously that they were following the Jewish God; but were allowed a “new covenant,” with slightly different laws and rules. So that eventually, the writings about Jesus, including Paul’s rather Platonic writings, were not into Judaism itself; but they were allowed to be added to the Old Testament of the Jews, by the new religion: Christianity. So that a Hellenistic offshoot of Judaism was created; that came to be called, Christianity. This religion allowed Jesus and his followers, added a “new” testimony, a “new covenant,” and ultimately a New Testament, to the Old Testament. A New Testament that would update the old. And try to grapple with and resolve, some of its material problems, especially.
The new testament was to explicitly at times, allow that it had been influenced by non-Jewish cultures. Though a) Jesus himself was often rather negative about non-Jews, like “Samaritans,” c) other times, he seems to allow that there might be some contact between he himself, and Samaritan women; and that a Good Samaritan might even be a better person than a bad Jew; even a priest. While d) at times Jesus was pictured as helping even Romans; like a Roman centurion. And after Jesus, Paul especially, began to allow Greco-Roman influence into Judaism; it was Paul among others, that would bring into Israel’s thought, the a) “fullness of the Gentiles,” of the non-Jewish peoples, as Paul said. Allowing the influence of “Greek”s and “Roman”s and Samaritans. St. Paul himself in fact, was a b) Roman citizen. One that c) probably – like most educated Romans – wrote in Greek. And Paul often spoke favorably of the “gentiles” or non Jewish people; especially d) “Greeks” and others; to whom he said e) he “owed” a great deal in fact. Indeed, f) Jesus himself, Christianity itself, is known to us today, primarily in New Testaments written originally in Greek; and as quoting the Greek translation of the Old Testament & Torah (Jesus quoting from the Septuagint).
While indeed, g) Jerusalem itself at the time of Jesus, was occupied by Roman troops; with a Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. So that some cultural influence from the Greco-Romans, seems inevitable. Likely, given the occupation of Jerusalem by Greco-Roman civilization, there would be various reactions of aa) fear and fierce resistance to Rome, by some conservative Jews (cf. scribes and Pharisees). But also bb) there would have been some grudging admiration and co-option to Rome, in some Jews. Herod for example, cooperated with the Romans; that is how he kept his throne. And the increasing influence of Greco-Roman culture would have only increased, with time. And indeed, among the many reactions, it was the subtle co-option of Greco-Roman culture and conclusions, in some Jewish circles – like the life of Paul, the Jewish Roman citizen – that interest us here. We suggest that was especially Greco-Roman influence, that began to form the new Religion, that was to be called Christianity, out of Judaism. So that the best way to characterize Christianity, in historical terms, is to describe it as a modest Hellenization of Judaism. (As opposed to more extreme and obvious “Hellenists” mentioned in the Bible? It was a less extreme element of that; one that at least, was accepted by the Gentiles that formed the bulk of Christians).
But what specific elements of Greco-Roman culture, might have influenced Judaism, to form a breakaway religion? In the time of Jesus and then Paul, there would have been some increasingly obvious problems, with the physical, material promises of the Jewish “God.” With Jerusalem itself occupied by a Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, it would have been evident to some, that the old promises of a material kingdom of the Jewish “God,” was not happening. While furthermore, the Roman execution of Jesus, would have further called into question, even the new Christianity’s material claims.
So what did Christianity do? It appears it began to rather follow Platonistic ideas; to suppose that there was another world, another kingdom, in heaven; one that could be reached by our mind or spirit. And in that invisible sphere of the spirit – the imagination, or heaven? – our dreams would seem real enough.
By the time of Jesus – and Roman civilization – it was probably also becoming increasingly evident, to many, that parts of religion – especially, the physical promises of religion – were not working well. No doubt, the a) science of God was working. But the b) pray-and-get-miracles Religion, was not getting so many fruits. So that many were beginning to conclude, in the time of Jesus and Paul, that either traditional religion should be either, say, a) abandoned; or b) updated with science. Or c) that religion should just give up on the material side of life. (Turning that over to the tradesmen and the guilds.) In order to itself, become just a specialized field of knowledge; one dealing with what was left over when the material work was done. While it was the latter, that formed Christianity.
The fact is, with Roman engineering defeating even the last Jewish holdouts at Masada, and the trades becoming major, materially effective bodies of knowledge, many had more and more confidence in practical knowledge to furnish material wonders; and less and less confidence in praying for things to appear out of thin air. It seemed better, more effective, to build dams, and aqueducts, than pray for rain. But at the same time, people didn’t want to just entirely give up on the old holy books. And so, Christianity began edging away from some of the old material, physical promises; to talk more about the mind or “spirit.” And thus Christianity became in fact, Religion with a capital “R”; part of the field that all but gives up on the material “world” and our “body” and “flesh” and “riches” and prosperity and “possessions”; and deals primarily with the mental or spiritual side of life.
Given problems with the material side of religion – the a) increasingly greater material success of practical civilization, and technology; and b) great shortfalls in the actual material performance of the “kingdom,” and so forth – finally, no doubt, most were ready to simply give up on ancient holy books entirely. Or … change religion, into a recitation of the old holy books; but one being concerned not with practical things in the obvious material “world” at all; but rather, with things in the mind or spirit. (Rather like Plato’s emphasis on thinking, spirit). While thinking only occasionally, about future material rewards. In part, it became concerned with things similar to Philosophy; but especially with the inner life of the spirit; and with morality, especially.
