Why Are Christians So Divided and In Conflict?
And What Will End the Conflict?
Christianity is the largest religion in the world, but even one of the greatest Founders of America, Thomas Jefferson, realized its faults and errors, as did Washington, Madison, Franklin, Adams and others -- being very aware of the bloody history of theocratic European Christian military industrial empires.
Of course, Founders like Jefferson loved the core, universal teaching of Jesus. In fact, Jefferson wrote: "Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus."
However, Jefferson also wrote: "Among the sayings and discourses imputed to Jesus by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being."
Jefferson's observations were quite astute, as were the observations and thoughts of many other "Enlightenment" era thinkers. And that is why it is time for another, greater Enlightenment era, with a more thorough and updated education about Christianity and Jesus of Nazareth.
As the first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus wrote, Jesus of Nazareth was followed by "many Jews and Greeks
." In fact, multitudes of people at the time recognized him as a spiritually anointed son of man
and a Mashiach in the Jewish tradition.
A Mashiach is called a Christus in Greek, which later became Christ and Messiah in English. And all those titles actually mean an “anointed one.
” And therefore the word "Christ" was not Jesus' last name. It was a title. And many Jewish leaders before Jesus were given the title of Mashaich.That's why many Jews called Jesus
"Mashiach Yeshua ben Yosef" at the time, since he was the son of Joseph. However, Jesus of Nazareth
was much more than a Mashiach or Messiah, and he was not only a reformer who broke Jewish messianic tradition. He was also the world Avatar for the age he ushered in, the age which is coming to an end.
Today few Christians understand that, but thanks to the great work of modern archaeologists, progressive religious scholars, historians and other researchers, and the gift of the revelation that has come at the end of the age, it has become much easier to understand, how, when and why Christianity as we know it is not really what Jesus of Nazareth had in mind.
Furthermore, as a great prophet, Jesus knew it wouldn’t be, which is why he said the age would be one of conflict and division, and the ultimate prophecies would not be fulfilled until the end of the age. But many Christians, and especially those called "fundamentalists," do not understand that.
Thank God, at least good Christians, like other truly faithful people, understand enough to believe that the humble and meek shall inherit the earth by abiding by the Golden Rule. But, unfortunately, they are drowned out by proud and militant hypocrites who aggressively follow the ways and doctrines of patriarchs who who have misrepresented Jesus' core message, and even the ways of patriarchs who have masqueraded as Christians as they have wreaked havoc on earth fighting for wealth, power, and domain -- as many still do.
Hypocrites have gotten away with it, and still get away with it, because Christianity as we know it is not what Jesus of Nazareth intended and it contains false doctrines and myths. And Jesus knew it would. He predicted it, which is why he said many hypocrites would now be claiming to do "many wonderful works in the name of the Lord,
" when they actually serve Mammon, not God.
Thomas Jefferson, understood that, which is why he wrote: "The whole history of [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute inquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts
..." --- Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814."
Jefferson was correct, because Jesus was a true servant and a great Avatar and
representative of God, and much of what he taught was included in the Christian Bible. However, while Jefferson loved Jesus' actual universal teachings, he, like other "Enlightenment" thinkers, recognized that the official canonized texts of the church also contain some absurdity, untruth
. (And in another instance he even said it contained "corruptions
Being a highly educated man of what's called "The Enlightenment," Jefferson said such things understanding the problems with the official Christian church canon of Pauline Christianity. Jefferson, like many other highly educated people during the 1700s, understood why the official Christian church canon and its misleading doctrines had caused so much conflict and division and even wars, death and destruction since not long after Jesus died, and particularly since the fourth century -- with the oppressive Dark Ages, the misguided and bloody Crusades, the cruel Inquisitions, and many other abuses of power and wealth that were perpetrated in the name of "saving souls" and "spreading the Word of God."
Educated people understood that the imperial church was merely further divided by the insufficient Protestant Reformation, which was one of the results of The Enlightenment, and the Theocratic Anglican Church of England had become nearly as bad as what had preceded it. That, in fact, is one of the reasons the American Revolution was fought, and won.
