The story we've been told...
There is a statement used frequently in our ministry: we honor all paths that teach love. I know that the path of Christianity is one where hundreds of Americans find something, probably a commonality of belief with many others. It is a place to be. It is a place to belong. That is good. However, it is also a place where many find what they think is a truth and they look no further. They stall themselves on the path to unfoldment.
Many have moved away from the religion because, as a religion, it is a machine that has steamrolled minds for thousands of years, leaving in its wake fear, anxiety, bloodshed and war. Christianity is of such a warring nature, that being Christian is not enough. Under the Christian umbrella there are many denominations; Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, New Thought and so on. Many of these have warred with each other for two millennia. Christians across the world can’t agree with each other on what truth actually is, yet they want to travel across the globe in the conversion of non-Christians and those of other shades of belief.
Christianity thrives by portraying itself as the lone vehicle by which one can be saved from eternal damnation. It survives because Christian believers are typically generational Christians, having been taught since birth that they are born sinful and must therefore submit to the authority of the church to avoid punishment in the afterlife. It further uses Jesus as a tool of guilt, blaming everyone who has ever been born as the reason why Jesus was so brutally tortured and murdered. This is a two-part emotional load that pales in comparison to the third aspect of the emotional burden used by some in the religion.
Often the most confusing aspect of some of Christianity is the description of God. By a young age children are endowed with a sense of shame, for having been born so sinful, and guilt for having been the reason for the death of Jesus. Children then grow up with utter terror and confusion when they try to understand God. Many live in a state of subconscious fear that is developed at a very young age and which drifts into the subconscious. This is reinforced the older they get and the more they become indoctrinated. This fear is derived from the teaching where they have been ordered to love and obey a god that promises to burn them in eternal hellfire unless they ignore the instinct that they were born with. How sick is the story of any God that places them in a world full of enjoyable, expansive experiences, only to tell them that they must resist in partaking of any of it. Is this a God of love? Is this a God forgiving? Is this a wise God? Of course not. This is a created God, forged by humanity with agendas and a need to control.
Christian theologians and clergy created these ideas and were the ideas ever to be exposed as false, the truth would decimate the religion. The theology is based on a mistranslation of a story in Genesis. We are to believe that God created the universe in seven days and that Adam was created, within moments, out of dust. Shortly thereafter, God created a woman. A deep sleep is produced, a rib is removed and the first woman was formed. God then creates a temptation through a talking snake and, of all things, it’s an apple that is desired.
Once Adam and Eve partake of this unpardonable sin, they are banished from the Garden of Eden for eternity, having earned the punishment of being separated from the presence of God for all eternity. This offense was, in fact, such a unpardonable sin that it necessitated the ultimate murder of Jesus, an innocent man, who had nothing to do with the original offense.
The equivalent story would be for parents to give us a cookie and say we couldn’t eat it. Then they murder our younger brother when we eventually eat it. This is the story told to those within the church over the last 2,000 years. It has been told and believed and told again. Few have dared to question the reliability of the story, nor what it says about God. Can it be true about God, who is light and has no darkness? Of course not. The only reason early Christians believed the story is they were not given the option to disagree.
To disagree was essentially to commit suicide. Early Christians were labeled as blasphemers. At the highest extent of punishment many were pursued and tortured until death by the church.
The only reason why many still believe this story, or pretend to believe this story, is that something within us is still deeply afraid of being burned at the stake or of being eradicated for all eternity. We’re afraid of not getting the approval of family or peers and our ego shutters at the thought that we might lose our label of being a Christian. Something inside us is still afraid of being sacrificed by the religious system because of a lack of belief. This stems from generational Christianity with 2,000 years of human persecution. It stems from indoctrination, our father’s indoctrination, our father’s father’s indoctrination, and even earlier -- back through dozens of generations. It is instilled in us and it takes courage to break free from it.
We remain in chains because we don’t understand what we lose by remaining with this story. We, if we remain in the story, slumber. We are comfortable and we are fearful of what we become once we abandon the labels that are placed upon our beliefs. Unfortunately, many still believe that if this Christian tale is true, we will die after death. We may still believe we will be condemned to the depths of hellfire. It is safer to believe in that which does not exist and to have life controlled by religious falsity. And many still believe it is safer to hold onto these stories than to look at the teachings of Jesus and to be immersed in the freedom and love of God.