Judaism, many have said, was a rather materialistic credo, concerned very much with material things. But Christianity stressed that physical, material things often failed to appear. So that we need to get satisfaction, somewhere else, it seemed. Eventually, the real work of religion, it came to be thought, might not be so much physical wonders; which as many no doubt noted in Jesus’ time, were being increasingly much better handled by technologists, and by Roman engineers. (In Casarea, for example; the new Roman port, with new elaborate stone breakwaters; just a few miles from Nazareth, and 65 miles from Jerusalem.) Given the increasing material success of science or technology, and the recent failures of the material Jewish “kingdom,” probably some Jews were open to a rather ascetic, philosophical state of mind; that stressed finding mental peace, and so forth. In this vein, the emerging new Religion, came to
all but give up on the material side of life; the material “world” or “cosmos” and the “elements.” Though Jesus still promised material results, still, it came to be hinted that the material side of religion should be increasingly pushed to the side; and the work of religion, should be concentrated just on say, mental or spiritual effects.
So that in our own terminology here, “religion” emerged here in Jerusalem (as it had emerged earlier, in ascetic Buddhism, etc.). And it was essentially, a belief system concentrated on, say, mental or “spiritual” effects. More than physical ones. Indeed, the great change from Judaism, to Christianity, that made a new religion out of Judaism, was the slight, subtle shift from the materialism of the Old Testament, to a a religion that still promised some material things … but that also began to speak of spiritual things; like love and hope. To be sure, the new Religion held on to the “form” of traditional promises, religion, even when it didn’t know how it worked, and couldn’t get material results, or the real “power” of it. It held to the idea of sacrifices, to the Lord; but while it still expected some physical rewards, increasingly, the aim was just for metnal or spiritul benefits. Gaining “faith” and “love” and so forth. And though the new Religion, Christianity, didn’t explicitly denounce all material promises, at times, it often hinted that the old promises of physical rewards, could be taken as just metaphors,”figures” of speech, “parables,” “allegories,” for spiritual things. If Jesus at times had given real, actual loaves of bread to the masses, other times, Jesus suggested that his own material sacrifice, his own ideas or spirit, were “bread indeed.”
Since science and technology were obviously doing so much better in the material sphere, since engineering was going so much better than pray-and-get miracles theology, Jewish religion, with Jesus, was to some extent still repeating the old material promises; but it was also beginning to suggest that whatever viable element of Judaism remained, would be something aside from material promises. Whatever Judaism remained, under efficient Roman occupation, would be dreams, and a moral code say; we should have a religion that dealt more with mental, spiritual things, like “obedience,” “faith” and “love” and “hope.” And “hope”s, rather like forbidden dreams, of a future “kingdom.” Rather than with real material events, here on this “world.”
Out of the Jewish credos, therefore, emerged a rather idealistic, spiritual, Platonistic … Religion: Christianity. Denied connection with an active, materially productive state, kingship, and “kingdom,” it began to split away from all practical thought and science; to become a narrower field of thought, concerned less with the material side of life and the “world.” And more concerned with primarily, only mental “consolation,” mental “spirit.” The life of the mind, and almost mere, “lament”ing dreams; or more biblically said, “hopes” of a better future.
Thus, Religions are spawned; by partially giving up on the material side of life, to concentrate on mental hopes and dreams; on the life of the inner mind, or “spirit.” So that today, most of our preachers are very “Religious,” and “spiritual.” But useful as this new spirituality was in some ways, we might note now, some of its problems. As “Religion” was formed, and split away from the practical “world,” a radical, dualistic split was created, in the middle of human culture. Between Religion and the World; believes and nonbelievers; heaven and earth; religion and science, “word” and “world”; ideals and realities. And in this way the mind and life of man was, unfortunately, divided against itself.
What happened, was a radical, schizophrenic, dualistic splitting away of the life of the mind, the imagination, from practical knowledge and practical government and practical sense. The splitting away of hopes, from practicality. This is what invented “Religion.” But it limited priests and believers, to a very, very, very narrow slice of life, only: looking at the mind or spirit, and rejecting – even “hate”ing – the physical “world.” And thus creating the one-sided dreaming mind, that we will call here, the over-spiritual mind. A mind that retreated too quickly into false dreams and solipcistic fantasies; and that was increasingly incapable of dealing with the “full” scope of life; especially its material side. Or even really, finally, of seeing the “full” scope of God, and of Good. Incapable of really grasping a “lord” that “made all things,” not just in “heaven,” but also in this material “earth.” Incapable of grasping the practical, material side of existence. And incapable of therefore, really guiding us through all of life. Or even to God as he really, fully was. Even as our priets claimed to know everything; and even to be “perfect.”
The Old Physical Promises,
With Jesus – and especially, Paul – religion took a turn away, from material, worldly concerns – which were increasingly abandoned to the trades – in favor of “spirituality.” Jesus himself at times is said to have worked material miracles; but at the same time, the Bible began to offer metaphorical equivalents. So if Jesus at times is pictured delivering real, material bread to the masses, other times he speaks of “bread” as a metaphor, for his own life and spirit, being given to others; as “bread indeed.” Eventually, Jesus spoke of farming, seeds … but in part as a metaphor for spiritual things. Jesus went literally fishing … but used those moments to teach “spiritual” lessons. While Jesus used “parables” so many times, that his life was open to the interpretation that would support a spiritual priesthood: that his physical life, its events, were not important … except as illustration, as metaphors or “figures,” of mental or spiritual moments. The literature of the New Testament finally advocated “figures” of speech, “allegories,” “parables,” so many times, that finally it seems that one might be justified, in simply taking all the apparent historical, factual, physical events narrated in the Bible, as being mere symbols; so that maybe even all “miracle” stories, were really just metaphors, parables, allegories, symbols. For spiritual lessons.