Truth Is In the Eye of the Beholder
As Jesus said, when our eye is single our mind and body will be full of Light. Therefore, we should understand what that means. And, like Jefferson, we must now separate the wheat from the chaff.
Fortunately, we have good examples and precedents to follow. For since truth, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, many Christians since Jesus of Nazareth walked the earth have understood the real message of Jesus around the Golden Rule. Like Hillel the Elder before him, Jesus said it summarized the Torah. And true Christians know that the Christian Bible still contains much truth in spite of containing some significant falsehoods and fabrications.
For example, it is no doubt true that Jesus said that he came "not to bring peace, but division
” (Luke 12:51), knowing that he ushered in an age of conflict and division. That is why he said: “I am with you always, to the end of the age
.” (Matthew 28:20)
That's important, because while God the Great Spirit-Parent is eternal and has always been and always will be with us, Jesus said "I will be with you until the end of the age" for a reason.
In one sense Jesus was speaking as the Ancient One or "Ancient of Days" who is in heaven with God, and who was "before Abraham" (which is why Jesus said "Before Abraham was, I am."). But, in another sense he was speaking as the Avatar who ushered in the passing age, having realized his oneness with God and humanity and knowing prophecy would not be fulfilled until the end of the age when humanity would finally be ready for and given the truth, about him, about the true purpose of religion, and about God.
That has been misunderstood because in certain versions of the Christian Bible, aeon, the word Jesus used for age, was translated to say "the end of the world." But the actual meaning of aeon is a certain period of time, as are the Sanskrit (and Hindu) words yuga and kalpa, and the Hebrew word olam, which actually means “a long or distant time.”
The Ancient One who was represented by Jesus is still with God in heaven, and will always be. But there is much that the followers of Jesus and the authors (or copiers or translators or interpreters) of the epistles and books of the New Testament, the official Christian canon (Bible), did not understand. Instead, during the first and second centuries after Jesus died and as the the texts of the New Testament were written, they thought that the "end" and a literal "second coming" of Jesus was imminent. They did not understand the concept of an aeon, age, or olam, nor did they understand Jesus' prophecies about the
coming of the next son of man, the messenger-counselor (see Prophecies Re: He Who Fulfills Them
The followers of Jesus also did not understand that his mission was to reform Judaism and make it more inclusive to honor the Jewish prophecies of worldwide inclusion, such as Isaiah 49:1-7 which reports that God says to the modern Messiah: “It is not enough that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the offspring of Israel. I will also give you for a light of all the nations.”
While Jesus understood the prophecies, those followers who were responsible for what is written in the New Testament did not. They did not understand, for instance, that the prophecies in the book of Isaiah were not about Jesus, but about the modern son of man who Jesus prophesied about. Furthermore, the followers of Jesus did not understand the prophecies of Jesus either, and they did not understand that the modern messianic servant of God would actually counsel all nations and help them understand the real and true God, the God that is not just the God of Israel and Judah, but the true God of the universe and all nations of the world -- which is called such names as Brahman, Yahweh, Jehovah, The Absolute Tao, Wakan Tanka, etc.
Even though much of what we read in the New Testament is true, it contains erroneous assumptions and doctrines of men whose understanding of prophecies was erroneous and misguided. For instance, they thought it was the end of the world back then. They did not understand that Jesus spoke of the end of the age (which is now). And, because of that, some Christians ever since have not understood that the fulfillment of prophecy will not mean the end of the world.
As the article about The End of the Age
explains, that's what
Jesus was talking about, and it is nearing its end, which is why we have been witnessing all the signs Jesus said would herald the coming of the son of man, the prophesied judgment he delivers, and the big change that will bring a much brighter future.
The judgment and change is needed by all, but it is especially needed by Christians because Christianity began to be divided about six years after Jesus of Nazareth died. That's when Paul began to contend with James for the chief leadership role, despite the fact that Jesus had said that James should be the head of the church. That caused a sharp division among first century followers of Jesus, because by about 50 AD (CE) Paul's writings began to be accepted as the first "gospel truth" by certain churches, and they influenced later writings, especially the canonical gospels attributed to Mark, Matthew, Luke, and even John, in that order.
It is important to discuss how and why that happened, because today the divisions and conflicts are deeper than they have ever been, especially in America. For as Jesus predicted, while the good "sheep" are on one side as the son of man sees them, the hypocritical "goats" who make a show of being religious and masquerade as Christians are farther to the opposite side than ever before.
After all, Christians are supposed to be humble, loving, gentle, peaceful, meek, peaceful and harmless as doves, and abide by the golden rule to do unto others as we would have others do unto us, as Jesus of Nazareth advised.
Unfortunately, as Jesus prophesied, there is hypocritical, sanctimoniously proud and militant minority of zealots and extremists in America who claim
to be Christians but do the opposite as they fight for
theocratic political power and dominance. And they not only violate the golden rule and other core teachings of Jesus, they violate Article 6 and the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, IRS tax codes, and the very clear intent of the Founding Fathers regarding religion.
Therefore, all Americans should be aware of why we are plagued by such conflict, and why the hypocrites justify themselves and actually believe they are "right" and obeying the "will of God."
First of all, since the death of Jesus of Nazareth there have been many differences of opinion about his life, mission and teachings, and there still are. In fact, the differences of conflicting opinions are perhaps even sharper now. But, Jesus knew that would be the case. And he knew that, as a mortal human being, he himself would not have the last word.
In fact, Jesus said that at the end of the age he ushered in things would change because someone would come to set the record straight, issue judgment, guide you to the truth, show you things to come, glorify him (Jesus) for what he really was, expose the false doctrines and dispel the myths about him, and actually bear his full testimony, which the world was not ready for two thousand years ago.
Jesus knew what would happen during the passing age, and he knew what would be happening now near the end of it. He foresaw the terrible tribulation, the wars, natural disasters, man-made disasters and the other terrible things, and he foresaw the horrible man-made conflicts, divisions, mistakes and wrongdoings that caused most of it.
Jesus knew it was predictable, because he knew that even though most of humanity would improve, advance and evolve in our understanding of eternal and universal truths, some people would be corrupted by greed, self-interest, self-importance and self-righteousness, and some would be so corrupted by egotism that they would feel entitled to rule, and they would fight and even kill for worldly wealth, power, and domain.
Jesus also knew and said that much of the conflict now would be caused by the “religious” hypocrites who would be claiming to “do many wonderful works in the name of the Lord,” when they actually “work iniquity” and do wrong. (Matthew 7:22)
That is why according to Matthew 25:32-46 Jesus also said the day would come at the end of the age when the good "sheep" would be praised and the hypocritical "goats" who claim to be religious would be exposed and rebuked by the one who bears the testimony of Jesus and issues the judgment promised by all the prophets.
The good "sheep," of course, are the people who abide by the golden rule — which is basically the Universal Divine Imperative at the core of all religions — and like all truly religious people they understand that it will be those who are humble, gentle, peaceful and meek who shall inherit the earth by treating all others, including the least of our brethren, kindly and fairly, as everyone wants to be treated.
The "goats," on the other hand, have been misled by spiritually blind, theocratic false shepherds and false prophets who have led their blind flocks astray. They've been doing it for centuries, even since the Protestant Reformation and the American Revolution, and since the 1950s and particularly since 1981 Theocrats have been very aggressive. They have even convinced many otherwise good Christians that "godless Secular Humanist have taken God out of America and out of our schools." Of course, that is a ploy, but they use it effectively to demonize progressive Christians and all others who will not march to the theocratic drum of the "wolves in sheep's clothing."
The "goats" and "wolves" are the hypocrites Jesus warned us of, because while they claim to serve the Lord, and while they make a show of being religious and think they are the "true Christians," they actually serve "Mammon." They regard material wealth as a measure of “goodness,” and they fight for theocratic political power and rulership, claiming God is on their side and against their “godless” enemies. But they are guilty of religious discrimination, theocratic imposition, and bigotry.