We will have shown elsewhere that originally, the Old Testament especially, was very concerned with the material side of life. So how and why did the spiritualization of Jewish thought take place? We suggested here, that spiritualization was largely an attempt to deal with problems with problems, indeed, with the physical side of our belief systems. Many in the Bible – and probably many more, outside of it – spoke of problems with getting actual physical miracles. Even Paul asked “do all work miracles.” So that Philo and Jesus and Paul, all began c. 1 AD-70 AD, to be sure, a) at times, appear to continue to promise physical “wonders,” it seemed. But then b) they also began to present, systematically, a way of reinterpreting the old promises of miracles, as metaphors for especially, it seemed, spiritual things. Or of presenting metaphorical/spiritual equivalents of the old promises, So for example: if Jesus was said, for example, to have brought real physical “bread” to the people by a physical wonder or miracle, on the other hand, he also introduced a metaphorical, spiritual version of that; in saying that his own self, his thoughts, “word,”s, “spirit,” were a kind of spiritual, mental nourishment or inspiration; spiritual bread; “bread indeed.”
This way of re-interpreting or translating or understanding (or dissolving?) the Old Testament’s material promises, eventually became massively popular with the scribes who wrote our New Testaments. This new “spirituality” – and the spiritualization of all the old material promises – was seemingly one of Jesus’ major messages; and one of the mainsprings of the new Religion, Christianity. As a matter of fact, by the time the New Testament was over, practically every possible single major material miracle in the Bible – from making bread appear; to making “water” appear; to making “fire” appear; to having even our physical “life” “saved”; etc. – had been given a metaphorical interpretation, or a metaphorical equivalent.
If for example, aa) Moses had brought real bread, Jesus brought that … but also the metaphorical spiritual “bread” of his own ideas and teachings. If bb) Moses brought water out of the desert, Jesus’ ideas, were said to be living “water.” If cc) at times we were promised that the literally blind would be healed, the Bible also suggested that those persons who did not understand things, were metaphorically “blind”; and that understanding would make them “see.” If dd) God had promised a long, safe life here on this earth, this was converted to a metaphor, for life after death, in heaven. If ee) God had promised to resurrect the physically dead back to life, this was given a metaphorical or spiritual equivalent … when the Prodigal son was said to be spiritually “Dead” when he was bad; but to have come back to “life” when he returned to good behavior and his father. If ff) the Jews had been promised a real, actual, material “kingdom” of God on earth, this was given a metaphorical interpretation, as meaning the “church,” say, or the mental unity and joy of believers, say.
This was done so effectively, so obviously systematically, by some hand, that in the end, one is left wondering whether we were really ever promised anything solid, at all; as foretold of the end by some “all that is solid melts into the air.” One by one, every apparent solid promises, of some solid, physical gift, is “metaphoricalized,” as scholars now call it. Until in the end – seemingly – no one can be sure that the Bible ever really promised anything physical, material, at all. One by one seemingly, all the major physical promises of the Bible, were given metaphorical equivalents; which all-but effectively negated, or disappeared; the integrity of the original physical ideas. By the time this clever process was completed, physical promises of God, in the mind of many, were all-but completely disappeared. The Bible had stressed “allegories,” and “parables” and “figures” of speech so thoroughly, dozens, hundreds of times; systematically. So that anyone who wanted to, could say that the Bible itself, God himself, Jesus himself, had finally assured us, that any and all apparent promises of material wonders, in the Bible, were taken away, and cancelled. Each and every one, could be taken as (as they say) “just metaphors.” As just symbols. Symbols for, many said especially, just spiritual things.
This spirituality, was seemingly, the final, perfect apologetic for the lack of physical results from our preachers. If we don’t get physical miracles today, that can easily be explained by the very spiritual preacher simply telling you this: “But the Bible itself never really promised physical things at all! Physical things, ‘possessions,’ are sooo unimportant! Be more concerned with higher things; with spirit! And anyway .. all those promises were just metaphors anyway! It is really the spirit of God that is important; not crass materialistic, physical things!”
The Bible was seemingly rewritten in effect, in the New Testament, so that our religion could all but totally disavow, distance itself from, its earlier physical promises. Without simply, explicitly disavowing early physical promises, still, many spiritual preachers could – and millions did – simply, constantly speak of “spiritual”ity, as being higher and better than all material concerns; even concerns with saving our physical lives through food and medicine.
Indeed, essentially, many Christians became very, very spiritual; and all but gave up on the material side of life; to concentrate on just developing pleasant sensations, “consolations” and pleasant images, “hope”s and dreams, in their own and other’s minds or spirits. These things seemed good enough, pleasant enough, in themselves. And one reading, one level of the Bible, seems to allow and even encourage this new “spirituality.” However, as it turns out, there were problems with, sins in, the spirituality that was to dominate Christianity. There was a fly in the ointment.
The Fatal Sins of Priests, Spirituality;
The Massive Harm Done by Over- Spirituality
Jewish, Old Testament holy books had seemed rather physical; though they at times spoke of the invisible “air” or “breath” that we breathe (“pneuma,” etc.), as God’s gift to us, it was probably meant to merely thank God for giving us physical life, the ability to keep breathing. But soon enough, that was turned into a metaphor, for God’s invisible “spirit” being the really sustaining thing in life. And then, the New Testament began systematically turning the old material promises, one by one, into mere metaphors for spirit. Which was indeed throught at the time, to be the highest kind of religiousity; Plato’s “Ideas” and various forms of Egyptian religion (about the “Ka” and the “Ba” spirits?), suggesting that after all, our physical bodies were mortal, and – as Paul especially cleverly picked up – “perishing”; fated to get old and die. Whereas in contrast it was increasingly stated – without quite explaining how – our mind or spirit, on the other hand, is eternal. Or destined for resurrection; in some kind of “spiritual body,” as Paul vaguely said. And yet to be sure though, as it turns out, there are many, many problems with this spirituality. As it turns out, there are many fatal sins in spiritual priests. And in spirituality, itself.
What could possibly be wrong, with spirituality? Spirituality has been spoken of in millions of churches, by millions of priests, as seemingly the highest possible good a human being can experience. And yet, remember, the Bible warned of “false spirits”; and warned that Satan himself, presents himself to us, disguised as the very angel of all that is “light” and sacred and good. So suppose we hazard a critical look, even at the sacred heart of Christianity itself: at spirituality. No less.