To fulfill the prophecy of Jesus, the modern son of man sets the "goats" on one side (to his left as he sees them, which is their right), and he sets the good sheep on the other side. In other words, the goats are on the "right side" of the political isle, while the good sheep are on the left, facing he who "holds the gavel."
He tells you that those on the proud and militant "religious right" are wrong (regardless of what religion they claim), while those on the political left are correct insofar and in as much as they are humble, gentle, kind, charitable and peaceful, and serve the interests of all the people -- especially the elderly, the widows and orphans, the poor, the disabled, the disadvantaged, and the least of our brethren.
In America the right-wing partisan politicians who boast of being Christians not only betray Jesus, they violate the intent of the Founding Fathers. By pushing a theocratic political agenda, the hypocrites are much like those most of the Founding Fathers fought against (as their own words reveal).
Today, thanks to a lot of modern research and scholarship that has continued and expanded upon what Thomas Jefferson and other Founding Fathers realized and shared, we can totally refute the claims of hypocritical Theocrats who claim to serve God.
Why is this important? Because hypocrites ignore the core spiritual message summed up in the golden rule, about universal love, humility, gentleness, peacefulness, compassion, generosity, charity, tolerance, forgiveness and pacifism.
Hypocrites cling to misleading patriarchal doctrines which ignore or contradict the actual teachings of Jesus and the preceding Hebrew prophets and sages --- and they follow and perpetuate false doctrines that have been used during the last sixteen centuries to justify “religious” military industrial empires in their quests for greater wealth, power, and domain.
That has been a problem in America since the beginning, and it flared during and at the end of the Spanish-American War. During the last 30 years it has gotten worse again because theocratic Christians have also been attempting to run the U.S. Military. Many belong to a group calling themselves "The Family," which includes Republican members of Congress and the right-wing Federalist Society, military personnel who call themselves "Believers in The Army of God," and many who identify with the right-wing Project for a New American Century (PNAC), which has a global religious military industrial imperial agenda.
Ostensibly, it was all to establish the U.S. as the greatest worldwide "Christian Superpower," even though it actually established a very powerful religious military industrial complex feigning religiosity. That has been obvious for a long time since it was learned how the Air Force Academy had been infiltrated and dominated by right-wing evangelical Christians. In addition, more recently a West Point Academy cadet wrote an article
to publicly announce his decision to quit the prestigious military academy just months before graduating to protest the illegal infusion of military procedures and events with evangelical fundamentalist Christian proselytizing — because all that not only betrays the intent of the Founding Fathers and the U.S. Constitution. It also violates long-standing traditions of religious equality and pluralism in the U.S. Military.
The Origin of the Doctrine of Preeminence and Superiority
Even though the Christian New Testament contains much eternal, universal truth, it also contains some gross exaggerations, errors, contradictions, false doctrines, and false references to Hebrew (“Old Testament”) scriptures, largely due to Paul's theology of Christian Apologetics, established in 50 CE (AD) when Paul became the first writer to produce texts regarding Christianity as he interpreted and conceived it.
Paul’s theology was based not only on the belief that Jesus of Nazareth was "The" prophesied Messiah of Judaism. It was also based on Paul’s belief that Christianity superseded Judaism, and that was to counter and dismiss Rabbinical and Talmudic Jews who understandably refuted the stories about Jesus that were being spread.
Paul's theology of Christian Apologetics, which actually established Christianity as we know it in most of the world, was problematic from its inception, not only because it was controversial to many Jews (and still is), but also because it was controversial to many of the original followers of Jesus. In fact, the feud between Paul and James and his followers is well known among religious scholars. You can read more specifics about it in the article on The Missionary Paul, and His Theology of Christian Apologetics. It explains more fully how and why Paul created erroneous doctrines and thereby created a rift and schism within the original Christians.
However, here we can discuss some of the reasons why Paul's theology was inaccurate and has inevitably been detrimental to religious tolerance in the world.
During the first three decades after Jesus died there was a change in the attitude of some Christians toward Jews who did not believe Jesus was a Mashiach (Messiah), and especially not the prophesied one. And that was mostly because of the attitude and theology of Paul (Saul of Tarsus), because even though he had been against Christians, about five or six years after Jesus died, Paul thought he heard the voice of Jesus and he saw an unusual light in the air, so he converted and became a zealous Christian missionary evangelist.
Paul changed things by 50 CE (AD), because up to that point, the stories about Jesus were spread only by word of mouth. But in 50 CE, about two decades after Jesus died, Paul became the first Christian writer to produce works that were widely spread and considered as gospel by Christians who accepted Paul's theology.
(By the way, the next writer's work, the Gospel of Mark, was not produced until about 73 CE, while Matthew's followed in about 83 CE, followed by all others that came after that. And you can read Marcus Borg's widely accepted article on the chronological order of the texts that made it into the official church canon or Bible if you go to this link.)
Now it is important to understand certain truths about the origins of Christianity, because Paul developed his theology for more than ten years prior to 50 CE when he finally produced his first several epistles after poring through the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible or "Old Testament") looking for evidence that his idea of Jesus and the stories he had heard about him fit the messianic prophecies of Judaism. But, unfortunately, while Paul's epistles do contain much truth, not everything Paul wrote was true. In fact, he included some erroneous assumptions and personal opinions.
Granted, Paul was correct about many things. He was quite correct, for instance, in pointing out the futility of looking for greener pastures rather than recognizing and appreciating what you have. And he was quite right in writing that "the weapons of the Lord are not carnal [or lethal], but they are mighty through God for pulling down strongholds [of military power]." For the only weapons of the Lord our God are words of truth written by truly and divinely inspired writers.
However, concerning the prophecies of the Hebrew Bible, as you will see Paul was especially presumptuous and wrong in certain significant instances. But, because Paul was the first to put his version of the story of Jesus into writing, his version became the most influential among certain Christians.
That was because in Paul’s epistles and in the book of Acts ("of the apostles"), it says that Paul witnessed a light from heaven shining all around him, and he heard the voice of Jesus asking why Paul was against him (because up to that time Paul had been a severe critic of the Christians.) According to Paul, the voice told him he would be "given instructions." Then it says that Paul was “the chosen vessel” of Jesus, and later it says Paul received additional "visions" that gave him directions.
However, that is contrary to what is written in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas, in which Jesus names James his successor: "The disciples said to Jesus, 'We know that you will depart from us. Who will be our leader?' Jesus said to them: ‘You are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into existence.” So that was one of the reasons Paul and his group became divided from disciples like James, Thomas, Philip and others.
The main problem was that Paul did not know that the full realization of God and the "kingdom of heaven" comes "not with observation in the world, but from within," as Jesus said. The Spirit of truth and the Divine Light come from within and are perceived and felt from within, and when that happens one can perceive that everything around is vibrating with Light.
Paul didn't realize that because his source of inspiration came not from within, but from without. Paul reports having “heard the voice of Jesus” from without, and seeing bright light with his eyes. So even though that was so profound to him that it caused him to devote the rest of his life doing what he thought served the Lord, Paul’s spiritual “epiphany” was not what he thought it was. It is doubtful that Paul actually “knew the mysteries of heaven” as some of the actual apostles of Jesus did (as is mentioned in Matthew 13:10-11). And in fact, according to Acts 1:21-22, there were only 12 apostles and Paul was not an apostle, even though in his epistles Paul states that he was.
Even so, as has been mentioned, even the original 12 apostles became split and in conflict. One whose work was later judged as "heretical" by Pauline Christians (and was therefore excluded from the official Christian Bible) even wrote: "Some who do not understand mystery speak of things which they do not understand, but they will boast that the mystery of truth is theirs alone."