What could be wrong with spirituality? First of all, we will find in our separate books on this subject, is the problem that … 1) many “spirits,” God warned, are “false spirits.” Worse, it seems likely, 2) many of these false spirits, present themselves to us, as if they were Holy; 3) even as the Holy Spirit himself. So that, 4) as even the rather spiritual apostle John told us finally, before accepting them, we must “test the spirits,” to see if they really are from God, or not. And then too, there are other problems with, or extreme hazards in, spirituality; 5) among other things, one of our earlier writings finds that … God himself, really did made very, very physical, material promises; so that going with the reading or level of the text that spiritualizes everything, goes against God. Indeed, 6) in any case, as even the likewise rather spiritual St. James began to note, finally, the really serious problem in spirituality … is that it is often, physically fatal. So that, finally 7) God said w were going to be “judge”ed in the end, not just by our mental or spiritual “thoughts,” but also by our material “fruits,” “works,” and “deeds”; by “what we have done.” So that those many millions of very, very spiritual preachers, who have given up on the material “world,” and practical “work,” to be “spiritual,” will be fall short, and be condemned by God. In the end.
Let’s consider the most dramatic objection to spirituality first: spirituality, as St. James began to tentatively note, is, as a practical matter, physically fatal. It has in fact historically does much, even immense, harm, to many millions, billions, of people. As follows.
aa) Consider particularly, asceticism. That is, consider the many priests, monks – and some rather ordinary people – who heard announced, as the word of God, the assertion that “man does not live by bread alone”; and who heard the implication too, that therefore, we shouldn’t bother with, “worry about,” real material food, but only with “spiritual” food. In the actual history of asceticism, many monks and others note, actually followed this bad advice all too closely; they “fasted”; they stopped eating “mere” real material food, bread. This “fasting,” was in itself, not so bad. But what often happened was that next many monks and others, believing strongly, followed this rule a little too far; they stopped bothering eating “mere” material “bread” or real actual food at all. To the point that they even … starved to death.
Can spirituality be dangerous? Are there false spirits? Indeed. The example of “asceticism” proves that case simply enough. The fact is, those who really, truly tried to “despise” their “flesh,” to despise this physical life, even their own “body,” and even the whole material “world,” who thought of “bread” as a mere metaphor for air, for spirit, would of course, often, not be highly motivated to eat well, to preserve their physical bodies. And indeed, much of ascetic religion spoke explicitly of the need to punish, “scourge,” “flagellate,” and “mortify” the “flesh.” To suppress the physical, the body, in the hope of thus somehow encouraging, stressing, the mind, or spirit. And whipping your own body was part of this; as was fasting. The problem here though was that whatever truth there might have these methods, or even in the importance of at least the mind (if not the spirit?), these methods of attacking – and even “hating” – your own body, and the whole physical world … was probably a stilted, once-sided and substantially incomplete reading of the Bible itself. While furthermore, in actual material practice? It was found to be often, physically fatal. Many punished or ignored or denied their bodies … until they starved to death. Or died from other often self-inflicted, sado-masochistic punishments.
This then, is one of the more dramatic problems, sins, deep even in the heart of all that we thought was very good: too strong denial of physical things, seeking spiritual enlightenment. But next is an even greater evil. Ultimately, we should consider not only the “harm” caused by the over-spirituality in the priesthoods; next we should consider the many ways that priests, inflicting their spirituality on the world, lead not only themselves, but lead many millions of others, undoubtedly, to premature physical death. Through neglect of physical necessities. Which St. James began to at least faintly, partially, but imperfectly, see.
The Apostle James – said to be the “brother of Jesus” by some – fortunately, began to hint at the really, massive evil, deep in spirituality itself; deep in the very thing some preachers have often presented to us, as perhaps the very highest good anyone can experience. The problem, fortunately for us, is described at least partially, and imperfectly, in James 2.14 – 26. Where James warns us all, that those who are too spiritual, too focused on the “word,” and spirit, and “faith,” can neglect physical lives. To the point that they leave others, physically starving to death, without really helping them. As James notes, here:
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has not works, is dead” (James 2.14-17 NRSV).
James here, began to paint a little portrait, a picture of what can happen from being too spiritual, and over-emphasizing “faith” especially. Here, he says that if a brother or sister is lacking daily food, real bread, and yet an alleged holy man, offers the physically starving person mere holy words, of “peace,” and yet offers no literal food … then after all, the allegedly holy man leaves us literally, to starve to death. Which would be hard to justify, as following God. (Though some will try even that, we will shoot those arguments down eventually, easily enough).
Finally part of the Bible itself, therefore, began to warn of horrible problems, deep even in spirituality itself. Suggesting finally, that the “spiritual” reading of the Bible, is not the final or best one.
But indeed, even St. James himself was at times rather spiritual, it would seem to some; and finally, for all the good he has done us, even James did not see the full fatal, even worse extent, of the evil done by spirituality. Though we might briefly close here, with a brief description of it. So that the people might be at last, forewarned; of perhaps the greatest evil of all, in the heart of all that they were trained to believe in church, was absolutely good.