That reveals how Christians have been divided since the beginning, just as they are divided now, and for some of the same reasons. And it is telling that Paul’s initial preaching to people in person wasn't very successful, and not many paid any attention to him until he began to produce his written works. Paul’s written words had far more weight, and he was eventually accepted by many as a Christians authority. That’s why Paul’s works influenced the later writings of some of the apostles, especially Mark, Matthew, and Luke.
Paul was thus successful in establishing the theology of Christian Apologetics which claims that Jesus of Nazareth, among other things, was born of a virgin, as Paul was the first to claim by saying Jesus was "the" son of God in 1 and 2 Corinthians, which prompted following writers to claim that Jesus' mother Mary was a virgin (an idea they got from the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible's book of Isaiah, despite it's true meaning
Paul also was the first to claim Jesus overcame death, and therefore freed the world from sin. That idea is based on the writings of Paul and the gospel writers who agreed with him. But it has obviously been proven to be erroneous. As Jesus foresaw and foretold
, there is as much sin in the world now at the end of the age he ushered in as there ever was, and some of Paul’s claims are based on an incorrect interpretation of the statements and prophecies in Judaic scriptures in the Hebrew Bible.
By the way, a number of brilliant thinkers like Thomas Jefferson realized that back in the late 1700s, even without the benefit of all the modern historical and archaeological evidence we have now (which is why Jefferson wrote that: "Paul was the first corruptor of the doctrines of Jesus.").
In spite of that, it was the story and doctrine in Paul's writing that influenced Mark, the next apostle to produce a gospel, then Luke, Matthew and even John, in his early writings.
However, the early Christians were in conflict because of differing opinions. While Paul and his group had their own ideas that were antagonistic toward Judaism, others understood the real and true foundation of Jesus' teachings. They understood that the golden rule was originally taught by the great Jewish Essene Sage, Hillel the Elder, whose teachings influenced Jesus and his family. They knew that was why Jesus was a martyr and pacifist, who advised us to judge not, lest we be so judged; turn the other cheek; resist not evil but love good; "render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,” and love even our enemy.
Paul and his followers thought such advice was secondary to their doctrine that Christianity superseded Judaism and was destined to be the supreme and superior religion that must become dominant in the world in order to "save souls."
Unfortunately, Paul and others who adopted the idea that the blood of Jesus was shed to provide salvation did not understand why King David had written that salvation comes only from the Lord God and not from a son of man. They did not understand why Moses wrote that God is not a man, nor a son of man. They did not understand why Isaiah wrote that we should not liken God to any man, and they did not understand that the martyrdom of Jesus was really about his being a perfect example of a loving, forgiving, peaceful pacifist.
Paul’s doctrines, which became completely dominant by the fourth century, became in certain ways contrary to that in the sense that they caused Christians to believe that they had an "evangelical mandate" to essentially rule the world to “spread the word of God,” even if it meant living by the sword and killing to do it.
Many Christians have justified that by focusing on one sentence attributed to Jesus, but that is contradictory to his actual teachings and intent, and the truth must be told because the false doctrines that became part of the official church canon and summed up in the Nicene Creed in the fourth century have been used to claim that unless you profess that Jesus was "God Himself," the Holy One and Savior, you will suffer in hell for eternity.
That is simply not true, because as Isaiah wrote, only God is the Savior. Jesus himself knew what prophets like Isaiah had written, especially in Isaiah 40:18, 40:25, 42:8, and 46:5, that no man should be likened or compared to God, and that a Messiah is God’s servant
. That’s why Jesus said things like "God is greater than I
" (John 14:28) and “You have not heard God’s voice or seen God’s shape at any time.
” (John 5:37) And even though Jesus realized his oneness
with God, as we all can, he knew and said he was not God, but God’s servant
In spite of that, a misunderstanding and problem was created after Jesus died when Paul’s theology of Christian Apologetics was established in 50 CE, which created or inspired some erroneous doctrines about Jesus. One, for instance, was that of the son of man who fulfills prophecies “will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace
" -- which is what most Christian versions of Isaiah 9:6 say in order to make Jesus seem as if he was both God the Father and God as Son. But, that is not what the original Hebrew scripture says.