The Massive “Harm” Done, by Spiritual Priests:
Actively Leading Millions, into Physical Accidents and Disasters
Today – as is typical for all priesthoods, nearly all priests of all times – it is thought by many very priests that, if material miracles do not appear much today, that is all right; because material things, even things to eat, are not important. Many parts of the Bible – in one, priestly reading – suggest that it is not material things, “possessions,” but “spirituality” that is the very height of being good. And there were even ancient rumors, of spiritual men who could fast, and live without food, for months at a time; even forever. But St. James rightely – if only partially – began to notice some apparent sins, errors, shortcomings in spirituality.. Priests to be sure, perhaps rightly, noted the opposite sin, of “over-materialism”; they noted that much of the population is over-materialistic, and far too greedy for material possessions and riches (and short-term profits, many would say today); and much of the world forgets the importance of love of family, and so forth. Many hear the isolated line from Jesus, well enough: that “man does not live by bread alone; but [also] by every word that comes out of the mouth of God” (paraphrased). Yet what our priests never seem to see, is the other side of the coin. Even the other side of Jesus’ quote: that if we do not live by bread “alone,” that implies that after all, we live by bread, in part. While our very spiritual priests never quite adequately read James’ warning … that neglecting the physical side of life, leads priests – and worse, we will now see, others – to physical death. Through neglect of physical necessities. So that finally, as we will conclude here, in the same way that it is possible to be over-materialistic, it is also possible – and indeed, inevitable, if you are a priest – to be over-spiritual. As we term it here.
And, furthermore, not only is the over-spirituality of priests bad in some abstract way; or bad in that it mis-reads the Bible. Far worse – as the Apostle James began to see – over-spirituality, neglect and even antagonism to material necessities, leaves suffering people, to suffer more … and even die.
And yet finally, St. James did not quite see or adequately, sufficiently frame, the really deep evil, in spiritual people. In James 2.14-26, James only spoke of spiritual persons, simply, passively, leaving already-starving persons to die; but James only saw a tiny piece or “part” (as Paul would say) of the larger picture; a tiny piece of the elephant, of the evil of over-spirituality. As it turns out, the radical over-spirituality, that is absolutely typical of holy men, ends up not just with aa) priests only killing themselves through ascetic starvation and so forth. And it is not even just bb) merely failing to help others that are already dying for lack of physical support. But cc) finally, the really great evil in spirituality, is when spiritual priests actually, actively lead others, into starvation. When priests teach lessons, that lead otherwise functional and sane and healthy people, astray. Thus leading otherwise good persons, into … death by starvation and disease. Others that would have survived, left to their own devices. If they had not been misinformed, by priests.
Today, it is obvious enough – or was, through to about 2000 AD – that “spirituality” was one of the major values, sermons, of preachers. And it is one level of meaning, in the Bible itself (though only one level or “part” of it). Indeed, we can tell from looking back at any old sermons that might have survived or were not destroyed, that being “spiritual” was close to one of the core values of preachers. But now, suddenly, we are seeing … huge sins and errors, deep in spirituality itself. And therefore, as our perhaps final thought-experiment, we need to ask readers to briefly consider what likely happened, when the whole world or an entire religion, was encouraged, by its priests, to be “spiritual.” And to despise and even “hate” the material “world,” and “riches,” and “possessions.” Or most devastatingly, to not do physical “work” in practical, physical things like farming. But only to pray continuously. Or what happened, when priests told everyone, that real material food or bread was unimportant?
What almost certainly happened, when preachers spread these lessons around the world?
Perhaps few people could bring themselves to totally believe something so completely against common sense.
So that few people would really follow this advice very, very literally or completely. Most people would be stopped by common sense, from doing such things. At the same time though, a) our preachers were constantly attacking common sense; seeing it as false, “worldly” wisdom and b) false “knowledge.”
Then too, preachers were constantly c) speaking of the physical death of Jesus – and the giving of your physical life – as a great thing to do. While d) many ministers often attacked the importance of the “works” of our “hands.” In favor of indeed, e) “spirituality.” As they assured us that our physical material good and words, were unimportant, and even evil; while f) we were assured that only developing our “spirit” could get us into “Heaven.” Even quoting Pauls “to die is gain,” as if it invoked the glory of physically dying. So that, in the typical world of say, 1950’s sermons, materialism was under a powerful, unrelenting attack, by priests and ministers; in one spiritual, “world”-hating sermon after another; even championing physical death, as a way to leave the presumably corrupt sphere, of physical life. So that it should have been easy enough, to guess what kinds of problems would result, from all of that.
Expanding on, seeing past James at last? Subjected to an unrelenting attack on material, physical things, told constantly that only the spirit would help us, and that physical things were unimportant, no doubt, many people simply … lost their conviction, their dedication, doing “unimportant” material things … like farming. Like working a mere practical job, for mere money. Millions were subjected to an unrelenting attack, on what could be read as the physical life, to get “mere” material “bread” or food. But finally, this would have been overdone. Finally, many millions would have … begun to lose their common sense; and would begin to neglect their normal, practical activities, that would keep them prosperous … or even physically alive. And in consequence of that, no doubt, to the extent that they followed their priests, millions, billions, suffered – and often died of neglect; starvation and exposure. Abandoning practical work, at farming for example … to wait endlessly for bread to fall out of the sky, as advertised by priests. Only to starve when it did not. (See Biblical remarks on this somewhere? Warning people not to quit their jobs, to wait for the End?). Or worse, people stopped eating physical food, even when it was available. Exactly like opium addicts, lost in their mental/spiritual dreams, they cared so little for material life, that they stopped taking care of themselves, physically. And simply, died.
Or no doubt, being continually told by spiritual preachers, that they should not care much about “science,” or practical activities – told to “consider the lily,” and how it lives without working, and so forth (in a misleading selection, from just part of the Bible) – many perhaps were lead at least, to not try to learn practical knowledge, or science. And thus they not only lost out themselves; but they also neglected to develop the new foods, the new medicines, that would have saved millions of other lives.