As Hebrew scholars can tell you, it says the promised servant of God is essentially called "Wondrous Counselor and Arbitrator of Peace." The Hebrew version like the Christian version says government shall be upon his shoulder, and his counsel, judgment and righteousness will bring lasting peace. But the fact is that he, like Jesus
, serves the omnipresent eternal God, the Great Spirit-Parent. And, as the Greek translation, the Septuagint, states, "his name is called the Messenger of great counsel,
" which is actually the most accurate way of putting it, for he is actually the main messenger for the Spirit of truth that Jesus said
Understand the truth, for as the article on Isaiah Chapter 53
explains, the original text of Isaiah 9:6 does not contradict itself
by saying the son of man is Counselor and Arbitrator of Peace as well as “God the Everlasting Father.” Rather, it uses words applicable to a son of man whose advice and counsel enables people to get the message of divine intent from the Spirit of truth, and from God.
That reality is clarified literally in many other instances in the book of Isaiah (including Isaiah 40:18, 40:25, 42:1-2, 42:8, and 46:5) which state that God is not a person, and that the person who fulfills prophecy is not God but a son of man and a "servant who God has chosen
Unfortunately, the doctrine of preeminence and superiority and its threat of hell and damnation has suited emperors and kings and military industrial imperialists since the fourth century. And in modern times it has enabled proud, militant right-wing false shepherds and false prophets to establish a huge cult in the name of "Jesus Christ," unwittingly becoming as the blind leading the blind, totally unaware that the title of "Christ" is not a last name but a title like Mashiach, meaning "anointed one," as was mentioned at the beginning of this article.
See, one of the reasons the Dominionists on the “Christian Right” have been and are pushing so hard is because, as most religious Christians are very aware, according to surveys about one third of the people in America now consider themselves “spiritual but not religious,” and, while that number is increasing, so is the number of people who identify with the Interfaith movement that is growing rapidly -- (which would please the Founders of America who were Deists and Freemasons who wanted America to be an Interfaith nation with real freedom of religion).
However, it’s not just the extremists on the “religious” Right that are pushing the dogma and theology of Christian Apologetics. Other committed, highly enthusiast if not zealous Christians have been and are trying to sell the story of Jesus of Nazareth as is portrayed in the canonized Christian Bible.
For example, two Roman Catholics, Mel Gibson and Roma Downey have been very busy “spreading the Word.” Gibson produced the movie on The Passion of the Christ, and Downey produced the television miniseries, The Bible, and a movie titled Son of God.
Downey released the movie following up on her miniseries because it was popular with the almost one third of Americans who identify themselves as religious Christians. Many of them do not identify with the ultra partisan “religious right,” of course, but they do believe in the same traditional Pauline Christian dogma and regard it is “gospel truth.” But while they may not be blatantly political, they definitely have an agenda.
Downey has said, “We were tired of cursing the darkness. We're committed to stories that add light" because "We are people of faith.” Downey also said: "Everything begins with intention, and our intention with this was not to be divisive in any way, but to create something compelling that would draw people together." And “Our hope for our movie is that the people who are believers will come and have the opportunity to fall in love with Jesus again, and people who don't know Jesus at all could come and discover him for the first time."
In other words, she is proselytizing and evangelizing, which would not be bad if she knew and told the real story of Jesus of Nazareth. But, instead, she is against what Thomas Jefferson stood for and she is selling the one that was officially canonized in the Christian Bible in the fourth century by Christian leaders from different regions within the Roman Empire, after the Emperor Constantine had converted to Pauline Christianity.
(Continued at About Christianity, Part 2 and 3, which discuss The Early Christians, how Pauline Christianity became dominant over the Christianity of Jesus, James and others, the view of America's Founders regarding religion; their recognition of the erroneous myths, doctrines and dogma that put Christianity on the wrong track; and the true purpose of Christianity.)