Finally, the brutal, continuous, unrelenting, systematic verbal attack by priests, on “science,” practical “knowledge,” as “worldly,” as involved just in mere “possessions,” the constant current attack on the “secular” world, on “wisdom,” their firm advocacy of even material “fool”ishness, impracticality, and miracles, spirituality … were not really what the Bible itself finally advocated. And did not work well in actual fact. So that our spiritual priests would have no doubt, lead not only many of their own brothers, the ascetic priests, but also millions of others, into a willful neglect of physical goods, and even necessities; and even into an active “hate” for the physical “world” that God made. Indeed, no doubt millions were finally so thoroughly confused, that their lives became increasingly dysfunctional, confused; failing to take effective, realistic care of practical physical necessities. So that finally, the material productivity of many millions, was seriously if subtly hindered. So that spirituality finally very seriously undercut the effectiveness of many immensely “fruit”ful activities. No doubt, aa) lead by preachers on conservative media networks like EWTN/EWRN, to despise “secular” “knowledge,” millions failed to get a practical education. Or failed bb) to work hard to get a good practical job. When assured by priests that such things were useless, and even evil. And then, cc) individuals would have suffered. They would be unable to get practical jobs; they dd) would not be as fruitful or productive as they could be when they did get work; and ee) ultimately many undoubtedly, following their ascetic leaders all too faithfully, began to neglect their own physical lives and necessities, all too completely, all too religiously. So that many were lead to preventable poverty, disease, and death.
Were there many people who actively, actually did this? The normal effect, would not be extreme; it would be just a slight lessening of ability, of dedication, on the part of many. But the cumulative effect, would be great. But for that matter, if we go looking for a whole class of people, who seem most taken in by “spirituality”? We might focus quickly, say, on the class of … all women. Whose lives we do find, were rather less materially productive, far less dedicated to practical jobs, for many many years; until say, the womens’ liberation movement gained momentum, c. 1965-1995. While likewise, other minorities – ethnic, racial – would have found it impossible to lift themselves out of poverty, after having been subjected to … spirituality.
So what should we finally say here? Shockingly, amazingly, there were massive sins in the very heart of the very things, that were constantly presented to us by priests, as absolutely holy, sacred, and even “perfect.”
So what should we say? What series of Biblical prophesies, has long since come true?
[See our next chapter, on the Destruction of Heaven]
END OF CHAPTER
Optional, but Rejected, Afterword
Our priests therefore, in both their 1) pretense of perfection; their 2) promises of miracles, but also 3) even their spirituality, have been the “false shepherds” the Bible warned us about. Haven’t they often lead many over the cliff? The “blind” leading the blind? Consider this: over the centuries, many of our ministers often (if not always) taught essentially, that only “faith” was important; faith and “spirituality.” Often these were said to be the essential things in life; far more important than mere real “bread” or literal food. Far more important than mere physical food, we were told (from Jesus’ “worry not” speech), was spiritual “bread,” for example. But first of all, remember what happened to ascetic priests themselves, who actually followed that theology? Remember; they lead themselves into starvation. While St. James added, they left the people starving too. Because of a fundamental error, or sin, we are saying here, in spirituality itself; in the priesthoods themselves (which think of themselves as being identified with spirituality and spiritual things, that to be religious, Christian, is thought to be “spiritual” – or to have especially the spiritual quality of “faith” especially).
But then things get worse; priests after all, tell others to follow their own spiritual ideas … and yet if others really do, then we will show, they are lead to … ignorance, dysfunction, poverty, and death. Because indeed – as James just barely began to see, above – spirituality not only fails to be sufficient to help the rest of humanity – failing to take care of their physical needs, and leading them starving; actually, of course, when the masses of people follow spirituality too far, then of course, they are … actively lead into ignorance, starvation, and death. As people who might otherwise have say, planted wheat to feed themselves, give up farming say, and pray instead. And when there are no farms? And bread does not appear out of thin air? Then millions are lead to starvation. As we, expanding on James, begin to see, now. Millions are lead to poverty and death, we will see, by precisely the very doctrine – spirituality – that presented itself to us, as the very prophet, priest “angel, of light.”
The Bible’s Own Conclusion?
The Heaven-Shattering Conclusion
Is it possible? Could the very core doctrines, that were often presented to us by priests, all over the earth, as the essence of all that is good and holy and perfect – “faith” in “miracles” and “spirituality” for example – have been … partially, wrong? In fact, remember, God told us this could be possible; and in fact that it was inevitable; that it was commanded by God himself. Remember that a) God himself warned there have almost always been sins in our holiest men and angels; and b) therefore, God himself de-emphasized “faith”; c) God telling us to learn to apply a critical “science” to holy men, to see if their promises are really that holy and good, or not. While d) if now we begin to find that our preachers’ allegedly most holy doctrines – promises of miracles; their stress on faith and spirituality – now seem false? To be dead “branches” that bore no real, material “fruit”? Then after all, one “day” remember, God told us that we are supposed to discover, see, precisely this. And if on this day, our traditional heaven seems to be destroyed, then after all, our heaven is supposed to be destroyed; e) in order for God to show us a new and better, more “mature,” “second” vision, Second Coming, of God. (The words from which the word “holy” is derived by the way, seem to be “quados” or “qodes” in the O. T., meaning perhaps a room expressing “separation” or “cutting off” as noted in article “Holiness,” by R. A. Finlayson, in The New Bible Dictionary, Errdman’s Pub., 1962, p. 529ff; and “hagios” or saintly in the New. It is commonly thought that this meant that holy men are to be set off from profane things; but on the other hand, there are other connotations to being “cut off”; things that are bad, unproductive, un”fruit”ful “branches” of religion, are to be “cut off” in the end.).
And indeed, now we see great errors, even in our holiest men and angels and doctrines; and our heaven seems to be dissolving – as foretold – right in front of our eyes. But if it is, then after all, we are also at the same moment, coming to see the better, fuller, more mature science of God. Which, by combining Religion with Science, we will find, at last restores us to wholeness and real holiness (see link between holy and whole; completeness; in Heidegger “Heilig” Ency. Phil.).
In the past, our priests assured us that God stressed “spirituality,” and so forth; and that we are supposed to have total “faith” in it. But we found that actually, God told us that things, sayings from God, that are genuine, can be identified in large part, by whether they are materially fruitful or not. Yet the vast majority of priests (with only a relatively few exceptions) systematically attacked this standard, and continually worked against, therefore, this important side of God. No doubt because they indeed knew deep down that their own sins and shortcomings would be exposed when this happened.
But now we see it. So that ironically, the very quality that is thought by priests to be “first” with God – “spirituality” – that was always presented to them and us, as the very height of all that is good; as the road, the way to “life” and “prosperity”; as the very “angel of light” you might say … is actually, one of the greatest evils in the world, when administered to us in too-large doses. As it always is, by priests. “Spirituality” therefore finally (and considering promises of miracles to be spiritual metaphors too) is not God’s ultimate answer on how to act; indeed, just like so many other priestly prescriptions, it is often literally fatal. We will therefore, need to go well past our spiritual priests, to understand what God really wants us to do; how he wants us to live; what he wants us to know.
Indeed, our many “spiritual” priests were by no means good enough. What God actually wanted is really, we will see, simply, a) not just spirituality, or even just priests … but also, even more than that, b) practical knowledge, and science. A balanced theology that often the ordinary laity has; but the average priest does not have. The average working man and woman, having some spirituality and so forth … but also having a practical job. So that ironically, the average working man is far, far closer to God’s real, overall plan, his fuller theology … than the typical priest.
While in contrast, though the exaggeratedly spiritual thoughts of priests contributed as “leaven,” to the exaggerated, over-materialism of many, on the other hand, it was never the balanced truth, itself. And was guilty of its own fatal excesses, too. Its own, over-spirituality. Which was often, in excess, every bit as physically fatal, and evil, as false promises of miracles. And as evil as anything else in the world; more evil in many ways; since this evil posed as absolute good. Satan came to us disguised as the very angel of light.
But while this is true, we are casting all that off, even here and now. And are even here and now acquiring the better and fuller Second vision of God. God embracing … Science and practical knowledge. The part of God all too many priests denied, and disobeyed.
And it was not a harmless sin, either. As it turns out, great, immense, deadly “harm” was done, not only by a) promises of material miracles, but also by b) the “spiritual”ity that was supposed to fix this. The very spirituality that has dominated Christianity until today. But now we can expose this … and more on. Beyond “blind” and deadly, “faith”; to the higher, better, science of God.
Which shares the immense productivity of traditional science; at the same time a it shows respect to the Bible itself; and God, himself. Indeed, more respect than our priests did.
No doubt, facing this is painful. But indeed, remember: the Bible itself is not being denied here, but confirmed, fulfilled: the Bible itself told us that one “day,” we would discover precisely, this. That the whole earth had been deceived in its religion, following false prophets and magicians. And remembering especially, that not only did the Bible itself, the Lord himself, show us the way out; but also it began showing us already, deep inside … the foretold more “mature,” “second” vision of God; the science of God.
And if this seems shattering, revolutionary, we might as well note that …. this is not even necessarily, a pressing, present crisis, for many of us; in fact, not only most of the laity long ago reached this moment of awful realization; but even many of our preachers, secretly passed through much of this shattering moment, long ago. Most preachers began to find out, long ago, that when they held up their hands and prayed for a miracle, usually it did not come to pass. So that by about, say, 1967 or so – to pick an arbitrary but roughly historical date – most of our preachers (and much of our populations) had already passed through the fire of this apocalyptic, heaven-shattering revelation. As in part, the “Dark night of the soul.”
Indeed, most of our educated population, long ago passed through the intellectual demolition of our traditional “heaven” or “world” of “miracles.” Arguably, a) Jesus and Paul had largely passed through it. And then b) eventually, our more educated population passed through it too. While by about the time of Vatican II or so – c. 1963- 65 – at least some of our priests, had picked up the general idea. So that we might say, that the bad old false priests, were all but largely dissolved, around 1967 or so.
So that in effect, the worst could be already over.
Though we do not want to in any way stress Vatican II – which was not a decisive or unambiguous moment at all – many might say that the essential “spirit of Vatican II” for example, had already begun to at least partially acknowledge problems, sins, in old promises of miracles. More likely though it was the “Baby boomer generation” that reached 18 in 1967, 68, that was to increasingly see the sins of the churches; and to begin to move on, en masse, to a new and more rational way of life. A more scientific Christianity.
No doubt of course, the language of most preachers today – and the language of the Vatican too, and even of the Bible too – is normally, quite polysemic; ambiguous; or “double.” Specifically in any case, the language of the Church hierarchy, (like that of the Bible itself) surely is. The language of Religion to this very day, attempts to speak in phrases that deliberately, always have at least two interpretations. In the matter of miracles, the language today is often balanced between allowing promises of miracles as a) real, literal promises of physical miracles … and b) seeing them as mere metaphors or “figures” for “spiritual” things especially. While the language of ministers, churches, speaks always in such a way as to seem to have both a) a simple faith message, for children, on the surface. But then it is time for everyone to more clearly see, the b) liberation, underneath. For people of mature judgment.
To be sure, our religion therefore until today, has been rather … equivocal, or even “double-tongued.” But here at last, believing humanity to have practically come of age, perhaps even children can be given some independent authority on their own; while the vast majority of adults, have enough respect for authority, the old “lord”s, but also enough independent judgement, to be granted a little more “freedom” than some have been allowed in the past. While indeed we find that too much authority, does more harm than good; even children need some room to experiment safely. To find out which of the old rules, are still good, and which are not.
And then begin to based ourselves to be sure, largely on traditional authority … but with enough freedom to allow people to know that the answers of the past were not “perfect”; and to give people enough freedom, to experiment with knowledge to progress, and experiment safely; to find new and better answers.
But to be sure, though major elements of religion have done this, we don’t have that fully today, in many ways, in many spheres. And though modest “reforms” have been attempted before in Religion, to fix things, they have not really succeeded well enough. So that finally, mere “reform” is not enough; there is need for a moment of dramatic change. And especially, we need the reunion of religion, with common, material, empirical sense.
For this, to be sure, most of existing Religion worldwide, to this very day is woefully inadequate. At best, it is literally duplicitous; saying two things at once. It is incapable of saying anything very clearly. While especially, the road to science has been systematically blocked by most churches (if not by the Bible itself). And so therefore … business as usual is not good enough; we need a moment of dramatic change.
For this reason, no one should be complacent about religion, churches, today; they are really, about as evil or childlike, as deceitful, as ever. Though we might hope that soon – thanks in part to our books here – our preachers might be “refined” at last; and learn the science of God. And heretofore forevermore, become less vain and proud and cocksure and dogmatic. And begin to have and preach, an open-minded, but largely rational, scientific approach, to life.
But to be sure, our preachers have been very, very, very vain and proud and stiff-necked. Many will find it all but impossible to progress. And so, failing that, they should simply be denounced as false priests, following false prophets; or more simply still, to use the very language on them that they have used on everyone else for so many years (turnabout being fair play; poetic justice; as in Paul): priests who do not refine their views, must be denounced, rebuked, simply, as the deluded agents and magicians of Satan. (As Jesus rebuked Peter, in Mat. 16.23; as Paul noted that those who accuse others of things, will often be found guilty of the same thing). Followers of a false Christ; of the Christ of “miracles” and spirit and faith. Instead of the Christ of science, and practical knowledge and work. The real Christ. Which has already proven a million times more fruitful – and therefore truly from God – than praying for miracles out of thing air. An idea which is now at last seen as it is; the mass delusion of the false priests, the magicians, that hypnotized the world with their false “image”s of God, of Christ.
It is a painful moment to be sure. And yet, by the way, there is no need for physical violence. “Our swords are arguments.” Indeed, the world has already experienced enough physical destruction, to have qualified as having passed through any foretold physical destruction of the “world”; having passed through the a) various geological catastrophes, or changes; including b) many say, the “Flood”; and then c) “the world,” having been overcome, and then “redeemed,” by Jesus, they say. While d) we just found here that all of humanity was lead into one disaster after another, by false priests.
So that no further demolition of the “world” is necessary; the old world was destroyed over and over. While e) then too, even the far less violent, Destruction of Heaven, is a moment that is already over for many of us; a moment which for once, can be seen as solely mental and spiritual; Heaven always having been largely in our minds; while our old “child”hood heaven of “miracles” and “faith” and “spirituality,” is already dissolving for many of us, to-“day.” So that f) all that remains is to more fully envision, the “new heaven”; and g) to show how it … comes down to earth. As foretold.
Which is our next subject. In our writings in part, on Resurrection and Immortality. Though we might close next, with a first glimpse of what God looks like, from our new, materialist, point of view.
As it turns out, 1) the old promises of miracles, must either be declared constantly, publicly, as simply false. Or 2) we might say at best, that they were at best only partially true, as naturalistic metaphors. These are the only two conclusions that we can reach, for now. And yet to be sure as it turns out, painful as facing this conclusion is, those who come to see this, after all, are acquiring the kind of practical knowledge that history has taught us, ultimately, is truly fruitful. So that in effect, in naturalistic readings of miracles, of religion, we are given at last the promised fruitful, second vision, Second Coming, of Christ to earth.
As we will see soon enough. In our writings on Resurrection and Immortality.
In the meantime, major elements of the churches remain lost in a physically fatal delusion; the belief in miracles. The belief which was indulgently presented or allowed by priests, in the expectation that it would eventually lead them out of ignorance and poverty, to a higher spiritual idea. While in fact for some time, priestly assertions that this magical belief was holy, simply actively held the people back, lost in confusion, illusion, delusion; and prevented them from discovering truer remedies that would often have saved their physical lives, otherwise. The very “holy” doctrines that were presented to us, as the very essence and image of Christ, as the sacred, only way out of darkness and poverty, were actually, we now find, the very “holy” doctrines that … kept us there. Belief in miracles, was belief in magic; and the confusion, ignorance that it actively promoted, caused and the very poverty, disease, and death it claimed to heal.
Precisely as foretold, Satan’s ministers long ago, began to present themselves as the very angels of light (2 Corin. 11.13); installing themselves as the televangelists, the priests and popes and saints. Installing themselves even as the saints that founded the Church itself. The Bible often warned about “false” things, even in explicitly, “apostles”; even the “angel”s; even in “ministers”:
“Such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants [“ministers] of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Corin. 11.12-15 Revised Standard Version, of The Holy Bible).
“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corin. 11.14-15 KJE; note double meaning, but final emphasis on “works”).
“He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me Satan! You are a hindrance to me'” (Mat. 16.23).
The Bible itself, is worded very equivocally, in such a way as to allow at least two major interpretations; here though, the prevailing readings clearly should probably be that after all, even our holiest “ministers” and “angels” – and apostles like Peter – are often wrong and false; wrong to the point of being “Satan” himself. Indeed, “all have sinned”; including all our priests and ministers; they themselves personally, but also in their presentation of “infallible,” “inspired” doctrines. They constantly, proudly presented themselves to us, as all but “perfect”; certainly as “holy” and “sacred” or authoritative.
So what should we all say now, finally, to essentially, all our “perfect” and holy, priests and ministers and churches? To all those who promised, or who merely did not publicly repudiate, 1) holy perfection; 2) huge miracles; 3) and spirituality? What we should all now do, each and every one of us, is to simply say to all preachers and popes, televangelists and all religious leaders, what Jesus himself said. We should say to all our priests, what Jesus himself said, to the very saintly founder of the Church, St. Peter:
“Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me'” (Mat. 16.23 NIV).
To really find truth and God, just as Jesus suggests, we will clearly need to leave behind all our priests and ministers and holy men.